The John Report: AEW Dynamite 04/17/24 Review

AEW Dynamite April 17

This week’s AEW Dynamite saw Will Ospreay in action against Claudio Castagnoli, the return of IWGP World Champion Jon Moxley, and more.

It’s the final episode of Dynamite before the first-ever Dynasty PPV on Sunday night. The crowd is only about 2,400 people tonight according to Wrestletix, which is not a good sign. I like the matches in AEW, but their stories need to be better to draw bigger crowds. With that said, I really like the Dynasty card. I’ll have a preview of Dynasty up on Saturday and then a review live on Sunday night as well.

This was AEW Dynamite episode #237 from the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana. 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.

Let’s Hear from Jon Moxley

Jon Moxley started the show by walking in from the back part of the arena with the IWGP World Heavyweight Title. Moxley won NJPW’s biggest prize last Friday. The fans were cheering for Moxley a lot as he made his way to the ring. Moxley became the first man to win the WWE, AEW & NJPW/IWGP World Titles.

Moxley mentioned he won of his first championships here in Indianapolis. Moxley said that being great isn’t about what other people, it’s about what you believe inside you. Moxley said that this is the IWGP Championship so fans chanted “you deserve it” because wrestling fans love to chant it. Moxley claimed he has been chasing this title for five years. Moxley spoke about how five years ago, people thought it was impossible and he said it’s not impossible if they knew what was inside of him. Moxley said that’s what this is all about. Moxley said AEW is about proving the doubters wrong and showing the world how good you are. There were “AEW” chants after that.

Moxley spoke about the Don Callis Family having talented individuals, but Don Callis is a creep. Moxley said that these guys put out a hit to try to injure his friend/teammate Bryan Danielson. Moxley said you might as well put a target on him too. Moxley told the Don Callis Family to come find him because he’ll be here all night. Moxley said he could run them over with a tire iron or run them over in the parking lot, but they won’t learn anything. Moxley said he’ll pick the biggest, baddest, meanest one of you and he’ll challenge Powerhouse Hobbs to a match one week from tonight on Dynamite in Jacksonville. Moxley said that Hobbs will accept. Moxley said that Hobbs will learn that Callis is feeding him lies and he can’t touch Moxley. Moxley said that there are a lot of great wrestlers in the world, but there is only one Jon Moxley. That’s when Moxley left the ring to end it.

Analysis: A good promo from Jon Moxley bragging about his title win while showing a lot of confidence as usual. Moxley hasn’t had an interesting feud in AEW for months now, so hopefully there is something for him to do soon.

Mercedes Mone was backstage saying she wanted to pay back the bitch that attacked her last week. Mone thought it was Julia Hart or maybe it was somebody who doesn’t want to face her at Double or Nothing. Mone said that she’s putting the women’s division on notice and she’s going to watch the mixed tag team match. Mone said there’s a price to pay when you mess with Mercedes Mone.

Analysis: Nice ending. It rhymes.

They were doing entrances for the mixed tag team match coming up. Willow Nightingale was backstage selling some sort of attack. The lights went out and Brody King entered behind Adam Copeland while Julia Hart was on the ramp.

Analysis: Find yourself somebody to love as much as AEW loves mystery attacks. They love them.

Brody King & Julia Hart vs. Adam Copeland & Willow Nightingale

King attacked Adam from behind. They left the ring where King sent Adam into the barricades repeatedly. King hit a running cross body block on Adam against a barricade that was an LED board. Referee checked on Copeland on the floor to see if he can compete in the match. The bell rang to start the match. King hit a running splash against the turnbuckle leading to a picture-in-picture break.


King was in control of Adam with punches as they fought by the turnbuckle. Adam punched King down followed by Adam hitting a clothesline off the top. Adam hit a running clothesline, several corner clotheslines and two running boots to the head. Adam hit the Impaler DDT for two. Adam hit a Blockbuster neckbreaker off the middle turnbuckle. Adam charged for a Spear, but King stopped that with a clothesline. King took way too long to set up for a cannonball, so Adam moved and King hit the turnbuckle. Willow Nightingale showed up at ringside and was on the turnbuckle. Willow tagged in and she hit a cross body block in King. Adam hit King with a Spear. Willow hit a cannonball on King. Hart was legal for her team against Willow and Hart used a steel chain to punch Willow, who sold it like she was knocked out. Hart applied the Hartless submission on Willow, who was out of it, so the referee called for the bell. It went nine minutes.

