AEW Dynasty 2024: 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved

Welcome to Wrestling Inc.'s first-ever review of AEW Dynasty, a brand new PPV from Tony Khan's upstart promotion! The show featured the much-hyped Ospeay/Danielson dream match, the shocking return of Jack Perry, and the crowning of the first Black AEW World Champion in the form of Swerve Strickland — and that was just the last three matches. We have opinions on all three of them here at WINC, and we will get into those shortly, along with some other matches from Dynasty that got on our radar for a good or a bad reason. It was a four-hour show, however, and we simply could not cover everything here, even if we wanted to — if that's what you're looking for, check out our Dynasty results page, where we both aspire to and succeed in providing a comprehensive report on all the events of the show.


That said, we do have a lot to talk about, from a match that many are (prematurely and irrationally) calling the greatest ever on American soil to some other matches that were ... not that. Here are three things we hated and three things we loved about AEW Dynasty 2024.

Hated: Adam Copeland eats the pin in what should have just been a TNT Championship match

Reigning TNT Champion Adam Copeland took the pinfall during Sunday's six-man tag match pitting himself, Eddie Kingston, and Mark Briscoe against The House of Black's Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews. But the match was really burying the lede from the get-go here, the story actually being that of Black's pursuit of Copeland and his title. It can certainly make sense for Copeland to seek alliances to balance the numbers in the lead in and on the periphery of the match itself, but there's no feasible reason why the champion should be wrestling, and specifically losing, if they are not defending their title.


It's a question of what is says about the prestige of the title that the marquee match involving the champion doesn't even have it on the line, and it's a question of what it says for the legitimacy of the feud in general. Black famously doesn't take many losses in singles action, so it's feasible from the off that he could challenge for the title. Furthermore, Copeland has been making open challenge defenses on TV against the likes of Matt Cardona — why did Black need to score a preliminary win over the champion to qualify for a shot? (Assuming that's the route this feud is following, which it seems it is.)

There's also the matter of having the ROH World Champion and the "NJPW Strong" Openweight Champions standing next to one another. Are the members of the House of Black now due shots at their titles? If not, why have them taking losses too? This kind of booking hurts the champions as well as the titles they hold. There was no additional storytelling for either of Kingston or Briscoe, the match did very little for Copeland or the TNT Championship, and what did a dirty win (literally, due to mist shenanigans) truly accomplish for the House of Black if Black himself isn't portrayed like a convincing challenger? It would have been far better for the 17 minutes afforded to this match to have been allocated to the seemingly inevitable TNT Championship match between Black and Copeland, allowing both to shine in their own right, unclouded by the murky nature of this tag match.


Written by Max Everett

Loved: The Nightingale and the CEO

Even though it was the shortest match of the night and the match itself wasn't entirely anything to write home about, Willow Nightingale capturing the TBS Championship from Julia Hart was the best move AEW could have done with that title. There have been rumors spinning around the internet for weeks that Hart is dealing with an injury, and they're believable enough that some betting websites even took the match and its betting odds down before the show. I can certainly believe it when we think back to the mixed tag team match — or what was supposed to be a mixed tag match — from "AEW Dynamite" on Wednesday, when Adam Copeland and Nightingale were set to take on Hart and Brody King. As someone who was quite looking forward to that match, I found it quite odd that Nightingale was taken out backstage and didn't appear ringside to compete in the match, so Hart didn't have to do too much herself. I certainly hope Hart is okay and heals quickly, but regardless, it was absolutely time for her to lose the championship.


It's been said that AEW President Tony Khan doesn't do too great of a job when it comes to booking women's storylines — "Timeless" Toni Storm not withstanding. So with the Nightingale versus Mercedes Mone match at Double or Nothing already being made official, I'm excited for the story moving in to the next month. Even if fans aren't aware of the history behind Nightingale and Mone, with the latter being injured in the pairs' match in the final of the NJPW STRONG Women's Championship tournament, a belt basically created for Mone, the feud still works. Double or Nothing will be Mone's first match in the company and she's coming after a title, so a more casual fan doesn't have to be aware of their history, though I'm sure AEW will explain it clearly in the next few weeks, especially with the company's working relationship with New Japan. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit there, but as someone who does know the history, I'm pumped.


The only thing that irks me about this is the fact Nightingale seems destined to lose the championship quickly. There's no way AEW is going to debut Mone without her winning her first match, and thus winning that TBS Championship. I love Mone, and I know she'll elevate that title, but I also really love Nightingale, and I'm excited for her. She and Khan suggested at the post-show press conference that she will defend the title prior to Double or Nothing, so hopefully they get the most out of Willow's short reign before presumably moving her up to challenge for the AEW Women's World Championship, instead.

Written by Daisy Ruth

Hated: Chris Jericho does it again

I have called Chris Jericho some horrible things in the virtual pages of Wrestling Inc., but now I am going to use terminology that my grandparents and great-grandparents' generations used, a simple combination of words from which no self-respecting person can actually come back from: Chris Jericho is not a serious person. He's become a depressing joke at his own expense, and Sunday's abysmal display against Hook was another chapter in the god-awful book of stories he's been telling lately.


Jericho moves slower than he used to. His ideas are even more half-baked than they were the last time. He adds nothing and he does nothing for his opponent. Where once he was able to make a perfectly adequate career sound legendary, he is now tarnishing even his own generous spin, standing naked in front of the entire empire, swinging his junk around without a shred of shame or self-respect and making a spectacle of what a sad, sorry man he's become.

Daniel Garcia, Sammy Guevara, Will Hobbs, now Hook — Jericho has either ruined or nearly ruined them with his hare-brained schemes to get over at other wrestlers' expense, and even the generous AEW crowd is fed up with it. The red-hot audience in St. Louis, which at one point chanted "we're not worthy," was begging Jericho to go away — not because he is a master manipulator, but because he is just bad at what he does now. He's lost the touch. He's constantly involved in matches that are constructed for a much younger Jericho, leading him to time and time again bite off more than he can chew and make everyone look stupid with his ineptitude. I have to assume that he has stopped watching his own matches, as there's no conceivable way his performances in the past year have been up to even his own standards.


Jericho has lost more than a step; he has lost his whole foot. He now wrestles like Kerry Von Erich lived: hell-bent on disaster and ruin.

Written by Ross Berman

Loved: Will Ospreay and Bryan Danielson was the true Dynasty main event

There's nothing like the first time two generational talents meet to settle the age old question: Who's the best? Going back to Frank Gotch and Georg Hackenschmidt and likely even further, professional wrestling has been founded upon the idea of pitting the two pinnacle talents against one another, and Sunday night saw just that in the form of Bryan Danielson against Will Ospreay. 


"The American Dragon" is in his last full-time year of professional wrestling, and he has promised that he will not slow down as the horizon draws closer; that promise was cemented at Dynasty. Where so many others would look toward self-preservation, Danielson has made a career out of wrestling like it's both the first and last time he will ever be in the ring. He manages to squeeze big fight potential out of each and every opponent, a result of the smorgasbord of wrestling art forms he has dabbled in and mastered over decades across the world.

As one heads toward the horizon, they will often look back and see those walking the path they paved. Such was the case Sunday, with Will Ospreay proving that he is firmly on that path and covering decent ground. The match itself illustrated that, with "The Aerial Assassin" proving to be faster to the mark to hit the Hidden Blade just as Danielson sought to land the Busaiku Knee. Ospreay was more than aware of the occasion and the opponent though, further landing a brutal Tiger Driver '91 followed by yet another Hidden Blade to finally keep the resilient veteran down. He was savage in competition, but clearly emotional by the time the final bell had rung. That encapsulated the general feeling of this bout — Dynasty's true main event.


Written by Max Everett

Loved: The Young Bucks and FTR circle the arena three times and then set it on fire

The build was weird at best and misguided at worst. The teams are two of the most annoying presences outside of the ring, with FTR being gung-ho about aging into the kind of men who talk about "the good ol' days" while The Young Bucks are ... The Young Bucks. Everything going into this match said it was very much not going to be "for me."


"That's ok," I told myself as the teams made their entrances. "Not every match has to be 'for me,' and I can enjoy a good Young Bucks ladder match, even if they tend to be a little too graceful for my taste."

Reader, I have never been more wrong.

The ladder match between FTR and The Young Bucks at AEW Dynasty was an absolute car crash in all of the best ways. Blood poured out of Dax Harwood's face. The Bucks were more hard-hitting than usual. Not a single person landed flush on a table — not once — instead careening at odd angles, leading to wreckage and carnage that I simply hadn't seen before. In what I thought was well-trod ground, this was something relatively fresh for the ladder match. No one built a convoluted sculpture of ladders to bounce off of; instead, two teams tried to legitimately murder each other for 20 minutes or so. The crowd, initially dead from the scary finish of Danielson vs. Ospreay, was hooked, losing their minds at every human disaster that unfolded.


Then f***ing Jungle Boy showed up and the place came unglued. The two teams were fighting so fiercly that even my cynical, jaded media brain forgot that Perry was all but telegraphed to be returning Sunday night. There really isn't any higher accolade you can give a match. Star ratings, letter ratings, even a carefully worded review — all of those are just pseudoscientific ways to say "Someone made me forget that I knew what was going to happen," something that applies to more than just wrestling.

FTR and The Young Bucks made me forget that I knew what was going to happen. Simple as that.

Written by Ross Berman

Hated: Right decision, wrong time

It was pretty obvious going into Dynasty that Swerve Strickland was winning the AEW World Championship, and that's a fantastic decision. Strickland is one of the best wrestlers in the company, he's riding a massive wave of fan momentum, and it is well past time for a Black man to hold the men's world title (the fact that AEW, a company founded in 2019, didn't have a Black AEW World Champion until 2024 is frankly embarrassing). I think Swerve should have won the title, I just wouldn't have had him win the title on this particular show.


For one thing, it feels like there was more juice in the Strickland/Samoa Joe feud. Those two have been doing amazing work together, and there was some real story potential in, say, having Joe realize during this match that he couldn't beat Swerve and taking a shortcut to win, setting up the next one. That's a very simple idea — there are probably dozens of better ones that also would have made it easy to drag Swerve's title win out until Double or Nothing a month from now. It's one of AEW's original four PPVs, which would have given Strickland's win a sense of prestige you're just not getting from the first-ever Dynasty show; more importantly, it would have prevented the win from being undercut by the Bryan Danielson/Will Ospreay match and the return of Jack Perry, which happened back-to-back just before the title match. My coworkers have just done phenomenal jobs explaining why those two matches were incredible — Swerve and Joe having to follow them meant not only that Swerve's victory happened in front of fans who were tired from screaming their lungs out, but on a show that will be remembered for multiple things that are not AEW crowning their first Black men's world champion.


To reiterate, I don't want anyone to think I don't approve of Swerve being champion, or that I disliked the main event (though I do think it could have been a much better match in the context of a longer feud). I just heard the well-intentioned but tired pop for Swerve winning the world title from a St. Louis crowd that had been unreasonably hot all night long, and I felt like Swerve deserved better than the Triple H spot at WrestleMania X8. Ospreay and Danielson should have been the main event here while Swerve's moment got room to breathe on a different card; doing it this way basically just makes it feel like Swerve is keeping the belt warm for Will.

Written by Miles Schneiderman