It’s time for a weekly look at the best, the worst, and the weird or otherwise notable – the Hungee –  from the latest episode of AEW Dynamite.

The Good

Easily the best thing on the show was the fantastic Dante Martin vs. Rey Fenix match. Both men were able to show off with amazing acrobatic moves. We had Dante pull out a move that Excalibur, of all people, said he had never seen before, and the match was so good that grumpy mode Jim Ross was excited by it. This delivered in every way you hoped it would, and you can only hope we’ll be able to see another edition of this sometime down the road.

Wardlow’s booking continues to be done really well, and Wardlow is definitely performing up to it. Having him come out to no music allows the crowd chants for him to become much more noticeable, which shows how over he is and also low key encourages fans at the next show to do the same. He gets a strong win against William Morrissey, who looked very good, and then kills about one million security extras.

This is half Good, half Hungee, but I’ll put it here: Hangman Page’s promo was really well done. I’m not sure about having him go outright heel on this promo when he’s not as big of a star as CM Punk – obviously, Page is a star, but Punk outclasses him. That’s okay, because Punk is a bigger star than almost anyone in wrestling these days. But having him tease heel this early really made it feel like a foregone conclusion that Punk is taking the belt at Double or Nothing.

Ricky Starks pops off the screen as a star. He’s not just charismatic, he’s also extremely confident in what he’s doing. It’s time to begin moving him up the card in a big way.

Speaking of stars – Jade Cargill is so great at being Jade Cargill. She’s super charismatic and is really good at being her character. The pairing with Mark Sterling helps her a lot – Jade’s not a super promo right now, but she’s good at filling in the gaps as Sterling cuts solid promo after solid promo. Add in the Baddies – Red Velvet, in particular, is also charismatic – and you’ve got a stable that’s going to be the best thing in the women’s division in three months.

I actually liked the work in the women’s match, which looks like it puts me in the minority. I get people not liking it because the crowd was so cold for it – it was slotted in the wrong spot and didn’t get a good reaction – but just as an in-ring performance, I was on board with it for both of them.

The Bad

Time to talk about one of the worst segments on Dynamite in several months: the Varsity Blondes/House of Black segment. We get a Brian Pillman Jr. promo that, while not bad, goes too long and loses its points. We get cuts to John Harbaugh in the crowd which feel really weird since we all know that spooky bullshit will be happening soon, but we’ve got an NFL head coach just hanging out beforehand.

We then get the big tease that Julia Hart is finally going to turn heel, but she instead decides not to. We get the creepy “look at her little lips” line from JR. Malakai Black intimidates her. And the big end to all of this is Death Triangle coming out and House of Black retreating to the bottom of the ramp.

This angle feels like it’s gone on longer than the existence of the company. I’m hoping we just finally blow this off with something happening very soon, rather than end up with another five months of teasing anything happening. They’re really focusing on Julia whenever they can; they gave her enough exposure that it’s time to pull the trigger ASAP so we can move on to the next part of this story.

Jeff Hardy’s offense these days looks awful. He really can’t move well. His Swanton looks like it’s going to collapse someone’s lung before he retires it, since he 100% lands on the guy taking the move every time. He does still sell pretty well. Bobby Fish on offense is what bailed this match out of being actively bad.

We really need to never do another feud based around faces and heels just standing around Tony Schiavone. The build to this Soho/Storm vs. Baker/Hayter match has been pretty boring, and when you have promos as good as Toni Storm and Britt Baker involved, that’s a disappointment.

I would have preferred to see more of the “Wheeler Yuta is stretched in the name of an education” video at the expense of some of the BCC semi-squash. The act is established enough now that they need a more meaningful direction. It probably won’t take long for that to happen, but we need to actually get there.

I hate to keep harping on him almost every week, but Jim Ross came off as particularly grumpy tonight. The worst thing you can have in wrestling is an announcer not helping get over stuff, especially when that stuff is generally appealing to its audience.

The Hungee

The dueling “We want Enzo”/”No we don’t” chants were really loud. I actually feel bad for William Morrissey here – he’s really got his stuff together, has improved noticeably in the ring, and the crowd still wants to latch on to his partnership with a guy that’s not even on screen.

Chris Jericho is really good at just being his character whenever he’s on-screen. “The Wizard” is a silly nickname but it’s going to end up working, and Jericho’s character work early in the match with Aubrey really shows how good he is at getting his character over.

I saw some people thought the Thunder Rosa-Serena Deeb promo was bad, but I’d put it solidly in the “it was fine” category. Rosa got to do a solid babyface promo, which she’s good at. While the face-off between the two went a little long, it was all right in that portion of the segment. This was 100% fine.

Legally requiring to show up in this segment: John Silver cut a little promo to hype his upcoming job to CM Punk. The promo itself was solid, but the most notable thing about this whole deal was the complete absence of anyone else from the Dark Order. It probably doesn’t mean much, but with Stu Grayson’s contract expiring, it does raise a question or two when every other promo involving any of them for months has the entire group show up on camera.

Overall rating: 6/10. This wasn’t a bad show overall, but there was really only one great part of the show – the Fenix-Dante match.

  • Jeff Hardy defeats Bobby Fish: **1/2
  • Blackpool Combat Club defeat Angelico and The Butcher & The Blade: **3/4
  • Wardlow defeats William Morrissey: ***1/4
  • Chris Jericho defeats Santana: ***1/2
  • Rey Fenix defeats Dante Martin: ****1/2
  • Mercedes Martinez defeats Deonna Purrazzo: ***1/2

You can follow Fred on Twitter @flagrantrasslin.

Powered by RedCircle