Jon Moxley def. Ortiz
Of course, the outcome was never in doubt, but this was a fun opener to give Moxley another victory before he challenges Chris Jericho (who was a treat on commentary) for the AEW World Championship at Revolution. There was never a dull moment and Ortiz had the advantage of having Santana at ringside to give viewers the impression he had a chance of winning. The post-match angle was even better with Moxley stabbing Santana in the eye with the keys to the Ford GT, setting up a match between them for next week.
SCU def. Best Friends
The commentators noted that SCU are still owed a rematch for the AEW World Tag Team Championship and I assume they'll get it sometime soon. Maybe at Revolution in some sort of multi-team match? At any rate, this was a fun showcase for both teams. Best Friends are always a blast to watch and SCU maintained momentum with the win. The post-match angle was interesting with The Dark Order attacking SCU and Best Friends before fleeing from the ring as soon as Christopher Daniels emerged. They're heavily teasing that Daniels is "The Exalted One," so hopefully that's not who it's
Yuka Sakazaki def. Britt Baker
Sakazaki was in action at Double or Nothing and Fyter Fest last year, but this was her official Dynamite debut. I assumed this would be a quick showcase for Baker, so Sakazaki stealing the win was a surprise. It was too short to be anything out of the ordinary, and while I would have preferred her getting disqualified instead, the loss did lead to her snapping afterward and brutally attacking Sakazaki. She's getting over nicely as a heel, but her in-ring ability has yet to improve from where it was.
The Lucha Brothers, The Butcher and The Blade def. The Elite
It's worth noting that while The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega were doing their signature "Elite" entrance, Adam Page walked to the ring by himself. He was also the one who cost his team the win here by refusing to tag in either of the Bucks, so I liked that attention to detail. The match itself was the usual excellent tag team action we've come to expect from the AEW tag division and I was happy The Lucha Brothers were finally on the winning side of something. Since they pinned Page, shouldn't they be granted a shot at the straps at some point? We also found out afterward that Omega will finally give Pac his rematch in three weeks on Dynamite, which will carry a 30-minute Iron Man stipulation.
Kip Sabian def. Joey Janela
The storytelling in this feud has been simple enough with Penelope Ford being Janela's ex-girlfriend, but I'm just not feeling it. Maybe it's because I don't find Janela's matches terribly interesting, or because they haven't done enough to make me care about their beef, but this match bored me. It definitely wasn't necessary for them to go 11 minutes, that's for sure. Sabian wins to keep the feud alive, but I can't say I'm eagerly awaiting a rematch.
MJF Gave Cody 10 Lashes
This won't be for everyone, but I thought this was wisely executed. The lashes looked brutal and everyone played their roles well. MJF came across like the ultimate asshole while Cody was a super sympathetic babyface. Most importantly, Cody never touched MJF (because he can't per the stipulation of their upcoming encounter at Revolution), meaning fans will want to see him get his hands on him that much more. I guess Brandi Rhodes coming out with Arn Anderson, Dustin Rhodes and the Bucks to show concern for Cody made sense given that she's his wife, but does this mean The Nightmare Collective crap is over? God, I hope so, but seeing is believing. At any rate, this was a strong segment to close the show with that got me more excited for their Revolution match than I already was.
I loved how there was a ton of stuff advertised for upcoming episodes at the end of this episode. It gives fans stuff to look forward to and demonstrates long-term booking. The Janela vs. Sabian didn't do much for me personally, but everything else was entertaining and/or accomplished something en route to Revolution in a few weeks. The angle advancement was well done and the two tag team matches were terrific, so this show gets two thumbs-up from me.
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