aew dynamite review return of kenny omega punk moxley unification match moved up
Sports

AEW ‘Dynamite’ review: Return of Kenny Omega, Punk-Moxley unification match moved up

kenny omega aew
Kenny Omega. Photo courtesy All Elite Wrestling.

Former AEW world champ Kenny Omega made his return Wednesday on “Dynamite” in a trios match with his long-time partners, The Young Bucks, though you have to wonder how ready he is for a full-time run.

Omega had been on the shelf since his loss last November at “Full Gear” to “Hangman” Adam Page, his list of injuries including issues with both shoulders and a bout of vertigo that he said he’d been dealing with dating back to his time in New Japan.

He wrestled Wednesday night in a shirt and tight shoulder brace, making you think he’s still not 100 percent, at least the left shoulder, which is the one that was braced.

Omega looked fine in his time in the ring. The Omega-Bucks team worked as faces, and Omega was the Ricky Morton in this one, taking the beating from the heels in La Faccion Ingobernable (Andrade El Idolo, Rush, Dragon Lee) before making the hot tag.

Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer reported on “Wrestling Observer Radio” that the ending to the match was rushed by time running out on the show, which explains why the post-match angle with Andrade and Rush turning on Dragon Lee didn’t get much oxygen.

Omega and the Bucks would seem to be the pick to win the new AEW trios belts. Booker Tony Khan had indicated earlier this year that he’d wanted to wait until Omega was back on the main roster before launching a tournament to name the first trios champs.

Punk-Moxley unification match moved up: Why?

cm punk jon moxley
AEW stars CM Punk and Jon Moxley in a staredown at the end of the Aug. 10 “Dynamite.” Photo courtesy All Elite Wrestling.

AEW world champ CM Punk is back from his two-month layoff to recover from foot surgery, and his return to action won’t come at “All Out” on Sept. 4, but rather on “Dynamite” next week, with a world title unification match with interim champ Jon Moxley.

This odd turn of booking was made to play out last night with Punk opening the show with an interview that began with him apparently shooting on the former champ, Page, in what several news outlets have reported was an unscripted call-out to Page to confront him in the ring, an apparent receipt from Punk for Page’s rhetoric ahead of their title match at the May 30 “Double or Nothing.”

Fightful Select is reporting that Punk has told higher-ups in AEW that he was unhappy with Page for his comments during their feud, to the point that Punk has threatened to quit, and that this is the reason the match between Punk and Moxley has been moved up from the pay-per-view to next week’s “Dynamite.”

That the Punk-Moxley feud got not one, but two segments, both ending with pull-aparts, last night would suggest to me that what was going on was intended to sell next week, not send Punk into the sunset, but I guess we will see.

Quick hits

  • Bryan Danielson avenged a recent loss to Daniel Garcia with a two-of-three falls win in the first match last night. Garcia won the first fall with a submission, and looked strong in defeat, with the segment ending with Danielson reaching out to shake hands with Garcia, with the handshake interrupted by Chris Jericho, teasing an upcoming face turn for Garcia.
  • The guys in the Gunn Club turned on their father/manager, Billy Gunn, who was saved from a light beatdown by The Acclaimed. So, this storyline isn’t done. Huh.
  • It’s confirmed: Thunder Rosa will defend the AEW women’s title against Toni Storm at “All Out.” We really didn’t need the confirmation; what we need is a reason for the two to be at each other’s throats.
  • One more: Jungle Boy and Christian Cage had a trash-talk face-off that ended with a pull-apart. Too many pull-aparts last night.

Chris Graham

I write books, two on UVA basketball, one on pro wrestling, one on politics, which is getting to be like pro wrestling more and more each day. I've finished three marathons, but I'm over that. Oh, and I'm a progressive who voted for Biden, but I'm over that, too. (We need somebody else in 2024!) Want to reach me? Try [email protected]