Welcome to the AEW Dynamite Roundtable, where Pro Wrestling Musings' contributors share their thoughts on the biggest talking points arising from AEW Dynamite. Please note writer's views are their own.
This week's contributors are:
-Ryan Gorneault: @RyanGorneault [RG]
-Jacob Burns: @SaltyAyyycob [JB]
-Daisy Foster: @boutmachines [DF]
-Dan: @WrestlingRhymes [DH]
1) Young Bucks defeated Death Triangle’s Penta and Pac in the opening match of Dynamite. After the match, Eddie Kingston made the save for Death Triangle. Where is all of this heading between Kingston, Death Triangle and The Elite?
[DH] In truth I’m really not sure where this is going, and the answer might well be that it’s not really going anywhere. There’s a fair while until the next PPV, Dynamite is in an unfamiliar timeslot for the foreseeable future, so I wonder if this mini-feud will be used to just give us some bangers for the next few weeks. If that is the case then I more than fine with it, particularly as some of the action in this opening match was superb. I would also be extremely happy if the ultimate payoff to this is Alex Abrahantes slapping Brandon Cutler.
[DF] Thank God for the Young Bucks. These two are like the flipping, superkicking, wrestling equivalents of Midas. Everything they touch turns to pure gold. Pac and Penta are no slouches either, of course. I appreciated the mask spot from Penta, and judging from his social media post-show, he’s a very, very angry boy who will NOT let those rascal Bucks get away with their shenanigans.
Now, what I really want from this is an Elite (Bucks and Kenny Omega) versus wonky Death Triangle (Pac, Penta and Eddie) endgame. Have it main event the first show of the comeback tour and bam, we have a potential instant classic on our hands.
[RG] That match was fine for what it was, but all four of those competitors can do better. Maybe the time restraints failed the competitors because as fast paced as that match was at times, it never felt like they kicked into second-gear.
Eddie Kingston making the save for PAC and Penta feels less like him trying to befriend his former pals and more like him trying to subtlety recruit more people to try and murder The Elite. The latter option seems a heck of a lot more interesting than the former; Moxley will be down once he comes back from paternity leave, Kazarian was already onboard without being asked.
[JB] It’s weird to say that a great match like this was lacklustre compared to what I expect from the men involved, but it was. Don’t get me wrong, the match WAS great. Just not something you expect to come out of The Young Bucks’ Banger Factory.
The post-match angle was that tasty, tasty character continuity that AEW serves up so often. I hadn’t considered Kingston interacting his former family and PAC so soon after feuding with them. But now is the perfect time to have them reconnect. Moxley is out, Kingston is out for blood more than ever, and Penta/PAC are permanently mad at The Elite. Their meeting seems inevitable in hindsight.
2) Andrade el Idolo is All Elite. What are your hopes for Andrade moving forward in AEW?
[DF] Main events. Main events and main events and more main events. El Idolo is one of the best wrestlers on this planet, having debuted at the age of thirteen, and he’s up there with the best AEW has to offer. I’m aware of how far out AEW book their titles, but I’m in favour of Andrade jumping the line a little here. I’d like to see him with either the World or TNT title in the next eighteen months - he’s simply too good to stay on the mid-card for any longer than is necessary.
[DH] I agree, he’s quite simply a main-event level wrestler. In-ring he’s superb. He’s good on the mic let alone Vince McMahon assuming he isn’t because he’s a bit foreign. And just look at the sexy so-and-so.
I’m not sure I’m happy with the link-up with Vickie Guerrero but I suspect that might be relatively short-term anyway, and when you look at some of the potential matches, he can have in AEW he could be managed by Jim Cornette for all I care (okay that was too far). A superb signing for AEW and I cannot wait to see him back to his best.
[RG] Look, as long as his AEW career ends up being better than that debut, I would call it a success. There’s no reason to repeat what everybody else is saying, so I’ll leave off with this: he should at least win the AAA Mega belt from Kenny Omega at TripleMania, and we’ll go from there.
[JB] Andrade is the biggest acquisition since Moxley. The guy was putting out bangers long before going to WWE. He was putting on bangers in WWE. And he’ll be putting on bangers for a long time now that he’s out of WWE. The names Andrade could meet under the AEW banner is honestly insane. But why Vickie?
As a self-admitted Vickie Guerrero mark, I don’t know if she’s the best voice for him. He can cut an English promo just fine. But if you want someone to translate for him you have better options that won’t dominate his “Tranquilo” aura. They may have pushed for Thea but couldn’t close a deal, who knows? But if he really needs a mouth piece, why not get Dasha? She can cut a promo, she can even wrestle if needed. Just not Vickie. Not for Andrade. That being said, him being in AEW is nothing but a good thing. Andrade vs Jungle Boy, pls.
3) QT Marshall and Anthony Ogogo defeated Cody Rhodes and Lee Johnson after Ogogo knocked Cody out with Dustin Rhodes defeating Nick Comoroto in the main event. How does the feud progress from here and what did you make of these matches?
[DH] The tag match wasn’t particularly thrilling but it was a relatively good spotlight for Lee Johnson and I did like the ending of this one. I genuinely don’t understand Dustin going over Nick Comoroto though. Whilst a lot of people didn’t enjoy the match, I quite enjoyed it’s rough and ready style, but surely the aim here should have been to put Comoroto over as a beast.
As with the opening question, this one feels like it might be filler for the next couple of weeks, but without the electric style of matches that the Bucks can put on, I’m not sure that’s going to be enough. I just want to see Ogogo punching fools and Comoroto eating people. Is that too much to ask?
[RG] I whole-heartedly agree with that last sentence, because that would pretty much make up for the shoddy booking that has plagued this feud. Dynamite has pretty much killed my interest in this feud because, now that each of the Factory members have lost pretty high-profile singles matches against their counterparts, any win that isn’t extremely dominant will make the Factory look like chumps.
4) The Inner Circle delivered their victory speech and stated that they are not finished with The Pinnacle, hinting at and confirming future matches. Are you excited about this?
[DF] Simply put: No. I’m not. I said a few weeks ago in the roundtable that I wanted this feud to come to an end with The Stadium Stampede. Evidently, that’s not the case. The optimist in me says they’re dragging this out while AEW push through the month of pre-empted Dynamite’s (thanks NBA), and I can only hope that I’m right.
As for that announced Hager/Wardlow fight - there’s a lot that could go wrong, but I’ll reserve my judgement for now. A worked MMA fight sounds… interesting, at least. Could it be a disaster? Absolutely. But it’s the only thing that I’m mildly interested in when it comes to this feud moving forward, so, fingers crossed?
[DH] I think there’s a lot of fun to be had in the singles/tag matches that spill out of this feud. Jericho v MJF definitely needs to happen again. Proud and Powerful v FTR will be awesome. Wardlow v Hager in a cage should be thrilling. And any time I get to see Sammy Guevara in the ring is a good time.
I just don’t understand why we didn’t have these run of singles/tag matches before we had the two big blow-off mega-feuds. It all feels a bit backwards and disjointed as a result, and I’m still waiting for The Pinnacle to actually feel like a threat.
[RG] As long as these last few matches are the last ones of the Inner Circle versus Pinnacle feud, I’ll roll with it. I personally thought they should have ended with Blood & Guts because a match of that nature automatically feels like a feud-ender. To me, each wrestler involved in this feud is losing momentum trying to reinvent the wheel, throwing as many stipulations at the wall to see what sticks. Can we get a no-rematch clause just for this feud?
[JB] I’ve seen people say that this feud has been booked backwards. And it has, I won’t deny that. But I can’t call it bad strictly because the events were the wrong way round. To me, at least, it makes just as much sense to start at Blood & Guts and slowly split into individual feuds, as it does to start at individual feuds and work towards Blood & Guts. This way each individual acts can get individual rubs from the individual programs. Guevara can get the rub from Spears, Wardlow can get the rubs from defeating the undefeated Hager in an Bloodsport match. And MJF can get the rub from defeating Jericho again and putting him off tv for a while (please).
