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:
- Gareth Ford-Elliot: @RHWGareth [GFE]
- Ryan Gorneault: @RyanGorneault [RG]
- Joe Cabana: @JoeProWrestling [JC]
- Wrestling Poet @WrestlingRhymes [WP]
1) With SCU vs Young Bucks announced for next week whilst The Bucks are tied up with Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley, what do you think will happen in the tag division?
[RG] It’s clear that the Young Bucks are attempting to do a juggling act, so I sure as hell hope that all hell breaks loose when they drop the ball(s). Eventually, more and more wrestlers are going to see what they are up to and join in with Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley for yet another paradigm shift.
I just hope that the cracks in the Young Bucks’ armour start showing during their match against SCU regardless of who wins. I would love to see The Young Bucks just *barely* win. Make everyone believe that SCU has a chance at winning and rip it away from us at the last second. Make SCU look great in defeat. [JC] This feels like SCU’s last hurrah, going out in the most fitting way possible against their old friends The Young Bucks. Should that be the case, I can only hope that the aftermath is focused on SCU and their demise as a tag team. I would not be surprised if this is where Moxley and Kingston get their revenge from Blood and Guts however, but I’d much rather focus on the cracks in the relationship between Frankie and Daniels, and stay on their story. Build for Bucks vs Mox/Kingston another time.
[GFE] I completely agree with Joe above. I’m looking forward to the Bucks revelling in tearing apart a team they’ve been good friends with and were mentors for them. From a character perspective, it should be a masterclass for both teams. Hopefully the post-match focuses on SCU, though, and doesn’t build The Bucks’ inevitable Double or Nothing feud against Moxley and Kingston.
[WP] I’m very much on the Bucks v MOX/Eddie train with everyone above, but the great thing about AEW is that you could equally see them going completely the other way and having SCU win just to keep that storyline going a bit longer.
Ultimately though I think we are due at least 3 more weeks of top-quality smarmy bastard Bucks before they get any sort of comeuppance. In terms of the four-way tag match itself, I did think it was a bit dull unfortunately. After SCU’s promo on last week’s Dynamite it was fairly obvious they’d win and I think that took a lot of the heat out of the match itself.
2) After defeating QT Marshall who does Cody Rhodes face at Double or Nothing with his announcement next week?
[RG] I imagine Cody Rhodes would fight another member of The Factory, but I am not totally sure. It would make sense, because if one of them could defeat him, it would make up for the fact that QT Marshall lost. I kind of expected Marshall to win, but in hindsight, it probably would make more sense for the students to win rather than the teacher.
Out of the three Factory members left who have yet to fight Rhodes one-on-one, Aaron Solow is the person who needs to be further established. I think I would want to see him fight Rhodes at Double or Nothing just because he needs it more than his associates.
[GFE] This QT vs Cody match went somewhat under the radar it seems. However, this entire feud is less about Cody and QT and more about the likes of Nick Comoroto, Anthony Ogogo, Aaron Solow and Lee Johnson.
The post-match actions from Anthony Ogogo suggest to me that he’ll be the one Cody faces. Matches like Comoroto vs Dustin Rhodes and QT vs Lee Johnson could help build to this over the coming weeks.
Ogogo seems the best option to me. He’s the only one who could believably beat Cody at this stage. Alternatively, we could see a multi-man tag team match for the sake of match variety at Double or Nothing.
[WP] As Griff briefly mentioned, I think we’ll be getting a multi-man match, or at least a tag-match. This whole feud feels set to put over Ogogo on one side and Lee Johnson on the other, so we could get Cody and Johnson v QT and Ogogo.
For me a multi-man weapons-based violence-fest seems the most likely scenario. With bull-ropes, wooden chairs and probably soon a 1980s tennis racket being introduced, it feels like there’s some old-fashioned mayhem on the horizon. Perhaps they’ll put them in the back of a moving hay lorry considering Dustin will also be involved. Okay I went too far.
3) The vultures are swirling around Darby Allin with both Ethan Page and Miro setting their sights on him. With Miro vs Allin announced for next week, how do you see all of this going down?
[RG] Anybody who knows me knows I dislike Darby Allin as a person and performer, so I really like the idea of Miro winning the belt from him next week. I honestly do not know how Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky might play into this, but I hope they don’t help Miro win the belt, just because he really needs an impactful (clean) win to finally prove himself. If they take out the trash afterwards, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world though...
Although, A Miro-Page-Sky alliance could be pretty fun....
[GFE] I have a sneaking feeling that Darby will ‘survive’ Miro next week in what I presume will be the main event. A time-limit draw. This will infuriate Miro who can then go on a tear, ripping through opponents, whilst making Darby look like a bigger megastar than he already is.
I’m unsure what happens at Double or Nothing. If you do indeed go down the time-limit draw route, with Darby retaining his title, then I could see a match involving Archer, Miro, Allin, Sky and Page for the title. Alternatively, I wouldn’t be surprised if Miro just defeats Darby and we get Sky & Page vs Darby & Sting at Double or Nothing.
Either way, Darby being thrown down the steps by Page and Sky was a phenomenal segment and that alone sold me on an angle that I wasn’t very high on. Darby’s selling and acting was incredible. I was fully worked and thought he was injured.
[WP] As has been the case for a while now there feels like there’s too much going on in the TNT Title scene right now. I loved Page and Scorpio Sky hurling Darby down the stairs like an empty coke-can, but if that leads to Miro taking the title how has that benefited either of them? And if Miro doesn’t take the title, what does that say about his future? And what about Lance Archer?
I can certainly see how this might lead to Griff’s multi-man extravaganza but I’m worried that means A LOT more shenanigans in the next few weeks. Personally, I’d prefer to just see Miro roll in and win cleanly next week, but I’m not sure the story has been set up that way at this stage.
4) We had two World title matches announced for Double or Nothing with Britt Baker challenging Hikaru Shida and either PAC or Orange Cassidy facing Kenny Omega. What did you make of these announcements and what do you want to see come Double or Nothing?
[RG] Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Hikaru Shida facing off at Double or Nothing is a surprise to just about nobody in the IWC (I assume) so it’s not even worth me talking about.
I fully did not expect Orange Cassidy to be one of the possible contenders for Kenny Omega’s title belt, but I think that goes to show how well Cassidy has been booked. AEW says wins and losses matter, but Cassidy’s booking has been understated. Yes, he wins a lot (with a 65.9%-win rate in the company) but his wins don’t seem to affect him all that much in the same way that losses don’t seem to affect him all that much. I see a lot of parallels between Cassidy’s booking and his wrestling style. The fact that he is as chill as he is about wins and losses play into his character VERY well.
[GFE] Like Ryan said above, we all expected Shida vs Baker to be announced. However, I don’t think that means we should let them off the hook on this. Baker had a match on the card and she wasn’t given a promo afterwards. We didn’t see Shida. We just got a graphic. This simply isn’t good enough and if AEW won’t build a title match involving Britt Baker, the best talker in the division, then any good faith we had in AEW’s care for the women a month ago should be lost. This is unacceptable and the coming weeks have to be better.
As for Omega’s title, I think they did a good job. I want to see Omega face both Pac and Orange Cassidy so the number one contender’s eliminator next week is exciting. Not least because they had an amazing match at Revolution.
However, I will say that Orange Cassidy appeals to me more as a challenger on TV and I’m desperate for Pac vs Omega in a main event of a PPV. So, I hope that’s what we get with Cassidy getting his shot on TV at a later date.
[WP] Ryan saying he won’t talk about the women’s title match is exactly the issue that AEW need to deal with in the next three weeks. It’s the right match to do, and I don’t doubt that it will be a fantastic match, but they’ve now got three shows to make us really care about it, particularly having not taken the time to do so on Blood and Guts.
For Omega’s side of things, I really think the money is in the Cassidy v Kenny match for Double or Nothing. Of course, PAC would give us a better wrestling match, and I would still love to the Bastard and the Cleaner going at it, but strange as it seems, Kenny v Orange just seems more ‘box office’ and I think the viewing figures and merch sales prove that. To be honest though is anyone going to be hugely disappointed if get either match at the PPV? Don’t lie.
5) What are your thoughts on the Blood & Guts main event?
[RG] It was almost SO GOOD! Before “The Match Beyond” began, I got the sense that the competitors wanted to try and toe the line between the Early 1990s War Games matches and the NXT War Games matches. In other words, the first chunk of the match was greatly paced and featured some super nasty spots, which I appreciated. And then Chris Jericho entered. Everything slowed down, all intensity went out the door, and it suddenly became a chore to watch.
If the ending was not nearly as lame as it was, the slowdown would have been forgivable. Unfortunately, the actual finish of the match seemed like a bit of a cop-out, and the show-finishing stunt (which was at least seemingly executed as safely as possible) looked terrible.
Despite a great start and an anticlimactic end, I’m still curious to see how they handle that turn of events from a storyline perspective.
[GFE] To keep this concise I didn’t think the B&G match was great but it wasn’t bad either. It was really good in parts and actively bad in others. The finish didn’t bother me all that much. I don’t think it was executed brilliantly but it is what it is.
For me, the first half of the match was really good but there were certain things that derailed the match. It seemed to be a series of unfortunate events that led to, as Ryan said, the match slowing down. Soon my investment and suspension of disbelief failed.
By the ending sequence I was laughing too much at Chris Jericho’s God-awful selling. Jericho was then stood on the edge of a cage for what seemed like an eternity and I couldn’t understand why he was so done that he couldn’t just move or fight back. It just wasn’t believable at all to me. So bad that I audibly laughed when MJF pushed him off.
On the same night where Darby Allin did some of the greatest selling of a bump that I’ve ever seen, I just couldn’t buy most of this match once Jericho entered. There were plenty more issues and various compliments I could give this match, but we’d be here all day.
[WP] Pretty much in agreement with everyone else. It started wonderfully. In fact I thought everything up until ‘not the match beyond’ was 5-star stuff. The action was incredible both athletically and viscerally. There were some fantastic call-backs to the War Games of old and it really felt like a return to what this style of match is meant to be (i.e. not people jumping off cages in a bin).
But the second half simply didn’t live up to that. I was fine with it slowing down a bit as that made sense in the context of the match, but Tully letting MJF out to climb to the top didn’t make any sense, and I’m with Griff that Jericho hadn’t endured nearly enough to be wiped out a quickly as he was in the build-up to the finish. I don’t care about the issue with how safe the landing looked. The same myopic fools will have been complaining about Matt Hardy’s bump earlier in the year being far too unsafe, so let’s have some consistency at least.
For all the problems though? MJF looked awesome and that was really the ultimate goal.
6) How do you feel about Blood & Guts as a show? Is there anything else you want to mention?
[WP] Considering it was ‘only’ a weekly show I thought this was a largely brilliant outing for Dynamite. I think maybe they could have done with one fewer segment to allow more time for Baker, or at least lop a load off the opening match which was only okay.
Perhaps the main thing to mention though is how bloody stacked next week’s show looks. It feels like a PPV but also all feels incredibly earned. Miro v Darby, Bucks v SCU, Cassidy v PAC and Crikey Moses Moxley v Yuji Nagata! I need a lie down just thinking about it.
[JC] By and large I agree that for a weekly show it was a very good episode. Blood & Guts had its flaws and it wasn’t a homerun special, in the end none of that really mattered to me. It was a free show, it was fun and a very good time, like Dynamite usually is. MJF looked a star like he was supposed to, Jericho is probably going on vacation (or tour, I don’t keep up with Fozzy) and next week’s show looks like a sure winner, all in all I felt good about this show, but I also think there’s a lot of room for someone to do a better Blood and Guts match in the future.