AEW Dynamite Review: Apr. 8

Welcome to the belated AEW Dynamite review for Apr. 8.

The reason that it’s a day late and a dollar short is that I have a crappy internet provider in a crappy internet area, but after much yelling down phones and gnashing of teeth, they’ve promised me everything is now fixed and please don’t take your business elsewhere.

This did lead to the initial question of whether or not I should just skip this week’s show, but the show must go on and if AEW is willing to put one out, then it’s my duty as your friendly neighborhood wrestling writer to cover it.

That said, there was a lot of talking and video packages in this week’s offering that I could’ve done without- though the Broken Matt Hardy one was as golden as always -but times being what they are I can fully understand why.

With only a certain amount of wrestlers available for tappings, you don’t want to burn them out by having them perform one every show.

So, with all that in mind it’s time to lace up our boots and head to the ring for the AEW Dynamite Review: Apr. 8 Edition.

Allen Angels vs. Lance Archer

Allen Angels vs. Lance Archer

Having murdered Marko Stunt in his debut match last week, Lance Archer showed up and murdered Allen Angels this week.

It was alright. It served its purpose. Lance Archer is not someone you want to f*ck with. I get it.

It’ll be interesting to see how he does when he goes up against Colt Cabana next week, as I’d be surprised if that was a squash, so we should get a better insight into just how good Archer is as a wrestler but until then if you want to see an incredibly large bloke destroy someone, this should be right up your alley.

Winner: Lance Archer

Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker

Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker

I have spent a lot of time questioning the validity of the AEW Women’s Division and just about as long questioning why everyone was making such a fuss about Britt Baker.

I just didn’t get it.

She seemed amateurish in the ring and I wasn’t buying her as a face or a heel and oh-my-god I thought we’d got past the whole wrestlers who had other jobs schtick when the Attitude Era kicked in?

After this performance, it seems a revaluation is just what the Doctor ordered (see what I did there?).

This was a battle of the top two contenders for the AEW Women’s Championship and it’s plain to see just why they hold such lofty positions, this was a top match.

It appears that the reason Britt Baker wasn’t making an impression on me had nothing to do with her ability but of the lack of quality in the opponents she’d faced off against because as soon as she had a dance partner that knew what they were doing, her talent shone through.

Both women gelled perfectly and this allowed them to perform with a fluidity seldom seen in the AEW Women’s Division, meaning that this bout is easily the best that the company has put on to date as Baker and Shida set about beating the snot out of each other.

Quite literally in the former’s case as an errant strike saw her with a busted nose and claret pouring down her face like a bloody Niagara Falls.

This only added to the drama between the ropes with Britt Baker’s red mask making her look insane and Hikaru Shida appearing to have just knocked off from a shift at the local abattoir.

Britt Baker


Shida would get the win in the end with a running knee strike that nearly removed her opponent’s head from her shoulders, but I dare anyone to watch this match and not come away from it with a higher opinion of Britt Baker than they had going into it.

Winner: Hikaru Shida

Kenny Omega And Michael Nakazawa vs. Best Friends

Tag-Team Match: Kenny Omega And Michael Nakazawa vs. Best Friends

This all came about after Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Trent overheard Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa discussing what name they should use and deciding that, perhaps, they should take the Best Friends moniker.

That’s right folks, it’s time for the comedy match of the night.

This is a trait from Japanese wrestling that AEW seems quite happy to use and, if I’m to be honest, one I’m quite happy to watch. Especially when those involved know how to produce a match like this without having to resort to dog food in an attempt to raise a chuckle.

It wasn’t up there on the levels of Omega wrestling a 9-year-old girl, but it was pretty damn funny, including moments like Orange Cassidy ducking out of the way when The Cleaner and Nakazawa went in for a hug and the Best Friends side stepping when The Oily Man tried to shoulder tackle them.

Though the ending was telegraphed from the promo before the bout- nobody could’ve expected the Best Friends to lose and give up their name -it was still a nice distraction with some truly laugh out loud moments.

Winners And Still The Best Freinds: Best Friends

“The Exalted One” Brodie Lee vs. Lee Johnson

“The Exalted One” Brodie Lee vs. Lee Johnson

In this week’s AEW Dark review, I was full of praise for Lee Johnson’s athletic ability but, sadly, there would be no chance for him to show it off here as “The Exalted One” Brodie Lee just ran him over like an out of control truck.

This was the second squash of the night and like the Lance Archer one before it served its purpose in getting across how destructive Lee is.

After he’d finished killing Johnson, he seemed to single out Marko Stunt. Whether this goes anywhere remains to be seen, but perhaps Stunt is going to be the next person the Dark Order will try to recruit.

Or maybe Lee is just going to slap him about next week.

Winner: “The Exalted One” Brodie Lee

Cody vs. Shawn Spears

TNT Championship Quarterfinals: Cody vs. Shawn Spears

Cody Rhodes is insane.

If diving off a steel cage, backward, a few weeks ago hadn’t already convinced you that The American Nightmare was a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, then the table bump he took here should.

I don’t know why, but I was more concerned about this spot than I was for the one which ended up with him breaking his foot.

Charging at Spears, who was arguing with Brandi on the apron, he nearly sent his wife flying when his opponent moved. This led to Cody finding himself upon Shawn’s shoulders, but he grabbed hold of the ropes to block any attempt at a power move.

So Spears just flipped him over the top-rope in through a table of the outside.

It just looked brutal.

I genuinely thought that Cody had injured himself as he lay there far too long for my liking, but it’s the mark of the man as a performer that he was just selling the move and he had me completely fooled.

This was a brilliant match and even though I’d started out convinced this would be another tick in the win box for The American Nightmare, it just goes to show the quality of both men involved that I found myself questioning that choice as the bout progressed.

Easily my Fight of the Night, if Cody vs. Shawn Spears is anything to go by then the TNT Championship Tournament is going to be fantastic.

Winner: Cody

AEW Beer

Final Thoughts

It may have had one squash match too many, but overall this was another solid showing from AEW Dynamite.

The Cody/Shawn Spears match was brilliant and one that I’d highly recommend you go check out if you haven’t already, but special mention has to go to the Hikaru Shida/Britt Baker bout as well.

Like a lot of you, I haven’t been kind to the AEW Women’s Division, normally using the WWE version as a comparison, to which it pales significantly, but if they can use this as a starting point we may see it move forward in leaps and bounds over the next few months.

Or they’ll just go back to putting on matches where one or both wrestlers involved aren’t ready to be in such a spotlight yet.

We shall see.

That’s it for this week, let me know what you thought of the show in the comments section or if you’d rather yell at me in public, click on the little Twitter logo beneath my name and come find me over there.

I’ll see you next Thursday but until then don’t forget to support independent wrestling in any way you can during these trying times and look after yourself, Wrestling Community.

Written by Neil Gray

SPOBS very own Mouth Of The South (West)

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