Eddie Kingston def. Lance Archer
I like how the commentators acknowledged that these two have been at odds since Archer won that Battle Royal back at All Out in September that Kingston was never eliminated from. Archer dominated a majority of the match (that chokeslam on the apron looked brutal and perhaps a bit too reckless), but Kingston stole the win following interference from The Butcher, The Blade and Allie. Archer shouldn't be losing often, but he was protected in defeat here and Kingston needed the win more coming off his loss to Pac. This was an enjoyable opener.
Inner Circle (Chris Jericho and MJF) def. Varsity Blonds
As much as I don't care about the Inner Circle drama, I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the mash-up of entrance themes for Jericho and MJF. It's pretty fire. At any rate, this was a fun match and exactly what I was hoping it would be. Varsity Blonds have been killing it on Dark lately and it was cool to see them get another opportunity to shine on Dynamite against two top talents. The bad blood continues to brew between MJF and Sammy Guevara and it's bound to reach a breaking point sooner rather than later.
Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet Challenged Shaquille O'Neal and Jade Cargill
I don't know if I'm in the minority on this or not, but I truly couldn't give two craps about this storyline. Everyone played their roles well in this segment and Red Velvet's promo in particular was great (last line aside), but I have little desire to see Cody and Velvet against Shaq and Cargill at Revolution. I realize Cody said it was supposed to him and Brandi teaming up before she got pregnant, but that likely would have been even worse from an in-ring standpoint. It's clearly an attempt from AEW to gain more mainstream buzz by bringing in Shaq, but Cody's booking has been all over the place in the past six months and the inconsistency with his character causes me to care less.
"Hangman" Adam Page def. Ryan Nemeth
Nemeth is obviously the real-life brother of WWE Superstar Dolph Ziggler. He used to be with WWE in their developmental system as Briley Pierce. He looks a lot like Ziggler and wrestles very similar to him as well. I don't know if that was intentional or if Ziggler got some of his signature moves from his brother or what, but Nemeth looked like a knock-off Ziggler out there and that's not a good thing. The match was perfectly fine, but I would have preferred one of AEW's other go-to enhancement guys in that spot instead. It didn't really matter as it was meant to be a backdrop for Matt Hardy scouting Page. I like that The Dark Order and now Hardy are attempting to convince a depressed Page to join them, it's quality storytelling.
Jungle Boy def. Dax Harwood
Cash Wheeler and Tully Blanchard were handcuffed to Luchasaurus at ringside for this. I was glad that the heels didn't find their way out of the stipulation and that Jungle Boy and Harwood were allowed to have a straightforward singles match with no shenanigans. To be honest, I had zero expectations for this as I've never cared for FTR in one-on-one matches, but this ended up being a very entertaining affair. Harwood impressed me on his own and Jungle Boy showed major singles potential. FTR attacking Jurassic Express afterward to keep the feud alive.
Britt Baker def. Shanna
This was Shanna's first match back on Dynamite in nearly a year, but she's actually been back on Dark for months stacking up victories. She's skilled in the ring, but my issue with her character is that we know nothing about her. Thus, it was logical for her to lose to Baker here, especially since Baker is facing Thunder Rosa next week at Beach Break. This was a solid warm-up for Baker before then.
AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks and Impact World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers def. The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex "3" Reynolds and John "4" Silver)
This marked the first time that Young Bucks and Good Brothers have teamed up since Good Brothers left for WWE five years ago. Despite Young Bucks being babyfaces and Good Brothers being heels, they didn't miss a beat and had strong chemistry. As for Dark Order, they've been getting over great and had another awesome performance here in what was a fast-paced and exciting main event. Young Bucks clarified that they're in next week's Battle Royal to determine the number one contenders to the AEW World Tag Team Championship because they get to choose their opponents at Revolution if they win and teased a clash with Good Brothers. Then all hell broke loose with Rey Fenix attacking afterward and Jon Moxley laying out Kenny Omega. That was a hot ending to the episode.
Dynamite hasn't been too thrilling in recent weeks, but this episode was a definite improvement and a step in the right direction. It featured some quality wrestling and did an effective job of progressing several storylines and more importantly building to Beach Break next week. The occasional television specials from AEW are always excellent, I just wish AEW wouldn't give away their best stuff on those shows and instead make some of the other episodes more more must-see. I still love that they advertise everything in advance to give fans things to look forward to, but a majority of the cards in recent weeks haven't been anything special. Thankfully, this edition picked the pace back up and the two hours were more engaging than they have been lately.