Cody and Jericho's feud continued to heat up on 'AEW: Dynamite.'
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This just in: AEW: Dynamite is for real.

All Elite Wrestling’s fourth week continued the trend of high-quality pro wrestling, with fantastic in-ring action and gradual, action-based storytelling.

The Wednesday Night War may be mostly hype. But AEW has proven with each episode of AEW: Dynamite that the young promotion is here to compete.

This week’s show saw the AEW Tag Team Championship tournament come down to two teams. It saw the progression of the ongoing feud between Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega.

And, most importantly, the feud between AEW World Champion Chris Jericho and Cody reached a fevered pitch.

Let’s check out the hits and misses from this week’s AEW: Dynamite.

The Lucha Bros defeated Private Party to advance to the tag team championship finals.

HIT — Private Party Strong In Defeat

The first tournament semi-final match this week between the Lucha Bros and Private Party continued AEW: Dynamite‘s trend of starting the show off with a bang.

Not only was the match great, and not only did it fortify the Lucha Bros’ position as one of AEW’s foremost tag teams. But Private Party came out of this match even stronger than their surprise win over the Young Bucks.

After the Luchas showed off their vicious streak in an attack on Christopher Daniels on last week’s Dynamite, Fenix and Pentagon were presented as dangerous men and dangerous wrestlers. That mean streak, combined with Private Party’s “never give up” underdog performance this week strengthens the credibility of Quen and Cassidy.

The Lucha Bros. came out on top as they move through the tournament. But despite having their backs on the mat, Private Party were the real , long-term winners.

HIT — Who Are These Guys?

One of the criticisms of AEW, and of AEW: Dynamite in particular, is that the promotion hasn’t done a great job of introducing less-known talents to a wider audience.

With video packages giving some history on the Dark Order, who debuted in confusing fashion at AEW Double Or Nothing, some measure of context.

Likewise, AEW put together a package to introduce Wardlow, a monster of a man who seems set to debut in the coming weeks.

When it comes to most of AEW’s acts, we’ve been able to get to know and learn about the competitors within the confines of their matches. But AEW leaning on pre-produced videos to introduce some wrestlers is a nice touch. And it’s one that All Eite Wrestling will need to continue to use as AEW: Dynamite rolls on.

NEAR MISS — The Dark Order Rises (In Defeat)

The road to getting over has been a tough one for the Dark Order.

Since their confusing debut at AEW Double Or Nothing in May, Evil Uno and Stu Grayson have just not had the heat to make them seem like a top tag team.

But their losing effort against SCU (Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) in the second semi-final match on AEW: Dynamite went a long way to remedying that. But the Dark Order still has a way to go.

It took the arrival of Jericho and the Inner Circle to bring the crowd to life after sleeping through most of the match. Luckily, the contest itself picked up speed, and the Dark Order managed a good showing against SCU.

They didn’t get quite the rub that Private Party got in the opener, but it’s a start.

HIT — Joey Janella Got To Wrestle

Most people tuning into AEW: Fyter Fest this past summer probably came away looking at Joey Janella as a “hardcore” wrestler.

His non-sanctioned battle with Jon Moxley featured thumb tacks, barbed wire, and all the trimmings. But his bout against Kenny Omega on AEW: Dynamite gave us a glimpse as a multi-faceted star. Janella got an opportunity to show off his offense and athleticism, his ability to sell, and he came across as a credible opponent for Omega.

The match was definitely about Omega and advancing his feud, but Janella came away with a strong showing and a glimpse at another building block for All Elite Wrestling.

I hope we get to see more high profile matches with Janella on AEW: Dynamite in the future.

It follows in Sammy Guevara’s career-making match against Cody on the debut episode. And it speaks to AEW’s ability to create new stars. Something the guys up in Connecticut would do well to learn from (on Mondays and Fridays, anyway).

HIT — The Inner Circle Threads The Show Together

As mentioned earlier, the Inner Circle made its way through the crowd to a luxury box during the SCU vs. Dark Order match.

Throughout AEW: Dynamite, we cut back and forth to Jericho and his cronies watching the show, cheering for the heels. It was a nice, subtle way to keep the champion at the forefront of the show without being over-the-top about it. At least, not until they needed to. More on that later.

But between the through-the-crowd entrance and a little bit of the bubbly, the Inner Circle came across as the most credible stable this side of the Undisputed Era. They were equal parts nWo and Four Horsemen.

They were fun, menacing, and very much kept in the forefront of the show.

It was a nice way to keep the champ at the center of the proceedings while still telling the stories in the ring.

HIT — Cody And Jericho Make An In-Ring Promo IMPORTANT

The Inner Circle pulled another page out of the nWo’s playbook, interrupting Cody’s in-ring interview with Tony Schiavone.

