"Hangman" Adam Page def. Ricky Starks
Page is the perfect person to kick off a show. He always brings the energy, is popular, and never delivers anything less than a superb match. I honestly had no idea Starks was also undefeated in singles matches in recent months, but that's because his role in Team Taz has been the bigger focus. As for Page, he's been killing it every time he's stepped in the ring, despite not having any real sense of direction lately. This was an entertaining encounter. However, the post-match angle with Team Taz and The Dark Order was unnecessary. AEW's obsession with running angles after every match has gotten old.
Penta El Zero M def. Trent
I remember when Trent beat Penta in one-on-one action when Dynamite first started and I wondered why because he was and still is a bigger star than him on his own. They had also quality contest here that effectively furthered the feud between Best Friends and Death Triangle. I could have done without the ringside shenanigans, though. Penta should have been able to beat Trent by himself.
Jim Ross Interviewed The Pinnacle
I didn't love the idea of an Inner Circle vs. Pinnacle program originally, but they've sold me on it with the work they've done. That includes this interview where MJF came off excellent. I think this was also the most we've ever heard from Wardlow and he can clearly talk, so he'll be perfectly fine on his own when that day comes. This was a strong segment that set the stage for Inner Circle's response later in the night.
AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida def. Tay Conti
This was easily the biggest bout of Conti's career and she definitely delivered. Hell, this might have been one of Shida's best title defenses to date, and she's been champion for almost a full year. I don't think the outcome was ever in doubt, but Conti put in a hell of an effort and they clicked really well. With the win, Shida now moves on to Britt Baker as expected. I (and many others) have been saying it since the beginning of the year, but Baker needs to be the next AEW Women's World Champion.
Inner Circle Addressed The Pinnacle
As noted, I enjoyed the Pinnacle sit-down interview and this was very good as well. Chris Jericho has always been a master of the mic, but he's felt refreshed since the face turn. His promo from two weeks ago was better than this, but everyone else cut solid promos and successfully hyped up Blood and Guts in two weeks. I read somewhere that the entire episode will be dedicated to that one match, which I don't agree with if true. It's great they're making it out to be a big deal, but two hours for one match is too much.
QT Marshall def. Billy Gunn
This is the type of match you run on Dark or Dark: Elevation. I realize they're trying to give Marshall some credibility ahead of an eventual clash with Cody Rhodes, but he isn't a threat whatsoever. I mean, he needed outside interference to beat Billy Gunn in 2021, so how much of a threat could he really be? The match was whatever and I continue to feel apathetic toward the entire angle. Dustin Rhodes going after Marshall afterward must mean they're being set up to face each other either on an upcoming episode of Dynamite or at Double or Nothing. Oh joy.
Christian Cage def. Powerhouse Hobbs
Cage's first bout back against Frankie Kazarian was better than this, but it was still well-wrestled as both guys had perfectly competent performances. The key here was making Hobbs look strong in defeat and I thought they accomplished that by having him dominate a majority of the match. Cage and Starks teased a potential matchup afterward and that could be a blast. Could we headed to Cage and Page vs. Team Taz at Double or Nothing?
AEW TNT Champion Darby Allin def. Jungle Boy
I'm so glad AEW has gone back to having the AEW TNT Champion defend their title almost every week like when Cody Rhodes did it last summer. It was also smart to put Allin in the main event for the second straight week. Not only because he's popular, but also because this was the biggest attraction on the show in my opinion. As expected, this was an excellent main event that proved that these two are the future of AEW. I could have done without Sting and Luchasaurus brawling to the back (why even have them out there in the first place?) as well as the post-match angle, but I guess this company constantly feels the need to set stuff up for the following week without letting the result of the match settle for a few minutes.
Dynamite did a fantastic number last week with 1.2 million viewers. I'm so happy that they chose to follow up on that with another strong show this week. The wrestling was above-average on the whole (with the exception of Marshall vs. Gunn), storylines were effectively furthered, and that MJF promo was just fantastic. Now that AEW and NXT are running unopposed, I would love to see both shows continue to do well in the ratings. AEW needs to maintain this momentum for a change and they have the chance to do so with what they have coming up.