SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Birthday Party and Hangman Page, Colt Cabana, John Silver, & Alex Reynolds vs. TH2, Luther, & Serpentico – MISS
I didn’t imagine AEW choosing to kick off Dynamite for a birthday celebration that was interrupted by Luther. This was another nice gesture for Brodie Lee’s son, Brodie Jr, but not the most ideal way to start the show. The segment felt minor league and out of place. The birthday party was a segue way into a match involving Hangman Page tagging with Dark Order where Hangman would declare whether he’d join the group after the match. After some good action, Alex Reynolds scored the pin following a combination assisted by Hangman Page and John Silver. In the post-match, Hangman declined to join Dark Order after Silver proposed on one knee. Dark Order had a celebration all in place that still went off despite Hangman’s decision. The later part of the segment was executed well, but I can’t get a read on the direction. It seems equally as likely that Hangman just walks away or eventually he comes around on the group. Either way, AEW has gone back to a sad version of Hangman which fans have almost universally denounced.
Darby Allin & Sting Promo – HIT
Every week it feels like Darby Allin is becoming a bigger star. He has a unique presence about him despite being undersized. Sting is still not the smoothest talker with this being likely the most mortal and laid back we’ve seen him in AEW. Team Taz interrupted them and set up a Street Fight challenge. Darby and Sting took some time to consider it before accepting. I fully expect Darby to take a tremendous punishment again before Sting comes in to hit his signature spots.
The Young Bucks – Don Callis Segment – HIT
The Bucks made a visit to Kenny Omega’s home alongside Alex Marvez. The Bucks were met with a more subdued Michael Nakazawa who took them up to Omega’s room. Don Callis informed The Bucks that Omega couldn’t make it and offered to pay them off for their 12 years of friendship with Omega. The Bucks were insulted by the offer and got into a scuffle with Callis that was not fully visible on Camera. Later in the show, Callis met up with Omega and revealed a giant bruise on his face. Omega demanded answers as to who did it while Callis dropped hints of it being The Young Bucks. Callis is continuing to manipulate Omega by cutting off his friends and lying about his injury. The Bucks still want Omega’s friendship, but Callis is blocking them. It seems that this would set up a match between them and The Good Brothers at some point, but they’re taking their time to get there.
Cody Rhodes vs. Peter Avalon – MISS
I can’t say Peter Avalon would’ve been my first choice to face Cody Rhodes. After hitting a quick Cross Rhodes, Jade Cargill made an appearance to distract Cody and give Avalon the advantage. They went on for several more minutes through a commercial break to have a competitive match. The result wasn’t pretty and Avalon is about as low as it gets on the totem pole. AEW is pushing the story between Cody and Cargill hard while setting up an eventual confrontation with Shaq. I like seeing consistency with AEW following through with the story, but hopefully it becomes more appetizing when Shaq finally steps in the ring.
Jon Moxley vs. Nick Comoroto – HIT
Nick Comoroto came in as a physically impressive opponent. Jon Moxley struggled for a bit, but ultimately and handily got the win. Everything for Moxley is always a fight, so a simple squash wouldn’t have worked as well. After the match, Moxley addressed the crowd and let everyone know that to get to the top they have to go through him. Moxley also addressed Omega again making a rematch between the two at Revolution the most likely top program. There still hasn’t been an answer as to who attacked Moxley before he was to sign a contract with Omega almost 2 months ago.
Matt Hardy & Private Party vs. Matt Sydal & Top Flight – MISS
So, Private Party is okay with Mat Hardy screwing them over? What made them change their mind to want to be the bad guys with Hardy? This story continues to feel like it’s missing several chapters. They’ve had additional segments on Being The Elite, but for viewers of Dynamite it feels rushed. Good action throughout the match with Top Flight showing off much of their talent. They continue to get premium experience under them at a young age.
Penelope Ford vs. Leyla Hirsch – MISS
A disappointing match up that was plagued by interference. Leyla Hirsch has a unique style, body, and look that fans are intrigued by. Ford hasn’t been able to show much in the ring on Dynamite, but she’s really good when she’s allowed to shine against an experienced opponent. The gimmick of Chuck Taylor being the butler was cute the first time around, but will have diminishing returns. Sabian holding on Hirsch’s leg confused viewers and the announce team for it’s logic.
MJF & Chris Jericho vs. Santana & Ortiz vs. Sammy Guevara & Jake Hager – HIT
Good action throughout leading to MJF and Chris Jericho taking the win. Per usual, MJF took most of the match off only to swoop in at the end for the win. Their victory is sure to lead to more dissension in the group. The action was a bit of a mixed bag with Sammy Guevara shining and looking like a future babyface star. Jericho nearly had a bad botch on the lionsault that was very close to being a neck injury. The Inner Circle continues to grow further apart, as MJF and Jericho are primed for a championship match.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW HITS & MISSES: AEW HITS & MISSES 1/13: Pac vs. Kingston, Inner Circle resolutions, Kenny Omega with the Good Brothers, and more