MATT HARDY PROMO- meh
He says that Angelico will end Christian’s career tonight, and that Christian will “never financially recover from this.” Basically, Matt has become a cartoon character and has to mention money in every sentence. Why is AEW doing WWE crap?
CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. ANGELICO (w/Matt Hardy & Jack Evans)- 6.5/10
Christian won a cleanly in a fine opener, overcoming Angelico’s work on his arm.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
Matt Hardy and Jack Evans attacked Christian after the match and Matt gave Christian another Twist of Fate. Jungle Boy made the save before any further damage could be done.
Every single episode of Dynamite in July will have a name… so now none of them feel special.
TONY SCHIAVONE INTERVIEWS CODY RHODES FOR A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT- didn’t like it
Schiavone starts off by saying that Q.T. Marshall now wants Tony to call him “Q.T. Marshall” (as opposed to the standard English Marshall with the emphasis on the first syllable). Hasn’t it always been pronounced that way?
Anyway, Q.T. and Aaron Solow will face off against Cody Rhodes and Brock Anderson, son of Arn Anderson. I don’t like this. I’m not going to say that it doesn’t makes sense, because that’s not true… but while it does make sense, it also makes a lot less sense than any of the other logical possibilities. Dustin is Cody’s brother and Q.T.’s former tag team partner. Lee Johnson is the one student who stuck with Cody, and thus serves as a foil for Ogogo, Solow, and Comoroto. Billy Gunn and his kids have all been attacked by the Factory. Brock Anderson is just Cody’s coach’s son. When did the Factory get any heat on Arn?
As a result, this feels like a match that is being booked to get attention more than a match that makes sense for the story at this time, and as a result, it makes the feud feel less real and more like something that is just being done for the sake of a spectacle (or, at the very least, makes it seem like Cody- who is an EVP remember, and who has been shown to have booking power- is willing to exploit for the sake of a spectacle, which creates essentially the same problem). And the fact that this is coming on the heels of Ogogo-as-Gilbert flag-laying patriotic Cody disaster that suffered from a similar issue only exacerbates the problem.
Cody, Arn, and Brock came out and Cody proceeded to cut a Cody promo until he was interrupted by Q.T. Marshall, who objected to Cody characterizing last week’s result as him getting beaten by Anthony Ogogo. Among other things, Q.T. made a comment about “second-generation nepotism” getting Brock this shot… and he’s not really wrong, is he? This kid hasn’t even wrestled before and he gets to debut on Dynamite? If I’m… well… pretty much anyone who occasionally picks up wins on a show with “Dark” in the name but rarely gets to wrestle on Dynamite, I’m pretty pissed about this. And doubly so if I’m Lee Johnson, working hard and sticking with Cody, only to get passed over for a kid who hasn’t had a pro match yet.
Also, Q.T. wants the match next week to be a “South Beach Strap match,” because I guess South Beach has different rules for their Strap matches than everywhere else. Maybe the wrestlers’ feet are tied to strap instead of their arms. I don’t know. And correct me if I’m wrong, but would this not be the second time in three weeks that this Nightmare Family vs. Factory feud would be doing a gimmick match where the gimmick is that the competitors are tied together at the wrist by something they’re supposed to hit each other with?
Cody responds by telling Q.T. that they can have a strap match “right now.” Um… don’t you need a strap for that?
Arn calms Cody down while Q.T. gets out of the ring and begins to take his belt off. Then, for no logical reason, Arn and Cody both turn their backs to Q.T., who gets into the ring and whips Arn in the back with his belt. Think about that for a second. He had a free shot on either Arn or Cody. He hates Cody more and just talked about how much he wants to literally whip Cody… but he takes the shot at Arn?
Well of course he took the shot at Arn instead of Cody, because if he hit Cody, then it wouldn’t make sense for Brock Anderson to get angry and tackle Q.T. and need to get pulled off by referees, and we needed to get Brock Anderson over. And the problem with that is that that’s not a kayfabe explanation.
This was another one of those segments that exposes one of AEW’s major issues to me. They understand which boxes they have to tick to accomplish their segment’s storyline goals, but they don’t understand how to do so in a logical and coherent manner. As a result, instead of something that feels natural, we get something that feels like it’s an angle designed to build to a match, which the various characters acting as they are required to act to get to the desired place rather than it feeling like I’m watching real people acting in a logical and character-consistent manner.
EDDIE KINGSTON & DEATH TRIANGLE PROMO- good
The important thing here was that it established that Pac doesn’t want to work with Kingston but Penta is willing to.
BRANDON CUTLER & THE YOUNG BUCKS vs. EDDIE KINGSTON & DEATH TRIANGLE (Penta el 0M & Pac)- 6.75/10
Don Callis was on commentary for this match.
We got a Whazzup-style low blow right in front of the referee with no DQ. Jim Ross kind of cares. None of the other announcers seem to have a problem with it. I’ll remember that next time a heel cheats and Tony and Excalibur get upset. Other than that, this was a lot of good action, with them touching on the Kingston/Pac story just the right amount to keep it relevant so as to give Kingston saving Pac from the camera shot more meaningful.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- fine
It’s Dynamite, so of course we’re getting a post-match attack. Gallows and Anderson came out to help with the beat-down, so Kazarian came out to make the save. I’m honestly not kidding even a little bit when I say that I want Kaz to realize that he cant take out the Elite by himself so he brings in a man who has experience hunting them: YOSHITATSU. I feel like if they brought Yoshitatsu into the storyline (even if just for a month) it would make it feel less like they’re ripping off the “Bullet Club-Hunter” gimmick if they made the fact that someone else has already done this gimmick part of the storyline.
