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.
Obviously, the big stories coming out of this show are the matches, but I want to take the time to praise Ricky Starks. He was put in one of the biggest death spots ever in Dynamite’s history, coming right after the Punk-Moxley match, and he delivered an absolutely amazing promo. He’s going to be a star and it is going to happen soon if they give him time to do that.
CM Punk-Jon Moxley was a great angle as a match. I thought that the angle they did was very interesting. Emphasizing that Punk was struggling in his comeback from injury came across as very realistic.
Will this lead to pay-per-view buys? Well, who knows. AEW has been doing well with their PPVs, but they’re less than two weeks out and don’t officially have a main event. Dave Meltzer has reported that the rematch will top All Out. Will they be able to heat this up in the next week? Do they even need to heat it up?
I think it’ll be fine. I think next week there will be at least one great promo or angle that will drive it home. With Punk and Moxley, they’ve got two top tier promos that can get this over real quick. Look at Moxley’s promo after winning the title – that was a grand slam in just a couple minutes. Moxley’s feeling his gimmick at a level that’s rarely been seen in wrestling this century, and it’s really showing in his performances.
The six-man tag in the main event was the top match on the show, and it was an absolute blast. Death Triangle and the United Empire are made up of six of the greatest wrestlers on the face of Earth, and they went all out in this match. This would have been a five-star match if it weren’t for a dopey finish with Kip Sabian.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: American Indie wrestlers, DO NOT TRY TO COPY THIS SEQUENCE! You are no Will Ospreay or Rey Fenix, you will go viral for all the wrong reasons! GCW wrestlers this goes double for you! pic.twitter.com/BQ9cvCJPgR
— 🅰️🅾️ (@RULXRAO) August 25, 2022
The continued build to Will Ospreay vs. Kenny Omega was cool, and really sets up intrigue about how their six-man tag match will go.
Also: Jay Lethal and Dax Harwood had a very good, very professional match. It was definitely overshadowed by everything else on the show, but this was a really good match worth the time to watch.
I nearly forgot about it, which speaks to how full of a show this was, but the opening segment with Daniel Garcia, Chris Jericho, and Bryan Danielson was really cool. This set up what will happen next for Garcia in this story really well.
Jim Ross had an absolutely terrible night. He steamrolled Excalibur at the start of Punk vs. Moxley as the latter was putting over the story of the match so JR could yell about how intense a lock-up was. Immediately after Tony Schiavone and Excalibur pushed that ticket packages were still available next week, Ross screamed about how there weren’t any tickets available. He forgot the name of Colten Gunn in the middle of a singles match that Colten Gunn was wrestling, which is the most basic information an announcer is responsible for. This was a Mike Adamle-level performance. I think the returns on Ross have fully diminished. We’re past the point where a change has to be considered.
I understand why it’s necessary – they’re building to a Pac vs. Kip Sabian match for the All Atlantic Championship – but I really wish Kip’s return had been done at a different point in time. Putting together that match and having it end off a run-in from a largely forgotten lower midcarder wasn’t satisfying.
I am not excited about Bryan Danielson vs. Jake Hager. It’ll probably be a good match, but I just don’t have a lot of excitement about seeing a Hager singles match any more.
I also don’t want to ever see another Billy Gunn singles match.
A full, hot crowd not reacting to Max Caster’s line referencing the backstage meeting should act as a reminder of the exact limitations of backstage news reports. I think we’re at the point where crowds eventually become somewhat aware of big backstage stories, but it’s not a seven-hour turnaround.
Britt Baker seemed very enthusiastic about performing after Thunder Rosa announced she needed time off and they’d be crowning an interim champion. Makes you think.
9/10. This episode had several great promos/angles, an amazing main event, and a newsworthy world title match.
Fred Morlan’s Chris Jericho’s Sports Entertainer of the Week
I’m only going to have a few chances to do this, so: Will Ospreay. He’s one of the best wrestlers in the world and he was just amazing in the main event.
Match Star Ratings
- Jay Lethal defeated Dax Harwood: ***3/4
- Colten Gunn defeated Billy Gunn: 3/4*
- Dr. Britt Baker DMD defeated KiLynn King: **1/4
- Jon Moxley defeated CM Punk to unify the AEW World and Interim World Championships: ***3/4
- United Empire defeated Death Triangle: ****3/4