My only hope is that they contain all of these matches to one special episode on a Friday night. If the feud extends over multiple shows, they’ll lose the audience entirely.
5) What did you make of Britt Baker’s championship celebration?
[DH] I got the point of it. She’s almost too popular to be a heel and this was trying to rectify that. I also think that she delivered it all very well and the form Britt is in at the moment she could make most things feel special.
But overall, this segment just felt a bit naff. Dare I say it...a bit WWE. I think Baker v Nyla will make for a good first feud for Baker as champion as we hopefully build towards Baker v Thunder Rosa, but I’m not sure starting it with some burger-yeeting really fills me with confidence.
[RG] The segment did everything it needed to do, and I’m glad the segment at least got some time, but it was a weird way to establish Nyla Rose as wrestling’s favourite dentist’s enemy, and even more than that, it was a weird way to establish Rose as the face.
As mentioned before, Baker is too popular for people to truly buy Rose as the face, so AEW really needs to put in the work to either make Baker a dastardlier heel, and or show Rose’s capabilities as a face (since we haven’t seen that from her in AEW yet).
6) Is there anything else you’d like to mention from this episode of Dynamite? How did you feel about this episode overall?
[DF] It was underwhelming, there’s no denying that. With the unfortunate combination of an exhausted crowd, only one match I’d rate above a 3.5/5, and poor commentary work from Jim Ross (Andre el Igloo springs to mind), this show felt uninspired. It wasn’t even middle-of-the-road for me - it was below average.
Yes, that’s because AEW usually clears the bar by a country mile, but I can’t lie about thinking this show was, well, good, just because 99% of the time Dynamite is stellar. Not every show is going to hit right, especially when pre-empts are a thing. Nonetheless, with the addition of Andrade to the roster and Rampage only a couple of months away, there are certainly exciting times ahead for AEW.
[DH] Unfortunately I think this will be the tone of Dynamite for the next few weeks as they will know that the timeslot is working against them. There’s also now a very long build to the next PPV so I think a certain amount of treading water is to be expected, if not to be looked forward to.
Having said that we still got a banger of an opening tag match and the unveiling of a hugely exciting new addition to the roster, so even when Dynamite isn’t on form, it still delivers more than its fair share of talking points. Next week though I’d like to see a bit less ‘Double or Nothing fall out’ and a bit more ‘here are the huge things to look forward to’.
[RG] AEW can produce some excellent wrestling content when they’re at the top of their game (maybe some of the best wrestling television episodes since the late 1990s), so naturally, when their shows are less than great, the change in quality is noticeable. I almost think that AEW thought that some of the surprises would be enough to sustain Double or Nothing’s hype, or that the company thought they did not need to put in the effort they usually do because they knew not as many people would be watching because of the pre-empt anyways.
Watching WWE SmackDown right before Dynamite also soured the AEW experience because, whether people like it or not, and for all its faults, WWE has been producing some excellent episodes of SmackDown since Roman Reigns became Universal Champion.
[JB] The worst episodes of Dynamite are still better than 90% of any other weekly wrestling show today, but yeah... I’d definitely rank this as one of the worst episodes. Solid wrestling, but subpar angles.
I didn’t go into detail about the Factory/Nightmare Family stuff, or the Britt Baker segment because I don’t have much to say about them other than I didn’t enjoy them. I like AEW putting new faces in the main event, but Comoroto is TOO new. And I appreciate that they’re trying to be cute with Britt Baker, trying to have her skirt the line between heel and fan-favourite, but they’re being TOO cute with it.
I don’t want them to start sacrificing quality for experimentation. I don’t anticipate this being the norm once they get back on Wednesday, but I think Friday Night Dynamite is going to be a weird couple of weeks.