Reviews

AEW Dynamite “Holiday Bash” 12/23/20 Review by Alex Podgorski

Welcome to another AEW Dynamite review here on TJRWrestling. I’m filling in for John Canton this week, as he has other matters to take care of. I’ll be following his format for reviews as I watch this show live.

This is episode #64 of AEW Dynamite, which as usual emanates from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. You can follow John on Twitter at @johnreport, and we also have an entire AEW Dynamite TV review archive. Personally, I don’t have a Twitter account, but you can follow my work for TJRWrestling through my main series, the 5 Star Match Reviews series right here.

We open with a tag team bout with the Inner Circle. Chris Jericho and MJF are wrestling. Many of the people in the crowd sing along with Jericho’s Judas entrance theme.

The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho & MJF) vs. Top Flight (Darius and Daunte Martin)

Jericho piefaces Darius and they brawl. Jericho lands some chops and forearms bringing the 19-year-old to the mat. Darius walks unto a kick, leapfrog and lands an enzuigiri kick. Daunte tags in and they trip Jericho up and lands some combination kicks but Jericho kicks out before one. Jericho whips Daunte hard into his corner and tags MJF, who chokes Daunte in the corner. MJF slaps Daunte, Daunte reverses an Irish whip, leapfrogs and lands a nice standing dropkick, which sends MJF out of the ring. The heels return and we get a big two-on-two brawl. Daunte and Darius do the corner punches spot then add simultaneous dropkicks as the crowd applauds loudly. MJF cheapshots Daunte and he chases him ringside, but walks into a punch from Jericho. The referee seems to have lost control of this match as she’s not doing anything to expel the Inner Circle or maintain control.

MJF lands an elbow drop on Daunte for a one-count and tags Jericho. Snapmare/kick combo followed by some show-boating by Jericho. Daunte tries to fight back but walks into a knee lift from Jericho and a back suplex. He tags MJF and they land a double flapjack and MJF slaps Darius. This gets the referee’s attention as MJF cheats behind her back. MJF launches Daunte into Jericho’s boot and tags him back in. Jericho lands a guillotine on the apron, allowing both MJF and Jake Hager to sneak in and hit Daunte.

Jericho goes for a superplex but Daunte fights out and drops Jericho. He lands a big crossbody for two, leaving both men down. Darius and MJF tag in. Darius begins his comeback with some athleticism, including a standing Spanish fly and a tope suicida. Shotgun dropkick for two. Big kick by Darius. Tornado DFDT using Jericho for leverage for a two-count. Double-team springboard slash to the back for a two-count. Darius runs and goes for a hurricanrana but MJF counters into a powerbomb. He tags in Jericho. Lionsault. Daunte tags in. Liontamer by Jericho, reversed into a cradle. Hot tag to Darius, who flies out of the ring. Sunset flip gets a two-count on Jericho, but he lands a sudden clothesline.

MJF tags in and they double team him, ignoring the referee. They go for a double-team, but Darius counters into a double DDT. He clotheslines Jericho out of the ring and clotheslines MF. Darius went for a springboard, but Hager cuts him off. Heat-seeker by MJF. One, two, three! There’s the match after about twelve minutes.

Winners: The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho & MJF)

Analysis: ***1/4 Great opening tag match. This was your typical hot opener with lots of crazy action. Darius and Daunte Martin looked impressive when tangling with MJF and Jericho. They showed some impressive athleticism for two wrestlers aged 19 and 21 years old, respectively. There wasn’t much of a story beyond Top Flight wanting to prove themselves against the more experienced team of Jericho and MJF. They looked good, and will probably have a spot on AEW for years to come.

Post-match, Hager grabs the microphone for a promo. He says it has been 2 weeks since MJF has joined forces with them, and the Inner Circle has won all their matches. That is, except for Wardlow. Hager sings the praises of the Inner Circle while questioning Wardlow’s loyalty. He calls him an asset and an asshole. He says that after speaking to Tony Khan, next week is Hager vs. Wardlow. Hager says, “Wardlow, you BETTER show up.”

Analysis: That’ll be an interesting match-up. there’s the potential Wardlow might become the babyface after breaking away from MJF, but who’s to say.

We get a music video from The Acclaimed, another tag team looking to make a name for themselves. This looks like a hip-hop dis track, with some actors making fun of the Young Bucks Those two teams will face off later tonight.

The announce team of Excalibur, Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone go over six matches that will happen later on in the show. But first, Tony Schiavone will talk to, wait for it, STING!

(Commercial)

We come back to Tony Schiavone in the ring, and he announces Sting, who comes out to a loud ovation.

In-ring interview with Sting

Schiavone asks Sting how does it feel to be back on TNT and in AEW. Sting feels that he has come full circle, that he’s back in the jungle, and how he was an integral part in building the original jungle (referring to WCW), which gets a loud response. Schiavone asks why are you here, and he points to Darby Allin (who’s standing in the empty stands). Sting says when he thinks about that question he goes back in time. He says he watched the matches of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He talks about watching matches involving the ‘American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, which naturally gets a ‘Dusty’ chant and a big pop. Then Sting does a Dusty impression saying he’s gonna ‘put some color on your face, on your rights, and make you glow in the dark’, and put him with Ric Flair. Sting mentions that not long after that he was wresting Flair in main-event matches.

Fast forward, Sting says he sees Cody, Dusty’s offspring, and says he just couldn’t stay away. He had to come to AEW, to lead the charge, which leads to a ‘welcome home’ chant. Sting starts answering the question about Darby when Taz comes out to interrupt with Brian Cage, Will Hobbs and Ricky Starks. Taz calls Schiavone a jabroni for building Sting up. Ricky Starks says he’s tired of Sting getting involved in their business, saying Sting will get hurt messing with them. They all approach the ring when the lights go out. Suddenly, Darby’s in the ring. Taz decides against coming to the ring, and announces Allin vs. Brian Cage for the TNT Championship for January 6th. Cage says he want to fight now, but the others have to hold him back but the stable does eventually back down.

In the ring, Allin and Sting have a silent face-off.

Analysis: This was an interesting segment. We were left with as many questions as before since Sting didn’t answer all questions. This will probably lead to more such segments with Sting seeking to answer questions, until he eventually starts a program with Allin. As for Allin’s feud with Team Taz, I liked this because it didn’t end in the typical beat-up segment that seems to happen so often. This could lead to Allin teaming up with two other wrestlers against Team Taz, with Sting acting as Allin’s manager and Taz managing his group. But for now, this is a solid midcard feud that has the potential to be interesting if it’s given time to breathe.

(Commercial)

We come back with an MJF backstage promo. MJF is in this situation because ‘it’s the right thing to do’. MJF walks into a locker room and finds Santana & Ortiz sitting there. One of them apparently lost a loved one and MJF sympathizes with him and talks about losing his grandfather to cancer. The guy says ‘keep your heads up’ and they bro hug. MJF shakes hands with both of them.

Analysis: I don’t think MJF will be turning babyface anytime soon, but this was a nice gesture. I guess it goes to show that even bad guys have standards, and MJF was reaching out to a brother in arms that lost someone close to them. Even the biggest wrestling jerks have empathy around Christmas time.

Back in the arena, we have the next match

The Dark Order (Colt Cabana & Dark Order #s 5 and 10) vs. Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt)

Stunt and Cabana start things off. Cabana easily overpowers Stunt and puts him on the top rope (get it? Because he’s tiny like a child). But Stunt takes him down with hurricanranas. #5 tags in and gets taken down with an arm drag. Jungle Boy tags in, lands a Manhattan drop/enzuigiri combo for a two-count. Jungle Boy lands a dropkick for a two-count and tags Stunt back in. Stunt ducks a kick and dropkicks #5 down. They hand an elbow/slam/legdrop combo for a two-count, and then #5 carries Stunt to the opposite corner and tags in Cabana. Stunt ducks some attacks and tags Luchasaurus, who drops Cabana with a big chop. #10 comes in and lands another big chop as well. Luchasaurus slams #10 and tosses Stunt into #10, then Jungle Boy lands a diving splash for two. Jungle Boy dodges a corner charge, flips, tries to escape some double-and-triple teams, but fails and eats a rope-assisted German suplex for two.

(Commercial)

We come back and Jungle Boy tries fighting out of the villains’ corner but walks into a double-team fallaway slam for a two-count. They trade rear waistlocks and Jungle Boy lands a rebound lariat on #10. #5 tags in and pulls Jungle Boy away from his corner. Boy ducks a clothesline and tags Luchasaurus, who runs wild. Wheelbarrow German suplex on #10 and a spinkick, followed by a chokeslam and a standing moonsault for a two-count, but #5 breaks it up. He tags Marko Stunt and goes for a double team move. Assisted diving crossbody and another spinkick. Marko Stunt charges but gets cheap-shotted by #5. Luchasaurus gets double-teamed by Cabana & #10. Spinebuster/frog splash combo. Jungle Boy makes the save. #10 goes for a move but Boy counters and tags Marko Stunt. Luchasaurus gets launched like a weapon to the outside onto #10 and Cabana. Back suplex/powerbomb double team combo move. Really cool double team finisher. Jurassic Express wins.

