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AEW Dynasty Review

AEW Dynasty Poster - Credit: All Elite Wrestling
AEW Dynasty Poster – Credit: All Elite Wrestling

In what may be All Elite Wrestling’s best pay-per-view yet, AEW Dynasty hit our screens on April 24th live from the sold-out Chaifetz Arena in Saint Louis, Missouri and it brings some serious heat.




Right off the bat, the show starts with “The Bastard” PAC vs. AEW Continental Champion Kazuchika Okada. The match consisted of great wrestling from both competitors, with high flying maneuvers by PAC, known to many as ‘The Man that Gravity Forgot’ and powerful strikes by Okada, who is often hailed as the greatest wrestler of all time. The match ends with Okada hitting the Rainmaker to win the match and retain his championship. 

Next, we have a 6-man tag team match with TNT Champion Adam Copeland (formerly known as Edge), NJPW Strong Openweight Champion Eddie Kingston, and ROH World Champion Mark Briscoe vs. the House of Black. If you like a lot of multi-man mayhem, this match is for you. The House of Black works as a very connected powerhouse throughout, but Copeland’s team brings nothing but chaos. At the end of the match when Copeland seems to have the upper hand with a spear, House Leader Malakai Black spits black mist in Copeland’s face and hits him with The End to win the match for the House.

In a bit of a shorter cooldown match, we have Willow Nightingale vs. TBS Champion and House of Black member Julia Hart. The crowd is really behind Willow in this match, and she shows off her underdog passion here. Both women show good offense, but Willow is able to use her positive energy to pull through and win the TBS Championship. After Willow celebrates, Mercedes Moné (formerly known as Sasha Banks) shows up to challenge Willow at AEW’s next pay-per-view, Double or Nothing.

Now a match that I was super excited for, Kyle O’Reilly vs Intercontinental Champion Roderick Strong. Both men have a long history, and they show it with their incredible chemistry in the ring. This match showcases a lot of technicality and brutal spots, mostly from Roddy. While the fans are in O’Reilly’s corner, he isn’t able to win the match after Roddy hits him with the End of Heartache to retain his championship. 

In what has unanimously been dubbed the worst match of the show, we have the FTW Champion HOOK defending against Chris Jericho. This match showcases many of the problems that fans have had with Chris Jericho as of recently. In this match, he moves at a snail’s pace without gaining any heat or doing anything impactful. All of this seems to kill a lot of momentum for the fan-favorite HOOK, son of ECW legend Taz. After Jericho strikes HOOK over the head with a bat, he pins the Handsome Devil to win the FTW Championship. This match isn’t anything to write home about, and the card probably would have been better off without it.

Up next we have another women’s match with Thunder Rosa vs. AEW Women’s Champion “Timeless” Toni Storm. Storm has been on a hot streak in the last several months as she’s gained popularity with her new gimmick of a 1930s Hollywood starlet, which fits her perfectly. Thunder Rosa is an insanely strong woman, and every blow she lands has a big impact, but Toni skillfully evades and reverses many attacks that come her way. However, Thunder Rosa’s offense is no match for Toni’s trickery, as Storm hits Rosa with a low blow followed by a piledriver to retain her championship.

In what is being called the greatest match in United States history, we have “The Aerial Assassin” Will Ospreay vs. “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson. This match has just about everything a diehard wrestling fan can ask for. Strong-style strikes and intricate holds by Danielson, and breathtaking flying spots by Ospreay. The match ends beautifully with Danielson in one corner, and Ospreay in the other, staring each other down while the crowd is absolutely electric. Both run at each other, but Ospreay strikes first with the Hidden Blade to win the match. I don’t use this term often, but this match is truly peak cinema.

In a match that has the unfortunate job of following up the banger that was the previous match, we have FTR vs. The Young Bucks in a ladder match for the AEW Tag Team Championship. Both teams here are undoubtedly among the greatest of all time, and this match only cements that claim. The Young Bucks’ high-flying style clashing with FTR’s more classic hand-to-hand style really makes for a brutal fight, and both teams use ladders to their advantage. As the teams try to climb to get the belts hanging above the ring, ladder contraptions are built, tables are broken, and blood is spilled. Near the end of the match, “The Scapegoat” Jack Perry, who has spent some time away in New Japan Pro Wrestling interferes in the match to help the Young Bucks pick up the win for the tag championship.

In the main event, the AEW World Heavyweight Champion Samoa Joe defends his title against Swerve Strickland. Swerve has been at the height of his career recently, with a lot of love from the fans. And with Joe being such a powerful monster, people looked to Swerve to be the one to dethrone the Samoan Submission Machine. The match features a lot of holds and powerhouse blows from Joe, and quick reverses and agility from Swerve. After several near falls, Swerve hits one final Swerve Stomp to win the match and end Samoa Joe’s 113-day reign as AEW Champion. Swerve’s celebration is an emotional moment, as confetti falls and he tears up, holding the belt high as AEW’s first-ever black world champion.

AEW Dynasty is an incredible show full of matches that every kind of wrestling fan can sink their teeth into. The matches on this card offer so much to newcomers, fans, and anybody into combat sports. In the end, this pay-per-view just reminds me about how much pro wrestling rocks.

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