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.
Well, we have to start with the MJF promo, which is one of the best I’ve ever seen. He’s a singular talent on the mic and is a prodigy for putting together promos and angles. This was a masterclass of weaving reality into fiction, of expressing emotion in a promo, and setting the foundation for a massive angle. This promo is going to be remembered for years to come and will be a defining moment in MJF’s career. He deserves every penny he can get from AEW, and hopefully, he’ll stay there since he’ll be able to do so much better work in this company than WWE due to their different internal structures.
Selling the angle by abruptly cutting to commercial and then not mentioning the segment again on the episode was a really nice touch.
I know there’s some concern about this being a worked shoot because so many of those have been done that have ended poorly, but the vast majority of those were ones inflicted on the world by Vince Russo. I fully believe MJF and the AEW booking structure can avoid those same pitfalls, because, they’re all better at this than Vince Russo ever was.
The Jericho Appreciation Society, sans Daniel Garcia, had a good segment with Eddie Kingston, William Regal, and Ortiz. The JAS gimmick is great for Chris Jericho and 2point0, and Kingston is just one of the best promos in wrestling history. This angle was great for setting up both Blood and Guts and a hair vs. hair match between Jericho & Ortiz. Just a really, really good segment throughout.
The ten-man tag was a really fun, fast-paced, 1999 Raw-style match where it was all action for the entirety of its length.
Daniel Garcia and Jon Moxley was a fantastic, hard-hitting and technically-focused match. Garcia was one of my top fifty wrestlers from last year, thanks to strong work on the indies and in his time in AEW at the end of the year. Moxley continues to be one of the best in the world, and these two combined for a really great match.
Overdelivering was the women’s tag match, which was far better than the Owen final from Sunday night (I went two stars on that). Every put in a really good effort. I typically think Hayter and Storm are the best workers in this match, but the finishing stretch with Soho against Baker was done really well.
Stokely Hathaway and Jade Cargill is a great pairing, and I’m really looking forward to where it goes from here. We also had Athena cutting a solid promo, which might have been the best promo of her career.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. CM Punk is exactly the kind of match that will make Forbidden Door a great show.
Dante Martin is not a good promo yet. AEW is willing to let people learn on the job, and that’s what we’re seeing here. Hopefully, these opportunities will teach him how to cut a good promo, but it’s going to be awkward until then.
It looked like Men of the Year might be doing something interesting about two or three weeks ago before Scorpio Sky’s babyface turn was undone. The booking involving the Men of the Year has been bad for a while, and it feels like too much damage has been done to them to make them interesting as they currently are.
A minor note is that Wardlow’s squash with JD Drake had a couple of rough moments. A more major note is that the follow-up to Wardlow’s big feud with MJF is Mark Sterling threatening to sue him for beating up security geeks. I enjoy Mark Sterling, but this very much feels like a major step down. Hopefully, it lasts a couple of weeks at most.
Hikuleo nearly injuring himself on a bump over the top rope to the floor was a scary moment, but I’m glad he ended up okay.
In true AEW fashion, I was ready for the Christian Cage heel turn that is obviously coming to take place at Double or Nothing on Sunday night. Instead, we’re continuing to tease it, with Christian pulling Jungle Boy away from Matt Hardy.
I am very excited for the return of Miro. I was really enjoying his work in the second half of 2021 and I think he’s a great addition to the roster. I am imagining a feud between him and Wardlow, and I’m liking what that could look like. I will add that I thought the match with Elite was a little too long, but not so much that it was a disaster or anything.
CM Punk might want to stop doing moves involving the top rope for a while.
9.5/10. An all-time promo and a really great angle paired with two great matches and a third very good one makes this one of the very best episodes ever.
Performer of the Week
It’s MJF. I mean… c’mon. It’s not anyone else, it’s him.
Match star ratings
- CM Punk and FTR defeated Max Caster and the Gunn Club: ***
- Miro defeated Johnny Elite: **1/2
- The Undisputed Elite feat. Hikuleo defeated Christian Cage, Darby Allin, Matt Hardy, and the Jurassic Express: ****
- Wardlow defeated JD Drake: 1/2*
- Ruby Soho & Toni Storm defeated Dr. Britt Baker & Jamie Hayter: ***3/4
- Jon Moxley defeated Daniel Garcia: ****1/2
You can follow Fred on Twitter @flagrantrasslin.