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AEW Dynasty - April 21, 2024

by Doc Allen

AEW Dynasty

Live from the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Missouri. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 6,307, they’re touting a sellout. Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, Nigel McGuinness, and Taz are on commentary at one time or another.

AEW Continental Championship:
Kazuchika Okada © vs. Pac

The arena fans like Pac but LOVE Okada. They test the waters with a grappling contest, Pac slips away to gain position for a rana and diving plancha. Pac sacrifices his own well-being to deliver an avalanche brainbuster! Pac is slow climbing the ropes and Okada dropkicks him outside. Okada gets bored smashing Pac around ringside and allows him to hit back, at least until hitting his patented dropkick. Okada happily dishes out a draping DDT on the floor. The fans give them a dueling chant while Okada savors the moment before hitting another DDT. Pac goes for broke and nails a springboard moonsault outside! Missile dropkick by Pac gets 2. Pac nails a German suplex, Okada pops up for a shotgun dropkick before collapsing. Fans chant “This is awesome!” Okada’s patented neckbreaker gets 2. Okada teases the Rainmaker pose, but flips the bird instead. Pac almost makes him pay with a schoolboy for 2. Fans chant “F*ck Okada.” Pac rallies with desperation offense and nails a deadlift German suplex for a hot nearfall. Pac misses the Black Arrow, Okada destroys his neck again with a Tombstone piledriver. Pac reverses the Rainmaker into rapid, hot nearfalls. Pac applies a standing Brutalizer, Okada escapes by gouging the eyes. Pac reverses a Tombstone piledriver and climbs the ropes, but Okada pulls the ref’s leg to buy time. Okada is able to block the Black Arrow and nail the Rainmaker to win at 21:55! Rich story-driven opener, with Pac working from underneath due to his injured neck, and Okada just being a major a-hole throughout, ****¼.
Winner and still Continental Champion: Kazuchika Okada

Fans give Pac an ovation for his performance.

The House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews) vs. NJPW STRONG Champion Eddie Kingston, ROH World Champion Mark Briscoe, and TNT Champion Adam Copeland

Fans chant “Dem Boys” while Mark mixes it up with Black. Buddy tags and double stomps Mark’s wrist. Blind tag by Copeland, he takes Buddy to school with a flapjack. Copeland wants Black, but he gets King instead. Eddie eagerly tags in to trade chops with King. Machine gun chops by Eddie, King answers with a sidewalk slam. Brody’s cannonball gives the HoB full control of Kingston. Mark gets the hot tag and dumps Buddy out for a low dropkick. The HoB gather around Mark, but his teammates make the rescue. Mark jumps over the ring post from a chair and hits a somersault senton on Mark! Crowd LOVES it. Brody answers with a running DVD into the barricade! It’s now Mark’s turn getting worked over by the HoB. Copeland gets the next hot tag and runs wild. Eddie helps and gets so carried away he falls over. The HoB help with stereo powerbombs, but Copeland still manages a huge superplex on Brody! Everyone goes down for an ovation. Buddy gets up for Meteora on Copeland, but the match breaks down again until King blasts a lariat. King gets triple teamed, Mark hits the Froggy Elbow, Buddy saves the match. Copeland and Black tease a brawl before their teammates interrupt. The HoB signal triple cannonballs, but instead eat triple spears! Copeland prepares one more spear, but Black sprays black mist and finishes with Black Mass at 17:46! I expected filler and instead got a crazy trios match that would have served as an awesome TV main event on any given night, ****.
Winners: The House of Black

TBS Championship:
Julia Hart © vs. Willow Nightingale (with Kris Statlander)

Kris is banned from ringside, so she hugs Willow and hightails it. Willow’s family is sitting ringside. Willow greets Julia with a body avalanche. Julia throws Willow over the announce table and takes control by attacking the head. Mercedes Mone is spotted watching backstage. Willow fights back with a sleeper, but Julia hits repeated kicks to the head. Willow recovers with a spinebuster for 2. Julia locks on Hartless, Willow deadlifts her up and collapses into a pin attempt. Willow blocks a moonsault and serves a mean lariat. Gutwrench sitout powerbomb finishes Julia at 6:01! Good action in an otherwise abbreviated match. Willow’s victory is still a feel good moment, **.
Winner and new TBS Champion: Willow Nightingale

Mercedes Mone interrupts Willow’s celebration, reminding her she gets her shot at Double or Nothing. Willow is not one to be intimidated and moves on to hug her family.

