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AEW Dynamite -May 15, 2024

by Doc Allen

Malakai Black

Live from the Angels of Wind Arena in Everett, Washington. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 3,459. Excalibur, Tony Shiavone, and Taz are on commentary.

The Blackpool Combat Club (IWGP Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson) vs. ROH TV Champion Kyle Fletcher and Jeff Cobb

Fletcher and Cobb jump Moxley during his ring introduction, Bryan charges in to rescue. Bryan's music amusingly continues playing during a ringside brawl. Fans pop as hometown hero, Danielson, hauls Cobb into the ring for the official start. Crowd chants for Moxley as he pummels Cobb and dropkicks his knee. Danielson puts Cobb into a Figure Four while Moxley hits an elbow drop. Crowd boos when Fletcher tags in, but Moxley quickly unloads knife edge chops. Superplex by Moxley gets 2. Mox hangs Fletcher up for Bryan's flying knee. Back from commercials, Fletcher and Cobb are working Mox over. The fans roar for Bryan's hot tag. Danielson hurts himself hitting a tope against the barricade, Cobb mocks the YES taunt but misses his standing SSP. Cobb reverses the Bu Sai Ku knee with a spinning back suplex. Tags are made, Moxley wins a strikefest and nails mean lariat. Ace cutter on Cobb, but Fletcher ambushes Moxley with the Michinoku Driver! Fletcher gives Mox a Tombstone piledriver for a tight nearfall. Mox blocks a Doomsday Device, Bryan assists with the Bu Sai Ku Knee, and the Death Rider finishes Fletcher at 12:59! Super fun opener with a hot crowd that was taking everything at face value, ***½.
Winners: The Blackpool Combat Club

Konosuke Takeshita interrupts the BCC's celebration by sneaking up for an avalanche German suplex on Moxley. Claudio Castagnoli arrives and chases the baddies out with a crowbar.

Video package highlighting Swerve Strickland's young AEW World title reign, juxtaposed with how un-awesome Christian Cage has been behaving as of late.

TNT Champion Adam Copeland comes out to another big reaction, but gets jumped by the House of Black. Fans chant "Shut the f*ck" up as Malakai Black orders his goons to remove Copeland's wedding ring. They prepare some kind of triangle chair attack, but Kyle O'Reilly runs in to buy some time. Kyle takes Black Mass, and the HoB hit a chair assisted enziguri/cannonball trios attack on poor Adam.

Video package highlighting the The New Elite destroying Eddie Kingston at a New Japan live event. Cut to the present, the group feels mug that Eddie might not make it to Anarchy in the Arena.

Renee Paquette asks FTR about possibly forfeiting Anarchy in the Arena. They'd be willing to fight 1 on 4 if necessary, but they have a fourth man in mind.

Eliminator Match:
AEW Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks (Nicholas and Matthew Jackson) vs. Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal

Jack Perry joins commentary to ensure that Shiavone gives the Bucks their rightful respect. Sydal enjoys a hot start at Nicholas' expense. Tag by Daniels, who is still mad that the Bucks forced SCU to break up what-feels-like-forever ago. Twisting standing moonsault by Sydal gets 2. The Bucks gain control heading into commercials. They return with Sydal hitting the Bucks with a double headscissors takedown. Hot tag to Daniels, the crowd is firmly on his side while he cleans house. Sydal tries a dive, but gets tossed into the front row. Meanwhile, Nicholas blocks Daniels' superplex with an assist from Matthew. The Bucks hit the TK Driver to win at 8:33. Fairly straightforward match, with a boost from the still-hot crowd, ***.
Winners: The Young Bucks

The Bucks berate Daniels for interfering with their mission to remove all the toxic elements from AEW, and fire him. Perry toasts the Bucks for having the bravery to make hard decisions, then dumps his drink over Schiavone.

Renee Paquette asks AEW Women's Champion Toni Storm about getting layed out by Serena Deeb. Toni's motherly instincts kick in when someone messes with Mariah May, and unleashes a tirade of hilarious 1940's style insults.

Malakai Black admires Adam Copeland's wedding ring in a dark area.

Hook vs. Sebastian Wolfe

Wolfe charges into Hook's T-bone suplex. Red Rum ends it at 0:28. Perfect.
Winner: Hook

Hook wants his FTW Championship back and calls out Chris Jericho. Jericho and Big Bill come out and generously agree to share the spotlight. Hook wants an FTW Championship right now, but Jericho feels this isn't a fighting moment, but instead a teaching moment. The world doesn't revolve around Hook, he ought to think of others. Fans chant "Please retire" but Jericho isn't ready to be inducted into every Hall of Fame just yet. Hook starts a fight anyway and needs Katsuyori Shibata to rescue him from a 2 on 1 beatdown. This has been a major theme tonight.

AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland talks to the camera. With the Mogul Embassy behind him, it's time to put Brian Cage into the grave.

Eliminator Match:
AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland vs. Brian Cage

Swerve meets Cage with running knees to the chest. Cage blocks Swerve's tope in midair, but the champ recovers with a thrust kick. Swerve begins targeting the arm, but Cage pulls his forehead into the ring post. Swerve rolls into a Flatliner for only 1. Cage counters into a backbreaker. He press slams Strickland into the buckles. Cage hits a step up vertical suplex during the commercial break. Swerve makes a good babyface comeback, with the crowd roaring him on. Cage blasts a lariat, Swerve answers with a Brainbuster for 2. Cage tries Weapon X, they trade reversals until Cage hits a power slam into the buckles. Strickland hangs Cage over the ring frame for a leaping Swerve Stomp. 450 Splash by Swerve only gets 2. Cage hits a pair of powerbombs for 2. Fans chant "This is awesome!" Strickland apparently blocks a powerbomb with a double stomp (looked like Cage just powerbombed him to me). House Call finishes it at 14:46. The hot crowd continues to help good matches become very good matches, ***½.
Winner: Swerve Strickland

Strickland prepares to repeat his Collision attack on Cage, interrupted by The Patriarchy. Nick Wayne sneaks in for a low blow, and Swerve becomes the most recent babyface to suffer a gang assault this evening. Nick smashes Swerve's family portrait over his head, cutting his eye open. Christian Cage reminds us that Swerve embarrassed Wayne with a home assault a year ago. He smears Swerve's blood all over the family portrait, and suddenly the Double or Nothing main event seems pretty compelling. I love that The Patriarchy are using Swerve's villainous history to haunt him. And people say AEW doesn't tell stories.

Renee chats with Hook and Shibata. Hook is willing to beat anyone to get his hands on Jericho. Shibata wonders if that includes him. Samoa Joe interrupts (big crowd pop) and advises that they could be dangerous if they got their act together. Shibata uses his translator to say that Joe is too large to be wearing a floral color pattern. I love these guys.

"Grudge Match:"
AEW Women's Champion Toni Storm vs. Harley Cameron

Aggressive start by Storm, but Cameron pulls the hair to reverse a head scissors. Thesz press by Toni, then a hip attack to the head. Serena Deeb arrives on the stage, distracting Toni long enough for Harley to take control. Back from commercials, Toni responds with a Fisherman suplex for 2. Harley answers with a running big boot for 2. Sky High by Toni also gets 2. These nearfalls are getting over with the live crowd. Toni fakes a punch and nails Storm Zero to win at 7:12. Another case of the women getting the death slot and losing half their match to commercials, but this crowd continues to be a life saver, **¼.
Winner: Toni Storm

Backstage interview with The Undisputed Kingdom and Will Ospreay. Will is annoyed that Roderick Strong is so confident when surrounded by his buddies. He goes on a rant about Strong's shortcoming and has no respect for him. Roddie doesn't respect Ospreay either, and fatherhood hasn't stopped him from acting like a child. Ospreay is going to repay Strong for burying him in front of the ROH locker room and will take the only thing keeping him relevant, the International title. This was a great segment, accomplished the same thing that 20 minute in-ring promos do in less than 5 minutes.

Renee Paquette hosts a contract signing between Mercedes Mone and TBS Champion Willow Nightingale. It hasn't taken long for Willow's popularity to define Mercedes as a heel in front of AEW audiences. Willow gets way more mic time than usual, demanding to know if Mercedes respects the TBS title, which celebrates 50 years of wrestling on the network. Mercedes laughs off the criticism, because she was changing the game while Willow was in training school. She believes that Willow's upcoming loss at Double or Nothing will be the best moment of her career. Willow reminds her that at their last meeting, she walked out as champion, and Mercedes didn't walk out at all. Mercedes retaliates with a slap, so Willow puts her through the table to a MONSTER pop. It might be easy to pass this off as a routine contract signing segment, but the verbal back and forth had some real teeth, and Willow looks like a star for standing up to Mone.

AEW Continental Championship:
Kazuchika Okada © vs. Dax Harwood

It's 9:52, so I'm guessing there will be an overrun. They start with some fast paced chain wrestling. Shoulder block by Dax, Okada slips away from the Sharpshooter. Okada condescends, so Harwood unleashes brutal chops. Okada side steps to send Dax crashing into the buckles. Back from commercials, Harwood nails a desperation spinebuster. Okada sits him on the turnbuckles for a dropkick. He follows with a running boot to the head. Dax fights back, but Okada hits a draping DDT onto the floor. Dax looks cooked, but reverses the Rainmaker into a pair of German suplexes. Dax takes a closed fist to the face and unleashes a Dragon suplex! They lock wrists and trade stiff blows. They trade botchy reversals that can be explained away by blaming intensity of battle. Dax gets dropped on his neck but responds with a major superplex. They rapidly trade reversals until Dax nails a Tombstone Piledriver for only 2! Okada dodges a falling headbutt, but Rainmaker is reversed into a Sharpshooter! Okada quickly escapes and nails the Rainmaker to win at 16:04! Well, I was hoping they'd beat the crap out of each other, and that's exactly what they did, ***¾.
Winner and still AEW Continental Champion: Kazuchika Okada

Per tradition, the New Elite swarm Dax and neutralize Cash Wheeler when he tries to help. Luckily for FTR, Darby Allin attacks with his skateboard, and the BCC rush in. Looks like Darby has recovered from getting hit by a bus and is the fourth man for Anarchy in the Arena. Crowd goes completely nuts.

Final Thoughts: This was a story driven episode of Dynamite, even though most of the stories involved babyfaces getting attacked by greater numbers and getting rescued. The Everett crowd was one of the best I can recall in recent memory and made everything seem huge. Good matches, promos, and vibes make this an easy recommendation.

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