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

To me, the positive highlight of this show was the Christian Cage promo. It started a little scattershot, but by the end of it, he nailed a great heel turn by just being a huge jerk to Jack Perry. The best part of the angle came after he successfully talked Luchasaurus out of murdering him – there was a split second where Cage smirked very smugly after Luchasaurus walked away that was perfect.. This angle could end up giving us both a heel non-Luchasaurus and a face Jungle MAN, where both will move away from the prelim trappings of those gimmicks. I can’t wait for this storyline.

All of the men’s matches were quite good, but nothing extended above the level of “if you like AEW and you have the time, you should watch this.”

We had a Marina Shafir match that I liked, which is itself an accomplishment. Obviously, a lot of credit should go to Toni Storm, but Shafir handled herself pretty well. Toni Storm is a fantastic professional wrestler and the best in-ring performer they have on the women’s side. They really need to strap her up Sunday. I also like pairing Nyla Rose with Shafir to help her on the personality side.

All of the little promos throughout the show were good. I like Satnam Singh being a trash-talking giant rather than the very WWE “tall foreigner that doesn’t say anything.” Mox cut a good promo, of course, though I thought it wasn’t as great as some of his other ones.

I was hesitant about replacing Smart Mark Sterling with Stokely Hathaway early on, just because I thought Jade Cargill and Sterling was a good pairing. This was definitely the right move to make, though. They took a very good act and made it great.

I think they missed a cue on the show-closing angle, as it seemed to go on a minute too long, but it was still cool to see Mox & Tanahashi just staring each other down as they’re surrounded by absolute chaos.

The Bad

I get you have to have Bryan Danielson address his absence from Forbidden Door, but having Danielson refuse to reveal who his replacement was for the show was a real disappointment that hurt the crowd early on. When you add that onto the loss of CM Punk and the fact that guys like Andrade, Penta and Rey Fenix can’t work the show because of politics with a bad lucha libre company, and this card has been snakebit.

Another problem with the Danielson promised surprise is they have to deliver someone that’s a top tier surprise, and I don’t know who they can get that would hit that level. Kenny Omega probably isn’t healthy enough yet. Chris Hero would most likely not be the level of name that would satisfy most fans (though I would be pleased by it). Is Cesaro or Johnny Gargano going to fulfill the audience? This probably is a circumstance where just announcing who the replacement is would have been the better move.

It’s kind of annoying that the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match is a four corners match, but what makes it worse was this was dragged out forever with Jay White teasing that he won’t be facing any of the top stars involved in the angle. That doesn’t even make sense, even if you factor in the Vince Russo-esque “I’m the champion, so I have the power!” promo Jay cut a week ago. Was White going to announce his opponent as Serpentico or some shit?

The Hungee

Jim Ross complaining about the referee letting the faces cheat minutes into the opening match was a new land speed record for Ross burying the referee crew. It’s not exactly a secret that AEW likes to let their guys have extended – it’s been consistent since the beginning that they allow a ten count for teams to pull off double team moves. JR complaining about this every time it happens is one of the consistently dumbest things in the promotion.

I could also go the rest of my life without hearing about Jim Ross’ nipples.

If Sonjay Dutt doesn’t show up with a whole pack of Ticonderogas next week, then what are we even doing?

Shout out to the child on national television chanting “shut the fuck up” at Christian Cage. What a time to be alive.

I just noticed the official site’s write up-for Dynamite. I don’t know the right way for a wrestling company to write recaps of their own show in 2022, but this very much comes across as a results post for an e-fed show.

Overall rating

6/10. Every match was solid, but there weren’t any real standouts on the night. The disappointment in the PPV card fueled by the Danielson angle is what knocks this down a point for me.

Performer of the Week

Christian Cage was born to be a heel. They’ve been setting up for this turn since he aligned with Jurassic Express, and they nailed it with his promo.

Match Star Ratings

  • Orange Cassidy & Roppongi Vice defeated Will Ospreay and Aussie Open: ***1/2
  • Malakai Black defeated Penta Oscuro: ***1/2
  • Hangman Adam Page defeated Silas Young: ***1/2
  • Toni Storm defeated Marina Shafir: **3/4
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jon Moxley defeated Chris Jericho & Lance Archer: ***1/2