SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Jon Moxley vs. Ryan Nemeth – HIT
I like Jon Moxley responding to the closing angle from the previous week. Moxley beat Nemeth quickly then addressed the exploding barbed wire stipulation. He described what fans should expect from the match and how it’s a metaphor for what he needs to do to get back to the top. He parlayed it into his passion for professional wrestling and how matches like these motivate him to be his best. What can I say? Another great Jon Moxley promo. His passion for the business is real. What he said here gave me confidence that no matter how brutal and violent his match with Kenny Omega is, they will give it their all.
Ricky Starks & Brian Cage vs. The Varsity Blondes – HIT
A solid match between these teams. The Varsity Blondes continue to improve each time they get an opportunity on Dynamite. After the match, a cinematic scene showed Sting driving a body bag which was revealed to be Darby Allin. Sting’s music hit and he walked on the stage with a body bag that was revealed to be Hook. Darby Allin came descending from the top of Daily’s Place on a zip line wielding his skateboard. Sting and Darby continued to take out all of Team Taz to get their heat back. A fun moment incorporating Sting’s nostalgic entrance, but with Allin instead. The feud needed Sting and Allin getting physical and this delivered.
Brandon Cutler vs. Jake Hager – MISS
A quick win for Jake Hager. Brandon Cutler got in a few spots including a dive, but was destroyed shortly thereafter. After the match, Hager beat down Cutler which prompted The Young Bucks to jump in for the save. While they were in the ring, Chris Jericho and MJF appeared backstage on the big screen. They bloodied Papa Buck and threw him against the production truck forcing the Young Bucks backstage. I appreciate a clear Young Bucks story that makes sense, but the incorporation of Papa Buck feels like a forced element in order for the Young Bucks to appear more babyface because of the in-fighting with The Inner Circle.
Hangman Page vs. Isiah Kassidy – HIT
Isaiah Kassidy continues to impress in singles competition while he’s only had a handful of solo matches. Hangman Page is becoming a routine good to great match performer. After the match, Matt Hardy cut a promo on Page from backstage which led to Hardy coming out and tossing Alan Angels off the stage and through a table. They kept it simple this week versus the nonsense of swapping out a contract and getting Page to agree to a stupid stipulation. This still isn’t helping Page, but it was a step back in the right direction.
Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose – HIT
I was very impressed by these two. Britt Baker is fresh off of winning the award for Most Improved in 2020 and it’s well deserved. She is a refined character whose stock continues to rise. That’s why it was quite surprising to see her lose to Nyla Rose. I presume this is designed to set up a rematch between the returning Riho and Rose if Riho is to beat Thunder Rosa. As I said last week, AEW is defining the women’s division with some key acts that are getting over and delivering in the ring.
Lance Archer vs. Rey Fenix – HIT
Great chemistry between these two. Lance Archer can play the big man monster while Rey Fenix creates most of the dynamic movement. Neither Archer nor Fenix are considered “main event guys,” but they proved that it doesn’t matter when you can have an exceptional match. The biggest downside is this means that Fenix will not be a part of the ladder match at Revolution.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES: AEW HITS & MISSES 2/17: Inner Circle recalibrated, Deeb vs. Riho delivers, and Sting takes a big bump