SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
C.M. Punk vs. Bobby Fish – HIT
A good match to kick-off Dynamite as C.M. Punk competed in his 5th match in 7 years. Every Punk match still takes a moment to readjust to seeing him back, but It’s amazing to see him wrestling on TV against Bobby Fish. AEW continues to put him in the ring with respectable veterans while he presumably works off the ring rust for bigger named opponents. Even if that’s the case, it’s still surprising that he has yet to move into a bigger program. Tony Khan’s leaked sheet of the Full Gear lineup had him against Wardlow. There hasn’t been any evidence on TV pointing in that direction, but it would make sense for him to be involved in the Darby Allin-MJF match leading to a match with Wardlow down the road.
MJF vs. Bryce Donovan – HIT
MJF demolished Bryce Donovan in less than a minute before running down the city of Boston and talking himself up. Sting’s music hit mid promo, but it appeared to be a ruse before the lights went out. Sting was in the ring and took out Wardlow and Shawn Spears while MJF fled to ringside. Darby Allin returned in a trench coat emerging from ringside. The crowd was hot for Allin’s return, continuing the feud going into their match at Full Gear.
Sammy Guevara vs. Ethan Page: TNT Championship match – HIT
Sammy Guevara was spectacular throughout this match. Ethan Page played his role well selling the quickness and speed of Guevara before coming up short to win the championship. Page and Scorpio Sky attacked Guevara afterwards. Chris Jericho made his return coming off the Jericho Cruise along with The Inner Circle for the save. The crowd was as enthusiastic as ever to sing along to Judas while Men of the Year acted like it was nails on chalkboard. Jericho layed out the stipulation for Full Gear to be a Minneapolis Street Fight. I hope it’s more than a hardcore match and they actually brawl along First Avenue outside Target Center.
Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida – HIT
An excellent match between these two. Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb continue to prove they’re among the very best of the in-ring female performers. Delaying Shida’s 50th win was more satisfying after getting screwed by Deeb in their previous matchup. In the post-match, Deeb attacked Shida, likely weakening her for her next match in the championship tournament.
Jon Moxley vs. Preston Vance – HIT
Moxley stormed the ring and conquered Preston Vance and beat him in a matter of minutes. He advances to face Orange Cassidy in the next round of the championship tournament. I think it’s safe to say that it looks like it will be Danielson vs. Moxley at Full Gear.
Cody Rhodes Promo – HIT
Cody Rhodes came out to a chorus of boos wearing all black. Again, he teases the crowd with the possibility of turning heel before bringing it back into a heartfelt promo. Some fans fall back into cheering him when he does this while others stay firm wanting to see him turn. It continues to be an uphill battle. Now, Cody has a new challenger in Andrade El Idolo who doesn’t elicit the same babyface reaction as Black. The lights went out and Malakai Black teamed with Andrade to beat down Cody while the fans booed. Pac made the save leading to Black and Andrade fleeing. For Full Gear, it looks like it could be a tag match of Pac & Cody vs. Black and Andrade tying the feuds together before swapping opponents.
Dark Order vs. The Elite – MISS
A good and exciting match, but overall far too silly for the World Championship program. I get that Halloween is around the corner and this won’t be an immediate drop to business, but it takes out the seriousness of the program. The Elite have always been known to be goofy guys on Being The Elite, but it’s at the point where I’m losing interest in seeing them as heels. Hangman’s return was cute in the Stay Puff outfit taking out The Elite dressed as Ghostbusters. I still believe it’ll be a great match come Full Gear and fans will be hot for it, but this is a weird detour in a story that has been rock solid for months.