I’m going to keep reviewing Dynamite until I miss a week. That will either happen due to an abundance of other wrestling or because I decide it’s no longer any good. What do you reckon will come first? I’m feeling optimistic, so let’s go for for option number one.
As SCU made their entrance, the Lucha Brothers attacked them from behind leading to Pentagon hit a Piledriver to Daniels on the entrance ramp. That took him out of the match and forced Scorpio Sky (who, in a nice touch, was wearing jeans and had to tape up his hands in the ring) to take his spot. AEW has done a great job of starting and closing these shows with hot angles, and that trend continued here.
SCU (Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) defeated The Best Friends (Beretta and Chuckie T) in a Tag Team Tournament Match
When the match started, Kazarian came out hot, pissed off from the attack. However, he’d been thrown into the barricade by Fenix, and Best Friends quickly turned the action in their favour by attacking his back. Meanwhile, with Sky not wearing wrestling boots, Chuckie T stole his shoe and bit his foot. I like that they’re leaning into the fact those two are total weirdos.
The angle ended up sculpting the course of this match, but that was to its praise rather than its detriment. It took SCU a while to get into the swing of things, and it always felt like they were struggling to get their heads in the game as Sky eventually ended up wearing no shoes. However, that story had the fans rabid, as they screamed on Sky and Kazarian, desperate for them to overcome the odds.
Sadly, the ending wasn’t quite as great as it came rather out of nowhere and the Powerbomb Dropkick combo was mistimed (to Sky’s obvious disappointment). However, this was still a hot opener, and AEW’s only mistake was showing the move again rather than breezing past it.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Santana and Ortiz defeated John Silver and Alex Reynolds
Silver and Reynolds are our job squad for the week, while this was the first time Santana and Ortiz have been the central focus rather than Jericho’s goons. They made short work of the jobbers while their antics seemed to get over with the crowd despite being heels (to be honest, I don’t think anyone is going to get serious heat on an AEW show until the excitement calms down). There’s not much else to say about a breezy squash.
Verdict: Two Stars
Jericho popped up on the big screen post-match, putting Santana and Ortiz over as street thugs and pit bulls before challenging The Young Bucks to face them at Full Gear. I’d have rather had them cut their promo, but I can’t blame AEW for using Jericho when he’s as hot as he is right now.
We then got a video of Cody being an awful husband as he daydreamed while Brandi was being a damn professional and filling him in on their upcoming duties. That transitioned into her, DDP, MJF, JR, Schiavone and his Mum putting him over while talking about how important the match with Jericho was to him. It was brilliantly put together, as has been the norm with AEW’s video output.
Riho defeated Brit Baker to retain the AEW Women’s Title
It hadn’t clicked to me that AEW is referring to their Women’s Title (and their Men’s) as world titles, but presumably, they’ve only been defended in America, so aren’t technically that yet? Let’s not pretend I actually care, but it was something to write about while they made their entrances.
Anyway, did you know Brit Baker was a dentist? I don’t think AEW’s mentioned it yet. If they have, it hasn’t helped her get over as it was Riho’s name the fans were chanting pre-match. Maybe people just aren’t that into teeth? I mean, seriously, whose idea was it to give her a finisher that saw her grab people’s teeth?
Anyway, silliness aside, this was further proof that Riho’s great. She might be half the size of her peers, but she’s dragging them to decent performances. Baker is average, at best, but Riho’s fiery passion sold this match and got the fans just as hot. They even bought into Riho refusing to open her mouth for the Lockjaw, which was a big enough distraction for her to slip through into the flash pin for the three. She’s doing God’s work by getting the flash pin over in AEW.
Verdict: Three Stars
The Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr) defeated Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt) in a Tag Team Tournament Match
The big dinosaur was injured, so his two little buddies were forced to wrestle instead. You know, sometimes I read back what I’ve written and have to wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life.
I’m going to go off on a tangent for a second, but as I write, people are arguing on Twitter about whether Stunt is too small. I can safely say that a wrestler’s size has never once bothered me. In fact, I fucking loved watching Marko bounce around with Pentagon and Fenix. Did he look a bit like a child who had wandered into the ring? Yes. Does that allow him to do loads of cool moves that someone bigger couldn’t? Also yes.
Anyway, onto the match where the big(ger) luchadors eventually took control and started bullying poor Marko. Pentagon, in particular, was doing a great job of torturing Stunt, overpowering him with ease. That was the perfect way to build to a Jurassic Express comeback which featured the two of them flying through the air in an attempt to take the big bads out.
Sadly, those bads weren’t willing to go down, and a Pentagon Destroyer turned the match in their favour. He then spun Stunt around by his hair, broke his arm and hit Zero Mercy for the three. I enjoyed the crap out of that, as they delivered good stuff all-round.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defeated Jon Moxley and PAC
Fucking hell, there was a decent amount of star power in this match, wasn’t there? You could argue that they would draw anywhere in the world apart from maybe Mexico and, let’s face it, Mexico is its own world.
Things broke down quickly with Omega and Mox desperate to get their hands on each other. What followed was a brawl, with all four men going hard and fast. We even got Page taking one of his trademark ridiculous bumps when PAC pushed him off the top and onto the apron. One suspects that hurt a lot.
Of course, with this being a TV match, they were never going to really leave it all out there, so there was a degree of holding back. Even still, they worked a lot harder than they probably had to, as it would have been very easy for these four to take it easy and lap up the love of the hot crowd. Instead, we got a fun finish with everyone getting their moment in before PAC stopped Moxley from using a barbed wire bat on Omega. That pissed Jon off, so he dropped the Bastard with the Paradigm Shift and left him to the mercy of his opponents.
That was exactly what a TV match with these four in it needed to be.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
Chris Jericho defeated Darby Allin in a Street Fight to retain the AEW World Title
As much as I’m enjoying AEW, Darby Allin is the only person on that roster who is cool. He came out with the word champ written repeatedly on the part of his body that he’d painted skeletal white. Jericho, meanwhile, wandered to the ring with his Juggalo make-up looking like everyone’s least favourite drunk dad.
And in so many ways, this match was perfectly set-up. Allin came out like a man possessed, flying at Jericho and catching him off-guard with his strange style. However, as they went on, Y2J’s experience took over, and he slowly got down to the pleasures of beating the shit out of Darby Allin. It was a brilliant opportunity for Darby to show all that fiery passion while Jericho looked like a sadist for taping the kid’s hands behind his band and tossing him across the ring.
Unfortunately, there were one or two things that let it down. The first? Rope breaks. There was a period in this match where Darby broke multiple submissions with the ropes, and the fans shit all over it because of the street fight stipulation. It was the first time an AEW crowd had turned against the product, and I do think Jericho and Darby should have reacted by not repeating the spot.
The second problem was the finish where Jake Hager’s interference proved decisive. I get that they want to put heat on The Inner Circle, but this company has built up the idea of being somewhere where we’ll get clean finishes, and stuff like that is already starting to sneak in. I’ll accept it on TV when they’re building angles, but I don’t want to see any of that on PPV.
Despite those issues, I still enjoyed the hell out of it, and they got the fans back by the end as Darby recklessly flew through the air with his hands behind his back. That kid is a motherfucking star.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
I think that might be my favourite episode of Dynamite so far, even if the matches didn’t perhaps peak as high. The only issues I had was a couple quibbles with the main event, and they really were quibbles (the rope break thing wouldn’t have bothered me at all if it wasn’t for the crowd). AEW are still going strong, so good for them.
Watch AEW (in the UK) on ITV or at: https://www.itv.com/hub/itv