AEW International Championship:
Roderick Strong © (with The Undisputed Kingdom) vs. Kyle O’Reilly

There’s now 3 men singles midcard titles in AEW, and I’m not sure what the pecking order is just yet. Strong’s International title feels a level below the TNT and Continental Championships at the moment, but maybe he can fix that with a great title defense tonight. The former friends start with some aggressive chain wrestling. It doesn’t take too long for Strong to hit a backbreaker. Kyle responds with stiff kicks to the leg. They trade nearfalls until Roddy hits a tight leaping kick. Kyle goes to work on the wrist. Strong recovers with a backbreaker onto the top turnbuckle. They knock each other loopy in a slugfest, Roderick scores another mean backbreaker. Uranage backbreaker by Strong, then a double knee backbreaker for only 2! Kyle blocks The End of Heartache and unleashes a flurry of stiff attacks. Strong quickly escapes a kneebar. Strong gets awkwardly stuck in the ropes and suffers a flying knee drop. Kyle hits a top rope flying knee, Strong kicks his face to escape another kneebar. Another slugfest leads to Strong’s backbreaker for 2. Superplex by Roderick, Kyle nearly steals the pinfall. They collide with stereo lariat attempts. They exchange chops and kicks until Kyle serves a German suplex. Strong hits a KO knee lift and they go down for a “This is awesome!” chant. Kyle reverses the Tiger Driver into a guillotine choke, but Strong reverses into a lungblower in the ropes. Kyle wrenches Strong’s shoulder into the apron, but Wardlow shows up to possibly ruin things. Strong hits his double knee gutbuster, but Kyle no-sells for a lariat and brainbuster! Strong kicks out! The End of Heartache finishes Kyle at 17:17! Another great match, but stands out because these two real life friends decided just to murder each other until they both got over, ****¼.
Winner and still International Champion: Roderick Strong

The Undisputed Kingdom brings The Devil Adam Cole out in his wheelchair, but it’s a miracle, Cole can walk again! The faction gathers around Strong for a celebration while commentary credits Wardlow’s presence for costing Kyle the title.

FTW Championship (Falls Count Anywhere):
Hook © vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho has been in a creative funk as of late and is trying to fix things by feuding with Hook. They bump fists and go straight to grappling. They switch to a slugfest, even though it’s unlikely that they can top what Strong and O’Reilly were just doing. Hook hits a pair of overhead throws and dumps Jericho for a flying tackle. Jericho bonks Hook into the announce table, right in front of Taz, and grabs a table. Hook blocks a powerbomb and hits a German suplex on the floor. Hook smashes an FTW trash lid over Jericho’s skull. Jericho answers with a DDT onto the lid. Hook recovers and puts Jericho through the table with a T-bone suplex! Fans chant “holy $hit” but Jericho kicks out at 2. Back to the ring, Hook nails a German suplex, Jericho comes back with an avalanche rana! I’m worried that Jericho has “go away” heat, but that rana got over. Jericho brings in an FTW trash can, but Hook is ready with another German suplex. Hook puts Jericho into the can and hits another T-bone suplex. Jericho puts Hook through a leaning table and can’t get the pin despite using the ropes for leverage. Hook survives the Liontamer. Jericho hits a pair of Judas Effects, but HOOK KICKS OUT! Crowd LOVES that. Jericho fetches Floyd, Hook flips him off and takes a bat shot to the face. Jericho gets the easy pinfall at 16:34! Boooo! This going 16 minutes makes the card feel somewhat bloated, and I’m not sure anyone wanted this outcome. Hook surviving the Judas Effect got the crowd going, this was good but probably would’ve been better saved for TV, **½.
Winner and new FTW Champion: Chris Jericho

AEW Women’s Championship:
Toni Storm © (with Luther and Mariah May) vs. Thunder Rosa

Rosa is aggressive at the bell, but Toni returns fire. Rosa scores a corkscrew plancha onto Toni and Luther. Snap suplex by Rosa gets 2. Toni answers with a backbreaker for a slow 2 count. Another backbreaker by Toni, another 2 count. Toni continues her attack on the spine. Rosa manages a sunset flip powerbomb, Toni kicks out! Rosa’s crucifix bomb gets the same outcome. Rosa tries a DVD onto the apron, Storm looks finished, but the late cover gets 2. Backstabber by Toni, then a DDT and Fisherman suplex, Rosa kicks out. These nearfalls aren’t quite connecting with the live crowd. Toni hits a sitout powerbomb for another mild false finish. Toni resumes targeting the spine, Rosa answers with a flurry of strikes. Tight headbutt by Toni, then a German suplex. Rosa smiles and gets up to hit her own German suplex. Mariah distracts the ref, Deonna Purrazzo runs to play neutralizer. Meanwhile, Toni hits another German suplex, hip attack, and Storm Zero, but Rosa kicks out! Crowd liked that nearfall. Rosa uses the ropes to escape the Texas Cloverleaf. Backstabber by Rosa, Toni saves herself by grabbing the apron. Another Storm Zero ends it at 15:09. Took a while to get going and have the fans buy in, but ended on a strong note, ***¼.
Winner and still AEW Women’s Champion: Toni Storm

Bryan Danielson vs. Will Ospreay

Fans chant “holy $hit” before the bell and everyone is on their feet. Bryan relishes the moment and they head straight to grappling. Ospreay dodges a bow and arrow and they reach a stalemate. They resume chain wrestling and reach a second stalemate. Crowd loves it. They switch to trading blows, Ospreay back handsprings over Bryan’s back, Bryan dodges KO kicks, they reach a third stalemate and receive a standing ovation. Cue the “fight forever” chants. Bryan sticks his middle finger in Ospreay’s face, and they trade more aggressive attacks. Ospreay scores a dropkick into Bryan’s forehead and follows with a rana. Ospreay finds his groove and dumps Bryan outside for a slingshot crossbody! Will flies into a YES kick, Bryan goes to work with elaborate offense. Ospreay answers with a back handspring kick. Fans chant “This is awesome!” Springboard elbow by Ospreay gets 2. Ospreay’s corkscrew moonsault to ringside pops the crowd. Will then hits a diving uppercut to the back of Bryan’s skull, but Danielson answers with a Tiger Suplex for 2. Danielson locks on Cattle Mutilation. Ospreay survives, so Bryan tries a super rana, but Ospreay lands on his feet! Tiger Driver by Will gets only 2. They battle on the top rope until Danielson hits AN AVALANCHE TIGER SUPLEX!!! I sure hope Ospreay didn’t break his neck on that landing. Bryan seemingly has Will right where he wants him and cuts him down with YES kicks. Ospreay defiantly sits up and asks for more. Ospreay’s anger allows him to win a slugfest and deliver a makeshift OSCUTTER ON THE RING FRAME! Fans chant “we’re not worthy!” Ospreay hits a flying uppercut, nearly taking out the referee as well. Danielson beats a countout, but Ospreay is ready for a stacking powerbomb for only 2! Bryan blocks an Oscutter, Ospreay blocks the LeBell lock, Bryan twirls into an armlock takedown and proper LeBell lock! Will gets the ropes, Bryan looks crazed and serves more YES kicks. Ospreay blocks the Busaiku knee, but Danielson reverses into a poison rana! They trade rapid insane reversals until Danielson hits the Busaiku knee, but OSPREAY KICKS OUT!!! Danielson declares that it’s time to kick Ospreay’s f*cking head in and goes to work. Danielson tries a triangle choke, Ospreay manages a short powerbomb, but then a devastating Styles Clash! Fans chant “holy $hit!” They brawl back to their feet, Danielson hits a vicious suplex, Ospreay sprints up for the lariat! Ospreay tries an Oscutter but Danielson counters with the Busaiku Knee!!! THAT WAS INSANE! They get up for an epic staredown, Bryan signals YES chants, but Ospreay catches him off guard with a lariat and powerbomb! Bryan sells his shoulder like death, Ospreay hits the Hidden Blade and WINS at 32:41! Well, this certainly lived up to all expectations, and then some. This was full of personal animosity and unforgettable stunts. I’m actually very concerned with Danielson’s health, and so is Ospreay, as Bryan is seen writhing in pain with medics checking on him. Assuming that both guys are walking away with their livelihoods intact, this was *****.
Winner: Will Ospreay

AEW Tag Team Championship (Ladder Match):
The Young Bucks (Nicholas and Matthew Jackson) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler)

