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.
I have a lot of negative stuff to say this week, so I’m going to power through this section.
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Jon Moxley is one of the best TV matches of the year. It was really hard-hitting and also had some fantastic grappling in it. The spot with Kyle O’Reilly biting the rope to force a break on a hold, only for Moxley to kick the rope, was amazing.
Matthews-Pac and Page-Finlay were both very good matches as well. Buddy Matthews and Pac were as athletic as you would expect, and the Black Arrow should have won like ten WON Move of the Year Awards. Adam Page and David Finlay was fairly short but hard-hitting and Finlay got a nice chance to show out a little.
This is the worst part of the good, but – I actually kind of like Marina Shafir’s match against Thunder Rosa. I was pretty pessimistic on it when it was announced, given I hated Shafir vs. Jade Cargill, but Shafir’s stuff looked effectively ugly. She may have shoot vertical suplexed Rosa at one point. I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way for this one, but it did overachieve for me.
As AEW is a stealth promo company, we got a few very good promos. Kyle O’Reilly’s promo after winning the Casino match was a perfect fiery babyface promo, which is more than a little weird for a heel. Eddie Kingston, of course, had a nice promo, as did Jon Moxley. The Jade Cargill/Baddies/Stokely act is great.
Wheeler Yuta was really over on his return, which was really cool to see.
The biggest issues with this show were cohesion and logic, with a few very blatant holes appearing in it.
The booking of who and who wasn’t in the Casino Battle Royale last night really stretched the reality of the show. So many top contenders were left out that also appeared on the show – Adam Page & Wardlow chief amongst them – that it didn’t really make any sense. Add on that Wardlow’s reasoning was “CM Punk is the world champ and I want to face him, but give me that TNT Championship,” which absolutely doesn’t make any sense, and this wasn’t exactly the finest put-together show in terms of booking.
Of course, the only solution here is to have AEW put together its own version of a Royal Rumble and hopefully have the first good, high-profile match of that type in a few years.
The All-Atlantic Championship is a bizarre addition to the show in two ways. First of all, why are China, Australia, and Japan on the All-Atlantic Championship’s design? None of them touch the Atlantic Ocean at all. More importantly – what role will this championship fill? We already have the floating TNT championship, which is currently a midcard belt but has been used close to the main event scene in the not-so-distant past. We have all of the RoH championships which show up randomly. The trios championship – which would actually be unique for AEW’s current championships lineup – is probably still coming in the near future. So what purpose is this going to serve?
Speaking of odd decisions – Swerve Strickland randomly teasing turning heel on Keith Lee & various other babyfaces in the Casino Battle Royale
The audio for this show was off all night. It was far quieter than usual for the entire show, and the backstage promos came off as very amateurish. The crowd sounded worse than usual, and it didn’t look like that was actually the case with their reactions.
Wardlow asking to not be in the Casino Battle Royale makes absolutely no sense in kayfabe.
I really would not like Jeff Hardy to be in this upcoming ladder match. The guy still looks like he’s in constant pain, and he’s going to do several crazy spots in this.
Jim Ross referring to David Finlay as “surprisingly good” was the most backhanded compliment I may have ever heard an announcer say.
The next time Excalibur has to run through all of these promo matches in about 45 seconds, somebody needs to put MJF’s oxygen mask over his eyes.
7/10. There was too much good stuff on this show to make it bad by any stretch, but it veered dangerously close to WWE’s “this doesn’t make sense but a lot of the matches are good” circa 2014 period.
Performer of the Week
Jon Moxley cut a great promo and had a fantastic match in the main event.
Match Star Ratings
- Casino Battle Royale won by Kyle O’Reilly: ***1/2
- PAC defeated Buddy Matthews: ****1/4
- Adam Page defeated David Finlay: ***3/4
- Thunder Rosa defended the AEW World Women’s Championship against Marina Shafir: **1/2
- Jon Moxley defeated Kyle O’Reilly: ****3/4
You can follow Fred on Twitter @flagrantrasslin. I’m taking next week off.
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