Grading AEW Dynamite (November 6)
- A good Dynamite again.
Riho and Shanna vs. Emi Sakura and Jamie Hayter - B-
This gif perfectly encapsulates Riho's strengths as champion. She's a fantastic babyface and made this match come alive from a slow start. The match exceeded expectations and provided some thrills. For the second week in a row, Shanna shined. Already, she's one of the best in the AEW women's division, which suddenly looks much stronger than it did just a few weeks ago.
The ending was the major problem here. Riho was announced just last night to be defending her title at Full Gear against her old mentor, Emi Sakura. To build that dynamic, the match ended with the two trading pins, with pupil coming out on the losing end.
Riho will certainly retain, so this felt like it was just done to build up Sakura as a credible threat. Unfortunately, it brings to mind WWE 50/50 style booking, where the champions take non-title losses on TV all the time, winning on pay per view but undercutting their effectiveness anyway. AEW didn't dedicate any time to building up Riho's opponent at Full Gear over several weeks, so this was the best they could muster.
It's weak booking and hopefully, the company won't put itself in this position again.Published 07 Nov 2019, 19:45 IST