EJ Moreno reviews episode one of AEW Dynamite…
The first-ever episode of All Elite Wrestling’s weekly show is in the books, and it was quite an impressive debut. After years of mainstream wrestling being dominated by one force, AEW is here to shake things up.
After twenty years, wrestling is finally back on TNT (FITE TV for the UK readers), and you can tell the difference between this and other companies. AEW Dynamite feels fresh and contemporary without being forced to feel youthful. With some good matches and even better angles, the first episode started an excellent new chapter in wrestling history.
Join me as I break down each match and give it a rating on how I felt it did. Don’t forget to comment on your match rating below.
Sammy Guevara v Cody: 3 out of 5 stars
A solid opener to the show and an even better opener to this era of wrestling, Cody vs. Sammy Guevara did precisely what it needed. We all knew Cody would kick off the show, but many expect it to be with a promo. Thankfully unlike other wrestling shows, Dynamite starts with wrestling.
The two went back and forth with Sammy Guevara teasing a heel turn. He never committed to that bit, but it gave him enough of a chance against the more-experienced Cody. Cody used that experience though to pull out the win, making sure he kept his title shot at Full Gear next month.
Speaking of that upcoming PPV, his opponent Chris Jericho ran out after to attack Cody. It wouldn’t be the last time that happened on the show.
MJF v Brandon Cutler: 2 out of 5 stars
Seeing MJF is always a treat as he’s one of the best heels in the business. Sadly, he didn’t have a better match for the first episode. I enjoy Brandon Cutler as much as the next guy, but it felt strange seeing him in such a high profile match. Cutler isn’t bad in the ring, but some of his moves felt a bit sloppier compared to others this evening. MJF did his usual thing, which means entertaining you while making you hate him.
Thankfully his antics during the match and his pre-match promo sold him as one of the company’s top heels. Let’s keep the momentum and let him be the mid-card star.
PAC v Hangman: 3.5 out of 5
Did I expect more from these two? Sure, but I can’t deny the entertaining qualities of PAC vs. Hangman. These two were meant to face off against each other months ago, and you can feel that tension in the match. The two came at each other with such force and never let the pace slow down. Maybe that’s one of the issues with the match as I felt it on had one mode. You need to have ups and downs in a match, even if it is only on television.
Regardless, the two men still went hard, and it was lovely to see PAC grab the win. For a while, Hangman was looking like the face of the company, but he has a ways to go for that. PAC, on the other hand, looks like he’s ready to be the champion right now.
Riho v Nyla: 4 out of 5
With two of AEW’s potential women’s division stars, this was quite a match. Nyla Rose is well on her way to being another Awesome Kong with how she mixes power and sass into her wrestling, while Riho remains a gem to watch.
Riho winning the women’s title is a bit of a shock as Nyla is being promoted heavily by the company. Though Nyla does need some more time to perfect her style, while Riho is already there. Riho started wrestling at nine-years-old, and you can tell as she feels like a veteran at her young age. Giving her the belt will make a scrappy champion that will continuously be the underdog, just how Riho likes it!
The Elite v Jericho and Santana/Ortiz: 4 out of 5
Almost every star in that rating is for the impressive post-match angle, but the in-ring work for the main event was still great. Kenny Omega was quickly taken out of the equation by Moxley, but they made up for it with a great spot through a glass table.
With Omega out of the match, Jericho and his team made quick work of The Young Bucks. Santana and Ortiz are fresh off a long-run in IMPACT, so it was nice to see them switch things up as well as hit their greatest hits. The match didn’t go on long with Nick Jackson getting a hot tag but soon not being able to keep it up.
As the match came to an end, Ortiz and Santana joined Jericho in an assault on The Bucks until Dustin and Cody began to make the save. That didn’t last long as Guevara came out to entirely turn heel. Then Jack Hager (formally Jack Swagger in WWE) made an impression by attacking Dustin Rhodes!
With Jack Hager joining this new Jericho faction, what will that mean for our heroes in AEW? Look for him to be a significant monster threat!
What did you think of AEW’s first episode of Dynamite? Did you enjoy the shocking end or the women’s title match? Share your feelings in the comments below or by reaching out to Flickering Myth via social media!