FTW Champion Brian Cage def. Matt Sydal (Non-Title)
Is the FTW Championship still a thing? I don't think it was on the line here, but the belt is basically a prop at this point that hasn't been explained any further than it was when Taz initially brought it back. Nonetheless, this was a quality contest, which shouldn't have come as any surprise given these two worked well together during their feud in IMPACT two years ago. I also appreciated how Taz talked up Sydal in a pre-match promo so it meant more when Cage beat him. I'm still hoping Sydal ends up with an official AEW contract eventually.
AEW TNT Champion Darby Allin and Will Hobbs Saved Cody Rhodes From FTW Champion Brian Cage and Ricky Starks; Jade Cargill and Brandi Rhodes Went Face-to-Face
Man, this thing was all over the place. I don't know if it was a bad segment as much as it was a mess. Cody said he isn't pursuing a rematch for the AEW TNT Championship at this time, even though he'll be teaming with Allin against Team Taz next week (which is logical after what went down at Full Gear). That stuff was fine, but Cargill's debut and face-off with Brandi Rhodes was beyond random. It looks like they're building to Cargill and Shaquille O'Neal (yes, Shaq) vs. Cody and Brandi at a later date. I realize Shaq is a wrestling fan, but it's such a strange storyline for Cody to pivot to. At least Brandi's promo was straight fire, something I'd never thought I'd say about Brandi.
The Natural Nightmares def. The Butcher and The Blade in a Bunkhouse Match
I honestly had no idea what a Bunkhouse match was coming into this contest, but it was basically a normal matchup with no disqualifications. They made excellent use of the weapons surrounding the ring and got much more violent than I expected them to. I haven't cared for this feud at all, but I give them props for going all out here and making it feel like an absolute war.
MJF and Wardlow Were Inducted Into Inner Circle
A lot of the interactions MJF has had with Chris Jericho over the last month or so have been fairly hit or miss, but this was definitely one of the better segments they've had to date as this was just a ton of fun. I doubt MJF and Wardlow will a part of Inner Circle for long, but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts and I'm looking forward to whatever they have in store when the entire group goes to Las Vegas last week. I hope they don't get too cute with it (a la Le Dinner Debonair) and run it into the ground.
Shawn Spears def. Scorpio Sky
These two have been feuding for a few months now and they were originally supposed to square off on a recent Dynamite before Sky was pulled for COVID-related reasons. I can't say the storyline has lit the world on fire, but it's kept both guys busy and has allowed Sky to establish himself as a singles star. They had a well-wrestled match here and Spears winning to keep the rivalry alive was perfectly acceptable. Spears beat Sky with the loaded glove, so it's not like Sky lost clean.
Tay Conti def. Red Velvet
Conti has a ton of potential and Velvet has been good in the few matches I've seen her in on Dark, but both women are works in progress and this match was evidence of that. It wasn't completely terrible, but I will say that nothing they did was overly exciting in the seven or eight minutes this went for. AEW's women's division continues to be the Achilles' heel of AEW. Following Conti's victory, The Dark Order was briefly shown standing in one of the tunnels. I don't think Conti joining the group would do her many favors.
Penta El Zero Miedo def. Rey Fenix
Much like their original encounter last month, this was an excellent affair from start to finish. The transitions were a bit smoother this time around and I liked how both guys brought the intensity. I could have done without the mask-ripping (I saw enough of that with Penta in Lucha Underground), but that was my only nitpick of this. As expected. Pac made his long-awaited return afterward to confront Eddie Kingston, who has been trying to tear The Lucha Brothers apart. Pac will wrestle for the first time in over eight months against The Blade on next week's episode. Pac vs. Kingston should be a killer feud, especially on the mic.
Coming off a fantastic Full Gear pay-per-view, this was a mixed bag edition of Dynamite. Pac's surprise return ended the evening on a high note, the Inner Circle segment delivered and the Bunkhouse match was an unexpected treat. Meanwhile, the stuff with Cody and Cargill missed the mark for me, the women's match felt like it belonged on Dark, and Sky vs. Spears wasn't exactly a barn burner. On a side note, Kenny Omega's promo outside of the arena was awesome and got me even more excited for his AEW World Championship match with Jon Moxley on December 2nd than I already was. Although I didn't love this episode on the whole, I'd argue it kept AEW's momentum from Full Gear alive and set the stage for the next few weeks.