AEW Dynamite: Top Flight Takes the Top Spot

by Ian Goodwillie

AEW Dynamite Review

Top Flight is extremely early in their careers and they’ve already proven to be an excellent addition to the AEW tag team division. That’s saying a lot since AEW has the most stacked tag team division in all of wrestling. And they certainly proved they belonged on Dynamite.

That being said, there were certainly some big hits on Dynamite and some big misses. But Dynamite at it’s absolute worst is still better than anything most other wrestling companies do on a weekly basis. Still, there are a couple of things that certainly could have could gone better.

Hopefully, this off kilter feud between Best Friends and Miro and Kip Sabian will lead to a great tag team match. At the moment, it isn’t particularly interesting. Also, the whole wedding angle on TV has been done to death by WWE over the years. It’s played out, and it’s unlikely that AEW is going to do it any better.

Similarly, the weekly Sting Foam Party is already starting to drag a bit. There’s a lot of talking, a lot of staring at Taz and a lot of shots of Darby hanging out in the upper deck. At least Allin joined Sting in the ring this week. And AEW finally set a date for Darby’s first title defense, which is something.

Eddie Kingston Dynamite

The worst part of the evening was Jade Cargill’s promo. Many fans still aren’t sure who she is or how she fits into AEW, and this promo didn’t really help that situation. There are a lot of talented female members of the AEW roster who could have made much better use of that TV time. But at least Eddie was on commentary.

Top Flight proves they belong

No one in their right mind thought a couple of young guns like Top Flight were going to beat the team of Chris Jericho and MJF. But winning the match wasn’t the only way for Top Flight to come out on top. This match was another situation where a loss can still be a victory.

Top Flight looked incredible in this match. It’s possibly the best they’ve wrestled since joining AEW. If you’re not fully behind Top Flight as the future of this company, tag team wrestling and the business as a whole, then you have not been paying attention to them.

Similarly, The Acclaimed also had something to prove on Dynamite. This duo has talent, skill, charisma, and nothing but upside. Like Top Flight, they might not have pulled out a victory against the Young Bucks but they looked incredible. Plus, they’re quite entertaining. “Buck Hunt” could be 2021’s song of the summer.

But the success of The Acclaimed highlights the one part of Top Flight’s game that is somewhat lacking. The Martin brothers need to bring more charisma to their game, possibly even a manager. With just a couple of tweaks to their gimmick, these guys will be next level.

It’s also more than worth noting that Jurassic Express looked really good. Both Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy had an amazing match. Marko Stunt was actually pretty damn solid in the ring, though his best spots were Luchasaurus using him has a weapon.

Shawn Spears says what everyone is thinking

When Shawn Spears left WWE behind for AEW, fans were hoping for bigger opportunities for a talented wrestler. It has not panned out that way. Spears is, at best, a lower middle card guy who rarely appears on Dark these days, let alone Dynamite.

Spears had an interview on Dynamite with Tony Schiavone where he discussed these exact problems. He flat out said that the grass isn’t always greener, which is something more than a few wrestlers are probably thinking at this point. In reality, there isn’t TV time for everyone.

One has to wonder how Colt Cabana is feeling these days. His Dark Order storyline has more or less stalled, but at least he’s getting TV time. Brodie Lee hasn’t been seen or heard from since his placeholder TNT Championship reign ended after Cody finished up his reality TV gig.

An evening filled with brilliant singles matches

While Top Flight and the tag team division put on some great matches, there were also some stellar singles bouts. Unfortunately, that still didn’t include a title defense for Darby Allin though they at least nailed down a date, finally.

The Butcher ad Pac put on an incredible bout. Their contrasting styles played off each other perfectly, though having Eddie Kingston on commentary didn’t hurt, either. His friendship with JR and hatred of Tony is endlessly entertaining.

Evil Uno and Dustin Rhodes also had a great match, one that highlighted both of their in ring skills. Unlike Butch and Pac, their wrestling styles are more similar but it worked in this case. It was also great to see Lee Johnson watching Dustin’s back, further building his connection with The Nightmare Family.

Hikaru Shida and Alex Gracia had a short but solid match. It would be nice to see the women have a bigger presence on Dynamite in the same way they do on Dark. But that’s a work in progress which will hopefully become more of a priority in the new year.

Ultimately, the focus of this match was more on building the feud between Shida and Abadon. This was good storytelling on the part of AEW. But they made a questionable choice in having Abadon bite Shida. It didn’t work when Baszler bit Becky Lynch and it didn’t work here, even though Abadon might be a zombie.

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