AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES 3/1: Jon Moxley and Adam Page hit with promos, ladder match hits, more


AEW Dynamite hits and misses analysis


Orange Cassidy defeated Big Bill to retain the AEW All-Atlantic Title: MINOR HIT

A fine opener with Big Bill getting a lot of offense in an an interesting match-up of styles. Although he lost, one could argue he was protected in the finish by the Danhausen distraction.

Orange Cassidy’s title reign seems to have shifted the purpose of the belt from something that was primarily defended overseas to an in-house mid-card title that typically headlines Rampage or (on rarer occasions) fills a spot on Dynamite. It’s definitely a step below the TNT title, but there’s hardly been any long-term stories of wrestlers feuding for this belt. That should be step number 2.

Jon Moxley Backstage Promo: HIT

Excellent work always from Moxley. I really appreciated how he referenced the storyline hypocrisy of Hangman Page getting credit for knocking out Moxley but not vice-versa (even though we know Hangman’s case was legitimate). If you are going to make a story out of it, you may as well beg for consistency, and I like Moxley doing that here.

House of Black – Elite Angle: MINOR HIT

House of Black interrupted the Elite’s entrance, which got them a lot of heat (especially since the crowd didn’t get to sing along to Wayward Son). I’m not usually a fan of so many lights-out spots, but this worked.

Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Sammy Guevara, Action Andretti, Eddie Kingston, AR Fox, Konosuke Takeshita, Komander, and Ortiz in a Face of the Revolution Ladder Match for a shot at the TNT Championship: MINOT HIT

An exciting match which probably would have been on the PPV if not for the Iron Man main event. Powerhouse Hobbs really shined as a “powerhouse” here, Guevara played a good cowardly heel, and Komander got some great spots. It’s just difficult for me to invest in some of these names since I barely see them featured on Dynamite (nor do I expect to see most of them in feature storylines after this match).

Some minor quibbles: The donut-looking ring that they are striving for is a silly concept. Please just let “brass ring” remain a symbolic phrase. I also didn’t like how the camera caught the referees holding the ladder stable while Powerhouse Hobbs was unlocking the ring.

Best Friends Backstage Interview: IT HAPPENED

Seems like Danhausen and Orange Cassidy will be in the Casino Tag-Team Battle Royal later in the show.

Chris Jericho defeated Peter Avalon: IT HAPPENED

Quick squash. Not much to say.

Post-Match Stuff: MINOR HIT

After the match, Jericho beat down Avalon some more with his baseball bat. Starks then ran out for the save, Jericho escaped and called the JAS to beat down Starks.

Simple, heat-building angle going into the PPV. Really hope Starks puts on a good performance at Revolution because this feud has not done him any favors so far.

Hangman Page Off-Site Promo: HIT

Very strong promo from what looked like a ranch-like area, which is fitting to set up a Texas Death Match. Hangman Page was serious, explaining how frustrated he was at having no path to the AEW World Title because of Moxley, as well as losing touch with his friends. He desperately needs to beat Moxley to get back on course. I also liked his admission that he’s not gratuitously violent like Moxley, but he will find that side of him to win at the PPV. Everything Hangman said here rang true and nicely complemented the Moxley promo from earlier in the show.

Christian Cage Promo and Jungle Boy Video Package: HOME RUN

A great piece of business here. Christian added a new dimension to his rivalry with JB in the form of championship pursuit. Both are vying for singles gold this year, and Christian considers the young, upcoming JB a major obstacle in his ambitions. The JB video package of him digging a grave for Christian while remembering all of the atrocities committed against him was excellent, as was Christian’s facial reaction to seeing that package.

This is my favorite storyline going into the PPV, just edging out the main event. It definitely warrants a no-DQ “fight,” as Christian suggested, but I worry that it might dilute the PPV with too much blood (especially since I expect a lot of blood from Moxley/Hangman and Danielson/MJF). Nonetheless, great stuff here.

Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter Backstage Interview: IT HAPPENED

Simple, basic, nothing to write home about.

Hook defeated Matt Hardy to retain the FTW Championship and earn the right to face Stokely Hathaway: MINOR HIT

The story of this match was Matt Hardy being an unwilling employee of Stokely Hathaway, and he was happy to lose here since it means Hook gets to wrestle Hathaway in a match. This is a fine undercard story which could be better if Stokely had built up more heat for himself.

House of Black Backstage Promo: IT HAPPENED

Unless HoB win the titles this weekend, it’s increasingly difficult to take these creepy promos seriously.

Riho defeated Toni Storm + Post-Match Brawl: MINOR HIT

Riho winning this match was a surprise, even with the Baker and Hayter interference. The match itself was alright but served mostly as a means to build to the post-match angle. I don’t know how Riho will fit into the main women’s storyline, if at all.

I’m fine with Ruby Soho not picking any sides, but I’d rather they just let go of the idea entirely.

Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes Promo: MINOR HIT

Both are good promos, but it’s difficult to get into this storyline.

Orange Cassidy and Danhausen won the Tag-Team Casino Battle Royale to become the fourth team in the AEW Tag-Team Championship match at Revolution: MINOR HIT

As soon as they announced that Cassidy would pull double duty tonight, I know him and Danhausen would win this match. The teams worked hard but this match dragged a lot, as evidenced by the crowd reaction. In addition, a second battle royal in quick succession just waters down the concept.

Bryan Danielson Promo (+ video package on MJF-Danielson): HIT

Although it’s weird that MJF didn’t get to say much on the go-home show, you can argue that it was Danielson’s turn to respond to the very personal lines MJF threw at him last week. If they are going to incorporate MJF’s fiancé leaving him, it makes sense for Danielson to remind everyone of MJF’s “banging rats” comment to underline how, in storyline, he doesn’t deserve a loving, committed partner. The personal content was balanced nicely with sports-like, ambitious commentary on wanting to win the championship.

Commentary: MINOR HIT

Nothing special.

Overall Show: MINOR HIT

They packed a TON of content into this show. If you’re just skimming this column, you may not realize we had a whole Casino Battle Royal and a ladder match while still managing to squeeze in everything else. I find this frustrating because it didn’t let the key elements of the show have time to breathe.

CATCH-UP: Eddie Kingston quits AEW

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