By: Frank Hyden
Dynamite featured a packed show, as they had a handful of AEW World Title Tournament matches as well as 4-team tag match to determine the #1 contenders to the tag titles. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- Wardlow beat Jungle Boy in Round 1 of the AEW World Title Tournament
This was an okay match. One of the reasons I like tournaments in general, but especially in wrestling, is you get interesting match-ups like this one more often than you do normally. Wardlow won, of course, but this was a match you probably wouldn’t see outside of a tournament. Jungle Boy got in some offense but this was mostly all Wardlow with his power moves.
GOOD- Kenny Omega beat Sonny Kiss in Round 1 of the AEW World Title Tournament
Kiss substituted for Joey Janela, but this was all about Omega. He beat Kiss in about 10 seconds. His new entrance took longer.
GOOD- Rey Fenix beat Penta El Zero M in Round 1 of the AEW World Title Tournament
This was a great match, as the Lucha Bros. faced each other. They went back and forth with moves and reversals, if you like Lucha style then this was the match for you. Fenix winning sets up a semifinal match against Kenny Omega, which should also be a great match. This tournament has delivered thus far, and is exactly why I’d like to see them used more often in wrestling.
GOOD- “Hangman” Adam Page beat Colt Cabana in Round 1 of the AEW World Title Tournament
This match paled in comparison to what we just saw but it was a fine match. Page showed his athleticism while Cabana showed his veteran wile and savvy. Page also showed some good power and did take a big bump off the top rope onto the ring apron. Ouch. Page finally hit his Buckshot finisher and won, advancing to the semi-finals where he’ll face Wardlow. Obviously, they’re setting up Page to face Kenny Omega in the finals, where Omega will win and go on to face AEW World Champion Jon Moxley. I have zero problem with this being telegraphed. One of the biggest problems in wrestling is when they intentionally do the opposite of what everyone expects for no reason other than to try to swerve the fans. Sometimes you want to do exactly what people expect, especially when that something is going to deliver. The anticipation adds to the moment. Page vs. Omega in the finals is going to be fantastic. We know they can deliver a great match. Omega will win because he’s the heel and Moxley is the face. They’re not likely to do a face vs. face match. They could, but logically it makes a lot more sense to do the regular face vs. heel match. The only problem with telegraphing what’s going to happen is if you don’t deliver. I have full confidence that Page vs. Omega will deliver a great match. I’m not going to expect a Dave Meltzer overblown 9 star classic but we’ll see what they do when it happens.
UGLY/GOOD- Chris Jericho and MJF dinner scene
This was fucking terrible. They had some okay stuff with their steak orders but then they broke into song and started dancing around. They were mugging for the camera (well, mostly Jericho) and all that shit. It was like the bad episodes of Community. It was like when Family Guy breaks into songs. You can’t be edgy and all that and then turn around and do some Broadway shit. I give MJF and Jericho credit for going for it, they committed fully. I respect that, but this was cringey as hell. A non-fan flipping through the channels would have thought they stopped on Disney Channel. They would have kept going and they wouldn’t come back.
The rank hypocrisy I see of people defending this and saying it was awesome when those same people criticize WWE when they do this kind of stuff is almost astounding. The best defense I’ve seen for this is they’ll say it’s all about the execution. They say WWE generally doesn’t do this well while AEW did. Maybe, but I don’t know. I don’t want to give the wrong impression here, I’m not saying this ruined AEW or Jericho or MJF or anything like that. What I am saying is that this isn’t going to be on any highlight reels for anyone involved. It is the very definition of jacking around with your friends. A lot of people do embarrassing shit when they’re bored or at work or whatever, but most people don’t put it on television. Or maybe they do, but they put it on social media.
I could go on more but I don’t want to keep beating this to death. My point is, this is cringe shit. It embarrasses wrestling and puts it in a bad light. There’s already enough people who look down on wrestling without adding this kind of stuff to it. It’s niche enough, we don’t need anyone driving even more fans away.
GOOD- Britt Baker beat Kilynn King
Baker beat King fairly quickly. This was just a squash match to get Baker over more and show her looking dominant before she challenges Hikaru Shida for the AEW Title. It works for that reason.
GOOD- The Young Bucks beat The Butcher and The Blade, Private Party, and The Dark Order to become #1 contenders to the AEW Tag Team Titles
The Bucks were clearly going to win here. Again, not really a problem because the anticipation of a FTR vs. Young Bucks match gets you excited. This was a chaotic match, which is expected with 8 men involved. You’re able to have constant action and keep the pace high. The Bucks won when Matt Jackson rolled up Isiah Kassidy. After the win, FTR and Tully Blanchard attacked the Bucks, giving a spike piledriver to Nick and smashing Matt’s ankle with a chair. I like AEW’s emphasis on their tag team division. It makes sense, since they have so many good teams, but it’s good to see a company take tag wrestling as seriously as AEW does.
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