SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Bryan Danielson vs. Dustin Rhodes – HIT
A terrific match to kick-off Dynamite. It has been said before, but Dustin is remarkable at his age. When you think of everything he’s done and what he’s put his body through and to now be in the best shape of his life is incredible. I feel that Danielson is going to try to have a match of the year every time he hits the ring. It creates a very exciting atmosphere when he wrestles that could have never been done in WWE. The tournament seems to be leading to a predictable Danielson vs. Moxley at Full Gear, but in the meantime, we’re in for some quality matches.
Sting-MJF segment – HIT
Great stuff from MJF in this segment. It made me want to see a MJF and Sting match before he gets to Darby Allin. The delay of bringing Darby back will lead to a much bigger reaction versus him coming back after one week of being beat down.
Ruby Soho vs. Penelope Ford – MISS
Quite a few missed spots in this match, but they got through it. Ruby Soho isn’t the most polished wrestler, but the fans are starting to really get behind her. There’s great potential in the character if she can continue to be put in the right positions against quality opponents.
Bobby Fish vs. Anthony Greene – MISS
An odd match after the way Bobby Fish had been presented the past few weeks. He gets a quick win followed by the run-in from CM Punk. Fans didn’t seem to immediately recognize Punk while he wore a hat and street clothes and without his music. This was a basic angle, but I feel that Punk mingling with Fish is a step down for him even if it’s just for one match.
American Top Team-Sammy Guevara segment – HIT
The American Top Team act just doesn’t feel as strong when it’s just Dan Lambert with Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. I think Sky and Page on their own are a good act, but the pairing with Lambert still isn’t clicking for me. That said, this was a nice progression hearing more from Lambert and solidifying the match between Page and Guevara.
Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston – MISS
A disappointing ending to what was a good match. Lance Archer attempted a moonsault and landed on his head. It looked like a bad injury, but Archer was able to walk to the back area. They allowed Archer to come back into the ring for a cheap roll-up to end the match. I’m never a fan of that ending after an injury and would prefer to see a referee stoppage. I assume Archer wouldn’t have accepted that option.
Jungle Boy vs. Brandon Cutler – HIT
Brandon Cutler has found a nice role for himself on AEW. He’s the dorky friend of The Young Bucks who doesn’t stand a chance against any competent wrestler. In the post-match, they continued the feud between Adam Cole and Jungle Boy. Cole walked out to stop the beat down on Cutler leading to the attack from The Young Bucks. They sent Jungle Boy off the ramp and through a table to generate more heat for the feud. A basic, but effective segment.
Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black – MISS
I know Cody has said he’s never turning heel, but he needs to rethink that. Malakai Black has turned into a huge fan favorite despite being booked as a heel, but I think it’s more than that. The fans love Cody deep down for his passion and being one of the main drivers to creating a legitimate competitor to WWE. However, they want to see him turn heel because it’s the natural progression for the character. It will freshen up the show to see him in a different role where he can wrestle opponents almost certainly won’t happen if he stays face. That said, the match itself had its highs and lows. Overbooked in spots, but the crowd reactions and heat made for a tremendous atmosphere. AEW is going to have to line up some very despicable heels if they want Cody to be cheered consistently.