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AEW Dynamite 05/08/24 Review – TJR Wrestling
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AEW Dynamite 05/08/24 Review – TJR Wrestling

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland going face-to-face with Christian Cage, Adam Copeland taking on Brody King, and more.

The road to AEW Double or Nothing continues with that big PPV show set to take place on May 26th. On last week’s Dynamite, The Elite group beat up Kenny Omega in his hometown leading to Omega getting taken out on a stretcher.

This was AEW Dynamite episode #240 from Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

Adam Copeland was shown arriving backstage. Copeland said that he talked to Tony Khan and his match with Brody King will be a No Disqualification Match.

The Dynamite intro video aired featuring only The Elite like we saw last week.

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means. It was Excalibur and Tony Schiavone on commentary. No Taz due to him dealing with some physical pain and he hopes to be back next week.

Orange Cassidy vs. Trent Beretta

They started by throwing punches. Trent bailed to the floor so Orange hit a suicide dive on him. Orange beat up Trent on the floor a bit with a whip into the ankle. Trent nailed Orange with a clothesline on the floor to take control. Orange jumped over the barricade and Trent went after him. Orange worked over Trent with punches. I guess it’s a no countout match? Sure. Orange kept on punching Orange while they were fighting in the crowd. The announcers said referee Paul Turner was being lenient. That’s another way of saying the rules are being ignored. Orange charged at Trent and Trent gave him a back body drop on the floor. Orange tripped up Trent on the barricade so Trent took a hard bump. They were finally back in the ring where Trent hit a knee and Orange came back with an Orange Punch. They both decided to sell at that point. Don Callis walked out to ringside and was booed by his fellow Canadians. They went to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Don Callis joining commentary. Orange and Trent did the “stand and throw strikes” spot that happens in most AEW matches. Trent hit Orange with a punch to the throat. Orange came back with an impressive DDT. Orange worked over Trent with punches. Orange charges, but Trent caught him and Trent hit a Half N Half Suplex across the ring with Orange doing a flip bump. Trent nailed a clothesline. Good point by Excalibur saying there was no pin attempt in the match yet. Trent hit a jumping piledriver and didn’t go for a cover. Trent hit a second jumping piledriver. Trent hit a running knee strike. Trent took the turnbuckle pad off. The referee asked him what he was doing so Orange took another turnbuckle pad off. Orange shoved Trent into the exposed steel turnbuckle and Orange did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good match that was physical with good aggression shown by Trent throughout the match. The first pin attempt was the end of the match when Orange got the ROLLUP TO DEATH~! after using the exposed steel turnbuckle. It makes Trent look dumb since he hit multiple piledrivers and didn’t go for a pin attempt. It also feels like there are more matches coming between these guys.

After the match, Trent beat up Orange on the floor with a forearm to the back. Trent did an eye gouge on the floor. Trent gave Orange a piledriver on the steel steps. Trent gave Orange a catapult into the steel frame under the ring. Orange managed to get his hands on a steel chair while Don Callis went up to Trent and tried to stop Trent from using more weapons. Kris Statlander ran out wondering what Trent was doing while referees were there also. Callis helped Orange to the back.

Analysis: I assume this feud is going to continue with Trent facing Orange again at Double or Nothing. I don’t see it being done yet. Also, a guy taking a piledriver on the steps should be down there selling it for a couple of minutes instead of getting back to his feet to find a chair. These wrestlers in AEW need to sell more.

They showed The Elite’s Matt & Nick Jackson in a car with Kazuchika Okada and Jack Perry. They were shown parking in the reserved spot for AEW boss Tony Khan, who is still in Jacksonville.

A video aired about Kenny Omega’s promo last week. That led to The Elite interrupting and attacking Omega, who was not cleared for physicality.

They showed a video from after Dynamite last week. Jack Perry said that Kenny wasn’t as bad as he thinks he is. Perry said what hurts him the most is that Kenny was not a hero, he was a coward like everybody else. Perry said that The Elite doesn’t need him and neither does AEW. Jack said they all have to sacrifice and Kenny just made his sacrifice.

