Making their TV debut on TNT this week is AEW: Dynamite, which also happens to be the network’s first pro wrestling show to air in 18 years. The last one was WCW Monday Nitro in 2001. AEW kicked things off with a bang, complete with an opening theme of “Dynamite” by No One Hero.
Altogether, there were five matches booked:
- Cody Rhodes vs Sammy Guevara
- Brandon Cutler vs MJF
- Hangman Adam Page vs “The Bastard” PAC
- Nyla Rose vs Riho (AEW Women’s Championship Match, with Dr. Britt Baker on commentary)
- The Elite (Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks) vs Chris Jericho and Santana & Ortiz
But it sure felt like more because of the number of brawls that broke out after matches and in between. Since this is their first TV episode, I don’t find it a problem for them to use a few run-ins and spontaneous fighting as a way to start laying the groundwork for the future episodes. One thing I’m already looking forward to is the Tag Team Championship tournament that will start next week. The segment between the Angelico and Jack Evans duo and Private Party gave just enough hype for that. After their match at All Out, I need a Round 2!
Overall, Dynamite was fun to watch (as I’ll explain more later). My only gripe is the camera angles. You may find it weird that I’m complaining about this but as a viewer, some of the camera angles used did affect my experience watching the show.
Mostly, they’re okay but the corner cam has got to go. When MJF sent Brandon Cutler shoulder-first into the corner, they showed a repeat of it from the corner cam angle and it just looked jarring as it doesn’t match with the rest of the show. It’s creative, no doubt, but it looks very odd. Another strange angle is after MJF defeated Cutler and the camera looked like it zoomed in on him from faraway. It looks unsettling because it’s as if this camera doesn’t belong there so it makes me feel like I’m watching the show through a fan’s camera or something and they sit really far back.
Here are the best moments of AEW: Dynamite!
AEW Women’s Championship Match
Nyla Rose vs Riho
Match of the night has got to go to the AEW Women’s championship for me. This was the only thing from All Out left unresolved and I’m so glad they reserved this for AEW’s TV debut episode.
The story set for this match was clear cut. It was like David vs Goliath, the pint-sized but speedy Riho going toe to toe with the big and strong Rose. Things really seemed bleak for Riho as she was physically thrown around like a ragdoll. I mean, when Riho leaped off the top, Rose was on the outside floor and practically snatched her from mid-air before slamming her back first onto her knee. Yet somehow Riho kept kicking out of pinfalls and both wrestlers continued to push each other to the limits. Even Rose took a big risk with a diving senton off the apron, only for Riho to roll out of the way in the nick of time so Rose landed hard on the pile of steel chairs.
Rose later took another big hit when Riho sent her down with an avalanche Northern lights suplex before digging deep for the final running double knee to the head. Riho’s victory was an emotional one and Michael Nakazawa even came out to celebrate and interview her. But it was cut short as a dissatisfied Rose took him out (she nearly dropped him before picking him up again) and as she grabbed Riho, Kenny Omega came running to the rescue. Not sure if this is a setup for something next week but I like how they still show Rose as an intimidating wrestler despite the loss.
Check out Rose’s strength as she attempts to wear down Riho:
Cody Rhodes vs Sammy Guevara
I love this match. Both Rhodes and Guevara are clearly great performers in the ring with matching confidence. Their styles are slightly different, which makes it fun to watch. And Guevara shoving Brandi Rhodes in harm’s way was brilliant. It even prompted the fans to start the “A**h****!” chant. Love it!
Then there was this exciting sequence where Guevara attempted a moonsault, missed, tried again, missed and finally hit a successful standing shooting star press. Yet he only achieved a near fall. The back and forth battle got really intense as Cody pulled off this impressive inverted superplex before Guevara went for a Spanish Fly off the top rope.
While I loved this match, I hated the ending. Rhodes could have gone for the Cross Rhodes or at least a second Disaster Kick for the win. But instead, they settled for an inside cradle victory, which in my opinion tainted all their efforts.
Here’s the part that really riled up the fans:
The chaotic as heck main event, Jon Moxley’s return and Jake Hager’s debut
During the main event where The Elite took on the team of Jericho, Santana and Ortiz, Jericho tagged himself out, leaving his partners to fend for themselves against their opponents. This led to a Superkick Party by the Young Bucks. With Omega alone, Jon Moxley came out of nowhere to attack him. They engaged in a brawl that ended up in the VIP area where Moxley drilled Omega headfirst into a glass coffee table.
Meanwhile, the match inside the ring continues with Jericho, Ortiz and Santana in control for most of it until the Young Bucks turned the tables. But it was not meant to be as Jericho neutralised Matt Jackson with the Judas Effect, earning the victory for his team.
Though it’s not over yet as more mayhem ensues when Rhodes came running to help his Elite buddies and serve some revenge of his own after Jericho had ambushed him earlier that night. Surprisingly, Guevara got involved and so did Rhodes’ brother Dustin. However, things were just not working for The Elite today as Jake Hager (formerly Jack Swagger from WWE) made his surprise debut by attacking The Elite and Dustin. The show ended with Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, Guevara and Hager standing side by side in the centre of the ring.
If these five team up to oppose The Elite, that would be very interesting. This is definitely not what I expected, but I’m looking forward to next week when Dynamite returns.
Watch what Moxley did to Omega: