AEW Dynamite 4/10/2024 - 3 Things We Loved And Hated

Another "AEW Dynamite" has come and gone, and this week's controversial episode included not one but two shots from AEW at its competitor WWE, one from The Young Bucks, who aired the controversial backstage footage of now WWE Superstar CM Punk attacking Jack Perry, and another from Will Ospreay, who had a cheeky retort for Paul Levesque.


For a full recap of Dynamite, check out our results page, but now it's time to break down everything the Wrestling Inc. Staff loved and hated from tonight's shows. Controversial, divisive shows like tonight are perfect, as the show was brimming with high highs and low lows. Whether it was the in-ring action of the main event, or the show closing angle between Samoa Joe and Swerve Strickland, there was plenty to love, and with the deflating premiere of the All In footage or the introduction of Mina Shirakawa, there was unfortunately plenty to hate as well.

Loved: The Cope Open Hits The Right Note

While AEW's new tagline, "Where the best wrestle" took a backseat to petty grudges and security camera footage, the opening contest fulfilled every promise of Day 1 AEW. Adam Copeland defended his title against AEW Original Penta El Ciero Miedo. Seeing Copeland wrestle a lucha style against someone like Penta was just surreal enough that it reminded me why I like this company in the first place. It's the kinda place where a quirky match like Adam Copeland vs. Penta can take place on a random Wednesday in West Virginia.


I am not always the biggest fan of the Cope Open or even Copeland's general presence in AEW. He spent much of his first month talking about all of the dream matches he could be having while he mostly tangled with longtime rival Christian Cage, and now it feels Copeland is free to have said dream matches. I'm not going to put Cope vs. Penta on my year-end list, I don't see the year getting that dire that I need to pull from a random, professional, proficient match, but it is exactly the kind of match "Dynamite" needs to be pumping out on a regular basis to live up to that shiny new tagline, and for 20 minutes on Wednesday, it did.

Written by Ross Berman

Hated: All In footage segment was downright embarrassing

Well, there you have it. Tony Khan and The Young Bucks shot their last shot when it comes to CM Punk and it hit like a wet fart at a funeral. Actually, that would have been better. At least when an unfortunate incident takes place, you have every excuse to leave. Some of us had to stay and watch the rest of this episode of "AEW Dynamite."


This was all downright embarrassing for Khan, The Jacksons, and for the entire company. (Take a look back at Tony Schiavone just after they cut away from The Bucks backstage and tell me he isn't ashamed to be a part of that.) In fact, I'm astonished at, week after week, some of the s*** that gets greenlit for this show. But this, almost inarguably, takes the cake. The footage itself, from last year's All In, purportedly was thrown out there in response to Punk's pre-WrestleMania interview with Ariel Helwani on "The MMA Hour," as was Adam Copeland's cringy rah-rah speech to open "Dynamite" last week, and Dax Harwood's post-show rant in turn, and again, tonight, Harwood and Cash Wheeler rambling on in similar fashion, with the added gem of Wheeler's gratuitous use of the word "b*****es," reminiscent of that being a fabricated WWE trope forced into the end of a feud to portray a new level of intensity not all that long ago. But here's the thing, there was no response needed at all. Other than offering his experience-based opinion in saying AEW wasn't "a real company," and that Khan is a "nice guy but he's not a boss," Punk didn't even take any shots. He told his side of a few stories, and respectfully so, and now, AEW kicked itself in its a** worse than ever, airing footage that CORROBORATES EVERYTHING PUNK SAID! Worse yet, what we saw from the Wembley security camera (albeit without any audio), appears to capture the moment in which Khan claimed he was in fear for his life. That was already laughable and now it's just ridiculous. If that's your biggest near-death experience, buddy, you need to go skydiving or something.


In storyline (I guess), The Bucks are blaming FTR for perhaps putting Punk up to the miniature scuffle with Jack Perry but that doesn't work either, even a little. I'm all about suspension of disbelief but if you're up for buying into Matthew and Nicholas being distracted from this "incident," all of two whole matches and 34+ minutes of in-ring time later, as the reason for losing their All In match, well, I've got a Leatherface Championship you can buy too.

