It was another high octane episode of AEW Dynamite this week.
The 'fastest two hours in wrestling' checked all the boxes, in terms of AEW following their familiar format. Quick-moving matches, intertwined with some furthering of developing storylines, were certainly part of the blueprint that the promotion laid out for this episode.
The show was boosted by some great tag team matches that highlighted AEW's strength in that genre. There were a couple of entertaining promos sprinkled in as well.
Here are five quick observations of what we saw from AEW Dynamite this week.
#1 - The AEW tag team division is their crown jewel and is easily what sets them apart from WWE
With a host of really good tag matches again, this AEW Dynamite continued to showcase just how much talent and depth exists within AEW's directory of duos.
Just run down the list: Teams like FTR, Proud and Powerful, the Lucha Bros., and the world champions, The Young Bucks, may be the aces in the deck for AEW. But the promotion has a lot more cards to deal, too.
Jurassic Express, Private Party, SCU, The Butcher and the Blade, Best Friends, and several other combinations all help fill out the depth in the tag team roster. This was especially evident on this episode of AEW Dynamite, which also saw the debut of the Sydal Brothers as a team in AEW.
With all that talent, expect to see more episodes of AEW Dynamite that rely heavily on tag team wrestling. It makes for quick, easy watching and often helps get the ball rolling in the first hour of the show.
#2 - Serena Deeb shines on AEW Dynamite
Serena Deeb needs to be a heavily featured part of the AEW Women's division. She's not only talented in the ring, but looks more like a star than nearly any other woman currently on the roster.
While she is the reigning NWA Women's champion, it's clear that AEW owner Tony Khan thought enough of Deeb to work out a deal to get her on Wednesday nights on AEW Dynamite.
This is where she should stay - a regular fixture who lends credibility to a division that has really searched for an identity since the birth of AEW.
While there's no way to rationalize her inexplicable loss to Riho this week, she still managed to flash the incredible technical skills and the chain wrestling that makes her one of the best female performers in the world. And easily one of the most proficient pros on AEW's current payroll.
#3 - Kenny Omega continues to do well in the role of 'heel champion who makes his own rules' on AEW Dynamite
The AEW World titleholder has not only been well-traveled lately, he's also added a lot more depth to his character with Don Callis by his side. The pairing, who obviously have a history together, also have a great chemistry as well.
This week's segment on AEW Dynamite was no different, with Omega staging a stunt where he read a copy of the Young Bucks' book, Killing the Business, to young schoolchildren. Instead, he used it as a way to mock his supposed friends.
The smug, aloof attitude fits Omega well, as he continues to preach his philosophy that he's the best wrestler in the world.
(On a side note, when throwing to this vignette, Jim Ross inadvertently referred to Kenny Omega as the 'WWE' Champion... Apparently old habits die hard.)
Omega would make his presence felt again later, to close AEW Dynamite, when he and the Good Brothers brutalized Jon Moxley. That's when 'The Cleaner' announced that there was a re-match clause between himself and Moxley for the AEW World title.
Then, he challenged Mox to an Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch for the championship. It was a well-scripted sign that Omega is evolving further into this new role, where he is part cunning... and part crazy.
#4 - Fans everywhere surely flinched when Brian Cage delivered a powerbomb to Sting on AEW Dynamite
Since the Icon entered AEW, there's been a lot of speculation about just how physical he would be able to get. After all, he did retire from WWE in 2016, due to severe neck injuries.
So it probably sent a shockwave through the spines of Stinger fans when he took the big bump from Cage. Considering his beloved status among the wrestling audience, hopefully he is feeling great physically, and will be able to have a few matches in AEW.
#5 - The Cody Rhodes vs. Shaquille O'Neal showdown set for AEW Dynamite isn't drawing the buzz that AEW was expecting
While Cody did mention the former NBA star on commentary, and a vignette was aired showing Shaq and his partner, Jade Cargill, training on a basketball court, it all seemed a little flat.
Cody is Cody, and always seems to have a great presence in the ring or in any environment. As far as his partner, Red Velvet, goes? Well, she's a bit of an enigma at this point, as she has mostly appeared on AEW Dark.
Cargill is an intriguing physical specimen, whose unique look and powerful build could set her apart in the women's division. And O'Neal is a celebrity of everything from sports to broadcasting to endless amounts of endorsements. So, there are stories to this contest that should draw the fans' interests.
However, it seems that most fans and observers are treating this match for what it is: A one-time, PR stunt that will be less about sports and entertainment, and more about social media attention.
With AEW in full swing heading toward Revolution on March 7th, this week's AEW Dynamite helped color in some of the pictures. The tag team titles will be up for grabs, Matt Hardy will face 'Hangman' Adam Page, and the stipulations for the AEW World title were hashed out.
With just two more episodes of AEW Dynamite to go before the pay-per-view, we will see how much more kindling AEW throws on the fire. Six matches are already set, and it will be interesting to see how much more they build the card from here.