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AEW Dynamite Review: The Road to Dynasty is Paved by a Killer Main Event

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

AEW  presented a solid go-home production on the Dynamite 4/17/24 episode, with a lot of hype and positive draw for Dynasty this Sunday night. For the internet angry, the complaints of “wHeRz tHe sToRy?” should have been quieted as the majority of matches do in fact of some sort of “story” to appease those critical. But then again, these are likely so-called fans who never watched anything from the “Attitude Era” or WCW pre-2000 where most pay-per-view matches were made first and THEN the story was built. 

But what do I know, I’ve only been watching wrestling for over 35 years. 

The show opens with the new IWGP World Champion, Jon Moxley. He cuts a passionate promo about his love of wrestling, and of course he is willing to bleed to death for it. He then pivots to Don Callis and his troupe, threatening harm to any of them, but specifically calls out one whom is deemed the “biggest and baddest” of them all, Powerhouse Hobbs.

For what it’s worth, I agree with Mox. Hobbs is a big bad dude and needs to be pushed as such. Main eventing against Mox next week is going to do the trick. 

I’ve done this before prior to PPV events, and I’ll do it again now as this show had a larger number of promos and backstage segments than usual. Given the loaded event on Sunday, this makes the most sense. 

Backstage: Mercedes Mone cut a promo to “put the AEW Women’s division on notice.” She questions who had to the most to gain with the sneak attack last week. Cool and all, but doing the flippy fingers and swaying the hips while talking didn’t exactly convey a serious tone. Following this promo was the mixed tag team match with Willow and Copeland against the House of Black. I’m not exactly feeling Mone’s promos. 

Champion Samoa Joe and challenger Swerve Strickland had alternating one-on-one segments backstage with Renee Paquette. Both trash talked, but it was Joe to had the opportunity first to call Swerve some pretty harsh names to implicate his fate for failure. Swerve on the other hand promised Joe this opportunity would not slip by, but opted to tell this to Joe directly at the end of the program. If this feud doesn’t end, I will be perfectly happy. The promo skills on these two are impeccable. 

Also, the trios of The Acclaimed and the Bullet Club Gold took turns trashing each other, ultimately leading to the confirmation of the match we anticipated. A “Winner Take All” match where whomever wins will hold the trios championships of both AEW and ROH. I’m down with that. I am disappointed this will be on the pre-show. 

Moving on to the wrestling portions of the show!

Following Mox and Mercedes’ promos, The House of Black (Brody King & Julia Hart) defeated Adam Copeland & Willow Nightingale. Interesting where they pull the backstage attack mystery on Willow, leaving Copeland to fend for himself. Mr. King was a clear dominator for majority of the match. Eventually an “injured” Willow managed to make it down to the ring and make a funny-looking hot tag, and wound up clobbering Brody! However, with the ref distracted, it was Julia who struck with a chain, and won the match via KO. 

While the result was a bit of a letdown, this whole segment came together very nicely. Copeland and King is a singles match I need in the future. Julia Hart is as evil as ever and easily one of the best personas in the company. Will this lead to Willow claiming the TBS Championship and then find herself defending against Mone, or perhaps it is Mone who costs Willow the title as her revenge for losing the NJPW Women’s Strong Championship?

The Elite defeated Penta, PAC, and Daniel Garcia

Boy was this a fun match. So much fun. I felt everyone got their moments to shine, and again, seeing Okada on a regular basis in AEW still feels surreal. The MVP goes to Dancin’ Danny Garcia. I really hope this kid becomes a headliner in the future. He can wrestle and it seems his brief stint in a sports-entertainment faction brought out his personality. The Elite winning makes the most sense, and then finding out they will face FTR and PAC on Collision blew our collective minds. 

AEW, you are spoiling us again. 

Taz mediates a meeting between Chris Jericho and Hook

Good lord this segment started tanking fast. Jericho starts spewing all his new trademarks and catchphrases and about how Hooks is just not good enough without Jericho and STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. Woof. Not Jericho’s best at all. 

However, Taz gets involved which then causes Jericho to lose his temper and shove Taz to the mat.

“This is the moment, he knew he #$%^&*’d up.” 

Hook grabs Jericho by the throat and verbally ejects him from the ring to the singing delight of the live crowd. We find out at Dynasty, Jericho will face Hook again, this time with the FTW Championship on the line. 

Jericho better not win. There will be riots. 

Deonna Purazzo defeated Mariah May

A very good match, despite a few rough spots. May continues to win over mainstream audiences. I love she still uses the “rocker” persona of Toni Storm. Who, by the way, also continues to become even more hysterical with each appearance. After the bell, Thunder Rosa rushes down to make a save, which then ignites another argument between Purzzao and Rosa. 

There is no way Thunder Rosa wins at Dynasty. There’s just no way. 

Orange Cassidy defeated Shane Taylor

To be perfectly honest, the outcome should have been the other way around. Trent’s interference post-match should have come during the match, allowing Taylor to win. Cassidy losing would have put even more heat on Trent. However, given his actions with decking both Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal, then allowing Shane, Ogogo, and Moriarty to beat up poor OC was pure villany, earning a rather expletive chant from the live crowd, one which would have fit nicely in the ECW arena. 

Shane Taylor is a beast in the ring. This man needs more victories on live TV. 

Will Ospreay defeated Claudio Castignoli in the Main Event of AEW Dynamite 4/17/24

Castignoli could have won and I think most fans would have been fine with it. Phenomenal match. Claudio was the aggressor for the majority of the match, but when Ospreay jumped on the offensive, it was a wort of art. Amazing how well they worked together. Claudio catching his opponent mid-air multiple times, out-striking, or overpowering, yet Ospreay found slick methods of countering. Ospreay countering the Big Swing into a tornado DDT was insanity. 

Post-match, things get very interesting as the Callis Family attack Claudio while Ospreay is in stunned silence. Mox rushes the ring to fight everyone off. Hobbs, Takeshita, and Fletcher taunt the BCC members while Ospreay demands to know who is running the show. 

Perhaps Ospreay is none too please with Don Callis and his orders?

The end of the show saw the inevitable pre-PPV brawl between Swerve and Samoa Joe. An incredible spot with Swerve jumping off the top turnbuckle, and stomping all the security guards in one-shot, AND landing on his feet was one hell of a sight. Joe inevitably retaliated enough so crush the challenger with the Muscle Buster, the standing over Swerve to close the show.

There are two ways I can think of in which Swerve fails to claim the AEW World Championship. One, if it goes to some sort of time limit draw. Two, a returning uber-heel “Hangman” Adam Page costs Swerve the championship once again. Remember, Page was more invested in preventing Swerve from becoming champion rather than claiming it for himself. 

Dynasty appears to be an insanely loaded pay-per-view with the potential for some epic memory-making matches. 

AEW Dynamite 4/17/24 is now on demand and streaming on the TBS app.

Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis has been a writer for The Pop Break since 2010. For over a decade he has contributed columns featuring Anime, Comics, Transformers, Television, Movies, and most notably, Professional Wrestling. Additionally, one of the key players in the original Angry Nerds column and a guest on one of Bill's various podcasts. When he is not grinding away at his next feature, or shouting expletives at the television while playing video games or watching wrestling, Michael actually has a full-time job,as a Mental Health Professional, working at a medical practice in New Jersey, and runs his own telehealth private practice. A family man through-and-through, requiring his three children to memorize all the Autobots and Decepticons on the collection shelves while also educating them in all things Marvel and Star Wars. You know, the stuff Disney owns.
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