Again, I’m not going to do a play-by-play of every match. I only saw a sampling of the program so I can’t provide a specific context. Also, I think that would just take too much time and mental energy to make it worth my while. So I’m going to focus on key points for each segment.
- Pac/Penta vs The Young Bucks – Just a tag match. No idea why Pac/Penta were paired together initially. There’s a theory where The Young Bucks go on first to be able to claim that their match is hot rather than being exposed. Post match brawl with Eddie Kingston making a save and having some drama with Pac for their history. Honestly, I can’t stand the Bucks and just wish that they get off of TV. Nakazawa gets TV time and Frankie Kazarian beats him up. Cutler interferes for the Bucks to win. Don’t know what the long term point is. Doubt people in AEW do neither.
- Mark Henry gets introduced as an analyst (announcer?) for Rampage coming in 2 months. That’s a LONG ways away. So what will he be doing in the meantime? Does hint at a possible return to the ring. But who is going to fight? Miro?
Vickie Guerrero does her Vicky Lawrence impression of Thelma Harper from Mama’s Family, which actually works to get heat. Rudely, she dismisses Mark Henry and Tony Schiavone to introduce Andrade el Idolo (the idol?). Vickie got so much heat people apparently could not hear Andrade’s name. As expected, Andrade got a pretty big pop especially after it was announced back in March that he was let go. So now, he’s doing his Ric Flair look with Vickie moving forward as his apparent manager.
Hated that Mark Henry did not get the chance to soak in the moment with the AEW crowd. It was worse that Vickie dismissed him. Unless they’re building a Mark Henry vs Andrade feud, the way this segment was handled was bad. Two big occurrences in one spot (probably the intention was to be the real ratings grabber here) but one segment did not flow well into the other. Someone over in AEW needs to learn how to produce a show.
- Cody Rhodes/Lee Johnson vs QT Marshall/Anthony Ogogo – Follow up to their Double or Nothing match, except it’s a tag match. Booking feels weird here unless they’re building a long term feud with Cody and Ogogo. But AEW’s booking is too schizoid to make me believe this will last any longer than 2 weeks. QT Marshall still seems like a jobber not matter what they want to do with him.
- Inner Circle celebration – Just a circle jerk off session so that Jericho can continue to stroke his ego and pretend he’s a musical genius when the crowd for some god knows reason sings his song. The unending feud continues just because. They’ve really booked themselves and their balls into a salad shooter with this one.
- Best Friends promo. Orange says it’s not over. Why god why?
- Jungle Boy/Christian vs Private Party – Private Party is such a stupid gimmick. The two guys don’t seem to have an identity outside of Matt Hardy. They job because they’re jobbers and have no identity and give Jungle Boy another win. Marty Hardy tries to keep relevant by giving Christian a Twist of Fate on the ramp. So Jungle Boy is inadvertently lead into a feud with Private Party because he got pulled into Christian’s mess? And that’s in addition to him facing Kenny Omega at the end of the month? If Jungle Boy can pick up a win on Matt Hardy prior to facing Kenny Omega, then this segment makes some sense just to help give Jungle Boy some credibility. Otherwise, it’s just another mess.
- Adam Page Anti-Promo – Taz tells Adam Page he’s going to face Brian Cage/Hobbs on Team Taz next week with someone from the Dark Order. Brian Cage didn’t look happy. Pretty obvious face turn that he shouldn’t be given. I’m guessing that they want to push Hobbs as the next big thing from Team Taz and move Brian Cage out on his own. This is why all these factions in TNA suck ass. Also, what does Adam Page get from all of this outside of a most likely fluke win?
- Darby Allin/Sting come out to do an in ring promo with Tony Schiavone. Again, rather than allowing Sting to have his moment of victory, another interruption occurs with Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page calling Darby co-dependent upon Sting and to find a new partner. That was stupid. You’re basically saying these two jobbers can only defeat Darby if he gets someone other than Sting to face them? What’s the point? Why can’t they just move on to something else already?
- Dr Britt Baker title celebration – McDonalds gets to be advertised here with a Big Mac coupon. Why? That’s the diabeetus right there! Nyla Rose gets pissed in this. But she’s with Vickie Guerrero and thus a heel. Why Nyla as a challenger? What about Thunder Rosa? Shouldn’t she be the one facing Britt next according to win/losses? Again, horribly dumb ass booking here.
