AEW HITS & MISSES (7/3): Ospreay vs. Garcia with MJF at ringside, Britt Baker’s return promo overlapped by Mercedes, Hangman’s return, Danielson vs. Pac, more

By Gregg Kanner, PWTorch contributor

Britt Baker


AEW has certainly put together a solid card coming off of Forbidden Door for Beach Break in Chicago. Chicago, which is widely known for their beautiful sandy beaches along Lake Michigan! Seriously, at first glance, they did a great job filling the show with important matches and promos and are putting forth the effort to get fans interested in the first steps of the build to All In. It’s been a while since I was this excited for Dynamite so let’s see how they did!



Wow. What a great match. I loved the storytelling in this one. Danielson sold his injuries, but not in the “boy who cried wolf” ways he has in the past where they pause the match and he has a doctor look at him. These two had a ton of chemistry for not having faced each other in a singles match in 15 years. This reminded me how great a performer Pac is and I hope he can find himself in a nice feud that culminates at All-In where he can hopefully get a victory in his native UK. I thought the finish was well executed. Good job all around.


I’ve been asking for Mark Briscoe to be on TV more and be a part of big matches and I was rewarded! Briscoe is a great first member of Team AEW as it’s very easy to get behind such a likable guy who never ceases to entertain. Getting beat down by the Elite should further get the fans behind him.


The main reason this is a “Hit” is that I was fully expecting Statlander to win. Willow had the crowd in her hands, starting with a good promo earlier in the show and then finishing it off with a big victory over her rival. It would have been too easy to have Stat use the chain and win by cheating, but it was a nice touch to see it backfire and Willow to get the victory setting up a likely final with Mariah May. Assuming May wins it all, having her defeat the defending champion Willow in the final makes it a bigger accomplishment.


Mercedes is a heel!!! Just picking a direction is a “Hit”, but that segment was the most compelling AEW has produced in a long time. Britt Baker was fantastic. She laid out everything you wanted to hear from the returning star. Mercedes embraced the hate from the crowd and did the best job she’s done in the ring with a mic since joining AEW. If they can keep this drama going for the next 7 weeks, they’ll have a red hot program that will become a must-see match at All-In.


While it was not a surprise that Hangman Page was the “wild card”, he came out with different music and he came out vicious. That beatdown of Jeff Jarrett really set the tone for what Hangman is going to be about now that he’s back and the fact that he did not just join back up with the Elite was a pleasant surprise. He may end up with them anyway, but the presentation of him being a loose cannon will make him more than just another member of a stable.


You wanted stories?? You got em. The main event was set up very well throughout the show. Will Ospreay and Daniel Garcia had a great match. The fact that the crowd was chanting for Garcia multiple times throughout showed how much respect they have for him. I didn’t like the dancing spot, but outside of that, he proved that he can certainly keep up with the world’s best wrestler. The finish was a little weak, but it paid off in the post-match.

It was a great decision to have MJF go full heel. He has some work to do as the crowds still love him, but this was a solid first step and if he can eliminate the “fun” MJF and go back to being the jerk he was 4 years ago, I think he can pull it off. Plus, it sets up yet another big time emotion-filled matchup for All-In.


– It was a strong start to the show having Daniel Garcia give his thoughts on the main event and him putting it “on his mother’s life” made the match less predictable.

– It’s not often you get a “Hillbilly Jim” reference and it reminded me that you certainly do not go messin with a Country Boy.

– More good storytelling with Will Ospreay’s breakup with Don Callis even if it took longer than it should have.



Why are the Elite running from The Acclaimed and their grandfather? At least put a weapon in their hands or something! The group should have no fear, especially if they are using their pull backstage. Which begs the question, what exactly is their pull backstage? They need to have that fully defined so the fans can understand what power The Bucks actually have. They can’t just use them conveniently to kick Taz out of the building. Why wouldn’t Tony Khan overrule that? Get that fixed and they’ll have an amazing series of storylines worth tuning in for.

Wow. That was the best Dynamite in months. You have storylines up and down the card. All of them may not be for everyone, but there should be enough to peak the interest of viewers. The card for All-In is looking like absolute fire (as the kids say).


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