Home AEW ‘Dynamite’ Preview: MJF-Ricky Starks, but not much else, it appears
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AEW ‘Dynamite’ Preview: MJF-Ricky Starks, but not much else, it appears

Chris Graham

aew winter is coming This week’s AEW “Dynamite” is one that has a name, “Winter is Coming,” but unlike years past, when we saw Sting make his dramatic debut, and Kenny Omega win a world title, it’s not looking like there’s much to look forward to.

I mean, there is MJF’s first AEW world title defense, on the heels of last week’s nice dueling promo between the champ and top contender Ricky Starks, that made a top star out of Sparks, who has brimmed with that kind of potential since debuting in AEW in 2020, and is finally there.

But then, no one rightly expects MJF to drop the belt in his first title defense, so the only drama here is, how does MJF keep Starks over at the level that he’s at while also holding on to the strap?

Tony Khan still doesn’t have the knack for how to book nuanced finishes (see: FTR jobbing clean last week to The Acclaimed), so it seems that we’re destined to see Starks cooled off almost as fast as his stock rose with last week’s “Dynamite” segment.

That’s … frustrating.

The rest of the card

  • Jamie Hayter vs. Hikaru Shida: As with the men’s world title match, nobody expects Hayter to drop the belt this early in what promises to be a short title reign anyway, but still. Should be a good match stylistically, but there’s no drama here.
  • Ruby Soho vs. Tay Melo: There’s real-life heat here, since Melo broke Soho’s nose with a botched finisher at “All Out.” The booking for Solo, like so many on the AEW roster, has been wildly inconsistent since her debut, but this one seems the place to begin another push for her.
  • House of Black in action: That’s how it’s billed, but it’s likely to be some combination of Eddie Kingston, Ortiz and somebody on the other side. Whatever. House of Black should be in the six-man title picture, but the EVPs have other, dumber, plans there.
  • Chris Jericho in action: I’m only seeing this because AEW included it in their pre-show media graphics. I guess we get to see what Jericho has coming now that he’s no longer the Ring of Honor world champ.
  • Best-of-seven series nobody cares about, Part 4: Yep, The Elite (The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega) vs. Death Triangle (The Lucha Bros. and Pac). Death Triangle leads 2-1, so this one’s going at least five, but we of course know it’s going seven, god save us all.

That’s all?

That’s obviously not two full hours, so we’ll get cameo appearances from the likes of The Acclaimed, maybe something to advance the Samoa Joe-Wardlow TNT title storyline, something else to remind us that Jon Moxley and Adam Page don’t like each other, plus recaps from Ring of Honor’s “Final Battle.”

I don’t know that this is the one that gets the viewer number back over a million.

Simply put, there’s no star power (ahem, CM Punk) to draw the casual fans.

And there won’t be for the foreseeable future.


Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].