OPENING SEGMENT- meh
Cody is already in the ring for his title defense and gets introduced. This was done just so Kingston could come out and cut a promo while Cody was in the ring. There are ways to do this without going against the convention of the challenger entering first, and to do not come up with a way to do that makes the set-up feel contrived.
The other problem I had with this is that, while Kingston is a great talker, these open challenges have all felt like time-filler one-offs, and as a result, nothing that Kingston says feels like it will matter, so it’s just Eddie Kingston talking for a long time, rather than feeling like part of a story.
Anyway, Kingston cuts an Eddie Kingston promo on Cody and goads him into agreeing to this being a no DQs match, so we start off with a…
NO DISQUALIFICATIONS MATCH FOR THE AEW TNT TITLE: Cody Rhodes(c) (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Eddie Kingston- 6.75/10
Kingston jumped the bell on Cody. This was pretty slow and punch-kick-y at times, but the last few minutes were very good. Kingston sold his knee well and did an excellent job of getting himself across as the consummate street fighter, with no qualms about going to the eyes or the groin or under the ring for some plunder. Cody got to bump into thumbtacks to show everyone how tough he is. That’s pretty much the only reason I can think of that they did that… or even the only reason I can think of that they made this a no DQs match in the first place.
We were told that the Young Bucks vs. The Butcher & The Blade match is now also randomly a gimmick match. This is worrying.
JON MOXLEY PROMO- great
MJF & GRIFF GARRISON PRE-MATCH SEGMENT- good words, but…
Here is one of the problems with keeping records. If this guy is 0-3 and Dynamite is clearly the A show, why the hell is he getting a shot on Dynamite? The real reason is that he looks enough like Jungle Boy that MJF can get his “Jungle Man” dig in, which will probably serve some sort of purpose for that feud, even if it’s just to set up a line for MJF for later on to call back to his win over larger version of Jungle Boy. But giving him this shot without some logical reason- and especially if you’re going to match him up with the undefeated (in singles matches) MJF- kills the credibility of the records mattering.
MJF sucker-punches Garrison, kicking off…
MJF (w/Wardlow) vs. GRIFF GARRISON- no rating, decent segment
So that’s now two straight matches where we’ve had a pre-match talking segment and then the heel jumping the babyface. I loved everything they did in the pre-match segment (if you ignore the issues with the records), but at least separate the two matches where you’re doing the same thing so that it doesn’t make the show feel repetitive.
This was an extended squash that was extended because MJF got a mic and demanded that Garrison retract his previous statement and tell the world that MJF was undefeated, and tortured him until he did so. The problem with this was that it required MJF to bring a foreign object into the ring, and Senior Referee Aubrey Edwards did absolutely nothing to get it away from him. MJF is loud and you have a small and controllable (because they’re plants) crowd. There is no reason they couldn’t have done this without the microphone.
TONY SCHIAVONE INTERVIEWS REBA ABOUT THE SURGERY BRITT BAKER RECENTLY UNDERWENT- bad
Tony said this surgery happened two weeks ago, which makes it really weird that they didn’t mention it at all last week and said Britt was in the building in her usual spot. I keep hearing that “Tony Kahn is a detail guy,” and yet details like this keep being missed, so I guess he’s really not that great at it.
Reba is about to “set the record straight” on her name when Britt interrupts, shouting for “REBEL!” Tony and Reba go to Britt, and now we’re back to the “there’s a conspiracy against me” clown-show crap. She continues being a clown by saying she’s going to make a great comeback like Michael Jordan did with the Wizards.
TAZ PROMO & SEGMENT WITH TAZ’S CHARGES AND THEIR FEUDS- mostly good
Hey, look! An actual clip from Dark! Last night, Ricky Starks joined “Taz’s Team” and attacked Darby Allin. Um… okay. Then why isn’t he out here with the rest of the team?
Taz cut another absolutely tremendous promo. This was so good that I was more than fine with them not showing us any fallout from Taz throwing in the towel for Cage because Taz did such a good job of not just telling us that there was tension but of coloring the picture in instead of leaving it as an outline. The only bit of this I didn’t like was the whole FTW Title thing. If your guy loses in a way that a title would be able to change hands, you can’t still go around calling him a champion.
Darby Allin eventually came out but was immediately attacked from behind Ricky Starks. They shot it like it was going to be some big surprise, but it was really not to see it coming because they told us about Starks joining Taz by attacking Darby last night, and Starks was suspiciously absent here. I would have avoided this issue as follows:
Have this be the segment where Starks joins Taz so you don’t need to either give the attack away by giving us the news of him joining Taz earlier or having him stand in the background and look completely secondary while his new manages talks about someone else. You can have Starks cut a promo later on tonight explaining this decision as being because he’s gone 3-0 since earning his contract and still can’t get booked on Dynamite, but Griff Garrison gets booked on Dynamite tonight even though he hasn’t one and even lost to Starks? Clearly, he needs a manager to advocate for him, and Taz is the best there is.
Anyway, Cage and Starks beat the sh*t out of Darby until Moxley came out from the crowd to make the save with a barbed-wire-covered bat.
WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CUP TOURNAMENT PROMO- the promo was fine, but what I really want to talk about is the idea.
The “the Deadly Draw” tag is the kind of thing I usually hate, but I’m almost okay with it here, simply because they almost need the something to point to the “lethal lottery” type of gimmick to make it feel less weird that they’re doing a women’s tag team tournament in a company that has a total of ONE female tag team. It’s a sort of acknowledgement that “we know that this is weird, so please just bear with us” (as opposed to, for example, WWE when they set up their women’s tag titles even though they barely had any female tag teams).
That being said, the fact that they’re doing this when they only have ONE team makes it feel contrived. It just screams “THIS IS WHERE WHATEVER IS GOING TO HAPPEN WITH ALLIE AND BRANDI WILL HAPPEN!” It would have been better to announce the tournament and then have Allie start wanting to team with Brandi. It would make things feel more organic.
ALEX MARVEZ INTERVIEWS CHRIS JERICHO- This was very good until the stupid, pointless comedy at the end.
THE YOUNG BUCKS BRING A REFEREE INTO A KITCHEN BECAUSE THEY WANT TO START THEIR MATCH WITH THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE RIGHT NOW- Um… don’t matches have to start in the ring?
FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH: The Butcher & The Blade vs. the Young Bucks- 8/10
Rick Knox calls for the bell to be rung… and I guess they had someone with a bell ready to ring it, because a bell rang. And don’t give me any “it was the regular timekeeper, watching from his seat at ringside” bullsh*t because that wouldn’t make any sense. Ringing the bell has two purposes: 1) So that we have a definitive moment from which to start the clock for the time limit, and 2) to inform the wrestlers that the match has started. Well how the f*ck is ringing the bell going to let the wrestlers know that the match has started if they’re in some kitchen in the bowels of the building, far away from the bell?
They did some cool spots in the kitchen, but it also resulted Knox counting a pinfall from a spot where he could not possibly have seen the pinned competitor’s shoulders.
They went out into the concourse and B&B ran the Bucks into a pillar, then got a luggage card to run it into the Bucks. Before they did so, however, The Blade decided to hop onto it, so that instead of having two guys pushing it to make it go faster, both building up more force and decreasing the time the Bucks’ have to recover, they had less force because there was just one guy pushing, and it was going lower both because there was only one guy pushing and because the other guy’s weight was slowing it down. I f*cking HATE spots like this where the wrestlers clearly don’t think things through, and it’s even worse when it’s done for the sake of a laugh like it was here, with The Blade apparently too dumb to jump off the cart and thus he got sent face-first into the pillar.
Stuff happened. The Bucks eventually isolated The Butcher by superkicking The Blade and send him up an escalator, but that lasted approximately one commercial break, at which point they were suddenly back in the ringside area. They used weapons, we got some big flying spots (including people missing tables they were supposed to land on), and ended with a HUGE climactic finish. I thought this was an awesome match, but I would have enjoyed it more if there was an actual reason for the stipulation rather than it essentially feeling like a crutch to let them do their cool stuff and use weapons to have a high-quality match.
ALEX MARVEZ INTERVIEWS LANCE ARCHER & JAKE ROBERTS- bad
Marvez noticed that they weren’t at last week’s show and wants to know where they were. I’m sorry, but you can’t ask this question unless you’re prepared to account for every wrestlers’ presence every week, because it begs the question why Marvez didn’t ask, say, Michael Nakazawa or Abadon or Penelope Ford and Kip Sabian or whoever where they were.
What’s worse, this question didn’t lead to anything. Or if it did, I didn’t realize it because when Archer cut his promo at the end of this he spoke so softly and grunted and snorted so much that I couldn’t understand him.
Anyway, the Archer grabs Marvez and drags him into a locker room which is apparently connected to the parking lot. That’s a little weird. This seems to be the jobber locker room. Archer went in and beat up the four guys sitting there while Jake cut a promo about how no one in AEW is standing up.
Jake’s got a point. Shouldn’t some babyface be calling Archer out and telling him that if he wants to fight, he should fight someone who is ready, rather than assaulting innocent jobbers for no reason. It sure does seem like Moxley and Omega and Cody and Page and the Bucks and all of them are scaredy-cats doesn’t it?
We closed with the aforementioned grunting promo from Archer. This did absolutely nothing for me. Archer beat some dudes up? So what? This is about the eighty-third time we’ve seen him beat up some random unfortunate soul(s) who happened to be nearby. Why don’t you spent this time developing Sonny Kiss or Joey Janela or Ricky Starks or one of the women instead?
IVELISSE vs. DIAMANTE- 5.75/10
This was really great for the time it got, and had a finish that built to a rematch that I REALLY want to see get more time.
During this match, they cut to an inset promo from Big Swole, who is at her home in Orlando because she’s still suspended. Are you kidding me? Big Swole tosses Britt Baker in a dumpster and spills some garbage on her, and she gets a longer suspension than Jack Swagger got for PUNCHING A REFEREE IN THE FACE because he didn’t like a call?
FIVE vs. ADAM PAGE- 6/10
I’d really like them to show someone’s overall record as well as their record in this match type every time. The whole point of these records is to create a sports-like atmosphere, and if you watch sports on TV, when someone comes out for the first time, they show the same relevant stats for everyone. They don’t swap out batting average for stolen bases when someone comes up to the plate if it makes the guy look more impressive.
Also, apparently the Dark Order are the #1 contenders now, somehow.
Five is Alan Angels, who was a jobber some time back. Apparently he’s not a jobber anymore, though, as he’s 2-0 since joining the Dark Order. This is the sort of sh*t you need to put on TV if you want to make the Dark Order- and, more importantly, Brodie’s claims of being able to help people- feel credible.
The match went A LOT longer than it felt like it should have (it got two minutes more than Ivelisse vs. Diamante), considering that Page is a top guy and Angels hasn’t beaten anyone who isn’t a jobber. The non-Exalted members of the Dark Order came out during a commercial break to watch the match. Brodie Lee and Colt Cabana came out after the match.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- didn’t like it
Brodie offers Page a spot in the Dark Order, noting that there are a bunch of dangerous men staring him down, and his supposed friends and tag team partner is nowhere to be found. Page said he didn’t feel like joining a “cult,” which made Brodie angry. Brodie told Page he’d now have to sleep in the bed he just made for himself, and then took Cabana and left. Tony Schiavone theorized that this was because “he doesn’t want Cabana to see what they’re up to.” Oh come on! Like the Dark Order could beat Page up on national TV in the company Cabana works for and Cabana isn’t going to find out about it if he doesn’t watch it happen live? F*ck off.
The others then headed down to the ring and beat Page up. FTR came out to make the save. Omega also came out, but too late to be helpful. Jim Ross immediately leaps to Omega’s defense by saying that “he was in the shower.”
1. Why would Omega be in the f*cking shower if he hasn’t wrestled already.
2. As someone who showers every day, I consider myself something of an expert on the subject, and in my experience, people who come out of showers tend to be WET. Even if you dry yourself off first, (which I would hope my friend wouldn’t take the time to do if someone told him/her I was about to be assaulted), you’re still going to have wet hair, and your clothes (especially a white t-shirt like Omega was wearing), will be clingy and wet. NONE of this was the case with Omega.
Ross come off like a heel announcer making up an obvious fake excuse for a heel’s misdeeds, which is not how a babyface announcer should come across while defending the actions of another babyface.
FTR gave Page a beer, and Page accepted it. All of this crap with the beer feels completely forced and pointless. I don’t care if they’re friends or enemies (and that’s AEW’s fault for booking FTR as mostly babyfaces since they debuted); I just want to see the match.
Next week’s show has Page & Omega defending the belt against Evil Uno and Stu Grayson, Diamante vs. Hikaru Shida, and in yet another match with a completely random stipulation, Cody defends his title against yet another random and unworthy opponent in yet another open challenge, we’ve got Brian Cage & Ricky Starts facing Darby Allin & Jon Moxley in a tornado tag team match.
A BOY & HIS DINOSAUR (w/Marko Stunt) vs. THE INNER CIRCLE (Chris Jericho & Jake Hager) (w/Santana & Ortiz)- 6.75/10
The match was a little disappointing, all things considered, especially for a main event. They let Luchasaurus get a visual pinfall on Jericho, which was a little surprising.
I hate the crap where the heel grabs a weapon right in front of the referee and proceeds to argue with the referee for a long time before finally putting the weapon down. If you were worried about getting DQed, you shouldn’t have picked the damn thing up in the first place. It’s such a clear and obvious stalling tactic, and that time would be put to much better use actually working over the babyface.
The bat was eventually grabbed by a masked fan/wrestler, who would use it during the finish. Yes, you can say that with this being part of the plan, getting the bat on that said was necessary… but it really wasn’t because that guy is clearly allowed to be there and no one stopped him from hopping the guardrail, so he could have just gone and picked it up from anywhere.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- didn’t like it
A heel beat-down ensued, and the masked man revealed himself to be the returning Sammy Guevara. This was one of those things that was just done for the sake of swerving the audience. Why would Sammy need to wear a mask?
Anyway, the beat-down went on until the Goof Patrol came out, and despite outnumbering them five to one, the Inner Circle ran away. That was dumb. Tony Schiavone tells us that he just heard from Tony Khan that we’re getting the Inner Circle vs. Luchasaurs Jungle Boy, and the Goof Patrol next week… and boy do those AEW graphics people sure work fast.
This was a mediocre to bad episode of Dynamite. The turn to random gimmick matches has me worried, and I’m getting quite sick of certain angles not more forward.
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