PINNACLE PROMO & INNER CIRCLE RESPONSE- bad
The Pinnacle all took turns cutting promos either accepting or rejecting the Inner Circle’s challenges from last week. FTR were decent, Spears was bad (his craziness comes off as him overcompensating for his lack of charisma), Wardlow was pretty good, but came off like the babyface bravely accepting a challenge to a match where his opponent has the advantage, and MJF was great (he was the only one who turned down the challenge).
After they were done, Jericho appeared on the screen for this week’s Inner Circle Attitude Era Wanna-Be spot. In this case they destroyed the Pinnacle’s limo. This sort of thing can work if the heels are rejecting the match and the babyfaces badly need revenge on them so they are willing to do something criminal and petty to goad the heels into the match. That’s not the case here, as 1) aside from MJF, everyone else was perfectly willing to fight, and 2) the babyfaces already beat the heels in the match they wanted. To now demand more matches and destroy the heels’ property when they don’t give you the match makes you seem like jerks. Also, we just did “babyfaces make challenge, heels reject it, so babyfaces humiliate the heels to goad them into accepting” LAST MONTH to set up the previous match in this feud!
DARBY ALLIN & STING PROMO- great
This was a response to Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page’s challenge for Darby to team up with someone other than Sting to face them next week. Darby says he doesn’t want a partner and he’ll wrestle a handicap match. Sting objected to this, saying that Darby had nothing to prove, but Darby talked him down, and Sting agreed not to show up out of respect for Darby. Sting in particular was tremendous here. I will admit that either I don’t understand Darby’s motivations or I do understand them and I think he’s being very foolish, which is not a good way for a babyface to come across, but I assume that’s how we were supposed to feel (and it’s certainly how Sting felt).
EVIL UNO PROMO- I’m sorry, but I can’t do this Saint Brodie thing. He was an evil abusive cult leader, but I’m just supposed to pretend that that never happened now? No. Jon Huber was, by all accounts, an extremely nice human being. But Jon Huber was never on our TV screens. Mr. Brodie Lee was, and all of the evidence points to him have been a very bad person. I find it quite insulting as a viewer that AEW doesn’t trust me to understand the difference.
AEW TNT TITLE MATCH: Miro(c) vs. Evil Uno (w/the Dark Order)- 5/10
So does everyone get a TNT Title shot for their birthday, or is Tony Khan just showing John Silver blatant favoritism for no reason?
Miro won a meh match. Evil thoroughly disgraced the memory of Brodie Lee by using his finisher in such an ineffective manner that Miro pretty much no-sold it.
ANDRADE EL IDOLO VIDEO- meh
DON CALLIS & KENNY OMEGA CLOWN-SHOW SEGMENT- meh
The angle with Jungle Boy physically getting the better of Kenny and the Bucks needing to save Kenny was good, but Kenny and Callis both came off like such clowns that it made the whole thing feel unimportant.
And speaking of clowns…
MARK STERLING & JADE CARGILL PROMO- bad
Jade is doing nothing at this point, and now she’s got this goof talking for her when she’s good enough that she doesn’t need it.
ETHAN PAGE & SCORPIO SKY PROMO- good
CHANDLER HOPKINS vs. LANCE ARCHER (w/Jake Roberts)- great squash
Short, violent, and dominant. Like the best squashes are.
WINGMEN PROMO- These clowns are apparently now feuding with Orange Cassidy. I can’t believe AEW is wasting J.D. Drake in this group.
LEYLA HIRSCH vs. NYLA ROSE (w/Vickie Guerrero)- 5.75/10
Nyla and Vickie made fun of Leyla’s height before the match, and then jumped the bel on her. So was last week not a face turn?
Nyla won clean. Why is Leyla Hirsch not on TV more?
TONY SCHIAVONE INTERVIEWS DR. BRITT BAKER, DMD- great
She cut a promo on Nyla Rose. This feels like yet another heel vs. heel feud.
ADAM PAGE & TEN vs. TEAM TAZ (Brian Cage & Will Hobbs) (w/Ricky Starks & Hook)- 7/10
Taz was on commentary for this match.
The big moment in this match was Hook distracting the referee and Starks sliding Cage the FTW Title but Cage threw it away. Starks then got up on the apron and yelled at Cage, so Cage slapped him and chased him to the back, leaving Hobbs alone to get hit with the Buckshot Lariat and then pinned by Ten.
The bad: Starks slapped Cage right in front of the referee, which should have been a DQ.
The good: Everything else about the execution of this turn. Having the FTW Title be the offered weapon that Cage threw away to reject Team Taz’s unlawful aid was a wonderfully symbolic title touch.
A meh episode of Dynamite.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Tony Schiavone- “If anybody can match the power of the two men who first came to the ring, it might be Dark Order’s Number 10.”
Yes, if anyone in AEW is as strong as Brian Cage and “Powerhouse” Hobbs, it’s… 10. Not Lance Archer. Not Wardlow. Not Miro. Not Luke Gallows or Nyla Rose or The Butcher or Jake Hager. It’s f*cking 10.
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