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.
-Another Orange Cassidy opening match and another good one. Clearly there is something in the numbers that Tony Khan likes about kicking off Dynamite with Cassidy and he continues to be a strong anchor act for the show and the company. Furthermore, the story of Cassidy defending the title so regularly and it wearing him down is going to play perfectly as they get deeper and deeper into it. A nice hook that gives a meaningless title some sort of meaning.
-A to B final build for FTR vs. Jarrett/Lethal and it worked. I could have done without Mark Briscoe confronting Dax Harwood about hitting a piledriver on him last week. C’mon, Mark. Just watch the show back and you can easily tell it wasn’t on purpose. It was important to position Mark as someone who would call the match down the middle as special ref, but they could have gotten that across without illogical silliness.
-Listen Sammy Guevara, you were bought and paid for by MJF just a couple of weeks ago. This is the type of inconsistency that is frustrating for AEW viewers. If a character like Guevara is going to pivot 180 degrees, there either needs to be a clear reason why and one that the audience has seen, or, there has to be some reference of previous actions. Guevara didn’t check either box. He just acted like he’d never lie down for MJF even though just a couple weeks ago he said he would. What changed? Why did it change? How did it change? This is important detail. A big miss.
-What is with the weird lighting during the House of Black Trios Championship matches? Give me the red Hell in a Cell cage over this.
-A really good promo from the Blackpool Combat Club. Was it a heel promo? No. Not even close.
-That’s all the hype we get for the big four pillars title match on PPV? We already talked about the Sammy stuff, but Jungle Boy and Darby Allin were only OK out there this week. MJF held things down well enough to make the angle passable, but it didn’t feel like a go-home PPV segment. MJF continues to look like the bigger star and is a certainty to retain the championship.
-Smart to give Taya Valkyrie time on Dynamite to show the audience who she is. She’s on PPV and people should know that.
-A pro wrestling promo from Adam Page. A novel concept! Look, we just haven’t seen enough of these from Page yet and he’s good at them. This was great and very effective in building up not only the match on Saturday against the BCC, but his relationship with the rest of The Elite as well.
-A good final segment between Chris Jericho and Adam Cole that didn’t need Sabu. It’s a little too niche of a special partner for me and doesn’t jive all at that well with Cole. Cole needs to stand out on his own. He can be “the guy” in AEW, but has to be given the bandwidth to get there. Needing help from an aged former wrestler isn’t that bandwidth.
-I get that the run-in at the end of the show to put a bow on the build for Anarchy in the Arena was the goal of the main event. I get it. I swear. Is that what Tony Khan wants the ROH product to be though? This was a big match for ROH and it happened on AEW television. That said, the finish was expected and the final in-ring promo by Jon Moxley did a nice job of hard selling the match and the PPV. No Kenny Omega, though? Strange.