The AEW Weekly: Dark and Dynamite
Every week AEW brings fans two shows filled to their respective brims with pro wrestling goodness. The first one is AEW Dark, which pops up on YouTube and incredibly different run times each week. Then, Wednesday evening is two hours of AEW Dynamite, the flagship of the company.
AEW Dark: October 27th Episode
Once again, Dark was well over two hours long. Fortunately, it was wall to wall, ceiling to roof wrestling. While Excalibur and Taz were on commentary as always, other talents including Brandi and Ricky Starks joined in.
Former boxer Anthony Ogogo was a guest commentator for the first few matches. It was interesting to having someone outside the company there. He did seem a little out of his element at times. That being said, Agogo has the potential to be pretty good if he gets some more practice in.
The first match of the night was an absolute barn burner. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson took on a new team named Top Flight. If AEW is smart, they’ll sign Top Flight as soon as they possibly can. This high flying, skilled duo stole the show with an incredible performance.
A couple of matches later, AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida took on the debuting Leyla Hirsch. Shida is always great but Hirsch was a surprise. Her in-ring style is much different than the rest of the AEW women’s roster. She’s got great technique and is an absolute powerhouse.
Sonny Kiss got some redemption this week with a decisive victory over Aaron Solow, which was great. Will Hobbs and Darby Allin also turned in typically slick matches. It’s nice to see Hobbs getting a solid push as he’s the first guy from Dark to make a big move.
Ivelisse and Diamante were in competition, again, which is always awesome to see. They’re an incredible team. The problem is that AEW continues to have no real plan for them. Given the number of talented women on their roster, a proper women’s tag team division is not out of the question.
KiLynn King is one of those wrestlers who could benefit from that division. She’s really good in the ring and deserves a push of some kind. Like many of the talents who compete primarily on Dark, she has nothing but losses on her record.
Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon finally brought their odyssey to an end. It was actually a really good and incredibly inventive match. The problem is what to do with either wrestler now that their story together is at an end. It’s the only thing either wrestler had going for them in the last year. Honestly, it’s hard to see AEW having much for either for them to do other than filling out crowds.
Jurassic Express was back in action, unfortunately as a trio. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy are great but Marko Stunt just doesn’t make sense as part of the group. He doesn’t bring anything unique to the ring and he doesn’t fit the gimmick. Marko works much better as a manager than a wrestler.
Lee Johnson chalked up yet another loss, this time to Matt Sydal. Given the quality of young talent already on the roster, sacrificing them to push an incoming 20 veteran falls flat. But at least Johnson got a match as Shawn Dean was completely absent from the show.
The same could be said about Aaron Solow. It’s always great to see Sonny Kiss get a win, particularly after last week. But Aaron Solow is a really talented wrestler. Solow only has a handful of matches at this point while Johnson has a total of 20 losses. Neither of them has a single win.
This is where AEW is making early mistakes. Shawn Dean, Lee Johnson KiLynn, King, and Aaron Solow have all earned bigger pushes than what they’re getting. Even an occasional victory would be nice. Hobbs is in the early stages of his push, so hopefully, the same treatment is coming for these wrestlers.
AEW Dynamite: October 28th Episode
Week after week, Eddie Kingston proves he’s one of the best in the business on the mic. And that’s not just today. That’s of all time. What makes him special is that every promo is unique, and he never gets boring. Eddie on the mic is a recipe for brilliance every single time.
Outside of Kingston, this week’s Dynamite featured a lot of the usual suspects roughly where you’d expect them to be. That being said, the show still managed to deliver some solid matches. Unfortunately, there weren’t that many surprises to go along with them.
Rey Fenix was unable to compete due to an injury sustained in the quarter-finals against his own brother. But Eddie convinced Rey to step aside and let Penta El Zero Miedo compete in his place. His opponent? Kenny Omega, returning once again as “The Cleaner.”
Much like Penta versus Rey last week, Kenny versus Penta was match of the year material. With this bout, AEW continued its streak of putting pay-per-view caliber matches on TV. Both men had easily one of the best matches of their respective careers.
Orange Cassidy and Cody had another great bout for the TNT Championship. This time it was a Lumberjack Match. John Silver interfered to prevent Cassidy from getting the win, as the Dark Order promised. It was certainly a step up from the match ending due to the clock running out.
The brand new NWA Women’s Champion Serena Deeb was also on the show. She defended her championship against Leyla Hirsch. Deeb proved why she’s one of the best in the business, yet again. And Hirsch also got to show off the up and coming talent she is.
The town hall segment between the Inner Circle and MJF was fine, though nowhere near as special as Le Dinner Debonair. It was fun to see Eric Bischoff show up and call Chris Jericho a Prima Donna. The downside was the whole thing ending with a pay-per-view match was incredibly predictable.
If MJF wants into the Inner Circle, he has to beat Jericho in a match. Essentially, to get in Chris Jericho’s group, MJF has to prove he’s better than Chris Jericho. That logic is flawed at best. Also, this whole angle feels like it’s leading towards the end of the Inner Circle, which few fans want.
Equally predictable was the semifinals match between “Hangman” Adam Page and Wardlow. The big man dominated the fight with Page coming back for the hard-fought victory. It was a decent match in the end but what it set up was exactly where everyone thought this tournament was going.
The finals will be Kenny Omega versus Adam Page. It’s hard to imagine this not being a good match, but it was also the most predictable outcome. More than a few fans were probably hoping Penta or Wardlow would pick up the victory just to mix things up a bit.
The feud between #FTR and The Young Bucks is becoming increasingly tedious. Their interview segment on Dynamite only served to amp up the monotony of it. The problem is that there is nothing organic about this feud. It feels extremely forced like it’s only happening because it had to.
As AEW keeps pointing out, this is a match years in the making. Fans could only speculate how this bout would play out. Their upcoming match is even for the AEW World Tag Team Championships. And still, it feels like there are few measurable stakes in this feud at all.
In a vain attempt to manufacture some tension, this match now inexplicably has the stipulation that The Young Bucks can never challenge for the titles again if they lose. AEW already used that exact same stipulation early on, which is why Cody can never go after the AEW World Championship.
Fans wanted this face-off years ago when both teams were at the top of their respective games. #FTR’s best work was as The Revival against DIY in NXT. Their entire AEW run from winning the titles to their upcoming match with The Young Bucks has been incredibly predictable. When #FTR eventually lose the championships, it will be interesting to see how long they actually hang around AEW.