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AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES
Bryan Danielson Segment – MAJOR HIT
It’s amazing that we get Bryan Danielson on our TVs every week. It’s amazing we get to see his technical prowess, health permitting. What we don’t get to see much of (or enough of) is Bryan Danielson on the mic. Maybe that makes the impact that much sweeter, as absence makes the wrestling fans heart grow fonder, to make Danielson’s mic work an event. Because when he’s on, man is he on.
Danielson was in a lose-lose situation from the start. He had more bad news to break to fans, much like CM Punk a few weeks earlier. Fans are in the (hopefully) waning moments of a pandemic and seeing dream matches start to develop. Fans were tired of the injury bug. Danielson came out swinging, and delivered the bad news and yet had fans on the edges of their seats. His news of a replacement comes off to me like his good friend Claudio Castagnoli, but I hope it isn’t. The performer formerly known as Cesaro showing up at Forbidden Door would be much more of a Christian level surprise than an Adam Cole level one. I’ve been wrong in the past but my guess will be Johnny Gargano. The way Danielson emphasized “hand picked” made me wonder if he’s swerving us and picking him for his past participation in two rings, one cell.
Jon Moxley Segment – MINOR HIT
Simple promo from Mox on AEW Dynamite, yet focused and intense. Great work from Jon to put over Tanahashi and will make the face-to-face coming up that much better.
Orange Cassidy and Roppongi Vice Defeated Will Ospreay and Aussie Open – MINOR HIT
Great match showcasing both teams. While I’m not a fan of the ending, I get it. To me, having Ospreay lose twice in his only AEW matches doesn’t sell him on the PPV to me. Cassidy and Vice needed those wins though.
Post Match Angle with United Empire and FTR – HIT
FTR got a massive pop when their music hit. They really need to be on TV every week. You need to be able to set a clock to it.
Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal and Satnam Singh Segment – MISS
Ok promo segment outlining Lethal’s plans to challenge for a title. Scorpio’s got a nice list of challengers growing. This did little to nothing to make Singh feel like a big deal though.
Christian Cage Segment – MAJOR HIT
Cage was quite surprising in this. He must be channeling his inner Homelander, saying everything that’s on his mind after a heaping dose of fuckidol. He stuttered through his lines a little. He was fidgety and quirky, but he was very effective and the Minneapolis crowd was loving hating it. It’s certainly shocking for Cage to invoke the name of Luke Perry, but with how into wrestling Luke was, I bet his force ghost was watching and smiling with pride. Luchasaurus coming out and hinting at a heel turn is not something I expected but am very excited to see play out.
Young Bucks/Kyle O’Reilly Segment – MINOR HIT
Young Bucks did Young Bucks promo things, confirming they would be at Forbidden Door. O’Reilly was surprising, somehow channeling Marcellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction with a Matthew Lillard from Scream style performance.
Malakai Black Defeated Penta Oscuro – MINOR HIT
Very fun match from two hard hitting wrestlers. Seeing the flurries of kicks that each man attempted and got hit with was brutal and beautiful.
Post Match Angle with Miro and PAC – HIT
Great work from Miro in this recorded video segment. Seems like they’re playing around with the humor again which I was a big fan of. Hearing about Miro’s three G’s worked well for me and made the four-way for the All-Atlantic championship seem like an elevated match considering the issues with the belt they’re competing for.
Wardlow Video Segment – MINOR MISS
Simple promo with highlights edited together with Wardlow challenging Scorpio Sky. Should be a great match.
Hangman Adam Page Defeated Silas Young – MINOR HIT
Slower, bruising style match from both men. It took some time for the crowd to get into it but once they came alive in the second half of the match it all clicked. Good work from both guys.
Post Match Angle with Adam Cole, Jay White and Kazuchika Okada – MAJOR HIT
I wonder if the AEW bookers have been seeing the negativity towards Cole’s involvement in the IWGP title picture leading up to Forbidden Door. Jay White buried him alive with one simple fact: Why should he get a title shot when he’s lost to Page, twice?
The surprise addition of Okada to this storyline and the Forbidden Door show at large is fantastic. The larger swath of US wrestling fans owe it to themselves to see Okada, and this will be the easiest way and lowest barrier to entry in quite some time. What a time to be alive.
Jade Cargill/Kiera Hogan/Stokely Hathaway Segment – MINOR HIT
Fine enough promo segment, with each performer getting some time to shine. It’s remarkable watching Cargill evolve on the mic. She’s beginning to show the same cocky confidence that Britt Baker did.
Kris Statlander/Athena Segment – MINOR MISS
This was fine, but because it ran immediately after the Cargill segment, it didn’t do enough to differentiate itself and neither woman has the same scene stealing charisma Jade Cargill has.
Toni Storm Defeated Marina Shafir – MINOR HIT
Very well wrestled match, but I’ve seen marionette puppets less wooden than Shafir. If she can flow from move to move a little easier, she can focus more on building her character and connecting with fans. She’s more talented than the pseudo jobber they use her as, but only she is able to show us what she’s like when she’s got no strings on her.
Post Match Angle with Nyla Rose and Thunder Rosa – MINOR HIT
Good beat down and rundown to sell the match between Rosa and Storm.
Darby Allin/Sting Segment – MINOR MISS
Decent segment trying to piece together a reason for Allin and Sting to be on the PPV. Allin’s delivery style works well for this
Fenix/Andrade El Idolo Segment – MINOR HIT
Simple video segment setting up a barn burner for Rampage on Friday. Both guys are going to go all out for this one. Going to be a great match.
Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi Defeated Chris Jericho and Lance Archer – HIT
Excellent match that put some context to the legend that Moxley has been weaving about Tanahashi the last few weeks. They put on a clinic and had the crowd on their feet and eating from the palms of their hands.
Post Match Angle with Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, Minoru Suzuki – HIT
This devolved in the best way possible, as Eddie Kingston and Wheeler Yuta incited a brawl that caused the AEW Galaxy™️ to erupt into a giant brawl that spanned the entirety of the Atlantic between USA’s AEW and Japan’s NJPW.
The best part of this was Moxley and Tanahashi continuing their stare down in the middle of the ring, as the world crumbled around them. Now that’s a romcom I’d love to see.
Overall – HIT
This was a solid episode of Dynamite. It wasn’t a top-tier episode by any means, but it felt more cohesive than the past few weeks have been. More importantly, this did a great job of selling the PPV on Sunday. Between Okada’s surprise appearance, the appetizer of Tanahashi and Danielson’s replacement, there was a lot to like and if you weren’t sold on the PPV before this episode, I think you probably saw enough to bite the bullet club and check out the show Sunday.