AEW Dynamite 4/24/24: 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved

Welcome to Wrestling Inc.'s weekly review of "AEW Dynamite," the show that definitely didn't continue AEW's longstanding trend of following up a great PPV with a mediocre episode of television! The majority of the WINC crew were not huge fans of this particular installment (mostly because we either couldn't hear it or we heard it way too loudly). We did find three things to love about it, though, and the most important of those things absolutely ruled. We can't get into everything that went down — you can check out our "Dynamite" results page for a comprehensive show recap — but if we felt a little more strongly than usual about everything on this episode, that just means that we had to limit ourselves to the things we felt strongest about, and that's good for everyone!


So, are we excited to see Will Ospreay challenge for the International Championship? Were we thrilled by Swerve Strickland's first appearance as AEW World Champion? And most importantly, after eating a piledriver (like a champ) from the Young Bucks, will Tony Khan show up at the 2024 NFL Draft wearing a neck brace? Only time will tell! Here are three things we hated and three things we loved about the 4/24/24 episode of "AEW Dynamite."

Loved: The long-overdue ballad of Chuckie and Trent

Way back in 2019, NJPW was poised to lose Kenny Omega and "Hangman" Adam Page to the newly-formed AEW, putting a severe hitch in the company's plans to begin expansion into North America. To replace Omega — and more importantly the soon-to-be-star Page — NJPW turned to junior heavyweight tag team division stalwart Trent Beretta. Beretta, along with Juice Robinson, seemed poised to be the new North American faces of NJPW in January 2019 ... and then AEW signed Beretta and Chuck Taylor about a month later, completely derailing NJPW's plans once again.


In the years that followed, Beretta seemed to fade into the background alongside Taylor. A series of injuries, as well as the rising popularity of Orange Cassidy, found The Best Friends becoming something of a glorified goon squad, there to back up Cassidy in his battles with the various stars of AEW, but otherwise a less-than-significant presence in both the singles and tag divisions. Beyond the spectacular Parking Lot Brawl with Santana and Ortiz (that went nowhere), Beretta was stuck eating pinfalls and Chuck was tweeting about wanting to say "s***" on TNT (and then eventually TBS).

For a brief, shining moment on Wednesday, it was as if the past five years of immobility vanished. Beretta, fresh off of betraying his friends in front of his own mother, was challenged to a match by Taylor, and not just any match — the Parking Lot Brawl for which both men are famous. Taylor even got to call Beretta "a piece of s***" on TBS, finally accomplishing his goal of dropping the s-word on cable TV. Fans of both men know they had a heated feud in PWG before their AEW tenure, and if the upcoming brawl between the two even sniffs the lofty heights of their previous encounters, both are set for a showcase the likes of which they haven't had since the days of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Written by Ross Berman

Hated: The new world champion is just another undercard guy

O April 21, Swerve Strickland won the AEW World Championship in the main event of the first-ever Dynasty PPV. He's the company's first Black world champ, a point he and AEW hammered during the Dynasty broadcast and the weeks leading up to it, and his win was celebrated by the industry — partly for what it represented for Black wrestlers and fans, partly for what it meant in terms of AEW's youth movement, a fast-rising star grabbing the brass ring and taking his place at the top of the card.


Three days later, on "Dynamite," Swerve was not the main event; that spot, understandably, went to the segment where Perry and The Elite beat up Tony Khan. Swerve wasn't the opening segment, either; that spot, less understandably, went to the storyline involving the Best Friends break-up. Swerve only came out after that was done, and he didn't come out to give a speech, or do a championship celebration. He didn't speak at all, in fact — not once during the episode. Nor did he wrestle a top-level star — he went up against Kyle Fletcher, the least prominent member of the Don Callis Family and the current Ring of Honor Television Champion. Fletcher hasn't won a singles match on AEW programming since October, but he gets a world title eliminator match, because this is the show with the rankings and everything.


Which, you know what, fine. At least Swerve gets to follow up his big win by squashing someone who isn't on his level. Only that's not what happened. The match went 15 MINUTES. Between Fletcher's offense and a worked leg injury, Swerve wrestled from underneath for much of the contest, narrowly escaping after a match that made Fletcher look like the stronger fighter. Beyond the misalignment of stars, the match was also just ... bad. It had seemingly no coherent structure beyond Swerve playing the role of scrappy underdog (which is a role he does not need to be playing) and felt more like a match rehearsal than the finished product, particularly when you factor in at least two extremely visible botched spots, including one that saw Fletcher go under the ring for a weapon, only to seemingly abandon the idea for no reason and get back in the ring. Swerve also spent a large portion of the match selling a leg injury, but then miraculously recovered long enough to hit two leg-related moves — the Swerve Stomp (which Fletcher kicked out of) and the House Call (which he did not). He didn't even sell the leg after the pinfall.

From the booking to the execution, this was amateur hour stuff that made the new world champion look both profoundly beatable and no more important than any random member of the locker room. I simply cannot fathom booking Strickland like this after he's just won your top championship. And for a title reign AEW themselves are touting as historic, it was a pretty terrible look to go with a pretty terrible match.


Written by Miles Schneiderman

Loved: History resurfaces between Willow Nightingale & Mercedes Mone

I mentioned my hopes for the history between Willow Nightingale and Mercedes Mone becoming more of a focal point for their feud in my "loved" section after Nightingale won the TBS Championship at AEW Dynasty on Sunday, and my hopes and wishes were granted on "Dynamite." While I did find it silly that Mone wasn't promoted for the show, especially as AEW touted returning to Daily's Place as a "homecoming," as it usually does, I guess I should have expected to see her. She's never an unwelcome sight, even when she's playing the heel, and her crashing Nightingale's championship victory celebration made total sense; here comes Mone, ready to rain on the parade.


It's the contents of the promo between these two women that I really loved. Nightingale got sassy to start things off, which I loved, because frankly, how can you NOT love the energy that woman brings to everything? I've become a very fast fan of Nightingale's. She flat out told Mone that it was "like the fourth time" she's interrupted her. Mone, of course, responded pretty generically, telling Nightingale that she needs to enjoy her celebration, because in 32 days at Double Or Nothing, she'll be the one emerging victorious as TBS Champion. But Mone's real reason for interrupting the new champion was to ask if she was "that b****" that attacked her in the dark. Nightingale had also been attacked backstage prior to her mixed tag team match with Adam Copeland, so Statlander spoke up and told Mone she wasn't making sense.


It was then that Nightingale voiced her belief that Mone has a "personal vendetta" against her because of their history in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, when Mone was injured facing off against her for the newly-created NJPW STRONG Women's Championship. Nightingale went more personal with this approach, saying that she herself was questioning her own victory, and continued to do so the following day when she saw the discourse on social media. She made it known that there would be "no asterisk" on her TBS Championship win when she defeats Mone, who will presumably be at 100 percent, at Double Or Nothing. Nightingale adding the personal, human touch to this, while bringing up a little bit more about their feud and why Mone doesn't like her for the more casual fan, was excellent to me, and exactly what I wanted. That's what this feud needs to be based off of, especially with AEW's working relationship with NJPW. It's not something that should be ignored. This feud is much more interesting because of it, rather than the more simple angle of Nightingale being a lovable babyface and Mone wanting gold. With a few weeks left until they face off in Las Vegas, I think there's much more to be explored here, and it's nice to have another rich women's storyline in this company.


Written by Daisy Ruth

Hated: What is even happening here?

If you were confused at all about the Casino Gauntlet match — during or after — you weren't at all alone. A quick look through social media shows there were plenty of you, and it also confused the lot of us here in WINCland. For one, we didn't know this match was coming (and apparently, neither did the announcers). Two, it wasn't clear, at first, as to which title for whom the winner of this match would be challenging (the announcers initially said it would be the world title, then switched to the International title). And three, nobody knew what the rules were for a Casino Gauntlet match until the announce team hurriedly spat it out in a manner that was difficult to process (and required actual research). In a nutshell, we got a Gauntlet Eliminator match (which, raise your hand if you remember seeing one before, because there was apparently one at "NXT" Stand and Deliver 2021 that I do not recall), where only the surprise appearance of Will Ospreay presented us with someone who had a shot to get the win.


