Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: CM Punk and Jack Perry All In altercation footage, Will Ospreay promo on Paul Levesque, AEW World Champion Samoa Joe vs. Dustin Rhodes in an eliminator match


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

AEW Dynamite Hits

Adam Copeland vs. Penta El Zero Miedo for the TNT Title: I didn’t think this match would be the peak of the show while I watched it play out. It went a little longer than it needed to and it was hard to buy into the way the broadcast team was framing this as something of a dream match when Penta has been spinning his wheels for months if not years. Ultimately, it was an enjoyable title defense for Copeland even if the outcome felt highly predictable.

Hook, Chris Jericho, and Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shane Taylor, Anthony Ogogo, and Lee Moriarty: They clearly decided to speed up the storyline because Jericho went from acting like a decent person last week to arrogantly talking about how Hook and Shibata would benefit from sitting under his learning tree. Jericho desperately needs something new and he was already getting mixed reactions, so his apparent heel turn is logical. The match was laid out in a way where the win really didn’t do anything for Moriarty, but it was still a positive to see a rare upset on Dynamite.

AEW Continental Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Cristiano Argento in a non-title match: Simple and effective. Okada showcased his move set in a television match as opposed to just having a banger where the big moves are kicked out of before unfamiliar viewers even get a chance to learn their significance (see Will Ospreay’s AEW television matches). Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the company to revert to their usual approach (see below).

Mariah May vs. Anna Jay: A soft Hit for a decent match. The post match angle with Mina Shirakawa walking out to the sound of near silence was AEW in a nutshell. Tony Khan watches Stardom and therefore he seems to think that everyone else watches Stardom. Khan continues to book the promotion for super fans rather than the masses. And then the guy who has frequent social media spats with Eric Bischoff actually did an HLA segment in 2024. You can’t make it up.

AEW Dynamite Misses

CM Punk and Jack Perry All In altercation footage: That was it? That was the big backstage altercation that led to Punk being fired, Perry being suspended, and Tony Khan somehow fearing for his life? CM Punk appeared on The MMA Hour and told his side of the story. Very little about what Punk stated on that show does not mesh with what the footage showed. So what was the point? Does Tony Khan actually think that showing this footage changed the way anyone looks at Punk? Was it a stunt for ratings? Khan should be worried about the declining Dynamite viewership numbers, but airing footage for a potential a one night boost while making himself and his company look bad wasn’t worth the trade off. And if you’re going to do a ratings stunt, then put on a loaded show with the goal of hooking viewers who don’t normally watch. That sure as hell didn’t happen with this episode.

Will Ospreay promo on Paul Levesque: For those who don’t know the backstory (and there’s probably plenty of you), Levesque stated on The Pat McAfee Show last week that he didn’t want younger wrestlers who opt to work a lighter schedule. He never mentioned Ospreay by name and yet for some reason Tony Khan felt compelled to have Ospreay deliver a rebuttal that included a dated shot about how Levesque wouldn’t be in the position he was in if he wasn’t married to the boss’s daughter. This is the same Levesque who was massively cheered by fans and put over strongly by his pears during the weekend in which he oversaw the creative for the most successful WrestleMania weekend in history. What bubble does Khan live in that actually makes him think that Levesque is a villain to pro wrestling fans right now? Khan has to wake up and accept that WWE is riding high and that most pro wrestling fans are enjoying the WWE product. There was a time when AEW was the plucky underdog upstart company and fans were excited to have an alternative to Vince McMahon’s atrocious booking. Taking a few jabs at the competition made AEW look rebellious and served as a rally cry for AEW fans. Times have changed and apparently Khan can’t accept that. I was happy that Adam Copeland delivered a speech on last week’s Dynamite that sent the message that it’s okay to watch both companies. It seemed like a sign that Khan finally recognized that feeding into the tribal approach was hurting his company. Yet just one week later, Khan shit all over the spirit of that Copeland promo by having Ospreay deliver a speech that only the most tribal AEW fans could love. It’s not about the tribal fans on either side. They’ve dug their heels in and they aren’t budging. Forget them. Worry about pleasing the massive number of fans in between who just want to enjoy pro wrestling regardless of the company banner. Those are the fans that matter and those are the fans that AEW is losing from its weekly viewership count.

AEW World Champion Samoa Joe vs. Dustin Rhodes in an eliminator match: The actual match was fine aside from the shitty finish with Joe hitting Dustin with the title while while the referee turned his his back to clear a chain from the ring. But I had much more of an issue with the brief build and the total lack of creativity that was shown when they set up this match. Tony Khan was well aware of Cody Rhodes finishing his story at WrestleMania and he clearly doesn’t have an issue with bringing up things from WWE on his television show. They could have told a story where Dustin set out to win a world championship so that he and his brother could hold the top titles in pro wrestling. Or they could have had Samoa Joe offer Dustin a title match with the goal of showing his dominance over the brother of the other world champion. Those are just two examples of things that AEW could have done. Instead, they had Dustin cut a promo out of nowhere on Saturday’s late night edition of AEW Collision in which he challenged Joe to a title match. And then they actually had Joe reject his request for a title match. So they rushed through what could have been good story and then made it worse by turning it into a lame ass eliminator match. Weak.

Mercedes Mone sit-down interview: A bad segment with babyface Mone coming off poorly before the lights went out and she was left lying. The suspects seem to be Julia Hart, Willow Nightingale, and Kris Statladner. I’m going with Statlander because Hart is too obvious and it would be beyond ridiculous to turn the likable Willow before she’s had a meaningful run as a babyface. That said, I’d actually prefer to see Mone somehow emerge as the heel. Her babyface mic work has been poor and I have always preferred her work as a heel.

Overall Show: Dynamite finishing with an equal number of segments listed as Hits or Misses does not tell the real story. This episode was a disaster for the company. They spent more time on CM Punk and Paul Levesque than promoting their own three-hour block of television on Saturday night. Sure, they announced all four random matches for the weekly show that features four random matches and was watched by fewer than 300,000 viewers last week, but they couldn’t be bothered to push the higher priority Collision or the Battle of the Belts special that will follow until the closing seconds of the show? This was a depressing episode on so many levels. I was excited when it seemed like AEW was making some significant changes for the better on the season premiere edition. Last night was a reminder that this product is unlikely to consistently improve until Tony Khan gives up the book or starts listening to the right people. Sure, Khan the matchmaker will continue to put together good to great pay-per-view events, but he isn’t cutting it as the booker of a weekly television show, let alone as the booker of three weekly television shows and whatever Ring of Honor is. The scary part is that I’m fairly convinced that AEW exists primarily because Khan wants to be a booker. I just don’t see him giving up creative control of the week-to-week creative and I don’t think this company has any chance of reaching its full potential until he does.


Readers Comments (12)

  1. I dont know how closely anyone (including Jason) looks at the weekly report card poll. Most weeks there are a few cranks who rank Dynamite or Raw as an “F” (you know, depending on your stance) but generally you see grades from A-C. This week for dynamite not only was the bottom box (D/F) almost 80%, but the number of votes greatly exceeded the total for a normal weekly show. People HATED what they saw, even the most loyal of AEW fans.

    Tony is like a lot of NFL owners. Because he has money and is a fan, he thinks he can run a promotion. Well, ask Cowboys fans how successful THAT model is…

    • TheGreatestOne April 11, 2024 @ 2:56 pm

      58% F so far. That’s astonishing.

      On top of it all, Tiny Con outed himself as even more thin skinned when he got Ariel Helwani’s video that synced Punk’s comments with the backstage footage pulled down.

      At this point I don’t understand how anyone isn’t rooting for Tony to fail. Wrestling needs a good #2 company but the current #2 is the shits.

      • You do you, but I’ll never root for him or any pro wrestling company to fail. It’s not something anyone in my position should do, but I would say the same thing if I worked in another field. Billionaires who want to fund pro wrestling companies don’t grow on trees and there are a lot of good and talented people employed by AEW.

        • Yes. Like Jay White and Deaonna Perazzo (among many) who have been totally misused by the clueless Booker/Owner. So maybe they are getting paid today but long term their careers are really getting hurt

        • TheGreatestOne April 11, 2024 @ 7:48 pm

          I would love to see TNA get that 2 hour Collision timeslot. It feels like they’ve really turned the corner after years of being awful, and they could really do something with a real TV spot.

        • LOLLLLLLL what a shock to see you here with a negative comment about AEW…

  2. Is Tony morphing into Herb Abrams? It was reported for years all the yes men in Vince’s circle. Does anyone have the guts in AEW to tell the boss that he is not good at any of this? Most likely not. One day someone there who has not signed a NDA will share what exactly goes on behind the scenes.

  3. Could Tony be turning into the very man he wanted to beat(minus the whole sexual allegations and gross misconduct) in the pro wrestling game? sure seems like it. tony is making the show what he wants to see. not what the fans want to see. that’s depressing.

  4. TheGreatestOne April 11, 2024 @ 2:49 pm

    The WCW 2000 look on the face of Schiavone when the Punk footage aired, and the look of absolute shame on Renee’s face with Bruv took at shot at HHH speaks volumes about the actual professionals in the company. There’s no way that any of them are actually happy there, and now they may be ready to actively revolt.

    The whole purpose of Collision was the WBD execs wanted Punk to have his show and run it his way. Now that everything is being done by the owner who couldn’t even get more than 2 people to like his e-fed, and the two EVPS that have never drawn a dime in the business, we’re seeing new lows reached every week.

    The only winners that AEW produces are WWE, Fulham, and the Jags.

  5. The video did show to those with eyes that Punk lived up to his moniker…Perry had NO interest nor inclination that a fight was going to happen, and Punk basically snuck a guy who never thought a push/hit was coming. As Punk and Perry were being separate, Punk punched Perry in the back.
    Punk. PERFECT moniker.

    • Funny, you’re leaving out the part about Perry going into business for himself with the unscripted “real glass” comment moments before the company’s biggest pay-per-view started. It does not excuse Punk getting physical, but try to be objective and tell the full story for once, Angry Mike.

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