But let's not get off track. The footage, as a whole, is the biggest deal here. It's a big deal in that it's not a big deal whatsoever. As my wonderfully talented colleague Olivia Quinlan put it in our "AEW Dynamite" live coverage, "We then head over to a video of Perry and Punk speaking backstage. Punk takes a shot at Perry, but Samoa Joe and other backstage personnel pull them apart." That is effectively it. To watch this was an absolute waste of time, as was the idea itself, and the promotion thereafter.

Speaking of promotions, this one as a whole is becoming more and more of a waste of time too, which is sad because it does have its positives. Unfortunately, when you scrape the bottom of a dumpster as they did tonight with circling back to the All In stuff, it's hard to see any of those plusses through the thick fog of WCW 2000-esque desperation and despair.


Written by Jon Jordan

Loved: Ospreay calls out Danielson, takes shot at Triple H

I feel like every week I'm writing about Will Ospreay, because for me, he's one the biggest highlights, if not THE biggest highlight, of "AEW Dynamite" for me. While he wasn't in the ring this week, which was sad, he cut a short, but scathing promo on the stage when he was interviewed by Renee Paquette. This promo in particular was great, in my opinion, because he didn't just call out Brian Danielson following a taped interview with "The American Dragon," but he also addressed Paul "Triple H" Levesque's comments from an interview he did on "The Pat McAfee Show" over WrestleMania weekend.


I actually had to look this up because I wasn't aware that Triple H was addressing Ospreay, but he was speaking about talent taking on lighter schedules and he was glad he didn't get said talent because "if you're not in it for the grind, you have no business being here," or something to that effect. Now that I've listened back to it, it makes sense. And while Ospreay addressing Danielson was a big part of this promo, his line taking a shot at Triple H when he said he only got so far in the business because he was "grinding on the boss' daughter," complete with hip motions on the stage, was the line that really stood out. It wasn't as in-your-face as say, the footage aired this evening, but if Ospreay felt like he needed to take a more subtle (but not by much) shot at WWE, then so be it. It was a good line, and he's obviously upset about being accused of not "respecting the grind" when the man is literally flying from the United Kingdom to the United States for "Dynamite" every week. To me, that's absolutely not only respecting the grind, but more importantly respecting his family and his own lifestyle at home.


As for the Danielson bit, it didn't do too terribly much to get me more excited for their match at AEW Dynasty in a little over a week, but that's okay, because that's already the main reason I plan on purchasing the pay-per-view, so I'm already super excited for that match. I was glad to see their feud at least get addressed on a show that was based entirely off the morbid curiosity to see the All In brawl footage.

Danielson said that Ospreay is stronger and faster than him, and that the only way he has a chance is to ground the "Aerial Assassin." I'm not sure if Ospreay is actually faster than Danielson, but I agree with the sentiment that he needs to keep him grounded, so that made sense. Ospreay said that "healthier, younger, and better men" have tried and failed to defeat him, but Danielson is a "living legend in the game." The respect between these two in the feud is refreshing, and it's going to be one hell of a match that I'm sincerely looking forward to. While I would have enjoyed a face-to-face confrontation, I thought this was effective and honestly, one of the night's only standouts.

Written by Daisy Ruth

Hated: If you want to book a lesbian storyline, book a lesbian STORYline.

Let's make one thing abundantly clear: whatever Mariah May and Mina Shirakawa did tonight on "AEW Dynamite" was far from queer representation.

After May came out with a win against Anna Jay Wednesday night, Jay attacked May after the match. With light quickly fading from May's eyes as Jay's limbs wrapped around her in a sleeper hold, an oddly cheery tune hit, and STARDOM's Shirakawa came bolting down the ramp to help her friend. After Shirakawa scared off Jay, she procured two flutes of champagne for herself and May, and after holding May near her breast to pour the champagne into May's mouth, Shirakawa kissed May.


