SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•Brian Cage vs. Matt Sydal – HIT
A classic big man, little man match-up. Brian Cage looked dominant, showing off his power and agility. Matt Sydal shined through doing something spectacular for every hope spot. Team Taz are going after the TNT Championship with Taz’s promo before the match and Ricky Starks post-match calling out Darby Allin. Team Taz has been clicking as a group and it would be a shame to see them break up prematurely if Starks and Cage feud with each other over who should get the shot at the title.
•Cody Rhodes Promo – MISS
Cody Rhodes vs. Shaq, 2020 ain’t over yet. As Cody came out to declare his intentions on avenging his loss against MJF, he was interrupted by Jade Cargill. Cargill, new AEW signee, spoke cryptically about Cody calling himself a giant killer. She kept referring to a giant who Cody hasn’t faced which she revealed to be Shaq. Brandi burst onto the stage to cuss out Cargill for getting in Cody’s face. Then Brian Cage and Ricky Starks attacked Cody before Darby Allin made the save setting up a tag match for next week. A lot happened in this segment, but the biggest takeaway being the prospect of Shaq wrestling in AEW. While not the most attractive match-up at Shaq’s advanced age, he’s always expressed interest in trying to have a match. The timing makes sense given the return of the NBA on TNT is around the corner. If AEW can get some coverage during the NBA and connect it to their content, that could be an avenue to growing the audience during the pandemic.
•Jon Moxley Promo and Kenny Omega Promo – HIT
Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley for the AEW Championship is scheduled for December 2nd on Dynamite. A bold move to put possibly the biggest match up in AEW for free on TV. Many had thought this would logically be the main event of Revolution in February. AEW will want to get the biggest rating possible for that show by giving away a major marquee match-up. They could still wrestle at Revolution depending on the outcome, but AEW has been firm on giving clean finishes on big matches. The build to the match is sure to be fantastic as were the two promos by Moxley and Omega on this show. Moxley said it would take someone special to be Omega twice and he believes he’s the one to do it. While Omega asserted that the “best bout machine” version of Kenny Omega never left. He also said that their first meeting didn’t count because it was an unsanctioned match. The feud already has the feeling of a big time fight and it’s finally gotten Omega to break out of his shell and cut his first great AEW promo.
•The Butcher & The Blade vs. The Natural Nightmare – HIT
A satisfyingly bloody match in the middle of Dynamite. For a storyline that times felt forgotten between QT Marshall and The Bunny, AEW weaved it back in and gave it a conclusion. The Bunny was misleading QT and took advantage of him by spending all the money on his credit cards, so that led to his guitar smashing gory brawl. It was a bit much given the context of the story, but a well worked match showing off The Butcher and The Blade as well as Dustin’s incredible ability at his age.
•The Inner Circle Induction – MISS
More of the same types of interactions between MJF and The Inner Circle. MJF is funny and entertaining using Drake lines in his acceptance speech, but pretending that he’s never heard of him. MJF also announced that he would be taking The Inner Circle to Las Vegas. Which was then followed by the announcement of The Inner Circle Slays Vegas for next week’s Dynamite. The performances continue to be strong, but these segments feel too fake and WWE like. Although the execution is a league above WWE, this works against the idea of AEW trying to separate itself and create their own identity. MJF is really good, but his constant need for comedy is undercutting him as a serious threat.
•The Young Bucks Promo – HIT
It doesn’t excuse the heel tactics by The Bucks, but I’m glad that they firmly established themselves as babyfaces. After a convoluted story that left fans unsure about how to feel about The Bucks, they’ve finally offered some sincere clearity. They apologized to Alex Marvez and said they will be facing Top Flight next week. Top Flight is a team made up of two young brothers from Minneapolis who have wrestled under the names Air Wolf and Angel Dorado. They quickly rose up the ranks of notoriety in Minneapolis and now they will have their biggest match ever in an opportunity of a lifetime against The Young Bucks.
•Shawn Spears vs. Scorpio Sky – MISS
Not the finish that many Scorpio Sky fans had hoped for. Sky has been given start and stop pushes making fans want to see him finally get put into a better position. This wasn’t the match as Sky was beaten by Shawn Spears after he hit Sky with the loaded glove. A fine up until the deflating finish. I want to given AEW the benefit of the doubt to tell a long term storyline, but at what point do fans lose faith the promotion will do something more meaningful with him.
•Tay Conti vs. Red Velvet – HIT
Finally, a women’s story that doesn’t revolve around a championship. Tay Conti’s friend, Anna Jay, has been trying to recruit her to join the Dark Order. Jay tossed a chair to Conti to cheat to win, but Conti was able to pull off the victory anyways because she’s talented. Conti had another good match here against Red Velvet.
•Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Fenix – HIT
Another fantastic match between these guys. A much different match than their first meeting in AEW a couple of weeks ago. Instead of all insane athletic highspots, they told a story of brutalizing each other with big moves while trying to tear off the other’s mask. Eddie Kingston on commentary encouraged the violence. Penta El Zero Miedo won after hitting a package piledriver on the ring apron. Kingston was quick to kick Fenix to the outside and congratulate Penta on the win. Shortly thereafter, Pac made his return storming to the ring to get in Kingston’s face before referees had to break them up. Pac was positioned like a baby face in his return, which is a stark contrast to the “bastard” heel character he has mastered. Perhaps Pac is still a heel and he is just trying to get his Death Triangle members back from Eddie Kingston.
RECOMMENDED: 11/11 AEW DYNAMITE TV RESULTS: Sage’s “alt perspective” report on Post Full Gear Fall out, Pentagon vs. Rey Fenix II, Brian Cage vs. Matt Sydal, MJF enters The Inner Circle, Kenny Omega speaks, Jon Moxley speaks, More.