Kenny Omega has an important announcement up next.

(Commercial)

Announcement From Kenny Omega

Kenny Omega was shown doing a promo from a hospital bed. Kenny said that the EVPs were his friends for 15 years and look at what they did to him. Kenny said what they did to him was business, so it got him thinking. Kenny said that Double or Nothing is five years since AEW started. Kenny made a match for Double or Nothing called Anarchy in the Arena with The Young Bucks, Kazuchika Okada & Jack Perry against four opponents. Omega said that two men will be FTR’s Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler. Omega said their partners will reveal themselves soon.

Analysis: A big match for Double or Nothing. Those Anarchy in the Arena matches have been excellent in the past.

Serena Deeb Interview

Tony Schiavone interviewed Serena Deeb on the stage since Deeb is challenging Toni Storm for the AEW Women’s Title at Double or Nothing. Deeb said she was excited while admitting that she knows everybody loves Toni Storm and she does too. Deeb said losing at Double or Nothing is not an option for her. Deeb spoke about coming back after 15 months on the shelf. The fans were bored so they chanted “Let’s Go Oilers.” Deeb said that she had three unprovoked seizures and it was the hardest experience of her life. Deeb said she couldn’t figure out why it was happening. Deeb said that the hardest part is that you don’t know what causes a seizure. Deeb spoke about the vision and dream of finally becoming AEW Women’s Champion.

There’s the interruption from AEW Women’s Champion “Timeless” Toni Storm, who said that Deeb was a charity case and Toni threw money at her. Deeb said Toni should give a shit and Deeb said she’s going to fight for her life. Storm said that she didn’t give a single, solidarity shit about what Deeb has gone through. Storm tried a punch, but Deeb blocked it and Deeb punched Storm. That led to Storm selling it on the stage by laying on the stage until Luther picked her up.

Analysis: It was a good attempt to get the crowd to care about Serena Deeb, who shared a personal story about having seizures. With that said, the fans were chanting for the Edmonton Oilers instead of paying attention. Serena is much better as a heel compared to being a face. It just seems forced with her as a face. It was good to have Deeb look strong by decking Storm with a punch. I think Mariah May should be the one to beat Storm, so I doubt Deeb wins.

Orange Cassidy was interviewed by Lexy Nair. Rocky Romero checked on Orange in the trainer’s room. Rocky said if he beats Jay White tonight then he, Orange and somebody else can get a Trios Tag Team Title shot. Rocky said they could find a third partner while saying Trent could be their partner, but Orange didn’t like that. Orange said we’ll figure it out and wished Rocky good luck.

Harley Cameron (w/Saraya) vs. Mariah May

This feels like a random match. I think they’re both heels. Harley worked over May with some kicks followed by a knee strike for two. May delivered some strikes including a running forearm on Harley. May hit a spinning sidewalk slam along with a dropkick. Harley took control with a kick while they were near the apron and May bumped to the floor. That led to a PIP break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with a double hair pull spot. May delivered some strikes, but Harley hit a clothesline. May hit a forearm followed by a spinebuster for two. May blocked a kick and hit a headbutt. May went up top and hit a missile dropkick. Saraya pulled Harley out of the ring to save her buddy, so May decked Saraya with a punch. Back in the ring, Harley got an inside cradle pin for two. May slammed Harley off the shoulders for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mariah May

Analysis: ** An average match with May getting the predictable win. I don’t remember seeing Cameron in too many AEW matches, but she did fine in her role. The AEW women’s division continues to not get a lot of TV time in terms of matches.

After the match, Saraya & Harley Cameron attacked Mariah May. That led to Mina Shirakawa making the save by punching Cameron out of the ring while Saraya left without putting up a fight. Mina teased kissing May, but instead, they hugged and had some champagne.

Analysis: I like Mina’s personality and the fans like her with May. That pairing should continue.

Pac was interviewed backstage and he was asked if Death Triangle was going to reunite. Pac tried to answer, but Bullet Club Gold (Jay White and The Gunns) interrupted. Jay White said that Pac was coming off a loss while reminding everybody that White had beaten Kazuchika Okada in the past. White said they could add more gold while saying he’s got a match with Rocky Romero. White told Pac to watch to learn about winning.

Analysis: It sounds like a tease for a Jay White-Pac match. That should be great when it happens.

A video aired featuring House of Black with Malakai Black talking about Adam Copeland turning his dreams into a reality. Black said that the man changed his landscape and became aware of his own mortality. Black said they had reminded Adam of who he really was. Black said that he has to kill the façade to show that Copeland is an evil son of a bitch.

The Swerve Strickland-Christian Cage segment was up next.

(Commercial)

A quick video aired about The Elite saying they will change the world.

The Young Bucks duo Matt & Nick Jackson were backstage saying they didn’t want more updates from Kenny Omega. Matt wished Swerve Strickland good luck in his segment up next.

Swerve Strickland and Christian Cage Go Face To Face

The AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland walked out to the ring with his title in his hand. Swerve cued up a replay of last week when Christian Cage and friends beat up Swerve. Swerve Strickland said that he knew what Christian was doing because he had gone after the top guys too. Swerve mentioned Edmonton Oilers great Conor McDavid to get a cheap pop from the crowd. Swerve called out Christian Cage and the Addams Family to come out there.

Christian Cage walked out with Luchasaurus, Nick Wayne & Shayna Wayne. Christian ripped on Edmonton saying he can’t wait to see Vancouver stomp the Edmonton Oilers. Christian said that every week, he’s going to take something…and the fans chanted “Let’s go Oilers” while Christian tried to speak. Christian said he’ll take everything from him Swerve. Christian said that Swerve has been riding a wave, but waves always crash. Christian said that he’s the Patriarch, he’s the face of TNT & TBS and deserves to stand at the top of the mountain as the AEW World Champion. Christian mocked Swerve for his gold teeth and threatened to take them from him.

Swerve said that he wasn’t coming alone as the Mogul Embassy’s Bishop Kaun, Toa Liona & Brian Cage joined Swerve. That led to Swerve saying that he’ll embarrass him like Kendrick Lamar did to Drake and said that it wouldn’t be the first time somebody from the west coast took care of a fake father from Toronto. Swerve dared Christian to try to take that championship. Swerve said that Christian won’t want to fight because he’ll be in an uncomfortable position and when Christian’s in an uncomfortable position he says “I Quit.”

It looked like Christian was going to speak, but then the Mogul Embassy guys beat up Swerve. Brian knocked down Swerve from behind. Kaun and Liona beat up Swerve as well. Brian nailed a huge Powerbomb on Swerve. Brian also tossed Swerve out of the ring. The commentary table was cleared off. Kaun and Liona lifted up Swerve on the steel steps and gave Swerve a double team spinebuster through the commentary table. Christian was laughing about it. Swerve was out on the floor by the table.

Analysis: That was an ass kicking that was also a nice swerve angle because of Swerve’s buddies turning on him. The rise of Swerve Strickland as a babyface didn’t involve his Mogul Embassy guys working with him much, so having Mogul Embassy turn on Swerve was great. I thought it was booked well. Christian Cage got the advantage on Swerve for the second week in a row. Is Christian going to beat Swerve for the AEW World Title? No. Not a chance. However, from a story standpoint, they are booking this story well.

Christian Cage was shown walking up to the Young Bucks in the backstage area. Christian shook hands with them saying it was great working with them. Christian left while The Yong Bucks said this was a great show. Tony Schiavone summed it up saying that we know who was behind what happened there referring to The Young Bucks.

Analysis: It was yet another heel attack on a show featuring the heel Young Bucks running the show and more chaotic scenes like that.

