- Cole vs Dax ****
- Punk vs Silver **3/4
- Nese vs Danhausen NR
- FTW Title: Starks(c) vs Jungle Boy ***
- Storm vs Hayter ***1/2
- No DQ: Hardy vs Darby ****1/4
This edition of Dynamite started with Cole and Dax in an opening round match for The Owen, which worked on multiple levels. Note that FTR as a team have been superb this year and this served as another example of the talent that the team is home to. I've also been a bit turned off by Adam Cole's booking calls this year but those complaints are MIA with this one. They both worked hard to give us not just a fantastic battle, worthy of the circumstance, but also one hell of an opener to the episode in general.
Despite what I said about Cole, note that I actually would have loved Dax winning this one.
Fantastic stuff, ending in a sharpshooter.
Jeff and Darby's match is announced as being anything goes, which I approve of despite thinking it feels a bit weird for the circumstances.
Punk and Silver was a fun 8-minute contest. I am a huge fan of the meat man so for a throwaway match I was pretty excited to see this one. Note that I actually was pushing for the dude to get more love in CZW not that long ago. Anyway, Punk put over JS nicely here but, of course, inevitably won on the road to his title match with Page.
Speaking of, the champ sat in on commentary here for a nice little bonus.
Enjoyable enough television, folks, and I can't wait for Summer of Punk III.
Punk won with the buckshot to send a message, causing The Cowboy to head straight to the ring for a face-to-face. Punk reminded everyone that his goal is just business instead of being personal and promised that Adam was going to shake his hand.
He got a middle finger for his trouble.
Baker and crew chat about the tournament.
Next, Danhausen debuted as an in-ring performer against The Premier Athlete. He lost in quick order off of a distraction spot. Putting Nese with Sterling was a smart idea considering the former is a talented worker but one that completely lacks charisma.
Hook briskly walked out and ran off the heels before he shook Danhausen's hand.
We got a Dark Side package for the MJF/Wardlow angle which was top shelf entertainment.
MJF came out to a hometown hero response, wearing Islander shit, to tell us all of the stipulations of his match with Wardlow. He put over Long Island as being better than Israel, which I do agree strongly with. I do not support nations that behave like terrorists, after all.
Anyway, GO DEVILS! Yes, I know they fucking suck right now.
MJF honestly was ace on the mic here once again and I'd like to take a quick moment to say that I am on his side completely. He is worth more now than he was when he signed and deserves a raise. I also strongly support a wrestler's union or two. If you happen to be reading this and work for AEW plus are interested in hearing about a union movement, hit me up.
MJF alluaded to the situation which was great, then told us that he'd be giving ten lashes to the big man. Spears even did the TEN thing, which was certainly entertaining in execution.
A cage match with MJF as the guest ref and Wardlow versus Spears is also announced with the added bonus that Wardlow would be unable to "sign with AEW" if MJF was to win at the PPV.
Yeah, good shit.
Wardlow beat down the security staff and Spears before he tried to powerbomb MJF. Sterling stopped it, but was put through a table for his efforts.
Next, Jungle Boy challenged Starks for the FTW strap. These two will likely be main eventing sooner than later, folks. The distraction finish, the second in a row on the card, was a bit much as Strickland accidentally set up Jungle Boy for an L.
It was a decent match but nothing must-see.
Christian and Luchasaurus came out to support their man with the former even bumping Strickland on the way down. They argued with Swerve a bit after before Keith Lee came out for a standoff to spotlight the tag division.
Christian and JB hugged to essentially end the segment.
The JAS spoke to the AEW Galaxy as the unit continues to mock WWE content on TNT. I haven't enjoyed this program as much as I had hoped, but this one played off nicely enough. Mox and Bryan came out to confront the sports entertainers and eventually Yuta, Kingston, and PnP joined.
The two sides brawled with the faces finally getting a bit of an upper hand. We even had Regal getting a shot in on Jericho. JAS ran off to end things.
We're reminded that Deeb is getting a title shot.
The women's match of the night was something I'd like to see more of in AEW, with both just beating up on each other. With the Banks/Naomi news, I'm especially hopeful that TK will put even more focus on the division in hopes of enticing the two over.
I appreciated the level of intensity in this one and think that they did very well with the time given, starting this tournament on a high note, as well. Hopefully a rematch will run soon so that I can watch this played back. Another go with a smoother finish would be even more enjoyable, but this one was still pretty good and worth checking out.
The main event saw Jeff Hardy and Darby Allin do crazy ass shit because they're both crazy ass fuckers. I said recently that I have little interest in Jeff as a solo worker these days. but considering the circumstances I need to admit that I was wrong.
Darby's ladder spot onto Jeff and the chairs was awesome and one of the sickest spots I've seen air on TV ever. That missed coffin drop was brutal as hell as was the swanton onto the steel ramp. Really, it was just a spectacle and a car crash, with both men seemingly trying to show each other that they are destructive. It was basically respectful carnage and I loved it.
Jeff won via flashpin and celebrated to close the episode, protecting Allin and setting up a rematch. They shook hands which was a nice bonus before Undisputed Elite came out.
Overall, this was one of the strongest episodes of Dynamite in a while and a highly entertaining watch that I recommend as a total package to anyone that missed out on it.
Overall Rating: 85/100%