Whatever this is, it's far from a romance angle, period. Shirakawa was met with a dead crowd — which sucks, don't get me wrong — and so she kissed May to get a cheap pop. Whether the kiss was pre-planned or improvised, it was done in order to get a gasp from the audience, and to get people talking about Shirakawa. There was no love in the kiss — people who truly love each other don't force the other person to kiss them — and when it was paired with the overtly sexual undertones of the entire segment, it was clear that this was a show to get the AEW audience talking about women's bodies, and not much else. There is literally no reason nor excuse for this behavior. 

There are romance angles and couples tag team wrestling all over professional wrestling. They are as recent as Adam Copeland's work with his wife, Beth Phoenix, in his last months in WWE, and can be traced back all the way to Miss Elizabeth and Randy Savage. Some heterosexual romance angles are bad, some are great, but they all have one thing in common: the individuals involved are treated like people. It's not often that you'll find a heterosexual in-ring romance where sex is the end goal, and everything the couple does revolves around bedroom activities. When a heterosexual love story happens in the ring, the individuals involved are treated like people, with goals and ambitions outside of carnal physicality. So, why can't the same be said for in-ring stories about queer love?


Queer people love just like heterosexual people. We treat our partners with respect, we don't think about sex all the time, and we have goals and ambitions outside of whatever physical relationships we have with our partner. There is literally no reason why a queer romance angle can't play out in the ring in a healthy and respectful way. We are people. We are not your sex symbols, we are not your cheap pops — we are queer people, and we love our partners just like heterosexual people love theirs.

This whole segment felt exploitative, gross, shallow, corny, and unnecessary. If a professional wrestling promotion wants to have a queer storyline, then they should invest in having a queer storyline. Shirakawa is talented enough to get over on her own without resorting to cheap physicality in order to get attention on her — if she wasn't, then she wouldn't be here. If you need your female talent to stand out, then book them so they stand out. If you want a queer storyline, then book a queer storyline, emphasis on the "story". Easy as that.

Written by Angeline Phu

Loved: Swerve Strickland Targets Samoa Joe

I think it's safe to say that Swerve Strickland has mastered the art of character work in professional wrestling, which was exemplified by the closing moments of "AEW Dynamite" exemplified.

Following his AEW World Championship Eliminator match against Dustin Rhodes, Strickland blindsided Joe with an attack, landed a dropkick on him, and attacked him with his signature chain Strickland did something similar in the opening moments of "Dynamite" by dropkicking Joe on the ramp as he made an entrance and spearing him through a table. While there are some people who may find it repetitive to do the same thing twice, I think it shows just how smart his character is. By doing the same thing twice in one night, Strickland is sending the message to both Joe and the audience that he is one step ahead and playing mind games with him.


Having Prince Nana hand Strickland the title only for him to hold it up the AEW World Championship as if to crown him following his attack just helped to emphasize his point. It's the perfect example of how small, little details can add to a segment and make it that much better.

Written by Olivia Quinlan

Hated: Julia Hart Is Getting Pushed Off Screen

Julia Hart has been AEW TBS Champion for what feels like a thankless 143 days. The secondary women's title barely gets any time in a promotion where even the main women's title barely gets any time, which is why it's a shame AEW feels like it's heading for a Hart-less summer.


Mercedes Mone is on the scene, walking over every moment that plucky new babyface Willow Nightingale has at present. This has meant a lot of time for Willow to act like the babyface star she is, and lots of time for Mercedes to talk, while Hart is relegated to dropping the lights, attacking either woman, and killing time until Dynasty, when Nightingale will likely dethrone the champion and rekindle the feud she and Mone started last year before Mone was woefully injured. The whole thing stinks.

It feels like the TBS Title match at Dynasty will be a heatless slog, as we all wait for the inevitable conclusion, Willow and Mercedes facing off ahead of their Double or Nothing match. I'm begging for some kind of swerve or twist. I desperately want to be wrong but also being wrong would mean Hart retaining and Dynasty and robbing the world of a feud between Mercedes and Willow ahead of the summer. I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't, so I'll just say Hart deserved better for her reign and leave it at that.


Written by Ross Berman.