Episode 100 of AEW Dynamite was a big step up in quality from last week’s. The show was mostly good and featured some great wrestling, and it did a fine job of building to the upcoming All Out pay-per-view. Here are the biggest hits ands misses from this week’s offering.
Santana and Ortiz beat FTR in a stellar tag team match to kick this show off. If AEW was a promotion featuring primarily this style and feel to their competition it’d be perfect. I loved this match, I hope we get it again on a pay-per-view in the future.
Powerhouse Hobbs got a big win over Brian Cage in a good big-guy match. Ricky Starks and Hook assisted Hobbs in the W, which was the right move. Hobbs has a ton of upside and the brighter future, as does Starks.
NO SHORTAGE OF GREAT PROMOS.
This show had a lot of promos both pre-recorded and live to build up this All Out show, which will be the biggest show in the company’s history. We had Tony Schiavone interviewing MJF, Eddie Kingston & Miro in a pre-tape for their TNT title match, Chris Jericho cut a promo in the ring with an emotional Jim Ross introducing him, Jon Moxley did one for his Satoshi Kojima match, there was a great VTR for Darby Allin and another for Malakai Black (justifying his leaving the ring when Lee Johnson ran in) and Britt Baker had a great one teasing a free agency signing only for it to be her contract extension.
CM PUNK GOT PHYSICAL.
Punk came to the ring for a promo but Daniel Garcia and 2.0 ran down to interrupt. I initially groaned because this happens all the time, but this instance was so great. Darby Allin & Sting made the save and all three guys hit their big moves on the heels, including Punk hitting a GTS which got a great reaction. There was a stare-down between Punk, Darby and Sting said he would let the match be mano a mano and not be in Darby’s corner. Punk has been batting 1.000 since his debut.
ANNA JAY’S RETURN.
Anna Jay returned after a shoulder injury to make the save for Tay Conti after another case of post-match heat. Conti had beaten Penelope Ford who was seconded by Allie. They’ve got something with Anna Jay, who would be my second pick to be the new Dark Order leader.
After Orange Cassidy got the inside cradle win over Jack Evans, the Hardy Family Office ran down to get heat after the match. The group just doesn’t really do much for me and doesn’t feel important. The Jurassic Express ran down to make the save for Cassidy and the Best Friends, this just wasn’t it.
QT Marshall vs. Paul Wight was already looking like the match where the fans in the NOW Arena would go and buy their merch, and I don’t think Billy Gunn & sons turning heel on Wight has done anything to change that.
Thunder Rosa barely got two words in for a promo before she was beaten up by Nyla Rose and Jade Cargill. The two powerhouses were about to duke it out before their respective managers urged them to refrain. It was just too rushed and we see the same thing all the time with promos.
And the closer was a stark contrast from the opener. These multi-man matches involving the Young Bucks with Rick Knox in the stripes might as well be tornado matches without a referee. The finish was puzzling with Rey Fenix being pinned as the Lucha Brothers are challenging for the titles at All Out. The angle afterwards didn’t seem to click with this crowd. There wasn’t much of a reaction as the steel cage lowered and the Elite were beating down the challengers for the key title matches on the pay-per-views. Babyfaces tried to climb into the cage but kept getting cold-sprayed in the eyes. This was nowhere near as bad as the Dark Order closing segment from December 2019, but it did come to mind as I watched this.
With the first CM Punk match in 7½ years, I don’t think the closing angle killed any pay-per-view hype at all, it was just a misfire. This was largely an enjoyable show overall.