SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Malakai Black vs. Dustin Rhodes – HIT
A very good match to open up Dynamite. Malakai Black’s entrance is a star presentation. It’s smart to remind people of him and his importance at the top of the show when several bigger stars are making their Dynamite debuts later in the show. He and Dustin Rhodes furthered the story with The Nightmare Family as Malakai marches through Cody’s friends. Later in the night it was announced that Cody would return to face Black on September 22nd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium show.
C.M. Punk Promo – HIT
Humble grateful Punk continues, but a new foe has appeared. Punk is of course a major star to the audience, but he has yet to show the fire and intensity that people have been clamoring to see. He asked the audience who they would like to see him face next before Taz stood up behind the commentary table and called out Punk. Punk flipped the switch and matched Taz’s tone and mocked him using his survive if I let you catchphrase. Punk called out all of Team Taz including Hook! This sets up some fresh new matches for Punk with a well established heel faction.
Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Dante Martin – HIT
A solid match between these two.The commentary team talked up Dante Martin as if he was already an established top star on the roster. Although that may be a bit of an exaggeration, Martin was able to get a very good match out of Hobbs and put him over strong in the end. Now is the time to be heating up Hobbs again as well as the rest of Team Taz as they enter into a program with CM Punk.
MJF Promo – HIT
I didn’t know what Skyline Chili was before, but I do now. And apparently it is “mid.” Off of his loss to Chris Jericho on Sunday, MJF came out to the crowd to run down the city of Cincinnati. He owned his tactics labelling it “cheap heat” before going after Brian Pillman’s family at ringside. MJF had harsh words for the family before Brian Pillman Jr. came down to the entrance stage. Pillman didn’t attack MJF right away, which was strange given how much MJF had said about the family. Eventually Pillman went for the attack which set up a match between the two for the Arthur Ashe Stadium show.
Ruby Soho vs. Jaime Hayter – MISS
These two didn’t click in Ruby Soho’s first singles match. There were some spots that didn’t appear to go according to plan, but fans were still behind Ruby. Hopefully this was a one off and with opponents she has better chemistry with, she will be another fine addition to the women’s division.
FTR & Shawn Spears vs. Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, John Silver – HIT
A short, but fine match for The Pinnacle and Dark Order. Dark Order is experiencing some internal conflict since they allowed Hangman Page to take a beating from The Elite. The Pinnacle is still a group, but they have largely distanced themselves from MJF in the meantime. It’s unclear what’s next for these two groups, but it sure seems that it may be setting the stage for Brodie Lee’s former Wyatt Family partner to be their next leader and end the fighting.
The Elite Promo – HIT
AEW sure has some awesome tools to play with to create some interesting match ups. The Elite came out first sans Adam Cole. The Elite bragged about having great matches on Sunday as well as Omega being listed as #1 on the PWI 500. They introduced Cole who came out to a huge pop. Cole confronted Tony Schiavone about his friendship with Britt Baker and told him to watch himself. This worked well to get the crowd to boo Cole. Cole talked about The Elite being complete with him joining AEW. Bryan Danielson came down to the ring and specifically confronted Kenny Omega. He teased a match between the two. Omega took a swing at Danielson prompting The Elite to attack as well as Christian Cage and Jurassic Express. It seems to me that a multi-person match would work best for the Arthur Ashe Stadium show while holding off on the Danielson vs. Omega dream match for the next PPV.
Jon Moxley vs. Minoru Suzuki – MISS
Boy was I looking forward to the match. The 7 or so minutes we got was great, but this was far too short to be satisfying for fans. There were some timing issues with the show that lead to this match being cut show as well as Minoru Suzuki’s song being cut off before the fan participation. That said, these two had a good match in Moxley’s hometown. AEW will attempt to make good on this with Suzuki and Archer challenging Moxley to a tag match for a future date.