AEW Dynasty 2024
April 21, 2024
Chaifetz Arena
St. Louis, Missouri

Watch: PPV / Bleacher Report / TrillerTV / YouTube / PPV.com

Meet our reviewers:

Sean Sedor: Sunday was a pretty wild day for Sean. He watched two races at the same time (NASCAR at Talladega and IndyCar at Long Beach, both of which were pretty wild in their own ways), and then went right into the Dynasty PPV. Sean had some fairly high expectations for this show. Did it meet them? Read on and find out! You can find Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994. If you’re interested in some of Sean’s other escapades, you can watch him play the Formula 1 games on YouTube (just search his name and you’ll find the channel), and you can also go to the Be The Booker forums if you’d like to check out Sean’s EWR Diary, where he plays as WCW (started in 1998, currently in September of 2002, with the massive Crockett Cup Tournament just over the horizon).

Suit Williams: Suit was live at Dynasty and is writing this review in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport on a layover. You can read Suit’s long-form previews and reviews of wrestling from around the world here at Voices of Wrestling. You can also find his weekly reviews of AEW Collision over at F4WOnline. Follow Suit on all social media platforms @SuitWilliams.

TRENT BERETTA DEF. MATT SYDAL

Sean: I always love these AEW pre-shows (the Zero Hour, the Buy-In, whatever you want to call it). Aside from that one weird one around a year ago that had only one match, they’re usually packed with action. Kicking things off this time around was a singles bout that saw the newly-heel Trent Beretta pick up a victory over St. Louis native Matt Sydal (who had his brother Mike Sydal with him at ringside). Even though the result was never really in question, this was a super fun match from start-to-finish. I didn’t even realize that Sydal is 41 years old. That dude is still a very solid talent, and is perfect for this kind of role. Beretta ended up using the gogoplata (the submission move that most fans around my age most associate with The Undertaker when he introduced it in the 2000’s) to get the win. This was a really good way to get things started on this card. ***1/2

Suit: This was a perfect pre-show opener. The crowd was heating up, Sydal was over in his hometown, and Beretta got some good heat. Beretta hit the running knee and won with a gogoplata. He told Chuck Taylor, who ran him off of a post-match beatdown, to pick a side between him and Orange Cassidy on Wednesday. ***

ORANGE CASSIDY & KATSUYORI SHIBATA DEF. SHANE TAYLOR PROMOTIONS (SHANE TAYLER & LEE MORIARTY)

Sean: We got a pseudo-Heyman Special here as the previous match bled into this one, as Orange Cassidy and Katsuyori Shibata confronted Trent Beretta (after he had beaten down both of the Sydal Brothers and had demanded that Chuck Taylor pick a side by Wednesday). Cassidy and Shibata have been having various run-ins with Shane Taylor Promotions over the last few weeks, and it led to this tag team encounter that saw the babyface side win after Cassidy put Moriarty away with the Orange Punch. This Zero Hour was two-for-two in terms of really good matches. This got a fair amount of time for a pre-show match (almost thirteen minutes), and was pretty entertaining throughout. We did get some interference from Anthony Ogogo at one point to tip the scales in the favor of STP, but he didn’t play a factor in the finish. Cassidy and Shibata score the victory as we continue the build to the eventual clash between Beretta and Cassidy. ***1/2

Suit: Cassidy and Trent stared each other down before Trent ran away from Shibata. It’s wild that I’ve seen Katsuyori Shibata wrestle live on multiple occasions. This was another quality match, with STP using the numbers to get ahead. Shibata and Cassidy had some funny tag spots, including them clubbering Taylor in the corner with…different levels of intensity. After a fun final exchange, Cassidy beat Moriarty with the Orange Punch. ***1/2

WINNER TAKES ALL – AEW WORLD TRIOS TITLES & ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM TITLES
BULLET CLUB GOLD (“SWITCHBLADE” JAY WHITE & THE GUNNS) DEF. THE ACCLAIMED & BILLY GUNN

