HEYDORN’S DYNAMITE RECEIPT 1/12: MJF, C.M. Punk, and Wardlow balance a lot in stellar angle

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

C.M. Punk comments on Vince McMahon retirement

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.

-Even after months of booking that has placed him as a background player in AEW, Adam Cole still gets really big pops. For a crowd that was quiet a lot of the night during the show, man, they were there for Cole. Leaning into his record and status at the top of the rankings leads me to believe he’s on a collision course with Adam Page. That is something everything should want to see and would finally place Cole into something he can really sink his teeth into.

-Britt Baker and Cole acknowledging their relationship on television in a story calls out the obvious, but they need to be careful not to be too cute together. Both characters need edge and arrogance to work, but their likability as a couple could have negative residual effects.

-Wardlow vs. C.M. Punk was fantastic and I will die on that hill. An angle more than a match, admittedly, but it accomplished a ton. Punk was presented as the fighter that wouldn’t give up, MJF the sick, demented, jerky egomaniac, and Wardlow the monster powerhouse with a heart. All was pristine and not only is Punk/MJF hotter, Wardlow/MJF is hotter too. Wardlow was tremendous. The facial expressions and ability to convey doubt regarding what MJF was telling him to do was notable and helped fan the drama they were looking for.

-I’ll buy a vowel on what’s happening with Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston. They seem on track for a big match, but it’s tough to definitively point to why. Look, I’d like to watch that match, but the feud needs to be ironed out better. Both are babyfaces and seeing them at each other’s throats week in and week out without a discernable reason hurts the story’s ability to build interest.

-Great to see a more confident Hangman Page champion on display after beating Bryan Danielson last week. He was the champion and acted like it. Lambert was a good heel for Page to play off of and with the Archer attack, he has a challenger he can beat set before the run to Revolution on PPV starts.

-Serena Deeb and Hikaru Shida have sizzling heat right now. Deeb was so intense with her vicious beating and it elevated the work Shida did selling. The grudge match between both has the makings of a classic whenever it goes down.

-Brody King and Malaki Black together make perfect sense and the angle this week was a smooth introduction for King. The House of Black stuff is intriguing and could grow into something significant for the company if handled and booked properly.

-Say it with me, AEW. Be better than that Red Velvet, Leyla Hirsch, and Kris Statlander segment. Just be better. The three women may as well have had a written script or cue cards in their hands.

-The Acclaimed vs. Sting & Darby Allin is a nice feud to elevate Acclaimed a bit, while keeping Darby and Sting busy. Tony Khan needs something bigger for Darby heading into Revolution.

-I’ll take more of that Pac with a side of that video production, please. Wow, a really good piece of hype content there. If AEW can do more of those, audiences will be salivating for a Pac return.

-A solid main event. Daniel Garcia continues to turn heads and Sammy Guevara was a perfect opponent for him. Guevara winning was more than expected given a showdown with Cody Rhodes for the Undisputed TNT Championship looks to still very much be in the cards.


CATCH-UP: HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 1/10: Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley steal the show in hyping Royal Rumble showdown

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