I enjoyed last week’s Dynamite, and we’re going through a quiet period for the companies that I usually watch, so I’ve decided to keep my AEW reviews going for at least one more week. Having murdered NXT in the ratings on their first attempt, all the momentum is with Dynamite. Can they keep it going?
Schiavone, JR and Excalibur ran down the card before going to a video package for The Young Bucks vs Private Party.
Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) defeated The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) in the First Round of the Tag Title Tournament
Unsurprisingly, The Young Bucks were a little bit over while we got shots of various other tag teams watching on (not backstage from dodgy angles, but in the actual crowd).
Kassidy avoided a series of Nick Superkicks early on, leading to Jackson getting frustrated and spitting his gum in the young pretender’s face. That was the first sign that Matt and Nick were being out-Bucked with Kassidy and Quen flying around the ring to a huge reaction while the Bucks struggled to get a hold of them.
That set-up The Young Bucks going back to a tactic from their wars with Roppongi Vice, Powerbombing Kassidy on the ramp so they could isolate Quen and go to work. They were working the style they brought to New Japan, a more focused version of their insane offence as they looked to keep Quen to themselves. Then, when he did escape, Nick snuck around the ring to drag Kassidy from the apron before the tag could be made.
Eventually, Kassidy did get that tag, but his back was banged up, and it didn’t take the Bucks long to take advantage. However, Private Party continually failed to die, and when The Young Bucks tried to remedy that with a Meltzer driver, Kassidy pulled Nick off the apron while Quen rolled Matt up for the win.
That was fantastic and will go down as the first great match in Dynamite’s history. I loved seeing The Young Bucks gravitate back towards that New Japan style while Private Party have the potential to be huge. Lovely stuff.
Verdict: Four Stars
After a long celebration from Private Party, Jericho made his entrance backed-up by Santana, Ortiz, Guevara and Hager while JR quipped about being able to say strap on this show.
Jericho took credit for AEW’s ratings which got a ‘thank you, Jericho’ chant from the crowd that he quickly cut-off by telling everyone to shut up. He then introduced his new pals calling Sammy sexy, Santana and Ortiz psychos and Hager the most feared MMA fighter on the planet today (Hager was staring dead-eyed into the distant, no-selling the whole exchange). In the middle of that Hager spiel, the fans chanted ‘we the people’ and Jericho once again cut them off brilliantly declaring it a stupid idea from bad creative.
He then named the group The Inner Circle and said they were taking control of AEW before running down Cody and his family while even going as far as calling Dusty a jerk. That was a fantastic promo from the master although Cody and Dustin sitting backstage and not responding isn’t the best look for them.
Darby Allin defeated Jimmy Havoc in a Number One Contender Match
Havoc cut an in-picture promo during his entrance talking about how he’s enjoyed the fifteen years of pain and violence that brought him here all while punching himself in the face.
In a move that I didn’t see coming, these two started by exchanging flash pins before Havoc gave us more of what I was expecting by biting Darby’s hand and suplexing him from the apron to the floor. That’s more like it.
From there, Havoc went to work on Allin, attacking his fingers and introducing a new audience to one of life’s joys, Darby Allin getting the shit kicked out of him. I’ll never bore of watching it. Sadly, Jimmy wasn’t the best at it, as it became clear that everything he can do, Darby can do better, so when he got his revenge by biting Havoc’s fingers, hitting a Stunner and following up with a Coffin Drop (which did not connect cleanly), it was 100% the right move.
That was a match which happened with the only pleasure being Darby bumping around. I know as a British wrestling fan I’m supposed to love Jimmy, but he’s not very good, and asking him to carry anything that isn’t a plunder brawl is a mistake. I’m also surprised they are putting Darby in the title picture already, but I suspect he’s in for a beating and that will be a shitload of fun.
Verdict: Two And A Quarter Stars
Riho and Brit Baker defeated Emi Sakura and Bea Priestley
Did you know Brit Baker was a dentist, I don’t think they’ve mentioned it before? (I will make this joke until AEW shut up). Meanwhile, Emi Sakura teaming with Bea is weird, right? That’s two people smushed together so they can make a match. Anyway, Excalibur did a good job putting Sakura over and explaining that she was Riho’s trainer.
Since I’ve already declared Jimmy a bit shit, I might as well keep going and point out that Baker is bad too. She was a mile behind everyone else in this match, and I’m not exactly a Priestley fan. Every time she stepped into the ring, the action shuddered and groaned, as I was left wishing they’d leave Sakura and Riho to it.
Of course, that was never going to happen, and Baker would end up beating Sakura by submission. Post-match Nea and Brit had to be pulled apart because the focus should definitely be on them and not your new champion.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
We got a weird video of Greg and Dustin hugging in a park with an Okada-style zoom out. We then returned to the arena where an interviewer asked Best Friends how they were feeling about their tournament match next week which they responded to with a Cassidy thumbs up.
Jon Moxley defeated Shawn Spears
The lights went out and when they came on Spears was sitting on a chair at the top of the ramp before making his entrance. Moxley then came out to a huge reaction while PAC was on commentary explaining that he’s pissed off at the likes of Darby and Jimmy getting championship opportunities before him.
PAC’s commentary would be the highlight of this match as he bristled with aggression every time he spoke. Meanwhile, Ten Guy and Mox were having a serviceable walk and brawl with Tully Blanchard getting involved at every opportunity. It was fine, which I suspect is going to be Spears’ trademark.
The problem is that Moxley has proven to be better than fine. Every promo the guy cuts is fire, and he was fantastic during the G1, so seeing him go through a pretty standard match was disappointing. I appreciate Spears has his supporters and he’s well-liked among other wrestlers, but his two AEW matches so far have done nothing to convince me he should be a the top of the card.
Verdict: Two And Three Quarter Stars
Post-match, Omega turned up with a mop and a bat both of which were wrapped in barbed wire as he seems to be returning to The Cleaner gimmick. As Moxley walked up the ramp towards him, he threw the bat to him only for PAC to attack Kenny from behind with a chair before they could get down to it.
The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara) defeated Hangman Page and Dustin Rhodes
Dustin tried to make good for not turning up earlier by going straight after Jericho at the start of the match, throwing him into the barricade before catching Sammy with an uppercut when he flew off the apron.
The match that followed switched from Hangman and Dustin working over Guevara to The Inner Circle isolating Page. It was all pretty standard tag team action, but it was entertaining enough. They picked up the pace as they went along and by the time Hangman was hitting Moonsaults to the floor I was invested.
Sadly, that would also lead to it dropping off as the Moonsault was followed by Hager getting involved. His first move was a Lariat to Page on the outside before he interrupted a Shattered Dreams in the ring. That set-up Jericho for The Judas Effect and this limped in at alright.
Verdict: Three Stars
Afterwards, The Inner Circle went after Dustin which set-up Page and Hager to brawl to the back. The lights then went off only to come back on with Cody in the ring. He hit a Cross Rhodes on Sammy only to be blind-sided by Santana and Ortiz before he could get at Jericho.
That brought out MJF to make the save and they briefly teased him hitting Cody with a chair, but that will happen on another day before he ate a Codebreaker for his troubles. It somehow then broke down even further, The Young Bucks attacking Santana and Ortiz before Darby skateboarded down the ramp to attack Jericho. That was an awesome way to close the show.
That show started and finished hot, but had a lot of fluff in the middle. Once again there was only one women’s match and it focused on the least talented person in it while Ten Guy looks destined for obscurity. On the other hand, Darby looked like a star even if the match didn’t click, Jericho is doing inspired work with his new faction and The Bucks had the first great match in Dynamite history with Private Party. It’s by no means a failure and I suspect AEW’s momentum will continue on for at least another week.
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