Sean: So the story of the illustrious and prestigious ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles has (seemingly) come to an end, as Bullet Club Gold unify them with the AEW World Trios Titles after defeating The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn. In all seriousness, the unification of these sets of trios titles was long overdue. The current version of ROH doesn’t have the roster to sustain a healthy trios division (and you could argue that it never really did since the inception of these titles in 2016). It was also time for this Acclaimed and Billy Gunn title run to end. I had no problem with them winning the titles at Wembley, but their run went three or four months longer than it should have. The fact that we’ve been seeing so many fun trios matches outside of the titles just made The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn feel like even more of an albatross. It feels like the titles have at least a chance to be exciting again (and to be clear, I don’t hate The Acclaimed at all).

As for the match itself, it was….fine. Despite the issues I just discussed with their title reign that I mentioned above, The Acclaimed are still very much over, and the crowd was really into the closing stretch of this match as both teams got their fair share of nearfalls. Billy Gunn gets protected a little too much for my liking, but he ultimately took the pin here after eating a Bladerunner from Jay White. I love how they’ve carried over the story from New Japan that the Bladerunner is instant death. If White hits that move, you’re not kicking out. A solid match for what it was, but all told, this was probably my least favorite match on the show. **3/4

Suit: The Acclaimed are still over in these buildings, misgivings aside, and the crowd was well into this match. The match exceeded expectations as a result, leading to the best match of The Acclaimed’s run as champs. Thankfully, it was the last match of the Acclaimed’s run, as Jay White finally got Billy Gunn to take a fucking bump and beat him with the Blade Runner. Speaking of which, Billy Gunn Bump Counter: 3! ***

AEW CONTINENTAL TITLE
KAZUCHIKA OKADA (C) DEF. PAC

Sean: How absolutely wild is it that Kazuchika Okada vs. PAC….which is a dream match in it’s own right….is the opener on this PPV? It just speaks to how freaking loaded this roster is right now. When the dust settled, these two put on (arguably) one of the best PPV openers in AEW history (I can’t see the best, as I feel Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Kingston from Revolution 2022….my Match Of The Year for 2022….still holds that title). This took a few minutes to get going (not surprising if you’ve been following Okada long enough, as that’s how his big matches usually go), but once it did, these two were cooking with gas. PAC was phenomenal in this match, from some of the bumps he took to some of the moves he busted out (that springboard moonsault to the floor was a thing of beauty). Okada was masterful in this bout, not just in terms of his wrestling, but in terms of being a heel as well. That moment where he flipped off the crowd instead of doing the Rainmaker pose was a thing of beauty, and it immediately got the fans to turn on him. You also had various heelish moments from Okada leading to the finish, like raking the eyes to escape the brutalizer, and hanging on to the referee to buy just enough time to delay PAC hitting the Black Arrow. I love the tone Okada is setting here where, even though he can’t rely on The Young Bucks due to the rules surrounding this title, he’ll still find ways to take shortcuts in order to win. I loved this match. ****3/4

Suit: Kazuchika Okada is a fucking beast. This crowd was hot to start this show, and they were red hot for Okada. So Okada hits the big elbow drop, sets up for the Rainmaker pose, gets everybody excited, and then throws up the middle finger. Thirty seconds after the crowd was chanting his name, he got Fuck You Okada chants and boos for the rest of the match. An absolute master at work. These two didn’t do anything truly insane until the last spot of the match, and yet it was still a belter of a PPV opener. PAC stomped the shit out of Okada when he tried to hook the ref’s leg and set up the Black Arrow, but Okada got the knees up and hit the Rainmaker to retain. An absolute heater out of the curtain. ****1/2




THE HOUSE OF BLACK DEF. ADAM COPELAND, EDDIE KINGSTON, & MARK BRISCOE

Sean: The only real complaint I have about this match is that it was a tad longer than it needed to be. A minute or two could’ve been shaved off, but beyond that, I had a blast watching this match. Entertaining action from start to finish, with all six-men getting moments to shine throughout. Mark Briscoe using a chair set up on the apron to launch over the top turnbuckle onto Brody King was a highlight, as was a twist on the Tower Doom with Briscoe and Eddie Kingston eating powerbombs before Adam Copeland hit a huge superplex on Brody. After a trio of spears from the babyface side, it looked as though Malakai Black would be on the receiving end of a second spear from Copeland, but with the referee distracted, he spit the black mist in his face, and hit the spin kick to pick up the win over the TNT Champion. A super fun match on the whole with a result that should set up Copeland vs. Malakai for the TNT Title, possibly in Las Vegas at Double Or Nothing. My only hope is that Copeland getting sprayed with the black mist doesn’t lead to any stupid spooking stuff, or him going to “that place”. I probably just jinxed it, so….sorry in advance. ****

Suit: A solid trios match, if one that went a bit longer than needed. The triple spear counter to the Brody King powerbomb was awesome, and the staggered Tower of Doom was fun as always. Black got the win – obviously – after sliming Copeland and hitting the spin kick for the win. ***1/4

TBS TITLE
WILLOW NIGHTINGALE DEF. JULIA HART (C)

Sean: The chosen House Rules stipulation by Willow Nightingale here is that both her and Julia Hart’s seconds (Kris Statlander and Skye Blue respectively) would be barred from ringside. While this match clocked in at right around six minutes, it felt way shorter than that. The bout started with a brief brawl on the floor that saw Julia gain the early advantage. Once back in the ring, they had a short back and forth before going right to finish. Willow blocked a moonsault attempt from Julia, followed up with a lariat, hit the Doctor Bomb, and that was it. Willow (as pretty much everyone) predicted is the new TBS Champion, and confrontation with Mercedes Moné afterwards (with commentary seemingly pushing the interruption of Willow’s celebration as a heelish act) set up our first confirmed match for Double Or Nothing. As for this bout though, I have to imagine that Julia came into this match still feeling the effects of whatever injury she got a few weeks ago (I’m sure that’s why she barely did anything in the mixed tag on Dynamite last week). Injury or not, she was going to be losing the title to Willow here regardless, given what’s coming next. This is probably the worst match on the PPV portion of the card for me, but it was by no means horrible. It was actually kind of nice to have a shorter match mixed in with some of the longer ones. **3/4

Suit: This was only important for the result. Willow got the win and the title. Statlander and Stokely teased a turn but ultimately FRIENDSHIP won the day. Mercedes Mone came out – looking fine as fuck, if I do say so myself – to set up the TBS Title match for Double or Nothing. A nothing match. **

AEW INTERNATIONAL TITLE
RODERICK STRONG (C) DEF. KYLE O’REILLY

Sean: As you might’ve guessed, these two faced off against each other plenty of times in ROH during the Sinclair Era. While they were involved in many tags and multi-person matches, they only had three singles matches. Roderick Strong won all three of those singles matches (there was also a Three-Way Match in 2015 involving those two and AJ Styles, though I’m pretty sure Strong pinned O’Reilly as Styles was fresh off losing the IWGP Heavyweight Title to Okada), and that trend continued here as Strong managed to successfully retained his title over O’Reilly after hitting the End Of Heartache.

I know some were a little unsure how this one was going to turn out, considering that O’Reilly hasn’t had a truly great match since his return. Thankfully, he silenced those doubts here as he and Strong had an awesome match that, for the most part, told a pretty good story. Once Strong started going after O’Reilly’s back, he just started busting out backbreakers left and right. Watching this was just a reminder of how GREAT Roderick Strong still is (and made me even more annoyed that he spent months doing….whatever he was doing during Adam Cole/MJF/Devil storyline). I LOVE seeing him hit all of those backbreakers. O’Reilly managed to survive a lot of those backbreakers, and it became a more even affair down the stretch. There was a weird moment when Wardlow tried to get involved, but got caught by the referee. He then just stood at ringside as Strong….won clean. I guess the idea is that Adam Cole (who showed up here and is now walking again) is upset that Wardlow didn’t do more to help Roddy win? Regardless, this was a great contest that showed that O’Reilly, if not fully back to his old self, is pretty darn close. ****

Suit: The crowd was cold on this to start, but these two worked their asses off to get the crowd into their work by the end. Roddy beat the piss out of O’Reilly, spamming backbreaker like it was 2005 again. O’Reilly got beat on and beat on and beat on until he got his comeback in, and the crowd was into it. These two chopped and kicked each other raw and it was fun. Wardlow came out, but the ref caught him before he did anything. That allowed Roddy to win clean with the End of Heartache. After the match, Adam Cole was wheeled out before getting the pop of the match for simply standing up. He shot some eyes at Wardlow, so there’s something. Very good match, with O’Reilly looking good in the biggest match of his comeback to date. ***3/4

FTW TITLE
CHRIS JERICHO DEF. HOOK (C)

Sean: Part of me doesn’t really understand why the Jericho hate has turned all the way up to ten as of late (I feel we’ve needed a break from him for a few months now for sure, but the level it’s gotten to is a little over the top in my view), but I’m not shocked at all that he’s started to lean into it. In a way, it’s kind of ironic….it’s felt like Jericho’s been searching for his next “thing” through the first part of this year, and this hatred of him from the fanbase has given it to him on a silver platter. That hate really added to this match with Hook for the FTW Title. Even though this match had plenty of solid moments (the out-of-control T-Bone to Jericho off the apron through a table on the floor comes to mind), the actual work wasn’t lighting the world on fire. However, the crowd absolutely made up for it with their visceral hatred of Jericho. “Fozzy Sucks”, “Go Home Jericho, Go Home”, “Please Retire” were some of the notable chants we got in this one. After kicking out of two Judas Effects, Hook was finally put down with a bat shot to the face, and Jericho got the win to become the new FTW Champion. Will people get mad if I say that I’m interested to see what Jericho does with the FTW Title going forward? I’m definitely curious to see how this new Jericho character continues to develop. As for the match, I didn’t think it was that bad. The action wasn’t stellar, but the crowd definitely lifted it to the level of being good. ***1/4

Suit: This was awesome. Jericho is leaning into the heat he’s gotten, and that made for an awesome crowd experience as the crowd chanted for Jericho to Go Home and Retire. Is it X-Pac heat? I don’t know, but if it makes for atmospheres like this, I don’t care. This was a fine little hardcore match, with Hook doing decently in a pretty big spot. He’s not polished, but he’s working more lately and that can only help him as his career goes on. He kicked out of two Judas Effects back to back, but a baseball bat shot from Jericho put him down for good. The funny thing here was the crowd popping for Taz standing up, thinking he was about to interfere, followed by Jericho immediately winning the match. I enjoyed this, and if Jericho is going to get this much heat going forward, it helps everyone that he plays into it. ***1/2

AEW WOMEN’S WORLD TITLE
“TIMELESS” TONI STORM (C) DEF. THUNDER ROSA

Sean: I’m happy to say that this match surpassed my expectations. These two are good wrestlers, but coming into this show, there were a lot of reasons why this match could’ve turned out to be less-than-stellar (Toni’s current gimmick has generally dragged down her matches while Thunder Rosa hasn’t been super impressive since her return). In the end, however, these two women worked pretty hard, and their efforts resulted in one of the best women’s on an AEW PPV in many months (probably dating back to October with the Kris Statlander/Julia Hart TBS Title bout from WrestleDream). What we’ve been seeing from Toni Storm recently has been some of her best work since the Timeless gimmick started. I can tolerate the gimmick a little more if we keep getting matches like this one and the AZM match from Collision a few weeks ago, where she’s (for the most part) no-nonsense once the bell rings. As for Thunder Rosa, this was easily the best outing she’s had since her return at the end of last year. Much like Kyle O’Reilly earlier in the night, this felt pretty close to the old Thunder Rosa. After Mariah May and Luther were taken out by Deonna Purrazzo, Toni ultimately won the match after kicking Rosa low behind the referee’s back before hitting the Storm Zero. A really solid effort from these two. ***1/2

Suit: This match was much better than Storm’s usual efforts on PPV. She seems to have turned a corner lately, taking things far more seriously and leaving most of the schtick outside of the bells. Rosa also brought it here, putting in her best shift since returning from injury, making for a quality Women’s Title match here. Storm booted Rosa low before hitting the Storm Zero to retain. ***

WILL OSPREAY DEF. BRYAN DANIELSON

Sean: I’m struggling to come up with words for this match, so for the sake of time, I guess I’ll go with a “short and sweet” approach. Bryan Danielson and Will Ospreay, two of the greatest professional wrestlers to ever live on this planet, walked into St. Louis and put on one of the greatest professional wrestling matches that any of us will ever see. I will never forget the crowd exploding as the bell rang to start the match. I will never forget the INSANE Tiger Suplex that Danielson gave to Ospreay off the top rope that reminded me of the incredible quote that Steve Corino delivered on commentary after Kenny Omega hit Okada with the Top Rope Dragon Suplex at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in 2017. I will never forget the amazing sequence that ended with Danielson countering an OsCutter IN MID AIR with the flying knee. I will never forget hearing a loud “We’re Not Worthy” chant from the crowd. I will never forget these two charging at each other in a duel to see who would hit their big move first. Ospreay won that exchange, which led to the Tiger Driver 91 (does he still call it the Storm Driver 93?) and a brutal Hidden Blade that secured him the win. Perhaps the greatest match to ever take place on American soil. If you somehow haven’t seen this one already, you need to drop what you’re doing, order the replay, and watch it. I would say this one is going to be next to impossible to top this for Match Of The Year (and it pretty much is impossible to top), but this is Bryan Danielson and Will Ospreay we’re talking about. Nothing would shock me with those two. This gets ALL THE SNOWFLAKES. *****

Suit: I went to the Revolution PPV in March. I spent a few months saving some spending money and planning everything out, the way I usually do these wrestling trips. I had fun, paid tribute to Virgil by eating at Olive Garden, watched Sting retire in a deathmatch, the whole nine. I flew home on Monday, content with that being my last trip until the Fall. The second these two men went face-to-face, I booked a flight to St. Louis and got tickets to the show. Matches like this make you rip up your plans. Matches like this make you do whatever you need to do to get your ass to the building and see it with your own two eyes. Matches like this are why we stick around and participate in this silly hobby. Matches like this are why we watch.

The staredown. The bell pop. The counters. The escalation of the counters. The Busaiku Knee that cut off the OsCutter. That final staredown as they both loaded up their finishes (a little too anime for me, but didn’t ruin anything). The fucking Tiger Driver. This match lived up to the hype and then some. Just two of the best wrestlers alive doing their thing and making my rash decision worth it. Ospreay murdered Danielson dead with the Hidden Blade. I could’ve done without Ospreay feeling bad about laying Danielson out, especially after the killer “it’s kill or be killed, and I don’t plan on dying” line from his promo a few weeks ago. But otherwise, this was everything it was advertised to be. AEW never die. *****




LADDER MATCH FOR VACANT AEW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES
THE YOUNG BUCKS DEF. FTR

Sean: These two teams had the unfortunate task of having to follow one of the greatest wrestling matches of all-time. It took them several minutes to get the crowd into it, but thanks to some of the absolutely insane stuff they were able to pull off, the crowd did come back to life. This Ladder Match was total carnage from start to finish, with all four guys putting their bodies on the line with insane spot after insane spot. I know a lot of people have Ladder Match fatigue, but The Young Bucks and Ladder Matches are just a magical combination. They never fail to deliver under any circumstances. As for FTR, they put forth an incredible effort here as well. Dax was bleeding all over the place, while Cash was flying all over the place. Their Power And Glory double team off of two ladders was easily a highlight of the match for me. Towards the end, Cash tried to connect with a dive to the floor, but he went crashing through a table at a high rate of speed. Then, just as it appeared that Dax was going to grab the belts, a guy in a Sting mask ran out and pushed the Ladder Match. As security got involved, the man was revealed to be the returning Jack Perry (the crowd reacted huge to that reveal), who had the greatest smirk on his face right before he was dragged away. That gave The Young Bucks the opening to climb the ladder and become the first-ever three-time AEW World Tag Team Champions. Despite having to follow Danielson vs. Ospreay, these four teams delivered a brutal and very entertaining Ladder Match that was one of the top matches on the show. ****1/2

