The John Report: AEW Dynamite 05/29/24 Review

AEW Dynamite May 29

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured a Mercedes Mone TBS Title celebration and a unique Casino Gauntlet main event.

This was AEW Dynamite episode #243 from the KIA Forum in Los Angeles, California. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means. Excalibur was on commentary with Taz and Tony Schiavone.

Mercedes Mone Celebrates Title Win

Mercedes Mone was in a happy mood as the new TBS Champion. There were balloons in the ring for her. Mone said that her debut was worth the wait. Mone also credited Willow Nightingale for putting up a fight in their match. Mone said that when Willow comes back, she wants her to kick Kris Statlander’s ass since Kris turned on her. Mone bragged about how she was the TBS Champion now and that meant she had a target on her back. Mone mentioned that the Forbidden Door PPV was next, but that didn’t get very far because there was an interruption.

Skye Blue interrupted the promo with a video of her own. There was a video shown of Mercedes Mone being attacked a few weeks ago. Blue said that was some of her best work and she was just getting started. The video ended. While Mone was looking toward the video, Blue attacked Mone from behind and Blue slammed Mone off her shoulders. Blue grabbed the TBS Title and posed over Mone with it.

Analysis: It was okay as a quick promo segment leading to a cheap attack. This only went about five minutes so it wasn’t one of those promos that drags on too long and instead moved quickly with Blue doing the cheap attack on Mone. Going into Double or Nothing, Mone was a bit heelish at times, but she put over Willow with her comments and was attacked by a heel like Blue, so I think that means Mone will be a babyface moving forward.

The Elite group was shown arriving earlier in the day. Jack Perry drives a separate truck that says “The Scapegoat” on it.

There was a video package showing highlights of the AEW Double or Nothing PPV from last Sunday in Las Vegas.

Swerve Strickland (w/Prince Nana) vs. Killswitch

This was not for Swerve’s AEW World Title. A lot of the lights were off in the arena. I don’t think it was a small crowd this week, but AEW likes darkened arenas.

Killswitch used his power advantage to toss Swerve out of the ring. Swerve came back with a kick to the leg and a neckbreaker. Swerve gave Killswitch a neckbreaker from the apron to the floor. Killswitch took control after grabbing Swerve’s left arm and ramming it into the steps. Back in the ring, Killswitch hit a superkick. They went to a picture-in-picture break.


The match continued with Swerve going for a move, but Killswitch hit him with a headbutt. Killswitch hit a Chokeslam for a two count. Killswitch tried to use a chair, but Nana took it from him and then Killswitch punched the chair. Swerve hit Killswitch with a few kicks to the jaw followed by a double foot stomp off the apron onto Killswitch on the floor. Swerve kicked Killswitch in the knee and kick to the head. Killswitch came back with a Chokeslam followed by a standing moonsault. Killswitch has been in AEW for five years, but Tony Schiavone still is shocked that he can do a moonsault. Swerve came back with a German Suplex and a House Call kick to the head. Swerve went up top and hit a Swerve Stomp on a seated Killswitch for just two because Killswitch kicked out. Swerve hit a House Call kick again for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Swerve Strickland

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a very good match with Killswitch getting plenty of offense before Swerve was able to put him away. That doesn’t mean I thought Killswitch had a shot in this match. I’m just saying at least he was competitive the whole way. Killswitch kicking out of the Swerve Stomp was a big shock, but then it took one more House Call kick to put Killswitch away.

After the match, Swerve cut some of Killswitch’s hair because Christian Cage did that to Swerve a few weeks ago.


It was announced by Tony Schiavone that Tony Khan has made a match for later tonight on Dynamite: Mercedes Mone will defend the TBS Title against Skye Blue later in the show.

Jon Moxley, the IWGP World Champion, did a promo talking about how champions show up and bust their ass and fight even when they are hurt. Moxley talked about how he’s going to keep fighting. Moxley said that for five years now, he’s going to be the man standing atop of AEW and NJPW and anywhere else he wants to go.

TV Time with “The Learning Tree” Chris Jericho

Big Bill introduced the FTW Champion Chris Jericho. There was a cardboard cutout tree in the ring along with a green mat (or grass?) in the ring. They also had a “Jeritron 3000” style of TV screen as part of the set as well. Jericho did his sarcastic waving gimmick to the fans.

Jericho asked who wants more TV time and said that he wants it. Bill said something ridiculous about leaves falling in the fall only to come back stronger in the spring. Jericho showed off his new Learning Tree University (LTU) t-shirt and claimed it was a bestseller. Jericho didn’t toss it into the crowd. Jericho claimed to be the longest For The World Champion ever at 39 days since he’s the first one who has called it that. Jericho said that he managed to retain his title at Double or Nothing. Jericho: “If adversity is ice cream, always put a cherry on top.” Jericho kept on going about how many talk about sitting under the Learning Tree, but very few walk the walk.

Jericho introduced “Bounty Hunter” Bryan Keith to the ring. Keith helped Jericho win at Double or Nothing. Keith shook hands with Jericho and Bill.

Jericho asked Keith what made him want to become a disciple of the Learning Tree. Keith said that there’s a lack of respect for Jericho in AEW. Keith told Jericho an 8-time World Champion, over 30 years and the longest FTW Champion (Taz said that’s wrong). Keith complained about the lack of respect while fans chanted “shut the f**k up” and Jericho said that it’s a family show. Keith told the fans to show respect. Jericho said that he respected Keith for being a bad man and Bill said he was a bad apple, so Jericho said that what they say is the bad apple doesn’t fall far from the Learning Tree.

Hook walked down to the ring where he was met by some short security guys that he easily beat up. Samoa Joe also showed up at ringside. Hook had a staredown with Joe. That led to Joe saying something to Hook. Joe walked up the ramp while Hook walked away with him. Jericho thanked the fans for being at his show.

Analysis: I’m not a fan of this angle at this point. I get what they are trying to do, but it’s just…lame. And boring. It’s just not interesting to me. It was more of the same from Chris Jericho doing his over-the-top sarcastic heel gimmick. It should raise the profile of Bryan Keith, who wasn’t doing much before this. Keith telling the fans to respect Jericho will get him some more heat, so it was an effective promo. That looks like a babyface turn for Samoa Joe as an ally of Hook. I assume that it should lead to some sort of tag team match.

A video aired about CMLL’s Stephanie Vaque, who is from Chile. She is the NJPW Strong Women’s Champion. Excalibur spoke about how she was poised to make her AEW debut.

Jon Moxley made his entrance as the IWGP World Champion. Moxley has to defend the title on June 9th at NJPW Dominion.

Jon Moxley vs. Rocky Romero

Moxley had a big brace on his injured left. When Romero got into the ring, he dropkicked Moxley out of the ring and Romero hit a suicide dive on Moxley on the floor. Back in the ring, Moxley did a suplex into a slam followed by some kicks to the body. Moxley tried something off the turnbuckle, but Romero took him down by the injured left arm and Romero hit a dropkick. Romero pulled on the left arm against the top rope. Romero hit another dropkick. Romero pulled back on Moxley’s left arm against the bottom rope.


The match returned with Moxley hitting a superplex while favoring his injured left arm. Moxley worked over Romero with repeated punches to the head. Romer kicked Moxley in the left arm a few times so Moxley came back with a forearm to the head. Moxley delivered more strikes, Moxley didn’t sell them much and Moxley hit a Cutter. Romero came back with a DDT followed by an armbar submission attempt, but Moxley blocked it. Romero tied up Moxley’s right arm and then Romero pulled back on the left arm. Romero charged, Moxley got his right shoulder up and Romero took down Moxley with an armbar on the left arm. Moxley got out of it with some stomps to the head. Moxley nailed Romero with a hard lariat and after sending Romero into the ropes, Moxley hit another hard lariat. Moxley hit the Death Rider for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley

Analysis: **3/4 A solid match with an obvious result. Tony Schiavone put this over as an “amazing” win for Moxley yet I’m here wondering why it took so long to beat a guy like Romero, who never wins matches in AEW. I did like that Romero worked on the left arm a lot, but it’s not like the audience thinks he had a shot to win this match. AEW needs to put on better matches that are less predictable. A top guy beating a veteran wrestler who never wins on TV isn’t going to interest casual fans.

Samoa Joe and Hook were interviewed by Renee Paquette. Joe said that they don’t exist on their time because truly dangerous men like them only exist on “our time.” Joe left with Hook.


Don Callis Offers Orange Cassidy A Contract

Don Callis did a promo in the ring about offering a contract with Orange Cassidy. That led to Orange going to the ring. Callis said he had a contract for Orange to be a part of the Don Callis Family. Callis claimed that he already filled out the contract for him. Orange slowly ripped the contract up.

Orange: “Hey Don. No.” Callis turned Orange around and told him that nobody said no to him.

Stokely Hathaway walked out with Kris Statlander. Hathaway said that there was nothing about Orange that he liked. Hathaway claimed Orange was just like Willow Nightingale. Kris said that on behalf of her best friend, she said that he accepts your invitation into the Don Callis Family.

Trent Beretta was in the ring in dress clothes and he ran over Cassidy with a forearm smash. Trent beat up Orange with punches. After Trent took off his jacket, he beat up Orange with more punches and Orange was lightly bleeding. Trent extended his arms in the middle of the ring, so Callis hugged him. Callis had his left foot on Orange’s fallen body in the ring. The fans chanted “you sold out” to Trent. That led to Callis hugging Trent again. This means that Trent has joined the Don Callis Family. Trent stepped on Orange while doing a thumbs up pose.

Analysis: I thought that was done well in terms of having Orange turn down Callis and then Trent got to join the group. It was a good setup by Stokely and Kris to set up Trent for a cheap attack on Orange. Trent Beretta isn’t a strong enough character rot be a heel on his own, so putting him in the Don Callis Family makes a lot of sense.

This Saturday on Collision will see AEW International Champion Will Ospreay defend his title against Kyle O’Reilly.

Daniel Garcia (with Matt Menard) was interviewed by Renee Paquette backstage. Garcia talked about how he was interested in winning the International Title. Garcia said he’ll climb up the rankings, take the International Title and make Will’s flights lighter by taking that title.

Analysis: They should use Garcia more, so what he said was encouraging. I don’t see him beating Ospreay though. Rankings in AEW? They really don’t have them anymore. People are granted title shots without being ranked in this era, so having somebody mention rankings is a promo is weird. If I was AEW, I would ignore the idea of rankings since they don’t recognize them when it comes to booking.

TBS Championship: Mercedes Mone vs. Skye Blue

This is Mone’s first TBS Title defense and also her first match on Dynamite.

Mone worked over Blue with forearm shots to the face. Mone hit a knee to the jaw followed by an armdrag and dropkick for a one count. Mone delivered a shoulder to the ribs followed by a headscissors takedown that sent Blue out of the ring. Mone hit a diving Meteora attack from the apron onto Blue on the floor. They were back in the ring where Mone got a hold of Mone by the ropes and hit a draping neckbreaker for two.


Blue was in control with a headlock and Mone hit a jawbreaker. Mone used her legs to send Blue into the turnbuckle followed by a running knee strike. Mone gave Blue a Backstabber for two. Mone countered a Powerbomb attempt into a hurricanrana. Blue picked up Mone leading to a Full Nelson slam for two. Mone delivered a knee strike followed by Blue hitting a superkick. Blue went for a Code Blue, but Mone countered it and Mone hit her Mone Makeer slam off the back for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mercedes Mone

Analysis: **3/4 A decisive win for Mercedes Mone. We saw about five minutes of it on the full screen. Blue put up a fight with some decent offense in the match, but this was all about giving Mone a victory. Simple enough. I liked the counter that Mone did for the finish.

Stephanie Vaquer from CMLL walked out as the NJPW Strong Women’s Champion. Vaquer held up her title from the ramp while Mone held up her TBS Title in the ring.

Analysis: It’s certainly a tease for a Mone match with Vaquer and Forbidden Door seems like the place for it.

Renee Paquette was outside the AEW Trainers room. Stokely Hathaway and Kris Statlander rudely made Renee leave. Hathaway trash-talked Willow Nightingale. Hathaway put over Kris Statlander as a former TBS Champion who has come back from two major knee injuries. Kris said that she made the change that she did because she got sick of saving everybody. Kris said that she is done being the protector and now you’re all going to need protection from her.

Analysis: I hope Kris does well as a heel. She’s been a face in her AEW career so far, so hopefully she can thrive as a heel too.


There was a video that aired about Maxwell Jacob Friedman making his return to AEW television after five months away. The video went over his accomplishments including how he was the youngest AEW World Champion ever and longest reigning AEW World Champion ever.

Let’s Hear from The Elite

The Elite group made their entrance for a promo. The Young Bucks (Matthew & Nicholas Jackson) were up first as the AEW Tag Team Champions followed by Kazuchika Okada as the Continental Champion and the “Scapegoat” Jack Perry, who doesn’t have a title like the others in the group. Allin got the win for The Elite during the Anarchy in the Arena match even though he was on fire during the match.

Okada: “Shut up, bitches.” The crowd laughed and popped for that. I think there was a mild “CM Punk” chant right before it, but I’m not sure. There were even some “Okada” chants for it.

Perry said that The Elite run this shit. Perry said that Tony Khan and Kenny Omega handpicked their dream team. Perry said that they pulled out all the stops, they even put him on fire and he won his first AEW match in nine months when he pinned Bryan Danielson.

Nicholas Jackson spoke about how on Monday they just released their new Reebok Pump shoe. Nick said that he had gifts for his colleagues Okada and Perry. There was a video of a Lamborghini that said “Rainmaker” on it. Okada was amazed by it, said he loved them and there was even a light “you deserve it” chant.

Analysis: Sweet car. Very expensive.

Matthew Jackson said that at Double or Nothing during the TNT Title match, Adam Copeland was badly injured. Matt claimed he wished Adam good luck and said “break a leg” so he jinxed him since Adam did break a leg. Matt said that he knows Adam will come back stronger.

Matt said that they have to make the tough decisions as EVPs while announcing that Adam Copeland is stripped of the TNT Championship. Matt said that they know just the guy to be the new champion. Matt said that he presents to you, the new TNT Champion…“The Scapegoat” Jack Perry.

The TNT Title was at ringside. Christopher Daniels walked out saying that The Young Bucks may have fired him, but he has been named the new Interim Executive Vice President and if he speaks it is coming from Tony Khan. Daniels said that they are not giving this TNT Title away. Daniels talked about how this is AEW where the best wrestle. Daniels said that Perry has to win this title. Daniels talked about how there will be matches to qualify for the TNT Title match at Forbidden Door and that match at Forbidden Door will be a Ladder Match.

The Elite responded to what Daniels said by teasing an attack on Daniels, but The Acclaimed & “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn showed up to stand beside Daniels. That kept The Elite from attacking.

Analysis: That announcement from Christopher Daniels means that AEW can use him to make babyface announcements from Tony Khan and we don’t have to hear Tony Khan promos, which is a good thing. Doing a Ladder Match at Forbidden Door should be amazing. It sounds very similar to what NXT is doing for the new Women’s North American Title, but that’s pro wrestling. It’s hard to be that original all the time.

Swerve Strickland, the AEW World Champion, was backstage with Prince Nana for a promo. Swerve spoke about beating Christian Cage at Double or Nothing. Swerve said that he gave Killswitch a killshot by taking some his hair. Swerve said that he’s going to find out who the next contender for the AEW World Championship will be based on who wins the Casino Gauntlet match up next. Swerve said he’ll be watching.


Next week on AEW Dynamite: MJF returns. That’s all they announced.

Rush was backstage mentioning MJF saying that he is coming back next week, but if you mess with the bull, you get the horns.

Forbidden Door Casino Gauntlet Match

The winner of this match earns an AEW World Title match against Swerve Strickland at the Forbidden Door PPV.

This is one of those matches where the wrestlers are not announced beforehand. It’s all random and we don’t know how many people will be in the match. The wrestlers don’t come out to the ring in set intervals. The first fall wins the match.

It was Jay White and Pac starting the match. Pac attacked with a running kick. They left the ring where Pac rammed White into the barricade two times. They went back into the ring where Pac hit a hurricanrana to send White out of the ring. Pac hit a twisting body attack over the top onto White on the floor. Back in the ring, Pac hit a shotgun dropkick for two. After about three minutes, the clock counted down and the next man was in.

Mistico joined the match as the #3 man in the match. Mistico gave White a hurricanrana. Mistico blocked a punch from Pac and did an impressive armdrag. Mistico delivered a superkick on Pac and kicked White out of the ring. Mistico went up top and jumped onto both guys on the floor with a cross body block.


The match returned with AEW International Champion Will Ospreay in as the #4 man in the match. The fans popped big for Will, who nailed Mistico with a forearm smash. White tried a move, Will got out of it and Will hit an amazing backflip into a kick to the head. Pac rolled up Will for two. Mistico got back into it with a springboard cross body block. Mistico spun Will around and gave him an armbar on the mat.

Shota Umino from NJPW was the #5 man in the match. There wasn’t much of a reaction for him. Shota battled with Will as they exchanged quick strikes and Shota hit an impressive dropkick. Shota hit a draping DDT on Will on the apron. Shota hit a Tornado DDT on Will for two because White broke up the pin.

Claudio Castagnoli was #6 in the match. Claudio nailed Shota with a running boot. Claudio chased after White on the floor. They went into the ring where Claudio clotheslined Will. Shota rolled up Claudio for just one. Claudio hit an uppercut on Shota for two because White broke up the pin. Claudio got a hold of White leading to Claudio doing the Giant Swing on White while the other wrestlers were on the floor. They went to a PIP break again.

(Commercial. During the PIP action, Claudio gave the Giant Swing to everybody in the match and nearly did it to referee Bryce Remsburg too.)

When the full screen returned, they were right at the 10 p.m. ET clock so they were going past two hours. The #7 man was Lio Rush, who has been competing in NJPW of late according to Excalibur. Rush battled Claudio in the ring as Rush hit a jumping kick to the head. Rush sent Claudio over the top to the apron and Rush kicked Claudio off the apron to the floor. Rush hit a spinning kick on Shota’s jaw. Rush and Shota did a double clothesline spot, so Claudio decked both guys with a double clothesline.

Orange Cassidy was in at #8 in this match with a bandage on his head. Orange battled Claudio in the ring while the other six guys were on the floor doing nothing. Orange hit his Stundog Millionaire followed by a spinning DDT. Orange did a kip-up, then he stumbled due to the head injury and Will faced off with Orange. White shoved Will into the turnbuckle. White hit a Sleeper Suplex on Will and a uranage slam on Orange for two. There was another entrant.

The #9 entrant was Hechicero from CMLL. Hechicero hit a flying knee attack when he got into the ring. Hechicero went for a submission on Will and then he rolled up Orange for a two count. Will superkicked Orange. Hechicero jumped off the top with an elbow drop on Will. Mistico hit a diving hurricanrana on Hechicero. Rush hit a suicide dive on the floor and Shota kicked Rush on the floor. Mistico hit a crazy hurricanrana to send Claudio out of the ring. Mistico hit a diving hurricanrana on Claudio on the floor. Shota hit Orange with a knee strike. Orange did an Orange Punch. Pac tried to roll up Orange, but Orange countered it and covered for two. Pac hit a running boot to White. Juice Robinson was at ringside and he shoved Pac off the top rope. White nailed a Sleeper Suplex on Orange. Will went back in with a Hidden Blade on White. Will went for Stormbreaker, but Orange countered it into a sunset flip for two. Ospreay hit an Oscutter off the ropes on Orange and covered Orange for the pinfall win at 23 minutes.

Winner: Will Ospreay

Analysis: **** It was a great match like the last time they did this. What they have going for them is that the fans don’t know how many people are in the match or when the match is going to end. We do know it’s going to end around the end of the show, but without a time limit or anything like that it leads to unpredictability, which is a good thing. With that said, a lot of the match was two guys in the ring while the others waited on the floor for their spot in the match. I don’t necessarily love that, but I get why it’s done. There were a lot of cool spots in the match like when Claudio was doing the swing to everybody, then when Ospreay confronted White and Orange getting involved while working the match with a head injury. I actually thought that White might pick up the win, but I certainly don’t mind the Ospreay victory. That’s cool with me because Will is awesome.

The win from Will Ospreay means that he will challenge Swerve Strickland for the AEW World Champion at the Forbidden Door PPV on June 30th.

Swerve Strickland walked out with the AEW World Title on his shoulder and he had Prince Nana with him. Swerve got into the ring with Will Ospreay for a staredown. Will pointed at the AEW World Title and pointed at himself to tell Swerve that he was going to win the title. Swerve and Will had a staredown. That was the end of the show at 10:06 pm E.T.

Analysis: I have a hard time picking against Will Ospreay in AEW PPV matches. I might pick him to beat Swerve just because I think AEW wants Ospreay to be their top guy. However, I like Swerve a lot and seeing him have a meaningful title reign is important. It will be interesting to see who wins that match at Forbidden Door and how it is booked.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Will Ospreay
  2. Mercedes Mone
  3. Swerve Strickland


The Scoreboard

This Week: 7.25 out of 10

Last Week: 7.25

2024 Average: 7.42


Final Thoughts on AEW Dynamite

I thought it was an entertaining show that had a lot of fun moments and good storyline progression. An AEW show with only four matches is very rare, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing. That’s what Smackdown usually has most weeks. The three matches that took place that weren’t the main event were all similar because you have a heavily pushed champion like Swerve, Moxley and Mone beating somebody who has no chance. That’s typical AEW booking predictable matches.

The main event was the Casino Gauntlet match where you don’t know how many people are in the match, when somebody new is coming, and how long the match will go, so I think it’s the kind of match that fans are going to like because you never know how it will end up. I’m not that surprised that Will Ospreay won to give him an AEW World Title shot at Forbidden Door against Swerve Strickland. I’m intrigued by the match already and am interested to see who will win (I’m probably picking Ospreay).

There was a lot of talking throughout the show. I thought the Don Callis Family segment with Trent joining Don while cheapshotting Orange Cassidy was really good. Then there was the Chris Jericho segment that fell flat to me. I don’t think those segments are working. The Elite guys did a nice job of getting heat as usual. Okada telling the crowd “Shut up, bitches” was tremendous. That made me laugh. Anyway, I like that it was a more balanced show this week. We don’t need wrestling-heavy episodes all the time. There was still enough in-ring action and the stories moved along well. They also teased plenty of things for the FOrbidden Door PPV in one month, so that’s a positive as well.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport