AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES 3/30: Punk hits with title call out, Moxley shows character opposite Lethal, more


CM Punk says he had garbage match with Adam Page at Double or Nothing



C.M. Punk Defeated Max Caster – HIT

This match started out white hot. Punk getting a great pop from the AEW crowd was a great contrast to Caster and his rap. Commenting on Punk’s history with z-packs and in-ring bowel movements is not something I expected Punk to be ok with. Once the match got started, it was a lot of fun. A tight Punk- style match with great selling between both guys. Caster and Bowens had good heel chemistry and creative interference. The final sequence with Caster missing the mic drop and Punk countering with a piledriver to anaconda vice had a great flow and built anticipation well.

Post Match Angle – MAJOR HIT

Punk worked the crowd well and broke down exactly what he wanted. Punk vs. Cole/Page AEW World Championship match would be a great main event at Double or Nothing.

MJF/FTR Segment – HIT

Great job by MJF hamming it up with the Wardlow posters at ringside. Solidifying FTR as faces against MJF but not ready to completely turn from him works well in keeping it simmering for a little longer.

Jon Moxley Defeated Jay Lethal – HIT

Starting this match with Jay cautiously attempting a handshake with Moxley was great character work. It showed Lethal wanting to carry on the ROH traditions and rules knowing full well Moxley wasn’t going to play ball in AEW. Letting that be the story of the match was a nice touch, with Lethal gaining Moxley’s respect by the end of the match and earning his handshake. The final sequence that started with a failed death rider attempt and a failed lethal injection attempt was great, with impressive ring work and some great near falls.

JR with early line of the night candidate in “there’s some angry epidermis out there”

Marina Shafir Video Package – MINOR MISS

This was alright as a general hype video for Shafir, but it felt hollow without something to lock Shafir into audiences minds. Treating this as a hype video that immediately led to a Shafir squash match live would’ve done a better job of telling the crowd who Shafir is if you haven’t seen AEW Dark or AEW Dark: Elevation.

FTR Defeated the Ass Boys – MAJOR HIT

This was fantastic, and didn’t feel as long as the 12 minutes this match lasted. The brothers’ Ass did a hell of a job selling and showcasing their chemistry, showing they can hang with the Top Guys at the top of their game. The segment with Wardlow almost sucked the energy out of the match but it ended with enough time for the wrestlers to build up to the finish.

Post Match Angle – MINOR MISS

This was fine. It felt like an extension of the segment earlier and didn’t add enough to warrant itself. I would’ve preferred FTR to just walk out of the ring and leave MJF hanging.

Keith Lee/Will Hobbs Video Segment – HIT

Great little segment hyping both guys’ match on Rampage Friday. Hobbs did a great job on the mic and I hope he gets more time to shine.

Jericho Appreciation Society/Santana/Ortiz/Eddie Kingston Segment – MINOR MISS

This didn’t click with me. There were aspects I liked, like 2.0’s bombastic sense of humor. Having Kingston, Santana and Ortiz hiding behind the curtain was a silly funny touch, but the whole segment lasted way too long. My guess is that they are building towards a Stadium Stampede match at AEW Double or Nothing.

Jade Cargill/Smart Mark Sterling Segment – MINOR MISS

If this had played before the Marina Shafir hype video, it would’ve elevated both segments. Jade selling Shafir’s credentials plays better when you haven’t seen Marina before, which most people haven’t. Following that with the earlier video would’ve done enough to build her up without having her wrestle tonight. Also kind of felt like they started to plant seeds of Cargill splitting with Sterling but could easily be reading too much into it.

Bryan Danielson Defeated Wheeler Yuta – MAJOR HIT

This was absolutely fantastic. Building up the story of Bryan attempting to break down Yuta played out perfectly. Bryan sold for Wheeler well, and the crowd was white hot for Wheeler. William Regal was putting him over in a major way on commentary too. Yuta did a great job showing defiance and not submitting, spitting in Bryan’s face in a brilliant character move. It’s clear that Yuta impressed the Blackpool Combat Club, and can’t wait to see how this plays out.

Darby Allin/Andrade El Idolo Video Segment – HIT

Excellent video package to build up hype for the main event. It would be very easy for the casual viewer to have never seen Andrade, but this made him look like a star.

Undisputed Elite Segment – MINOR HIT

This should’ve clicked better. It was clear Cole and ReDRagon were doing their best to ham it up as heels, and holding the belts they never won felt like a fun story beat to stretch the feuds out with some humor. Having the faces immediately get them back seemed to squash that. Page coming out in the horned Tesla was a nice touch. Not sure this needs to last a lot longer, but I will say I wouldn’t mind seeing a Blood and Guts match between both teams.

Thunder Rosa Promo – MINOR HIT

Not Rosa’s best work on the mic, but that’s still a high bar. Even when she appears to be a little unsure of herself and stumble over her words a bit, her passion and charisma was still able to shine through and show how easy she can connect with audiences.

FTR Segment – HIT

Great promo work from the Top Men. Building themselves up as potential two-time tag champs is smart, and hyping up their match on Friday for the ROH tag titles could force them to change their name to FTBC, or Fear the Belt Collectors.

Toni Storm Defeated The Bunny – HIT

Excellent pop for the debuting Storm, with the camera finding fans losing their minds. That kind of reaction instantly shows fans watching on tv that she’s a big deal if they’ve never seen her. The match itself was a little clunky at times and didn’t need to last as long as it did, but was a great showcase for Storm. Allie held her own, showing a lot of improvement from some of her recent matches. Storm definitely carries herself like a future Owen Hart cup winner.

Nyla Rose/Vickie Guerrero Segment – MINOR HIT

This didn’t need Vickie at all, and she only dragged this segment down. Once Nyla took over the intensity skyrocketed and Nyla felt like a legit contender to Rosa. The closing line of “Abracadabra bitch!” Got plenty of laughs in my household.

Andrade El Idolo Defeated Darby Allin – MAJOR HIT

This was a fantastic match. Fast paced from the very start and both men had spots to shine. They both took each other to the limit in such a way that the overbooked run-ins didn’t overshadow the action. Andrade absolutely needed that win, and Darby can handle that kind of loss after that performance. This was the type of match I wanted to see when Andrade debuted.

Overall – HIT

While some segments didn’t hit well, this was a very fun show. Nothing felt boring and most segments had me guessing on the longer term story implications. The crowd was fantastic and really elevated the performances tonight.

CATCH-UP: 3/30 AEW DYNAMITE RESULTS: Keller’s detailed report and analysis on Caster vs. Punk, Andrade vs. Darby, Moxley vs. Lethal, FTR vs. Gunn Club, more

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