Indeed, Ospreay prevailed over Jay White, Dante Martin, Penta El Zero Miedo, Kyle O'Reilly, Lance Archer, Komander, and Jay Lethal, and will now challenge Roderick Strong for the International Championship at Double Or Nothing. I'd have given White a chance had he not been beaten to a pulp by a 60-year-old Billy Gunn recently. As for Ospreay, cool that his momentum rolls on, I suppose, after his highlight reel match against Bryan Danielson at Dynasty, but it seemed like he was immediately poised for much bigger things after that, and now, ho hum, midcard title it is. Nobody else made sense here whatsoever, which kind of eliminates any match theoretically built on surprises (as AEW's "Casino" gimmick matches have been through the company's entire existence).


The announcers mentioned several times that they didn't know this match was coming, or how many wrestlers might eventually enter, and at one point, Taz offered up, "Who the hell knows?" When you hit us with that kind of stuff all too often, I tend to believe that it might have actually been true — that nobody really knew what was happening. In the end, this was a wild match with all kinds of crazy spots, so you could argue that it was fun, but confusion ruled the day once more in AEW, and that happens far too often.

Written by Jon Jordan

Hated: Jericho does not need a new stable

I have watched many Chris Jericho segments over the course of the last couple of months every week on "Dynamite," and have disliked almost every –- if not every –- one of them. The promo he cut on this week's show, however, easily takes the cake for being the worst of the bunch.


First, I hate to be the bearer of bad news for Jericho, but no one was buzzing over him dethroning HOOK as FTW Champion, and even if there was buzz, it was all negative, since no one wanted to see it happen. Second, there was no reason to give HOOK advice he didn't ask for, a development that made little sense aside from keeping the door open for a potential feud upon HOOK's return. Third, Jericho is doing the opposite of what he should be doing with this new character and is trying to take on a heel character who thinks he's beloved, when it would be more effective for him to take the approach of being angry that the fans turned on him. Fourth, the delivery of both his and Big Bill's lines once Bill confronted him looking for his guidance was straight-up terrible, uninspired, and made things worse.


Jericho and Bill have had a handful of tag team matches since 2016 in both WWE and AEW, but of all people, Bill still feels like an extremely random choice to be the first member of Jericho's presumed new stable, especially since Bill had been teaming with Ricky Starks as of late prior to Starks seemingly suffering an injury — he says he's fine, but we haven't seen him in a month. Jericho doesn't need to begin yet another stable in AEW, and although Inner Circle and Jericho Appreciation Society proved to both be relatively successful, it's becoming way too repetitive and almost seems as though there is a shortage of ideas on how he should be booked. However, since it seems as though it has been decided that he will begin yet another stable, the roster is quite extensive. It's not as though Jericho doesn't have options that would make more sense and he has more history with to choose from, with Action Andretti and Jake Hager (should he be looking for a big guy and is currently doing nothing) particularly coming to mind. Big Bill, not so much.

Written by Olivia Quinlan

Loved: Tony Khan picked his moment

Tony Khan has become more and more of a presence on AEW programming, often being seen on headset backstage directing traffic, sometimes delivering big announcements about upcoming events or debuts, and occasionally telling people he feared for his life and had to fire CM Punk. On Wednesday, Khan crossed the Rubicon and became an actual part of an AEW storyline in the most explicit way since he founded the company in 2019.


Following the reinstatement of Jack Perry, Khan was ambushed and punched in the gut by Perry, knocking him to the ground. The Young Bucks and Kazuchika Okada came out, feigning shock and horror, before setting up Khan for the Tony Khan Driver (formerly known as the Meltzer Driver). Khan said very little during the segment — he simply got beat up and left for dead. The Bucks, Okada, and Perry quickly retreated as medical staff attended to Tony Khan. Several of AEW's least prominent babyfaces came out to check on their boss, and then Shad Khan himself, Jacksonville business magnate and Tony Khan's father, came out to survey the horror. It was all pure theater, pure soap opera, and I am desperate to know where they are going with this.


Is Tony Khan going to be in the Jacksonville war room in a neck brace? Is it possible that Khan may not be as prominent a figure anymore? Could this be the end of post-PPV media scrums? I was left with a ton of questions and the sick glee of watching a divisive non-wrestler eat a finishing move named after him. Everyone did exactly as much as they needed to do and not a second more. It might be my favorite ending the company has done in some time, if ever, and I can't wait for next week.

Written by Ross Berman