They went childish and sophomoric with noisemakers and loud booing with a microphone. And Cody made sure to make mention of the fact that this wasn’t a promo like the ones “where [they] came from.”

It was an excellent back-and-forth, and the first major promo segment AEW: Dynamite has done.  As Jericho bragged about his 4-on-1 advantage, Dustin Rhodes and MJF made their way out to bring the odds closer to even.

Then Diamond Dallas Page made his way out, and it was an even 4-on-4. And it de-evolved into one of the best brawls I’ve seen on a wrestling show in years.

This was a picture-perfect segment on AEW: Dynamite that furthered the massive feud between Jericho and Cody that goes back to the fourth week of The Road To Double Or Nothing. And it continued to sew the seeds for MJF’s inevitable betrayal of Cody.

Awesome, awesome stuff.

HIT — Young Bucks Answer The Challenge

The Young Bucks picked up a win over the Best Friends in a pretty good match. But the highlight was after the match, when Nick and Matt Jackson accepted the challenge of Santana and Ortiz.

Chris Jericho announced Santana and Ortiz’s challenge for the November 9 Full Gear pay-per-view at last week’s AEW: Dynamite. AEW showed it knows how to book these shows by having the Bucks answer the challenge after the match.

Normally, the formula is for a wrestler or team to answer the challenge that same night. Or for the match to just be “announced” by the wrestling gods. By keeping the answer till the end of the match, the Best Friends were able to strut their stuff without getting overshadowed by the “will they or won’t they” hanging over their heads.

It was a strong segment following an even stronger match.

Unfortunately, I have to sneak a little bit of a “miss” inside this “hit.” Seriously, I don’t get Orange Cassidy.

NEAR MISS — Britt Baker’s Homecoming

Britt Baker wrestled and picked up a win in her home town on AEW: Dynamite. By the way, if WWE’s reading, it is okay for someone to get a win in their home town.

Unfortunately, that win came in yet another exposure of the limitations of the AEW women’s division. Baker’s opponent Jamie Hayter pulled out every cheap heat tactic on the planet, from tearing up fans’ signs to jawing with people in the front row.

If this crowd hadn’t been on fire for the local girl Baker, Hayter’s schtick would’ve died a horrible death.

On the plus side, Baker continued to live up to her promise as a potential standard bearer for women in AEW.

If only it had been against a worthier opponent.

The action keeps this from being a total miss, and Hayter isn’t bad in the ring by any means. And another strong video package helped give us more context for the match and to Baker’s character. But the cheap, beginner-level heel tactics of Hayter just stuck out like a sore thumb.

From a storytelling standpoint, Brandi Rhodes attacking Hayter backstage after the match was an interesting touch. And it definitely seems like there’s a payoff on AEW’s mind.

Pac faced Moxley in the 'AEW: Dynamite' main event

HIT — Bastards And Maniacs

Moxley and Jericho are the known-to-the-masses stars. Cody is the fans’ darling. Omega is the aficionados’ favorite.

But Pac may well be the MVP for AEW: Dynamite.

The former Neville has seen the most growth in his character over the show’s brief run. He went from Omega’s spoiler in week one, an uninvited guest in week two, and a bitter — well, bastard — in week three.

His match with Moxley in the AEW: Dynamite main event didn’t necessarily advance his character, but it felt like a long-standing feud finally coming to a head. And the feud just started last week, as a transitional match for Moxley’s feud with Omega.

The match went to a time limit draw, but Moxley ended with an exclamation point, nailing the Paradigm Shift on the referee to close the show. As with the Omega/Janella match earlier, the main objective here was to keep Moxley over.

Pac and Hangman Page seeming like the odd men out two weeks ago seemed like a liability. But Pac’s positioning in this match made him stand out and gave the impression of bigger things to come for him in the future.

He’s getting himself over by simply oozing unlikableness. And it’s beautiful.

The Breakdown

Not a single miss.

The ratings aren’t in yet, but from a sheer quality standpoint, AEW: Dynamite keeps getting better. After a brief stumble in week two, All Elite Wrestling is making a big impression early.

It’s been a long time since I’ve found myself eager to watch a weekly wrestling show.

And as the march to the Full Gear pay-per-view continues, it seems like it might only get better.

All images courtesy of All Elite Wrestling.

'AEW: Dynamite' - October 23, 2019

9.8

In-Ring Action

9.5/10

Booking

10.0/10

Production Value/Video Packages

9.7/10

Entertainment Value

9.8/10

Pros

  • Cody and Jericho had a brawl for the ages
  • AEW continues to make new stars
  • All the major segments moved stories forward
  • Pac is going to be a HUGE deal

Cons

  • The women's division is still lagging behind
  • The Dark Order just isn't working
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