All Elite Wrestling returned to Boston for a very fun episode of Dynamite. As has become standard for this promotion there were good to great matches, angles, and interviews up and down the two hours. Like every other wrestling company, not everything is for everybody, but I’m finding that as the weeks go by, an increasing majority of the show is palatable enough for my taste.
Music and pyro, match billboards, and “LIKE MUSSOLINI.” That’s the three-step method to best open a pro wrestling television show. The longboi-clad CM Punk made his in-ring Dynamite debut, defeating Bobby Fish in a great match. Punk had his game-face on and sold great for Fish throughout, even though Punk is a -9000 favorite in these types of matches. To me, this was perfect.
After a great pre-taped promo from Malakai Black, MJF (seconded by Wardlow & Shawn Spears) beat a local enhancement guy in under a minute. The post-match was the key with Max doing his usual promo that’s so close to stepping over the line. They tricked the fans into thinking Sting was going to run in but then he actually did. Then after a video of Darby Allin putting someone in an MJF mask through a table at a JPEGMAFIA concert, a disguised Allin attacked Shawn Spears, while MJF ran away and Sting beat Wardlow up. There’s a lot of moving parts here but it ended with Darby challenging MJF for Full Gear which will be an awesome match.
After a great Britt Baker promo ahead of her singles bout with Abadon on Rampage, Sammy Guevara successfully defended his TNT title against Ethan Page in a fun match. After the finish, Inner Circle sprinted to the ring (with pyro and music) and saved Sammy from getting beaten up by Page and Scorpio Sky. A very gassed Chris Jericho cut the promo challenging Sky, Page, and America’s Top Team for a ten-man Minnesota Street Fight for Full Gear.
One of the best things on this show was the interview with Eddie Kingston and Bryan Danielson. Both guys were super fired up and they managed to get me excited to see them wrestle without displaying any animosity or disrespect towards each other.
The Lucha Brothers were also interviewed by Tony Schiavone. They are putting the AEW tag titles on the line against FTR at Full Gear. After this, we had Hikaru Shida finally get her 50th win beating Serena Deeb with a flash roll-up pin. This match was really good, but I didn’t like the post-match as much.
Lio Rush remains awesome giving promos. He set up the third meeting Dante Martin vs. Matt Sydal, and then we had Jon Moxley vs. Preston Vance in a first-round match in the world title tournament. Just like anyone else who’s just had a book come out, Moxley was out for blood. He beat Vance in just a few minutes after biting into his forehead and just murking this guy. There hasn’t been a Mox squash this violent for a long, long time in AEW. This was followed by a nice little FTR promo to further build to the AEW tag title match at Full Gear.
Cody Rhodes’ promo was probably one of the biggest talking points of the show. It was a total babyface promo and a good one on paper, despite further digging his heels in (no pun intended) that he isn’t turning. He said that as he went for the double under-hook he thought about going for a move other than the Tiger Driver, referring to the pedigree. He put his family and friends over, he really tried hard to get the fans back but he’s too far gone at this point. Andrade came out, playing heel, and the fans loved this guy. He called the neck tattoo stupid which will get a pop for eternity. Andrade shit-talked Cody some more until the lights went out (for the second time in one show) and Malakai Black was in the ring. Black and Andrade beat Cody down until PAC made the save. It looks like we’re getting PAC and Cody vs Black and Andrade at Full Gear and it should be fantastic.
It seemed pointless to give Shida the win as Deeb went on to beat the winner down after the match. Deeb hit chair shots and put her in a half-crab just destroying her knee. What’s more, at least six referees came to the ring and couldn’t get Deeb to stop. They’d have to do some serious work to pay this off and have it make sense.
Halloween costumes, Rick Knox, and an eight-man tag. That’s the three-step method for me to dislike the main event. John Silver, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and Colt Cabana of Dark Order defeated the Young Bucks, Adam Cole, and Kenny Omega of the Elite in a very busy closing match. Everyone was in costume, the match was basically a tornado, and it was awfully goofy. There was a full-body Stay Puft Marshmallow Man dress-up, who from the start was obviously Adam Page, but the commentators led us to believe was Brandon Cutler, who was revealed to be in a different costume after the match. The crowd went banana for the Page reveal and he is still so very over. He helped Dark Order win the match and they all celebrated together for a wholesome ending.
I love Adam Page but this just isn’t what I want from a world championship feud. It absolutely worked in the building and everyone on Twitter loves it, but it’s just not for me. Overall this show was pretty good, this company has momentum.