Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Swerve Strickland vs. Hangman Page for a shot at the AEW Title at Revolution, Ricky Starks and Big Bill vs. Darby Allin and Sting for the AEW Tag Titles


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Dynamite Hits

Swerve Strickland vs. Hangman Page for a shot at the AEW World Championship at Revolution: AEW gave away one of their top matches on the weekly television show. Normally, I might question the logic of not saving the match for pay-per-view, but it was a perfectly logical approach in this case to set up the three-way match at the pay-per-view. Furthermore, they really needed a marquee match on Dynamite. Too many shows have been filled with needlessly competitive matches where the outcome feels like a forgone conclusion regardless of how many near falls the wrestlers work in. This was a great match and while I guessed in advance that it would set up a three-way, it was suspenseful from start to finish. I didn’t really understand Page’s logic when he passed on adding five more minutes. He claimed that Swerve had to win the match to become No. 1 contender even though Swerve went in ranked first in AEW’s rankings. Nevertheless, Page clearly leaned into being a heel and this seemed like it was intended to be a double turn. The key for Swerve is maintaining his edge as a babyface as opposed to abandoning the character traits that made the fans like him in the first place. Bonus points to Samoa Joe’s fiery backstage promo that followed the match.

Ricky Starks and Big Bill vs. Sting and Darby Allin in a tornado match for the AEW Tag Team Titles: A satisfying main event with Sting and Allin capping off their undefeated run by winning the tag team titles. Sting’s big dive popped the crowd without being over the top dangerous, and everyone involved worked hard. The post match angle with Matthew Jackson and Nicholas Jackson showing up dressed in white suits and attacking the new champions and Sting’s son was really good. The image of the Jacksons’ white suits covered in the blood of their popular opponents was excellent.

AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm vs. Red Velvet in an eliminator match: An enjoyable match with Velvet getting a good amount of offense in and Storm continuing to find ways to remain true to her character while still producing good work in the ring. It seemed like a bit of a struggle initially for her to do both, but she’s found a groove in her recent matches. That said, I still think it’s going to be tough for most babyfaces to get over while working with Storm because her wild character is more over than most of the actual babyfaces.

Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, and Claudio Castagnoli vs. Volador Jr., Mascara Dorada, and Hechicero: I came away with mixed feelings about this match, but it also gets a Hit for match quality. The mix of styles was fun and the wrestlers provided good action from bell to bell. The flaws were introducing more masked luchadores at ringside before we really got to know the three masked luchadores they just introduced last week. I was also left confused by Taz essentially labeling the CMLL wrestlers as heel invaders only for Castagnoli to use a low blow to steal the win.

Overall show: The bookend segments were really good and made this was the best edition of Dynamite of the new year. Granted, the January episodes were disappointing, but this was a bounce back moment and hopefully they have a plan to build momentum coming out of this show.

AEW Dynamite Misses

Sammy Guevara hits Powerhouse Hobbs with an unprotected chair shot to the head: There is no place for unprotected chair shots to the head given everything we have learned about head trauma. Tony Khan knows the history of it in pro wrestling as well as in the game football given his status of being part of an NFL ownership family. I can only hope that this was a mishap and not something that Khan signed off on ahead of time.

Konosuke Takeshita vs. Chris Jericho: Another incompetent referee moment. Don Callis slid a chair inside the ring while Jericho had Takeshita locked in the Walls of Jericho. It’s so idiotic that the referee would pick up the chair and turn his back what’s happening while clearing it from the ring. Callis hitting Jericho with a screwdriver was a groaner and fortunately that wasn’t the finish. But this all felt like they were going really overboard to protect the aging veteran who just isn’t as over as he once was. Takeshita should be one of the faces of the company and should not need help to beat Jericho in 2024.

Tony Khan’s announcement: I get it. They are taking the CM Punk debut approach with Mercedes Mone (and could even go with a double whammy if they sign Kazuchika Okada). The Khan announcement teases typically lead to increased viewership. That means people who don’t watch AEW weekly are checking in to see what all the fuss is about. Announcing a show date is an unsatisfying letdown to those fans regardless of what the long term payoff is.


Readers Comments (5)

  1. THEGREATESTTHREE February 8, 2024 @ 12:51 pm

    How about a triple whammy with Kamille?

  2. One comment about the (very good) opening match – are Prince Nana’s dance moves supposed to have “Undertaker’s Urn”-like powers now? He seemed to believe so when trying to revive Swerve on the outside at one point.

  3. I hate when people say, “AEW/WWE (although RARELY said about WWE, of course) gave away a big match on free TV.” How much do we suck that we knock something like that?

  4. None of these big signings or reveals is working Edge was the biggest FA signing of all time and a few months later he is mid.

    Its all hot-shotting. Great weekly stories and good PPV matches is what AEW needs to focus on, and they ALREADY have the wrestlers to do that

    • Lets be honest, the real 4 pillars of AEW are Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj.

      Until the coked up trust fund asshole turns things over to a wrestling person the company will continue to appeal to the dirtsheet writers and almost nobody else.

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