CM Punk def. Penta Oscuro
When Punk left wrestling in 2014 and Penta debuted in Lucha Underground later that year, this wasn't a match I expected to see on a major wrestling show, yet here we are. This was a ton of fun and served well as the opener. The crowd was hot for everything they did, and although there was that unfortunate botch from Punk in the middle, I loved how they incorporated that into the matchup. The finish was excellently executed as well. This should get Punk one step closer to contending for the AEW World Championship.
AEW World Tag Team Champions Jurassic Express def. reDRagon
When I realized this was happening second on the show, in my mind that hurt reDRagon's chances of becoming champions. Even when Jurassic Express retained the titles, I was still surprised. I won't be disappointed reDRagon lost here so long as Jurassic Express lose the belts to an equally prominent team. As a match, this was solid stuff. They're definitely capable of better, but it was well wrestled while it lasted.
"Captain" Shawn Dean def. MJF by Count-Out
Dean previously won a match against MJF by disqualification at the beginning of the year before beating Shawn Spears last week. It was cool they kept his winning ways alive by having him win yet again, this time by count-out thanks to MJF being distracted by Wardlow. It was similar to what we've seen with Wardlow in recent weeks, but the crowd ate it up, nonetheless. I'm glad they're moving on from Wardlow "invading" the building before it could get old. He'll be back in action next week against The Butcher.
Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia and Jake Hager) def. Eddie Kingston, Santana and Ortiz
Despite Kingston's best efforts, I haven't been able to bring myself to care about this feud. Kingston, Santana and Ortiz work well as a trio, but Jericho Appreciation Society does nothing for me. This was perfectly fine for what it was and the filled the time nicely, but there wasn't anything out of the ordinary about it. The heels winning made sense to extend the feud (even though I have no interest in seeing it continue) and at least it was Garcia who scored the pin for his team.
Marina Shafir def. Skye Blue
Most people will probably remember Shafir from the time she spent in WWE NXT, but she's been racking up wins on the Dark shows since debuting for AEW last year. She has potential, but this was a very underwhelming Dynamite debut for her. She didn't carry herself well at all and the crowd was completely quiet for her. That isn't to say she can't improve, but this didn't inspire a lot of confidence. Needless to say, I don't have high hopes for her against Jade Cargill.
Team Taz (FTW Champion Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs) def. Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland
This has been a rather basic feud on the whole, but I was looking forward to this match because of the talent involved and, damn, did they deliver. This was a terrific tag team match with great work from all four men. I felt bad for Strickland, who was clearly overshadowed by the other three, but hopefully he can make an impact in another storyline soon. Starks is a New Orleans native, so it made sense for him and Hobbs to pick up a meaningful win for a change. Plus, Taz interfered at the end, so Lee was protected in defeat. I'm curious where they go with this rivalry from here or if this was meant to be the blow-off.
Samoa Joe def. Minoru Suzuki to Win the ROH World Television Championship
Bobby Cruise being brought back as the ring announcer for this match was an awesome touch. I hope they continue to use him for every Ring of Honor title match going forward. At any rate, the match itself was the hard-hitting affair I was hoping for. They beat the holy hell out of each other and those chops were brutal. This is the sort of stuff I want to see from Suzuki and Joe was the perfect opponent for him. If Suzuki is headed back to Japan soon, it was logical to give Joe the belt, especially if Joe is going to be a regular in the revamped ROH. Unfortunately, the overrun went to waste with Satnam Singh debuting, attacking Joe and aligning with Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt. QT Marshall spoke highly of Singh last year when I interviewed him, but the way this was handled with the lights going out was quite lame.
Tony Khan said coming into this show that this Dynamite would be more wrestling-heavy than usual, and he wasn't wrong about that. He also hyped up the overrun, which ended up being a disappointment because of what they did with it. It's a shame the show ended in that fashion because the rest of the episode was highly entertaining. The six-man tag team match was whatever and Shafir vs. Blue went over like a fart in church, but the good far outweighed the bad this week and it made for a thumbs-up show heading into a loaded Rampage and another Battle of the Belts special on Saturday.