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

We open this article praising Ricky Starks. I’ve been convinced for a long time now that he’s a potential superstar that AEW is sitting on. He’s charismatic, athletic, and able to put together fantastic interviews every time he’s given the mic. Last night he showed the best of all of these skills. Logically, he shouldn’t win the belt off of MJF – MJF shouldn’t drop the belt in his first defense as a rising superstar. But in terms of vibes? Starks 100% should win the whole thing.

I thought Samoa Joe-Darby Allin would be good on paper, but we ended up getting one of the best Dynamite matches of the year. The strongest point of Allin’s game is bumping – it doesn’t take much for him to just throw his body around the ring, and he went particularly hard on this night. Add in that Samoa Joe is still a very good worker, and this was an all-time TV match.

FTR and The Acclaimed had a really good tag team main event. Yes, The Acclaimed benefitted from working with one of the best teams in the world, but they looked very much improved on this night. Almost all of the sequences were crisp and several false finishes were really fun. On Saturday, a dog collar match between FTR and the Briscoes would be fantastic.

The battle royal was fun – they’re never great matches, but I do find them entertaining and they always have spots in there to continue building (or to set up) multiple storylines. They never feel like a complete waste of time.

The six-woman tag overdelivered last night. Jade Cargill works best when she’s able to do short bursts of offense, Kiera Hogan looked very solid in particular, and Red Velvet has superstar potential as a heel.

The crowd last tonight was the best AEW has had in quite a while, and they really elevated the show throughout.

The Bad

I appreciate the classiness of giving William Regal an on-screen send off after he was murdered last week. But the storyline of Regal betraying the Blackpool Combat Club to teach them a lesson to always watch their back reeks of a desperate retcon on the Regal heel turn. The fact that it was introduced like a video will just made it feel weirder.

Free Miro.

The Hungee

I always write this the morning after Dynamite airs, and it just now took until now for me to realize Shawn Dean was in the battle royal because he’s 2-0 against MJF. I am very intelligent.

Cash Wheeler throws absolutely fantastic lariats. Give him a vanity singles match against a top worker.

Colten Gunn’s face is eerily similar to his father’s.

They spent more time building a future Cargill-Red Velvet match in the women’s match than the more logical Cargill-Kiera Hogan match. Just kind of weird.

Overall rating

9/10. Just a great show from top to bottom.

Fred Morlan’s Chris Jericho’s Sports Entertainer(s) of the Week

I’m going to be a coward and split the award this week. Ricky Starks cut one of the best promos of the year opposite a top contender for the year’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter Best on Interviews award. Darby Allin tried to kill himself bumping for Samoa Joe.

Match Star Ratings

  • Ricky Starks won the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal: ***
  • Samoa Joe defeated Darby Allin to retain the AEW TNT Championship: ****3/4
  • Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta defeated Daniel Garcia & Jake Hager: ***1/2
  • Jade Cargill, Leila Grey, & Red Velvet defeated Kiera Hogan, Madison Rayne, & Skye Blue: **3/4
  • The Acclaimed defeated FTR to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championship: ****1/4

You can follow Fred on Twitter at @flagrantrasslin. He hosts  a podcast with Tyler Forness inspired by this article; the latest episode is available here.

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