The John Report: AEW Dynamite 02/14/24 Review

aew dynamite february 14

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured Adam Copeland facing Daniel Garcia, Jon Moxley against Dax Harwood, Orange Cassidy-Matt Taven in a Texas Death Match main event and more.

This was AEW Dynamite episode #228 from the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park (Austin), Texas. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means. The commentary team was Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Taz. Last week was a bigger crowd, but this week it’s small again, so the lights are dark in most of the crowd.

Jon Moxley vs. Dax Harwood

I missed the first ten minutes. I could go back to watch it, but it was really just about five minutes of action after their entrances. When I started, Moxley gave Dax a catapult into the ring post on the floor. Back in the ring, Moxley with some punches to the head leading to Dax hitting a running Powerbomb for two. They teased a suplex spot leading to both guys tumbling over the top to the floor.


They exchanged chops followed by forearms to the head. They did open handed strikes to the head, then some quick slapping and a double palm strike to knock each man down. They battled on the turnbuckle with Moxley doing some back raking. Moxley punched Dax down from the turnbuckle. Dax got back up, he punched Moxley in the face and Dax hit a superplex off the top rope. Moxley and Dax were on their knees doing headbutts. Dax hit two clotheslines that Moxley no sold, Moxley with a clothesline and Dax hit a clothesline that knocked Moxley down. Dax applied a Sharpshooter submission, but Moxley got out of it with kicks to the head. Tony said it was a great match, which he says about every match in AEW and so does his boss also named Tony. Yes, it is a great match, but they say it a lot. Anyway, Dax hit a piledriver for two with Dax only using his left arm to cover. They left the ring, Dax with chops, then back in the ring and Moxley kicked the ropes while Dax was getting back in the ring. Moxley hit a Stomp followed by his own piledriver for two. Moxley charged, Dax with a punch and Dax hit a brainbuster for two. There were two minutes left. Dax went up top with a headbutt, Moxley avoided it and Moxley applied a rear naked choke on the mat. Dax was talking to the referee and Dax tapped out. It was around 18 minutes.

Winner by submission: Jon Moxley

Analysis: ***3/4 A great match between two talented veterans who aren’t afraid to hit hard. They did a lot of similar moves to eachother in the match to show how even it was most of the way. One of the issues with putting Dax in singles matches is he loses most of the time he has them, so there isn’t that much drama when he hits a piledriver for a two count. I did like how the finish was done with Moxley capitalizing when Dax went for a headbutt, which is not a move that common for Dax, and that led right into the finish.

After the match, Moxley kept on choking Harwood so Cash Wheeler of FTR went into the ring and punched Moxley repeatedly. Claudio Castagnoli went into the ring, punched Wheeler a few times and Claudio hit a Gotch Style slam into the mat. Moxley applied a choke on Dax against the ropes while Claudio applied a Crossface to Wheeler.

Analysis: That was heelish by Dax & Claudio, but the fans continue to cheer the BCC guys all the time because they see them as stars. It’s just weird in terms of AEW really not caring about how some wrestlers are booked. If I had a say in AEW booking, I would really try to focus on building babyfaces and making it clear who the faces. Fans want to pay money to watch faces. They don’t pay as much as money to watch tweener wrestlers that blur the lines.

Don Callis and his Family of wrestlers like Konosuke Takeshita & Powerhouse Hobbs was interviewed by Renee Paquette. Callis claimed that nobody wants to face his wrestlers. Callis said that at Revolution, his two family members Konosuke Takeshita and Will Ospreay will have a match. Don said after the match, they will still be a family.

Analysis: That will be an incredible match between Takeshita and Ospreay. No story, but that’s AEW.

Wardlow vs. Barrett Brown

Adam Cole of the Undisputed Kingdom was on commentary, but he didn’t speak. Wardlow set up Brown on the top rope and Wardlow hit a knee lift to the head. Wardlow hit a Powerbomb. Cole said it was a pleasure talking to them. It went about one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Wardlow

Analysis: 1/2* Squash city.

A video was shown of The Young Bucks arriving on a private plane. They were still wearing white suits with Darby Allin’s blood on them. They are in action later.


Adam Copeland vs. Daniel Garcia

I thought this might main event, but it’s on early. Copeland is 5-0 in 2024. Big age difference since Cope is 50 years old and Garcia is 25 years old. That also means I first saw Copeland wrestler at an indy here in Ontario, Canada before Garcia was alive. Matt Menard was on commentary to support his buddy Garcia.

Adam did an arm wringer to take Garcia down, who countered a move into an Ankle Lock. Adam hit a shoulder tackle followed by a splash to the back for two. Garcia trapped Adam on the mat leading to Garcia stomping on the back of Adam’s knees on the mat. Garcia worked over Adam with elbows and Adam hit a shoulderbreaker. Adam sent Garcia hard into the turnbuckle as the show went to break.


Adam remained in control with a boot to the head. I believe Menard called Copeland “Edge” during the match as Adam pulled on the left arm against the top rope. Garcia hit a dragon screw leg whip on Adam from the middle rope. Garcia stomped on Adam repeatedly followed by a running boot to the head. Garcia did another leg whip to take Adam down. Adam fought back with punches, but Garcia grabbed the leg to take Adam down again. Garcia went up top, so Adam hit him with a double axhandle. Adam hit a superplex off the middle rope while Excalibur called it an Impaler, which it was not. Adam charged, Garcia kicked him in the head and Garcia did a jackknife pin attempt for two. Adam applied a Crossface on Garcia, but Nick Wayne & Killswitch attacked Garcia. Excalibur claimed the match was thrown out. It went about 12 minutes.

Match Result: No Contest

Analysis: *** A good match even with a non-finish. I think you could call it a DQ win for Garcia since he was attacked first, but Excalibur was shouting No Contest so I’ll go with that. Garcia did a nice job of working over Adam’s left knee throughout the match. I’m not that surprised that they would do a controversial ending like that.

Killswitch and Nick Wayne beat up Garcia while Adam rolled out of the ring. Christian Cage walked out to the ring with the TNT Title and two steel chairs. Shayna Wayne was with Christian as well. Menard tried to stop the chair attack on Garcia, but Killswitch nailed Menard in the back of the head to knock him down. Christian wanted to do a Conchairto, but Adam saved Garcia from it. Shayna hit a low blow on Adam to save Adam’s attack on Christian. Wayne hit his Wayne’s World move on Adam and Killswitch clotheslined Adam in the back of the head. Christian teased a Conchairto on Adam and connected with the chair to the head (but it really doesn’t touch the head) and they shot it from the right angle. Christian Cage and The Patriarchy celebrated. The fans booed. Christian kissed the TNT Title repeatedly. Garcia went into the ring to check on Copeland. They went to break.

Analysis: It’s more heat on Christian and his group. It was as cheap as it gets with the Conchairto usage. That will probably lead to Copeland taking a couple of weeks off.


There was a replay of “Hangman” Adam Page and Swerve Strickland having a draw last week on Dynamite. That means those two will challenge Samoa Joe in an AEW Worl Title match at Revolution.

The announcers spoke about how Adam Copeland was helped to the back after what happened before the break.

Let’s Hear from Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland & “Hangman” Adam Page

Samoa Joe was in the ring with the AEW World Title. Fans were chanting “Joe” repeatedly since it’s easy to chant. Joe talked about Page and Strickland having a 30-minute draw last week. Joe said that AEW made his match bigger and dumber. Joe complained about rewarding mediocrity and now he finds himself in a three-way match. Joe said that you can send your bright stars into the ring with Joe, but Joe guarantees that both men will limp out of the ring. Joe claimed there was nothing anybody can do about him being the AEW World Champion.

Swerve Strickland made his entrance with Prince Nana, who was dancing as usual. Some fans were dancing too. Some of them should stop dancing instead.

Swerve got into the ring saying this wasn’t supposed to be personal, but he said this is becoming personal. Swerve spoke about how he was on his way to becoming one of the greatest of all time. Swerve said that no one outhustles him, outworks him and out-grinds him. Swerve said you should put some respect on his name. Swerve said for 15 years, he has been hoping one day somebody would think of him as one of the best in the world. Swerve said he’s proven that today is that day. Swerve talked about going toe to toe with some of the best that AEW has to offer. Swerve said it was Swerve’s House and at Revolution, nothing changes. Swerve said he’ll be holding that AEW World Title above his head.

There was an interruption from “Hangman” Adam Page. Page said that last week he wasn’t mad. Page said that he signed a contract to determine the number one contender for a match last week where the winner gets an AEW World Title match. Page said that Swerve wasn’t the winner. Page talked about how he should face Joe in singles, but it looks like Swerve was added to the match. Page told Swerve after everything Swerve has done to him, Swerve doesn’t deserve more of Page’s time including five more minutes because Swerve couldn’t get the job done. Page said that Swerve didn’t deserve to be in this championship match.

Joe told both guys that they are not going to take Joe’s championship. Joe said that he is Samoa Joe and come Revolution, he is whooping both their asses. Joe left as the fans chanted “Joe” for him while Page and Swerve argued in the ring.

Analysis: It was fine as a promo exchange. It wasn’t anything special, but they all spoke well and they all made some intelligent points about why they are going to win at Revolution. It should be an awesome match.

There was a “movie” featuring “Timeless” Toni Storm talking about her history with Deonna Purrazzo. Storm had an addition to her right leg tattoo. Great.

Analysis: Toni performs her gimmick very well. I wouldn’t say her feud with Purrazzo is hot, but at least there’s a history between them.

Deonna Purrazzo was interviewed by Renee Paquette. Deonna ripped Storm for talking too much. Deonna: “I’m going to break your arm, bitch.”

Analysis: That was simple enough.

The Young Bucks were shown exiting a limo in the back part of the arena. They were dressed in white suits with blood stains all over their suits.

When The Young Bucks entered the ring, they made Justin Roberts the right way saying they were Executive Vice Presidents named Matthew & Nicholas Jackson.

The Young Bucks (Matthew & Nicholas Jackson) vs. Top Flight – Darius & Dante Martin

Nick started with Dante for a couple of minutes with not much happening. Matt tagged, Top Flight hit double team moves including Darius hitting a splash. Dante sent Nick out of the ring. Darius & Dante ran the ropes, but the Bucks moved out of the way so there was no dive. Darius hit a double foot stomp on Matt’s arm along with a dropkick for two. Nick hit Darius with a knee to the back leading to Matt hitting a clothesline. The Bucks were in control as the show went to a PIP break.


Matt prevented Darius from tagging out. Darius hit a back elbow to the jaw followed by a leaping kick to the head. Dante tagged in with kicks for both Bucks followed by a springboard cross body block onto Matt for two. Dante and Darius each hit sunset flip pin attempts for two. Matt faked a superkick followed by a DDT on Dante, who sold that really well. Dante came back with a headscissors on Matt. Darius tagged in with a DDT on Matt for two. Dante sent Nick out of the ring followed by a suicide dive. Darius hit a Spanish Fly slam onto Matt for two. Nick sent Dante face first into the barricade. Matt got a pin attempt with his feet on the rope. Nick argued with the referee, so Matt did a low blow kick to Darius. Nick tagged in for the EVP Trigger double knee attack on Darius for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Young Bucks (Matthew & Nicholas Jackson)

Analysis: ***1/4 Good match featuring a lot of athletic moves by both teams. The Bucks do a great job with the heel mannerisms. I like them way more as heels compared to when they are faces. Top Flight are never really pushed that much, so you know they are there to do the job. Since Matt hit Darius with a low blow before the finish it also puts over Top Flight a bit by telling the audience that they were tough to beat, so at least that makes Top Flight look good even in defeat.

The Young Bucks were interviewed in the ring by Tony Schiavone after the match. Matthew said they are undefeated this year so that makes them the top tag team in AEW. Matthew said he thinks that they are the number one contenders. A graphic was shown on screen saying that. Tony said that Sting wasn’t there because of the despicable, heinous act and Matthew cut Tony off saying he hears Tony disparaging them. Matthew said that is unprofessional, bush league and Tony know. Nicholas told Tony that was a $1000 fine. Nick bumped Tony with his shoulder to knock Tony down on the mat and Tony was seated in the ring. The Young Bucks helped Tony back up and they teased an EVP Trigger, but here comes Darby Allin.

Darby Allin, who is one half of the AEW Tag Team Champions, ran out to the ring and The Young Bucks left. Allin had Sting’s bat. Allin spoke about how AEW’s original mission statement was about how they were going to change the world. Allin spoke about how he begged The Young Bucks for a job, they saw nothing in him and he watched their shit friends get hired, the California crew. Allin said that there was an EVP here that hired him and he’s not talking about Kenny Omega. There were “Cody” chants for Cody Rhodes, who was the AEW EVP who apparently hired Allin for the company five years ago. Allin said that The Young Bucks re-signed with AEW because the travel schedule was right, the money was good and Allin said he thought this was All Elite Wrestling, but it feels like All Friendship Wrestling. Allin said he wasn’t on the first episode of Dynamite, but Brandon Cutler was on it and he is a friend of Brandon Cutler. Allin said that this is about Sting’s final match and they want to be Sting’s final match. Allin said that Sting has nothing left to lose. Allin said that The Young Bucks against Sting & Allin…it’s showtime. That is Sting’s catchphrase. Excalibur said it was official even though there wasn’t a graphic shown for it.

