SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•Hangman Page vs. John Silver – MISS
John Silver is one heck of a worker, but his affiliation with Dark Order is making less sense. Is he actually better than his record suggests, but Dark Order is what’s holding him back? For a “loser” group, he continues to have competitive matches with victory in-reach. His match against Hangman Page was no exception. A highly competitive match given their placements on the card. In the post-match, the rest of Dark Order entered the ring and Evil Uno gave pitch to Hangman. He offered up the services of Dark Order and let him know that they will be there for him. Excalibur called the offer enticing which is a real head scratcher. What sort of positivity can Dark Order bring? In a meta sense, being a part of the group is almost a guarantee to be on TV each week unless you’re Mr. Brodie Lee. A Dark Order recruitment story doesn’t get me excited for the next chapter of Hangman. As always, let’s see how it plays out, but this feels like another detour in getting to Hangman’s destination.
•Kenny Omega Promo – HIT
This is the Kenny Omega fans have been clamoring for. He’s got the suit and the sunglasses, but most importantly he’s serious about proving he’s the best. That is essentially what fans want out of wrestling. Not goofy entertainment segments that lead to nothing, but sometimes a fun moment in time. Omega comes off like a star and has fast tracked his way into being seen as a main event player.
•Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Lee and Post-Promo – MISS
Will Hobbs came out to the ring under his new name and persona, Powerhouse Hobbs. He adopted Taz’s signature orange and black color scheme while also wearing a black towel to the ring. Hobbs destroyed Lee Johnson in just a few minutes. Afterwards, Taz congratulated Hobbs and started spouting off about the disrespect towards the FTW championship. His mic was cut off several times before Cody came out with a headset on to try to end the segment. Taz called Cody a management person and accused him of some of the management tropes like “creative has nothing for them” or “best in your future endeavors”. This enraged Cody to the point where he called out Taz’s son, Hook, for training with him instead of Taz. Taz put Cody in a Tazmission to end the segment. Taz has done great mic work and weaving Cody into the Team Taz storyline is a major plus, but AEW has to end talking about Cody and The Young Bucks as members of management. It feels like an outdated pullback of the curtain and serves as a reminder that Cody and The Bucks will always have an unfair advantage because they influence backstage decision making.
•TH2 vs. Top Flight – HIT
TH2 has crawled up from under the AEW Dark abyss. Jack Evans and Angelico are two great performers that the AEW audience only gets to see on Dark. They gave a lot to the newly signed tag team, Top Flight, who ultimately came up short. This seemed like an opportune time to give them a satisfying and believable win in their young careers. Instead it was a showcase for Top Flight which led to a setup between TH2 and their new mentors, The Young Bucks. I don’t mind AEW showing that Top Flight has some promise, but they aren’t quite main roster ready. TH2 vs. The Young Bucks should be a solid TV title program if that’s the route they decide to take.
•Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. SCU – HIT
Whenever Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels are in the ring, they always prove themselves are some of the best and most experienced workers around. While Kazarian has always been low-key great, Daniels always has his flashing moments that remind you to take him seriously at 50 years old. They had a good match against Chris Jericho and Jake Hager which led to a series of follow-up matches. Later in the night, Jericho challenged Kazarian to a one-on-one for next week after he hit MJF. Also, MJF will be defending his Dynamite Diamond Ring against several Inner Circle members, Wardlow, and many others in a battle royal next week.
•Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley contract signing – HIT
Take two on getting the contracts inked. Jon Moxley is under the belief that Kenny Omega was the one who took him out last week. He returned the favor by beating down Omega in the tunnel during his entrance. He dragged him to the ring and cut a promo about how Omega had pissed him off and he only has one shot to beat him. Excellent stuff from Moxley to build towards their match next week. It felt a little out of character for Moxley to beat someone from behind, but that has been his MO with Omega since day one. It also would have made more sense to close the show with this angle since it’s the biggest match coming next week.
•Anna Jay vs. Hikaru Shida – HIT
A video package aired before the match detailing what has changed in Anna Jay’s career that makes her a more formidable challenger to Hikaru Shida. They had a nice match with some holes due to Jay’s lack of experience. Regardless, Jay still continues to improve and show why she is worth the investment. In the post-match, Abandon made her return to Dynamite, scaring Shida off the stage. I didn’t have an issue with Abadon during her debut when she upset Jay, but scaring the champion a la The Fiend has proven itself as a terrible idea. Shida needs to continue to look strong despite her opponent’s appearance.
•Pac & Fenix vs. The Butcher & The Blade – HIT
Really good match to cap off Dynamite. My biggest issue is since this is a “go-home” show for next week’s special Dynamite, it might be more advantageous to close the show with something the leads into next week. At the time of this writing, nobody involved in the main event has anything setup next week including Lance Archer. Archer came in to break up The Fam’s beat down of The Death Triangle. Presumably this picks up Kingston’s beef with Archer dating back to the number 1 contender’s battle royal in which Kingston was not eliminated.
RECOMMENDED: 11/25 AEW DYNAMITE TV RESULTS: Sage’s “alt perspective” report on Shida vs. Anna Jay for the AEW Woman’s Championship, Pac & Rey Fenix vs. Butcher & Blade, Jericho & Hager vs. SCU, Hobbs in action, Top Flight, more