Episode 110 of AEW Dynamite aired live from Independence, Missouri. It featured some very good wrestling, some great promos, and just a few things that didn’t really work.
- We opened with a fun match with Kenny Omega against Alan Angels, a year-and-a-half since their first in Atlanta. What I liked most about this was Omega not needing the One-Winged Angel to beat Angels; they got the finish right.
- The post-match angle was good, too. Omega was about to further beatdown Angels, while Rick Knox stood there and did nothing as if it were a six-man tag match, and then Hangman Page ran down to make the save, picking up the belt and cutting a nice little promo. My one issue with it, and this applies to a few segments, is that you don’t need to play music for a run-in. It just makes it look set-up.
- After a Malakai Black pre-tape, we got the best thing on this show by a country mile: CM Punk’s interview. He came to the ring and spoke quite candidly about Jon Moxley’s admittance into an inpatient alcohol program, and how much he respects him for having the courage to do so. Following that he challenged Eddie Kingston to show up on the live edition of Rampage in St. Louis in two days, advancing that feud. Everything here was perfect.
- There were also great promos for Miro and the Kris Statlander vs. Ruby Soho TBS title tournament match-up. Then, we saw a video about FTR being the best tag team in the world. They successfully defended their AAA tag titles against Samuray Del Sol and Aero Star. This, too, was great. I could watch a two-hour show of FTR wrestling different teams every week. Del Sol and Aero Star looked great here.
- We had a Schiavone interview where setting up Lio Rush and Dante Martin vs. Matt Sydal and Lee Moriarty (if it happens, given the storyline of Rush not having wrestled yet) before Jamie Hayter got an upset win over Anna Jay in the TBS title tournament. The match itself was good, Tay Conti saved Jay from a beatdown from Hayter, Britt Baker, and Rebel after the match. I loved that they didn’t play Tay’s music, but then Thunder Rosa’s music hit as she ran down to even it up.
- After a fine promo from Mark Sterling and Jade Cargill, we got the big MJF-Darby Allin segment. It got close to being too busy, but I think it was just right. Max ran Darby down, saying he’s the better wrestler, notably saying he’d beat Darby with a headlock takeover. Darby agreed that it would be a straight wrestling match between the two at Full Gear, but he would get his anger out tonight. It was a schmozz with Sting, a bunch of Darby druids, and the Pinnacle guys, but the best thing was Darby hitting a sprinting lariat over the guardrail to MJF. It was an unreal spot in a great segment.
- Andrade El Idolo beat Cody Rhodes with the help of FTR in a very good match. The crowd was super divided for Cody like it was John Cena ten years ago. I loved the finish with FTR stopping Cody’s tope with the AAA belts behind the referee’s back. After the match the heels beat Cody up, Tully and Arn squared up, but the Lucha Brothers would make the save.
- John Silver had a Tony interview in the ring which was electric. This was followed by a VTR for the Red Velvet vs. Bunny TBS title tournament match, and then we got the main event of Miro (in place of Jon Moxley) vs Orange Cassidy. Miro’s been lights out ever since he split with Kip Sabian. Bryan Danielson was on commentary for this match. It’s in my hit column just because of how great Miro was. The Orange Cassidy gimmick has long overstayed its welcome; if you keep an orange in your fruit bowl for too long, it will grow stale and moldy. I thought he got too much on Miro in the match, but it wasn’t a change-the-channel offense. Miro eventually won, then faced off with Danielson, not shaking his hand.
- The segment with Adam Cole, the Young Bucks, Christian Cage, and the Jurassic Express really whiffed for me. First, Alex Marvez just isn’t good at as a backstage interviewer. It’s not something he should do. He’s interviewing Cole and the Bucks, then Christian walks into frame, followed by Luchasaurus. They brawled into the arena and after a stage dive onto the heels by Jungle Boy, it ends with Christian delivering a “con-chair-to” to Adam Cole. I feel like this is a heel move unless it’s an absolute blood feud like Edge and Seth Rollins’. This didn’t hit for me.
- Hikaru Shida was presented with her 50-win trophy before being confronted by Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero. This just wasn’t that good. Nyla Rose has just been sort of nerfed. She’s not that killer anymore. There was also not much mention of Serena Deeb even though she walked the dog on Shida last week.
- This Inner Circle-American Top Team segment was also a miss for me. It was too long. They could’ve gotten to the point in maybe half the time, and of all Inner Circle members you could’ve had call Paige Van Zant a bitch Sammy Guevara would’ve been my fifth choice for obvious reasons. The big reveal was that Dan Lambert will be wrestling in the ten-man street fight at Full Gear. It could’ve been streamlined big time.
It wasn’t a killer show, but it was solid. Full Gear is shaping up to be a card of the year contender, and they’re building to it nicely ten days out from the show.