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.
-A really classy move on the part of Tony Khan and AEW to kick off the show with an entrance for Jim Ross. He deserves it and the announcement of his cancer being in remission was a pleasant one.
-The opener was a signature, massive, AEW tag affair with some wild action. The match also effectively setup the babyface vs. babyface encounter between Jurassic Express and Lucha Brothers for the tag team titles. Win, win.
-Ya know, nothing wrong with the trios tag that was on next, but it was very similar to the first bout in terms of action. The Jericho surprise was effective, but late given all the damage Kingston had taken before the save. Kingston vs. Jericho? Intriguing, yes, but is it smart given their both good guys? At this point, I just don’t think the AEW audience wants to boo either guy.
-One of the strengths that MJF possesses with promos is the ability to weave so much together and make it all sound logical. On this show, he declared his quest for the AEW World Championship, set the hook for a potential TNT title run, fanned the flames of his feud with C.M. Punk, and maintained the slow boil of his impending breakdown with Wardlow. That’s a lot of material, but it all fit together nicely and with his rotten character on display.
-The Wardlow beatdowns have been fun. When he snaps on MJF, it’ll be a thing.
-I’m torn about the Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly interaction. We’ll have to see where they go, but on one hand, my hats off to them for maintaining their story together outside of NXT. At the same time, to already have friction together in the middle of friction already established against Cole’s other buddies in The Young Bucks, leaves everyone in a shade of gray position character-wise. I’d just like to see these guys be wrestling stars for a bit before going back into a chapter book-esque story riddled with hit and miss nuance.
-Well, a Brandi Rhodes and Dan Lambert throwdown wasn’t on my Dynamite bingo card. You? This was too much. Nobody buys what Brandi is selling in that role and makes Dan Lambert weak as a heel because much of the audience agrees with him. That’s the story of the Rhodes’ 2021 – just too much.
-I like Jade Cargill making it to the TBS Tournament finals. It’s a nice notch on her career belt, even if she doesn’t win and my money is on Ruby Soho holding the belt first. Cargill got some much needed in-ring reps against top talent during the tournament, which will go a long way in helping her develop into what AEW hopes she can be.
-Mercedes Martinez is a great get for AEW. She won’t be someone you build the women’s division around, but is a top tier enhancement act with credibility that can help get others over in a meaningful way. Someone like Tay Conti is going to learn a ton from Martinez.
-Fun seeing C.M. Punk in the middle of Daily’s Place. That arena is a staple of AEW’s history and their biggest star standing there was a cool visual.
-Easy does it Brian Pillman Jr. That’s a lot of yelling, sir. Look, he has a lot to be mad about, but the emotion behind it felt inauthentic and put on. He’s still a green act, but needs to find his voice and this wasn’t the right tone or touch.
-A really good main event to put a bow on Dynamite’s TNT run. Wild to see Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish standing in the ring for it as they were central figures in the war with Dynamite when it started and they were in NXT. Such is life in wrestling these days.
-No angle for Danielson vs. Page 2? The video package was very well done, but I was expecting more of a hard sell on that match and the move to TBS. We’ll see how ratings respond.