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AEW Dynamite: May 29, 2024

by Doc Allen

Swerve Strickland

Live from the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 4,973. This is a big venue and the lights are turned down real low.Tony Schiavone, Taz, and Excalibur are on commentary.

New TBS Champion Mercedes Mone comes to the ring to celebrate with balloons. She gloats about winning the title and accuses Willow Nightingale of being too nice. Skye Blue interrupts on the big screen and replays footage of Mercedes getting taken down during an interview. The real Skye attacks Mone from behind and chokes with her knee while holding up the title. Bland, cookie cutter segment to open the show.

The New Elite arrive together in their respective rides. Looks like Jack Perry's Scapegoat bus is a permanent thing, hopefully someone will eventually get a boost out of destroying it.

HBO's House of the Dragon© WHO'S HOUSE?!? Match:
AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland (with Prince Nana) vs. Killswitch

Well, Killswitch kind of looks like a dragon, close enough. Swerve gets overpowered but recovers with repeated knee attacks. Neckbreaker, gator roll, and draping neckbreaker by Swerve. Killswitch whips Strickland into the ring post and steps. Back from commercials, Swerve makes his comeback right on cue. Swerve reverses a vertical suplex for 2. Headbutt by Killswitch, then a chokeslam for only 2. Nana stops Killswitch from using a chair but gets punched out. Strickland capitalizes with a Swerve Stomp to the floor. Second chokeslam by Killswitch, then a standing moonsault for 2. Swerve answers with a German suplex and the House Call. Swerve Stomp, but Killswitch kicks out! One more House Call at 11:46. Killswitch has absolutely no business kicking out of the World Champion's finisher. Average TV formula match, the fans seemed to drift in and out of it, **¼.
Winner: Swerve Strickland

Swerve cuts off Killswitch's braid to keep as a trophy. That's serial killer type stuff, man.

Schiavone confirms Mercedes vs. Skye for later tonight. That was quick.

IWGP Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley talks to the camera. Why is he accepting an eliminator match tonight? BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT CHAMPIONS DO! Mox goes wherever the hell he wants to go.

TV Time with The Learning Tree Chris Jericho! The ring is decorated with a wacky cardboard tree, fake grass, and the very expensive Jeritron 5000. Big Bill thanks Jericho for turning him into a Redwood. Jericho thanks all his "branches" in the crowd for their support and keeps the bad puns coming. They're joined by Bryan Keith, who helped Jericho retain the FTW title at Double or Nothing. Bryan is mad that no one respects Jericho and that more guys aren't joining him. Bryan is a "bad apple." Get it? More tree humor. Can't wait for the inevitable Lumberjack match. Hook arrives to end the suffering, but Samoa Joe stops him for a word of advice. Hook and Joe leave together, they're up to something. This TV Time concept was complete and utter death, I hope we never see it again.

Video package highlighting CMLL star Stephanie Vaquer. She's a well traveled competitor and is coming to Forbidden Door.

Eliminator Match:
IWGP Heavyweight Champion: Jon Moxley vs. Rocky Romero

Rocky greets the champ with a shotgun dropkick and tope suicida. Rocky slams Mox's bandaged arm into the desk. Mox recovers with an inside out powerbomb. Rocky uses the ropes to further soften up Mox's injured arm. Back from commercials, Mox takes a bite out of Romero and nails a superplex. They trade slaps until Mox hits an explosive cutter. Rocky tries an armbreaker, Mox rolls over into knee strikes and the Bulldog Choke. Rocky escapes and snaps Moxley's arm against the canvas. Rocky hits an avalanche armbar takedown, Mox digs deep to twist out. Mox blasts a pair of clotheslines with his good arm and nails Death Rider to win at 10:44. After the other eliminator match, I was fully bracing for Rocky to kick out. Solid TV match built around Moxley's arm injury, but Rocky is too far down the pecking order to be a credible threat, **½.
Winner: Jon Moxley

Renee Paquette chats with Samoa Joe and Hook, who are now in kahoots.

Don Callis comes to the ring to offer Orange Cassidy a contract for the Family stable. Cassidy doesn't hesitate to rip the contract in half, though he acts like it's a lot of work. Don puts his hands on Cassidy. Before anything else happens, Stokely Hathaway and Evil Kris Statlander interrupt. Kris' "Best Friend" would be happy to join Callis, cue the sneak attack by Trent Beretta. Don and Trent step over OC and share a big hug. I'm not terribly interested in the story of Trent teaming up with Callis, but it should help Cassidy to have a final boss to conquer.

Renee Paquette chats with Daniel Garcia and Daddy Magic. Garcia feels like he's been stuck in the same place for a long time (true) and plans on working his way up the rankings to face Will Ospreay.

TBS Championship:
Mercedes Mone © vs. Skye Blue

Please let this be awesome, this show is dying for something great. Mercedes is fired up and enjoys a hot start. Mone's rana forces Skye to take a break. Mone hits a Meteora to the floor. Skye answers with a draping spinning neckbreaker for 2. Back from commercials, Mone escapes a chinlock and makes her regularly scheduled TV format comeback. Backstabber by Mercedes gets 2. Mone reverses a powerbomb into a rana, Skye hits a double underhook slam for 2. Mone blocks Code Blue and hits the Money Maker to win at 7:39. Did they seriously just use Mercedes in a match that mostly took place during the commercials? Another disappointingly formulaic TV match, **.
Winner and still TBS Champion: Mercedes Mone

Stephanie Vaquer interrupts Mone's celebration to pose with the NJPW Strong title and set up Forbidden Door.

Stokely Hathaway and Kris Statlander shoo Renee away to talk more trash about Willow Nightingale.

Video package highlighting the story of MJF's AEW career and dramatic return at Double or Nothing.

The New Elite come to the ring for some words. Kazuchika Okada orders the "b!tches" in the crowd to shut up. Jack Perry brags that the New Elite "runs this sh!t." He boasts about defeating Bryan Danielson after being away for 9 months. The Young Bucks pimp their new designer sneakers from Reebok. They gift a fancy new car to Okada, who almost breaks into tears over this dream come true. They turn their attention to the TNT title situation. Matthew had wished Adam Copeland to "break a leg" and he did just that, so he's now stripped of the belt. The Bucks try to gift the TNT title to Perry, but Christopher Daniels interrupts to reveal he's the new interim Executive Vice President. Daniels announces qualifying matches for a Ladder match to crown a new champion at Forbidden Door. The New Elite get ready to attack, but The Acclaimed and Daddy A$$ have the Fallen Angel's back. Hey, AEW has avoided goofy authority figure feud up until this point, I guess that's something.

Swerve Strickland and Prince Nana talk to the camera. Swerve is fixated on Killswitch's braid but is focusing on the wacky Casino Gauntlet match to determine his next challenger.

Rush talks to the camera. He applauds MJF's return and lays out a challenge.

Casino Gauntlet Match:

Winner gets a shot at the AEW World title at Forbidden Door. The wacky rules state that new participants join the match at random times, and the first pinfall/submission is sudden death. They did one of these not too long ago, and it was pretty well received, even if I didn't like the concept too much. Jay White and Pac are the first competitors, Pac completely dominates, and hits a shotgun dropkick for 2. See, if Pac had won right now, there'd be 19 guys standing by backstage feeling pretty stupid. CMLL's Mistico joins the match and hits a rana on Jay. Mistico hits a flying crossbody to ringside. Back from commercials, Will Ospreay enters to a big pop. He eagerly goes after White. Mistico ambushes Pac and Ospreay, looks ready to finish Ospreay with an armbar when Shota Umino arrives to break it up. Claudio Castagnoli joins the fun and also wants to kick White's @ss. Claudio runs wild attacking anyone who comes between him and Jay. Big Swing on White! Back from more commercials, Lio Rush makes a surprise return. He takes it to Claudio with his fast forward speed. Umino attacks Rush, but Claudio knocks them both down from behind. Orange Cassidy is next, sporting a bandaged forehead. Cassidy reverses Claudio's suplex into Stundog Millionaire. DDT by Cassidy, but he's too hurt to capitalize. Ospreay considers a Hidden Blade but decides to face Cassidy head on, but White interrupts with a pair of Uranages. CMLL's Hechicero is out next and is the latest who wants up beat White up more than anything. He settles for flipping Umino over his feet for a choke hold, Cassidy breaks it up. Hechicero runs wild until Mistico (who has been napping for like 15 minutes) hits a flying rana. Fans chant "This is awesome" as Mistico hits Claudio with a flying rana to ringside. Meanwhile, Orange Punch on Shota, Pac superkicks OC, White interrupts. Juice Robinson runs in to stop Black Arrow and runs away. Cassidy reverses Ospreay's Storm Breaker but then eats an Os-cutter for the pinfall at 22:12! Interesting, Swerve vs. Ospreay was the presumed main event for ALL IN, but instead its happening in mere weeks. Might as well strike while the iron is hot. I question Cassidy being the one to get pinned when he should be kept strong for the Callis Family feud, especially when there were plenty of other good candidates to eat a pinfall. I continue to really dislike this Casino Gauntlet match concept, but this got the crowd going and had a big, surprising outcome. They do need to tighten up the booking if they plan on doing more of these, there were too many instances of guys just napping for long stretches of time. **¾.
Winner: Will Ospreay

Swerve returns to the ring for a main event staredown with Ospreay.

Final Thoughts: This was a really bland show full of copy and paste matches and angles, an all-time terrible segment with TV Time, and a good-ish main event with a gimmick that irritates me. Having an episode like this is bad enough, but having it on the heels of a big pay-per-view and in a big market like Los Angeles could be very costly. One of the lesser episodes of Dynamite I can ever remember, give this week a skip.

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