AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES 7/28: Ricky Starks hits his stride, a shifting course for Adam Page, more

BY JOEL DEHNEL, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

The Elite vs. Hangman Page & Dark Order: Elimination Tag Team Match – HIT

Either they’re extending the story of how Hangman gets his opportunity against Kenny Omega at All Out or AEW is going in another direction for the PPV. It makes sense that the members of The Elite have all been booked at a higher level than Dark Order, but this leaves Hangman Page failing again. Time will tell if this has an impact on how fans feel about Hangman not being able to overcome or if this drives them more towards wanting to see him beat Omega. The crowd was hot for this match and the highspots in-between, but they cooled off after seeing Hangman lose.

Ricky Starks Promo – HIT

Ricky Starks feels like he’s hitting his stride after returning from his injury. He’s become the charismatic braggadocious heel who is on the cusp of reaching another level. Taz introduced him as the new FTW Champion then Starks antagonized Brian Cage leading to the continuation of their feud.

FTR vs. The Inner Circle – HIT

A highly anticipated match cut short from Cash Wheeler’s arm cut. Part way into the match, Wheeler sliced his arm open and immediately went to ringside for assistance. Dax Harwood improvised and finished the match on his own to take the win. Ortiz has been used sparingly this year, but he looked to be in great shape and far more cut than in previous matches. As the feud between The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle continues, I would think that they would get another opportunity to do this match justice.

Lance Archer vs. Hikuleo: IWGP United States Championship Match – HIT

The New Japan and AEW relationship appears to be growing stronger. Another IWGP US title defense on an episode of Dynamite. Young New Japan talent, Hikuleo, looked impressive with his movement, but Archer dominated throughout the match.

Christian Cage & Jurassic Express vs. The Hardy Family Office – HIT

Solid match between these teams. Christian Cage continues to cozy up to Jungle Boy and the rest of The Jurassic Express. Christian won with the frog splash in a rather short 6-man tag match. It remains to be seen if Christian will eventually turn on Jungle Boy, but I like that they are giving it a slow build and letting it play out.

Thunder Rosa vs. Julia Hart – MISS

A short match, but not smooth. Julia Hart is still quite green, but she has a charisma that fans can get behind. Thunder Rosa being full-time is another fantastic addition and will allow AEW the flexibility to invest more into her.

Chris Jericho vs. Nick Gage: Second Labour Of Jericho No Rules Match

Blood and violence is on the rise in AEW. When Nick Gage was announced as Jericho’s next opponent, many familiar with Gage knew that this would be a bloodbath. Those who didn’t know Gage as the king of the death match were likely shocked by what they saw. Apparently Domino’s Pizza was also taken aback by the pizza cutter spots. The match was as entertaining as any extreme hardcore spectacle, but this may have been a step too far in putting something like this onto Dynamite over a pay-per-view. Jericho is being put through hell on his quest towards a match with MJF. Next week, he will face Juventud Guerrera who almost assuredly won’t be busting glass or using a pizza cutter.


CATCH-UP: 7/28 AEW DYNAMITE TV RESULTS: Keller’s detailed report and analysis of FTR vs. Santana & Ortiz, Jericho vs. Gage, Christian & Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy vs. Hardy Family Office

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