Winners after 10:30: Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt)

Analysis: *** That was an exciting match from bell to bell. Dark Order tried to be funny at first by treating Marko Stunt like a child and it bit them in the ass. He, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus mopped the floor with them. I really like the finish with Luchasaurus going for a back suplex and Jungle Boy flipping #10 into a powerbomb from that. It looked very impressive. Long-term, I think both of these teams could challenge for the tag titles, but they need to be built up as more serious wrestlers. It could’ve been a bit of a better match if both teams slowed down a bit. It gets hard to digest so much when there’s so much happening in such a short amount of time.

Post-match, Schiavone interviews the Jurassic Express, calling them the #3 contenders. Mark Stunt starts to say how good it feels when he gets interrupted by FTR and Tully Blanchard, which gets boos. Blanchard announces that on January 6th, will be chomping at the bit. FTR will be looking to get their titles back and won’t get taken down by dinosaurs. As Blanchard finishes, he threatens Mark Stunt with ‘a flashback of the 1980s’.

Analysis: Unfortunately I didn’t watch pro wrestling in the 1980s so I have no idea what that’s supposed to reference. But judging by Marko’s body language, it must be something that has a very personal meaning to him. He was furious to hear this and Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy had to hold him back. Whatever the meaning behind this is, it looks like things will reach a head on January 6th. So far AEW has done a great job building up to that show.

(Commercial)

We go to a pre-taped segment with Alex Marvez catching up with Don Callis and Kenny Omega. Callis says he has spent 30 years in the wrestling business and says that he thinks it’s a joke that Tony Khan is letting pro wrestlers run the show. But Kenny can do what he wants because he’s the AEW World Champion.

Marvez then asks Omega for his comment, which leads to a message to Rey Fenix.

Omega: “Let’s take a year review in AEW. In the AEW tag team title match, you choked. In AAA, you choked. In the Eliminator Tournament, against your own brother, you choked. Not only that, but you couldn’t even continue when you got a nasty bump on your head. And what will happen when you face someone that doesn’t know you, that actually despises you? Someone that beats your brother’s ass? I may not only just beat you, I may put you out.”

Omega then says that if he does put Fenix out, then since he has friends in Impact, maybe they can take him. That leads to Callis saying “I don’t know about that, but I can ask Konnan.” They finished the segment by hyping up the match between Omega and Fenix for next week.

Analysis: This was a great interview. Callis got to take potshots at AEW by criticizing Tony Khan for basically letting the inmates run the asylum, and technically he’s not wrong. There’s this vibe from watching AEW shows that, in their quest to become the polar opposite of micromanaged WWE, AEW have given a bit too much freedom to their wrestlers. Callis doesn’t like this and hopes Khan can make some kind of change on this matter.

As for Omega, he did a great job making his upcoming match with Fenix feel more important. He called attention to Fenix’s recent high-profile losses, and even drew attention to Mexican promotion AAA and Omega’s recent title victory there. It’s great that AEW recognizes that other companies exist out there and that what happens out there has consequences in AEW’s own internal stories. I’m already looking forward to seeing Omega vs. Fenix next week.

We go back to the next match, and Eddie Kingston joins the commentary table.

The Butcher vs ‘The Bastard’ PAC

This is PAC’s AEW return match. He and Butcher go head-to-head, and PAC lands a big kick. PAC keeps ducking Butcher’s attacks, but Butcher tosses him out of the ring. PAC gets back in and they start chasing each other. Butcher gets back in and PAC starts kicking Butcher Daniel Bryan-style. Running dropkick to the side of the head by PAC. He charges again but Butcher lands a running crossbody. Butcher launches PAC into the corner and chokes him there. PAC’s clutching his neck as Butcher maintains control. He lands a big chop and biel throws PAC. PAC kicks out of a pin at two and Butcher launches him hard back into the corner a few times. He briefly gets distracted by Pentagon, and PAC lands some small kicks. Butcher maintains the strength advantage as they brawl ringside. PAC reverses an Irish whip and sends Butcher into the barricade, but Butcher fires back with a big boot.

(Commercial)

We come back and PAC fires away with brutal kicks all over Butcher’s body. PAC’s chest is as red as butcher’s from all those chops. PAC climbs the top rope and lands a shotgun dropkick. PAC goes for another diving move but ringside shenanigans distract him, which allows the Butcher to hit a huge lariat and a high-impact slam. Falling powerbomb by Butcher. PAC kicks out at 2.5. Butcher and Blade argue with the referee. Edie Kingston leaves commentary and start yelling to the Butcher, but then Lance Archer comes out to confront Kingston, this allows PAC to drop Butcher with a roundhouse kick. Black Arrow. One, two, three!

Winner after 11:40: PAC

Analysis: **1/2 This was okay. I think there was too much nonsense in this match with the leave-the-ring-go-back stuff and the constant shenanigans from ringside. It also didn’t make sense to me that PAC, on his return match back to AEW, was on defense for so long here. He was selling for The Butcher like he was in serious trouble, which didn’t make sense that much, PAC wasn’t out injured; he was restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And he makes his comeback by taking close near-falls to the Butcher, who is a lower-midcard wrestler at best? It just doesn’t make sense given PAC’s previous position on AEW’s card and how much bigger a star he is compared to his opponent.

Post-match, Archer enters the ring and confronts Pac. This leads to a standoff as Kingston continues to trash-talk in general.

We get a promo from Jade Cargill, a recent AEW signee. She congratulates Brandi for her pregnancy, but asks why Brandi announced this as Cargill arrived in AEW. She then asks for a worthy opponent for her time.

Analysis: Nothing special in either of these two segments. Archer vs. PAC would be weird since both of them are technically heels, and Cargill is as green as it gets in wrestling.

This is followed by another promo segment, but this time it involves Rusev…sorry, Miro. Tony Schiavone interviews Sabian and Penelope, alongside ‘The Best Man’ Miro, with the latter repeating “Smile Tony”.

Sabian says Schiavone should show more gratitude, as he announces the first-ever wrestling wedding on TNT. It’ll be a huge deal for Penelope, Sabian, Miro, the talent backstage, AEW, and a massive deal for us (the fans). This is the best moment in ‘our small, insignificant lives’, Sabian says, and that he has a gift for us: the date on which they’re going to get married. But before he can do this, there’s an interruption from the Best Friends…or not. It’s a joke. They show what really happened: Trent being put into the back of an ambulance, accompanied by Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor. Then Miro announces a beach wedding, at Beach Break on February 3rd. ‘this will define this company’s history’

Analysis: I really like how AEW hypes up multiple important dates on one show. So far, they’ve hyped up a big title match between Omega and Rey Fenix on December 30th, two big matches for January 6th, and now a wedding for February 3rd. It’s refreshing to see some degree of long-term planning and promotion.

At the same time, I’m generally not a fan of wedding segments in pro wrestling. They generally fall under the same umbrella as contract signings, multi-segment backstage skits, and authority figure stories as overplayed wrestling tropes. I don’t see how a wedding in AEW will differ from a wedding in any other company, especially since 99% of them end with the same nonsense anyway.

(Commercial)

We come back and Evil Uno is in the ring for the next match.

Evil Uno vs. ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes

As soon as Dustin gets to the ring Uno cheapshots him with hard punches. The bell eventually rings and Dustin lands corner punches and a running kick to the side of the head. He whips Uno but Uno holds onto the ropes, avoiding a throat thrust. Uno stomps on Dustin’s left hand and then throws him into the barricade. Uno goes for a chop but Dustin ducks so Uno chops the steel post. Dustin takes advantage and fires back with hard strikes back in the ring. Dustin targets Uno’s eye and lands more strikes. Uno ducks a clothesline and lands a kick, followed by a senton bomb from the top rope for a two-count. Uno continues to stomp on the hand as we go to commercial.

(Commercial)

We come back and Uno lands a piledriver for a 2.9-count. We get a recap of what happened during the break, which includes a code Red and a top-rope crossbody splash from Dustin. Man this guy’s in great shape. Back in the present, Dustin lands more hard strikes and both of them trade running kicks. Both men get up solely and Dustin lands a running bulldog for a three-count out of nowhere after eight minutes.

Winner: Dustin Rhodes

Analysis: ** This was an okay match for the time given. There was not much story in the match itself, with Uno largely being one of the weaker members of the Dark Order. The only memorable thing in this match is Dustin’s overall conditioning, which is still impressive for a guy over fifty years old.

Post-match, Uno once again tries to recruit Dustin into the Dark Order. He extends his hand for a handshake but Dustin kicks him down. This leads to Stu Grayson attacking Dustin with a torture rack into a backbreaker, and then they double team QT Marshall. But then Lee Johnson, a man recently recruited by the Nightmare family, dropkicks both of them.

Analysis: Dustin’s feud with The Dark Order continues. It will probably lead to a big six-man tag match at the next PPV, with some big stipulation likely added alongside. At least this gives Dustin something to do, and it allows him to work with rising stars like QT Marshall and Lee Johnson.

Schiavone has an interview with Shawn Spears. He asks Schiavone why he left the industry for 15+ years, and he said he was burnt out. Spears says you can change a few letter but you can’t change the glass ceiling. He says he’s better than 95% of not just the AEW roster but any roster. He says he walked into AEW hot as hell, but now he’s in a hole and Cody and Tony Khan pushed him into it. Schiavone interjects and asks if he ever thought that the common denominator to all these problems was him (Spears). Spears calls Schiavone a piece of shit for asking that. Spears then says he’ll come back IF he feels like it.

Analysis: This was an unexpected change in direction for Spears. He’s trying to suggest that he’s so good but so underappreciated in pro wrestling, and these problems go beyond whichever company he works for (if you recall, fans were making these same comments when he wrestled as Tye Dillinger in WWE). So now, after not finding any better booking in AEW, Spears decides he’s going to pull an Eric Cartman and say ‘screw you guys, I’m going home’. Yes, I know that’s a dated reference, but it’s appropriate all the same.

We get another interview with Hikaru Shida. She gets asked about Abaddon constantly attacking her, and before Shida can even say three words, Abaddon attacks again. Shida then makes her way down to the ring. Her opponent is, my guess, a jobber that has no chance.

Hikaru Shida vs. Alex Garcia

Shida quickly takes control with hard corner strikes and then both women trade dropkicks. A running elbow smash by Shida gets a two-count. Shida goes to lift Garcia but she counters into an inside cradle. Shida lands a corner splash and an elbow to the face for a one-count. Garcia goes for elbows but Shida absorbs them and lands a vertical suplex on Garcia. Shida continues with a running Nakamura-style apron knee lift. But then she turns around and Abaddon is staring at her. Enraged, Shida charges and kicks Abaddon into the corner. Shida makes it back into the ring by a count of nine but walks into a schoolboy rollup for two. Garcia lands a tilt-a-whirl slam but Shida overpowers her. Falcon Arrow slam. One, two, three. Shida wins after 3:27

Analysis: *1/2 A quick match to keep the champion Shida looking strong. Garcia barely got any offense here. It was more done to further the story between Shida and Abaddon. It’s disappointing to see the women’s champion in AEW barely get five minutes when some stuff on the show is padded and goes too long.

Post-match, Shida grabs her kendo stick to see if Abaddon is conscious, which she is. The two women continue their battle and Abaddon starts biting Shida in the neck. The commentators call for medical help for Shida as Abaddon walks away looking like something out of a George A. Romero film.

Analysis: I don’t think anyone has bothered to explain where the name ‘Abaddon’ comes from or what this character’s supposed to mean. The Hebrew Bible calls it a bottomless pit and associates it with destruction, while the New Testament’s Book of Revelations references an angel named Abaddon who commands an army of locusts. Both of those things sound intriguing, while AEW’s Abaddon is a woman with heterochromia that likes to bite people in the neck. I’m pretty sure that’s how 99% of pandemics start. Well, at least it’s a new story for the division, I guess.

(Commercial)

We come back to some hype for next week’s show:

  • John Moxley returns
  • Hikaru Shida vs. Abaddon for the AEW Women’s World Champion
  • Wardlow vs. Jake Hager

It’s now time for the main event.

AEW World Tag Team Title match: The Young Bucks [c] vs. The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster)

The Acclaimed come down rapping and they get booed like hell. The Young Bucks get cheered loudly.

This is for the AEW World Tag Team Championships. Matt and Caster start things off. They trade armlocks and forearm smashes. Matt ducks a kick with a dropkick and applies an armdrag takedown. Nick tags in and continues with the arm drag. Caster tags Bowens, and the Bucks do double team chops and elbows. Caster comes in and gets suplexed onto Bowens. Aided springboard dropkick by the Bucks. Followed by simultaneous baseball slides. Bowens gets whipped into the barricade, and Nick hops over the barricade and Caster gets dropped with a kick. Springboard splash/standing moonsault combination. The Bucks are dominating.

The Bucks maintain control with a catapult/kick combo and a diving double foot stomp on Bowens for two. Castor grabs Matt’s legs on a charge and then tags in. Now The Acclaimed land some double team kicks for a two-count. Nick Jackson tags in and lands a wide variety of different moves: dropkicks, clotheslines, springboard facebusters, asai moonsaults, and a senton. Except the senton doesn’t land because Bowens gets his knees up. And Caster smashes him spine-first into the apron.

(Commercial)

Back from the break, Nick misses a tag and gets smashed into the heels’ corner. Both of The Acclaimed land hard kicks in the corner to Nick. Nick counters a rear waistlock and tags Matt, who fires away hard on both opponents. Matt takes both of them down and lures Caster ringside, and walks into a kick from Nick. Matt catches Bowens into the multiple northern lights suplexes, and then applies a sharpshooter. Caster comes in and tries to break it up, but Matt maintains the hold. Nick applies a sharpshooter on caster ringside as Bowens is stuck in a sharpshooter n the ring. Great sequence.

Bowens reaches the ropes and kicks a charging Matt. Nick tags in and they land a doomsday device for a two-count. Knick goes to the top but Castor cuts him off. He tags in and lands a superplex into a suplex/splash combo. The ref goes for the count but Nick breaks it up.

Nick tags in and castor rakes his eyes then walks into a superkick. Bowens lands a rolling elbow smash, and nick accidentally superkicks the referee. Castor takes advantage with a low blow and then Bowens smashes a boombox over Nick’s head. Another referee comes in for the pin, one, two, no, Matt kicks out. Nick kicks one of them. Powerbomb on another through the announce table. BTE Trigger double-team move. One, two, three! The champions retain.

Winners after 14:50: The Young Bucks

Analysis: ***3/4 That was an exciting show-closing match. It was on the same level of wild craziness as the opener, but with higher stakes. The Acclaimed did a great job of predicting the Bucks’ moves and attacking accordingly. They lost, sure, but they dished out a lot of punishment as well. My favorite moment in this match was when Matt had one of them in the sharpshooter and the other hit him hard to break it up. But instead of falling apart right away, Nick absorbed it and dared him to attack again. That made him look like a much tougher wrestler that was willing to hold onto the submission hold as much as possible.

The show ends with JR wishing everyone Happy Holidays and the Bucks celebrating their win.

 

Three Stars of The Show:

  1. The Young Bucks: They carried The Acclaimed to a great match
  2. Kenny Omega/Don Callis: Their promo alone sold the importance of next week’s show
  3. MJF: A douchebag character showing people the importance of empathy during Christmas season in the middle of a catastrophic worldwide pandemic. Can’t really get any more appropriate than that.

 

Final Thoughts

I’ll give this show a 6.75 (out of 10).

This show was solid from an in-ring point of view and balanced with interviews and promos. Out of the two-hour broadcast, just over half involved actual wrestling matches (including commercial time). The matches themselves were okay by and large, but nothing truly exceptional. I found there to be too many similarities between the opening tag match, the six-man, and the main-event match. All of them followed the same formulaic ‘car-crash-style’ tag match with lots of crazy stuff happening that made it hard to follow along at times. Although it’s great that the wrestlers are getting opportunities to show what they can do, it would help if each match had a different feel to it. I was also disappointed with the singles matches, as they came across as rushed.

The big news of this show was that the Young Bucks retained their titles, which leads to different possibilities on which teams will be challenging them in the future. I’m also curious how Omega and Callis will handle the AEW/Impact relationship, as that is likely to be explored in the coming weeks and months.

On next week’s show, Kenny Omega will defend his AEW World Championship against Rey Fenix. If it’s anything like his AAA Megas Championship against Fenix from a few weeks ago, it’s probably going to be a great match.

(Note from John Canton: Thank you Alex for filling in for me. I was hoping to lighten the load a bit this week in terms of writing, so I asked Alex for help and I’m grateful that he was able to do this review. He’s a good man! I should be able to do the Dynamite review next week as usual.)