AEW Dynamite results (2/21): Powell’s live review of FTR vs. Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli, Hook, Hangman Page, and Rob Van Dam vs. Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland, and Brian Cage


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Dynamite (Episode 229)
Tulsa, Oklahoma at BOK Center
Aired live February 21, 2024 on TBS

[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage. Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Schiavone checked in on commentary, and Justin Roberts was the ring announcer…

Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli made their entrance through the crowd. The FTR duo of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler made their entrance via the stage…

1. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli. Harwood had a lot of athletic tape on his right shoulder. Moxley performed a suicide dive that was meant for Wheeler, but Harwood shoved his partner out of the way and took the bullet instead. Wheeler shoved Moxley into the ring steps.

Back inside the ring, FTR isolated Moxley. There were some boos from the crowd when FTR double teamed Moxley. Taz scolded the crowd for booing FTR. Wheeler hit a low dropkick on a kneeling Moxley and then taunted Castagnoli by mimicking the way he pumps his arms. Moxley came back with a big clothesline and tagged out.

Castagnoli worked over Harwood with European uppercuts and elbow strikes. Castagnoli set up for the giant swing. Wheeler ran in, causing Castagnoli to give up the move. Castagnoli ended up picking up both FTR members and dumping them on their backs. Castagnoli clotheslined Harwood and covered him for a near fall. Moxley and Harwod performed a spike piledriver on Harwood on the floor heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]

Wheeler put Moxley down with a brainbuster for a two count. Roberts announced that 15 minutes had elapsed and there was five minutes remaining in the time limit. Wheeler held up Moxley and then Harwood jumped off the ropes and clotheslined him, which led to a near fall.

FTR set up for their suplex and splash combo, but Castagnoli broke it up. Harwood sent Castagnoli into the corner, which crotched Moxley, and then he superplexed Moxley. Wheeler performed a top rope splash, but Moxley put his knees up. Castagnoli executed a giant swing on Harwood, who was then kicked by Moxley, who covered him for another near fall.

Moxley put Harwood in a choke hold. Wheeler entered the ring to stop it, but Castagnoli put him in a choke hold. Wheeler powered up Castagnoli and sent him crashing into Moxley to break his hold. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Harwood put Moxley in a Sharpshooter. Castagnoli kicked Harwood twice, but Harwood maintained the hold.

Wheeler suplexed Castagnoli, who then put Wheeler in a Sharpshooter while facing Harwood. Castagnoli and Harwood exchanged slaps and released their holds. Harwood put Castagnoli down with a piledriver. Moxley rolled Harwood into a pin for a near fall. Moxley flipped off Harwood and ran the ropes. He would have run into the Shatter Machine, but the bell rang to end the match in a draw.

“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler fought Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli to a 20:00 draw (really closer to 20:10).

The crowd chanted for five more minutes. The teams started brawling, but then wrestlers, producers, and security guards ran out to separate them. The teams got loose at ringside and fought again until they were pulled apart…

Powell’s POV: Excellent action from start to finish. I don’t mind a good draw, but hopefully AEW won’t go overboard with them.

AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy was interviewed by Renee Paquette while an AEW doctor stood by. Paquette ran through Cassidy’s hectic schedule and asked him about defending his title at AEW Revolution. The doctor said that Cassidy meets minimal medical clearance. Cassidy said that he was cleared and therefore he would wrestle. The doctor was concerned, but he told Paquette that Cassidy met the clearance mark, so he didn’t know what to do…

Excalibur said FTR would speak after the break… [C] The broadcast team recapped footage of Cassidy’s recent matches, including his win at a Rev Pro event on Sunday in England. They said Trent Beretta was not medically cleared, so Cassidy was going to take his place in a match against Mike Bennett…

Alex Marvez interviewed Harwood and Wheeler while noting that it looked like they were on the verge of winning. Harwood called for a match against Moxley and Castagnoli at Revolution. Moxley and Castagnoli showed up and then referees and security got between the two teams…

Cassidy made his entrance. Mike Bennett’s entrance followed and he was accompanied by Matt Taven. Cassidy went tor ringside and ducked a belt shot attempt from Bennett and then took out Taven with an Orange Punch. Cassidy worked over Bennett and then threw him inside the ring to start the match…

2. AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy vs. Mike Bennett (w/Matt Taven) in a non-title match. Cassidy had Bennett down in the corner and threw light kicks at him. Bennett stood up and punched Cassidy in the face. Cassidy came back with Stundog Millionaire and followed up with a DDT.