Willow Nightingale, the TBS Champion, was interviewed backstage saying physically she’s not feeling great, but emotionally and physically she’s doing well. Willow said she was ready for Mercedes Mone at Double or Nothing. Willow said that she’s ready, so the question is Mercedes ready? Willow talked about how she won the last time that she faced Mercedes and since then Willow has been on the run of her life. Willow said that in a professional wrestling match, she’ll be the winner. Willow asked if Mone was ready for the fight of their lives.

Jay White (w/Colten Gunn & Austin Gunn) vs. Rocky Romero

White and his friends are the Unified Trios Tag Team Champions. Tony Schiavone said that AEW has never been hotter. That’s bullshit. Attendance numbers and ratings will tell you differently. Romero sent White out of the ring followed by a suicide dive. Romero hit multiple clotheslines in the ring, then Romero ran the ropes and White decked him with a clothesline. They went to a picture-in-picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with White in control, but Romero came back with a springboard DDT. Romero launched off the steps with a headscissors. Back in the ring, Romero hit a cross body block for two. Romero got a rollup for two. Romero got a backslide pin attempt for two. Romero hit a running Sliced Bread neckbreaker for two. White came back with a high-angle suplex-style move. White hit Bladerunner for the pinfall win after seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jay White

Analysis: **1/2 An easy win for White in a match where we only got to see about four minutes on the full screen. Romero is a talented veteran wrestler who is just there to put people over when he’s in a rare singles match like this.

After the match, The Gunns beat up Romero with some weak-looking punches. Pac walked out to the ring so, White and friends left the ring.

Analysis: That should lead to White having a match with Pac due to their brief interaction earlier in the show.

A video aired about former AEW World Champion Samoa Joe training. Joe said that he is not the warrior that fears. Joe is what these men fear in the first place.

(Commercial)

Chris Jericho & Big Bill vs. Mo Jabari & Harlon Abbott

A fan had a sign that said “Large William” for Big Bill. Nice work. Jabari used his legs to trip up Jericho, so Bill tagged in with some punches. Bill launched Jabari across the ring. Abbott tagged in, so Bill dominated both guys and hit splashes on both guys. Bill hit Jabari with a boot to the face followed by Bill hitting a sidewalk slam on Abbott. Bill spiked Jabari with a Chokeslam. Bill gave Abbott a Chokeslam too. Jericho tagged in and hit the Judas Effect elbow on Abbott for the pinfall win.

Winners by pinfall: Chris Jericho & Big Bill

Analysis: * Another squash match on this show. This was more of a classic squash match while some of the others were more like extended squash matches. Bill looked impressive while Jericho got the win.

Jericho said that it’s always a pleasure to come back to Calgary…and then said Edmonton. Good heel work. Jericho said we learn from mistakes because that’s what The Learning Tree does. Jericho said that he’s the For The World Champion which means this title is for all of you. Jericho thanked Big Bill for the great job he did tonight. Jericho thanked Shibata for the great match last week and it got the highest rating at Cagematch (LOL). Jericho also thanked Hook since Hook hit himself in the face with a baseball bat (Jericho hit him with it) and wanted Hook to think about the lessons. Tony Schiavone walked into the ring to tell Jericho that Hook would be coming back next Wednesday on Dynamite. Jericho said that we’re going to celebrate with Hook together. Jericho said “thanks” a bunch of times to end it.

Analysis: This Chris Jericho is very over the top and sarcastic. I don’t love it, but it’s good for Big Bill so that’s cool to see because I like Bill.

(Commercial)

On this day, Adam Copeland got a huge pop as the TNT Champion for his title defense. Adam has an 8-0-1 singles record in 2024. Last week, Copeland beat Buddy Murphy of the House of Black and now he gets to face Brody King of House of Black.

TNT Championship No Disqualification Match: Adam Copeland vs. Brody King

A No Disqualification Match also means no countouts. I’d rather have them just say No Holds Barred or Street Fight, but it’s not up to me.

King knocked down Adam with a shoulder tackle to show off his size advantage. King charged, Adam avoided that so Brody went to the apron. Adam with a shoulder tackle, but King came back with a neckbreaker across the middle ropes.

(Commercial)

The match continued with King working over Adam with strikes on the floor including some hard chops to the chest. King went for a cross body block, but Adam moved and King hit the barricade. Adam nailed King with four chair shots to the back. They battled on the apron where Adam gave King a DDT on the steel chair on the ring apron. The camera stayed on Adam because King did a blade job and King was bleeding heavily from the forehead after that. Adam punched King a few times, King spit at him and Adam slapped King in the face. Back in the ring, Adam jumped off the top with a cross body block on King for two. Adam broke off a piece of crossbar metal from the chair. King came back with a huge lariat. King sent Adam hard into a steel chair that was wedged against the turnbuckle.

(Commercial)

They were fighting on the apron while there was a table on the floor. King was cranking on Adam’s neck, but Adam slammed him down. King with a clothesline, Adam bounced off the ropes and they did a double boot to the face to knock eachother down. They exchanged strikes leading to King hitting a discus forearm to the head. Adam picked up King, who landed on top and King covered for two. King hit a cannonball attack against the turnbuckle for a two count. Adam avoided a power move and hit his sitout neckbreaker to take King down. The fans were chanting “table” for the table on the floor. Adam charged at King, who caught him and King hit a spike piledriver. It was time for a table spot as they went over to the apron by the table. Adam gave King a Death Valley Driver (or like an Attitude Adjustment) on the apron. King was standing on the apron, so Adam charged and gave King a Spear through the table on the floor. That was great and the fans popped big for it. Back in the ring, Adam hit a Spear for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Adam Copeland

Analysis: ***3/4 A terrific match that was a bloody brawl and told a nice story about how Adam had to wear down King to beat him. That table spot from the apron to the floor was great and the fans popped big for it so it was smart to do it near the end of the match. King isn’t pushed that much as a singles guy, but he has credibility based on how he looks and I think he would do well as a singles star if he got pushed that way. I think the obvious route for Copeland is to have him defend the TNT Title against Malakai Black and it wouldn’t be a terrible thing to have Black beat him. Anyway, I liked this match a lot and it was easily the best match on the show.

After the match, King was up first and nailed Adam with a clothesline to the side of the head. Kyle O’Reilly ran out for the save and got no reaction. Kyle punched King a few times and Adam joined in. Kyle & Adam clotheslined King out of the ring.

Analysis: Kyle O’Reilly said in the past that he had Adam Copeland’s back, so there he was proving himself.

Mercedes Mone was interviewed backstage by Arkady Unterleidner, who asked Mone if she was ready for Double or Nothing against Willow Nightingale. Mone said that she’s excited for her AEW debut. Mone said tomorrow she’ll be courtside at the Boston Celtics game and on Saturday she will be throwing out the first pitch for the Boston Red Sox. Mone said when she’s not promoting AEW, she’s in the gym training so yes she’s ready for Willow at Double or Nothing. Mone said that Willow took something from her that she’ll never forget – time. Mone said she wonders if she will be as good as she used to be and then said that she will be as good. Mone said she’ll show Willow why there’s an asterisk over her victory. Mone said that she’ll take Willow’s title and wipe that smile off her face while saying that money changes everything.

Analysis: It felt like an average promo to me. Mone is way better as a heel than she is as a face and this babyface stuff she’s doing just seems awkward. I think the Mone/Willow promos would be better if they were face-to-face interactions rather than doing two-minute promos backstage.

Adam Copeland was getting checked by a trainer while Lexy Nair was there for an interview and Kyle O’Reilly was there. Adam thanked Kyle for his help. Kyle said this Saturday in Vancouver they have Collision in his hometown. Adam said if that was your plan then well played. Adam agreed to the match for the TNT Title. They shook hands.

Analysis: That should probably be a win for Copeland, who is still putting on great matches at the age of 50. I don’t know how smart it is to wrestle twice in a week at that age, but I think he wants to be out there in front of the Canadian fans.

