By: Frank Hyden
AEW Dynamite had the semifinal matches in the World Title Eliminator Tournament to crown a #1 contender, added a match to the upcoming Full Gear pay-per-view and had a lumberjack match as well. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- “Hangman” Adam Page beat Wardlow to advance to the finals of the tournament
Everyone knows that this is coming down to Page vs. Kenny Omega. There’s no problem with that at all, though, as it builds anticipation for that match. This match was pretty good, as they got really physical and used a lot of power moves. Page hit his Buckshot Lariat to get the win, but not before also showing some of his high-flying abilities.
GOOD/BAD- Eddie Kingston beat Matt Sydal
This match was okay, but it was too much of a squash. The best parts of the match were when Sydal was on offense, for what short times that was. Kingston cuts a nice promo and I know it’s important to give him a win before he jobs to AEW Champion Jon Moxley at the pay-per-view, but man, Sydal can go. He deserves better. I know he’s not very big but AEW should create a lightweight/cruiserweight division and have him be a part of that. That would be really cool.
GOOD/BAD- The Young Bucks give away the finish to their match against FTR
There was a sitdown promo with both The Young Bucks and AEW Tag Team Champions FTR. The Bucks said FTR ignited a fire in them and that’s why they’ve changed. That’s all fine and this built hype for their match upcoming. FTR left shortly thereafter, saying the interview was all about The Bucks and they were sick of it. That’s when the Bucks said that if they don’t won the titles at the PPV, they’ll never challenge for the belts again. That’s a dead giveaway that they’ll be winning the belts at the PPV. The only reason Cody said that about the AEW World Title is he created a TNT Title he could have. Unless the Bucks are going to create a TNT Tag Team Championship, they’re not going to remove themselves from going for the AEW Tag Titles. They could create a 6-Man Tag Team Championship and go for those but there are other belts that should be created before those, mainly a cruiserweight title. I’ve said before that knowing what’s going to happen isn’t necessarily a bad thing but sometimes it’s better to not telegraph what’s going to happen. I think this is one of those times. I don’t think this is a huge deal or anything that would make you stop watching Dynamite or anything, I just think them saying this isn’t needed.
GOOD/BAD- The Inner Circle Town Hall
This was done fairly well. My only real quibble is that it was too long for what it accomplished. They kind of meandered around until they got to the important part. MJF asked what hasn’t he done to prove himself? That he won’t turn on them if he joins? Jericho replied by saying MJF hasn’t beaten him, so he challenged him to a match at the Full Gear PPV. Eric Bischoff showed up, stirring the pot a bit in a nice appearance. All in all, this was a pretty good segment, it’s just that they could have cut a few minutes from it to streamline it better.
GOOD- Cody beat Orange Cassidy to retain his TNT Title
This wasn’t as good as it could have been, but I think it was pretty good for what it was. This wasn’t the finish to a feud, it was the middle or building phase of a rivalry. The only reason Cody won was Arn Anderson interfered. If that hadn’t happened, Cassidy might have won. Or at least that’s the tease. This wasn’t great, but I think that’s because it was purposefully booked to further something rather than deliver a great match. That’s why this wasn’t the main event.
GOOD/BAD- Serena Deeb beat Leyla Hirsch to retain her NWA World Championship
The BAD comes from a lot of this match taking place during the picture in picture during a commercial break. I don’t like that, but this was a GOOD match otherwise. Deeb showed off her good wrestling skills as much as she could before getting the submission win.
GOOD- Shawn Spears beats VSK, gets attacked by Scorpio Sky
Spears beat VSK in seconds, then pulled a costumed guy into the ring to beat up for some reason, which turned out to be Scorpio Sky, who left Spears laying. This was quick so I’m going GOOD. There wasn’t much to it but it was right to the point and a way to give these guys some TV time.
GOOD- Kenny Omega beat Penta El Zero M to advance to the finals of the tournament
Everyone knew Omega was winning here, to set up his match against Adam Page at Full Gear. That doesn’t take away from this match, though, as they really went to town here. They went back and forth, brawling and exchanging moves rapidly. Penta worked over Omega’s arm, they fought on the entrance ramp, and teased some devastating spots on the ring steps. Omega won with his One-Winged Angel finisher, setting up his match in the finals against Page that should be the best match on the card. It would be tempting to make this match the main event because you know it’s going to blow the roof off, but you can’t have it headline over an actual World Title match. Everyone else better bring their working shoes, though, because I imagine these guys are going to go as hard as they can.
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