Show’s not over, folks, I seriously hope Danielson is okay, hopefully these four guys survive whatever insanity they’ve got planned. The Bucks try a quick BTE Trigger and bonk knees. FTR go after ladders, Bucks cut them off. They jockey for position of the ladder, Bucks hit superkicks. Dax almost gets put through a ladder but puts the Bucks through instead. The Bucks have better luck putting Cash through a different ladder with an assisted cannonball senton. Fans chant ‘EVP!” Bucks dominate with weapon shots and bust Dax open. Cash manages to shove a ladder into both Bucks and then hit a moonsault from said ladder! Cash tries a powerbomb on the ladder, but instead gets crotched on it. The Bucks give Cash a BTE Trigger on the bridged ladder to a mixed reaction. FTR reverses the Bucks’ double suplex attempt and find their second winds. FTR hit a Doomsday Bulldog! Dax puts Matthew into a sharpshooter while Cash climbs over him. Nicholas stops Cash, but Dax pulls him down for a slingshot powerbomb! Cash spears Matthew off the apron and through a table! Nicholas gives Dax a rana through another table! Both teams battle on top of the ladders until FTR hit a clever makeshift Shatter Machine! Nicholas brutalizes FTR with chair shots and thinks about a 450 splash. FTR cut Nicholas off and hit a superplex from one ladder into Cash’s very high crossbody from a second ladder! Fans LOVE this. Matthew wakes up to prevent an FTR victory. Nicholas puts Cash through a table with a 450 splash, meanwhile Dax piledrives Matthew through a ladder! Fans chant “This is awesome!” Dax tries to climb, but Nicholas surprises with a sunset flip bomb over the ladder! Cash dumps Nicholas but then misses a wild tope suicida through a table! Fans chant “Please be careful!” Dax and Nicholas meet on top of the ladder, Dax uses a belt to knock Nicholas down. A masked fan runs in to stop Dax’s victory and is unmasked by security to reveal Jack Perry! Nicholas claims the belts for the win at 21:36! Well, I’m absolutely exhausted, but this totally ruled. They were in a tough position following Danielson/Ospreay, but managed to overcome it by possibly killing themselves. The Jack Perry return doesn’t hurt and adds an extra flavor, even if there’s no storyline reason for him to be in cahoots with the Bucks other than their real life beef with CM Punk, ****½.
Winners and new AEW Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks

AEW World Championship:
Samoa Joe © vs. Swerve Strickland (with Prince Nana)

It’s 11:30 and I’m tired, let's crown Strickland and get some sleep. It’s unlikely they’re going to top anything we’ve already seen tonight, so let’s do a tight 15 minute ***½ match and call it a show. Swerve is cosplaying as Black Panther and the fans are totally on his side. Joe is bursting with confidence and thinks he’s too good for Swerve to handle. Joe does his arrogant walk-off trick, Swerve catches him with a dropkick anyway, but Joe immediately responds with a uranage onto the announce table. Joe exposes some concrete, but Swerve surprises with a flying knee to the head. Joe teases a Musclebuster on the concrete, but settles for a basic power slam. Swerve shows some fire, so Joe hits a nasty front leg sweep. Joe dominates until Swerve rallies with a series of attacks to his bad arm. Strickland lands a slingshot German suplex for 2. Swerve blocks the Coquina Clutch and delivers a rolling DDT for 2. Swerve hits an avalanche armbar takedown, Joe reverses an armbreaker into a deadlift buckle bomb! Musclebuster by Joe, but SWERVE KICKS OUT! Joe retrieves the AEW title, but Swerve cuts him off for a 450 guillotine leg drop! Swerve Stomp but Joe kicks out! Joe rakes the eyes, Swerve blocks a belt shot, but Joe pulls him into the Coquina clutch! Swerve escapes and snaps Joe’s arm. Fans chant “Swerve’s House.” Step up head kick by Swerve, but Joe kicks out! They battle on the top rope until Swerve leaps over Joe and rushes back for a powerbomb. The Swerve Stomp finishes it at 17:58! Good, straightforward main event. They didn’t have to deliver the MOTN, they simply had to crown Strickland and give him his moment, so mission accomplished, ***.
Winner and new AEW World Champion: Swerve Strickland

Same joe vs Swerve Strickland

Final Thoughts: AEW Dynasty provided a marathon of ***+ matches. I’m left feeling tired, but happy. Really great night AEW, now is not the time for them to be complacent, and they pulled out all the stops for another classic PPV.

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