HomeTelevisionAEW Dynamite 1/3 Review: Live Report from The Prudential Center

AEW Dynamite 1/3 Review: Live Report from The Prudential Center

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Live from the Prudential Center in Newark, AEW presents the first Dynamite of 2024! Being there live was quite the experience. For a show without big names such as Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe (in-person), Jon Moxley among others, it was a solid two hours of… Wrestling!

Prior to the live show, Dark Order members John Silver and Alex Reynolds defeated the Brick City Boyz (Julio Cruz and Victor Chase). Evil Uno and Negative 1 were out at ringside. Fun match to give the live audience a cool bonus. Dark Order is still over with fans, such a damn shame not more is being done with them. Really should put Stu Grayson back and make them a formidable stable again.

Kicking off is the emergence of Undisputed Kingdom. Led by Adam Cole, we have the stable consisting of Wardlow, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, and Roderick Strong. Essentially gloating for dispatching MJF from AEW, the crew declare themselves the biggest threat in the company, planning to take championships and warning any challengers to be wary of life choices. This prompts Jay White who brings The Gunns as backup, seeking revenge for being played as pawns in this feud. However, as Bullet Club Gold are overwhelmed, The Acclaimed arrive to force Undisputed Kingdom to retreat.

This was one hell of an opener. Bullet Club Gold playing the pseudo-babyface role is interesting, adding The Acclaimed in the picture likely means the trios championships could be up for grabs soon. I should mention a pre-taped promo from Samoa Joe aired prior to the segment. Disappointing Joe was not there in person, considering he just won the World Championship.

I believe when he remarked for Wardlow to win the World Championship then hand it over to Cole was a stiff jab at MJF’s marching orders to the big man during his run with The Pinnacle. Would they really do the same thing twice?

Orange Cassidy retains the AEW International Championship against Dante Martin
A fun first match for the show. Dante mocked Cassidy throughout the match, mimicking the sloth-style. Regardless they put on an enjoyable opener. After the bell, Hook, Danhausen, Darius Martin and Action Andretti all wound up in the ring, only to be interrupted by the return of Private Party, Isaiah Kassiday and the finally-back-from-injury Marq Quen. Glad to see them back where they should be.

The first of many returns and surprises this evening.

In a pre-taped bit, Toni Storm refuses to set foot in a New Jersey arena and prefers the high class nightlife of NYC.

BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! BOO I SAY!!!

You know Mr. Khan, for a Dynamite kicking off the year and following a major PPV event, a lot of top wrestlers are not appearing live. Do you dislike Jersey that much??

Mariah May defeated Queen Aminata in her debut
We know May is talented based on her work in Stardom, but come on, let’s get some praise and give props to Aminata. I never knew much about her, but she’s got charisma, character, and competes very well. While the spotlight began on Mariah May, I imagine the Queen could garner enough cult fan following for AEW to sign her full-time. Now, about that spotlight…

… Goes from a gloating Mariah May who disparages the GREAT STATE OF NEW JERSEY enough to bring out a local competitor… in DEONNA PURRAZZO! The former Impact Women’s/Knockouts Champion and independent favorite is now All Elite! May is nonplussed by this stealing of spotlight, and earns a kick to the face for her insolence.

The Era of the Virtuosa is here!

The State of a Union or Something Address by Christian Cage
I’m not sure how it came off on television, but I couldn’t hear a damn thing because the crowd refused to let him speak. When Mama Wayne took the mic, it became an earthquake of boos. Holy crap. As Cage attempted to praise himself, the entire arena echoed with “Luchasaurus” chants louder and louder. It’s only a matter of time before the big lovable dino finally turns back to babyface in an epic triumph.

Konosuke Takeshita defeated Darby Allin and thankfully did not send him to Beth Israel Hospital

Uhm… Darby should have died, at least three times by my count. Maybe four. One can’t help but be sympathetic for Darby. Whether he is thrown 20 feet across the ring or he catapults himself to the arena floor, you can’t help but feel something for the guy. Takeshita mauled him with some insane suplexes and culminating with a top rope German suplex was a sight to behold.

Babyface or heel is irrelevant. He was the hottest recruit in 2023 and for some damn reason faded out of the picture for far too long. Keep Takeshita on TV and have him wrestle every week. Tony, TK, Mr. Khan, you’ve got some of the best wrestlers from around the world, you have got to showcase them!

Trent Barretta defeated Brian Cage, “The Bounty Hunter” Brian Keith, and Vikingo to face Eddie Kingston for the Continental Crown Championship.

At least Eddie Kingston was out on commentary. So we had one freshly minted champion live. Pretty good match where one truly couldn’t be 100% sure who would win. Danhausen was sitting in the front row, which could have led to him helping or sabotaging Trent after what happened at World’s End. Thankfully Danhausen let bygones by bygones, placing a curse on Brian Cage which somehow helped Trent win the match.

Trent is a workhorse and AEW team player. Another one who many fans feel deserve some type of championship run, and for whatever reason has not been given one yet. He won’t win against Eddie on Collision, but you bet it’ll be a damn good match. My guess is the Best Friends stable may soon come to an end as Trent pursues a solo path.

Renee is with “Daddy Magic” Matt Minard but are immediately interrupted by a Wild and Angry Rampaging “Hangman” Adam Page. He wants a fight. You take a guess who he’s going to go after.

Swerve Strickland defeated Daniel Garcia
If anyone had doubts about this main eventing Dynamite, those should have been put to rest. An A+ wrestling match. Both are on hot streaks, and I don’t mean wins or losses. Swerve’s rise to locking main event status is pretty much a completed achievement. He will likely be AEW World Champion sometime this year. If not, big mistake. AEW has a habit of making and taking top guys like Swerve, lead on an unbelievable run towards a championship, only to not just lose, but then suddenly and abruptly fade to mid-card. Don’t do it to Swerve. Just don’t.

Daniel Garcia shows up and shows out. Always on his A-game and if you recall there’s a reason why Bryan Danielson put him over clean in a wrestling match. Garcia can legitimately be a top star in the next year or two.

Swerve winning was the right call, Garcia looked solid, even with a loss. Losing to Swerve will never be a demotion of any type. If anything, Garcia looked brilliant against him and was elevated as well.

The dance off between Garcia and Prince Nana was brilliant. You got to give the people what they want.

Just before the show could close, Hangman rushed the ring and immediately assaulted Swerve. Out come the referees and the officials in futile attempts to break up this chaotic fight.

Parts of Dynamite evoked similarities to episodes from their first year. Tonight’s show was good, and clearly did not need to rely on big names. This proves Tony Khan can rely on his vault of talented wrestlers to put on a great show.

The one major problem with so many absences was lacking Samoa Joe. Having a recorded bit which supposedly took place after the title win on Saturday felt lacking and dismissive. As the new AEW World Champion, he should have been booked for at least an in-ring appearance. The comedic segment with Toni Storm was acceptable to explain her absence.

Overall, the first Dynamite of 2024 was fun, enjoyable, and I would call a “tablesetting” episode. Returns, debuts, and some storylines to pay close attention to as we now have until March for AEW Revolution.

AEW Dynamite 1/3 is now streaming on the TBS app.

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