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:
- Wrestling Poet @WrestlingRhymes
- Gareth Ford-Elliot @RHWGareth
- Sergei Alderman @SergeiAlderman
- Joe Cabana @JoeProWrestling
- Daisy Foster @boutmachines
- Craig William @CraigPWMusings
1) What are your thoughts on that opening Tag Team Championship match and where does it leave Death Triangle moving forward?
[SA] The match was every single thing you want from a high-energy tag match. Matt Jackson going for his usual corner out of habit was truly a moment of pro-wrestling zen. I might guess that Death Triangle would accept the loss and move on to other things--after all: just last week, Best Friends reminded them that they hadn’t forgotten about them. But then on Thursday morning Rey reminded us all that ripping off a luchador’s mask is an affront that they have no intention of just letting slide, proposing AEW’s very first apuesta: Mask vs Hair.
I dunno: the Bald Bucks! It really has a ring to it!
[WP] I thought it was ruddy superb. The action alone was fantastic and would have been enough on its own just to see Rey Fenix doing his gravity-defying thing, but on top of that the Bucks were absolutely on fire here.
I complained last week that the Bucks really needed to pick a side now after all of the inner turmoil, and boy howdy did they do that in this match. The Jacksons were such magnificent arseholes that I wanted to reach through and punch the screen at one point, and you can’t really ask for more than that.
As for Death Triangle I’m not sure where they go now. This wasn’t a ‘clean’ loss so it doesn’t harm them, but I don’t know if they should play this one back. Perhaps in the interim we simply see them partner with Moxley and Eddie in some multi-man matches against The Elite... and can anyone honestly say they’d be disappointed with that?
[CW] The Bucks were superb here, utter excellence. Their heel turn opens up a new dynamic with a range of teams. Most importantly, they are now completely unleashed and one of the most engaging acts on the whole roster.
Death Triangle seem rudderless, I want a trios title with Death Triangle taking on all comers and providing us with weekly trios bangers. In reality? It’s really hard to say, but their talent is undeniable and will carry them far. Failing a trios title, the Lucha Bros simply must get a tag run soon.
[DF] It was definitely a bold move to open the show with a thirty-minute tag match on AEW’s first unopposed night of Dynamite, but it paid off. The Bucks were stellar, the match was put together beautifully, Fenix and Pac were fantastic and dependable as usual, and as I understand it, the match ended with more viewers there were at the beginning. Great stuff all around.
As for Death Triangle, all three members are guaranteed future champions, and I think there will be gold on the cards for them very soon. Whether that comes in form of new trio’s belts, or the Lucha Bros taking hold of the tag championships, something tells me that there’s been a plan in place for them for a long time - likely disrupted by the pandemic.
2) How impressed were you by Red Velvet vs Jade Cargill?
[JC] Very impressed. I’ve enjoyed seeing the character work from both of them since arriving in AEW, however I did not expect the world from their first singles encounters together. Red Velvet has 54 singles matches to her name, few of them on the big stage. Jade, has now had three.
They wrestled for 7 and a half minutes on Dynamite last night, and it was pretty much a flawless match. They worked to their strengths, and both looked the best they could on the evening. A big sign to me that both of them can become stars in AEW, they seem to have it all so far. Whoever the agent was really did a good job as well, so hats off to everyone involved.
[SA] It’s great to see different members of the women’s division in two different good matches and two promos on the same Dynamite. Things are looking up for AEW’s women’s division, and in their two well-worked high-profile outings against one another on Dynamite both of these competitors have shown they belong.
[WP] Extremely impressed. Considering the relative inexperience of both women, they didn’t put a foot wrong technically and also told a classic David v Goliath story that elevated both wrestlers. Cargill feels like a real threat in the division after just a handful of matches and it’s superb how well AEW have built her up from complete anonymity.
As for Red Velvet, she is as pure a babyface as you can get and I would be happy if she is the first challenger to Cargill when she inevitably lifts the women's title. And just think... this could have been Brandi Rhodes in this position instead!
3) Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa both stated their aims to win championships. With both ranked in the top 5 and Conti vs Shida next week, how do you see the state of the women’s championship in the near future?
[SA] The Women’s championship scene in AEW seems chaotic. And—by my tastes—that’s the best way for a title scene to be!
[WP] From being in a state of apparent turmoil, the AEW women’s division suddenly feels full of potential champions. Based on her run recently I wouldn’t be upset to see Conti crowned as champ next week, although I personally don’t see that happening.
Thunder Rosa should really be the next contender, but Britt Baker’s ratings patter seems to indicate she’s the next in line, and I’m definitely up for that. We’ve now also had Serena Deeb’s name floated again after her injury, Kris Statlander is back and Red Velvet and Jade Cargill now have to be considered as well. Exciting times!
[CW] Britt Baker’s use of the rankings is ideal. Reference the heck out of those things! All we need now is two wrestlers who keep pace with each other racking up wins that have to have a head-to-head to separate them, in order to establish the number one contender.
We haven’t really had a long-term heel champion in the Women’s Division, Nyla Rose’s run was very much disrupted by the beginning of the pandemic. Give Britt the belt and have her dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge her way past impressive challenger after impressive challenger.
4) What did you make of Anthony Ogogo’s debut?
[WP] It was certainly impactful! Personally, I’d have liked to see a bit more in the way of what he can do in the ring, but I certainly understand why they simply gave him a knock-out gut shot to show us what a danger he is.
I wasn’t a fan of the referee stoppage as opposed to a cocky pin, but seems like it went down well with most people so what do I know? The whole package of The Factory looks really good and it’s incredible how QT has gone from slightly bumbling sidekick to some sort of gangland leader.
[GFE] This caught a lot of flak online for the finish, Ogogo's power-punch to the liver/gut. The purpose was to get over Ogogo's boxing and make him look like a monster in a squash match. Job undeniably done.
However, I would say that the referee reacted too quickly. I think it'd have improved from 10-20 seconds of selling where the referee is left in a tough position of whether to end the match and eventually decides to do so.
Either way, the debut did what it set out to do. It established Ogogo's fists as a weapon and made him look great. AEW will be able to build drama around that move moving forward and it's not often you see that in a debut match.
[DF] I’m probably in the minority of people who didn’t take issue with the finish. Squash matches are squash matches and I didn’t even blink an eye at the finish being a gut punch over a lariat, a knee or a suplex. Ogogo looked strong as he was supposed to - the man has future champ written all over him. He’s a great all-rounder and I’m excited to see how he wrestles in a proper match. Thumbs up from me.
5) Miro called out Kip Sabian for disappearing and sets his sights on championships. What’s next for Miro?
[SA] Likely enough, Miro putting all champions on notice was pure bluster, and Miro will actually be focused on hunting down Kip to demonstrating the price of disappointing the Best Man.
[GFE] I align with the comment above. However, I’d be willing to bet that Miro is in the hat of names for next TNT Champion and putting champions on notice was a longer-term move. Destroy Kip first though, please! [JC] I agree that it might not be the best time to be Kip Sabian right now, I think he’s going to be on the receiving end of a beatdown quite unlike anything we’ve seen on Dynamite. As for what’s next for Miro after that, I think Darby Allin is the logical next step for him. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the Double or Nothing, TNT championship match.
[CW] Well Kip Sabian is going to get murdered in the near future. It needs to be scary and cruel and show a steely, murderous side to Miro that sets him apart from the rest of the roster. Many have pegged Miro to win the TNT Championship from Darby, and put on frequent defences on TV. This is not an incorrect assessment. The problem is Lance Archer may be better placed to be the jaw-dropping monster TNT Champion. Where does that leave Miro? I’m going to tap out on this one!
6) Dax vs Jericho. How do you think the Blood & Guts build is going? Do The Pinnacle seem threatening enough? Has Mike Tyson’s involvement damaged The Pinnacle’s heat?
[JC] The Pinnacle started this feud by absolutely destroying The Inner Circle, if both teams are to go into this Blood & Guts match with credibility, we needed a response such as we’ve seen from Jericho and his crew. I have no worries about this build, I think in the coming weeks we will see The Pinnacle get their heat back and then some.
I only wish Mike Tyson wasn’t involved in this, but that’s not because of the storyline purposes. You knew AEW would want the viral clip of Mike Tyson knocking someone down on TMZ and various other outlets. The Pinnacle will be just fine, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us the next two weeks.
[WP] It’s now three weeks in a row that The Pinnacle have been bested, and that was after only one week of dominance. It is worth pointing out that even though they’ve ‘lost’ the various scuffles in the last two weeks they haven’t really been destroyed in quite the same way that they did to The Inner Circle, but that is perhaps a bit of a charitable take.
We need to see a big couple of weeks from MJF and co ahead of Blood and Guts, hopefully with no Tyson involved, otherwise it will feel like a feud they’ve lost before they even got started.
[CW] If the Pineapple are supposed to be the top heel stable on our AEW TV screens, then things are going awry. The introduction of The Pinnacle was spectacular, grizzly, threatening and memorable. The following week gave them an image and an introduction worthy of champions. Everything that followed has been lacking.
The Pineapple have been embarrassed and/or beaten up by the Inner Circle in each or the weeks that followed that hot start. They look far and away from the dominant stable that everyone was expecting from the spiritual successors to the Four Horsemen. However, this is pretty easily solved with a decisive and cruel win over the Inner Circle at Blood and Guts.
7) The ‘old’ Elite are back and they’ve put the roster on notice. How did you receive their promo with Don Callis?
[WP] Loved it. Exactly what I wanted and needed to see after the uncertainty of the last few weeks/months. Cocky arrogant Young Bucks are the best Young Bucks and they complement this version of Kenny Omega superbly. Callis was brilliantly slimy on commentary during the opening match and really looks the part as the ‘Invisible Hand’ now that he has the Bucks on side. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like seeing a camera man getting a kicking?
[CW] For me and quite a ‘few’ other wrestling fans, The Elite were an escape from the patronising, condescending tones of the WWE and spoke to us knowingly. Therefore, taking a special place in many a wrestling fans heart. Despite their impressing athletic talent still being very much intact, some of this sparkle has waned over the last few months. A Young Bucks turn later and everything feels restored. Don Callis promo? I can take it or leave it…
[GFE] Perfect. Exactly what they need to be doing at this moment for the story. It's not always been executed brilliantly and won't be to everyone's taste. But from a storytelling point of view, in wrestling, this is hard to criticise to the point of calling it anything other than, at worst, very good.
[DF] As I said last week, I’m eager to see where The Bucks take this heel run. This side of them has been sorely missed in AEW, and they have the potential to end their tag belt reign on a higher note than it started. Things just felt right again with heel Bucks and heel Kenny standing side by side and agreeing for the first time in a long time.
As for Callis, he’s starting to… grow on me. I can’t quite explain it but a few months ago he made my skin crawl, and now I don’t shrivel up inside when he appears on-screen so, hey! That’s gotta be some kind of improvement.
8) Kris Statlander is back! What do you see for her on the horizon?
[JC] Here’s a great answer for you, I have no earthly idea. I can only tell you what I’d like to see. The world championship seems destined to change hands soon, with both Tay Conti and Britt Baker lining up for a shot, so I don’t see Kris getting involved there anytime soon.
My hope for Statlander is that she slowly stacks up enough wins and eventually gets put in big time television matches, with the likes of Jade, Britt and Penelope. And in the meantime, I would like to see her shake off the ring rust on Elevation against some talent who would benefit greatly from just being in the ring with someone like Kris.
[SA] Jade Cargill, sooner than later.
[WP] I think she will need to be eased back into the division, particularly as it is pretty crowded at the top right now, but being with Best Friends does allow her to focus elsewhere than the women’s title right now.
It was great to see her back, and whilst I thought she looked a bit rusty in terms of the presentation generally, that is only to be expected. She will be back to her best soon, and when she is I’m looking forward to seeing her against the likes of Penelope Ford and Allie as she builds up towards a potential title challenge.
[CW] An early challenger for Britt Baker once she has won the bet, I’d venture. I love Statlander and I’m happy to see her back.
[DF] Oh, Kris. Her presence has been missed that’s for sure. There’s a whole new selection of women she can wrestle who weren’t around ten months ago and a big stack of dream matches I’m hyped for in the future. Kris versus Thunder Rosa, Serena Deeb, Maki Itoh, Anna Jay, Jade Cargill - there are so many possibilities. It’s great to have her back.
9) After Christian rejected Taz’s invitation, Powerhouse Hobbs put a beating on him. They fight next week and thus begins Team Taz vs Christian Cage. How excited are you for this?
[JC] This should be highly entertaining, Christian can get way more physical than Sting ever could, as made evident last night by a vicious beat down from Powerhouse Will Hobbs. Team Taz have a lot of the ingredients I want for Christian Cage in AEW, Christian should be utilized in a way where he can build himself up for the World Championship match, by wrestling young talent like Hobbs and Ricky Starks, who I’m sure will benefit greatly from it. And of course, with Taz doing the talking, I’m very excited for this.
[SA] A win over 5th–ranked Will Hobbs is a great way for Christian Cage to catapult himself onto the rankings. But as far as Team Tazz goes, it’s time for their dissension to explode into a full-scale breakup, with Brian Cage and Ricky Starks at each other’s throat instead of half-heartedly having each other’s backs.
[WP] Christian Cage vs Powerhouse Hobbs is EXACTLY the sort of match that makes me love AEW at the moment. Different styles, different personalities and even different generations. What’s even better about it is that Christian felt like he came out of his shell a bit this week when confronting Taz and suddenly I’ve forgotten about his relatively rocky introduction to AEW. This match will be superb, and with Starks and the other Cage also on the horizon, I think this will be an exciting couple of months for Christian Cage.
[GFE] I fantasy booked a feud between Christian Cage and Team Taz on Twitter. In short, it means Christian running through Team Taz giving them all a lesson as the veteran. This includes Hook who could have his debut against Christian. Christian Cage vs Brian Cage in a cage, because funny. Hobbs vs Christian in a showcase for Hobbs that Christian has to overcome. All leading to Ricky Starks vs Christian at Double or Nothing where, hopefully, Starks gets a big win.
This feud has started better than I could have hoped for in my fantasy booking. Long may it continue!
10) What did you make of the Darby Allin vs Matt Hardy main event? [JC] I’m a bit conflicted on the main event this week. I acknowledge that all the run ins made sense, all of them are progressing stories that will likely end up on a big Dynamite or at Double or Nothing, that’s all well and good.
Still, I couldn’t help but feel like Darby and Hardy should have been in the spotlight much more than they were, I just wanted to see those two have a great match, ending Dynamite in a fun, enjoyable way. They did do just that in the end, but for me personally, I could have had the run ins, have them chase each other away, and be gone, a little faster. A decent main event, that could have been much more. 7/10.
[WP] I didn’t have hugely high expectations for this match but for me it over-delivered with the falls count anywhere stip allowing them to cover Matt Hardy’s time-ravaged limitations. The start of the match was great with Darby eating some heinous chair punishment, and the violence only continued from there.
My only criticism of the match was that at times it didn’t feel like the actual title match was the centre of attention. I enjoyed all of the outside interference and the various stories that it advanced, but at times it really removed focus from what should have been the centre of attention. It’s a relatively minor quibble though because the match was fun and had a superb ending. And I am hugely looking forward to Darby v Lance Archer when we get there.
[GFE] Beautiful chaos. Really enjoyed this match despite not being super invested in the story or any of the off-shoots. I have no idea what exactly is happening with anyone in this match which is a bit of an issue. But for the length of this match, it didn't matter to me.
My only real issue came from Darby Allin using a low-blow. Just because it was legal and Darby is a bit edgy doesn't mean this was completely unnecessary and made Darby's comeback less satisfying.