Let’s Hear from The Elite

They were past the top of the hour as The Young Bucks, Kazuchika Okada, and Jack Perry made their entrance for a promo. Nick called Canada a terrible country, so that led to boos. When they got into the ring, Okada had a comment from Omega: “Hey Kenny, the best bout machine says get well soon.”

Matt Jackson said he knows Tony Khan is watching in Jacksonville. Matt said that Tony was the best boss he’s ever worked for. Matt said that they were never there to hurt AEW, they were there to make AEW a better place. Matt said that Tony Khan got in their way so they had to give him a Tony Khan Driver. Matt spoke about Kenny Omega and their 15-year long friendship so they gave an EVP Trigger to an EVP. Nick said that FTR saved Omega because they hate the Bucks, not because they like Kenny. Nick said that if you want Anarchy in the Arena then that’s what you’ll get. Nick said good luck finding two more guys to fight The Elite.

FTR’s Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler showed up on the stage. Nice Chris Farley shirt by Cash. Dax said that after a little bit of convincing, he found a couple of guys who had big enough balls for the job. The first partner was Eddie Kingston, who got a big pop. The fourth man was the “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, who is back after a few weeks off following his great match with Will Ospreay at Dynasty last month.

The Team AEW group of FTR, Danielson & Kingston went down to the ring to confront The Elite. It led to a fight with all eight guys brawling around the ring. The fight was broken up by officials, security, and other wrestlers who sat around backstage doing nothing all night. Anyway, that was the end of the show.

Analysis: That should be a great match at Double or Nothing. Anarchy in the Arena matches are usually a lot of fun to watch. There’s a lot of great talent involved here, so it should be an outstanding match that could certainly be the match of the night.

===

Three Stars of the Show

1. Adam Copeland

2. Brody King

3. Swerve Strickland

===

The Scoreboard

This Week: 7 out of 10

Last Week: 7.75

2024 Average: 7.44

===

Final Thoughts on AEW Dynamite

It was a solid episode of Dynamite as they continued to build to the Double or Nothing card on May 26th. I’m enjoying The Elite heel group being all over the show and pissing off the fans with their decisions. It works. They set up an Anarchy in the Arena match with The Elite against FTR, Eddie Kingston & Bryan Danielson, which should be an awesome match at Double or Nothing. Swerve Strickland got attacked by his Mogul Embassy guys, which is fine with me because Swerve is a heel and the group are heels. It also gives Christian the advantage over Swerve for the second week in a row. Swerve is going to beat Christian at DoN, but at least they are making it look like Swerve is vulnerable enough as a champion.

They are featuring the women’s division more in terms of promos in addition to the one women’s match on the show. I think the Willow/Mercedes feud would have benefitted from a face-to-face rather than singular promos. I don’t think the Serena/Toni segment worked that well even though Serena shared a personal story to try to get sympathy for her. The fans just didn’t seem to care about it much.

I think the best match was Adam Copeland’s TNT Title defense against Brody King, which was a No DQ match that ended up as a bloody brawl with weapons used throughout the match. There are some Dynamite episodes with two, three, or even four great matches, but this episode had just one. The Orange Cassidy/Trent match was fine although I wouldn’t call it great. The other three matches were decent with obvious results.

The next AEW pay-per-view is Double or Nothing on May 26th with this lineup announced so far.

AEW World Championship: Swerve Strickland (c) vs. Christian Cage

Anarchy In The Arena Match: The Elite (Jack Perry, Kazuchika Okada, Matthew Jackson and Nicholas Jackson) vs. Team AEW (Bryan Danielson, Eddie Kingston, Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood)

AEW Women’s World Championship: Toni Storm (c) vs. Serena Deeb

AEW International Championship: Roderick Strong (c) vs. Will Ospreay

TBS Championship: Willow Nightingale (c) vs. Mercedes Mone

===

Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton

Email: [email protected]

Twitter/X: @johnreport