SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Malakai Black vs. Dante Martin – HIT
Another nice showcase for Malakai Black. He’s immediately reached another level since leaving WWE. While I can appreciate the time they’ve taken with his story with Cody Rhodes, I’m ready to see him feud with someone else. Martin bounced around and sold like a veteran. He’s coming into his own getting exposure and experience at a high level.
The Inner Circle and American Top Team Segment – HIT
Say what you will about Dan Lambert, but the guy generates heat like no other on the roster. The entire time he spoke, the crowd laid on the boos. He antagonized The Inner Circle while they stood in the ring and said he would give the terms of a potential match next week on Dynamite. I’m still concerned that the act has really been about Lambert and American Top Team over Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. Paige Van Zant feels like a bigger star in the group at this point. She’s playing up the heel role well and Jericho gave her a spot to shine.
Lucha Bros vs. FTR: AAA Tag Team Championship Match – HIT
AEW is really breaking down the barriers of what to expect on their shows. We saw Bryan Danielson vs. Minoru Suzuki on TV for free the previous night. Now we have FTR winning the AAA tag team titles on Dynamite. This is clearly setting up a match between the two for the AEW tag titles. This match was good, but it was plagued by FTR wearing the fake lucha gear versus a straight up match.
Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler Yuta – HIT
A good showcase for Jon Moxley. Just him coming out and winning in quick fashion is enough while he transitions to his next program. It was announced at the end of the show that he will be entering into the AEW Championship contender tournament. While it’s a good spot keeping him near the top, I’d like to see him get back involved in a grudge feud with another AEW star.
Super Kliq (Adam Cole & The Young Bucks) vs. Dark Order (Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, & John Silver) – HIT
A fun match all around. The Super Kliq is the most exciting athletic group in all of wrestling. Adam Cole adds a big cool factor to The Young Bucks and The Elite that didn’t exist before. Not only that, but he compliments the Bucks in the ring like none other. I’m not in favor of more championship title, but they make a great case for one with the banger matches they have.
MJF and Sting Segment – HIT
More good stuff from MJF teasing the match with Darby Allin. Sting was quick to respond and clear him out. The story has progressed nicely as this feels like the right spot and pace for MJF and Darby Allin.
Kiera Hogan vs. Penelope Ford – MISS
Another miss. Not among the worst, but not something worthy of being on Dynamite. Penelope Ford can be really good against the right opponent, but these two didn’t click.
Hangman Page Promo – HOMERUN
Hangman hit all the beats he needed to. He came out with fire and passionately gave his mission statement. He promised that he would bring “cowboy shit” to Full Gear when he wrestles Kenny Omega for the AEW Championship. I’ve been impressed with the way AEW wrote off Hangman with the Elite beatdown all the way to his return. It has been near perfect keeping him hot in the eyes of fans while giving him time off to care for his newborn.
Bryan Danielson vs. Bobby Fish – HIT
AEW has gotten their money from Bryan Danielson and Bobby Fish. While Danielson was a marquee signing with big expectations, Fish has proven himself as someone who can be plugged in to have great matches. This was another superb showcase for both men. I still don’t know where Fish lands outside of a Matt Sydal-esque role, but I don’t think he needs to be more than that.