AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES 2/8: MJF material hits, tag title main event misses, more

AEW Dynamite analysis
MJF (photo courtesty AEW media)


MJF defeated Konosuke Takeshita in an Eliminator Match: HIT

Very good professional wrestling match. MJF is exceptionally talented at building heat during matches and giving his babyface opponents sufficient payoffs to satisfy the crowd, even if he ultimately wins. Takeshita is also a hellacious talent and a mature worker. I was absorbed throughout the contest.

It’s also nice to see MJF get a clean win in a competitive match for once.

Post-Match Angle: HIT

After the match, MJF took his ring from the referee and laid out both Takeshita and the referee with it. He then starting beating on Takeshita before Danielson came out for the save.

Solid post-match stuff to continue building heat for MJF. This may have been unnecessary tonight though as we got a lot more follow-up in this department later on.

Samoa Joe Video Promo: HIT

Good promo following a dominant win last week. Joe gave credit to Allin and transitioned right into Wardlow. I hope Wardlow can find his groove again after the time off.

JAMIE HAYTER (w/Britt Baker, Rebel) defeated BUNNY (w/Penelope Ford) in an Eliminator Match: MINOR HIT

A very middle-of-the-road match. Seems like it was just about to get into its groove before a bad collision in the ring prompted an early finish. Hope Bunny is okay!

I’m also enjoying babyface Britt Baker. It’s a role that suits her a lot better now. Unfortunately, something tells me it’s only a matter of time before she turns on Hayter.


Good stuff to build heat for Saraya and Storm as they bully Leva. Saraya is so much better as a heel than a babyface.

This would have meant more if Leva was more of a regular sympathetic act on Dynamite. She played a naïve babyface role her so well. Hope we get more of her. She could easily be used in a mini-feud with someone like Jade Cargill.

MJF Backstage Interview: HOME RUN

If ever there were a textbook definition of “scumbag,” this promo defines it. Just watch it all the way to the end if you truly want to feel disgusted and itching to see this guy get his comeuppance. It’s not the sort of promo you can cut every week, but it worked here after the low-key cheers MJF was getting during his match.


Ricky beat Angelo Parker and Matt Menard in quick succession but got screwed by Jericho’s interference during his match against Daniel Garcia. This whole thing was less of a match and more of an angle to build heat for the Jericho-Starks feud. Given that Danielson is already effectively running a gauntlet on his way to MJF, you don’t want to do similar story at the same time.

Simple interview where Billy explained that he will remain backstage during the tag match tonight.


Los Faccion locked Danielson’s locker room door from the outside while he was being interviewed. Rush made his ring entrance and MJF followed suit, urging the referee to start the match and count out Danielson. However, Danielson was able to break open the door and rush to the ring in time to beat the count.

This was a nice, creative way to build additional heat for the program. Could have done without the “No habla Española” line by MJF though.


Another very good showing by Danielson on his way to wrestling MJF. Being able to deliver matches like these at his age with the mileage on his body is really special. Rush is also an excellent talent. My only reservation with the match was the amount of blood Danielson was losing. It felt a bit disconnected with the offense he was receiving, even though it added to the babyface-in-peril story they were trying to tell.

MJF on commentary here was a welcome addition as well (apart from his needless accent imitations). I also like having your champion all over the show to really hit home what the main program is.

Post-Match Angle: HIT

Another brilliant performance by MJF really selling how scared he is of facing Danielson at Revolution and doing everything he can to beat him down prior to that match. This isn’t just an ordinary heel trying to get heat over a sympathetic babyface through a beatdown. There are layers to this story that I really appreciate.

Tony Schiavone Interview with “Impractical Jokers” Cast: IT HAPPENED

THE ELITE (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks w/Brandon Cutler, Michael Nakazawa) defeated TOP FLIGHT (Dante & Darius Martin) & A.R. FOX to retain the AEW Trios Championships: HIT

Exactly what one might expect from this bunch. High-octane, high-flying spot-fest. Nothing much to say beyond that. While the Elite can go on just fine like this, I really hope that other Trios teams actually get a chance to develop their characters in compelling feuds.

I would also like to know why Don Callis continues to carry himself like a heel.

HOOK Video Package: MINOR HIT

Short, sweet, and nice. Not much purpose to it other than to keep Hook on everyone’s mind, but that’s a good thing still. Built into the next segment nicely.

Stokely Hathaway Backstage Interview: MINOR HIT

Decent interaction with Hook here to continue his feud the Firm. Most of this has been playing out on Rampage though.

THE GUNNS (COLTEN & AUSTIN GUN) defeated THE ACCLAIMED (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) to win the AEW Tag Team Championships: MISS

Given the action we’ve witnessed tonight, the ring work in this match was easily the weakest of the night. The ending was a bit of a cluster with a nasty-looking referee bump, Billy Gunn’s interference backfiring, and very poor-looking offense. They did the right thing by giving the Gunns a much-needed win, but the execution of plans was shoddy.

Commentary: MINOR HIT

Excalibur tried hard to break out of his usual tone to condemn MJF, but he’s no Jim Ross or even an unfiltered Michael Cole. He just doesn’t have sufficient emotional range in his commentary. Schiavone does that job better, but he lacks credibility because he doesn’t extend the same criticism to other heels (especially not Baker when she was heel). In addition, Tazz feeling conflicted about MJF’s promo before palling around with him on commentary is just eye-rolling. Pick a role and stick to it, please, Tazz.

Overall Show: HIT

A very good episode of Dynamite tonight. Some superb matches, and the top storyline was clearly defined with the world champion being all over the show.

CATCH-UP: AEW and ESPN announce deal to broadcast in Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands

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