The John Report: AEW Dynamite (Big Business) 03/13/24 Review

AEW Dynamite Big Business

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured Samoa Joe defending the World Title against Wardlow, The Elite’s Young Bucks & Kazuchika Okada in action and more.

It’s an episode of Dynamite that AEW has been promoting heavily. They have a bigger crowd than usual in Boston tonight because of it. We know this is going to be the debut of Mercedes Mone without actually advertising her.

This was AEW Dynamite episode #232 from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The show started with Renee Paquette standing outside in the parking lot talking about the show. A Mercedes Benz car arrived and the door opened, but they cut away before revealing who it was.

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means. The commentary team was Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Taz.

Welcome Mercedes Mone To AEW

Mercedes Mone made her entrance to her new theme song wit the letters “CEO” as part of the song. Mone walked out wearing a spectacular outfit while wearing a jacket that said “CEO” on it and even her hair had “CEO” designed in her hair. The fans popped huge for her as Mercedes smiled while she stood on the ring apron.

Mone: “Boston…I’m home.” Fans chanted “welcome home” to her. Mone said her heart was beating out of her chest. Mone thanked the fans for having her back these past two years. Mone thanked the fans for giving her the courage and strength to be there for all of her lows, highs, milestones and moments while she thanked the fans again. Mone said that they are going to be creating so much magic and so many moments together. Mone told the fans that they are the reason that she is here leading to Mone saying thanks yet again.

Mone told the fans that she loved them. Mone said if you only knew how much tonight means to her and how much wrestling means to her. Mone spoke about how wrestling has changed and saved her life. She said it has given her hope and to dream and people like Eddie Guerrero made her believe that she can do this one day too. There were “Eddie” chants. Mone said her dreams made her a leader of a revolution and main event a pay-per-view in this very building. Mone said she had a dream at 10 years, then at 13 years old she dropped out of school to take care of her brother and she told her brother Joshua that she loved them. Mone said that she trained at Chaotic Wrestling in Massachusetts and had a dream to become the greatest women’s wrestler of all time. Mone said if she can do it then you can do it too.

The promo continued with Mone saying it was time to get to business. Mone said she needed to be here and she wants to be here. Mone talked about how AEW is the only place where this revolution can be global while saying she’s going to make it happen. Mone said that she can’t wait to tear it up with everybody in the locker room. Mone mentioned Riho and Willow Nightingale as the main event (really?) tonight. Mone said that she has unfinished with Willow. Mone said that right now, Mercedes Mone is All Elite and the graphic was shown on screen. Mone invited the fans to say hello to your new CEO. Mone took off her jacket to reveal an interesting white/gold outfit while her “CEO” song played as the fans chanted along with it.

Analysis: That was cool. I’m a fan of Mercedes Mone. I’ve covered her entire career in depth and if she’s happy then I’m happy for her. She did a nice job of saying what she needed to say without going too long. I thought maybe there would be an interruption from somebody, but that didn’t happen and she got through it perfectly. Mone will immediately be the biggest star in AEW’s women’s division. I just hope the women in the company get a bigger spotlight because of her because that’s been a frustrating thing about AEW for five years. The addition of Mercedes Mone will certainly help the women’s division. I’m excited for her.

Here’s the All Elite graphic from AEW’s Owner Tony Khan.

Samoa Joe, the AEW World Champion, was interviewed by Renee Paquette backstage. Joe said he hasn’t forgotten what happened the last time he faced Wardlow and what debts need to be paid. Joe said that this is the biggest mistake of Wardlow’s career and Joe doesn’t lose championships at the Garden.

The Undisputed Kingdom group was featured in a video. It was Adam Cole and Wardlow along with Matt Taven, Mike Bennett and Roderick Strong in the group. Cole told a story about Wardlow being lied to in the past. Cole said that Wardlow was going to fulfill his destiny and present the prize to his king.

Analysis: I liked how unique that video was. Well done.

