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.
-The pops The Hardys generate continue to amaze me. I don’t fully get it and neither Matt or Jeff does much for me these days, but you simply can’t argue with that reaction. Jeff vs. Bobby Fish was a solid open to this week’s Dynamite, even if the outcome was relatively predictable. Sometimes that’s ok.
-Tony Khan teased Young Bucks vs. Hardys this week. Smart. That’s a big-time match. Go to it before it’s derailed by injury issues to either team.
-How much damn fun is the Blackpool Combat Club? I’m not an advocate for Trios Titles on Dynamite, but boy it would make sense to get belts on that team. The question I keep coming back to is, what’s the ceiling for them as a group?
-Ricky Starks is, well, fabulous. The facial expressions he displayed in the backstage promo with Jurassic Express expertly conveyed disdain and dismissiveness. The bit with the glasses really shined too. It’s shame he’s not on Dynamite more often doing things that showcase that obvious talent.
-Wardlow is on the path to be a very big star in wrestling. Week to week he’s stacked up really good segments, but this week was his best presentation yet. The audience gave him a standing ovation after evaporating the security team that MJF sent after him. Look, folks. That type of authentic and powerful reaction doesn’t grow on trees. Tony Khan needs to feed it. If the plan was for MJF to go over in this, change plans. The Wardlow iron is hot. Strike with it.
-A bit strange to see W. Morrissey do a job after one powerbomb. The former Big Cass has nicely reinvented himself and is likely to get gobbled up again by WWE. The troll job he put on the Enzo chants this week was next level, natural, and an effective articulation of where he’s at as a performer these days.
-If you told me Tony Khan got lazy and decided to air the same backstage interview vignette with Toni Storm, Ruby Soho, Jaime Hayter, and Britt Baker, I’d have to believe you. Throughout the last few weeks, these have been obnoxiously repetitive and ineffective in building up the women’s Owen Hart Foundation tournament. Bad combination.
-The Hangman we saw on Dynamite this week was the Hangman we needed to see back in November after he won the AEW World Championship. It’s a shame we’re seeing it now in what is a clear attempt to strategically position him opposite C.M. Punk as a babyface, while knowing he’s a significantly weaker babyface than C.M. Punk. This likely won’t backfire and the audience will play along and lose their mind when Punk wins the title in Las Vegas, but it’s a stark reminder that it’s not outside of Hangman’s bounds to act like a confident champion. It works and it’s a shame we haven’t seen it on display more.
-Plain and simple? AEW fans enjoy Santana and Ortiz more than Tony Khan does. Period. They get strong responses, but their booking since day one hasn’t done them any favors.
-Ok, some real bad performances by Varsity Blonds and House of Black compounded an already weak and drawn-out storyline. The crux of the story is Julia Hart. She’s going to join House of Black. The intrigue ends there. People aren’t along for the ride of The Blonds attempt to keep her on their side. The entire thing is about House of Black and they’ve toiled for too long in the world where somehow the Varsity Blonds are equals. Do the Hart turn and have both teams move on to other things. Simple.
-Really enjoyed Dante Martin vs. Rey Fenix. What those two can do physically is awe inspiring. The loss doesn’t hurt Martin, though he does seem a bit loss due to the sudden absence of his brother Darius.
-Say it with me, Thunder Rosa. Keep. Social. Media. Criticism. Out. Of. Your. Babyface. Promos. I get the urge, truly I do. Not enough people know what the story is, though. Stick to the basics and she’ll be better off. That said, Serena Deeb is a great opponent for Rosa at Double or Nothing. Match will be good and Rosa will get another credible title defense as well.
-Mercedes Martinez vs. Deonna Purrazzo for the Undisputed ROH Women’s World Championship anchored the main event and sorry, but you could hear a pin drop in that arena at times. If Tony Khan is going to continue to feature ROH on his national primetime television shows, he has to make a concerted effort to tell viewers just what the heck ROH is. It’s good for AEW business, future ROH business, and having a structurally sound weekly flagship television show. The fact that this isn’t happening boggles the mind.