SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Christian Cage vs. Matt Sydal – HIT
A solid competitive match between these two. Christian Cage showed off far more in this match than he did with Frankie Kazarian. Matt Sydal was a good opponent creating movement and displaying his athleticism. In the post match, they tied together the happenings with Team Taz as Taz and the injured Ricky Starks called out Christian leading to an ambush. Hook, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Brian Cage beat them down until Hangman Page came strutting out and handing his beer to Starks. He brawled with Brian Cage leading into their match at Double or Nothing.
Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. The Acclaimed – HIT
I’m enjoying the dynamic between Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston. It’s a refreshing way to utilize Moxley since he has spent most of his time at the top of the card. He and Kingston continue to earn credibility within the tag division with performances like this. I still haven’t been impressed by The Acclaimed, but this is a good use of them to get over a team with better established stars.
Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky Interview – HIT
A nice setup for their match at Double or Nothing. Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky called out Sting and Darby Allin and threatened them. This was nice to get some more insight into why their feud is happening – with Sky calling out Sting and Page going after Allin. Sting made his way to the ring while Allin attacked the heels from behind. Dark Order came out for reinforcement while Page and Sky fled the ring.
Hikaru Shida vs. Rebel – MISS
A means to an end. Not much of a match with silliness, distractions, and interference. It all led to Britt Baker making an attack at the end. Not a bad segment with Baker looking strong, but it made their match at the PPV feel not as strong compared to the sit-down interview with Baker from last week.
The Inner Circle’s Response – HIT
An excellent response from The Inner Circle after last week’s segment. Earlier in The night, The Pinnacle showed themselves off as pompous jerks at a fine restaurant. While The Inner Circle is coming off as the smart hard knocks group ready for a fight. Each member, again, had their moment to shine while Jericho capped it off by accepting the Stadium Stampede match and announcing the return of Santana. He ended with the great quote, “Dance all over your face and piss all over your grave.”
Serena Deeb vs. Red Velvet – HIT
Serena Deeb is a solid veteran who consistently carries her opponents to very good matches. This was no exception with Red Velvet. She held up her end showing her athleticism throughout the match. As they get more exposure and experience, AEW is developing a well rounded women’s division that demands more time on Dynamite.
Austin Gunn vs. Anthony Ogogo – HIT
Another short match to get over Ogogo’s gut punch. He showed more in this match up, which was encouraging going into his match with Cody. They’re saving what he can do for the PPV, which I like as an intriguing strategy.
Miro Interview – HIT
This is finally the Miro we have been waiting for. He’s gotten away from the video games and is ready to be a brutalizing monster. I like Lance Archer as his first opponent and building to a sort of battle of the giants type of match. It’s not something AEW has really done before with their smaller roster. I assume Archer will take the loss, but it’s in an effort to rehabilitate and build on Miro’s character.
The Young Bucks vs. The Varsity Blonds – HIT
This incarnation of The Young Bucks is fantastic. They have defined cocky heel characters that play to their strengths. They don’t have to have the all out high spot matches that we’re used to. They can take a slower methodical approach while highlighting their babyface opponents. In the past match, Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley beat down the Bucks and stole their expensive shoes. More good hype going into their match at Double or Nothing since they have spent a lot of time highlighting their shoes for the superkick party.