High Spots: I’ve become quite accustomed to post-PPV editions of a weekly wrestling show being less than stellar. Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case here on this edition of Dynamite. We pretty much got everything here - good matches, sensible storyline progression, highlights from All Out, hints at impending feuds, and newly booked bouts. Malakai Black and Dustin Rhodes had a hot opener that was far more brutal than I expected. Dustin got planted through a table and assaulted by stiff kicks to the leg, while Malakai got caught off guard by Dustin’s veteran tactics and shocking agility. While Malakai’s Black Mass kick didn’t look as great as it usually does here, Taz covered for it on commentary quite well. Speaking of Taz, he did a great job in Excalibur’s usual commentary position on this show.
CM Punk came out afterward to speak on all the great moments that took place at All Out and asked the crowd who he should take on next. Taz spoke up right in the middle of Punk’s speech and made it clear that his guys should never come out of Punk’s mouth ever again. Punk made it clear that he wants all the smoke with Taz’s stable of badasses and even used his classic catchphrase to further disrespect him. Powerhouse Hobbs hopped into the ring to mix it up with Dante Martin soon after, which was a nice change of pace since I got treated to two uber-talented African American wrestlers with a whole lot of future star potential. The match was slow in parts, but it ended up being a nice showcase for the two up-and-comers. Dante’s high-flying madness impressed as always and Hobbs pulled off that sick Spinning Spinebuster of his to end Dante’s hot streak.
On the promo front, we got some worthwhile segments throughout the show. Dr. Britt Baker, D..M.D. had the line of the night when she told Ruby Soho to run away back to catering, Santana & Ortiz put the tag team division on notice, Tully Blanchard set up a match between his guy Shawn Spears & Darby Allin, Dan Lambert roasted the AEW roster as always, and Brian Cage & Ricky Starks continued to set up their heated rematch. The hottest promo segment on the entire episode featured The Elite. Adam Cole got to talk his shit and put Tony Schiavone on notice in regards to him being a little too friendly with his girlfriend. Once Kenny Omega got the mic, Bryan Danielson came out to face him and made it clear that he wants to kick the AEW World Champion’s head off. The big brawl that erupted between the babyfaces and heels was hot, plus it set up a match between Adam Cole and Frankie Kazarian for the next Dynamite. So all in all, we got some good forward progression there.
MJF and Wardlow hit the ring, which led to MJF taking a verbal dump on Cincinnati by calling everything about it “mid.” By getting into it with Brian Pillman Jr.’s aunt and sister (that “16 & Pregnant” line had me in tears, fam!), he caused the second-generation wrestler to come out to defend his home city & family. MJF’s verbal stingers caused a physical altercation between the two, plus we also got a tease of Wardlow possibly getting tired of MJF’s shit. I’m pretty excited to finally see the big man abandon his blowhard boss further down the line. The Dark Order is in utter turmoil as evidenced by the miscommunication between them all during their six-man tag against FTR & Spears. I wouldn’t be too mad at them getting broken up at this point, but I’d like to see the tag teams within that stable stick together. They’re just so damn good, plus John Silver has a hell of a crowd following that could make him a possible singles star.
And in the main event, Jon Moxley and Minoru Suzuki beat the ever-loving shit out of each other! I’m quite familiar with their vicious brawls from NJPW, so I knew we were gonna get a bloody encounter here and that’s exactly what transpired. The elbow shots were brutal, the headbutts were gruesome, and the lariats were nasty. While short, Moxley’s homecoming match with his greatest New Japan rival was still a nice piece of work. If Moxley’s current run against New Japan contracted talent continues, I’d love to see him clash with Jay White!