Simply because last week’s show was one of the best televised wrestling shows I have seen in ages, and it had me completely intrigued to see where they were going, I decided to hit AEW Dynamite for a third time. I have not been this excited about wrestling in close to a decade, so this old man is going all fan-boy, and I make no apologies for it. However, what does the third week have in the offing? Hmm? Well, let’s see, shall we?
1) SCU come out to the ring, but on the way, the Lucha Brothers suddenly attack from behind – continuing what started in the first Dynamite show (wow! Long-term booking?) – and took out Daniels with a package piledriver on the ramp. Sky makes the save, and so he’s in the tournament now with Kazarian. Daniels is stretchered out. Wow… adding intrigue to the opening match. And I guess Lucha Bros are heels now? Young Bucks come out to check on Daniels as well. Nice.
2) Now, finally, we get into the tag team tournament match – Best Friends v SCU. Another great tag team match to open the show. But Best Friends are playing the heels here? Heel/face dynamics iz soo confuzin’. I swear, they read my column on heels and faces. “He’s got one shoe!” chant for Sky. Then, “He’s got no shoes!” The crowd is awesome already. Look, this is a really good match. Sky gets booed for interrupting the hug? Shame SCU botched their finishing move before getting the pin and the win, but that did sort of play into Kazarian’s injured back from the earlier attack. Still, bad mark on an otherwise cool match.
3) Alex Reynolds and John Silver v Santana and Ortiz
This is the sort of thing that is missing nowadays– the good old fashioned squash/jobber match. None of this 50-50 booking crap – just let the stars beat some-one up to show their ability and rack up the wins. In fact, Reynolds does not even get into the ring, he gets kicked off the apron and then hit while outside. Silver takes the punishment. Showcases Santana and Ortiz. Not the greatest match (or course) but I feel jobber matches serve a purpose.
4) Jericho appears on the big screens and challenges the Young Bucks on behalf of Santana and Ortiz. But he does it properly – by talking up his opponents as well. Still showing who is the master of talking in AEW, and showing that waaay too many in the WWE (or maybe the WWE writers) need to learn how a promo should contribute to a story properly.
5) Interesting video package for Cody Rhodes, showing an executive who just wants to wrestle. It was something very different and I really liked it. Oh, and kudos to DDP for the Dusty Rhodes t-shirt. But – and this is a big “but” – it needed Dustin there to say something as well as everyone else.
6) AEW Women’s World Championship Dr Britt Baker DMD v Riho (c)
I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this one, but it was a decent match. Baker showed she has the goods – she looked better than I’ve seen her before – and Riho has that plucky underdog champion thing going well. Crowd loves Riho, by the way. She’d clearly grown on them. In fact, when Baker locked on the Lockjaw submission, the crowd did not want Riho to tap. Instead, Riho rolled over and got the pin and retained the title. Post-match, they shake hands in a show of sportswomanship. Good match.
7) Tag Team Tournament – Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt (Jurassic Express) v Lucha Brothers
Apparently Luchasaurus hurt himself pre-match (it was announced on Twitter) so we’ve got Perry Jr and the tiny Stunt. A quite good match that show-cased Stunt more than anything else, but also cemented the Lucha Brothers as definite heels. Crowd was so into this. Still, really, ending was never in doubt, and the Lucha Brothers eventually won. I think we are setting up for Lucha Brothers v SCU in the tournament final. Which, by the way, would be awesome. (Or both causing the other to lose next week… and with AEW, that is a definite possibility from what we’ve seen so far…)
8) Yet another tag team match! Pac & Jon Moxley v Hangman Adam Page & Kenny Omega
Not a tournament, just a pair of grudge matches thrown together for intensity. And it breaks down straight away. Soon it’s in the ring. Yet another good match, back and forth, and it was pretty intense from all four guys. And the ending was interesting. Omega and Moxley grabbed weapons from under the ring (the ones they used last week – continuity!) but Pac came in to get rid of them, Moxley spiked him (his own partner) with the DDT and let the faces go to town on him for the Omega/Page win. Moxley is positioning himself as a definite tweener.
9) Little things make a difference. The win-loss records underneath the names of the wrestlers when they come out. The short sharp promos while some-one is entering. The fact that the matches are given a decent amount of time (squash match notwithstanding). Commentators who know what they are talking about (and make genuinely amusing references). Little things, but important things, and they do make a difference. However, I do have an issue – how the hell can they put on a PPV that tops the TV show if this keeps up?
10) AEW World Title – Darby Allin v Chris Jericho (c)
This was advertised as a Philadelphia Street Fight. No it wasn’t. It was just a sort of a no-DQ match with a foregone conclusion winner. Not the best match I’ve seen from AEW but given heaps of time to tell the story of Jericho underestimating Allin, Allin being unpredictable, and Allin definitely gearing himself to being a potential serious challenger in a year or two. And then, with Allin’s hands duct-taped behind him, he actually managed enough of a comeback that saw him almost defeat Jericho; in fact, Jericho needed Jake Hager to do a run-in in order to secure the win. And then we had the Inner Circle heel group stand in the ring at the end drinking the Bubbly. At least we didn’t finish with a brawl this week.
Another good show. They did not top last week, with too many matches where the winners were foregone conclusions. Matches were fine – and we had a lot of wrestling – and it was, yet again, another quick 2 hours. So, a damn good TV wrestling show.
Tags: adam page, AEW, Best Friends, Britt Baker, Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, Darby Allin, Dynamite, Jon Moxley, Jungle Boy, kazarian, Kenny Omega, Lucha Brothers, Marko Stunt, Ortiz, PAC, Riho, Santana, Scorpio Sky, SCU