Winners by submission: Brody King & Julia Hart

Analysis: **3/4 It was a good effort by the guys until the ladies finished the match with Julia getting the cheap win thanks to the steel chain usage. I thought that Adam and King had nice chemistry together. Hart getting the cheap win gives her more heat going into her match with Willow at Dynasty. I think Willow should win at Dynasty.

After the match, Mercedes Mone entered with a steel chair, so Hart ran away. Mone teased using the chair on Willow, but Adam Copeland got back up and shook hands with Mercedes.

Analysis: I’m happy for Mercedes Mone being in AEW, but I really don’t think her first month there has been that interesting. It’s just average stuff to me.

Interview with Samoa Joe

Samoa Joe, the AEW World Champion, was interviewed by Rene e Paquette. Joe said that Swerve Strickland was a nuisance that kept coming back for more after Joe repeatedly puts him down. Joe was asked about Swerve holding Joe’s World Title last week. Joe spoke about how Swerve has come up short for championships he has contended for, so Swerve is known for choking. Joe said he’ll destroy his opposition and cement his legacy as the greatest World Champion. Joe told Swerve he’s a choke artist and Joe will be the one to choke him out.

Analysis: A solid promo from Joe. It wasn’t anything that special, but it covered what it needed to do with Joe trashing Swerve for choking in title matches.


There was a video about the FTR/Young Bucks rivalry, but Matthew Jackson told them to stop the video. The Young Bucks and Kazuchika Okada were backstage doing a promo ahead of their match. Okada called Pac a dead man.

The Elite – Kazuchika Okada, Matthew Jackson & Nicholas Jackson vs. Daniel Garcia, Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes) & Pac

The Bucks attacked Pac from behind before the match. Pac delivered some body kicks to Nick along with a running kick. Penta tagged in leading to a double team splash on Nick. The Elite did some distracting leading to Okada kicking Penta to knock him down. Penta sent Matt over the top to the floor and a superkick to Nick against the turnbuckle. Garcia worked over Nick with some punches and dance moves. Okada pulled Garcia out of the ring and Nick crushed Garcia with a running kick. They went to break there.


The match continued with Matt trashing Garcia on the microphone telling him to show him something and Garcia hit a belly-to-back suplex. Pac tagged in with a flying elbow strike and a German Suplex. Pac hit a German Suplex on Nick too. Pac went up top leading to a double missile dropkick on both Bucks. Pac hit a moonsault off the top onto both Bucks on the floor. After Pac trash talked Okada, Matt ran over Pac with a forearm to the back. Okada hit a running splash on Pac whine the Bucks hit jumping kicks. Okada hit a neckbreaker on Pac for two because Penta broke up the pin with a kick. Penta got the tag with a cross body block off the top on Okada. Penta hit Slingblade on both Bucks and Made In Japan slam on Okada, but Nick made the save on the pin. Bucks hit a double duplex on Penta. Garcia in illegally with a neckbreaker, then Matt hit a DDT, Pac did a necksnap on Matt leading to a Cutter by Pac. Pac tagged in against Okada as the fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Okada charged at Pac, who delivered a superkick. Pac went up top, but Matt tripped him up and Pac went crashing to the mat. Garcia got the tag leading to punches on Okada, but Okada hit a dropkick. Bucks hit a double jumping kick on Garcia. Okada gave Garcia a Tombstone piledriver. Okada gave Penta a Tombstone piledriver as well. The Bucks went in illegally for a double superkick followed by Okada’s Rainmaker clothesline for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Elite – Kazuchika Okada, Matthew Jackson & Nicholas Jackson

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with an obvious result. The Elite were clearly going to win here and Garia losing for his team was also what I expected. There just isn’t much drama in matches like this as the teams ignore tag team rules and the match is so obvious, which makes it hard to get into the nearfalls for the losers. I don’t like finishing spots where two guys illegally go into the ring to do a move before the finish. Make tags to make them legal and then do it. Instead, they do the lazy way that’s more illogical. It’s typical AEW. They like booking chaotic finishes rather than classic tag team wrestling.

After the match, the Bucks hit the EVP Trigger on Garcia. Nick brought a ladder in and slammed Garcia on the ladder. Pac got the bell hammer in his hand to chase The Elite away.


Taz Talks To Chris Jericho & Hook

Chris Jericho walked out to his Lionheart theme song followed by Hook the FTW Champion. Hook’s dad Taz was in the ring for this segment. Jericho thanked Taz saying they have known eachother for 30 years. The fans were booing Jericho.

