Orlando was up for AEW’s Saturday Night Dynamite. The crowd was hot, some signs were problematic, but overall, this was a very good wrestling show.
AEW knows how to open a show hot. We had Bryan Danielson vs. Dustin Rhodes in the first round of the world title tournament. I loved the match, you knew Danielson was winning but sometimes in wrestling, the journey supersedes the destination. The finish was perfect, with Danielson submitting Dustin with a guillotine choke. Any submission can end a match.
Following this was a backstage promo from Kenny Omega with the Young Bucks and Adam Cole. These four as a unit on their own are far better than the whole gang with Don Callis, Brandon Cutler, and Michael Nakazawa.
Even better was FTR’s promo in their sweet new t-shirts. These guys are getting a lot more time on T.V. and I’m here for it. I hope they win the AEW tag titles back. They’ve not once looked less than great in an AEW ring, or any ring for that matter.
Tony Schiavone was in the ring to interview Sting, who didn’t say a word before MJF interrupted him. MJF got massive heat, said people in Orlando people solve problems with gun violence and incest, and that Darby Allin will end up like Lex Luger: in a wheelchair. Sting attacked MJF but Wardlow and Shawn Spears helped with the beatdown. MJF cut a scathing promo down the barrel of the lens on Darby Allin with Sting in his arms. I did like this overall. MJF tends to go a bit far, but that’s his thing and I think they’re just going to let him cook until they get a note from Turner. We later also learned that Shawn Spears will be Wardlow’s “accountabilibuddy”. MJF appointed this after a tease of dissension between Max and Wardlow.
Britt Baker, who is (respectfully) one of the best B-words in the sport, cut a great promo on her Full Gear opponent Tay Conti. Baker never disappoints in the mic, and seldom does in the ring.
Bobby Fish vs. Anthony Greene was short but very good. It was there to get Fish over as a heel, and CM Punk saved Greene from the post-match beatdown to set up his own match vs Fish for the next Dynamite. This was great.
Lio Rush was interviewed by Tony Schiavone, and he’s just so great on the microphone. He set up a tag match pairing him with Dante Martin to face the Sydal brothers.
Dan Lambert and the Men of the Year cut a promo before Sammy came out to accept a challenge to defend his TNT title against Ethan Page next week. This was fine, nothing blow-away. If Sammy loses he has to leave the Inner Circle so you know he’s winning.
We had an awesome promo from Jon Moxley about the world title tournament, a goofy one with the Dark Order, and a phenomenal one from Miro.
Jungle Boy beat Brandon Cutler real quick with his Snare Trap and actually cut a pretty good promo afterward. He called out Adam Cole who helped beat him down with the Young Bucks and they hit a bunch of finishers on the stage and threw him off through tables. This was a crazy bump and a decent angle. We’ll probably get Jungle Boy beating Cole at the pay-per-view.
We had a first-round match in the TBS Championship tournament in Ruby Soho vs Penelope Ford. On their own, this would’ve been a good match, but the Bunny’s interference just wasn’t necessary. I don’t think she’s all that effective here but that might just be me. I’m glad Soho won, she should win this TBS title.
While the match itself was entertaining, I have to put Eddie Kingston vs Lance Archer in the miss column tonight. They were having a great brawl before Archer went for a moonsault and landed on his head. He was clearly out of it and the match should’ve been called immediately. Instead, he crawled back in to get quickly rolled up by Kingston. This should’ve been a referee stoppage, it was silly to risk further injury with the roll-up no matter how safe it was. Did no one there watch the G1 Finals?
This Cody Rhodes vs Malakai Black main event, while good in the ring, was over-booked and the wrong man won. The fans have turned on Cody Rhodes, and they love Malakai Black. A bunch of stuff happened during this match involving the following: Lee Johnson, Brock Anderson, Jose, Andrade, Arn Anderson (who stood in the ring for years waiting for Andrade, who was late for his queue, while fans chanted “Get the Glock”), and PAC. I hated all the stuff happening outside. I hate that the table spot wasn’t a DQ. I hate that Cody Rhodes won.
I give the show a thumbs up, but Cody Rhodes just needs to turn heel. He’s never going to get cheered again at this rate.