SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Tag Team Lumberjack match – HIT
A nicely laid out battle royal built around MJF and Chris Jericho. Sammy Guevara also had his moments to shine as the situation between The Inner Circle members worsens. The Young Bucks were tossed out relatively early killing the suspense of them picking their opponent. It feels like the right time for MJF and Jericho to challenge for the title and possibly win. There are several babyface teams that would be ready to challenge them if they are to win, namely Jurassic Express.
Sting-Darby Allin Promo – HIT
More of the same from Darby Allin and Sting. They have chemistry and oftentimes, Darby Allin feels more charismatic and like the bigger star. Sting has improved on the microphone, but every time he talks, Team Taz interrupts. There are still 4 more weeks until their match at Revolution, so some more variety leading up the match would be helpful in order to avoid the feud peaking too soon.
Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa – HIT
One of the best Britt Baker matches I can remember. She brought it to Thunder Rosa who has been consistently improving herself since debuting on Dynamite. AEW has wanted to build the women’s division around Baker for some time, but she needed growth from an in-ring perspective to get there. This victory feels like a good launchpad into the championship picture for her.
Hangman Page & Matt Hardy vs. Chaos Project – MISS
What is Hangman Page still doing with Matt Hardy? Can he still not see Hardy is a leech? The match wasn’t much other than a showcase for Page. While Page looks great in the ring, his stature on the card has been falling. The more he continues to mingle with mid to lower card talent, the more he distances himself from the key aspects of the show.
Penelope Ford – Kip Sabian Wedding – MISS
This played out about the way you thought it would. Kip and Penelope got married before it was crashed by Orange Cassidy who was hiding in a cake. These are opportunities where AEW can learn from the past and create something new and current. Instead, they tend to make an homage to the past. Chuck Taylor breaking free and attacking Miro didn’t have the impact it should have because of how this was built and executed.
Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston – MISS
A fine match that feels like the blow off to this feud. Archer got his win back by pinning Kingston. The lumberjack stipulation played a big factor like it always does with outside interference bleeding into the ring. This feud has been going on for quite sometime and both parties would benefit from moving on to something new.
Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers vs. Jon Moxley, Pac, Fenix – HIT
A great main event highlighted by the athleticism of Fenix, Pac, and Omega. The biggest story coming out of it is that the “forbidden door” has been busted open. New Japan’s Kenta debuted on Dynamite by assaulting Jon Moxley to close out the show. Fans should’ve been tipped off on a possible working relationship when Moxley attacked Kenta on the New Japan Strong weekly TV show. I don’t think fans imagined that Kenta would be the first star from New Japan to cross over, but it worked because Kenta lives in Orlando. Following the show, Kenny Omega caught up with Kenta and the announcement was made for next week that Kenny Omega & Kenta would face Jon Moxley & Lance Archer. Each of those wrestlers have been a part of New Japan in recent years.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW HITS & MISSES: AEW HITS & MISSES 1/27: Cody answers Shaq, Harwood vs. Jungle Boy, and Archer vs. Kingston