Roderick Strong ran out and the referee stopped him from entering the ring. Two other referees came out to escort Strong to the back. Bennett took advantage of the distraction and hit Cassidy with a low blow. Bennett followed up with a piledriver and covered Cassidy for a two count heading into a PIP break. [C]

Bennett took offensive control and opted to put on a pair of headsets at the broadcast table and ramble for a moment. Cassidy hit Bennett with a pair of suicide dives. Bennett came back with a spinebuster against the apron and then performed a Death Valley Driver on the floor.

Back inside the ring, Cassidy blasted Castagnoli with an Orange Punch. Cassidy set up for a Beach Breaker and then Bennett tried to counter into a piledriver. Eventually, Bennett, who had Jay Briscoe’s name on his elbow brace, won the battle by performing a Gotch style piledriver for a near fall. Bennett set up for another piledriver, but Cassidy countered into Beach Break and scored the pin.

AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy defeated Mike Bennett in 9:45 in a non-title match.

After the match, Matt Taven and Roderick Strong hit the ring. Jake Hager ran out and put Taven down with a suplex and then hit Bennett with a big boot. Excalibur said Tony Khan just informed him that Hager would face Roderick Strong on Friday’s AEW Rampage…

Powell’s POV: Another good match. I guess Hager is a babyface because they are in his home state.

Paquette spoke with Angelo Parker about his upcoming date with Ruby Soho. He said he was excited and nervous. He stopped talking when Soho arrived. Paquette wished them luck. Soho told Paquette that she would tell her all about it on Saturday. A white SUV arrived. Soho wondered if it was for them. Parker said they had a Lyft waiting. Ric Flair exited the back of the SUV… [C]

Paquette caught up with Flair in the backstage area. A subdued Flair said he’s disappointed that he hasn’t been a bigger part of things. He said he’s not upset with Sting, he just wanted to be more involved. Flair said he was going to explore some options. Flair walked away and then knocked on a locker room door that was opened by “The Young Bucks” Matthew Jackson and Nicholas Jackson. The Bucks invited Flair to join them in the room so they could talk…

Tony Schiavone stood in the ring and introduced Daniel Garcia for an interview. Schiavone said Garcia would challenge Christian Cage for the TNT Title at AEW Revolution. A “you deserve it” chant broke out. Garcia said he feels like he does not deserve it a lot of times, so he appreciated what they chanted.

Garcia said people told him he was going to be great. He said he started to lose confidence a couple of months ago. Garcia said he knew that three seconds was all he needed. He said the three seconds at the end of the Continental Classic changed his life. Garcia said that whenever he got down, the fans picked him up. He said when he danced, they danced with him. He thanked the fans for restoring “that feeling.”

Garcia said no one knows how his match with Adam Copeland would have ended had it gone longer, but he was confident that he would have tapped him out. Garcia turned his focus to Christian Cage, but he was quickly interrupted by entrance music.

TNT Champion Christian Cage made his entrance along with Shayna Wayne, Nick Wayne, and Killswitch. Cage spoke from the stage and said Copeland will never get another shot at his TNT Title. Cage said Garcia had been on a hell of a run, but he didn’t think they should have a match at Revolution. Cage said it’s not that Garcia isn’t worthy, it’s that he’s not ready. Cage said Garcia wants to please the fans, whereas he wants to leave the arena every night as the most dominant TNT Champion of all-time.

[Hour Two] Cage said Garcia had a dark childhood and then brought up his mother Jackie and listed where she lives. Cage noted that she was married to David Garcia. “I understand that David Garcia is your father and your father is dead,” Cage said.

Cage said it would be a fairytale ending for Garcia to win the title in memory of his father, but Cage said Garcia’s father was a piece of crap who lost his life to the bottle. Cage said he didn’t want to hurt Garcia, he wants to help him. Cage said he doesn’t want to be Garcia’s opponent at Revolution, he wants to be his father.

Garcia said Cage wouldn’t like what happens if he opens his mouth about his mother ever again. Garcia told Cage that since he knows so much about his late father, he should come to the ring so that he could put him in the ground right next to him.

