The John Report: AEW Dynasty 2024 Review

AEW Dynasty 2024 Review tjrwrestling

It’s AEW Dynasty featuring Samoa Joe facing Swerve Strickland for the AEW World Title, the Will Ospreay-Bryan Danielson dream match, and more.

This is the first-ever AEW Dynasty PPV and AEW’s second PPV of the year. I really liked Revolution back in March. That show had a big selling point since it was Sting’s retirement match, which was a lot of fun and better than I expected. They had a big crowd with over 16,000 fans in Greensboro. It’s been a tough start to the year for AEW since attendance is down. A lot of TV tapings have less than 3,000 fans in attendance, which is not very encouraging. This PPV has about 7,000 fans in St. Louis according to Wrestletix, which is better than most TV crowds they get, but also significantly less than the last PPV crowd and it’s also a smaller building.

On a positive note, I think AEW’s TV shows are okay in terms of quality, but the PPVs are almost always great. I think the lineup for Dynasty is strong. I’m watching live on AEW’s YouTube channel for $49.99 Canadian (plus tax) because it worked very well in the past.

I don’t watch pre-shows because a four-hour main PPV show is long enough for me. Here are the pre-show results.

* Trent Beretta beat Matt Sydal by submission.

* Orange Cassidy & Katsuyori Shibata beat Shane Taylor & Lee Moriarty by pinfall.

* Bullet Club Gold – Jay White and The Gunns (Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn) defeated The Acclaimed – Anthony Bowens, Max Caster & “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn by pinfall to unify the AEW & ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles. Jay pinned Billy with the Bladerunner for the win.

Let’s get to the main show.

AEW Dynasty
Sunday, April 21, 2024
From theChaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Missouri

There was an opening video package hyping up the show. Good stuff. They don’t always do videos like that, but I think it’s smart to do it to build up the matches that we are going to see during the show.

It’s Sunday night and you know what that means. The commentary team to start the show was Excalibur, Taz & Jim Ross. They’ll have Tony Schiavone on later since he was on the pre-show too.

AEW Continental Championship: Kazuchika Okada vs. Pac

There were loud “Okada” chants for the champion, who is a heel, but the fans like him. Pac did a waistlock takedown followed by some head slapping. Pac grounded Okada with a side headlock. Okada sent Pac out of the ring, then they went back in the ring and Pac hit a hurricanrana to send Okada out of the ring. Pac hit a twisting dive over the top onto Okada on the floor. Pac sent Okada into the barricade at ringside two times in a row. Back in the ring, Pac set up Okada on the turnbuckle and Pac hit a brainbuster off the top for two. Okada sent Pac to the apron leading to Pac doing a jumping kick to the head. Okada dropkicked Pac off the turnbuckle to the floor. Okada threw Pac into the barricade two times in a row just like Pac did to Okada earlier. Back in the ring, Okada hit a running kick on a seated Pac. Okada hit a dropkick on a running Pac and it’s always impressive when Okada does a dropkick. They left the ring where Okada did a draping DDT off the apron to the floor. Okada was laughing about it. Pac got back in the ring before the referee’s very slow ten count.

Okada remained in control with a DDT in the middle of the ring for a two count. JR said that Okada is living in New York City and loving the American life in AEW. Pac sent Okada out of the ring followed by a springboard moonsault off the top onto a standing Okada on the floor. That was an impressive move. They were back in the ring where Pac hit a flying forearm to the head. Pac hit a missile dropkick off the top for a two count. They exchanged strikes followed by Okada going for a German Suplex, but Pac landed on his feet and Pac hit a German Suplex. Okada got right back up with a shotgun dropkick, so then Okada decided to sell and they both laid down on the mat so the fans could clap for them. The fans chanted “this is awesome” and they were right to chant that. Okada caught Pac on his back leading to a neckbreaker onto the knee for Okada leading to a two count. Okada hit a body slam. Okada went up top and hit an elbow drop with no pin attempt. The fans were cheering Okada, who reacted to that with a middle finger salute. The fans booed that while Taz laughed. I laughed too. Pac got an inside cradle on Okada for two. Pac nailed Okada with a superkick and a running clothesline. Pac hit a deadlift German Suplex for two. Pac hit a running kick to the head. Pac went up top and went for the Black Arrow splash, btu Okada moved and Pac hit the mat hard. Okada took a while to recover before hitting a Tombstone piledriver. Okada went for Rainmaker, Pac blocked it and got a cover for two. Pac got another rollup sitting on top for two. Pac applied his Brutalizer submission on the shoulders, but Okada did a blatant eye gouge to get out of it. Pac countered a move and hit a jumping Tombstone piledriver of his own. Pac went up top again, but Okada held onto referee Paul Turner’s leg. Pac stomped on Okada a bit. Pac went for the Black Arrow splash, but Okada got the knees up. Okada nailed the Rainmaker clothesline (great flip bump by Pac) for the pinfall win at 21:55

Winner by pinfall: Kazuchika Okada

Analysis: ****1/4 A great match by two best wrestlers in AEW. Pac was in control early, Okada got some offense after that and then it was pretty even most of the rest of the way with a lot of nearfalls throughout the match. They are two guys that can do it all in the ring, so they matched up very well together. Even though I knew Okada wasn’t going to lose, Pac got plenty of offense and looked like he might win a few times. The fans were cheering Okada a lot, but I thought it was funny when he did the middle finger salute to the fans to try to stop the fan support. Okada also did some heelish things near the end as well before he found a way to get the win. Okada is one of my five favorite wrestlers in AEW because of how talented he is in the ring and you just know he’s going to deliver an excellent match every time he’s out there.

After the match, Okada walked to the back with his title. Pac was given a standing ovation from the fans.

A video package aired about the Adam Copeland, Eddie Kingston & Mark Briscoe match with House of Black. I really only watch Dynamite regularly so I haven’t really seen much of this feud since I think most of it is on Collision. Anyway, I do like everybody involved in the match.

House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews vs. Adam Copeland, Mark Briscoe & Eddie Kingston

Copeland is the TNT Champion, Mark is the ROH World Champion and Kingston is the NJPW Strong Openweight Champion. Tony Schiavone replaced Jim Ross for this match. Excalibur said JR would be back later.

Black took down Mark with a deep arm drag. Buddy tagged in with a double foot stomp on Mark’s left arm. Adam made the blind tag with a clothesline on Buddy followed by a double shoulder tackle on Buddy. Adam nailed Buddy with a flapjack. Black tagged in and instead chose to bring King in against Adam. Eddie tagged in against King as they exchanged chops to the chest. King decked Eddie with a forearm to the head. Eddie came back with strikes to the body and an enziguri kick to the head. King nailed Eddie with a sidewalk slam. King nailed a cannonball splash on Eddie against the turnbuckle. Buddy was back in with a senton splash on Eddie. Buddy hit a running dropkick for two. Black was back in with a running kick along with a headlock. Eddie nailed a German Suplex. Mark was legal against Buddy with Mark hitting a forearm to the head. Buddy got a boot up to block an attack. Mark sent Buddy to the apron followed by a kick to the floor. Mark kicked Buddy into the barricade. Mark jumped off a chair and went over the ring post for a somersault dive onto King on the floor. Buddy nailed an uppercut on Buddy on the apron. King gave Mark a running DVD into the barricade at ringside.

Black was back in for his team with kicks on Mark to keep him down. House of Black made some quick tags as they continued to isolate Mark. Black grounded Mark with a chinlock. Eddie went in illegally to break up a submission. King got his turn to stomp on Mark repeatedly. Mark broke free to bring in Adam, who hit a running boot on King two times in a row. King blocked a DDT attempt so Adam knocked him into the turnbuckle. Adam set up King on the top turnbuckle, which was a bad move because King chopped him down. Eddie was illegally in the ring chopping King. Mark and Eddie went for a double superplex, but then Black & Buddy hit Powerbombs. Adam went up top and hit a superplex on King. All six guys were down in the ring. Buddy jumped off the top with double knees on Adam. There were strikes by four guys in a row including King hitting a discus lariat on Mark. Eddie did a back fist to King and Adam hit an Impaler DDT. Mark went up top and hit a Froggy Bow elbow on King leading to Adam getting a two count because Buddy made the save. Black finally faced off with Adam, but then the other six guys were in the ring. Buddy and Black each hit knee strikes to clear the ring. King splashed Adam against the turnbuckle. The babyface team of Adam, Eddie and Mark all hit Spears on their opponents. Adam charged at Black, but Black spit mist in Adam’s face. Black hit his spin kick called The End on Adam for the pinfall win at 17:45.

Winners by pinfall: House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match with a finish that I predicted and expected. If a champion is in tag team match then use that opportunity to have a champion lose, which could then lead to a title match. In this case, it certainly should lead to Black facing Copeland for the TNT Title at the Double or Nothing PPV next month. The second half of the match had a lot of illegal offense because it’s AEW and they don’t care about that stuff even though I will always point it out. All six guys did a nice job in this match and the crowd was into it.

A video package aired about Julia Hart’s TBS Title defense against Willow Nightingale.

TBS Championship: Julia Hart vs. Willow Nightingale

Stokely Hathaway joined commentary for this match to support his buddy Willow.

I missed the first few minutes. Sorry but sometimes a man has to use the bathroom for a few minutes. Anyway, Willow hit a spinebuster. Willow went for a missile dropkick, but Hart avoided it and Hart applied a submission to the shoulders until Willow powered out of that. Hart hit two superkicks that had no effect. Willow charged into two boots from Julia. Hart went up top, took way too long and Willow got her boots up to block a moonsault that was never going to connect. Willow nailed a clothesline. Willow hit a Doctor Bomb for the pinfall win. It went 6:02.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW TBS Champion: Willow Nightingale

Analysis: **1/4 That was a dominant win by Willow. I know AEW fans love long matches, but every match doesn’t need to go at least 15 minutes. Sometimes it’s smart to book a shorter match where one wrestler completely dominates the other wrestler and wins a championship. Hart had the title for a long time, so a title change made sense here. I’m happy for Willow. She’s easy to like.

Post match, Kris Statlander and Stokely Hathaway hugged their friend Willow in the ring. Willow is the fourth woman to win the TBS Champion.

It was CEO time as Mercedes Mone made her entrance in a ridiculously bright pink outfit with her colorful hair. Taz made the point that Mercedes was taking the spotlight from the new champion. Mercedes went into the ring and had a staredown with Willow while Excalibur talked about Mercedes likely getting to face Mone at Double or Nothing. The graphic was shown to confirm the Double or Nothing match. After Mercedes left, Willow celebrated with some of her family at ringside.

Analysis: The story here is that a year ago, Mercedes Mone lost to Willow Nightingale in a NJPW match where Mone broke her ankle. They changed the finish due to the injury. Based on that history, AEW is doing the Willow-Mone match as Mone’s first match in AEW at Double or Nothing next month. I just think it’s weird Mercedes is going after the secondary women’s title.

A commercial aired about AEW Double or Nothing on Sunday, May 26th in Las Vegas.

There was a video package about the Roderick Strong-Kyle O’Reilly match. They have been friends since 2009 so it’s been 15 years. They both became fathers. However, Kyle didn’t want to be associated with Strong’s Undisputed Kingdom group, so now we have a match.

AEW International Championship: Roderick Strong vs. Kyle O’Reilly

They spent the first couple of minutes doing some mat wrestling while exchanging holds. They also exchanged submission holds. Strong nailed Kyle with a backbreaker. Kyle worked over Strong with some kicks to the legs. Strong came back with an impressive jumping side kick to the head for two. Kyle wrenched on the arm against the ropes. Kyle went for a knee, but Strong caught him and hit a backbreaker. Strong nailed a backbreaker onto the top turnbuckle, which always looks great. Kyle tried a submission to counter a move. Strong stomped on Kyle and put his boot against the throat to keep Kyle down. Strong avoided a strike leading to another backbreaker onto the knee. Strong hit another full nelson into a backbreaker. Strong had Kyle on his shoulders leading to Strong hitting the double knees to the back for a two count. Kyle made a comeback with kicks to the body along with a legsweep. Kyle hit an elbow strike followed by a slam leading to a kneebar, but Strong rolled to the bottom rope. Strong countered a move leading to an Olympic Slam. Strong hit the running elbow barrage along with a knee attempt, but Kyle blocked that followed by Kyle kicking Strong in the back. Kyle hit a guillotine knee drop on Strong.

Kyle jumped off the top with a knee drop to the ribs. Kyle went for a kneebar submission, but Strong kicked his way free. They did the “stand and throw strikes” spot that happens in AEW way too often followed by Strong hitting another backbreaker for two. Strong hit a superplex off the top for two and then both guys got two counts out of that. Kyle bounced off the ropes leading to a double clothesline spot that knocked both guys down. Kyle and Strong exchanged strikes with Kyle doing kicks while Strong did chops. Kyle hit a knee to the ribs along with a German Suplex. Kyle hit a kick to the back of the head and Strong hit a rising knee. That led to both guys laying out on the mat to sell it. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Kyle countered a move leading to a submission move. When they got by the ropes, Strong catapulted Kyle’s neck into the ropes. Kyle wrenched on Strong’s arm by the ropes. Wardlow tried to interfere, but the referee stopped that. Kyle and Strong exchanged pin attempts. Kyle took double knees but then he came back with a clothesline. Kyle hit a brainbuster into a pin for two. Strong hit a jumping kick to the head. Strong hit the suplex into the double knees called End of Heartache for the pinfall win at 17:21.

Winner by pinfall: Roderick Strong

Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good technical wrestling match. These guys don’t have big personalities so it’s a bit tougher to get the crowd into it although as the match went on, the fans got into it more. They are very talented technically of course, but it just didn’t feel like that big of a match. There were times when the crowd wasn’t into it, which made it feel different from the other matches. The story of the match was that Strong kept on working on Kyle’s back throughout the match, so the story is that Strong kept on working over the back a lot and it wore down Kyle enough to give Strong the win. It felt a bit longer than it needed to be.

After the match, Undisputed Kingdom’s Adam Cole was in a wheelchair along with The Kingdom. Cole got out of a wheelchair and walked down to the ring to celebrate with his buddy Strong. When Cole got into the ring, he stared at Wardlow from behind. The group celebrated with Strong, who left with his title.

Analysis: It’s nice to see Cole walking after having major ankle surgery and being in a wheelchair for a long time. I don’t know when Cole is going to return to the ring, but hopefully it’s within a few months. Cole staring at Wardlow from behind is an obvious tease that the group is going to turn on Wardlow soon.

A video package aired to set up Chris Jericho’s match with Hook.

FTW Championship: Hook vs. Chris Jericho

It was “Lionheart” Chris Jericho so no singalong during his entrance like when he uses Judas. The graphic said that Jericho was trying to win his 24th different championship. Jericho was booed during his entrance. Taz is Hook’s dad, so Taz took some shots at Jericho. Big age gap here since Jericho is nearly 30 years older than Hook.

This match is FTW Rules so anything goes. There were “Fozzy sucks” chants by the crowd. Poor Jericho. Hook and Jericho exchanged strikes. Hook hit a couple of T-Bone suplexes and a clothesline to knock Jericho out of the ring. Hook jumped off the apron leading to a strike that barely touched Jericho. They battled on the floor where Jericho rammed Hook’s head onto the commentary table in front of Taz. Jericho set up a table on the floor. Hook avoided a Powerbomb through the table and Hook hit a German Suplex on the floor for a two count because Falls Count Anywhere in this match. Hook nailed Jericho with a trash can lid to the head. Hook jumped off the steel steps and hit Jericho in the head with trash can lid. Jericho kicked Hook in the ribs followed by a DDT on the trash can lid, so that led to a two count for Jericho. They were back in the ring where Jericho hit a big boot on a running Hook. They battled on the apron above a table that was on the floor. Hook lifted up Jericho on the apron and suplexed Jericho through the table! The fans chanted “holy shit” for that. It was like a T-Bone Suplex through the table. Hook covered Jericho for two on the floor. Hook nailed a German Suplex. Jericho hit a running clothesline against the turnbuckle. Jericho hit a top rope hurricanrana for a two count. Jericho brought in a FTW trash can into the ring. Hook avoided a trash can attack leading to Hook hitting a German Suplex. Hook nailed Jericho with kendo stick shots while the trash can was on Jericho’s head. Hook hit a T-Bone Suplex while Jericho had the trash can on his head and that got a two count.

Hook brought a table into the ring and set it up against the turnbuckle. Jericho hit a boot to the face, but Hook came back with an overhead suplex. Jericho came back with a Codebreaker double knee attack. Jericho hit a clothesline. Jericho took way too long jumping off the middle turnbuckle, so Hook avoided it and Hook went for the Red Rum submission. Jericho got out of the hold by falling backwards with Hook through the table for a two count. Jericho went for the Judas Effect elbow, Hook avoided it and Hook applied a kneebar. Jericho countered that into a Walls of Jericho submission. This looked like a very gentle Walls and Hook was able to counter it leading to a pin attempt for two. Hook went for Red Rum, but Jericho countered it with a low blow kick. Jericho hit the Judas Effect elbow for two. That finisher used to win matches, but not here. Jericho said “I’m sorry” before he hit another Judas Effect elbow for one…two…and no because Hook got his left shoulder up. Jericho yelled at Hook to “stay down.” Jericho left the ring and grabbed his baseball bat while Tony said that Taz took his headset off. Hook said don’t make me do this, Hook said “fuck you” and Jericho hit Hook with a baseball bat shot to head (or at least close to the head) for the pinfall win at 16:37.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW FTW Champion: Chris Jericho

Analysis: *** It was an entertaining match that was heavy on story because Jericho did cheap things to get the win and also kept saying “sorry” while he was able to get the win thanks to the baseball bat usage. Hook kicking out of the Judas Effect felt like a big deal because it’s rare to see that. The story is that Jericho needed that low blow to slow down Hook, and after that, Jericho was able to finish off Hook for the win. I didn’t predict a title change although I think it’s fine because Jericho could be an entertaining heel character again.

After the match, Taz checked on his son while telling Jericho to get away. The fans booed while Jericho celebrated with the FTW Championship. Jericho said “I’m sorry” into the camera. Jericho walked away with the FTW Championship. The medical team was checking on Hook in the ring while Taz was there at ringside as well.

The Women’s World Title match was next with champion Toni Storm defending against Thunder Rosa.

AEW Women’s World Championship: “Timeless” Toni Storm (w/Luther & Mariah May) vs. Thunder Rosa

They had Nigel McGuinness replace Taz on commentary. Storm was in control early on with a kick to the ribs. Storm did a hair toss to send Rosa across the ring. Rosa came back with a headscissors out of the ring. Rosa went up top and jumped onto Storm & Luther with a twisting body attack. Rosa hit a snap suplex for two. Rosa jumped into Storm’s arms leading to Strom hitting a backbreaker for two. Storm hit a backbreaker. Storm stomped on Rosa’s back. Rosa hit a running Powerbomb out of the corner for a two count. Rosa went up top and hit a missile dropkick along with a Samoan Drop. Rose hit a Crucifix Bomb for two. Rosa hit a Death Valley Driver on the apron leading to a two count. There was some action on the floor as Deonna Purrazzo beat up Mariah May a bit along with Luther. Deonna and May went fighting to the back. Storm hit German Suplex, a hip attack against the turnbuckle and Storm Zero for a two count. Storm applied a half-crab submission, but Rosa refused to quit and crawled to the bottom rope to break free. Rosa got back into it with a Backstabber. Some of these people don’t sell submissions much in AEW. Storm applied a submission that was like a Crossface, but it wasn’t applied like a normal Crossface. Storm grabbed the ring apron to get out of it. The referee put the ring apron back, so Storm kicked Rosa with a low blow and Storm hit Storm Zero for the pinfall win at 15:12.

Winner by pinfall: “Timeless” Toni Storm

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a competitive title match. The cheap win for the champion Storm thanks to the low blow kick leading to her finisher. There was a point in the middle of the match where I was losing interest and probably missed some of the moves they did, but they finished it strongly. It was a cheap ending due to the low blow by Storm, which she has done in the past. I didn’t think there would be a title change, so the champion retaining is fine with me.

After the match, Luther carried Storm to the back while the announcers wondered who could beat Toni Storm? Storm went to the back with her title.

A video package aired about the dream match between Will Ospreay and Bryan Danielson. They didn’t have many face-to-face interactions, but it’s a big match that a lot of us, including me, want to see. There are only three matches left.

Will Ospreay vs. Bryan Danielson

Don Callis joined commentary for this match so it was Excalibur, Tony Schiavone and Nigel McGuinness, who likes to trash Bryan. The fans were super hot for the start of the match by supporting both guys and also doing an “Ospreay” chant. They did some mat wrestling for a couple of minutes without either man getting the advantage. That exchange of holds continued, which led to another staredown and the fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Will did an impressive handspring backflip to avoid a move and Will went for some kicks, but Bryan avoided the kicks. The fans popped, cheered and chanted “AEW” for two kicks that didn’t connect. That means this crowd is insanely into this match. After Will caught Bryan’s boot, Bryan gave him a middle finger salute. Will chopped Bryan, so they exchanged chops a bit and Bryan tripped up Will leading to a foot twist. The fans chanted “f**k Don Callis” as Bryan applied a headlock. Nigel thought they were saying they love Don Callis. That’s funny. Bryan delivered knee lifts to his own arms while he was holding Will and Will broke free with a running hurricanrana. Bryan nailed Will with a couple of chops that led to Will selling it by going to his knees. Will did a Stun Gun into the top rope followed by a kick that sent Bryan out of the ring. Will hit a slingshot cross body block over the top onto Bryan on the floor. Will went for a springboard attack in the ring, but Bryan kicked him in the ribs. Bryan hit a running knee to the body along with a kick to the back for two. Bryan tied up Will’s legs to keep him grounded, which led to Bryan hitting forearms to the head. Bryan tried a submission, but Will got to the ropes to break that. They exchanged chops again. Bryan punched Will a few times followed by a backflip. Will bounced off the ropes and hit a corkscrew kick. Both guys were down selling as the fans chanted “this is awesome” for them.

Will was in control with a running knee attack. Will hit a springboard forearm smash (a Phenomenal Forearm) for a two count. Bryan delivered a few uppercuts, but Will came back with kicks and Will did a backflip after one of those kicks. Bryan was on the floor. Will jumped off the top with a twisting cross body block onto a standing Bryan on the floor. That was so great. Back in the ring, Will hit a forearm smash to the head. Will charged, but Bryan kicked him in the elbow and a second kick to the elbow. Bryan tied up the arms leading to a Tiger Suplex. Bryan applied the Cattle Mutilation submission, but Will got his right foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Bryan set up Will against the turnbuckle leading to a running dropkick. Bryan tried a headscissors, but Will did a flip and landed on his feet. Will hit a hook kick followed by a Tiger Driver for two. Will went up top, but Bryan shoved him to crotch Will on the top rope. Bryan hit an Avalanche Tiger Suplex off the top rope. They did that about as safely as they could and Bryan got a two count. It was still a rough landing, but I think it was executed as well as could be. Bryan worked over Will with hard kicks to the body including a running PK kick. Bryan hit another hard kick to the chest. Will told him to bring it. Bryan slapped Will, so Will hit an elbow smash to the jaw. Will teased a move on the apron, but Bryan blocked that. Bryan with kicks, Ospreay did a block and Ospreay hit an Oscutter on the apron. The fans chanted “we’re not worthy” at them. Relax, fans. It’s a good match, but calm down. Will hit a running elbow smash from the apron onto Bryan’s head on the floor. It was like a Hidden Blade on the floor. Bryan took the full ten count to get back into the ring. Bryan was back in the ring, so Will hit a springboard dropkick. Will hit a sitout Powerbomb for two.

Will kicked Bryan in the head two times in a row. Will went for a springboard attack, but Bryan caught the arm and wanted a submission. Bryan flipped around Will’s back and slammed him into the mat followed by Bryan applying the LeBell Lock submission. Bryan pulled back on the right arm in a submission, but Will got his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Bryan worked over Will with kicks to the body and a roundhouse kick to the head. Bryan charged, Will caught him and Will wanted a Powerbomb, but Bryan countered with a hurricanrana into a pin for two. Will and Bryan exchanged pin attempts. Bryan with a German Suplex, Will landed on his feet, Will charged with the elbow, Bryan avoided that and Bryan hit the Busiako knee for the one…two…and no! Will got his right shoulder up. The fans were giving them a standing ovation. Bryan shouted about how it was time to kick his f’n head in. Bryan stomped on Will’s head several times. Bryan went for the LeBell Lock submission again, but Will managed to fight out of it. Bryan went for a Triangle Choke submission, Will did his best to fight it and then Will turned it into a Styles Clash! Incredible counter. The fans chanted “holy shit” for that. They got into an exchange of strikes again. Bryan hit a shoulder capture suplex to put Will on his head, but Will came back with a Hidden Blade. Will jumped off the ropes with an Oscutter and Bryan countered it with a jumping knee smash! The replay showed that Bryan nailed him on the jaw. Bryan did the “YES” gesture in the corner. Will got back up and took off the elbow pad on his right arm. Bryan charged, but Will charged right at him and Will hit a Hidden Blade elbow. Will hit the Tiger Driver Powerbomb where he drops the opponent on the head/neck area. Bryan was selling it quickly. Referee Bryce Remsburg called for the doctor to check on Bryan. Will hit the Hidden Blade on Bryan for the one…two…and three. It went 32:41.

Winner by pinfall: Will Ospreay

Analysis: ***** Oh yeah it’s a five-star match. I loved this. Amazing display of pro wrestling between two of the best wrestlers alive that delivered a match that lived up to the hype. There were so many great counters throughout the match. It is tough to go over everything that I loved, but I think the big thing is that they were able to tell a story that each guy did everything they could throughout the match, yet the other guy kept kicking out. I’m glad it wasn’t a bloody match because I think that would have taken away from the action a bit. Bryan working over Will’s upper body during the match added some psychology and maybe Will should have sold it a bit more, but it’s really not a big deal to me. I thought the chemistry they had was perfect while the crowd reacted to everything so well. That Tiger Driver by Ospreay at the finish was treated like a big deal with Bryan selling it like it was absolutely devastating. That put it over as a killer move. I’m not sure how to rate it other than five stars. Some people are going to go higher and that’s fine for them, but my ratings style stops at five stars. Going into the match there was a lot of expectation of a legendary match and I think they did an excellent job of meeting those expectations. It was tremendous. I think it’s probably the best match both guys have had in AEW, which says a lot because I’ve enjoyed several of their AEW matches. It’s certainly going to be a match of the year contender, that’s for sure.

After the match, Bryan Danielson was out on the mat selling the neck injury from the Tiger Driver that he took. Bryan was swearing by saying things like “shit” to sell the idea that he was hurt. The announcers used SERIOUS VOICES~! to sell the story that Bryan could be hurt. Ospreay was checking on Danielson. They cut away to the next video package rather than try to put Bryan on a stretcher or something like that.

Analysis: It was an angle that was done to put Bryan on the shelf and give him some time off. That also puts over Will’s Tiger Driver as a deadly move.

The video package aired for the vacant AEW Tag Team Tiles with The Young Bucks facing FTR.

The Young Bucks made their entrance for the next match. They got a lot of pyro. Excalibur said that Bryan Danielson was able to walk to the back with assistance. FTR was next.

For the vacant AEW Tag Team Championships: FTR – Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler vs. The Young Bucks – Matthew & Nicholas Jackson

The Tag Team Tiles were above the ring. They said only one of the two titles needed to be brought down to win the match.

FTR went for the ladders first, but The Young Bucks managed to use the titles to knock Dax down. Nick used the ladder to drive Cash into the barricade. The teams battled in the ring where the Bucks sent both of FTR into a ladder followed by superkicks by the Jacksons. Dax fought back against both Bucks by tossing Nick onto a ladder and Dax gave Matt a back body drop onto a ladder. They did a spot with a ladder where Dax going into the steel steps. Nick placed Cash on a ladder, which was held by Matt and Nick hit a somersault dive onto Cash on the ladder. I missed a few moves as the Young Bucks remained in full control of the action. Dax was busted open and bleeding from the forehead. The Bucks tried to hit a double suplex on a table on the floor, but Cash saved his partner. Cash hit a back body drop on Matt and a powerslam on Nick. Dax was bleeding heavily from the forehead. Matt tried a climb, but Cash got a hold of him and put Matt on his shoulders leading to Dax jumping off the top with a top rope bulldog. Dax applied a Sharpshooter on Matt. Cash made the climb up the ladder, but Nick made the save to knock Cash down. Dax hit a slingshot Powerbomb on Nick. Matt superkicked Dax. Cash ran the ropes and knocked Matt off the apron through a table on the floor. Ouch. Nick gave Dax a hurricanrana on the apron and Dax went through a table on the floor.

The match continued as all four guys battled on two ladders that were beside eachother in the ring. Three of the guys got knocked down leaving Matt on the ladder. FTR took the shoes off Matt and hit him with a Shatter Machine. Nick used a steel chair to hit both FTR guys. Nick sent Cash into the ladder that was in the ring. Dax suplexed Nick off one of the ladders and Cash hit a splash as Excalibur said Power & Glory in reference to the Power & Glory team that did the Powerplex combo. Cash was climbing, but Matthew shoved Dax into the ladder and Cash went down. Dax battled Matt on the floor. Nick gave Matt a 450 Splash off the top rope and drove Cash through the table. On the other side of the ring, Dax gave Matt a piledriver on the ladder bridge. Damn! That’s crazy. After a couple of minutes, Dax tried a climb to get the title, but Nick was there to give him a Powerbomb off the ladder. Cash sent Nick out of the ring and teased an attack on the floor, but Wheeler went crashing through the table on the floor. Cash and Nick each had their hands on the title, but they didn’t pull the titles down. Dax was all alone under the ladder and he was knocked down by a fan in a mask. The security guys grabbed the guy. It was Jack Perry as expected. The fans reacted to that in a big way. Nick Jackson pulled down the titles to become the AEW Tag Team Champions. It went 21:37.

Winners AND NEW AEW Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks – Matthew & Nicholas Jackson

Analysis: ****1/4 A wild match with some crazy spots by both teams throughout the match. Dax Harwood bleeding a lot helped tell the story of how physical of a match it was. They really didn’t do that much climbing compared to some tag team ladder matches that I have seen in the last 30 years. They told the story of a physical match between two teams that don’t like eachother, they broke tables, they broke ladders and they took some huge bumps along the way. The appearance from Jack Perry diminishes it a bit, but it’s also something that I predicted and I’m sure most people watching the show predicted as well. It was the right time to bring Jack Perry back and maybe he’ll be part of The Elite group after this. Anyway, I enjoyed the match. I don’t think I’d rate it higher than I did, but it’s still over four stars and a great ladder match.

The Young Bucks celebrated with the AEW Tag Team Titles as three-time champions. No replays were shown, which is lame. Excalibur tried to claim that was trespassing by Perry. Sure. The Bucks continued to celebrate.

Analysis: I know they had to get to the final match and that’s why there were no replays, but there were so many big spots and a cheap ending to this match. You need to show replays of big matches like this.

A video package aired about the main event with AEW World Champion Samoa Joe defending the gold against Swerve Strickland.

Swerve Strickland made his entrance to a big pop as the challenger with dancing Prince Nana by his side. Jim Ross was on commentary with Excalibur and Nigel for this match. They have “Whose House?” as part of Swerve’s music so the fans can chant “Swerve’s House” for him on cue. Samoa Joe was up next as the dominant AEW World Champion. The fans chanted “Joe” for him.

AEW World Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Swerve Strickland (w/Prince Nana)

The bell rang at 11:36 PM and most AEW PPVs go until 12 AM so they should have a good amount of time.

Joe used his power advantage to nail Swerve with a knee to the ribs along with a chop. Swerve tried a move off the ropes, Joe did his classic walk off, and Swerve hit a dropkick. Joe left the ring, Swerve dove onto him and Joe gave Swerve a uranage slam onto the hood of the commentary table. Joe pulled off the mat to expose the floor around the ringside. Swerve did an impressive leap over the top and jumped onto Joe with a knee to the head. Swerve charged at Joe, who nailed him with a powerslam on the exposed floor. Joe worked over Swerve with strikes. Joe hit a sweep kick to the legs to trip up Swerve. Joe nailed Swerve with a kick along with an elbow drop. Joe remained in control with more strikes along with a knee drop to the head. Swerve was able to get some offense when he sent Joe’s left arm into the ring post. Swerve pulled on Joe’s left arm against the turnbuckle. Swerve hit a cross armbreaker takedown with the knees to the arm. They each went for moves, Swerve went for an impressive counter, and that led to a flatliner by Swerve for a two count. Joe was set up on the top rope leading to Swerve jumping off the top while driving the left arm into the mat. Swerve went for the armbar on the left arm, but Joe countered it with a slam into the ropes. Joe hit a Muscle Buster for two.

Joe left the ring and grabbed the AEW World Title. Joe brought the title n the apron, but Swerve stopped that with a House Call kick to the head. Swerve went up top and hit a 450 Splash. Swerve went up top and hit a Swerve Stomp (nice of Joe to sit up for it) on Joe for two. Joe did a blatant eye gouge right in front of the referee. Joe had the AEW World Title, Nana complained, Swerve avoided it and so did Joe when Swerve got the belt. Joe applied a Coquina Clutch submission. Swerve was right by the ropes and instead, Swerve powered out of it. Swerve pulled back on Joe’s left arm and Swerve stomped on the left arm, so that’s what it probably did in the past. Swerve hit a running House Call kick for the one…two…and no because Joe got his left shoulder up. Swerve went up top, but Joe stopped him with punches. Joe lifted up Swerve while on the turnbuckle and Swerve fought out of that by grabbing Joe’s face. Swerve jumped over Joe and hit a Powerbomb. Swerve went up top and hit a Swerve Stomp for the one…two…and three! Swerve Strickland is the new AEW World Champion! It went 18:03.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW AEW World Champion: Swerve Strickland

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match with Swerve Strickland finding a way to get the biggest win of his career by becoming the AEW World Champion. It was the right guy at the right time. I wouldn’t call it some legendary, all-time great match or anything, but it was good for what it needed to be as a competitive match between a powerful guy like Joe and an athletic guy like Swerve, who just looked better during this match. I think maybe they could have done more in terms of nearfalls and near submissions in the match to make it look like Swerve might not win. However, it was also booked in a way that put over Swerve as a guy who simply outwrestled Joe all night long and that’s why he got the win. It was a decisive win for sure.

Swerve Strickland was presented with the AEW World Title as Prince Nana danced in celebration. As Excalibur pointed out, Swerve is the first African American man to be the AEW World Champion. Swerve held up the AEW World Title by the fans as confetti filled the arena and there was pyro going off as well.

Swerve Strickland looked emotional at ringside as he celebrated the AEW World Title win. They replayed a couple of the big moves that led to Swerve’s victory. Swerve Strickland continued to celebrate the AEW World Title by hugging some fans and friends at ringside. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: Awesome moment. I’m genuinely happy for Swerve Strickland reaching the top of AEW by becoming the World Champion. He deserves it. Samoa Joe held the championship for about four months and it was a good reign for him, but it was also the right time to do a title change.

AEW Dynasty had a runtime of 3:59:10 on pay-per-view.


Five Stars of the Show

1. Will Ospreay

2. Bryan Danielson

3. Swerve Strickland

4. The Young Bucks/FTR

5. Kazuchika Okada


Final Thoughts

It gets an 8.25 out of 10 from me.

It was a very good show as usual for most AEW PPVs. I rated Revolution higher, but it was still an entertaining four hour event. On the main show, only one match got under ten minutes and everything else got over 15 minutes, so they gave everything plenty of time. Some of them felt too long. I wouldn’t say anything was too short. I liked the main event with Swerve Strickland becoming the AEW World Champion and the first African-American World Champion in company history. Swerve deserved it. Like I said in the review, he was the right guy and it was the right time. I’m genuinely happy for that dude because he’s an example of hard work paying off.

The obvious standout match was the Will Ospreay-Bryan Danielson match. I went five stars for it because it was absolutely amazing pro wrestling between two of the best in the world. I don’t go more than five stars like some wrestling observers (*cough*), but I think most fans who saw it would agree it was a special match. Ospreay-Danielson was the longest match and the match that the fans reacted to the best. I loved that match. I liked the Okada/Pac match that opened the show. Okada winning was very obvious, so that hurts it a bit. I liked the Ladder Match with the Young Bucks beating FTR. That finish saw Jack Perry return to help the Young Bucks win, which I predicted and I’m sure lots of people predicted.

There were no major surprises on the show unless you want to call Jack Perry helping The Young Bucks a surprise. I wouldn’t call it a surprise because I predicted and I’m sure most people watching also predicted it. Other than that, it was mostly just bell-to-bell action with a few title changes. I think most of the match results were predictable and I did pretty well in terms of picking the winners. A predictable show isn’t bad by any means. Just saying that there weren’t many surprises in terms of results or moments.

Good job AEW and the St. Louis crowd was awesome too. I enjoyed the show. The four-hour length is a bit tiring to write about live, but I wasn’t bored at all so it was a fun experience for me.

Here are my AEW PPV reviews of 2024 so far:

Revolution 9/10 – March 3 (Sting & Darby Allin vs. The Young Bucks)

Dynasty 8.25/10 – April 21 (Swerve Strickland vs. Samoa Joe)


Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below.


Twitter: @johnreport