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 best part of the show was the first two matches. I’m the outlier in liking the tag match more than the opener, but both were great. Brody King looked the best he has in a singles match in AEW and Darby Allin worked his ass off. Wheeler Yuta had a great outing against Best Friends (obviously, Jon Moxley was great, too), and we got an interesting tease with Orange Cassidy on commentary where he specifically noted that Chuck Taylor taught Yuta the Seatbelt he used to pin Taylor.
We also had a very good, 80s babyface promo from FTR, especially Bald talking about his daughter’s cardiac issue. These two are having a fantastic year and have done about as good of building a one-sided feud with the Briscoes as possible.
I’m also very interested to see what happens with Miro and the House of Black. I think he’s primed for a babyface turn and I’m very intrigued to see how that goes.
I also really liked the early work in the Chris Jericho-Eddie Kingston match. Eddie shines in settings where he can just brawl, and we got late-stage Jericho doing his best impersonation of a Memphis-style brawler. Unfortunately…
I love pushing buttons pic.twitter.com/iPQ7f0UHIG
— Anna Jay (@annajay___) July 21, 2022
I’m not a fan of the booking around the Eddie Kingston vs. Chris Jericho match. We’ve got what felt like a blow-off match, but it regressed to all of the group warfare booking from the Blood & Guts match. We had Tay Conti struggling with the key on the shark cage. The run-in from the shark cage did not matter at all, as it just became a group brawl. We had yet another segment where Ruby Soho is made to look like a fool. We had Sammy Guevara’s run-in because he somehow was not put in the shark cage despite being a known associate of the group. And then we had the post-match ugliness, where Kingston & Jericho are no longer on the same page, Jericho no sells a spinning back fist to the back of his head, and the really awkward “brawl” to get Jericho in position for the spider net bump.
So what’s next? Does this feud have to continue? Is it over?
I wasn’t really impressed by Cole Karter at all, and to have this outing be the first Ricky Starks has after the excellent tag matches he and Powerhouse Hobbs have been having was a disappointment. Considering all of the talent they have on this roster, to pull in Karter for this purpose felt like a waste of resources.
We also had multiple crappy angles on this show. The Gunn Club promo was bad and felt decades out of date as a “we’re white heels and we don’t care for RAP MUSIC” gimmick. Silver & Reynolds’ “these shirts say Butch” was a dumb setup for an angle and fell absolutely flat. The Swerve in Our Glory segment with Tony Nese and Mark Sterling wasn’t terrible, but it also felt like it was pulled out of something from decades ago that didn’t feel fresh and felt very much like it was just eating time.
The return of Jungle Boy was awesome, and seeing Luchasaurus return to being a babyface was cool, but it felt like it completely undercut the past month of booking in their feud. Breaking Jungle Boy off from Luchasaurus felt like it was preparing him for his big singles run, and heel Luchasaurus is infinitely more interesting at this point in time than being a babyface.
Dark Order is fine, please ignore the fact that another member has left the group and that Alex Reynolds has been murked.
In quarter seven every week, you WILL see a promo from Thunderstorm that’s interrupted by Britt Baker & Co.
Taz gleefully shouting “everyone hates everyone else and I love it” was a commentary highlight.
I enjoyed Daniel Garcia wearing swim trunks in the shark cage as a way to sell the gimmick.
The dancing shark not being paid off on the show violated Chekhov’s Gun.
Jim Ross is a bitch, Jim Ross is THE bitch pic.twitter.com/yEgG93M58x
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) July 21, 2022
Of course, Jim Ross’ embracing Jade Cargill’s catchphrase has become the meme of the night.
The Varsity Blonds feel like they’ve been falling farther and farther down the card on a near-weekly basis and may have hit bottom. It’s a shame, because they felt like they had some potential as a midcard babyface tag team but just never progressed, and now they’re just being killed in two minutes by a tag team that immediately broke up.
5.5/10. I can’t say this was a bad show, but this was a severely flawed show. It raised a lot of questions about the direction of multiple storylines and misused several high-profile talents. It also made a barbed wire death match feel like a waste of time, which is the exact opposite of what you should accomplish with it.
Fred Morlan’s Chris Jericho’s Sports Entertainer of the Week
Trent Beretta really shined in his tag match. He’s been showing out every opportunity and has a quietly impressive in-ring year.
Match Star Ratings
- Brody King defeated Darby Allin: ****
- Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta defeated Best Friends: ****1/2
- Christian Cage & Luchasaurus defeated The Varsity Blonds: 3/4*
- Ricky Starks defended the FTW Championship against Cole Karter: *1/2
- Jade Cargill & Kiera Hogan defeated Athena & Willow Nightingale: **
- Chris Jericho defeated Eddie Kingston in a Barbed Wire Death Match: ***1/2