Samoa Joe made his entrance as the AEW World Champion. Wardlow was joined by the Undisputed Kingdom, but then those guys went to the back. This is Wardlow’s first shot at the AEW World Title after five years in the company and he’s on a ten match winning streak.

AEW World Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow

Wardlow attacked Joe right a way and knocked Joe out of the ring. Wardlow sent Joe hard into the barricade at ringside. They went back into the ring with Joe hitting chops to the chest, but Wardlow came back with a spinebuster. Joe worked over Wardlow with chops along with jabs to the jaw and a running back elbow to knock Wardlow down. The fans were solidly behind Joe even though he’s a heel in theory. Joe delivered jabs followed by a back elbow and an enziguri kick. Joe set up Wardlow on the top rope, Wardlow fought back and Wardlow hit a twisting cross body attack on Joe leading to a picture-in-picture break.


The show came back with Wardlow getting a nearfall. There was some blood from Wardlow’s mouth. Joe hit a forearm, atomic drop, high boot to the head and Joe hit a senton splash. They did the “stand and throw strikes” sequence that AEW wrestlers love and Joe hit a powerslam for a two count. They did a spot out of the corner where Wardlow was grabbing his right knee to sell an injury. Wardlow had a brace on his right knee. Wardlow put a thumb to Joe’s eyes so he was faking the knee injury. Wardlow hit a rising knee lift to Joe’s face for a two count. Good nearfall. Wardlow went up top, jumped off with a Senton Bomb, Joe moved and Wardlow hit the mat. Joe went for corner punches, but Wardlow came back with a Powerbomb. Joe swept the legs, Wardlow pushed Joe off with his legs and Joe applied a Coquina Clutch submission. Joe choked out Wardlow, who sold it like he was knocked out. The referee called for the bell. It went 13 minutes.

Winner by submission: Samoa Joe

Analysis: ***3/4 That was a great World Title match with Joe looking dominant by making Wardlow tap out. It’s rare to see Wardlow lose clean like that, so I’d call that a quality win for the champion. I certainly hope at some point Wardlow is the AEW World Champion, but it wasn’t the right time for it. They had a hard hitting match, Wardlow missed some of the big moves (like that Senton Bomb) and Joe was able to trip up Wardlow leading to the Coquina Clutch for the decisive win. I liked the match quite a bit.

After the match, Swerve Strickland walked out to the ring with Prince Nana and Swerve beat up security guys that tried to stop him. Swerve had a chain with him, so Joe left the ring and Joe walked up away. Joe even kicked a security guy off the ramp. That was funny.

Analysis: That is teasing the idea that we might see Joe against Swerve at the AEW Dynasty PPV next month with Swerve gaining popularity as a babyface going into that match.

The Young Bucks and Kazuchika Okada were interviewed by Alex Marvez somewhere backstage. Marvez tried to talk to Okada, but Nicholas berated Alex. Matthew said they’ve had 14 years of friendship with Okada while claiming there were $14 million other reasons to join The Elite. Okada said they are coming for Eddie, Penta & Pac. Okada told Alex to say happy birthday to Matthew and Okada told Alex to sing it, so Alex sang it as the show went to break.

Analysis: Well done by Okada making Marvez sing it. That shows off a funny personality, so that’s good to see. I don’t want heels to be funny all the time, but once in a while it’s okay.


The Elite made their entrance for Kazuchika Okada’s official AEW Dynamite debut match. He has wrestled on the show before, but not as a fully contracted wrestler. Okada did wrestle with The Young Bucks last week on Collision. A clip was shown of that Collision match, which led to Pac returning to AEW after the match. Happy 38th birthday to Matthew Jackson. He’s not much of “Young” Buck any more.

