The John Report: AEW Dynamite 01/17/24 Review

aew dynamite january 17

This week’s AEW Dynamite saw Samoa Joe defend the AEW World Title against Hook, Christian Cage putting his TNT Title up against Dustin Rhodes and more.

This was AEW Dynamite episode #224 from the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, SC. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

There was an opening video about Samoa Joe defending the AEW World Title against Hook in the main event.

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means. Excalibur was on commentary with Taz and Ian Riccaboni. They said Tony Schiavone was on assignment, so maybe he was just given a week off. It was a smaller crowd in this building with about 2,500 fans, so they darkened the lights in a lot of the arena.

TNT Championship: Christian Cage (w/Killswitch & Nick Wayne) vs. Dustin Rhodes

Christian is 50 years old, and Dustin is 54 years old. Both guys are still awesome. It’s really cool to see them still performing at a high level after 30+ years in wrestling.

Christian started it off with a shot to the body and punches. Dustin hit a powerslam, which led to Christian bailing to the floor. Dustin sent Christian face first into the ring post. Dustin sent Christian knee first into the steel steps followed by a clothesline on the floor. Dustin worked over Christian with punches against the turnbuckle. Christian sent Dustin out of the ring leading to Christian jumping off the top with a cross body block onto Dustin on the floor. It looked a bit awkward, but it was effective enough.


The match returned with Dustin running ropes, Christian ducked and Dustin missed a cross body block attempt. Christian took way too long on the top rope, so he missed a diving headbutt because Dustin moved. They got into a slugfest starting from their knees and back to their feet. Dustin hit an atomic drop along with a boot to the face. Dustin hit a bulldog for two. Dustin did a catapult that sent Christian to the turnbuckle. Christian with a boot to the face, Dustin with a punch and Dustin hit Code Red for two. Christian left the ring, Dustin ran the ropes teasing a dive, but Christian punched Dustin in the face. Christian snapped the neck back against the ropes. Christian went up top and hit a Frog Splash for two. Christian brought the title in, the referee took it away, Dustin applied a cradle and Nick Wayne turned the cradle (the referee didn’t see it) and Christian got a two count. Dustin trapped Christian against the turnbuckle. The referee was distracted by Nick, so that Dustin could hit his Unnatural Kick aka Shattered Dreams. That spot is over 25 years old. Anyway, Dustin hit a superplex followed by Cross Rhodes for two because Christian shot his right shoulder up. Dustin didn’t hook a leg on that pin attempt. Nick touched Dustin’s boots, so Christian distracted the referee. Dustin gave Nick a Canadian Destroyer on the floor and Dustin took care of Killswitch as well. Christian sent a charging Dustin into the turnbuckle. When Dustin turned around, Christian hit him with a Spear. Christian hit the Killswitch for one…two…and no because Dustin got his left shoulder up. Christian hit a Killswitch (Unprettier) again for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Christian Cage

Analysis: ***1/2 These guys are still very good pro wrestlers and they showed it again here. What I liked about it is that the pacing was better than a lot of AEW matches that are too rushed because guys are concerned about doing cool moves. In this match, they took their time and everything matters. I thought that Christian had the win with the Killswitch, but Dustin got the left shoulder up and got out of it. That led to a second Killswitch for the win by Christian. I expected Christian to get the win here.

Swerve Strickland was interviewed by Renee Paquette backstage, who asked if Swerve is watching the main event for the AEW World Title. Swerve said he’s laser focused on going after the AEW World Title. Swerve claimed he was on the top of anybody’s mind. Swerve said he was the most dangerous man going after the most coveted prize in this industry – the AEW World Championship. Renee mentioned “Hangman” Adam Page, so Swerve mentioned Page was a great wrestler and he talked about all the guys that Page has beaten. Swerve said that Page couldn’t beat him. Swerve said he has no reason to do it again and he has nobody to prove it to. Whose house? Swerve’s house.

Analysis: Swerve is among my favorites in AEW and I’m glad he’s getting pushed. It seems like he is likely for an AEW World Title match at the Revolution PPV, but there’s no rush to officially announce it since it’s on March 3rd.


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Chris Jericho was interviewed by Renee Paquette backstage, who asked where Jericho goes from here. Jericho complained about the Don Callis Family causing Jericho and Sammy Guevara to lose against Big Bill & Ricky Starks for the AEW Tag Team Titles. Jericho talked about how seek and destroy Takeshita. Matt Sydal walked in saying this isn’t Jericho that he knows and he wanted a match. Jericho said you were “born” to do this as a reference to his WWE name Evan Bourne. Jericho suggested they have a match on Rampage on Friday. Rampage is taped after Dynamite.

Analysis: Since Rampage is a taped show, AEW can edit the broadcast to cover the boos and negative chants that Jericho gets these days. Clever by AEW, I guess.

Trent Beretta & Orange Cassidy (w/Chuck Taylor) vs. Penta El Zero Miedo & Komander (w/Rey Fenix & Alex Abrahantes)

Orange and Penta did a bunch of comedy stuff for about a minute until Penta finally got some offense with a superkick. Trent went into the ring illegally with a forearm and Komander got some offense by hitting a dive onto Orange on the floor. Trent the illegal man suplexed Komander and Orange was back in for a two count.


The match returned with Penta getting the tag for his team with two Slingblades on Orange. Komander went into the ring illegally to run the ropes and dive onto Trent on the floor. Penta hit a Made in Japan slam on Orange for two. Orange broke free with a spinning DDT on Penta. Komander and Trent were legal as Komander got a couple of nearfalls. Trent slapped Komander, Penta got the tag after a kick and Penta hit a Canadian Destroyer. Komander did a rope walk top rope splash for two so I guess Komander was still legal as if it matters in AEW. Komander nailed Orange with a superkick. Komander went up top and went for a splash, but Trent avoided it and Trent hit a running knee. Penta went in the ring illegally with a superkick on Trent. Orange in illegally with a Beach Break on Penta and an Orange Punch. Trent hit a Crunchy slam on Komander for about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Trent Beretta & Orange Cassidy

Analysis: *** This was okay as a random tag team match with an International Champion like Orange Cassidy being on the winning team against guys that aren’t pushed much at all. It was the usual AEW tag team match where they had illegal offense for most of the second half of the match. The finish was literally Orange Cassidy doing a bunch of illegal offense before Trent got the win for his team. Penta could be used a lot better, but he’s just an average midcard wrestler at this point.

The Undisputed Kingdom’s Roderick Strong (nice mustache), Matt Taven & Mike Bennett went into the ring. Strong yelled at Orange Cassidy to take his glasses off and look at Strong in the eye. Strong mocked Orange for wrestling in a tag team match instead of defending the International Title. Strong wondered if Orange was afraid if he had nothing left in the tank to keep it and Strong told Orange that he was coming for the title. Strong said it does belong to him, he’s coming for it and he’s here to make Orange face it. The fans were chanting “shut the f**k up” at Strong. Orange suggested they do the International Title match right here and right now. Strong said not right now. Strong told Orange to wait until March 3rd at Revolution. Strong wanted Orange to wake up every day for six weeks knowing he had to keep Strong’s title warm for him.

Analysis: That should be a great match between Orange and Strong at Revolution. It was just an average promo from Strong. He’s better in the ring than he is as a talker, that’s for sure.

There was a backstage interview with “Hangman” Adam Page talking to Renee Paquette. Page talked about how he wanted and needed the AEW World Championship in the past. Page said that he will win it again and keep his name on it for as long as he can. Renee mentioned Swerve Strickland, who said Page can’t beat him. Page said he wasn’t thinking about Swerve. Page said it doesn’t matter because Swerve is not the World Champion – Samoa Joe is. Page said maybe it will be Hook and God be with you if it is.

Analysis: I mentioned Swerve challenging for the AEW World Title at Revolution and I can see Hangman being in that match too, so maybe they go with a triple threat at Revolution. They could also do Swerve-Hangman on Dynamite to earn a title shot too.

Mark Briscoe Pays Tribute To Jay Briscoe

Mark Briscoe made his entrance with the Briscoe Family at ringside. It was one year ago on this day when Jay Briscoe died in a car accident. Mark spoke about how he was representing The Briscoe Brothers. Mark said tragically one year ago tonight, his brother Jay moved on and he passed away. Mark said that his nieces were in the car with Jay and they told his niece that she wouldn’t be able to walk, but then two girls and a boy appeared on the stage with Mark. Obviously, Jay’s girls are doing well. Those were Jay’s kids. They hugged Mark on the stage.

A video aired in tribute to the late, great Jay Briscoe.

Analysis: It’s so sad that Jay Briscoe isn’t with us anymore. That was such a tragic car accident one year ago. I’m glad that AEW gave some time to honor Jay Briscoe one year after his death. God bless that family, their friends and everybody who loved Jay.


The Young Bucks Interview

The Young Bucks were seated backstage with Renee Paquette for an interview. Nick wanted them to be called Nicholas and Matthew since they are Executive Vice Presidents. Renee mentioned rumors about them while Matt said that they were protecting their family. Matt talked about how AEW is a thriving, sustainable wrestling company and he would do it all over again. Matt said that Renee got her paycheck and you’re welcome for that. Matt spoke about how they used to say “change the world” and they were rebels that spat in the face of tradition. Matt said that somewhere along the way, they did lose their way and toxicity crept into the locker room and it was all different. Matt said that they started to lean on self-serving cancerous superstars. Matt said that Sting is not any of those things and he is a role model employee while saying that he’s envious about how people talking about him. Matt said that Sting is the last of a dying breed. Matt said that they will say goodbye to Sting and everybody like Sting. Renee wondered if that was an official callout to Sting for his final match. Nick pulled out his phone as if they got a message and they left while mentioning they are EVPs again. Matt said they had a meeting to go to.

Analysis: There’s that new heelish attitude of The Young Bucks. I like them better as heels anyway. A lot of what they said could be about AEW wrestlers who aren’t there anymore, so I think it was clever for them to say what they said. I think Matt & Nick asking to be called Matthew & Nicholas will also piss people off since it just makes them sound arrogant. Like I said, they are better as heels anyway.

ROH Trios Tag Team Championships: Mogul Embassy – Toa Liona, Brian Cage & Bishop Kaun (w/Prince Nana) vs. Bullet Club Gold – Jay White, Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn

It’s a matchup between two heel teams although I guess Bullet Club Gold were getting cheered. White nailed Toa with some chops along with clothesline attempt, but Toa came back with a hard chop. Kaun hit a senton splash on to White and then White came back with a dragon screw leg whip. Austin and Cage tagged in leading to White getting punches. Cage came back with a running uppercut along with a German Suplex on Austin. Toa and Kaun did a double team combo move with double knees along with a running elbow smash for a two count.


Colten got the tag with a neckbreaker on Toa and a Full Nelson Slam on Kaun for two. Toa went into the ring illegally to run over Colten with a Pounce attack. Mogul Embassy had all three guys in the ring for a Powerbomb combo followed by Kaun hitting an Air Raid Crash for two because the pin was broken up. Kaun charged on the floor, but White moved out of the way. White sent Cage into the ring post. Colten did a back body drop to Kaun. White tagged in with a barrage of chops to Kaun and a spinning uranage slam. Cage into the ring illegally with a lariat and The Gunns hit 310 To Yuma on Cage. Kaun dropkicked both Gunns out of the ring. Nana grabbed White’s boot and Kaun hit a slam onto his knees. Nana tried to attack White with a title belt, but Anthony Bowens stopped that. Kaun got a rollup on White. White got back up and hit a Bladerunner for the pinfall win after about 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall AND NEW ROH Tag Team Champions:Bullet Club Gold – Jay White, Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn

Analysis: **3/4 The usual AEW tag team match with a lot of illegal action. Did I write that earlier? Well, yeah, because it felt similar to that match. Bullet Club Gold were heels in the past, but they were cheered here and the fans loved White more than anybody else in the match. I honestly can’t say I care that much about the title change since I barely pay attention to the ROH brand, but it’s a way to do a title change on TV instead of the ROH streaming show that has a much smaller audience.

After the match, the AEW Trios Tag Team Champions The Acclaimed were on the stage looking at Bullet Club Gold because they want to create a super group.

Adam Cole was backstage talking about how dominant Wardlow is while Wardlow was standing there silently. Cole said that Wardlow would keep on dominating in AEW and bring the AEW World Title to the Undisputed Kingdom. Wardlow said: “Boom.”


Deonna Purrazzo vs. Anna Jay

The AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm was on commentary with Mariah May and Luther. Purrazzo won her first AEW match on Collision last week. Storm did the gimmick of acting like Riccaboni was Tony Schiavone and she complimented “Tony” for looking great. Purrazzo got a rollup for two and Jay got her own rollup for two. Purrazzo stomped on Jay’s right arm. Jay hit a neckbreaker against the middle turnbuckle. Storm was saying some ridiculous things as usual and Taz was laughing about it. They went to a picture-in-picture break.


Purrazzo was aggressive with a knee lift to the head and she went for an armbar. Purrazzo got back up and hit a jumping kick on Jay. They each went for armbars, Purrazzo applied it on the mat and Jay got to the ropes to break the hold. They did the “stand and throw forearms” thing that AEW matches often do. Purrazzo grounded Jay by pulling back on both arms called the Venus De Milo. Jay tapped out. They got about seven minutes.

Winner by submission: Deonna Purrazzo

Analysis: **1/2 A decisive win by Purrazzo. I think they could time the commercial better because if you only get seven minutes, go to commercial after the entrance and then show the whole match full screen. Instead, they only showed about three minutes on the full screen. It was pretty obvious that Purrazzo was going to win in her first Dynamite match. When Deonna worked for TNA, they had long matches in the Knockouts division that is very deep and booked well. The AEW women’s division is not like that as evidenced by yet another short match here.

Post match, Deonna Purrazzo shook hands with Anna Jay as a sign of respect.

Deonna Purrazzo was interviewed in the ring by Renee Paquette. Purrazzo said she’s known Storm a long time and they used to be like sisters. Purrazzo said that Storm has never met the greatest technical wrestler, The Virtuosa. Luther put Toni Storm on his shoulders and Storm called Purrazzo a hag. Storm said that her past is nothing of her concern. Storm said that they must go for commercial so chin up, tits out and watch for the shoe. Storm threw the shoe, so Purrazzo threw the shoe back.

Analysis: This is obviously going to be a title feud. I don’t know if Deonna will take the title or just be another woman for Storm to beat. I hope they actually use Deonna well long term, unlike Taya Valkyrie, who came from Impact as well. She was pushed a bit on TV for a couple of months and now she’s relegated to the ROH brand that has a very small audience. That’s a shame.


Top Flight – Darius & Dante Martin vs. Private Party – Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen

This is a flippy match, not a meat match. Quen was back after missing all of 2023 with a pectoral injury. That’s normally a six-month injury, but Quen missed double that time. Dante Martin missed a lot of 2023 with a leg injury too. Darius and Kassidy did a routine to start the match with some counters leading to both men looking at eachother. Quen tagged in for his first action in 13 months. They had another staredown and touched knuckles as a sign of respect. Dante tried a move, but Quen held onto the ropes. Quen tried grabbing Dante’s ankle and Dante got out of it. Kassidy got some illegal offense from the apron with a kick and a springboard attack. Excalibur called this a “tag team dream match.” No offense to the teams, but that’s a ridiculous statement. They went to PIP break.


Darius grounded Kassidy with an armbar on the left arm. Kassidy broke free from Top Flight and Quen tagged in with suicide dives onto both opponents. Quen hit a somersault dive onto Darius and then a twisting dive over the top onto Dante on the floor. That was a rough landing since all of Quen’s weight landed on Dante’s head. Back in the ring, Quen hit a 450 Splash off the top for a two count. Dante hit a jumping knee to the face, Darius tagged in and Top Flight hit superkicks leading to Darius hitting a flatliner. Darius hit an impressive Pele Kick. Quen hit a dropkick on Darius. Dante was illegally in the ring with a knee to the face of Kassidy and Dante superkicked Kassidy. Kassidy hit a spinning enziguri kick on Dante. Private Party hit their double team Gin & Juice move. Quen rolled up Darius, sat on top and held onto the top rope for leverage for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Private Party – Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen

Analysis: **3/4 It was okay, but I didn’t think it was anything special. Certainly not a “dream match” as the announcers said. They also didn’t do that many high spots considering the teams in the match. The slower pace early wasn’t that interesting to the crowd that barely reacted to it. Private Party has been in AEW for five years and their biggest win was back in 2019 beating The Young Bucks. They haven’t done much in AEW when you think about it. I know Quen missed all of 2023, but they could have been used better in their careers. Maybe this is the year Private Party actually makes some progress in AEW. Quen using the ropes to win could mean that Private Party might be heelish going forward, which would be fine with me. They need to show personality instead of just saying “shots, shots, shots” all the time for five years.

A video aired featuring Sting & Darby Allin, who mentioned they were 26-0 as partners. Allin said that this story is going to end with Sting & Darby as AEW Tag Team Champions.

Analysis: I assume that means that The Young Bucks will win the AEW Tag Team Titles from Big Bill & Ricky Starks to set up Sting & Allin against the Bucks at Revolution. For what it’s worth, AEW’s roster page says Sting is 27-0 and all of those matches were tag team matches with Allin, so Allin saying 26-0 was actually wrong.

Hook made his entrance for the main event as Excalibur said no more commercials left. I like the Hook “bat signal” in the arena for his entrance. Hook is the FTW Champion and the son of AEW announcer Taz. Samoa Joe was up next as the AEW World Champion for his first title defense.

AEW World Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Hook

Hook went after Joe with punches, so Joe just tossed his smaller challenger out of the ring. Joe sent Hook into the barricade, but Hook got up and hit Joe with an elbow. They went back into the ring where Joe nailed Hook with a running elbow smash. Joe worked over Hook with punches. Joe hit a running back splash against the turnbuckle followed by a jumping kick to the head. Joe did a snapmare leading to a slap to the back and a kick to the chest. Joe hit an elbow drop for two. Hook managed to trip up Joe leading to a running clothesline. Hook hit a running forearm smash off the apron while Joe was on the floor. Joe gave Hook a uranage slam against the hood of the commentary table, which broke the table and Hook was down. Joe walked around the ring while fans chanted “holy shit” for that. Joe talked shit to Hook on the table, so Hook did the double finger salute. Joe gave Hook a stiff Powerbomb onto the ring apron. The ringside doctor checked on Hook on the floor while the referee was out there too. The referee Bryce Remsburg went back into the ring for a very slow ten count and Hook managed to get back in before ten. Taz said he knew his son wouldn’t stay down. Joe sent Hook into the corner followed by a powerslam for two. Joe hit a Death Valley Driver for two. Joe set up Hook on the top rope leading to the Muscle Buster for one…and a kickout by Hook. It only got a one count, which stunned Joe. Hook came back with a couple of clotheslines along with an impressive T-Bone Suplex. Joe was blocking the Red Rum submission attempt, Joe swung Hook down and Joe applied the Coquina Clutch submission. The referee raised Hook’s arm three times with Hook not lifting his arm back up, so Hook was out. It went about nine minutes.

Winner by submission: Samoa Joe

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good championship match. I liked the story of Samoa Joe being relentless with his attack while Hook kept on fighting as the babyface that he is. I don’t like Hook kicking out of the Muscle Buster at just one because that makes the move look a bit weak, but it’s not like Hook came back to win after that. Joe getting the win was the obvious result. I do like seeing World Title matches on TV at least once a month just to feature the champion in some big matches.

After the match, Hook wanted to keep fighting Joe, so Joe went back into the ring. Joe hit Hook with a Muscle Buster. Hook wanted Joe to come back for more, but that led to “Hangman” Adam Page making the save. Joe left the ring at that point. Swerve Strickland also appeared at ringside for a staredown with Page. Swerve held up two fingers since he’s 2-0 against Hangman. Swerve left through the crowd. Hook left the ring on his own. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: As I mentioned earlier, they are clearly building Swerve and Hangman as title contenders against Joe. It seems like a triple threat match at Revolution is likely at this point unless there’s a Swerve match against Hangman where one of them becomes the only challenger.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Christian Cage
  2. Samoa Joe
  3. Dustin Rhodes/Hook


The Scoreboard

This Week: 7.25 out of 10

Last Week: 7.25


Final Thoughts on AEW Dynamite

It was a good episode of Dynamite most of the way. Some parts weren’t that interesting to me, but hardcore AEW fans might love it more. I thought the best match was between the old guys Christian Cage and Dustin Rhodes with the TNT Title on the line. They know how to tell a story and they did a nice job in that match. A lot of AEW wrestlers who are obsessed with doing their flips need to learn to slow down and tell a story in a match like these guys do.

The Samoa Joe match with Hook was entertaining for the time given. Joe was on offense for most of it, then Hook had a bit of a flurry before Joe put him away. They also have done a nice job of building “Hangman” Adam Page and Swerve Strickland as potential challengers for Samoa Joe. A triple threat at Revolution seems likely, but they could have one of them become the only opponent in a singles match.

The Young Bucks interview with their new heel personas was mildly entertaining. I can tolerate them more as heels, so I’m fine with them in that role with the goofy mustaches and wanting to be called Nicholas and Matthew while bragging about being EVPs in the company. Lastly, I loved Mark Briscoe’s tribute to his brother Jay and seeing Jay’s kids on the stage with Mark. That was a touching tribute. Rest in Peace, Jay, who died one year ago on January 17th. Stay safe, everybody.


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Raptors & Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport