AEW Dynamite results (3/13): Powell’s live review of “Big Business” with Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow for the AEW World Championship, Darby Allin vs. Jay White, the expected debut of Mercedes Mone


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Dynamite “Big Business” (Episode 232)
Boston, Massachusetts at TD Garden
Aired live March 13, 2024 on TBS

[Hour One] Renee Paquette opened the show by saying the night was all about Big Business while a shot aired of traffic passing the TD Garden. Cameras cut to Paquette, who was standing backstage when a car arrived at the building. A rear door opened and they cut to an arena shot…

Excalibur, Taz, and Tony Schiavone checked in on commentary. Excalibur and Schiavone ran through the show’s lineup. Dasha was the ring announcer…

Mercedes Mone (f/k/a Sasha Banks) made her entrance to a big ovation from the crowd. She had “CEO” on the back of her jacket and on a chain around her neck. A “CEO” chant broke out while she danced inside the ring. “Boston, I’m home,” Mone stated. The fans responded with a “welcome home” chant.

Mone told the fans that her heart was beating out of her chest. She thanked the fans for having her back the last two years and for giving her the courage and strength to be there. She thanked the fans for sticking with her for her highs, lows, milestones, titles, and history making moments.

Mone said they will create “so much magic and so many moments together.” She told the fans that they are “the reason I am here.” Another “CEO” chant broke out. She told the fans she loved them and said if they only knew how much this night and wrestling means to her. Mone said wrestling has changed and saved her life.

Mone said wrestling gives her hope and a place to dream. She said people like Eddie Guerrero gave her hope that she could do this. Mone looked up and thanked Eddie. She said her dreams got her to lead a women’s evolution and to become the first woman to headline a pay-per-view in the same building.

Mone said she dropped out of school when she was 13 years-old to take care of her brother. She told her brother Joshua that she loves him. She recalled going to Chaotic Wrestling to fulfill her dream of becoming the greatest women’s wrestler of all-time. She told the fans that if she can do it, they can do it too.

“So let’s get down to business, huh,” said Mone. She said she was there because she needed to be there and wanted to be there. She said AEW is the only place where “this revolution can be global.” Mone said she has been watching and she can’t wait to tear it up with everyone in the locker room.

Mone said she wanted to start with the main event of Riho vs. Willow Nightingale. Mone said she and Willow have a lot of unfinished business. “But right now at Big Business, Mercedes Mone is All Elite.” Mone’s “All Elite” graphic appeared on the big screen. Mone thanked Tony Khan for the tweet and told the fans watching at home to say hello to their new CEO. Mone danced in the ring while the fans chanted “CEO”…

Powell’s POV: They wasted no time in going right to the expected big debut of the night. Mone delivered a nice speech. I wish she would have elaborated on her history with Willow, but I suppose the broadcast team can fill in the audience with those details. For those who don’t know, Willow beat her for the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship in a finish that was changed on the fly because Mone broke her ankle. Anyway, the crowd gave Mone the major star reaction and her debut came off really well. They must have something big planned for the main event because I don’t think anyone thought Willow vs. Riho would close this show.

Backstage, AEW World Champion Samoa Joe was interviewed by Paquette. Joe said things felt different because they felt like money. Joe said he hasn’t forgotten what debts need to be paid and Wardlow is far overdue. Joe said he doesn’t lose championships in the Garden…

An Undisputed Kingdom video package aired. Adam Cole sat in a chair and read a fairytale book about Wardlow. Cole said Wardlow was locked away and guarded by an evil man, a true devil. He said the only way to freedom was to become the warrior he was destined to be. Cole said Wardlow found brotherhood with a group of men who hated the evil man as much as he did. Cole said all of the hatred for the evil man was unleashed and Wardlow won precious gold for the kingdom…

AEW World Champion Samoa Joe made his entrance. Wardlow walked onto the stage with Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, and Roderick Strong. Wardlow bumped fists with all three men before heading to the ring alone…

1. Samoa Joe vs. Wardlow for the AEW World Championship. Wardlow attacked Joe and then referee Paul Turner rewarded him for it by calling for the bell to start the match. Both wrestlers ended up at ringside where Wardlow ran Joe into the ring steps and jawed at fans before rolling Joe back inside the ring. Wardlow executed a corkscrew moonsault onto Joe heading into the first picture-in-picture break. [C]

A new Dynamite commercial aired during the break that included Mone and several other wrestlers. Late in the match, Wardlow set up for a powerbomb, but Joe stuffed it and caught Wardlow in the Coquina Clutch. Wardlow faded and the referee called for the bell.

Samoa Joe defeated Wardlow in roughly 11:00 to retain the AEW World Championship.

After the match, security guards failed to stop Swerve Strickland from walking to the ring with Prince Nana. Once they arrived, Joe smirked and simply left the ring while Swerve seethed…

Powell’s POV: It was a pleasant surprise to see a clean finish to this match. I expected some Undisputed Kingdom shenanigans, but the company is doing a really nice job of building up Joe as a dominant champion. The post match angle was a simple way to shift the focus back to Joe vs. Swerve.

Footage aired from earlier in the day of Alex Marvez interviewing “The Elite” Kazuchika Okada, Matthew Jackson, and Nicholas Jackson. Marvez asked Okada why he joined the faction. Nicholas interrupted and told him to call Okada by his full name. Matthew said asked Marvez if he could feel the synergy from the best athletes in the world.

Matthew said Okada helped him and Nicholas out when they were at their lowest, then said there’s also $14 million other reasons. Okada told his opponents for the evening that he was coming for them. He also told Marvez to say happy birthday to Matthew. Marvez wished him a happy birthday, but then Okada told him to sing it, which Marvez did… [C]

Powell’s POV: Okada speaks English is better than I realized. Marvez was the perfect broadcast team member to be forced into singing for the EVP’s birthday. Marvez plays a quirky backstage interviewer, so it’s not like his character has any credibility with viewers. By the way, I mistakenly wrote that Justin Roberts was the ring announcer, but it’s actually Dasha. I corrected it above to avoid further confusion.

The Young Bucks made their entrance. Once they got to the bottom of the entrance ramp, Matthew Jackson flipped a coin. Once it fell to the ground, Okada’s entrance theme played along with the Okada bucks falling from the rafters. Their opponents made separate entrances…

2. “The Elite” Kazuchika Okada, Matthew Jackson, and Nicholas Jackson vs. Eddie Kingston, Pac, and Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes). The Jacksons sold for the babyfaces, including Pac holding Matthew’s legs open while Penta performed a double stomp from the ropes to his groin. Okada and Kingston tagged in and traded chops and elbow strikes. Kingston got the better of it, but Okada put him down with a dropkick and then tagged out. The Elite posed heading into a PIP break. [C]

The babyface trio had a run of offense that included Pac performing a springboard 450 on Nicholas. Pac had the pin, but Okada broke it up. The Elite rallied. Matthew removed his belt and wrapped it around his fist, but Kingston shot him into the ropes. Kingston had Okada down and set up for a back fist. Kingston fought off Matthew, but then Nicholas caught him with a kick below the belt while referee Rick Knox was distracted (per usual). Okada hit the Rainmaker clothesline on Kingston and pinned him.

“The Elite” Kazuchika Okada, Matthew Jackson, and Nicholas Jackson defeated Eddie Kingston, Pac, and Penta El Zero Miedo in 12:40.

After the match, Okada held up the Continental Crown Championship and then dropped it on Kingston… Excalibur told viewers they would hear from Will Ospreay after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A crowd pleasing spot-fest. Okada pinning Kingston was logical as they are clearly building to a Continental Crown Championship match between the two. That said, I actually would have preferred to see Okada beat Kingston clean in this match without the needless low blow and the (at least) weekly moment of Knox looking incompetent.

[Hour Two] Will Ospreay made his entrance for an in-ring interview with Tony Schiavone, who said the things he’s doing in AEW are unbelievable. A “Bruv” chant broke out. Schiavone brought up Ospreay’s match with Bryan Danielson at AEW Dynasty. Ospreay said he was asked what he wanted to do this morning and he said he wanted to speak to the people of Boston.

Ospreay recalled Danielson telling him to prove that he’s the best wrestler in the world. Ospreay spoke about the Tiger Driver 91 move. Ospreay recalled Danielson asking if the move was worth it. Ospreay said he was covered in blood and won the match, so it was worth it.

Ospreay said he respects Danielson. He spoke of restoring the feeling. Ospreay said the one thing he’s learned from Danielson is that he can have respect for the person who stands opposite him, but once he enters the ring it’s his life or his opponent’s and he doesn’t plan on taking his dying breath. Ospreay said his match with Danielson is about finding out who is the best wrestler in the world. Ospreay said he is on another level…

Powell’s POV: Ospreay certainly brings a lot of energy to his promos and I’m definitely looking forward to his match with Danielson. But, no, the Tiger Driver 91 isn’t worth it.

Deonna Purrazzo delivered a backstage promo and challenged Toni Storm and Mariah May to a tag team match for next week’s Dynamite. Purrazzo said that since Storm and May have a match scheduled for Rampage, she might stick around and get a close look…

Jay White made his entrance with Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn, who joined him on the stage before heading to the back. Darby Allin made his entrance…

3. Jay White vs. Darby Allin. Allin’s ribs were wrapped and he had tape over his shoulder. Taz said there’s no way Allin was 100 percent. Allin sent White to the floor and then performed a swanton style dive from the top rope onto White at ringside. Allin rolled White back inside the ring, but White rolled out the other side, so Allin hit him with a suicide dive.

White suplexed Allin onto a chair that was set up next to the barricade. White pulled out the ring steps. White ran Allin toward the steps, but Allin jumped over them and took a bump on his back next to the barricade heading into a PIP break. [C]

Allin had White’s head and neck draped over the apron. Allin went for a top rope Coffin Drop, but White moved, causing Allin to land on the edge of the apron, which drew a “holy shit” chant. Allin beat the referee’s count, but White put him down with the Bladerunner and scored the pin.

Jay White defeated Darby Allin in roughly 12:15.

Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn headed to the ring to celebrate with White. Allin got to his knees and White offered him a handshake. Allin raised his hand to accept, but White made the gun sign at his head and then the Gunns attacked Allin. White slid a chair in the ring and then brought a baseball bat into the ring with him. The Gunns wrapped Allin’s leg in the chair. White wound up with the bat, but he was interrupted.

The Acclaimed’s entrance theme played. Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn ran out and tried to talk down White, Austin, and Colten. Caster and Bowens helped Allin leave the ring. White let Billy take the baseball bat, but then picked up the chair and hit Billy with it (Billy wisely put his hands up). Carter and Bowens returned to the ring and were left lying by White, Austin, and Colten. White performed a Bladerunner on Billy. Austin and Colten threw Allin back inside the ring. White wrapped Allin’s left ankle in the chair and then slammed the bat on it… [C]

Powell’s POV: I don’t know how much White gained from beating an injured Allin, but the Bang Bang Scissor Gang is dead. Thank goodness. Now if only they would scrap the worthless ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles so White can focus on singles while Austin and Colten work in the tag team division. I guess this means Allin will be coming for White once he returns (hopefully!) from climbing Mount Everest.

Chris Jericho made his Lionheart entrance. Excalibur said Allin was unable to put any weight on his ankle and was helped to the back by trainers. Hook made his entrance. A fan held up an “I paid to see Sammy” sign. The Gates of Agony made their entrance wearing what Excalibur said was traditional Samoan attire…

4. Hook and Chris Jericho vs. “Gates of Agony” Bishop Kaun and Toa Liona. Jericho and Hook performed a double suplex on Kaun and then another on Liona. A short time later, Liona knocked Hook off the apron and then did the same to legal man Jericho, who crashed into the side of the broadcast table going into a PIP break. [C]

Late in the match, Kaun hit Hook with a gutbuster and covered him for a two count. Kaun and Liona set up for their finisher on Hook, who slipped away. Hook put Kaun in Redrum while Jericho pulled Liona to the floor. Hook lost his grip on his submission hold while Jericho rolled Kaun over and put him in the Walls of Jericho. Jericho released his hold to knock Liona off the apron with a springboard kick. Hook reapplied his finisher and got the submission win…

Hook and Chris Jericho beat “Gates of Agony” Bishop Kaun and Toa Liona in 8:45.

Powell’s POV: The energy in the building was clearly down for this match. I like the GOA duo, but they’ve never won a meaningful match on Dynamite, so there’s no reason for fans to take them seriously. That said, I think the bigger issue is that Jericho is ice cold. What happened to the master of reinvention? These throwbacks to his younger days were fun once or twice, but at this point they seem to mean more to him than the masses.

Excalibur announced Kyle O’Reilly vs. Bryan Keith for Saturday’s AEW Collision…

Paquette interviewed Kyle O’Reilly in the backstage area. O’Reilly spoke about his time away being the darkest day of his life, but then his neck and arm got better. He said Bryan Keith can bring out the best in him when they meet in his first match back in nearly two years in his home country. “Kyle!” Roderick Strong yelled. Strong, Matt Taven, and Mike Bennett entered the picture. Strong spoke of how much respect he has for O’Reilly and said if he wants to do things on his own, then he should do that. O’Reilly and Strong hugged and then O’Reilly bumped firsts with Taven and Bennett…

Powell’s POV: I hope Strong’s character was being sincere. I have no desire to see O’Reilly feud with his buddies yet again.

A video package focused on Riho becoming the first AEW Women’s Champion and also showed footage of Willow beating Mone to become the NJPW Strong Women’s Champion. Additional footage was shown of Riho and Willow to set up their main event match…

Riho was shown stretching backstage. Mercedes Mone approached her and wished her good luck… [C]

Chris Jericho and Hook were interviewed by Paquette in the backstage area. Jericho put over Gates of Agony as well as Hook’s performance during the match. Jericho challenged Hook to face him in a match on next week’s Dynamite…

Willow Nightingale made her entrance with Kris Statlander and Stokely Hathaway. Willow hugged them both on the stage and then they headed backstage. Riho’s entrance followed…

5. Willow Nightingale vs. Riho. Willow hit Riho with a dropkick from the middle rope heading into an early PIP break. [C]

Excalibur listed the following matches and segments for next week’s Dynamite: Eddie Kingston vs. Kazuchika Okada for the Continental Crown Championship, Chris Jericho vs. Hook, Mercedes Mone speaks, and Christian Cage vs. Adam Copeland in an I Quit match for the TNT Title.

Willow was in offensive control until she went for a a cannonball dive from the apron that Riho avoided. Riho went to the apron and then performed a double stomp on Willow on the floor. Riho performed a dragon suplex on the apron. Willow rolled back inside the ring and then Riho hit her with a top rope double stomp for a near fall.

[Overrun] Willow put Riho down with a clothesline and then lowered the straps on her gear. Willow went for a Samoan Drop, but Riho countered into a pin attempt that Willow escaped. Willow hit the Doctor Bomb and scored the pin.

Willow Nightingale defeated Riho in roughly 13:00.

After the match, Willow and Riho hugged and then Riho left the ring. The broadcast team played up Willow likely earning a shot at the TBS Championship. The lights went out and when they turned on, Julia Hart was standing at ringside. Skye Blue entered the ring behind Willow and chop blocked her. Hart entered the ring and joined Blue in attacking Willow.

A “CEO” chant broke out as Julia set up to hit Willow with the TBS Title belt. Mercedes Mone made her entrance. Blue ran to the ramp to cut her off, but Mone knocked her down with one shot. Mone entered the ring and blocked a kick from Hart, then left her lying with ease. Mone turned and looked at Willow, who walked over and raised her hand. Willow left the ring while Mone danced. Excalibur read through the lineup for next week’s Dynamite to close the show. Mone went to ringside to hug what appeared to be friends and family. The fans chanted “CEO” to close the show…

Powell’s POV: I guess this means Mone will be targeting the TBS Championship rather than the AEW Women’s Championship to start. While it was encouraging to see a women’s match close Dynamite, it also felt forced and left me wishing they had done more to set the table.

Overall, the show started strong and then faded starting with the Jericho and Hook vs. GOA tag team match. That said, I enjoyed the overall show and Dynamite has been an improved show over the last couple of weeks. I will have a lot more to say about Dynamite 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 March 13 Big Business edition free polls


Readers Comments (14)

  1. Yikes… that Mercedes promo had 0 energy. And now the world title match at 8:15. Lol.

  2. TheGreatestOne March 13, 2024 @ 7:33 pm

    Mone was a bit rusty on the mic there.

    Joe and Wardlow put together a better match than I thought they would be able to. That was pretty good for a couple of big guys.

    Okada is better on the mic than I expected, but he’s still with the ratings killers so it won’t mater.

  3. Does anyone from “the safest company” around want to tell Darby no at some point?

  4. TheGreatestOne March 13, 2024 @ 8:47 pm

    I thought I heard it wrong earlier. THIS is the main event? Unless there’s a Mercedes run-in (because AEW needs more of those) then what the actual fuck?

  5. Imagine hyping this show up and putting that in the main event. No wonder this company is in the crapper

  6. Only reason that was the main event because of Mercedes Mone.She opened the show and then she closed it..

  7. You actually think Mone and her inflated opinion of herself is going to make a difference? She’ll be an afterthought in a few weeks just like Copeland, Saraya, the Hardy’s and the rest in a few weeks because of cocaine Khan’s crappy booking

  8. THEGREATESTTHREE March 14, 2024 @ 2:02 am

    Keep Sammy away from Mercedes!

    • What was going on in Mone’s promo? She looked like she was on a sedative or something.
      The audience has needed a break from Jericho for a long time now. Why can’t TK see that? He wildly overpays these folks and then makes no real effort to make em feel special, like stars, etc.

  9. Of the three most recent Tony Kahn splurges clearly Ospreay is the prize. That guy has “it” and after a brief run up to get the audience more familiar with him, strap the company on his back. He is their hope

    Mercedes is blah. She wasn’t that great when she was younger and now she is 5 years older and fairly brittle. She clearly improves the woman’s division but she isn’t all that

    Okada can go in the ring but I don’t really know how great he is gonna be unless he is feuding or fighting with Omega. Putting him in a faction with the Bucks feels like a death sentence 2 weeks in

    • If Ospreay ever learns what selling is, and learns how to have a match with psychology instead of doing every single move he knows in every match, then he could be something. As he currently does things, he’s just the next guy who flips and dives endlessly for no reason.

  10. Tony K loves moments, but the Mercedes Moment fell flat.
    I never did get her. Not that attractive. Not a great promo. Not a great wrestler. What does she add to a women’s division with a lot of legitimate talent?
    Tony K loves moments. But this one felt like “all that for THAT?”

  11. Negative Nancys March 16, 2024 @ 1:53 am

    Got the really super weird AEW haters above me, making fun of Dynamite, but still watching it which makes no sense.

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