"Broken" Matt Hardy and The Young Bucks def. Joey Janela and Private Party
Hardy portrayed his classic persona here (not "Extreme," but maybe "High Voltage"?) and it meshed well with Young Bucks' style. Janela and Private Party were a random trio, but it was clear that their sole purpose was putting over Hardy and the Bucks. It was an enjoyable outing to kick off the show. Even better was the post-match angle that saw FTR (the former Revival from WWE) arrive and save the Bucks from a beatdown at the hands of The Butcher and The Blade. I like that they're not immediately jumping into a showdown and are instead taking their time with it. FTR were always expected to sign with AEW, but it didn't make this moment any less cool.
Brian Cage def. Lee Johnson
This was the perfect first match for Cage on Dynamite. It was kept short and sweet and allowed Cage to showcase his intensity and dominance. It may have meant more had AEW not just aired 10 consecutive squash matches on Tuesday's episode of Dark, but that's merely nitpicking. I love the idea to pair Cage with Taz and I'm looking forward to Cage challenging Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship at Fyter Fest.
Britt Baker Offered an Update on Her Recovery
Baker suffered an injury during last week's tag team match and had to pull out of her match against Kris Statlander at Double or Nothing. Her injury was originally feared to be pretty bad and sideline her for the rest of the year, but as Baker said herself in this segment, she'll be back at All Out in September. Her mic work here was solid but far from her best. Not having an audience to play off of hurts her case, too.
AEW Women's Champion Hikaru Shida def. Christi Jaynes (Non-Title)
Jaynes apparently lost to Big Swole on Dark back in February, but I have no recollection of that whatsoever. She had a good showing here, but I don't think this should have been as competitive as it was, especially with Shida fresh off her AEW Women's Championship victory at Double or Nothing. It won't ruin Shida, but I'd argue she should have scored more offense than she did.
Tony Schiavone Interviewed AEW TNT Champion Cody
As much as I wanted Lance Archer to become the inaugural AEW TNT Champion at Double or Nothing, Cody makes more sense for the role the more I think about it. He can be a fighting champion a lot like John Cena was as United States Champion five years ago and defend the title in an open challenge every week. It's been done to death, but Cody can make it work. This was a strong promo from Cody that set the tone for the rest of his reign very well.
Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian def. SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) in an AEW World Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Match
Yes, Best Friends previously became the number one contenders to the tag titles by beating Private Party at Double or Nothing, but I assume that's being put on the back-burner while Havoc and Sabian get a shot first on next week's Dynamite. This was a quality contest with a logical outcome. I'm not yet sold on Sabian and Havoc as a duo when there's so many other tandems in the division who are better, but at least it gives Havoc something to do. Not to mention that SCU have already faced "Hangman" Adam Page and Kenny Omega twice before and lost both times.
Jungle Boy Won an AEW TNT Championship No. 1 Contender's Battle Royal
It should be noted that MJF and Wardlow teased tension in their pre-match promo as well as here, so I'm really hoping that it's a red herring and that isn't the direction they're headed in. Most of this Battle Royal consisted of losers that were easily disposed of by Wardlow, so it wasn't overly exciting by any means. That said, Jungle Boy winning was the right call. He looked great in defeat against MJF at Double or Nothing and I expect him to shine against Cody next week, too.
Inner Circle's Pep Rally Turned Into a Brawl Between Chris Jericho and Mike Tyson
I tend to enjoy most of Inner Circle's segments, but this was all over the place. It had its moments, but the comedy dragged a little longer than it probably should have. You had to know Tyson would show up eventually since they were advertising him all night long, but I don't mind Tyson vs. Jericho given their history and how Jericho would surely make the most of it. The brawl was a bit over-the-top, but it made for a memorable visual to end the show, if nothing else.
The first 30 minutes to this show were electric with FTR debuting and Cage making an impact immediately afterward. The rest of the show didn't quite measure up, but it was still fun all things considered. There was also plenty of hype for next week's episode and I liked how it felt like a big post-pay-per-view show featuring several notable happenings. Of course, having most of the roster back is a huge help.