Eddie Kingston, Penta El Zero Miedo & PAC vs. The Elite – Matthew Jackson, Nicholas Jackson & Kazuchika Okada

Okada and Eddie have built up a rivalry, so Okada tagged out before fighting Kingston. Eddie chopped Matt and brought in “The Bastard” Pac. Pac ran the ropes with two shoulder tackles followed by a hurricanrana and a backbreaker. Penta tagged in against Nick, who hit a Cutter and Penta barely sold that leading to a superkick by Penta. Nick was set upside down against the turnbuckle leading to Penta hitting a superkick along with a twisting slam off the shoulders. Pac was back in with a pump kick on Nik along with a tandem dropkick. Matt was in illegally as Pac & Penta superkicked him. Penta jumped off the top rope with a kick in the groin or maybe somewhere else. They didn’t even bother to distract the referee because it’s not like there will be a DQ for that. Eddie tagged in, Nick brought in Okada and that led to Eddie-Okada doing the “stand and throw strikes” spot that we saw in the first match. Okada came back with a dropkick. The Elite hit a triple kick on Eddie against the turnbuckle followed by a pose by The Elite in the ring.


The action continued with The Elite isolating Eddie as Matt nailed him with a clothesline. Eddie came back with a belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. Penta tagged in with a cross body block off the top rope followed by the Slingblade on both Bucks and a double DDT on the Bucks as well. Penta delivered a superkick to Okada while Pac tagged in with a missile dropkick that knocked Okada out of the ring. Pac and Penta hit impressive dives onto the Bucks on the floor. Penta jumped off the top with a diving foot stomp and Pac hit a springboard 450 Splash off the top onto Nick for a two count because Okada made the save. Okada tagged in and Pac greeted him with a German Suplex. Eddie tagged in, Eddie got some strikes and Okada hit a DDT. Pac went in with a kick to Okada, then the other illegal men went in including Nick with a superkick. Eddie sent Nick throat first onto the top rope. Matt was illegal going after Eddie and Eddie hit him with a back fist. Nick nailed Eddie with a low blow kick that the referee never saw. Okada hit the Rainmaker clothesline on Eddie for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.

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

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good tag team match. There is an issue with all the illegal offense in the match because guys are going into the ring to randomly do moves and it shouldn’t be allowed, but if you watch AEW regularly then you are probably used to it by now. I thought it was smart booking to have Okada to set up an obvious Continental Crown Title match between them soon. I don’t think AEW wrestlers need to do illegal low blows since the referees rarely do their jobs correctly, but at least it looks cheaper when a heel like Nick Jackson does a cheap shot like that.

After the match, Okada held up the AEW Continental Crown Championship over Kingston. Okada left with The Elite as the winners.

Will Ospreay was up next.


Let’s Hear from Will Ospreay

Tony Schiavone was in the ring and interviewed Will Ospreay in the ring. The fans loved Will as soon as he got out there. Will faces Bryan Danielson at AEW Dynasty on April 21st.

Will said that his entire career, he has always wanted to be like Bryan Danielson. Will spoke about how Bryan left it all in the ring for the fans. Will talked about saying he was the best wrestler in the world and Danielson wanted him to prove it. Will discussed his match with Kenny Omega and he dropped Omega on his head with a Tiger Driver 91. Will said that since he was the winner of the match, he can say it was worth it. Will said that he’s excited about this match on April 21st. Will mentioned the phrase “restore the feeling” and he said: “I am the feeling.” Will said it’s about the best in the world against the best of the 21st Century and only one man walks out the winner.

Ospreay said that he can respect the man opposite him, but the moment he walks into the ring, it’s your life or his and Will doesn’t plan on dying. The fans chanted “Bruv” a few times since Will says that. Will said that on April 21st it’s about finding out who the best wrestler in the world is. Ospreay reminded us of his name while saying that he is on another level.

Analysis: It was a solid promo. The Ospreay-Danielson match will be amazing and probably will be my favorite match at the Dynasty PPV even though we don’t know the full card at this point. Ospreay is a better wrestler than he is as a talker obviously, but I wonder if they have already pulled Will away from the Don Callis Family group because if they haven’t done it officially, they should do it.

Deonna Purrazzo did a promo backstage saying that her rivalry with AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm is not over. Deonna said she had no problem finding a partner against Storm & Mariah May next Wednesday in Dynamite. Deonna mentioned Storm & May being on Rampage, so she’ll be watching. Deonna told Storm to watch for the shoe because she will shove it up Storm’s ass.

Analysis: It’s nice of Deonna Purrazzo to think that she will take the AEW World Title, but now that Mercedes Mone is there, that’s my pick as the next AEW Women’s Champion. They are probably paying Mone way more than any other woman in the company, so I would expect her to be champion within a few months.

Darby Allin vs. Jay White

Allin had his ribs taped up to sell the scarring on his back from the Revolution PPV match ten days earlier. Allin also had a bat with him like his mentor Sting, who is now retired. Allin also had his upper left back taped and a big bandage as well.

White got some offense, but Allin managed to jump over White and hit a running dropkick that sent White into the turnbuckle. White was on the floor, so Allin jumped off the top with a somersault dive onto White on the floor. That was impressive. White was back in the ring, then he left to the floor again and Allin hit another suicide dive to send White hard into the barricade. White suplexed Allin onto a chair that was opened up against the barricade. The referee Bryce Remsburg was on the floor with them. White went into the ring to break the count that didn’t exist (because in AEW the referees are very inconsistent) and White sent Allin into the steel steps, so Allin went flying over the steps leading to a bump into the barricade. Ouch. They went to a PIP break.


It continued with White remaining on offense with a chop to Allin’s back. Allin had a bandage on the left side of his back. Allin went for a move flipping over White, but White countered it and they did some more counters leading to Allin hitting a flipping Stunner. Allin hit a sunset flip pin Powerbomb (Code Red) pin attempt for a two count. Allin did his Last Supper pin attempt for a two count. White hit a full nelson spinning slam for a two count. Allin countered a move leading to Sting’s Scorpion Death Drop for a two count because White got his foot on the bottom rope. Allin went up top, but White crawled to the apron. Allin went to the outside of the apron and went for a Coffin Drop on the apron, but White moved and Allin hit the floor hard! The fans chanted “holy shit” there. The referee Bryce Remsburg counted Allin out of the ring this time, but why didn’t he do it earlier? When Bryce got to nine, Allin got back into the ring. White hit Allin with the Bladerunner for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jay White

Analysis: ***1/2 It was an entertaining match as usual due to Allin’s crazy spots and ability to take a beating like nobody else. That Coffin Drop that Allin missed on the apron leading to a bump on the floor was a wild move. I would like Allin to stop doing that kind of stuff, but he probably doesn’t listen to people that give him that sort of advice. White winning makes sense since Allin is going to go climb Mount Everest soon, so it’s fine for Darby to lose a match and hopefully White can get some momentum after a win like that.

After the match, Jay White was hugged in the ring by The Gunns. They are ROH Trios Tag Team Champions together. White teased a handshake, but instead did a gun symbol to the face. The Gunns beat up Allin with punches. The Gunns set up a chair on Allin’s left ankle and they placed a chair there, so White teased hitting the chair with the baseball bat. The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn ran out for the save. Billy checked if Allin was okay. The Acclaimed pick up Allin and helped Allin get out of the ring. White tried to explain himself to Billy, who took the bat from White and threw the bat down. White grabbed the chair and nailed Billy with a chair shot to the head, but Billy got his hands up to block the chair shot as best he could. The Acclaimed went back into the ring so Colten Gunn hit Anthony Bowens with a belt shot and Austin Gunn hit Max Caster with a belt shot. The Gunns brought Allin back into the ring, they put a steel chair on Allin’s left ankle and White hit the chair with a baseball bat. White and The Gunns aka Bullet Club Gold posed to end it. They went to break there.

Analysis: That’s the end of the Bang Bang Scissor Gang, which always felt weird to begin with since the Bullet Club Gold group by White were heels. I’m certainly not going to be sad about the Bang Bang Scissor Gang ended. It’s awkward writing it, much less saying it. Anyway, the cheap attack was good because it gets heat on Bullet Club Gold. Taking out Allin with the foot attack writes him off while he’s gone for his attempt to clown Mount Everest and when Allin comes back, he can go after White. Simple enough.


Chris Jericho & Hook vs. Gates of Agony – Toa Liona & Bishop Kaun

Jericho was in his Lionheart gear, so I guess it’s LionHook for that team name. I missed the first couple of minutes of this. Kaun nailed Jericho with a clothesline, then he set up Jericho across the top rope and Liona hit a running body attack knocking Jericho down to the floor. Liona charged at Jericho against the turnbuckle, Jericho moved and Liona hit the turnbuckle. Liona knocked Hook off the apron and Lion also knocked Jericho from the apron to the floor. They went to a PIP break.


The tag match continued as Jericho hit a Lionsault. Hook got the hot tag with clotheslines followed by a T-Bone Suplex on Kaun. Liona charged at Hook, who ducked and Hook sent Liona out of the ring. Hook hit a Northern Lights Suplex on Kaun and Liona broke up the pin. Jericho hit a double axhandle to Liona to knock him down. Hook got a rollup on Kaun for two. Hook hit a German Suplex on Liona, which was an impressive sight. Kaun lifted up Hook for a slam onto the knees for a two count. Hook avoided a double team move, Jericho pulled Liona out of the ring and Hook went for the Red Rum on Kaun. Jericho went into the ring illegally and applied the Liontamer while Hook locked in the Red Rum. Jericho let go and hit a springboard dropkick on Liona to knock him down. Hook had the Red Rum locked in and Kaun was out for the finish. It went about 10 minutes.

Winners by submission: Chris Jericho & Hook

Analysis: *** The match was good, but not really that interesting overall because you know Gates of Agony are going to lose. It was more of a traditional tag team match with Jericho as the face in peril until Hook got the hot tag and dominated the final couple of minutes. Hook was impressive with some of the suplexes that he did. AEW is doing a Tag Team Tournament soon so I assume Hook & Jericho will be a part of it, which means they are going to pick up some wins leading into the tournament.

Kyle O’Reilly was interviewed by Renee Paquette backstage talking about Kyle’s first match in nearly two years on Collision this Saturday. Kyle said the pain was so bad that he could barely pick up his daughter and he was in so much pain. Kyle talked about his match with Bryan Keith on Collision this Saturday in his home country of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Roderick Strong walked in with The Kingdom. Strong told Kyle if you want to do this on your own then do it on your own. Strong hugged Kyle and left.

Analysis: Welcome back to Kyle. I wonder if the story will be that Kyle struggles to win on his own, so that could lead to Undisputed Kingdom helping him and Kyle might join the group.

A video aired about Riho and Willow Nightingale leading to their main event match.

Mercedes Mone went up to Riho backstage. They shook hands. Mercedes said she looked forward to her match tonight, Riho said thank you and that was it.


Chris Jericho and Hook were interviewed by Renee Paquette backstage. Jericho said that Hook rose to the occasion while saying Hook was a future World Champion. Jericho said he wants to know what it feels like to stand across from Hook, so Jericho challenged Hook to a match next week on Dynamite in Toronto. Hook said “let’s do it” and they touched fists.

Riho vs. Willow Nightingale

This does not feel like a main event level match. However, with Mercedes Mone now in AEW, you know she’s probably going to be a part of it after the match, so that’s why this is going on last.

Willow knocked down her much smaller opponent with a shoulder tackle followed by a cross body block attack on the mat. Riho was back up with a dropkick. Riho hit two running knee strikes and Willow came back with a dropkick off the middle turnbuckle. They went to a PIP break.


Riho was in control with the 619 kick by the ropes followed by a cross body block off the top rope for a two count. Riho hit an impressive Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. That move nearly crushed Willow’s head, but Willow was okay. It was announced that next week that Eddie Kingston defends the AEW Continental Championship vs. Kazuchika Okada and Mercedes Mone will be there to talk. Riho went for an attack off the top, Willow avoided it and Willow hit a Pounce to knock Riho out of the ring. Willow went for a somersault attack on Riho on the floor, but Riho moved and Willow’s back hit the floor hard. Riho hit a double foot stomp onto Willow’s ribs. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for the ladies. Back in the ring, Riho hit a Dragon Suplex and a double foot stomp for two. That was an impressive sequence. They were past the 10 p.m. ET hour now. Willow bounced off the ropes leading to a clothesline. Willow took the straps down and went for a move, but Riho countered into a pin attempt. Willow lifted up Riho for a Doctor Bomb for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Willow Nightingale

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good match with Riho hitting some impressive moves throughout the match. Willow was selling most of the match before making the comeback and getting the big win by using her power. I give Riho a lot of credit for bumping as well she does and taking a beating. The ending felt a bit rushed with Willow only needing to hit a couple of moves to win the match.

As Willow Nightingale celebrated the win, the lights went out in the arena. The fans were chanting “CEO” for Mercedes Mone, but instead, it was TBS Champion Julia Hart in the aisle. Skye Blue attacked Willow from behind with a chop block. Hart and Blue attacked Willow in the ring. The fans chanted “CEO” for Mone again. Hart teased an attack, but here comes Mercedes Mone this time wearing ring gear.

Mercedes Mone walked down to the ring and decked Blue with an elbow strike to the face. Mone went into the ring and nailed Hart with a knee to the jaw. Mone put Hart on her back leading to a slam into the mat. The fans chanted “CEO” again. Willow went up to Mone and raised her hand. Willow left the ring as Mercedes Mone did some dancing while the fans chanted “CEO” again. Mone kept on dancing around the ring as the fans chanted “CEO” some more while Excalibur mentioned matches that were set for next week. That was the end of the show at about 10:07 p.m. ET.

Analysis: That’s why the women went on last. They wanted to start the show with Mercedes Mone and end it with her as well. I assume it’s Willow who will go after the TBS Title instead of Mercedes, but having Mercedes save a babyface like Willow shows that Mercedes is obviously going to be a babyface in AEW. It was a fine way to end the show. As I said, it’s great to see Mone in AEW and I’m sure she’s going to be in many main events moving forward.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Mercedes Mone – Welcome to AEW.
  2. Samoa Joe & Wardlow
  3. The Elite – Matthew Jackson, Nicholas Jackson & Kazuchika Okada


The Scoreboard

This Week: 8.5 out of 10

Last Week: 8.25

2024 Average: 7.5


Final Thoughts on AEW Dynamite

I thought it was an excellent episode. It was probably the best Dynamite episode of the year. The roster is really stacked at this point and I just hope they can create some good stories along with the roster because you need to do more than just say “here’s a dream match, let’s wrestle.” With that said, I’m happy for Mercedes Mone being All Elite. She seems happy there and if she’s happy that’s all I care about. Some people may not like her and others love her. She’s a bit of a polarizing person in that way. I think as a performer, she’ll make others better, which is a great thing. Anyway, I liked Mone’s promo and how she saved Willow Nightingale after the main event. Easy way to put over Mone on her first night.

The matches were good most of the night. I don’t think I’d say anything was especially great (I kept the ratings under four stars but everything was at least three stars), and the match I enjoyed the most was the Samoa Joe-Wardlow battle for the AEW World Title. It was exactly what it needed to be as Joe looked great as the winner while Wardlow put up a fight. I liked the six-man tag team match with Okada looking impressive and getting the pin on Eddie Kingston (thanks to a low blow before that) to set up a Continental Crown Title match.

Will Ospreay did okay with his promo, but it will be better when Bryan Danielson is in there to exchange words with him. Lastly, I liked seeing Bullet Club Gold turn on The Acclaimed and old guy Billy Gunn because Jay White needs to be pushed as a heel. Speaking of White, that bump that Darby Allin took in their match bumping back first to the floor was insane. Anyway, I enjoyed the show and I think the roster is as good as it’s ever been, so I hope they can keep up the great content.


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

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport