SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Hangman Page vs. Max Caster – MISS
To this point, I’ve not been impressed with The Acclaimed gimmick. Specifically, Max Caster still looks unsure in his role. The match itself was a step down from what we’re used to seeing from Hangman with inconsistent pacing and overt outside interference. Throughout the match, the announcers pushed the idea of Hangman being on a roll and in line for a championship match with Kenny Omega at some point.
The Death Triangle Promo – HIT
Just can’t have an in-ring promo without a run-in. Before Pac could respond to Tony Schiavone, Orange Cassidy and The Best Friends made their way down the stage and showed a montage of attacks by the Death Triangle over the past year. Pac disrespected them and told them to get off the stage. Trent said they were only out there to let them know the boys were back in town. I like the attention to detail documenting all the instances where Death Triangle has done them wrong. They won’t feud right away, but this was a nice way to set something up for the near future.
The Inner Circle Promo – HIT
Great stuff from Chris Jericho reaffirming The Inner Circle as babyfaces. He brought the passion and fury needed after all that’s transpired between the groups. He ran down MJF as a fraud while dismantling the rest of The Pinnacle. Then, he laid out the challenge of Blood & Guts for May 5th on Dynamite. While it feels early in the feud for a match as big as this, this has clearly been what they’ve been building towards.
Jurassic Express vs. Bear Country – MISS
Jim Ross described this as bowling shoe ugly at times. Bear Country has potential as a thick, big man tag team, but this match showed they are still not ready for prime time. Jurassic Express created much of the movement and made it entertaining. Far from a terrible match, but not on par with what we’ve come to expect from Jurassic Express.
Sting Promo – HIT
Jake and Lance Archer came out before Sting could respond to Schiavone. Archer complained to Sting about not being in the main event and how it’s his time. Sting grabbed the mic from Archer and said he agreed and doesn’t understand why he’s not in the main event. Sting built up Archer and told him that he’s ready and needs the help of Jake. I don’t know what to make of Sting just agreeing with Archer, but hopefully this means Sting will get interrupted less in the future.
Darby Allin vs. JD Drake – HIT
Allin took a lot of punishment from J.D. Drake who is unknown to much of the AEW audience. I would’ve preferred to have seen more build for him if he was going to be this competitive. Regardless, it was an entertaining match that felt like it had real stakes. Even with a loaded roster, I’d like to see more of Drake in the future.
Mike Tyson Return – HIT
Iron Mike makes his return to combat NXT Takeover. This was a far better use of Tyson rather than trying to recreate the WWF angle from 1998. This time, Tyson sided with Jericho to take out The Pinnacle.
Tay Conti vs. The Bunny – MISS
A fine match. Tay Conti is talented and I want to see her get to that next gear without any outside interference. That always seems to be the catalyst in building to the finish instead allowing for the drama of the match to get you there.
Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers vs. Jon Moxley & The Young Bucks – MISS
This wasn’t the super match many had hoped for. There were clunky sequences leading up The Young Bucks’ turn to join Omega. The Bucks had no issue landing all their signature moves on Omega when they were in a tag team championship match, but this match was loaded with hesitation. Eventually The Bucks super kicked Jon Moxley in a moment that lacked any drama. They solidified their turn with a second kick on Moxley then went in for a group hug. The execution was a cluster, but I’m glad they’re going in this direction, so there isn’t any more ambiguity about how to feel about The Young Bucks.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES: AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES 3/31: Christian Cage shows what’s left in the tank, The Inner Circles returns, more