Suit: So these poor schmucks had to follow one of the best matches in company history. They decided to beat the living shit out of each other to compensate, and in the end, it worked out well as the crowd got into this one too. The Wembley match was an aberration as these teams worked very well with a defined dynamic between them. This was a car crash, with chairs and tables and blood in the mix. FTR were on the verge of winning the titles when the Scapegoat Jack Perry jumped the rail, pretending to be a fan. In the building, this run-in felt red hot. Perry was milling around the crowd with a box of popcorn before jumping the rail, and the crowd popped huge when Perry was unmasked by security. Given that it popped a big rating for Dynamite and that it’s made Perry a hot commodity, there may be some apologies in order for Tony Khan for the airing of the Brawl Innit footage, as it looks like it did everything it was meant to do. Bucks become three-time AEW World Tag Team Champions in an excellent effort to follow Ospreay/Danielson. ****1/4

AEW WORLD TITLE
SWERVE STRICKLAND (WITH PRINCE NANA) DEF. SAMOA JOE (C)

Sean: After coming up short in the three-way match (which also involved Hangman Adam Page) at Revolution, Swerve Strickland is finally getting his one-on-one shot at Samoa Joe for the AEW World Title. We’re just over two years removed from Swerve’s debut in AEW at Revolution 2022, and it’s been pretty cool to see him steadily make his way up the card. From the run with the AEW World Tag Team Titles alongside Keith Lee, to the feud with The Acclaimed, to the formation of the Mogul Affiliates (that one didn’t work out), to the formation of the Mogul Embassy, to the feud last year with Adam Page, and then his run in the Continental Classic. It’s been a slow but steady rise up the card for Swerve. It had plenty of bumps in the road for sure. In the end, it led him to a PPV main event, and ultimately, the AEW World Championship.

The match itself was pretty good, though it was far from the best bout on what was an incredibly stacked card. Samoa Joe once again delivered a strong performance as the dominant heel champion. He took the fight to Swerve early on, slamming him on the announcer’s desk and later on the exposed concrete floor. Joe was in firm control, and even managed to hit the Muscle Buster at one point. However, Swerve managed to kick out, and was able to survive everything that Joe threw at him. The finish they went for was very ambitious, as Swerve tried for a Super Swerve Stomp. Unfortunately, he overshot the target a little bit, but managed to recover, and hit Joe with a powerbomb before hitting a Swerve Stomp to secure the win. A big celebration followed, and as a quick aside, it has to be said that it’s been so cool to see Prince Nana reach this level as well (especially for us longtime ROH fans who’ve known about him for years). Even though the match wasn’t as great as some of the other stuff we got on this card, it was still a very solid match that gave us a long-awaited World Title change. Will Swerve be able to deliver as AEW World Champion? Only time will tell. ***1/2

Suit: I tweeted just before this match started that this was the time to belt up Swerve. You could chase a bigger moment, but there’s a real chance that the bigger moment never comes. This was the time to pay off Swerve’s talk and to make him a bonafide top guy. He did it here, and when that three count hit, he felt like a made man. The match wasn’t anything special, as Joe’s physical prime is in the rear view. Joe’s reign was a good one, working as both a gold watch run and a run that was wholly earned. He steadied the ship after the Brochacho nonsense, and got everything ready for Swerve to take the wheel on top. Swerve worked on Joe’s arm in the early going, with that arm work paying off when Swerve escaped the Coquina Clutch. Swerve avoided a belt shot before winning the match cleanly with a powerbomb out of the corner and a Swerve Stomp. ***1/2

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