Analysis: I thought that was well done by The Young Bucks and Darby. The Bucks were total jerks to Tony Schiavone, who did nothing wrong, yet the Bucks don’t like that he said mean things about them and they nearly attacked him. As for Allin, it is weird that he would say something to cause a “Cody” chant because Cody is the top guy in the other company, but I think that was Allin’s way of telling the Bucks that they are bad at being EVPs. It fits the story that The Young Bucks think they are awesome EVPs, so when you have a guy like Allin telling them you suck at it, that’s going to resonate well with the fans that want to boo the Bucks every time they see them. We ran this story from Uncle Dave Meltzer whining about it saying that Darby’s interview was about putting over Cody, who is WWE’s biggest star and feeding into Jim Cornette’s AEW criticisms calling it All Friends Wrestling. We know Dave loves his precious Bucks and Dave really doesn’t criticize AEW that much, so for him to get all angry about this is telling. I think Dave missed the point of the promo. The point was that Allin was telling the fans that the Bucks are bad EVPs and it gets heat on the Bucks as heels. They could have done a better job of recapping what happened last week when The Young Bucks beat up Sting, Allin and Sting’s adult sons, but they didn’t do that. I think that could have been handled better. Other than that, I did like the segment.


The Bang Bang Scissor Gang featuring six wrestlers were interviewed by Renee Paquette. They are both sets of 6-man tag team champions. Jay White said they had yet to test out their cohesiveness as a team. They said they would have a 12-man tag match on Rampage.

Analysis: I believe this group came together to fight against The United Kingdom group that attacked them, yet they have barely interacted with that group. Poor Jay White went from AEW World Title challenger to being in a six-man group with Trios Tag Team Titles. I don’t get the point of this group.

Skye Blue vs. Willow Nightingale

Stokely Hathaway was on commentary since he is Willow’s friend or manager. Willow hit Blue with a body slam. Blue slapped Willow in the face so Willow sent Blue into the turnbuckles a few times. Back in the ring, Willow ran the ropes and hit a Pounce that knocked Blue out of the ring. They went to a PIP break.


Willow got some offense going with clotheslines, a hip attack in the corner and a lariat. Willow hit a spinebuster for two. Blue hit a knee strike, superkick and DDT for two. Willow powered out of a submission move and Willow shoved Blue off the apron to the floor. They battled by the turnbuckle where Blue hit a superkick and a Powerbomb off the turnbuckle for two. Hathaway was on the apron as Blue hit her Code Blue finisher and the referee was looking at Hathaway, so Willow was able to kick out. Willow hit a gutwrench Powerbomb for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Willow Nightingale

Analysis: **3/4 It was okay. I wouldn’t say it was anything out of the ordinary for the AEW women’s division. It was the usual match that got around the same amount of time that they usually get. The babyface winning because of the manager distraction felt like a strange choice for a finish.

Next week on AEW Dynamite:

* Blackpool Combat Club – Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs. FTR – Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler

* Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland & Brian Cage vs. Hook, Adam Page & Rob Van Dam

The main event was next.


Orange Cassidy made his entrance for the main event. Matt Taven has worked for AEW for a while and I don’t even remember the last time he had a match on Dynamite, yet here he is in a main event. Taven is one half of the ROH Tag Team Champions with Mike Bennett. Cassidy defends the AEW International Title against Roderick Strong at Revolution and Taven is in the Undisputed Kingdom group with Strong.

Texas Death Match: Orange Cassidy vs. Matt Taven

The only way to win is by Knockout or Submission. The story is that Undisputed Kingdom are trying to weaken Orange.

Taven hit a dropkick followed by some chops. Taven hit an impressive enziguri kick and a Blue Thunder Bomb, which led to Orange rolling out of the ring. Taven whipped Orange into the barricade. Orange came back by sending Taven hard into the barricade. Taven tried sending Orange into the barricade, but Orange jumped over the barricade and went into the crowd. They went fighting into the crowd, which led to a PIP break.


The match returned with Taven jumping off the stage and driving Orange through a table with an elbow drop. The table did break partially, but then Taven set it up against the ramp and Taven suplexed Orange through the table. Orange was bleeding from the forehead. They were on the ramp where Taven hit a running knee to the face. Taven hit a backbreaker followed by a DDT. Taven set up a table vertically so that it was up against the commentary table in an awkward position. Cassidy was bleeding heavily from the forehead. Taven hit a springboard kick. Taven charged, Orange moved and Taven did a suicide dive through the table that was set up against the commentary table. That was a crazy bump with Taven’s body crashing through the table. I think it was Taven’s right arm that smashed through the table, but he sold it really well with his whole body. Taven came up bleeding so he did a blade job too. Orange opened up a heart-shaped from Chuckie T and Orange dumped them in the ring. They were thumbtacks. Orange went for a move off the turnbuckle, so Taven shoved Orange down back-first into the thumbtacks. Taven did a splash off the top, Orange moved and Taven hit a Superfly Splash onto the thumbtacks. Orange gave Taven a DDT onto the thumbtacks. Orange pulled out a chain from under the ring. There was another heart-shaped weapon, so Mike Bennett ran out to the ring and smashed Orange in the head with it. Bennett tossed about five chairs into the ring. Trent Beretta walked out with a steel pipe to support Orange. Trent hit the pipe into the chair that Bennett had. Taven threw a chair at Trent’s face and drove Trent’s face into the chair. Orange hit an Orange Punch on Taven. Orange hit Beach Break onto the pile of chairs. Taven ripped Orange’s pant pockets. Orange wrapped the chain around his fist and Orange hit the Orange Punch with the chain as the referee counted Taven down. Strong went for a running knee, Trent took the shot for Orange and Orange tossed Strong out of the ring. The referee was counting Taven down and Taven was down for the ten count, so that’s the end of the match. It went 14 minutes.

Winner by knockout: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: ***1/2 A good match that turned into a wild brawl with some crazy spots. I think the was hurt by all of the interference and I’m not sure what the point of Strong was. Strong didn’t even try to help Taven get back up to try to keep the match going. It’s not like Orange is going to lose a tag team wrestler in a match like this. Taven is a good worker and he proved it in this match. It’s just weird that he was put in this main event match since he barely gets matches on Dynamite. That spot where Taven ran the ropes and jumped over the top to go crashing through that table looked dangerous, but I think he landed it about as perfectly as he could. Orange using the thumbtacks, chairs and a chain to put him away was a satisfying ending to the match because it’s the good guy finding a way to win.

After the match, Orange Cassidy celebrated the win with Trent while Strong, Taven and Bennett were in the aisle. Taven basically stopped selling the move that Orange beat him with. Anyway, they ended it with Orange in the ring. That was all for Dynamite this week.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Orange Cassidy
  2. Jon Moxley
  3. Matt Taven, Dax Harwood and The Young Bucks


The Scoreboard

This Week: 7.5 out of 10

Last Week: 8.25

2024 Average: 7.43


Final Thoughts on AEW Dynamite

I thought it was an entertaining episode of Dynamite that had great matches to open and close the show. Last week’s episode was better, but this might have been the second-best Dynamite of the year. Moxley-Harwood had a hard hitting match. The same goes for Orange-Taven, who each bled and used a lot of weapons to do some crazy spots.

That promo segment with Samoa Joe-Hangman Page-Swerve Strickland was fine, but they really do or say anything that we haven’t really heard from them. I liked the heel Young Bucks promo with Darby Allin and also what Darby said to them to put over how they are bad EVPs that are just selfish.

Christian Cage ruining the Adam Copeland-Daniel Garcia match is fitting for the kind of heel that Christian is. Adding Will Ospreay against Konosuke Takeshita at Revolution is fine with me. I really like their lineup for the Revolution PPV. I think it’s going to be an incredible show.

Here is what has been announced for AEW Revolution on March 3rd so far.

* AEW Tag Team Championships: Sting & Darby Allin (c) vs. The Young Bucks – Matthew & Nicholas Jackson

* AEW World Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland

* AEW Continental Crown Championship: Eddie Kingston (c) vs. Bryan Danielson

* AEW Women’s World Championship: Toni Storm (c) vs. Deonna Purrazzo

* International Championship: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Roderick Strong

* Will Ospreay vs. Konosuke Takeshita

There will be more matches to come.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport