SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Coming off a fantastic Forbidden Door event, AEW Dynamite was in Hamilton, Ontario looking to continue its momentum. It was important for this show to begin to set up what is to come over the next two months with back-to-back major events at the end of August. Let’s see how they did.
MOXLEY VS. ISHII SLUGFEST
Wow. Boxing fans may remember Marvin Hagler vs. Tommy Hearns as the most wild three round fight in history. That was my first thought as I watched this one.
The Over/Under on the amount of time it was gonna take for both Moxley and Ishii’s chests to look like me after a couple of hours in the sun was 90 seconds. The Under won by a mile and that was just the beginning. The match was filled with forearm blows, the headbutts that had the blood flowing from Moxley (shocker, I know), the false finishes, and the crowd was way into it. Add to it a side story with Eddie Kingston and Claudio eyeing each other and the post match “chat” between Eddie and Moxley continued a narrative that built into the Blood and Guts announcement later in the show.
What a great way to start Dynamite and continue that storyline throughout the 2 hours.
“BEST PAL” MJF
I know he did something similar with Sammy Guevara a month or two ago and I know it may not be for everyone, but MJF is just so good at this over the top fake friend stuff. He and Cole are going to be fun to watch. When I’m smiling the entire time for both segments, I consider that good TV.
KEITH LEE’S APPEARANCE
He doesn’t look like he’s 50 anymore. There is no shame in using “Just for Men.”
GRAPHIC TRYING TO FIX YOUNG BUCKS/HANGMAN BACKSTAGE PROMO
I’ve worked in TV for 30 years and I notice little errors all the time and point them out, which drives my wife nuts. It was pretty obvious, but the little freeze at the start of the Young Bucks/Hangman promo showed that it was pre-taped and not LIVE as Matt Jackson said at the start. About 30 second into the promo, they put up a graphic that said “Earlier Tonight” in an attempt to fix that obvious mistake. It’s not the end of the world either way, but I always appreciate an attempt to rectify issues rather than just ignoring them and hoping people didn’t notice or care.
HEEL JACK PERRY
It wasn’t all perfect, but performing an intentional heel promo for the first time, I thought Jack did a good job. He had the fans against him from the start and did not let up. There were some lines I would have skipped, but there were also some that hit perfect. Perhaps he had a chat with Christian and some other veterans to give him some pointers and, if so, good for him. I would have gone another direction for the reason behind his turn, but in the end, he was booed out of the building and then ran like a coward when confronted. Personally, I’m looking forward to a match with Hook and to see if he gets what he deserves. So, mission accomplished for me.
STING IS CRAZY
For the first time in pro wrestling history, taking a shot of a fan in the crowd was a good idea! The look on that guy’s face when Sting climbed the ladder was the look on pretty much everyone’s face at that moment. Does a 64 year old man need to leap from a ladder onto a person and two tables? No, he doesn’t. Is it dangerous? Yes it is. I can understand how some folks may not like a spot like this, but at the end of the day, it’s Steve Borden’s decision with the green light from the promotion. It may not have looked perfect, but I don’t care. I admire him not wanting to wrestle his final matches like a broken down old guy. If he’s in there, he wants to do it all and he did, so I loved it. Great overall hardcore match as well with a surprise finish.
IGNORING BRYAN DANIELSON INJURY
This one really drives me crazy. First, they wait 50 minutes into the show to reference the main event at Forbidden Door. Second, one of your biggest stars wrestled the final 10 minutes of that match with a broken arm. His wife put the x-ray on social media. How can you not mention it, show what he looked like afterwards, show the x-ray, or run a promo??? This is a GOLDEN opportunity to showcase Danielson after he beat arguably the best wrestler in the world with a broken freakin’ arm! Who cares if he’s going to be out for a bit. Run something tonight and set up what’s going to happen when he returns. Play the quote from the post-show scrum when he said he wants to fight Okada again and break HIS arm. Gigantic Miss.
CONFUSING INTRO TO ORANGE CASSIDY TRIOS MATCH
There are still too many technical and continuity errors in AEW nearly four years into its existence. Excalibur talking over what should have been a clear explanation of how the match was made shows that either he didn’t know it was going to play or they played it too early. Either way, a producer needs to be on top of that and just tell Excalibur to say: “Here’s how this one came to be” then play the tape. Done.
The match itself was sloppy and it was clear the babyfaces hadn’t worked together before, but I give AEW credit for mixing things up and giving Vikingo and Lee some TV time.
POOR PROMOTION FOR COLLISION
After last week’s Collision show dipped in the ratings, I was certain they would do some big things to get folks to tune in on Saturday. Nope. Outside of a very quick Owen Hart tourney promo earlier in the night, you had “micro machines” Excalibur run down a series of decent matches but there was no mention of C.M. Punk or any promo that made you want to watch.
I’m dumbfounded as to why you wouldn’t do that. I’m guessing the ratings number falls even more this week regardless of the quality of the show they put on.
So let’s revisit what was expected to be accomplished on this show. I was hoping they would start to establish some storylines for the rest of the summer. They did a decent job of that with the Blood & Guts announcement, setting up the heel Jack Perry storyline, and continuing the MJF and Cole partnership. But they missed the boat with a few other opportunities plus the glaring error with the Bryan Danielson injury.
I was entertained for two hours, but the show should have been stronger.