SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
This week’s episode of AEW Dynamite has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.
-The show started with Happy Punk and while the pop is fun to hear and Punk happy is nice to watch, I’ll take an angle like the one later in the show with Team Taz all day long. Punk doing wrestling things is where he’s most valuable and this was effective in setting up Punk vs. Powerhouse Hobbs on Rampage next week.
-Man, that was some reaction for Adam Cole. WWE is going to regret letting him go and not running with him on the main roster. Cole looks supremely comfortable in the new AEW environment and the sky is the limit for him.
-I liked Cole vs. Kazarian a lot. Good action and a clear story to follow, but ultimately a showcase for Cole. Well done.
-Some nuclear heat for MJF. Sorry, but you just don’t see heels get that kind of universal negative reaction in a money drawing way that much anymore. MJF isn’t going for cool, he’s going for disgust and disdain. He’s getting it too and with it, helping elevate a greener babyface act in Brian Pillman Jr.
-Speaking of, another positive night of progress made for Pillman. His sit down interview with Jim Ross gave him an opportunity to show a little edge, which he’ll need opposite MJF. Next week at Arthur Ashe Stadium against MJF is the biggest moment of his career to date.
-Sure, sure, yes, yes, Christian’s dig at Cole for losing the Wednesday night wrestling war while with NXT was cute. I’ll give you that. Let’s have this one be the last dig though. Cole is clearly a big star and openly saddling him as a loser from another company is a flawed way to fully capitalize on that big star potential.
-Has Dante Martin landed back on earth yet? That guy is exciting to watch and making a name for himself while his brother is on the shelf with an injury. Good for him.
-A to B build for next week between Malaki Black and Cody Rhodes. Simple stuff, but more believable and effective than a random fake retirement angle.
-The Dark Order riff seems ripe for Hangman Page to come in and repair. Let’s hope that’s the story at this point because Anna Jay as that figure is hard to believe. Jay is a top project for AEW and maybe a future star for the company, but she doesn’t have a big enough presence right now to pull off a leadership role. Someday it might be time for that, but that time is not now.
-Chris Jericho sparring with Dan Lambert on the microphone was a blast. There is a ceiling on Lambert’s shtick with the Men of the Year and a match with Jericho at a major show on a big stage is probably it.
-Leyla Hirsch take a bow. The business at hand between her and Jade Cargill was to make Cargill look like a million bucks. Hirsch did that and then some with the ferocity in which she bumped. This match wasn’t pretty, but Cargill showed off what she needed to and continues to take steps forward. Will be fun to see what she’s capable of 12 months from now.
-AEW has to be careful with the bumps Sting is taking. A spike Piledriver? Wow. Look, the angle between FTR and Sting/Darby to set up next week’s tag was impactful. With Darby in the ring though and one of the best sellers in the company, why have Sting risk his physical well-being?
-Just a money segment between Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson. Two stars in a ring and working to sell a match using their charisma. This is what it’s about, folks. Great stuff.
-Tony Khan makes good the Minoru Suzuki entrance. The fact that Suzuki and Moxley’s story together is that they just want to fight is amazing. Their rivalry started that way at Wrestle Kingdom in New Japan and they can still go to it today to build intrigue for a match. Promos? Championships? Stakes? Nah, the fight is all they need and the audience feeds from the palm of their hand. Pretty amazing.