Jericho said he pulled Hook off the apron last week because he thought that Hook wasn’t listening to him. Jericho said he’s doing this all for Hook. Jericho told Hook he was the learning tree while claiming that everybody in AEW has gotten to the next level. Jericho said he knows he can get Hook to the top.

When Jericho asked Hook what did he say, Hook replied with: “No.” Jericho wondered what did he mean by no? Hook said he didn’t need Jericho’s help. Jericho told Hook not to be stupid. Taz spoke up and Jericho told Taz to stop. Jericho said he’s giving Hook proper guidance like Taz should have done. Jericho told Hook to get rid of the dead weight that has been surrounding him for a long time. Jericho said that Hook is not ready and he is not as good as he thinks he is. Taz spoke up again, so Jericho shoved Taz into the ropes and the fans booed that. Excalibur mentioned Taz has been dealing with a knee issue.

Hook got in Jericho’s face and shoved him into the turnbuckle. Hook told Jericho he’ll show him how good he is. Hook told Jericho to get out of his ring. Jericho slowly walked out of the ring while fans chanted “na na na hey hey goodbye” at Jericho.

Analysis: It feels like Chris Jericho is going back into the heel role after spending most of the last year as a face. Jericho’s AEW run has seen him as a heel for most of the way, so obviously he’s comfortable in that role. Jericho is good in either role. I like him more as a heel. Hook didn’t say much, but the fans love him and as long as he looks like a badass, he’s going to have the fans supporting him for years to come.

Swerve Strickland Interview

Swerve Strickland did his sitdown interview with Renee Paquette. Swerve heard Joe call him a choke artist and Renee said she didn’t agree with that. Swerve talked about how Joe was right about Swerve stumbling, but Swerve has fallen forward. Swerve talked about the things that have happened to him over the last year and he’s still here. Swerve said that’s his military background and to never quit. Swerve said that this Sunday at Dynasty, Joe will be calling him the new AEW World Champion. When Renee Paquette asked what makes Swerve think he can beat Samoa Joe and Swerve spoke into the camera saying he’ll talk to Samoa Joe in that ring tonight.

Analysis: Swerve was confident as usual. It builds to a Swerve/Joe confrontation later.

Mariah May (w/Toni Storm & Luther) vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Purrazzo grabbed the leg leading to a takedown and a Russian legsweep. May bailed to the floor. Purrazzo went after May on the floor. May hit Purrazzo with a forearm and sent Purrazzo into the barricade. Purrazzo had a hold of May by the ropes leading to an armbreaker. May went for a headscissors out of the corner, Purrazzo pushed her down and May shoved Purrazzo down to the floor. They went to a PIP break.


Purrazzo hit a knee smash to the arm along with a clothesline. Purrazzo delivered a kick followed by a clothesline for two. May nailed Purrazzo with a running forearm. Purrazzo came back with an armbar takedown, but May got to the ropes to break the hold. Purrazzo nailed May with a pump kick for two. May got out of a lifting move attempt and May headbutted Purrazzo into the turnbuckle. May hit a running hip attack and a Tornado DDT off the ropes for two. May tried a cover sitting on top, but Purrazzo did a sunset flip for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Deonna Purrazzo

Analysis: **1/2 It was like most AEW women’s matches in terms of getting under ten minutes and putting a commercial in the middle of the match. Purrazzo was on offense for most of the match while she also got the win. I don’t think May has a good win-loss record.

After the match, Storm & May attacked Purrazzo. Thunder Rosa ran out for the save and she kicked Storm to knock her down. Rosa argued with Purrazzo, so May pulled Purrazzo out of the ring. May fought with Purrazzo on the floor. Rosa avoided a Storm move leading to a punch. Rosa hooked Storm’s arms and used some purple lipstick to smear all over Storm’s face.

Analysis: It adds some heat to the Storm/Rosa story. I don’t think it’s a great rivalry, but at least the fans are behind Rosa.

Jay White and The Gunns were interviewed by Renee Paquette. White suggested a Winner Take All match at Dynasty for their ROH Tag Team Titles and The Acclaimed/Billy Gunn’s AEW Trios Tag Team Titles. It will likely be made official.


The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn were backstage with their AEW Trios Tag Team Titles. Billy reacted to Jay White’s promo saying you’ve got it. Anthony Bowens said they accepted the challenge. Max Caster said they can do The Acclaimed vs. The Ass Boys (Gunns) on Collision this week.

Analysis: I really don’t care that much about either Trios Tag Team Title. I feel bad for Jay White going from World Title contender last year to barely being used now.

A graphic was shown making the AEW Dynasty match official: Jay White & The Gunns vs. The Acclaimed & Billy Gunny in a Winner Take All Match for both Trios Tag Team Titles. It’s on the Zero Hour pre-show, which I don’t watch.

Shane Taylor (w/Lee Moriarty & Anthony Ogogo) vs. Orange Cassidy

Orange got some offense early on, but Taylor blocked a DDT attempt. Taylor hit a Stunner while Orange’s feet were on the top rope. Lee tossed Orange into the barricade and back into the ring. Taylor chopped Orange in the chest as they went to a PIP break.


Orange was on the apron where he punched Taylor and rammed Taylor’s head into the turnbuckle several times. Orange went up top, Ogogo and Moriarty grabbed Orange’s legs while the referee was looking at Taylor and that led to Taylor trying to choke Orange. Orange ran off the ropes, Taylor caught him and Orange countered into Stundog Millionaire. Orange hit suicide dives on the guys on the floor. Orange went for Orange Punch, Taylor avoided and Taylor hit a lefty clothesline for two. Tayler hit a knee to the face. Orange bounced off the ropes leading to an Orange Punch. Taylor with a punch to the jaw, Orange barely sold that and Orange hit Orange Punch for the pinfall win. It went about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: **3/4 It was a basic match with Orange getting the win since he’s the guy that is mildly pushed, so of course he would win. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Taylor win a match on Dynamite, so you know he’s just there to do the job. Taylor had his buddies at ringside so they were able to get some heat during the match until Orange found a way to get the win.

After the match, Orange was held up and Ogogo punched Orange in the ribs for a dreaded liver punch. Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal tried to make the save, but Trent Beretta was there to attack them with chairs to stop that. Orange was held up so that Shane could punch Orange in the face. Moriarty applied his stretch submission on Orange to end it.

Analysis: It just shows that Trent has moved on from being friends with Orange. It also shows that AEW doesn’t have a lot of people to break up cheap attacks because only two people tried to help Orange and they were beaten up easily. Anyway, it should lead to an Orange match with Trent soon. Am I supposed to be sad that Trent turned on Orange? I don’t think I was ever emotionally invested in the “Best Friends” stable. Sorry.

A video aired about Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly leading to Strong defending the International Title against Kyle at AEW Dynasty. They are former friends. Strong said he’s going to end him forever.

Will Ospreay made his entrance for the main event.


Claudio Castagnoli vs. Will Ospreay

Don Callis was on commentary. Claudio hit a running uppercut followed by a backbreaker. Will came back with chops, but Claudio hit him with an uppercut. Will got some offense going with a hurricanrana followed by a kick out of the ring. Claudio was in control on the floor with a whip into the barricade. Will came back with a leap off the barricade leading to a forearm. Will went for a springboard attack, but Claudio hit the ropes to block that. Claudio hit a double foot stomp to the chest. Claudio gave Will a backbreaker along with a stretch across the back. Claudio and Will exchanged punches followed by Claudio hitting a kidney punch. Will ran off the ropes, then swung around his body and sent Claudio out of the ring. Will jumped over the top where Claudio caught him and Claudio hit a slam on the apron. They went to a PIP break.


The match continued with Will running at Claudio with a kick followed by Will running the ropes and hitting a spinning kick to the head. Will hit a running boot to the head. Will hit a springboard forearm for a two count. Claudio hit an uppercut and Will got a backslide pin for two. Claudio countered Will’s Sharpshooter attempt and Claudio hooked the leg leading to a Sharpshooter of his own. Claudio applied a Crossface submission where you could see Claudio say “pin me” so Will pinned him for a two count. Claudio jumped off the ropes, Will hit a superkick and Will hit a Tiger Driver for two. Will delivered some kicks to the face leading to Claudio driving Will to the turnbuckle. Claudio hammered Will with repeated uppercuts followed by a clothesline for two. Will hit an enziguri kick. Claudio countered a move, hit an uppercut and tried a lifting move, but Will countered that into a pin attempt while hooking the legs. Will nailed a superkick. Will jumped off the top, Claudio caught him and Claudio slammed him with a Burning Hammer for two. Will caught a charging Claudio leading to a Spanish Fly slam for two. Will charged, but Claudio was ready and launched Will into the air leading to an uppercut. Claudio did the Giant Swing briefly because Will countered it with a DDT. Will went up top and hit a twisting splash off the top for two. Will hit the Hidden Blade elbow to the back of the head for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Will Ospreay

Analysis: ***3/4 This was an excellent match as expected. You know they would get plenty of time and Ospreay continues to pick up wins. They aren’t going to have Will lose a match any time soon and I think he’ll be undefeated for most of the year. Will makes everything look easy while Claudio has a great mix of power moves along with his technical wrestling ability, so it’s not a surprise that they had an entertaining match. I liked this a lot.

After the match, the Don Callis Family’s Konosuke Takeshita, Powerhouse Hobbs & Kyle Fletcher attacked Claudio. Jon Moxley ran out for the save while Will Ospreay remained on the floor. Moxley knocked Hobbs out of the ring with punches. Ospreay wondered what those guys were doing. Fletcher tried to reason with Will and Will went to the back on his own.

Analysis: I don’t know why Will Ospreay is still in the Don Callis Family group since Will is clearly a face while the rest of the group are heels.

Next week on AEW Dynamite: Jon Moxley vs. Powerhouse Hobbs.

They went over matches airing Saturday on Collision and Rampage is after Collision.

The lineup for AEW Dynasty was mentioned by Excalibur. I have the lineup at the bottom of this post.

Let’s Hear from Swerve Strickland

It was after 10 p.m. ET as Swerve entered the ring. Swerve said he was asked how does he believe he’ll beat Samoa Joe for the AEW World Title. Swerve said that Joe had fear in his eyes and Swerve held the AEW World Title in the air. Swerve claimed that Joe was scared because he knew Swerve would win the championship. The AEW World Champion Samoa Joe walked out with security guys. Swerve jumped off the top onto the security guys with a Swerve Stomp knocking all the security guys down. The fans chanted “Holy Shit” as Swerve and Joe got into a fight. Joe sent Swerve into the steel steps. Joe wanted to attack Prince Nana, but Swerve was back up with a kick to the head. Swerve hit a House Call kick. Swerve went up top, but Joe tripped him up on the top turnbuckle. Joe headbutted Swerve. Joe hit a Muscle Buster on Swerve. Joe celebrated with the AEW World Title while the announcers talked about what’s coming up in the days ahead. Joe left the ring as the show ended there.

Analysis: It was yet another segment on this show where the heels did an attack and got the advantage. We saw that a bunch of times this week. Anyway, it was effective in terms of making us feel sorry for Swerve. I think Swerve should win the AEW World Title at Dynasty on Sunday.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Will Ospreay
  2. Jon Moxley
  3. Claudio Castagnoli


The Scoreboard

This Week: 7.25 out of 10

Last Week: 6.75

2024 Average: 7.50


Final Thoughts on AEW Dynamite

It was a good show overall. I wouldn’t call it great. The in-ring highlight was obviously the Will Ospreay-Claudio Castagnoli match. They are both awesome and meshed together very well. Lots of counters by both guys throughout the match before Ospreay got the predictable win. Most of the other matches were okay. The better episodes of Dynamite have better matches than what we got this week. I know they have three hours on Saturday and then Dynasty on Sunday, so they are saving good matches for the PPV. I think other than Ospreay-Claudio, the Jon Moxley promo was the next best part of the episode. Most of the Joe-Swerve stuff was entertaining too.

A complaint I have is that a lot of the matches felt repetitive in the sense that after every single match on this show, there was some sort of post match attack usually involving the heels going after faces. I understand needing to advance stories with post match angles. When you do it five times after all five matches it feels very repetitive. If there is a creative team, put your heads together to be more creative to try to come up with other ways to advance stories.

One positive thing we can take away from this show is that, unlike last week, they didn’t spend time trying to take shots at a guy who was fired by the company last summer. That’s a positive thing. Anyway, the build to the AEW Dynasty PPV has been pretty strong and I like the lineup overall.

AEW Dynasty takes place on PPV on April 21st with this lineup so far.

* AEW World Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Swerve Strickland

* Will Ospreay vs. Bryan Danielson

* Ladder Match for the vacant AEW World Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks (Matthew & Nicholas Jackson) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler)

* AEW Women’s World Championship: “Timeless” Toni Storm (c) vs. Thunder Rosa

* Adam Copeland, Eddie Kingston & Mark Briscoe vs. The House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews)

* AEW Continental Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Pac

* TBS Championship: Julia Hart (c) vs. Willow Nightingale

* International Championship: Roderick Strong (c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly

* FTW Championship: Hook (c) vs. Chris Jericho

* Winner Take All Trios Tag Team Championships: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn vs. Jay White & The Gunns (ZERO HOUR PRE-SHOW)

There will likely be more matches added to the show.


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport