The John Report: AEW Dynamite 02/21/24 Review

aew dynamite february 21

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured a big six-man tag team match, FTR against Moxley/Castagnoli and more.

This was AEW Dynamite episode #229 from the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 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.

I missed the first ten minutes. I only missed the entrances of the first match as well as some of the early action.

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

The FTR guys were working over Moxley in their corner and Moxley hit a clothesline to break free. Claudio Castagnoli tagged in with a barrage of uppercuts on Dax. Cash went into the ring illegally to stop a move, so that could lead to a move where Claudio lifted up both guys for a slam. Dax was sent out of the ring and Moxley hit him with a piledriver on the floor. They went to a picture-in-picture break.


Claudio trapped Dax on the mat with a headlock, so Dax got out of that with a jawbreaker. Dax punched Claudio and sent Claudio shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Cash tagged in with a dropkick, clothesline and strikes including chops. Cash hit an impressive sunset flip on Moxley for two. Cash hit a brainbuster for two. It was announced by ring announcer Justin Roberts that 15 minutes have passed and five minutes were left. Claudio broke up a double team move attempt, which led to Cash getting an inside cradle for two. Cash held up Moxley so that Dax tagged in and hit a clothesline off the ropes for two. Claudio went into the ring illegally again with an uppercut on Cash and Claudio picked up Dax, but Dax sent Claudio into the turnbuckle again. Dax and Cash went for the Powerplex, but Moxley got the knees up to block Cash’s splash. Claudio did the Swing leading to Moxley hitting the dropkick on Dax for a two count. Moxley applied a choke on Dax on the mat and Claudio got a hold of Cash to prevent a save until Cash fell back onto the pile to break the hold. There were about two minutes left. Dax trapped Moxley in a Sharpshooter submission. Claudio kicked Dax, but Cash hit a German Suplex on Cash. Claudio trapped Cash in a Sharpshooter at the same time that Dax had the Sharpshooter on Mox. Claudio and Dax smacked eachother in the face repeatedly. Dax hit a Piledriver on illegal man Claudio and Moxley got a crucifix pin attempt on Dax for two. Moxley bounced off the ropes, Dax picked up and FTR wanted Shatter Machine, but they stopped when the bell rang. It was a time-limit draw after 20 minutes. The fans booed.

Match Result: Time Limit Draw

Analysis: ***3/4 A great match by four of the best wrestlers in AEW. I assume the draw finish will lead to a rematch with a stipulation and it makes sense to do it at Revolution. I didn’t go four stars or over because there were too many instances where the illegal men were in the ring and doing moves on legal men. I don’t know why they do that so often in AEW because normally FTR matches do that less often, but that’s what happens sometimes. Just do a Tornado Tag Team Match instead. Anyway, they’re all great performers and they know how to put on a terrific match.

After the match, FTR and BCC kept on fighting. The fight was broken up by referees, security and backstage officials. They kept on fighting around the ring.

Analysis: There is an obvious rematch coming between them. I liked the intensity shown by everybody involved.

Orange Cassidy, the International Champion, was interviewed by Renee Paquette backstage while Dr. Sampson was standing by. Renee talked about all the physical abuse that Orange has taken over recent weeks. Dr. Sampson said that he was cleared and Orange said he was going to compete. Cassidy faces Mike Bennett on the show.


There were clips shown of injuries to Chuck Taylor and Rocky Romero in recent weeks. Orange Cassidy also received a spike piledriver. Last week on Dynamite, Orange won a bloody battle over Matt Taven. Orange also went to England to promote All In and successfully retained his International Title at a Rev Pro show on Sunday.

FTR’s Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler were interviewed backstage by Alex Marvez. Dax suggested a match for Revolution. Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli interrupted the promo while referees and security held them back.

Analysis: The Revolution lineup is awesome already and adding FTR/BCC to it is only going to make it that much better.

Orange Cassidy vs. Mike Bennett

Cassidy is the AEW International Champion while Bennett is one half of the ROH Tag Team Champions with Matt Taven, who Orange beast last week.

Orange ran up the ramp and punched Taven on the ramp. Orange sent Bennett into the ring to start the match. Orange stomped on Bennett a bit, the referee held Orange back and Bennett punched Orange. Bennett gave sent Orange hard into the turnbuckle followed by a vertical suplex. Bennett hit another suplex. Orange with a Stundog Millionaire followed by a Tornado DDT. Roderick Strong was on the apron, the referee made him leave and the distraction led to Bennett punching Orange in the groin while the referee was dealing with Strong. Bennett hit a piledriver (third one of those on this show so far) for a two count.


Bennett sent Orange hard into the turnbuckle, so Orange bumped over the top to the floor. Bennett put a headset on while saying that Roderick Strong is taking Orange’s title. All of that time wasting allowed Orange hit a suicide dive onto Bennett on the floor. Orange hit another suicide dive that sent Bennett into the barricade. Bennett rammed Orange back-first into the apron and a Death Valley Driver on the floor. Back in the ring, Orange hit an Orange Punch because selling is optional after taking a big move on the floor. They battled over moves leading to Bennett hitting a cradle piledriver for two. Bennett hit two rolling elbows to knock Orange down. Orange came back with a Beach Break slam for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: *** It was good for the most part. The finish was a bit of a surprise because Orange rarely wins with the Beach Break move. He usually wins with Orange Punch. Bennett got plenty of offense, but it was pretty obvious that Orange would get the win.

After the match, Undisputed Kingdom’s Matt Taven and Roderick Strong attacked Orange. Jake Hager, who is from Oklahoma, ran out for the save to clear the ring. Hager picked up Orange and raised his hand. Hager faces Strong on Rampage.

Analysis: That was a random save by the rarely used Jake Hager. It worked because Hager is from the state of Oklahoma.

Angelo Parker was interviewed by Renee Paquette when Ruby Soho showed up for her date with Parker. A white truck pulled up, Ruby asked if that was for them and Parker said he got them a Lyft ride. The truck door opened and it was Ric Flair exiting the limo.


Ric Flair was shown walking backstage when Renee Paquette interviewed him. Flair said that he was upset about how he hasn’t been more involved. Flair said he hasn’t been around in about four weeks and he wants to be doing more in AEW. Flair knocked on a door, it was The Young Bucks and Flair went into the room.

Daniel Garcia Interview

Daniel Garcia was interviewed by Tony Schiavone in the ring. Tony mentioned that Garcia was involved in the match with Adam Copeland recently which ended when Christian Cage and his group attacked both wrestlers. Tony said that Adam Copeland is on the shelf because of Christian Cage’s attack, but Tony announced that Garcia would get his TNT Title shot against Christian Cage at Revolution on March 3rd. The fans chanted “you deserve it” at Garcia.

Garcia said that he has always been told he would be great. Garcia admitted he lost the confidence that he had. Garcia said that he knows that three seconds is all he needed and he said those three seconds in the Continental Classic changed his life. Garcia credited the fans for picking him back up and dancing with him. Garcia thanked the fans for helping him restore that feeling. One guy was chanting “Garcia.” Good effort. Garcia thinks he would have made Copeland tap out. Garcia said he’ll see Copeland again and the next time he sees him, Garcia will be holding the TNT Title. That led to Garcia mentioning TNT Champion Christian Cage, so here comes the champion.

Christian Cage arrived with the TNT Title along with the Patriarchy – Killswitch, Nick Wayne & Shayna Wayne. They stayed on the ramp. Cage said that Copeland will never have a chance at his TNT Title ever again. Cage said that Garcia is now his opponent at Revolution. Cage spoke about how he doesn’t think this match with Garcia should happen at Revolution. Cage told Garcia he didn’t think he was ready. Cage claimed he liked Garcia’s gyrations just fine while saying that Garcia wants to make the fans happen. Cage said he wanted to be the most dominant TNT Champion of all time. The fans chanted “you suck” at Cage.

Christian said that Garcia had a dark childhood. Cage wondered if Garcia knew a Jackie Garcia in Buffalo, New York and mentioned Jackie being married to David Garcia. Cage said that David Garcia is your father and “your father is dead.” The fans booed. Cage said that Garcia’s father wasn’t so great and he was a piece of crap who was a loser alcoholic that lost his life to the bottle. Cage said he wanted to help Garcia. Cage said at Revolution, he didn’t want to be Garcia’s opponent, he wanted to be his father.

Garcia warned Cage about talking about his mother. Garcia dared Cage to come into the ring to fight Garcia so Garcia could put Chrisitan in the ground with Garcia’s dead father. Nick Wayne went after Garcia, who easily beat up Nick. Killswitch went down to the ring, but Matt Menard used a steel chair to hit Killswitch in the back a couple of times. Cage was at ringside and taunted Garcia with the TNT Title. Garcia’s music played to end it.

Analysis: They have done a decent job of building Garcia as a babyface. I feel like he’s missing something like a nickname or a catchphrase because all he really has is a dance move. Cage did his usual heel schtick mentioning a man’s dead father and mocking them for it, which is his way of getting heat. It also makes Garcia more likable because fans are going to want to see Garcia get some revenge against the champion. I think there might be a title change at Revolution, but if the title is still on Christian long term then that’s fine with me.

The trio of “Hangman” Adam Page, FTW Champion Hook and Rob Van Dam were interviewed by Renee Paquette. Page was fired up about how they had to hurt Swerve Strickland tonight.

Toni Storm (w/Luther & Mariah May) vs. Sydni Winnell

This is not for Storm’s AEW Women’s Title. Storm has a 2-0 record in 2024. Storm hit a Thesz Press followed by punches. Storm hit a corner splash along with a running bulldog. Storm hit a running hip attack against the turnbuckle. Storm hit the Storm Zero piledriver. Storm applied an Ankle Lock, but then she let go. Storm pulled back on both arms and Winnell gave up. It’s the Venus De Milo submission that Deonna Purrazzo uses. It went two minutes.

Winner by submission: Toni Storm

Analysis: * Easy win for Storm. I’m fine with it because sometimes AEW books these matches to go seven minutes when it only needs to be two minutes.

Deonna Purrazzo made her entrance while Storm and friends were still around ringside, so Storm didn’t like that.

Deonna Purrazzo vs. Madison Rayne

They shook hands. It was Rayne’s first match on Dynamite this year. Rayne is a coach in AEW who is there to put people over when she has a match.

Purrazzo tripped up Rayne and did a side headlock. Rayne hit a shoulder tackle along with a stomp to the back. Purrazzo avoided a move, ran the ropes and Purrazzo hit a pump kick. They went to break as Purrazzo hit a baseball slide kick on Rayne on the floor.


Rayne got a rollup followed by a jumping kick. Purrazzo and Rayne hit a double clothesline. Purrazzo hit some light clotheslines, a knee lift, legsweep and Rayne got a rollup for two. Purrazzo hit a move that was like a flatliner where Rayne’s head/neck hit the mat hard. The referee checked on Rayne and apparently Rayne was fine. Purrazzo applied an Ankle Lock (Break A Leg that Storm uses) leading to Rayne tapping out. It went about six minutes.

Winner by submission: Deonna Purrazzo

Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Purrazzo. She used Storm’s finisher like Storm used Purrazzo’s finisher earlier. That spot where Rayne landed on her head was scary, but I hope she’s okay.

After the match, Toni Storm tried an attack, but Purrazzo knocked her down. Purrazzo went after Mariah May. That allowed Storm to apply the Break A Leg (Ankle Lock with a heel hook) on Purrazzo’s left leg. The referee managed to pull Storm off. Storm applied a lot of lipstick on her face. They replayed Purrazzo spiking Rayne on her head as the Move of the Night. Odd choice.

Analysis: A cheap heel attack to show how dangerous Storm can be with that Ankle Lock submission.

Let’s Hear from Sting & Darby Allin

Darby Allin and Sting were featured in a video somewhere. Allin said they had some photos. It was a photo of Sting with his two sons when Sting was in WCW. Allin said that the kids were around the same age as The Young Bucks kids are now. Sting said that family is all that matters. Sting said that nobody has ever messed with his own flesh & blood until the Bucks. Sting said that seven days ago, his father passed away. Sting said that his father was his hero and he taught him right. Sting thinks that he used to think he was invincible, but time catches up with everybody. Sting said that he knows he is not invincible. Sting said that everything he has left in him, he’s bringing it to Revolution and he’s bringing it to the Young Bucks. Sting said that they have a fight on their hands – the fight of their life. They left.

The graphic showed that Sting & Allin defending the AEW Tag Team Titles against The Yong Bucks at Revolution on March 3rd will be a Tornado Tag Team Match.

Analysis: I really liked the intensity shown by Sting there while Allin set it up well. Condolences to Sting on the death of his father. I certainly know what that feels like (don’t tell Christian Cage) and it sucks. Sting didn’t have to mention it, but the fact that he did makes the match more personal since the Young Bucks beat up Sting’s two sons a few weeks ago too. The atmosphere for that match will be amazing. It will probably be the main event of Revolution, as it should be.


Wardlow Interview

Wardlow, who is part of the Undisputed Kingdom group, was introduced by Tony Schiavone. When Wardlow got into the ring, he told Tony to get out of the ring. Wardlow said that two years ago, thousands of people were chanting his name and ever since then, he has been screwed over. Wardlow said you would think that a homegrown megastar would be AEW Champion a long time ago. Wardlow said he’s never been given a chance to win the AEW World Title and said that people in the back should be thrown in jail for that. Wardlow said that the “Best in the World” is somebody who Wardlow beat and his body is still falling apart because of Wardlow. That was a reference to CM Punk. Wardlow said that he beat MJF like nobody else ever has although he didn’t say MJF by name.

Wardlow mentioned the current AEW World Champion Samoa Joe. Wardlow said he choked out Joe and beat him too. Wardlow said custom suits look a lot better on him. Wardlow said it sounds like he is the best in the world, it sounds like he’s better than you and you know it. Wardlow said he’s the most dangerous man in the room and the uncrowned king in AEW. Wardlow said he’s starving and he’s done being fed scraps. Wardlow claimed he was everything that a World Champion is supposed to be. Wardlow shouted that nobody could stop him. Wardlow said if you try to get in his way, this is no longer wrestling…this is war! Wardlow left to boos.

Analysis: That was really well done by Wardlow. He is right to call out AEW’s terrible booking of his career because he was popular and they stopped pushing him for some reason. There was a lot of truth in what Wardlow said. I still don’t know why AEW stopped pushing him when he was a popular babyface. Anyway, I’m sure the CM Punk reference will get some fans riled up.

There was a promo shown from the Bang Bang Scissor Gang six men after their Rampage win last week. Jay White suggested that Billy Gunn teams up with Colten Gunn and White this Saturday on Collision. Anthony Bowens said it didn’t matter the combo and shouted the catchphrase to end it.

Analysis: Having a six-person stable is fine. They just don’t have a storyline. I still think White is miscast in this role as a babyface tag team wrestler. He should be doing more.

The six-man tag team main event was next.


It was announced that Will Ospreay will be on AEW Dynamite next week. Excalibur also said Wardlow will be competing in something called Meat Madness at AEW Revolution.

Don Callis and the Don Callis Family’s Powerhouse Hobbs & Konosuke Takeshita were interviewed by Renee Paquette. Callis talked about Will Ospreay facing Konosuke Takeshita and how they will make eachother better. Callis talked about Hobbs being part of the Meat Madness match. Callis also threatened Sammy Guevara to end it.

The entrances took place for the main event. The babyface team was up first with FTW Champion Hook, the legendary Rob Van Dam and “Hangman” Adam Page. It was Swerve Strickland Brian Cage up next since they are in the same stable. Samoa Joe, the AEW World Champion, was last.

Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland & Brian Cage (w/Prince Nana) vs. Hook, Rob Van Damn & “Hangman” Adam Page

Joe trapped Hook against the ropes leading Joe punching Hook repeatedly. Cage worked over with strikes along with clotheslines. Hook broke free with a back elbow leading to RVD tagging in. RVD used his legs to trip up Cage for two. Cage tackled RVD into the turnbuckle. Swerve tagged in for a running elbow smash on RVD. Van Dam sent Swerve into the turnbuckle leading to a spinning kick by RVD. It was monkey flip time by RVD on Swerve. Page tagged in leading to a staredown with Swerve. Page got a double leg takedown on Swerve, who got into his corner and tagged out to bring in Cage. They went to break.


Joe’s team was in full control of Hook as Joe worked over Hook in the corner. Cage hit a delayed vertical suplex on Hook for two. Cage tried a lifting move and Hook hit a sloppy looking DDT to counter. It looked like it was Hook taking the move yet Cage still sold it. RVD tagged in with kicks for the three opponents while Page was mad that he didn’t get the tag. RVD hit a leg drop on Swerve and RVD hit a cross body block off the top on Cage. RVD hit Rolling Thunder on illegal man Swerve. RVD with a spin kick to cage. RVD went up top and jumped off with a Five Star Frog Splash on Cage for two because Joe made the save. Swerve kicked Page off the apron to the floor. The trio of Swerve, Cage and then Joe hit charging attacks on RVD, which ended with Joe hitting a jumping kick on RVD for two. They went to a second PIP break in this match.


The match continued with Joe working over RVD with jab punches along with some choking with his boot. RVD broke free with a jumping kick to Joe’s chest. Page was on fire after getting the tag including a hurricanrana and a kick to Swerve on the floor. Page jumped off the top, Cage caught him and Page hit a couple of forearms to the jaw. Page hit a Death Valley Driver for two. Joe was in with a kick to Page, Hook with a clothesline to Joe and Swerve took care of Hook with a brainbuster. RVD jumped off the top with a kick to Swerve. Cage hit a sitout Powerbomb on RVD. Page hit Cage with a boot to the face. Page went up top, Cage stopped that with a punch and Hook joined the party. They did a German Suplex/superplex combo spot. Hook applied the Red Rum submission on Cage as Joe got the tag. Swerve went into the ring illegally, Hook jumped on him with a choke attempt. Page got back into it with a Buckshot Lariat on Cage since they were both legal. Page brawled with Joe & Swerve since that’s the Revolution match. Swerve hit Page with a backbreaker. Swerve & Joe were not legal as Joe hit a suicide dive with an elbow to Page on the floor. Swerve kicked Joe by accident when Swerve moved. Page gave Swerve a Powerbomb through the commentary table. The fans popped big for that because they love table spots. Back in the ring, Joe nearly beat Page with a powerslam. I guess Joe was legal at that point. RVD jumped onto Cage on the floor. Joe wanted Muscle Buster, Page got out of that and RVD tagged in. Hook hit a T-Bone Suplex on Joe. RVD went up top, so Cage shoved him down. Cage nailed a discus lariat on Hook. Joe applied the Coquina Clutch submission on RVD, who passed out in the hold Joe won by submission after 21 minutes.

Winners by submission: Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland & Brian Cage

Analysis: ***1/2 A pretty good tag team match. I wouldn’t call it some epic match or anything like that, but it was nice to see them get a lot of time and tell an interesting story. As is usual in AEW, there was a lot of illegal offense throughout the match. As soon as RVD tagged in near the end you knew the finish was going to be a win for Joe because RVD is only being brought into AEW to lose matches and put people over. Keeping Joe as a strong champion who wins a match like that is the right booking move. I don’t think Page or Swerve are hurt by not being involved in the finish.

Samoa Joe celebrated with the AEW World Title while Swerve Strickland and “Hangman” Adam Page looked on from ringside. Joe left the ring with his title as the show ended five minutes after the top of the hour. End show.

UPDATE: There were rumors that Adam Page may have suffered a serious foot injury during the main event but Fightful Select reports it was just Hangman selling it very well and he’s fine. Good to know.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. FTR and Jon Moxley/Claudio Castagnoli
  2. Wardlow
  3. Samoa Joe


The Scoreboard

This Week: 7.75 out of 10

Last Week: 7.5

2024 Average: 7.47


Final Thoughts on AEW Dynamite

I liked the show a lot this week. There were good matches as usual even though I didn’t love some aspects of the FTR/BCC match due to far too much illegal offense. However, ending on a draw does build up a rematch in a big way. The six-man tag team main event was fine although nothing special about it. I also liked the balance of strong promos too. The Wardlow promo was terrific, I liked the Daniel Garcia-Christian Cage exchange and Sting’s segment was very effective as well.

It was encouraging to see two women’s matches on Dynamite, which is rare, but they only totaled about eight minutes and had obvious results. At least they had Toni Storm attack Deonna Purrazzo to try to advance the story a bit with physicality.

Sometimes AEW shows are too match heavy and I’ll say that they need to balance it out with some promos too. This week I think they got it right. The Revolution card looks impressive right now. I’m looking forward to that show a lot.

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

* AEW Tag Team Championships in a Tornado Tag Team Match: 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

* TNT Championship: Christian Cage (c) vs. Daniel Garcia

* 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