Greetings beloved! For those of y’all who don’t know me, my name is Wavy Boy Smith. I have been a wrestling fan since 1995, watching religiously without any real breaks or interruptions through 2015, at which point I started to get jaded on modern wrestling and began drifting away… like dust in the wind. I have kept up with wrestling adjacently since then, mostly by arguing about it all day on various internet forums with fellow fans. Tonight, I bring my unique perspective to AEW Dynamite!
*Disclaimer: I have only seen bits and pieces of AEW before tonight, so I may not know everyone’s name, or the correct names of the moves, or have any real context of the storylines. Nevertheless, he persisted!*
As I am known for my “Hot Takes” on social media sites, my ranking system will be based on the Scoville Scale! The Scoville Scale uses Scoville heat units, or SHUs, a measurement of the number of times capsaicin needs to be diluted by sugar-water. The number of Scoville Heat Units (SHU) in a pepper or even hot sauce indicates the amount of capsaicin present. The higher the Scoville rating, the hotter the pepper. So tonight, we debut the Wavy Heat Unit Scale! The lowest score I can give is 1/2 a Heat Unit (because even the worst segments deserve some level of appreciation). The highest score I can give out is a perfect score of 5 Wavy Heat Units! So without further adieu… BOOM goes the (AEW) Dynamite!
We begin tonight’s review with… the closing credits/gag reel of Rush Hour 3. Jackie Chan just seems like a delightful man.
In Memoriam Graphic for Jon Huber/Brodie Lee. Very classy.
The AEW intro gets 2 1/2 Heat Units, because of the lame theme song. Wrestling needs to move on from butt rock/nu metal. Couldn’t they use a Bad Bunny song instead?
CM Punk opens the show, and I can’t help but notice his pops are significantly quieter (or is that quitter?) than they were a few weeks ago. Maybe this is an issue with the crowd mics? There’s a “CM Punk” chant, there we go, but yeah, a lot of the initial fanfare seems gone. I’m not seeing a single tear in this audience. Smh. I hate to say it, but based on this muted reaction alone, I would say Punk is already becoming just another guy. Or we just have a dead crowd. (2 heat Units for this.)
The announcers run down the card, and tell us that Adam Cole vs. Jungle Boy will kick off the program.
Match #1: Adam Cole vs. Jungle Boy
Nice pop for Adam Cole here. Apparently his theme is #1 on the iTunes Metal charts. How many songs are on that list anyway? 3? “Adam Cole Babay!” gets a nice crowd participation chant-a-long. Speaking of chant-a-longs, everyone loves singing along to Jungle Boy’s theme. I can’t help but think this sounds like something that should be in a scene from an 80’s Romantic Comedy though. Weird theme for wrestling.
Big Adam Cole chants from the crowd, and it sounds like Jungle Boy might be getting his own dueling chant here. Cole and Jungle Boy go through a basic sequence to start. Crowd seems bored until Jungle Boy busts out a springboard armdrag maneuver, waking people up. Cole gets some boos for stalling (wonderful!) before regaining control in the ring, shoving Jungle Boy off the top rope to the outside. Since this isn’t WWE, I guess that wasn’t a lead-in to a commercial break. Back in the ring, Cole puts Jungle Boy in a chinlock and the crowd rallies for Jungle Boy. Cole cuts him off though, like a good heel.
Cole does some nice dickhead heel taunting here. Oh but now Jungle Boy is making a comeback, like a good babyface! J.R. is now pushing “Jungle Boy Jack Perry” on commentary to prove that he will never let this go, lol. Now we have some yay-boo ninja kick bullshit, and both men are down. AEW chant now -really? This is a pretty pedestrian match where not much has happened yet.
Jungle Boy busts out some suplexes – hey there’s a lady ref in there! Well now I’ve seen everything… Tree of Woe dropkick on Cole for a TWO! count. Adam Cole reverses a Fireman’s Carry into a rollup for TWO! It seems we’re now moving into the movez and kickouts phase of this match. Cole with that brainbuster on the knee thing for another TWO! Dueling chants from the crowd. JR makes a Gorilla Monsoon reference on commentary to appeal to the 18-34 demo. Jungle Boy hits two quick pinning combinations for a pair of TWO! counts! I liked Jungle Boy picking up Cole right after the first two count, not wanting to give him an inch – nice touch.
“This is Awesome” from the crowd. Eh. Cole with a Super Kick now (only 21 more to go!) sending Jungle Jack Perry to the outside. Adam Cole misses with a flying nothing to the outside, and Jungle Boy goes for a dive, but Cole catches Jungle Boy off the rebound with a kick between the ropes. Hurricanrana to the outside by Jungle Boy. Cole hits a Panama Sunrise for a TWO! count, and does his best “Shawn Michaels at WM25” shocked face, showing his 5 years in NXT weren’t a waste.
Jungle Boy puts a Snare Trap(?)/STF on Cole, who is in trouble here. Cole gets out, and we get an awkward spot where Cole is pushed into the lady ref, and looks like he’s lingering around to cop a feel. This is why lady refs should only officiate women’s matches. This gives Cole a chance to hit a low blow and nail his Shining Wizard thing for the pin.
3 1/2 Heat Units – I enjoyed Cole doing some classic old-school heel stuff, and maybe it’s just me, but Jungle Jack seems to be lacking in babyface fire, so this match was missing something. I liked what they were trying to accomplish though.
The Elite comes out to celebrate with Cole and be obnoxious (Oh my God – Matt Jackson, LOL. Whatever he’s doing right now is fantastic). Unfortunately Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are with them, as opposed to working menial labor gigs outside of the wrestling business where they belong, so I can’t approve of any of this.
After the break, The Elite is back and Karl Anderson (who from now on will be known as “He Who Cannot Be Named”) is encouraging viewers around the world to change the channel or go take a shit by doing some mic work. Kenny Omega was out there with them? I legit didn’t see him on the ramp with the others before. Luke Gallows is wasting everyone’s time now. Just give the mic to Cole already. Cole says a few things, pretty uninspiring stuff to be honest, and now they give the mic to the Japanese guy. Ugh. This segment is dying a sad, painful death. Now “the best promo in wrestling” (at least they’re leaning into the joke) Kenny Omega cuts a promo, and this segment is officially heinous. His voice is nasally and irritating, and he has almost no presence on the mic. Oh, now Omega is getting ANGRY! This still isn’t good, though.
“The American Dragon” is here! Agnes (my wife – inside joke, don’t ask) asks if people have to be vaccinated to attend this show – good question! Bryan is soliciting the crowd for a rematch against Omega. I’m not sure this is a sound strategy, the audience has no matchmaking authority. Danielson now calls Kenny Omega “No Balls,” which the crowd chants, but this is all coming off like a playground argument. Danielson challenges any member of the Elite to a match on Rampage, at least I think that’s what he meant, and Omega responds with “big words from a little man” (which is ironic because the average height in that ring is 5′ 8″).
Speaking of small men, Marko Stunt (with Luchasaurus, Christian and the gang) come down to the ring to back-up Danielson, and The Elite runs off, choosing to fight the intimidating Marko Stunt another day, I guess.
1 heat Unit – awful, groan-inducing mic work and everybody came off like a middle-school kid play fighting during recess; Danielson is getting dragged down by this, in my opinion.
I look up, hearing what I thought was an intriguing character vignette, but it’s a commercial break promoting The Joker on TNT. Cool.
Andrade is backstage with the Lucha Bros, and his translator conveys the message that Andrade wants a tag team title shot. Remember when his signing felt important?
1/2 a heat unit because Andrade already feels like a complete afterthought in this company.
Matt Sydal and Dante Martin are out now, and I actually got to see Dante Martin on last week’s show. He has unbelievable air, he might turn into a good worker one day if he can manage to get himself an NXT contract… I jest.
Now there is some spooky/cryptic entrance deal going on with narration over the PA (Agnes: “What is this? Lord of the Rings?”)… oh shit, it’s CODY! HAHAHAHA. What a wonderfully obnoxious and heelish intro for alleged babyface Cody Rhodes. This has to be signaling a turn, that was absurd. Does he always do that? He’s out there with Lee Johnson, “Free Fallin” Arn Anderson, and that reality show chick the AEW audience hates.
Match #2: Dane Martin & Matt Sydal vs. Cody Rhodes & Lee Johnson
The tag match is on! Arn is screaming something at Lee Johnson, probably offering him HIS spot in the Four Horsemen, and now Dante and Johnson are doing flippy and twirly things. Nothing about this makes any sense or resembles an actual fight. We cut to a break, but the match continues in PIP, and more people are jumping, including Cody. The heels have Lee Johnson trapped in their corner, and they are working him over. There’s an ad for Rhodes To The Top debuting tonight after Dynamite, in case you were thinking of cheering for Cody in this match.
Back from break and they replay a beautiful dive Dante hit during the commercial. CM Punk compares Dante to Tiger Mask. Are we *sure* this guy is drug and alcohol-free? Cody gets the lukewarm tag, and he’s doing movez that nobody seems to care about or enjoy. Everything is breaking down here, and Dante hits a big hang time Missile Dropkick for a TWO! count. Dante with a Double Jump Moonsault for another TWO! count.
Lee tags himself in. Johnson hits the same brainbuster on the knee deal that Cole used earlier tonight (where are the agents?!) for the 3?! Weird anticlimactic finish.
1-1/2 Heat Units – it’s fun watching Dante fly but this match was a disjointed mess and the crowd was dead for all of it. Sydal contributed almost nothing to this match. Dante and Johnson both seem very green, and this match kind of exposed them.
Cody (who is getting booed) calls out Malakai Black, and Arn Anderson tells Cody to “stop talking.” lol. Arn is ripping into Cody here for making too many mistakes lately, and now Arn is rambling about a hypothetical carjacking and insinuating that Cody is a bitch. Now Arn is going on about shooting the carjacker with his glock, and this is why Cody can’t beat Malakai Black, I guess… This is what CTE looks like. Very Sad.
1 Heat Units – if this was TEW, the road agent note would have been “Arn Anderson looked dreadful in this segment.”
Darby Allin (w/ Sting), Eddie Kingston, and Jon Moxley come out for a Trios match. I’ll admit these guys look good together, they have good chemistry and similiar vibes. Although Eddie Kingston is wearing a generic AEW shirt, which makes him look like a jobber. But hey, Westside Gunn named one of his songs after Eddie, so he’s doing something right!
Match #3: Darby Allin, Jon Moxley, and Eddie Kingston vs. Three Unnamed Job Guys
The babyfaces are wrestling the We Bear Bears, I think. The one guy looks like a young Rhyno. It just occurred to me that Darby kind of looks like 2007 Cody Rhodes, if Cody was blonde and face-painted instead of tagging with Hardcore Holly. Moxley gets tagged in – he’s looking kind of like the Warlord these days. Bronson (aka Rhyno Jr.) hits a Senton on Moxley; this kid moves well for a guy his size. Eddie Kingston hits a basement dropkick on Boulder, causing Bronson (who was on Boulder’s shoulders… hey, Boulder’s Shoulders!) to drop down and do a somersault roll across the ring like this is Smackdown! on PS1.
The smaller jobber does a dive and bounces right off of Moxley and Kingston in a cute spot. Moxley and Kingston then hit a Hart Attack deal for the finish. Fun squash.
2 1/2 Heat Units – a short showcase match for the stars with some fun moments.
After the match, Sting nails the little Bear with a Scorpion Death Drop. If a 62-year old man was hitting his finish on a young prospect for absolutely no reason in WWE, the internet would be calling for Vince’s public execution. Just saying. (1/2 a heat Unit for hypocrisy.)
Britt Baker and Ruby Soho do sort of like an ECW Pulp Fiction promo (minus the music) with both of them getting off a few soundbites, going back and forth. I find Britt Baker and Reba very hot, so 3 Heat Units here.
Matt Hardy is in the ring, cutting cheap heat promo, and this gets 1/2 a Heat Unit on principle because Matt Hardy is on my TV in 2021. it’s time for a….16 MAN TAG TEAM MATCH?! Oh Christ. I picked a Hell of a night to start doing AEW PBP. Orange Cassidy saunters out, and now the Dark Order comes out to a nice ovation since this is all about Brodie Lee. They show a bunch of Brodie appreciation signs in the crowd. Nice touch.
Match #4: 16-Man Tag Team Match (RIP Brodie Lee)
“Brodie” chant as we start the match. I have no idea who most of these people are, so forget about any coherent recap here. I’m pretty sure one of these guys sued CM Punk though. This whole thing feels like a backdrop for the crowd to chant for Brodie anyway, which is fine. Orange Cassidy is in (hey, somebody I know!), and he’s doing his gentle kick routine on Private party, before Jack Evans jumps him from behind. We go to another break, while the match continues in PIP.
Things are happening during the commercial, which we know is enough for a C- from Tommy Hall. Back from break, and Evil Uno is walking out on the match, while everybody else starts brawling in the ring. Brodie’s widow (w/ Anna Jay and Tay Conti) comes out to chastise Uno and the other guys who were walking out with him, browbeating them into rejoining the match. Spirited nagging, sure. Whatever works, I guess. The babyfaces rally, inspired by Amanda Huber’s guilt trip, and they pick up the win! The Dark order reconciles and they put -1 on their shoulders in a nice moment.
I can’t rate this as a “match.” It was a tribute to Brodie and a nice moment for his kid and the fans. 2 1/2 Heat Units for good feels.
Lio Rush cuts a promo, and I’m assuming he is standing on a stack of books. This was nothing. He does have a hoodie with his name on it though, which he is proud to show off to us. Okay then. 1 heat Unit for using TV time to feature underneath guys, I guess.
FTR appear in a backstage promo with Tully Blanchard, who is dressed like a Vegas magician for some reason. 1/2 a Heat Unit because all I could do was fixate on how silly Tully looked in that jacket.
DAN LAMBERT!!! My Spirit Animal takes the mic and demands respect from this audience. Sadly, he only receives boos. He gives Jericho credit for propping up this company that was once filled only with “little acrobats” (Agnes [about Jericho]: does he get booed for being a Republican?). Lambert says Tony Khan is a snake oil salesman (lol) and then hands the mic to Scorpio Sky. This seems like a decision we’re all going to regret. Scorpio Sky gives us some Elite-level mic work before Ethan Page, who can actually talk and looks like a genuine douchebag (in a good way) tries his best to save this segment after Scorpio Sky took all the oxygen out of the room and killed the front three rows from asphyxiation.
The point of all this is that Scorpio Sky and Ethan page are a top team. Yeah, about that… they should let Page be his own act, move Lambert onto somebody who would actually benefit from his talents, and send Scorpio Sky to Impact or something. This act just doesn’t click for me at all. Even the Lambert promo felt lame tonight. 1 1/2 Heat Units, because Ethan Page really tried out there.
Promo/trailer for Hikaru vs. Serena Deeb. I miss when she was bald and had HUGE fake tits. 1 1/2 Heat Units, I guess, for promoting a match a week in advance.
Speaking of objectification, Penelope Ford and the Bunny are out for tag action, and they both look good. Tay Jay are out next, and they seem fired up.
Match #5: Penelope Ford and The Bunny vs. TayJay
This will be the sexist part of the rant where I talk exclusively about the physical appearance of the female participants. Anna Jay has a surprisingly supple bottom for a skinny white girl. Uh oh! Tay Conti falls off the top rope in what seemed like a GIF you’ll be seeing on the AEW Botches Twitter account soon. We cut to a break while the match continues in PIP. We’re back from break, and Tay Conti does an impressive springboard crossbody spot. Penelope Ford does a Matrix into a Stunner spot which was kind of cool. “This is a Hell of a match, guys.” -Tony Schiavone. I was about to make a “butts in seats” joke, but JR beat me to it! Did he just call Anna’s move the QUEEFSLAYER?! Oh, Queen. *phew* The babyfaces win. -1 comes out to ogle the girls. Agnes: “Who is that little monster?” “He’s the son of a dead wrestler.” “….”
2 Heat Units; they all looked good and they were trying hard, that’s all I ask from these matches.
MJF is here! Yay! MJF wants AEW to be successful. MJF points out the “four pillars” of the company’s future. Jungle Boy, Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin, and the fourth pillar… oh it’s Maxwell Jacob Friedman! MJF says without him, this company isn’t “shit” (take a drink!) and he should be the AEW Champion. I agree!
Now MJF name drops Bruce Prichard and hints that he might jump to WWE! HA HA! Man with this crowd you might as well namedrop Hitler. Agnes: “Why is CM Punk commentating? Overexposure.” She ain’t wrong. MJF calls Darby Allin a “school shooter on a skateboard” LOL. Now he calls Sting a “great #2 guy” (ouch!) Now Darby takes the mic, and he’s not great to be honest. Jeff Hardy formula – don’t let this guy talk. MJF outs Darby Allin’s uncle as a sloppy alcoholic who killed himself in a car accident while Darby was in the car, when Darby was only an 8-year old boy (So.. 2019?). AND THE WRONG MAN DIED! HAHA!
Agnes thinks Darby Allin “looks like a dweeb.” Agnes feels strongly that MJF owned that segment and Darby looked like a geek. I completely agree.
5 Heat Units for MJF’s amazing mic work, of course. He called Darby a “school shooter!” LOL I mean, come on. I know Darby has his tween goth girl appeal, but he came off looking like a total dork here.
Now we get a video package hyping Steve-O vs. Miro for the TV Title in what I assume is the main event. Miro looks like a beast and Sammy Guevara looks like he still gets carded for cigarettes.
Match #6: Sammy Guevara vs. Miro (c) for the AEW Television Championship
Sammy Guevara, The Spanish God (LOL), makes his way to the ring, and now THE REDEEMER is here! There is one God out there tonight, and it ain’t Sammy. Miro just SCREAMS star quality, and should probably be positioned as the top heel. This has a big fight feel, thanks to Miro coming off like a real star here. He looks excellent. The crowd is quiet here, but I chalk that up to awed silence/respect for God’s favorite champion.
Sammy comes out flying, which is a good strategy for him. He’ll need to outmaneuver Miro with his quickness, and neutralize his vertical base! You don’t win a slug fight with Miro! Miro is now in control, stomping away on Corey Haim. Dueling chants here, because nobody is a real heel in AEW I guess (aside from Cody). JR is talking about Philly cheesesteaks. Pat’s and Gino’s are both tourist traps now, JR. Hit up Jim’s on South Street or Tony Luke’s. #ProTip
Sammy is now using his body as a weapon, and this works in the context of the match psychology, as pointed out by CM Punk on commentary, as well. Tyson Kidd is now in control, hitting a SSP on a standing Miro, but The Redeemer catches him (sort of! but I like what they were going for) and throws him across the ring, because Miro is a man and Sammy is a boy. We cut to break, while Miro continues punishing the adolescent Guevara in PIP. Miro hits a Sack of Shit slam on the outside.
We’re back from break, and Miro has Justin Bieber in a chinlock. Just total dominance from The Redeemer here, but Sammy is getting enough hope spots to keep this thing interesting. THIS is the babyface fire I wasn’t seeing from Jungle Boy in the opener. Sammy has a great 1-2-3 Kid underdog quality. Sammy with a Spanish Fly on Miro! Sammy is firing up! Sammy is throwing his entire body at Miro here, and I love the story they are telling in this match.
Miro up and over the top, missing on a charge! An opening for Sammy! Guevara with a very cool looking tope onto Miro, and now Sammy is going upstairs, a roll-through sequence leads to Sammy eating a Uranage in a slick sequence. Miro is looking to finish here, but Sammy ducks and hits a few flying knees! Miro swats Sammy down from the top rope though, and sets him up for a Superplex. Sammy fights him off – flying cutter! Sammy is calling for the finish… Miro is too big for the GTH, and knocks Sammy down for a TWO!
Sammy is giving Miro a Hell of a match here. Miro is going nuts, ripping off the turnbuckle! Shades of George “The Animal” Steele! And then CM Punk makes the same reference, lol. Oh, the exposed turnbuckle backfires on Miro! Tornado DDT! GTH?!?! GO FOR THE PIN, YOU IDIOT! 630 Senton lands! Sammy wins! Sammy wins! Sammy wins!
4 Heat Units – just a fantastic piece of business, excellent David vs. Goliath story, and Miro is protected well in the loss. I loved this. The crowd seemed oddly deflated for this one though, but fuck them. Weird crowd all night, to be honest.
The babyfaces come out to celebrate with Sammy, and we are promised a Sammy promo during the first commercial break of Rhodes From The Top in a sleazy attempt to get us to watch this garbage. Vintage TNT! “We’ll hear from the new champ, stay tuned for Robin Hood!” 1 heat Unit for transparent desperate marketing ploys.
Overall: 3 Heat Units for the show. Good opener, great main event and mostly inoffensive undercard stuff. The Brodie tribute was nice, and not overdone or overbearing in any way. The Elite/Brian Danielson stuff was grim death, and I have to weigh that heavily because it’s the main event title program, and it stunk like last year’s garbage. But the stuff that worked worked really well, and the two hours breezed by.
Well, thanks for reading! This is my first time reviewing a show, so let me know what you think about the format. I’m open to criticism, suggestions, high fives, death threats… whatever you have for me.
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