Cage nodded and then Nick headed to the ring. Garcia took Nick down and put him in the Dragon Tamer. Cage sent Killswitch to the ring. Matt Menard ran out and hit Killswitch with chair shots to the back and then joined Garcia inside the ring…

Paquette spoke with Hangman Page, Hook, and Rob Van Dam on the backstage set. Page said the six-man tag match represents opportunity for all of them. Page said that they wouldn’t be there if RVD had beaten Swerve Strickland in a hardcore match. RVD rambled about not being happy and whether Prince Nana was even there. Page was censored while telling him it was serious shit…

Toni Storm made her entrance with Luther and Maria May. Her opponent was already in the ring…

3. AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm (w/Luther, Mariah May) vs. Sydni Winnell in a non-title match. Winnell was introduced as being from Oklahoma. She played to the crowd and then Storm jumped her once the bell rang. Storm connected with a hip attack and then hit the Storm Zero piledriver. Storm teased using an ankle lock, then opted to use Deonna Purrazzo’s Venus De Milo finisher instead…

AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm defeated Sydni Winnell in 1:50 in a non-title match.

After the match, Deonna Purrazzo made her entrance. The production team did the split screen using color for Purrazzo’s side and black and white for Storm’s side when they crossed paths on the entrance ramp. Madison Rayne made her entrance after Storm and her crew returned to the back…

4. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Madison Rayne. Rayne was at ringside when Purrazzo hit her with a sliding kick from the ring heading into a PIP break. [C] During the match, Excalibur listed the following matches and segments for Rampage: Mariah May vs. Anna Jay, The Young Bucks in action, Sammy Guevara speaks, Roderick Strong vs. Jake Hager, and Private Party and Matt Sydal vs. Penta El Zero Miedo, Komander, and Bryan Keith vs. Dante Martin, Darius Martin, and Action Andretti in a three-way trios match.

Rayne set up for a Playmaker. Purrazzo countered into another move that resulted in Rayne being slammed to the mat on the crown of her head. The physician stood up by the apron. Rayne started to move and the broadcast team said she appeared to be okay. Purrazzo teased using the Venus De Milo, then opted to apply the ankle lock and got the submission win…

Deonna Purrazzo beat Madison Rayne in 7:20.

After the match, Rayne was rolled out of the ring. Toni Storm ran out with a shoe in hand and was followed by Mariah May and Luther. Storm tried to hit Purrazzo with the shoe, but Purrazzo ducked it and hit her with a pump kick. Purrazzo went after May, who dropped off the apron. Storm caught Purrazzo in the ankle lock. Once she released the hold, Storm and Purrazzo sat on opposite sides of the ring and they used the split screen effect with black and white on one side of the ring and color on the other. Storm smeared lipstick all over her own face.

The sponsored “move of the night” was actually Purrazzo spiking Rayne’s head on the mat…

Powell’s POV: Really?!? Who thought it was a good idea to go with that frightening spot for the sponsored clip? Good lord. Anyway, it was a clunky match even before the scary spot. Hopefully Rayne is okay. If nothing else, the company has done a good job of consistently featuring the champion and the challenger while pushing the AEW Women’s Championship match for Revolution.

Footage aired of the Young Bucks attacking Sting, Darby Allin, and Sting’s sons…

A pre-taped promo aired with Darby Allin and Sting. Allin said they had been looking at old photos. He showed off one of Sting and his sons from many years ago. Allin said Sting’s sons were about the same age as the Bucks’ sons are now.

Sting entered the picture and said no one had messed with his family before. Sting said his father passed away recently. Sting said his father was a hero to him. Sting said his father taught him right. He said it made him think about his own mortality. He said sometimes he still feels invincible, but time catches up to everyone. Sting said he knows he’s not invincible. Sting said he’s bringing everything he has left in him to Revolution. Sting told the Bucks that they have the fight of the life on their hands… [C]

Powell’s POV: Condolences to Sting and his family.

Tony Schiavone stood in the ring and introduced Wardlow. Once Wardlow entered the ring, he told Schiavone to leave before he knocked him on his old ass again. Wardlow said two years ago, people chanted his name in city after city in a manner that had not been heard in decades.

Wardlow said he was the next big thing, but apparently the rocket that was strapped to his back was put on upside down because he’s been driven into the ground and screwed over and over again. Wardlow said you’d think that the day one original mega star would have been champion years ago.

Wardlow said he’s never even been given a shot at the AEW Championship. He said people backstage should be fired and thrown in jail. Wardlow said he beat the person who goes by “the best in the world” and he’s still suffering because of it. He brought up MJF and said he squashed him like an insect.

Wardlow turned his attention to AEW World Champion Samoa Joe. Wardlow said he took his ass out and beat him too. Wardlow said big shiny titles and custom suits look a hell of a lot better on him. Wardlow asked what all of this makes him. Wardlow said he’s the best in the world, he’s better than you and you know it, and the most dangerous man in the room.

Wardlow said he’s the uncrowned king of AEW. He said he is starving and he’s done being fed scraps. He said he’s everything a world champion is supposed to be. He said there is no one backstage who is bigger, stronger, or faster than he is. Wardlow said that anyone who wants to get in his way should know that it’s no longer wrestling. “This is war,” Wardlow declared before slamming the mic down and heading to the back…

Powell’s POV: Wardlow showed good fire and made a good case for himself. Perhaps he made too good of an argument for a heel, as it does make the company look bad for not giving him a world title match despite the fact that he’s had so many high profile wins.

Footage aired from after The Bang Bang Scissor Gang won their 12-man tag match. Jay White, Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, Billy Gunn, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn spoke to one another. White suggested he team with Colten and Billy in a match on Collision…

Excalibur hyped the show’s main event… [C] A Will Ospreay video aired and touted him as wrestling at AEW All In and appearing on next week’s Dynamite… Excalibur announced that Tony Khan had just informed him that Wardlow will compete in Meat Madness at AEW Revolution…

Powell’s POV: Doh! I missed the Ospreay video and the announcement of whatever the hell Meat Madness is during my live review, but I added both after the fact.

Backstage, Paquette spoke with Don Callis, Konosuke Takeshita, and Powerhouse Hobbs. Callis spoke about Takeshita facing Will Ospreay and said they would both be part of the Callis Family. Callis said even Tony Khan was there to watch Ospreay over the weekend. He said everyone thought Ospreay would fly back to the United States with Khan, but the Callis Family will pick him up in the UK and bring him back for the match. Callis spoke about Hobbs briefly, then called Sammy Guevara a little cuck. Callis said they had a score to settle and he would be keeping an eye on Guevara…

Entrances for the main event took place…

5. Hook, Hangman Page, and Rob Van Dam vs. AEW World Champion Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland, and Brian Cage (w/Prince Nana). Taz told fans to “Google It” when the FTW Title was mentioned as an outlaw title in AEW. They cut to a PIP break a little over four minutes into the match. [C]

RVD put Cage down while everyone else was at ringside. RVD hit the Five Star Frog Splash and had the pin, but Joe rushed back to break it up. Swerve knocked Page off the apron with a big boot and then put the boots to RVD. Swerve was dominating RVD heading into a PIP break. [C]

Page took a hot tag and performed a Poison Rana on Cage. Page took out Swerve at ringside. Page returned to the ring and went for a top rope crossbody block, but Cage caught him. Page slipped away and performed a DVD for a near fall. Joe ran in and was taken out by a Hook clothesline. Swerve performed a brainbuster on Hook. RVD took out Sweve with a kick from the ropes. Cage performed a powerbomb on RVD.

[Overrun] Page set up for a Buckshot Lariat, but he opted to go to the ropes where Cage cut him off. Hook climbed up behind Cage and they executed a tower of doom spot with Hook suplexing Cage, who superplexed Page. Hook caught Cage in Redrum, but Cage was able to get to his corner and tag Joe.

Swerve ran in and went after Hook, who also put him in Redrum. Swerve escaped and then Cage powerbombed Hook. Swerve hit Hook with a House Call. Page hit the Buckshot Lariat on Cage. Joe, Swerve, and Page all met in the middle of the ring. Page and Swerve traded punches. Swerve executed a backbreaker and then Joe cleared Page from the ring with a kick. Joe followed up with a suicide dive on Page.

Swerve threw for a kick from the apron that was intended for Page, who ducked, causing Joe to take the kick. Page powerbombed Swerve through the broadcast table. Page went for a Buckshot Lariat, but Joe ducked it and then powerslammed Page for a two count. RVD took out Cage with a dive and then Page slipped away from Joe’s Muscle Buster attempt.

