“It’s Friday Night, and you know what that means.” Well, JR, I suppose it means a subpar episode of AEW Dynamite.
Though I didn’t get to review last week’s episode, I can tell you that I wasn’t a fan outside of the joy of hearing a live crowd. It wasn’t a bad episode, but I didn’t feel even the slightest bit compelled to rewatch it, especially since I was covering it.
This week wasn’t much worse than last week’s episode — and this week even featured a debut that I and a lot of fans have been waiting for — but like the Revolution 2021 PPV with its less-than-inspiring pyro, this show ended on its down note and left a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of the night.
So, without further ado, grab your favorite young talent to bury and join me as we dive into this week’s edition of AEW Dynamite!
The Young Bucks def. PAC & Penta El 0M
You’ve seen the four names involved, so you’re already aware that this match was great. With the Bucks and Penta in the same ring again, AEW finally punched their Canadian Destroyer card again and let these men just GO.
We got a pre-match brawl complete with bad camera work (How do you cut away from what will obviously be a chop from Penta?), and by the time the match actually started, PAC and Penta were very much in charge.
Combo moves were hit. New pinfall maneuvers were performed by Penta. PAC flew all over the place. The Young Bucks played a LOT of defense against these two incredibly powerful opponents who were teaming up for the first time. And, despite this inexperience, Penta hit a package piledriver on Nick followed by a Black Arrow from PAC, and I totally bought into the nearfall. A rare clean non-title loss for an AEW Champion could kick off a great story!
Instead, this is an American Bullet Club match, so after Matt broke up the pin, PAC went for another move from the top rope, only to have his thigh bashed in by Brandon Cutler and his camera. PAC tumbled down, got pinned off a high stack by Nick, then got attacked after the match alongside Penta.
Eddie Kingston came out for the save (as Fenix was attacked earlier in the day by the Elite and Moxley is out after four BTE Triggers), but PAC and Penta aren’t into it.
Mark Henry’s Dynamite debut is interrupted by Andrade El Idolo
Mark Henry was brought out to talk about his role on AEW Rampage, and when Tony Schiavone asked if he’s going to wrestle here, Henry said he has no plans to now, but he does “have a lot left in the tank.” That’s fun and all, but then Vickie Guerrero screams her way out of the tunnel to her natural chorus of boos.
While I’m sitting there wondering if Nyla Rose was about to destroy Henry for no reason, Guerrero instead introduces her new client, a music-less Andrade El Idolo, née Cien Almas.
Andrade says that he used to be the face of Latinos, but now he will be the new face of All Elite Wrestling. The crowd goes as nuts as one can go after hours of Dark and Elevation tapings, and Andrade just stands there looking beautiful until he and Vickie leave.
I initially thought his only connection with AEW would be the AAA Mega Championship match with Omega, but from that promo, I assume he’s going to be here for the long haul. An absolute steal, if so!
Anthony Ogogo & QT Marshall def. Lee Johnson & Cody Rhodes
In a universe where this storyline really is just here to put over the young talent, I think this match is a great showcase of it. Johnson looked really great with his offense and is growing into quite the unique talent, whereas Ogogo has figured out a lot of his character stuff and is slowly building a move set to go with it (e.g. his stomping big boot).
However, this storyline has been so muddled up to this point that the energy was off from the jump, and it didn’t help that QT and Cody weren’t as fun to watch wrestle here (something I say as a Cody fan). As always, the basics were sound, and Cody hit the highlights, but with the Factory having such a trash record against Cody, the looming dread of QT nearly tapping to Cody’s Figure 4 did affect the vibe of this match. Good thing that led to an Ogogo frog splash, which is arguably his best move.
QT hit a Diamond Cutter on Cody, and since Johnson was late to break it up, Cody kind of had to kick out of it. Cody eventually got his bearings together to go for a Cross Rhodes, but Aaron Solow came out for a(n unnecessary) distraction while Ogogo came in and knocked Cody out with a punch, allowing QT to finally beat someone important. He then cut a promo on Tony Schiavone, which was mildly entertaining.
The Inner Circle celebrate their win
I’m not as anti-stables as some other fans and I do think the Inner Circle have been unexplored as faces, so I’m cool with them surviving Stadium Stampede. I was, however, devastated to hear the words, “It is not over between the Inner Circle and the Pinnacle.”
Because, man, shouldn’t it be? This feud started in Blood & Guts and was followed up by Stadium Stampede. Unless the next fight is a gunfire shootout, I’m not sure how this storyline could have been done any more “backwards.”
But, to explain the promo, Guevara talked about how he used to do the 630 off of his mom’s roof and now did it to close Double or Nothing. He’s satisfied, but Santana comes in and says he’s not; FTR tried to injure him and Ortiz, taking food off their families’ plates. He’s not done with them. Hager wants to fight Wardlow more, so they’re having an MMA fight on Dynamite in two weeks, which I think I’m here for (though it seems weird to have either man lose).
Then Jericho did his impassioned thing, brought up the near-death via Wardlow and table, the near-death via concrete stage, and how unsatisfying the bubbly bath and Stadium Stampede were. He needs to beat MJF in order to continue helping AEW, and he needs that match soon.
After this, Best Friends talked about how Omega almost got beat by Orange Cassidy, then Kenny and Don sang Jungle Boy’s theme song while belittling all of Omega’s prospective opponents.
Jungle Boy & Christian Cage def. Private Party
Private Party have melted into their heel roles well, now wrestling in slacks and fancy shirts while also doing cheesy stuff like aping the Five Second Poses to mock Christian Cage. Jungle Boy, meanwhile, is the same super-over babyface that he’s always been, only he’s now getting more time to show off his steadily growing skills than ever before.
The beginning of the match was Private Party learning that they’re matched for skill with these two tag specialists, as everything Private Party did, Christian and Jungle Boy would do. After a while, they cornered off Christian and posed on him, setting Jungle Boy up to be the surprising hot tag of the two.
Jungle Boy almost beat Quen with a Snare Trap, but Kassidy broke it up and set up the Gin & Juice. Christian speared Kassidy, Jungle Boy basically Styles Clashed Quen off the turnbuckle, then finally made Quen tap with the Snare Trap. After the match, Matt Hardy hit a Twist of Fate on Christian.
Promo Break: Taz, Starby, Britt, Death Line
Team Taz told Hangman that he sucks and that Cage and Hobbs will destroy Hangman and whatever Dark Order flunky he teams with.
Scorpio Sky told Darby Allin that he sucks and that Sky and Page will destroy Darby and whatever mystery flunky he teams with (as long as it’s not Sting).
Britt Baker told the crowd that they sucked and that they don’t deserve her Big Macs — which, what? I think I’m offended. She brought out the heel locker room (Wingmen, TH2, Chaos Project, Diamante) and said that, even if the crowd cheers for her now, they weren’t there for her in the beginning, so only Rebel (who she called by her real name!) and Tony deserved burgers. During this weird flex, Nyla Rose—who was inexplicably invited to begin with—flipped over the trio’s burgers, popped all of the balloons in the corner, and shrugged her way up the ramp. Let’s all get hyped about Tweener Nyla!
Finally, PAC and Penta told Kingston that he sucks, but he is immune to criticism and told them that the enemies of his enemies are his friends. He surprisingly did not say “partner” once.
Red Velvet def. Allie
On one of the Darks, Allie used knuckle dusters to help Nyla beat Swole, so Velvet, Swole, and KILYNN KING came out on Dynamite to get some revenge. Yes, it was actually past 11:30 this time.
Velvet beat Allie up until commercial break, then we came back in time to see Allie attempt an Allie Valley Driver, get it reversed, then hit a Best Superkick Ever. Instead of going for the pin, she crawled over to the Blade at ringside, all while the hapless babyface managers distracted the already-bad-at-his-job Rick Knox.
Allie got knuckle dusters and went to knock Velvet out, but Velvet dodged it, hit her Just Desserts kick, and got the 1-2-3 in a decent little match. I definitely want to see more of this weird power couple that is Allie and the Blade.
Miro cuts the most important promo of all time
The Dark Order get all giggly and talk about how excited they are now that not only is John Silver back, but Evil Uno has a match for the TNT Championship coming soon. It was all fun and happy and filled with balloons, and then we cut to Miro bathed in red light.
He starts by thanking God for giving him strength. He then thanks his wife for being hot. I was so floored by these two statements that I couldn’t even process the rest even on relisten, but just know that Evil Uno is going to die.
Dustin Rhodes def. Nick Comoroto in a bull-rope match
Get out of here.
Quick match breakdown: We start with a pre-match brawl. Comoroto throws Dustin into the ring with ease, and they just wail on each other, with Comoroto being busted open before the commercial break. Solow sticks around setting up tables for his teammate, and after Rhodes spends a lot of time in control, Comoroto finally puts him through the table. Colten Gunn comes out to stop Solow from interfering more, then Rhodes hits a Final Reckoning and pins Comoroto clean.
Let’s unpack this.
First, small thing: who in the back thought that Colten Gunn would get a pop from the crowd? He’s the least over of the Gunn Club.
Second, large thing: who in the back thought it was a good idea to copy the Nexus storyline but start and stay in the bad part? My God, it’s like every week is SummerSlam 2010 for the Factory.
Did QT and Ogogo win earlier in the night? Yes. Did Ogogo also beat Austin Gunn two weeks ago? Easily. But now Cody has beaten the leader and the ace, and now Dustin has beaten the monster, and ALL OF THESE THINGS WERE CLEAN.
Who is booking this? This is worse than early Dark Order and is only better than the Nightmare Collective via a lack of Mel. I dreaded this episode the moment they announced two Family vs Factory matches at Double or Nothing, but I at least figured they’d put the stable over.
Shame on me. Comoroto wasn’t even protected by an exposed turnbuckle shot. He just got pinned.
Dodgy finishes? Overextended feuds? Discarded young talent? Boring mid-show match? Tired crowd? The bar for Dynamite is high, so with this much going against it, it has to be said:
Bottom 5 all-time Dynamites. Sorry, Andrade. I hope your next episode is better.
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