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.
This was one of the best Dynamites in history from top to bottom. Every segment was at least good, and some were genuinely great. The MJF segment was one of the best talking segments in company history, and really shows just how great he is at controlling a crowd. Long Island is the one place in the world he can be a babyface right now, and he was absolutely beloved. The fake Dark Side of the Ring video (and the little nod to the previous Jericho-MJF feud) was amazingly well done. The Barry Horowitz appearance was fantastic. Wardlow’s been a great babyface since this angle really started, and he just had no chance until he started killing security. Mark Sterling took a hell of a bump off the power bomb through the table.
Both Adam Cole vs. Dax Harwood and Darby Allin vs. Jeff Hardy were great matches in very different way. The opener was an old school match that would have fit in on an early WCW Saturday Night. Harwood made the match with his selling, and he got the crowd behind him tremendously as a babyface. Darby vs. Hardy might as well have had Johnny Knoxville pop up to say, “Welcome to Jackass” before the bell rang. This was Jeff Hardy’s best effort to date, and Darby threw himself around like he had a death wish.
The Jericho Appreciation Society segment was great too. It was a perfect answer to the smugness Jericho and company have had over the past few weeks regarding their numbers advantage of Eddie Kingston and Proud & Powerful. The slow entrance of the Blackpool Combat Club as a panicked Jericho continued to shout about his numbers advantage wonderfully set up the surprise run in by Eddie & P&P. Regal’s big left hand on Jericho was a lovely punctuation mark on it.
The other matches were quite good too. Jon Silver’s really good at short bursts of offense. Jamie Hayter had two really nice tornado DDTs back-to-back that were creatively connected.
We also had a number of shorter promos, all of which were well above average. Scorpio Sky cut his best promo in a long time, and the Kazarian promo interrupted by Sammy Guevara was solid. The talking heads promo for Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida was really well done, as was the dueling promo video for Jay Lethal vs. Samoa Joe. Tony Schiavone teasing at possible discord in the Britt Baker/Jamie Hayter promo regarding their possible future match was a nice touch. And of course the face-off between Adam Page and CM Punk was great.
The Danhausen/Tony Nese match was obviously just an angle to set up Hookhausen, but the crowd absolutely loved it.
Rather than Grumpy JR, we were joined by Loopy JR during the Jungle Boy-Ricky Starks match. This was an altogether more enjoyable experience and you could feel Taz and Excalibur try to resist the call of Dark-level goofiness.
Sonjay Dutt basically has a Dr. Evil laugh and it’s fantastic.
AEW shows how well it handles little details in a segment like the MJF/Wardlow one. Bringing in Barry Horowitz, being sure to explain why Chris Jericho would do something for a MJF promo (money, of course), the “boo Wardlow” Titantron for his entrance, MJF making sure everyone knew that Shawn Spears knew it’d be a terrible idea to uncuff Wardlow, the throw back to the Tye Dillinger perfect ten gimmick—all this stuff is wonderful. Add in setting up segments to mirror the Cody Rhodes/MJF feud—and even MJF’s reference to “The Codester”—and this showed that you can accomplish a lot in one segment without doing too much.
The continued teasing of Christian’s heel turn is still great stuff, and we used it to probably set up a triple threat tag match. This is another example of great booking.
I’m not sure if Hardy’s crucifix of Darby where Darby’s head was kind of under the bottom rung of the ladder was intentional or not, but it made a lot of sense
10/10. Unlike last week, this was a standout show from start to finish. Every aspect of the show was great.
Performer of the night
MJF has been a star for a long while, but this was an all-time night for him. He just did next level stuff the entire time.
- Adam Cole defeats Dax Harwood: ****1/4
- CM Punk defeats Jon Silver: ***1/2
- Tony Nese defeats Danhausen: No rating
- Ricky Starks defeats Jungle Boy: ***3/4
- Toni Storm defeats Jamie Hayter: ***1/2
- Jeff Hardy defeats Darby Allin: ****1/4
You can follow Fred on Twitter @flagrantrasslin.
Powered by RedCircle