RVD tagged in and attacked by Joe. Hook suplexed Joe. RVD went up top for a Five Star Frog Splash, but Cage pushed him into the ropes and then took out Hook with a clothesline. Joe put the Coquina Clutch on RVD and got the submission win…

AEW World Champion Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland, and Brian Cage defeated Hook, Hangman Page, and Rob Van Dam in 21:40.

Joe celebrated the win while Swerve held his shoulder at ringside. Excalibur hyped Rampage returning to its usual time slot on Friday night…

Powell’s POV: I didn’t really understand this match when it was first advertised. I guess they are acting like Page is still a babyface who is in the process of turning heel, while Swerve is still a heel who is in the process of turning babyface. I’m not sure why they don’t just officially pull the trigger on both of those moves. Anyway, the match was action packed and the live crowd enjoyed it. The match didn’t really get me more excited about the AEW World Championship match at Revolution, but I was already looking forward to it, so no harm done.

Overall, this show marked the return of chaotic pacing after they had been doing a better job in that area. It was tough to keep on this one, so I apologize for having less commentary than usual. On the bright side, they are doing a good job of making Revolution feel like a big event. I will have a lot more to say about the show in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

AEW Dynamite Poll: Grade the February 21 episode free polls


Readers Comments (15)

  1. Ignoring inconvenient history has become part of wrestling but Wardlow specifically said in a promo he didn’t care about the AEW world title because he was going after the TNT title.

  2. The best part of dynamite comes when Jim Cornette tears it to pieces in his podcast. What a shit show

  3. I could suffer a traumatic brain injury every day for the rest of my life and still book better than Tiny Con.

    Opening the show with Fuck The Ratings and the Brentwood Rehab Program going to a draw and then ending it with Who the Fook?, Butterfly Cowgal, and RVD against Samoa Joe, Turd Ferguson, and Roid Rage is a terrible idea, and then spending a shit ton of time on the Pockets is just the icing on the cake. The only good thing they’ve got going right now is Titless Toni and Deonna actually somewhat telling a story leading to their match.

    • You do realise all these sad little names you come up with just make you sound pathetic don’t you? They completely undermine any actual points you are trying to make. Please for the love of god just grow up enough to stop that side of your vitriol.

    • “I could suffer a traumatic brain injury every day for the rest of my life and still book better than Tiny Con.”

      Not even a traumatic brain injury every day for the rest of the life could keep you from watching Dynamite, apparently.

    • I look forward to feeling better about my life, no matter how bad my day may be going, by coming on here and realizing there is a person who has such a meaningless life that he has to…HAS to…..find enjoyment only in being negative. You don’t like the product, so instead of just ignoring it, you HAVE to make yourself feel as though your life is worth somethibng by intentionally coming onto an AEW story, no matter what it is, and saying some negative crap.
      You are pathetic, and thank you for proving it each and every week.

  4. “Overall, this show marked the return of chaotic pacing after they had been doing a better job in that area.”

    Welcome back QT Marshall.

  5. Why is the wrestling so sloppy in AEW? That main event was a disaster

    • Nobody is in charge. Even the people who could be somewhat professional struggle to not fall into the trap of just doing whatever they want and not worrying about how it looks.

      Then you put that group together in a six man and Samoa Joe is the only one who is currently a legit main event talent. Hangmam, Fook?, and Rage don’t really belong near that slot. RVD is not close to what he once was. Swerve has potential but it won’t be realized in AEW.

      That’s a recipe for disaster when it’s supposed to be the feature match of a show.

  6. “Meat Madness”? *shakes head*
    Just because Big E had a good laugh on the Internet about meaty men matches doesn’t mean you have to brand it, Tony! Provide the big man match, and the audience will provide that additional content, or not, during the match.

    Glad to see Tony’s “safest place to work” included a woman being dropped on her head as the move of the night.

    • Tony Khan is an even bigger sociopath than Vince, he’s just too socially awkward to successfully pull off the sexual harrassment.

      • Wow, defending a guy who has been accused of numerous sexual assaults, including a rape, for the past 20 years. Just when I think you can’t get more pathetic, you prove me wrong. Thank you. And don’t bother replying (although I know you will since you have no life), as your response won’t be read because your response doesn’t matter. You’re dismissed.

  7. So I guess Flair is turning on Sting..

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