SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Jake Hager vs. Wardlow (MMA Rules) – HIT
There are plenty of ways to book a worked MMA fight. Being that this was the first time setting up an actual octagon next to the ring, they probably wanted to get more out of the match than a first round knock out or submission. The fight went into the second round before Hager won by submission. They tried to mix it up with striking, ground game and some pro wrestling moves. The setup and presentation was like a small MMA promotion with formal ring introductions and corner crews. After the fight, The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle members engaged each other in the octagon. As fights broke out, MJF nailed Dean Malenko before exiting up the ramp. Setting up an even more personal vendetta leading into MJF’s match with Sammy Guevara.
Darby Allin vs. Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page – HIT
It turns out that it wasn’t wise for Darby Allin to accept a handicap match. Allin came close several times, but facing two opponents ended up being too much to handle. Allin at one point had to use underhanded tactics by zip tying Page’s legs together. Page ultimately broke free and was able to put Allin away. The take away from this match being that Allin doesn’t see any obstacle as being too much for him, he’s a daredevil. His tenacity and determination is also his downfall. Not listening to better judgement can make him end up on his back.
Orange Cassidy vs. Cezar Bononi – MISS
A fine showcase for Orange Cassidy, but a major step down from the world title picture. Cassidy went from a huge crowd reaction believing he could beat Kenny Omega to a far more frivolous feud at the very bottom of the card. At other points, I may not have even thought twice about Cassidy’s involvement. Coming off a world championship match in which AEW was trying to reframe the way people think of Cassidy, this was a few steps backwards.
Cody Rhodes & Brock Anderson vs. QT Marshall & Aaron Solow – HIT
Brock Anderson pins Aaron Solow in his professional debut. Anderson looked sound in his first match on Dynamite, but like many of the newcomers he still needs plenty of grooming before he’s ready for the big stage. He’ll need more in-ring time and soul searching for who he wants to be beyond the son of Arn Anderson. A fine match overall that leaves a clean break for Rhodes to take some time off to be with his and Brandi’s newborn. If he is to take a couple of weeks off, he could return when AEW goes back on the road. I’m hopeful that at that point, Rhodes will pivot back into feuds with the other stars on the roster. During the pandemic he’s done other things like feuding with Shaq and getting over younger talent with Jade Cargill, Anthony Ogogo, & Darby Allin. When he returns to big match feuds, it will feel fresh.
Andrade El Idolo Interview – HIT
I continue to be impressed with Andrade’s charisma on-screen. He has the look and vibe of someone who could be world champion someday. English isn’t his primary language, so the flow and cadence doesn’t match the look. Vickie Guerrero will help with that, but I have serious questions about their pairing. They give off completely different energies from each other especially if Vickie is to continue the “Excuse Me” gimmick. At the end, Andrade teased that a surprise was coming. Speculation on the surprise will surely run rampant as fans hope a partnership with Thea Trinidad (formerly Zelina Vega) is in the works.
Penelope Ford vs. Julia Hart – HIT
A good setup for Miro to attack The Varsity Blonds. I’m not a big fan of Miro going back to the connection with Ford and Kip Sabian. It’s curious that Miro would come out and beat down the team representing Ford’s opponent. Perhaps sticking up for Sabian’s wife is a roundabout way of emasculating him. Ford looked good in the match showing off her athleticism. Hart is only 19 and has only been wrestling this year. She’s green, but showed promise.
Penta El Zero Miedo, Eddie Kingston, & Frankie Kazarian vs. Matt Jackson, Doc Gallows, & Karl Anderson – HIT
Another exciting 6-man tag match highlighted by Penta El Zero Miedo. Penta was on fire in this match showing his athleticism with his signature spots and dives to the outside. Without Nick Jackson, there weren’t nearly as many typical Young Bucks spots, but Matt Jackson held his own. Nick Jackson came out at the end while Penta was on the cusp of victory. Nick sprayed Penta’s eyes allowing for Karl Anderson to get the better of him and score the pin. Another late night Dynamite that continues the course of existing feuds.