HomeTelevisionAEW Dynasty Review: The Best Wrestling PPV of the Year

AEW Dynasty Review: The Best Wrestling PPV of the Year

Photo Credit: AEW

The first AEW Dynasty is in the history books. Lots to talk about, from the Match of the Year to the shocking appearance by an old friend, probably the best pay-per-view of the year thus far. 

Pre-show featured three fun matches to warm up the live crowd and the audience at home. 

Orange Cassidy and Katsuyori Shibata defeated Shane Taylor and Lee Moriarty

Fun opener for the pre-show. I thought the upset would have seen STP get the win over the faces. Reason being, it had seemed as though STP was seeing the start of a push but perhaps this is not in the present but hopefully in the not-so-near future. Shane Taylor is a monster and should be pushed as a big bad heel. 

Trent Barretta defeated Matt Sydal

The vicious and unforgiving persona of Trent Barretta was on full display tonight. Sydal put up a valiant effort but the new Trent took the win. A post-match beating was stopped by Chuck Taylor and it seems Taylor wants answers. 

The “We Want Sue” chants were pretty damn clear throughout the match. Now that’s insane. 

Bullet Club Gold defeated The Acclaimed to Unify the AEW and ROH Trios Tag Championships

Both BCC winning and unifying the championships were good decisions. The Acclaimed had a great run. There just doesn’t seem to be enough trios in each individual company, but combined both AEW and ROH have a decent trios roster, as long as they manage to keep it together. 

Main show:

One of the key components to a successful show is the live crowd. Throughout the night to St. Louis’ audience was loud, invested, and kept the energy going. When the bell rang, the crowd erupted before the first lock up. Shows how excited fans can be about good wrestling. 

Okada defeated PAC to retain the AEW Continental Championship

Opening the main show with two stellar wrestlers completely set the tone for the show. PAC is always a draw and despite his lengthy hiatus from the ring, has not lost a step and probably sped up a few. Okada shined, being allowed to have a singles match with an equal, no interference, no gimmicks, just wrestling. It is worthy to note Okada is truly embracing his heel side, flipping off the fans instead of his usual shtick. PAC came so close more than few times, but Okada managed to block the Black Arrow, hit a Rainmaker Lariat which PAC sold like death itself. 

Post-match PAC got a huge standing ovation accompanied by chants of “He’s our bastard!”

House of Black defeated Adam Copeland, Mark Briscoe, and NJPW Strong Champion Eddie Kingston

What a fun match this was. Briscoe was an absolute maniac. Insane spot, a chair on the ring apron, Briscoe runs and uses it as a springboard to catapult himself was nuts. Eddie and Big Brody King mauled the hell out of each other. I get the feeling we may see a program between Copeland and Black, seeing how he used the dark mist to incapacitated Copeland to hit the Black Mass and get the pinfall victory. Throughout the match there were so many teases with the two of them facing off, when they finally did it was magic. 

Wouldn’t mind seeing a feud between Eddie Kingston and Brody King either. Not sure where that would leave Buddy Matthews though. Mark Briscoe as ROH World Champion will have plenty to do. 

Willow Nightingale defeated Julia Hart to become the new TBS Champion

Bam! Fantastic. Fun match and fun to see both the happy and serious side of Willow come out, not just in her promos but in the ring as well. Her union with Stokley and Statlander should continue, they make a great stable. Stokley is hysterical on commentary. 

Of course, the championship victory is slightly usurped by “The CEO” Mercedes Mone. I am not sure what it is, but it feels to me at least, the novelty of Mone may be wearing off fast. Granted, they’ve already announced she will face Willow for the TBS Championship at Double or Nothing. 

I have to point it out, because Stokley did so on commentary, how does Mercedes earn herself a title opportunity without wrestling a single match? What about the Rankings? 

Hey, he opened the door on that argument. If Mercedes had a few matches, perhaps the hype would still remain. Also, continuing to pump in the “C-E-O” chant in hopes the crowd will sing along shouldn’t be necessary at this point. 

Roderick Strong defeated Kyle O’Reilly to retain the AEW International Championship

A+ plus match. Twelve stars. Whatever. Strong and O’Reilly tore it up. You want a wrestling match? Here is a wrestling match. The combination of backbreakers from Strong to arm-targeting moves from Kyle and the constant barrage of suplexes and variations of slams and drivers were non-stop. 

 

Wardlow’s awkward interference was… awkward. He got to the ring and was immediately prevented from getting involved. Somehow it was enough for Strong to score the End of Heartache and retain. Post-match, the rest of Undisputed Kingdom came to celebrate, with Adam Cole standing up from his wheelchair! Hooray! He walks into the ring, and noticeable glares at Wardlow behind his back. I thought this was the moment Undisputed would turn and beat down the big man, but not just yet. 

It does seem Wardlow’s days in the stable are numbered. If Cole is truly healed, will he immediately pursue the World Championship? I think the TNT Title would be a better first move. 

Chris Jericho defeats Hook to become the new FTW Champion

While I thoroughly enjoyed watching Hook toss Jericho all over the place and through some tables, I have to concur with the live crowd in joining their chants of “Go Away Jericho” and “Please Retire.”

I’m sorry, but I’m not feeling this whole “Learning Tree” or “Vortex” or “Cyclone” or whatever new cliched gimmicky catchphrase he is trying out. He’s doing the whole trying to be the good guy here in tough love with Hook, but it’s clearly not working. He had to resort to using a baseball bat after Hook kicks out of two Judas Effect strikes. The commentary team made sure to play up the fact no one else has done this in the past. 

I dreaded the result, even with a baseball bat being used as the finish. Jericho continues to be a belt collector in adding the FTW Championship to his long list of titles. I hope this will lead to Hook, or hell, maybe even Taz, having a big triumphant victory to reclaim the championship. 

Toni Storm defeats Thunder Rosa to retain the AEW Women’s Championship

Everything Toni Storm touches turns to gold… Or, uh, Black and White? 

While Thunder Rosa comes in as the vengeful babyface, it’s fairly clear Storm has become the favorite for all of her championship title defenses. However, this is not to say Thunder Rosa put on a hell of a match. She often came off more the aggressor, which commentary would jump on to point out her disdain at never being defeated for the championship in the first place. 

Mariah May attempted interference but was wiped out by Deonna Purrazzo, who also clobbered Luther at ringside as well. However, the distraction allowed for Storm to strike low, then with the Storm Zero piledriver for the win. 

I expect Rosa to now feud with Purrazzo, blaming her for the loss. Who is next to challenge Storm? Is there anyone left? 

I have three letters for you… D. M. D. 

Will Ospreay defeated Bryan Danielson

Match of the Year Candidate. No question. None at all. Was it absurdly hyped? Did it meet these lofty and at times unrealistic expectations? Why yes, it did. 

I could write a thesis on their match. 

The level of every term one can think of, such as athleticism, wrestling, facial expressiveness, ring presence, drama, and more would apply. From counters, reversals, to stalemates. Did I forget anything? Ospreay gained the advantage early, but Danielson would not let it stay this way for long. Later on, Ospreay brought out the big guns, with powerbombs, Liger Bombs, hard strikes, and even the dreaded Tiger Driver which appeared to injure Danielson. I’m pretty sure Danielson may have hurt himself with taking Ospreay off the top with a Hurricanrana, which by chance, Ospreay landed on his damn feet. It did appear Danielson got jolted legitimately, but it may appear this furthered a story where Ospreay is more the babyface than one Don Callis would like. 

Callus on commentary initially sang Will’s praises quite often, but as the match continued he seemed to be less and less enthused with his so-called “Golden Goose.” 

Honestly, I didn’t care about any story line. Their match was undeniably one of the best wrestling matches I have ever seen. 

The Young Bucks defeated FTR to win the vacant AEW Tag Team Championships

How do you follow up from a MOTY? With an insane ladder match with insane bumps and spots. This played right for the Bucks and their high risk antics, and even for Dax getting busted open hard and bleeding for most of it. However, I have to highlight Cash Wheeler who had probably the sickest bumps of the match. Inadvertently plowing himself through a table looked scary. 

The big story was not just the title win, but how. As it appeared FTR would win the championships one more time, a Sting-masked figure hopped into the ring, knocking Dax off the ladder. As security jumped in, the mask came off to reveal “The Scapegoat” Jack Perry.

Holy crap folks. 

Swerve Strickland defeated Samoa Joe to become the new AEW World Heavyweight Champion

Thank you, AEW! So glad they pulled the trigger on Swerve. The right man to be the next in line to hold the World Championship. Kudos to Samoa Joe for being an awesome titleholder. Joe is a guy who elevates a title. He’s a beast, a fighter, a wrestler, the complete persona of a champion. Joe also made the perfect opponent for Swerve to challenge.

Swerve naturally and organically rose to the top of AEW. Whether it be promos, wrestling, combination of both, he possesses all the right tools to be the major star he is today. The build for the title match was near-perfect. His wars with “Hangman” Adam Page appeared to be the perfect catapult for him to a championship. It’s still so intriguing how the guy who invaded a home is suddenly the most beloved wrestler. You can see it in every match, Swerve puts a lot of emotional investment in telling his story. 

This story came to an apex with overcoming Joe’s onslaught to become the new AEW World Heavyweight Champion.

Dynasty earns its own title for best PPV of the year thus far. Almost every match delivered something memorable. There was so much to become invested in, I can’t imagine any fan of wrestling dismissing what was one of the best lineups in recent history. 

AEW Dynasty 2024 is available on traditional PPV, Triller, Bleacher Report, PPV.com and more.

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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