Dynamite has managed to pick up some much needed momentum in recent weeks as we head towards Double or Nothing on PPV. AEW’s go-home shows usually resemble a PPV pre-show (in a good way) rather than a great show that can stand on its own. This week’s episode definitely continued this trend as TK & co did everything in their power to get some last minute PPV buys as well as some much needed ticket sales.
With this in mind, this week’s review won’t be as in-depth as usual and will be more of my general overall thoughts rather than segment by segment reviews. Don’t worry though, I’ll still be doing match ratings. Starting with..
International title: Orange Cassidy vs. Kyle Fletcher
At this point in Cassidy’s iconic run, I’m not sure what else I can even say without repeating all the praise from previous weeks. Cassidy’s selling, workrate, and general storytelling has been second to none since he won this championship.
This match was, of course, no different. The multiple tombstone piledriver kick outs was maybe a step too far and gave this more of an indie feel than was probably intended but that didn’t stop it from being another Cassidy classic.
Four Pillars Story Wrap-up
We then heard from Jungle Boy Jack Perry so now would be a good time to rap up all the four pillars angles on this show.
Overall this week wasn’t terrible for the pillars going into their big main event match on Sunday, but it didn’t do enough to rescue the story either. MJF still feels a country mile ahead of all these guys when it comes to star power, except for maybe Darby Allin who can feel like a close second on some weeks including this one.
Jack Perry being pushed in such a huge role has exposed him as not being ready, and this is coming from somebody who really likes the lad. While Sammy Guavara continues to prove that he has no idea who he is or even who he wants to be. I really have no idea where all these guys go after MJF inevitably beats them but it won’t be the main event picture for a long time. Neither will any talk of “four pillars” carry the same meaning it once did after weeks of these guys stumbling their way through ceingeworthy edge lord promos.
There’s no doubt the match will be great on the night as all four are excellent professional wrestlers. But that shouldn’t distract us from the undeniable fact that this story has been a borderline car wreck. It also doesn’t help that it’s happened at the same time as Orange Cassidy’s excellent title reign, proving himself to be more of an AEW pillar than half the guys in this match.
FTR vs. Jarrett & Lethal Story Wrap-up
This week continued in much the same way as the previous four or five weeks. This tag title feud likely won’t be remembered for how big time it felt, but rather for how fun it was. FTR has to win at DoN (Double or Nothing) and most likely will. After that it will be interesting to see what they move on to as the current tag division in AEW doesn’t seem up to much right now. Maybe the recent signing of Aussie Open might help that though..
House of Black vs. AR Fox, Blake Christian & Gran Metalik
Last week I said that only time will tell if the new dark arena setting for House of Black matches would become annoying, well it’s only taken two weeks to come to a decision. Yes it’s annoying, very annoying.
I’m sure this match was pretty great with the talent involved but we could barely see it and what we could see was hard to focus on with all the weird patterns being projected onto the crowd. I’ll go with 3 stars to be safe but please ditch this spooky shite, AEW. House of Black are class but this sort of thing really takes away more than it adds.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Lady Frost
This was a decent Dynamite debut for Frost but this match was designed to highlight Taya Valkyrie which it did well enough. The work has already been put in for Taya vs. Jade Cargill so this display simply acted as a nice little reminder of what Taya can do.
Chris Jericho Vs. Adam Cole Story Wrap-up
Time for a bit of honesty here. When it first became apparent that Jericho was working Cole at DoN, I feared the worst. After Ricky Starks and Eddie Kingston both suffered being caught in the Jericho black hole, I was worried the same would happen to Adam Cole. Well I’ve never been happier to be so wrong.
This story has been both fun to watch and really effective in selling these two stars as bitter rivals. This week’s WWE-esque contract signing got away with it as it’s Chris Jericho and was actually executed really well. Everybody involved has done great at getting this match over, especially on a card that is drastically lacking big singles matches. To top it all off we got a Sabu cameo. Don’t ask me why, it doesn’t really make sense but I’m all here for it.
Daniel Garcia vs. Roddy Strong
This match was always going to be really great and it lived up to those expectations without ever surpassing them. Not much else to say really, two really good professional wrestlers had a really good professional wrestling match.
ROH Tag Titles: The Lucha Bros vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta
This was a fantastic main event that had me on the hook throughout while also getting me hyped to see the BCC face off against The Elite at DoN. I believed in all the near falls and although a screwy finish is never ideal, it still worked in the context of this story, even moreso when you remember the history and respect that The Young Bucks and The Lucha Bros all share.
After the match The Young Bucks are chased off by the BCC (weird there was no Omega & Hangman) before Moxley did what Moxley does best and gave us the best go-home promo imaginable. I’m once again going to take a jab at the four pillars storyline because Mox in 30 seconds proved to everybody in the arena and at home that he’s a mega star, something none of Darby, Perry, or Sammy have been able to do in two months worth of promos.
It’s also no coincidence that this angle closed the show as it’s the real main event of DoN and everybody knows it. Sure, the four pillars match will go on last as it’s for the World Championship, but I’m confident in saying that 90% of people who decide to buy this PPV will be doing so mostly for The BCC vs. The Elite.
All in all this was a mixed bag of a Dynamite that pretty much continued not only the storylines but also the previous quality of said storylines. BCC vs. The Elite has been top tier throughout, as has everything Orange Cassidy touches. Jericho vs. Cole has been surprisingly great, and FTR vs. Jarrett & Lethal has never gotten boring but also never become anything close to spectacular. But the four pillars story has been all over the place and mostly terrible since day one, the women’s division feels like it has stalled (for understandable reasons) and The House of Black stuff feels way more goofy than it does scary. Maybe AEW is more consistent than I give it credit for..
Current Dynamite form:
May 17th – 8/10
May 10th – 9/10
May 3rd – 7/10
April 27th -7.5/10
Before we finish up, I just want to give a shout out to AEW Games and THQ for the recent announcement of AEW Fight Forever’s release date. (This is a gaming site after all!)
AEW’s highly anticipated video game will enter the ring on June 29th and looks more fun than your weekly Orange Cassidy classic.
Check out the latest trailer below and keep an eye right here at Respawning for more AEW Fight Forever coverage!