- Bunny vs Red Velvet – This should’ve been on Dark or Elevation as the main event. Bunny is just ultra green. I saw a clip of Red Velvet nearly taking the meaning of a suicidal dive literally. Hope she’s okay. But again two green girls. I like Red Velvet but this match really served no purpose. Where’s Serena Deeb? That’s who AEW should be presenting on Dynamite and giving her more matches and beating people up because she can work.
- Another segment for the Dark Order. Evil Uno gets a title shot against Miro. Evil Uno. Really? Why? He just got a shot because Johnny Hungry, whom I again have no idea, is not cleared and their whole gimmick is that each member is interchangeable. But what did anyone in the Dark Order do recently to earn a title shot? This obviously is to feed Miro wins but there’s no lead up to Evil Uno earning anything. It feels like the TV title is diminished by having some random job guy declare on whim that his shot can go to someone else because he felt like it. How the hell does that work? Andrade should just bitch slap Kenny Omega and tell him he wants a world title shot immediately for that matter.
- Miro Promo – Miro is great here. Finally one of the few bright spots in AEW where you have a champion looking and acting like a champion. He’s really finding his footing and looking better in his role. Again, I think he should be smashing up job guys for a long time and having them bounce off of him. Then down the line give someone like Jungle Boy a title shot.
- Dustin Rhodes vs Nick Comoroto – Bullrope match. Again, why? Poor Dustin. Lucky his bro is the main EVP in the company which means Dustin can still have a job at his age. Nick is legit huge but he’s green and needs to improve. Why was this match the main event? Dustin wins but I don’t see how this match helped anyone or is something that will lead somewhere. It’s just another match on TV.
Let’s be real here. The only two reasons to watch Dynamite tonight was to see Mark Henry make his debut and then the shocking revelation of Andrade. And even then they fucked both segments up. I don’t doubt that with all the recent WWE releases that we’ll see at least 2-3 more people make their way to AEW. The great thing for the WWE is that they won’t have to job their people on the way out because AEW will do it for them.
Where is Andrade going to be in all of this? The roster is just too big at this point and they’re adding MORE TV in the near future. But is it necessary when they can’t even create a coherent show? People popped for Andrade because they recognized him from the WWE and probably are happy that he’s getting a home where they think he’ll be “used” properly. Maybe he’ll get more air time and a few defenses but I think he’ll just be stuck in a midcard feud and/or put into a faction or forcibly enter into a faction war that last for months on end.
Here’s the thing. AEW has a LOT of momentum on their side. Their best attribute is that the owner’s father has a SHIT ton of money. So they can get the TV deals and attract the stars that get canned from WWE. And they have fans who are effectively anti-WWE fans because they’ll eat up whatever AEW throws at them.
But there’s simply no logic with how people are being used. I think people just are on a platter and get rotated for consumption. Which might be great for them individually because it would seem fair. Yet there’s no meaning nor long term growth.
What happens to the so-called home grown talent? Do they just become disposable heroes? I mean the non-pushed people are there because it seems the WWE never wanted them or realized that they were missing something. A few like Tay Conti might use the opportunity to their advantage. However, maybe some of them never had it to begin with and that they’re just going to flounder without better trainers and bookers. If I were the lower card guys, I’d be pretty damn worried just because a new ceiling is going to eventually be created by all the influx of talent.
Now in some cases like Christian, there might be a sincere effort to help the younger talent because they’ve already made their mark. However, guys like Andrade, Miro, etc. who are still in the prime of their careers ought to be eating up the talent because they have wider recognition.
I’m hoping that with the new Rampage show they’ll just have a dedicated group of talent almost like Smackdown. Otherwise, I don’t really see a point. If they have an overabundance of useless talent, then AEW might consider starting to cut them too. But no matter what, they need to tier their talent. You need your A players, your B players, your jobbers, etc. And these TV shows should reflect such a structure.
It might seem cold to describe this type of glass ceiling but I see it as a way to demonstrate those that are primed and ready vs those that are green and need a lot of work. For instance, Jungle Boy, Sammy Guevara, MJF and Darby Allin might be considered the A players besides whatever upper echelon talent AEW grabs from the WWE (or elsewhere in rare instances). But someone like The Bunny needs to stay on Dark or Elevation to improve. They can still have the upper card players wrestle on Elevation or Dark to help improve the green kids’ game plans. But there’s a reason why Raw and Nitro had been the A program for a long time.