SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Cody & Red Velvet vs. Shaq & Jade Cargill – HIT
Whatever you were expecting going into this match, the result surely surpassed it. After a lackluster build involving the former NBA All-Star and Naismith Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq), all of the match participants rose to the occasion delivering a fun and memorable kick-off to Dynamite. Shaq played the big monster role well in hardly selling any offense. He ended his portion of the match by going through two tables after Cody Rhodes dove onto him. Jade Cargill was impressive with her confidence, charisma and athleticism. She showed great potential along with Red Velvet who sold great. Hopefully this is a moment that can be looked back upon as a great jumping point for Cargill and Velvet early in their careers.
Pac & Rey Fenix vs. John Skylar & D3 – HIT
A short squash showing off Pac and Rey Fenix’s high flying style. Not a bad choice to capitalize on the increased audience showing them a different style that may appeal to a mainstream audience. Without an announcement, Pac and Fenix were quietly added to the Casino Battle Royal at Revolution.
Chris Jericho & MJF Press Conference – HIT
A better setup and format than the previous Inner Circle press conference. Chris Jericho and MJF took basic questions from the Barstool Sports media as well as famous wrestling podcasters, Conrad Thompson and Eric Bischoff. Jericho and MJF berated everyone playing up their characters before they were interrupted by The Young Bucks. Nick and Matt Jackson shared the microphone and cut one of their best promos in AEW. They explained who they are, where they come from, and why attacking their father hurts them deeply. The Bucks then hit super kicks on Jericho and MJF leading to a run-in from Brandon Cutler and The Good Brothers. The Good Brothers set up some tables allowing the Bucks to dive off the staging area simultaneously. This was the boost and promo that their match needed going into Sunday.
Jurassic Express vs. FTR & Tully Blanchard – HIT
A good match between these teams. Tully Blanchard was limited in his performance, but he was still able to get his hands on Marko Stunt. I’m hopeful that a Jurassic Express loss will eventually lead to Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus vs. FTR.
Paul Wight Announcement – HIT
Time will tell how Paul Wight, fka Big Show, will fit into AEW. Obviously he is much larger than everyone on their roster making him a bad fit as an interviewer. He also has been so devalued from his treatment and constant turns in WWE which Wight acknowledged. The biggest takeaway was that he teased that a near hall of famer would be signing a multi-year contract with AEW. This was a smart move that will generate more conversation and speculation leading into the event. There is no obvious free agent that could be a difference maker, but based on the limited criteria, there are several names that could be considered. It’s not clear which hall of fame Wight is referring to, but if it’s WWE’s then that would eliminate some contenders. If you eliminate the big fish like CM Punk and Brock Lesnar, the names I think it could be are: Christian, Rob Van Dam, Nick Aldis, or Cain Velasquez.
Ryo Mizunami vs. Nyla Rose – HIT
I really enjoyed the match between these two. It seemed likely Mizunami would take the victory after being flown into the show from Japan. Although she isn’t a name that most fans are familiar with, she will be able to get herself over on Sunday by having a great match with Hikaru Shida. Nyla Rose has also proved that when paired with an experienced opponent, she is capable of having really good matches.
Max Caster vs. Preston “10” Vance – MISS
I’m not sure why these two would be fighting over a spot in the ladder match at Revolution. I like that AEW gives a chance to anyone, but there hasn’t been enough build for either of these two to see them as legit contenders in the match. They had a fine match on Dynamite, but nothing about it got me excited to see Caster on Sunday.
Hangman Page & John Silver vs. Matt Hardy & Marc Quen – MISS
Putting this in the final spot of the “go-home show” and giving it so much airtime during the countdown show is evidence that AEW is higher on this feud than most fans. As the final selling point going into Revolution, this is not the match-up I would’ve gone with. Hangman’s nonsensical story with Matt Hardy has brought him down because of the lack of logic involved throughout. This match was good in showing off Hangman’s ability, but it ultimately led to a brawl between the teams in the Casino Battle Royale. Other than a pre-taped promo earlier in the night, there wasn’t much promotion for the Revolution main event and we didn’t hear from Kenny Omega.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S AEW HITS & MISSES: AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES 2/24: Jon Moxley on the microphone, Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose delivers, more