HomeTelevisionAEW Dynamite One-Year Anniversary Show Review: Something Was Missing

AEW Dynamite One-Year Anniversary Show Review: Something Was Missing

AEW featured all championships on the line for the AEW Dynamite One Year Anniversary Show on TNT. That’s a mouthful. 

There was a lot of hype for tonight’s show, and coming off last week featuring Chris Jericho’s 30th Anniversary show, it might have been hard to pull off the same magic two weeks in a row.

FTR retains the AEW Tag Team Championships against Best Friends

This one was a good match. Not the best tag match we might have hoped for, but still good. Slow and struggling start would lead into some tense “oh-so-close” moments later on, with Best Friends scoring the Strong Zero but unable to pick up the win. There were a lot of near-falls and moments where you believed Best Friends could win. The shame here is if this match took place maybe a few more months from now, with FTR still champions, I would believe a title change could happen. But FTR is still too new with the belts. With the theme of Tully Blanchard always assisting his team with a win, Best Friends fell to cheating, allowing FTR to retain. 

I love FTR, and they are great, but if this theme continues, this might devalue their stock as credible threat if Tully has to assist specifically to win the match.

During the match, action spilled to the floor where Kip Sabian was randomly playing an arcade cabinet. Of course, Trent got thrown through it. This would lead to the start of a feud with Kip Sabian and Miro who demolished Sean Maluta and Lee Johnson in minutes. This was used to highlight Miro’s brute force. I guess it did its job. 

Up Next, MJF makes his big announcement. 

I’ll get the negative out of the way, it ran long, and while I don’t mind silly banter, it seemed a little forced and just a few minutes longer than it should have been. I always like seeing MJF and Jericho banter. MJF ultimately teased wanting to join the Inner Circle, but Jericho’s stablemates did not approve. This led to MJF and Jericho acknowledging they have never crossed paths… So next week, they are going to A STEAK DINNER.

It’ absurd, but I enjoy this comedy gold. The other funny moment, was MJF having given Sammy Guevara his Inner Circle jacket… which was five times his size. Sammy’s facial expressions are hysterical. 

Speaking of the Spanish God, his feud with Matt Hardy is not over. During a ringside chat with Matt and family, Matt revealed he’s feeling great (despite some slight speech bumps) and looks forward to continuing on in AEW. This feel-good promo was interrupted by Sammy who revealed himself as the one who attacked Hardy backstage and is out to end Matt, and all his incarnations forever. Creepy. 

If Matt’s occasional stutter is part of the performance to show he is somewhat shy from getting in the ring, then he should win an award. But if it’s part of his injury, then I don’t want him back in the ring. I’m not rehashing the details of his head injury, but come on folks, don’t do something stupid. 

Cody retains the TNT Championship against Orange Cassidy via Time Limit Draw

This match was great. Of course, the “lockup” was heavily cheered. The match had it’s fair share of comedy, which was in-turn rebuffed by the serious demeanor of Cody. It worked wonders when sliding your hands into pants pockets is an effective way to slip out of a hold. Cody, while working with more “anger” if you will, not a heel, although a few questionable tactics would take place during the bout. During the match, the Dark Order showed up, no Mr. Brodie Lee, but led by… John Silver?? This guy is funny. He tried to snatch and strike with the belt, but failed, and got the entire stable tossed to the back. In a classy move, Cassidy took the belt, handing it to Arn Anderson. Speaking of the manager, worthy note the commentary team made numerous references to Arn’s dissatisfaction with many of Cody’s tactics not only during this match, but in weeks leading up to his loss to Lee. Fluid back-and-forth between both, with the intentionally audible ring announcer counting down the minutes. O.C. turned up the dial, hitting Beach Break and numerous Tornado DDTs, but unable to keep Cody down. With a minute to go, Cassidy attempted pinfall attempts, but oh-so-close, time expired and we will never know if Cody was going to kick out at the last second. 

A bit cheesy of a finish to have OC pinning Cody as the time expired, but still, this was a great, great match. 

The only shadow was the announcement during the match Darby Allin would challenge for the TNT Championship at Full Gear, unfortunately one of the commentators slipped referencing Cody would be facing him. It wasn’t glaring and you might have missed it, but if you heard it, it sank the heart knowing what the outcome of the title match would be. 

Hikaru Shida retains the AEW Women’s Championship against Big Swole

This match was “ok” at best. I’ll give credit, both really tried hard on this one, mostly Swole who is coming off a feud with Dr. Britt Baker DMD, and has been pushed in the rankings. However, this match got a bit botchy at times, Swole taking a slip-up bump, with the overall pace of the match slowing down so both could recommunicate and keep pace with each other. The end saw Shida blast with her running knee strikes. 

Unfortunately, the women’s division continues to struggle to gain footing. There are good wrestlers, but very few who seem to be able to put on high pressure bouts. Maybe I’m being too critical, but partly I had my hopes up for a solid women’s division by now. 

Jon Moxley retains the AEW World Championship against Lance Archer

I’ll be honest, I don’t think the result was ever in doubt. The way the match ended was pretty slick, Mox countering a Blackout with a rollup pinfall. That was nice. Matches don’t always need to end on a finisher. This one was good, I wouldn’t put it as a candidate for Match of the Year, but I’m glad I finally got to see more of Lance Archer. I saw him plenty in NJPW, but mostly in tag matches. Lots of brawling and hard hitting stuff. Chair spots, table crashes, this hit an ECW-like level. Decent mesh of wrestling and object destruction. 

This wasn’t all about Mox and Archer. Eddie Kingston, flanked by Lucha Brothers joined on commentary. Some things to note:

Kingston plays up history with Mox, how he felt Mox abandoned him and others to go “big time.” 

Kingston says he’s with his best friend… and Fenix. No coincidence, Pentagon and Fenix face each other in Round 1 of the contender’s tournament. Sowing seeds of a split?

After the match was over, Kingston initially played nice, saving Mox from Archer. However, it turns ugly and chokes out the champion. 

It will be interesting to see how the tournament plays out, teases for an Omega/Hangman Page match, yet Kingston seems to have his eyes on hurting Mox. 

Earlier in the show, the lottery was drawn to determine four teams to face off to determine the #1 Contenders at Full Gear. Winners were: Private Party, Butcher & Blade, Silver & Reynolds, and The Young Bucks. Superkicks for everyone!

No Omega, no Page, only a Bucks appearance on the anniversary show. I think the hype was a bit much. As a regular AEW Dynamite, this show would have been considered solid. But for the anniversary show, I feel like it was missing something. 

AEW Dynamite One-Year Anniversary Show is now streaming on the TNT website and app.

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