Andrade El Idolo def. Juice Robinson
Bullet Club Gold were without Jay White as he was attacked backstage by a number of masked men (including someone wearing MJF's devil mask) as Dynamite went off the air on Wednesday night. I assume Roderick Strong and The Kingdom had something to do with that, but we'll see what they have in mind. As for this match, it turned into a hell of an opener. Robinson's matches have become more interesting now that he's more interesting as a character, Andrade is obviously excellent, and the crowd was into the action despite the obvious outcome. I maintain that we're headed toward Bullet Club Gold against La Faccion Ingobernable.
The Kingdom def. Best Friends
Kingdom blamed Best Friends for costing them the opportunity to become number one contenders to the ROH World Tag Team Championship on last week's Grand Slam edition of Rampage. This was good stuff from two teams that have been around a while. Kingdom are doing the comedy shtick well being with Roderick Strong, but they also need wins to establish credibility if they're going to eventually challenge for the tag titles and this accomplished that.
Julia Hart def. Vertvixen
Being an enhancement talent, Vertvixen obviously isn't on the level of Skye Blue or Willow Nightingale (both of whom Hart has beaten in the past week), but this just gave Hart another win to boost her momentum heading into her AEW TBS Championship with Kris Statlander at WrestleDream. It was what it needed to be. I liked that we got to hear from both Hart and Statlander afterward, albeit briefly. Hart seems to be more comfortable on the mic than Statlander currently is.
Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega def. The Gates of Agony
This marked the first time ever Jericho and Omega have ever teamed up on television and it was a cool attraction with the crowd being super into both babyfaces. There was never any doubt surrounding the end result, but I'm glad Gates of Agony were able to score some offense and look competitive before eating defeat. Jericho and Omega addressed their WrestleDream opponents afterward, effectively hyping up their star-studded six-man tag team match.
The Righteous def. Travis Williams and Judas Icarus
This was pretty much the same squash we saw The Righteous have on Wednesday's Dynamite, except that they got mic time afterward this time. That was necessary in getting fans more familiar with them because they've barely been on AEW programming before recently. Vincent alluded to Adam Cole lying about his injury (though it's safe to say that it's very much legitimate), adding intrigue to the Cole-MJF storyline. I love The Righteous act and hope it isn't not just a one-and-done for them at WrestleDream.
Ricky Starks, Big Bill and Aussie Open def. Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson and Wheeler Yuta) and AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR
This was billed as an "All Star" main event, much like the main event we got on Collision right before All In. This wasn't as stacked, but it did get plenty of time and feature some strong wrestling. Multiple feuds were furthered simultaneously and the heels going over was the right call. Now Starks just needs to pick up more high-profile wins. Zack Sabre Jr., who sat in on commentary and is Danielson's WrestleDream opponent, went face-to-face with Danielson afterward.
This was similar to Wednesday's Dynamite in that it wasn't the greatest go-home show but that everything served a purpose and the two hours were efficient. Andrade vs. Robinson, Omega and Jericho teaming up, and the main event all made the episode more enjoyable. The show followed a simple formula and it was a thumbs-up effort on the whole. Even with a bloated 14-match card, WrestleDream has a ton of potential on paper and I'm looking forward to it.