wrestling / Columns

411’s AEW Dynasty 2024 Preview

April 21, 2024 | Posted by Ryan Ciocco
AEW Dynasty Image Credit: AEW

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the preview for AEW Dynasty, the most recently added Pay-Per-View show for the company to fill the empty April void between Revolution and Double Or Nothing! Ryan back with you here to give you the rundown of the show and my thoughts, whether good, bad, or indifferent on it, with the usual list of predictions for what we are about to watch.

Emanating from the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Missouri on the campus of St. Louis University, Dynasty will offer up a full card of potential BRISCOE matches, including a highly anticipated “Dream Match” between the “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson and the “Willy GOAT” Will Ospreay. Elsewhere, the World Title is on the line as Swerve Strickland has himself a one-on-one shot this time with the champion Samoa Joe, the vacant World Tag Team Titles will awarded for the third time to either FTR or the Young (EVP) Bucks, and the woman who never lost the AEW Women’s Title, Thunder Rosa, will challenge TIMELESS Toni Storm in an effort to reclaim what she never lost.

All of that, and so much more on this show, so would you join me below for the full run-down with (probably) poorly predicted results?

Zero Hour
Trent Beretta vs. Matt Sydal

Image Credit: AEW

At its elemental core, it would be easy to just predict the easy win for Trent Beretta, especially considering his recent heel turn and betrayal of Orange Cassidy. And while I am going to do that for sure (so if you do not want to read the rest of my thoughts, you can easily skip to the next entry) I do want to bring up something interesting about this match.

I do find it ironic that, when the company added two Zero Hour matches on Thursday, both featured Cassidy and Beretta, albeit facing other people (and in Orange’s case, teaming up with someone to face his opponents). There remains some intrigue to both this match and the Cassidy tag team match (as in, could one or the either cost the other his match on the Zero Hour), but I’m guessing that to solidify the heel turn of Beretta, he needs to pick up a convincing win over a game Matt Sydal. And while I have not mentioned Sydal in this blurb until this moment, it is understood that Matt should hit his cues and gets hope spots, but Trent needs to be dominant and do Sydal dirty in this one.

WINNER: Trent Beretta

Zero Hour
Orange Cassidy & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shane Taylor Promotions

Image Credit: AEW

On one side of this equation, we have a team in Shane Taylor Promotions (we will call them STP for short), who have been having sustained success, especially after they added Anthony Ogogo to the group. And on the other side of this equation, we have the Mutual Admiration Society Team of Cassidy and Shibata, who are both looking to get back on track and find momentum moving forward.

These guys are no strangers to each other, as you will recall that it was Moriarty picking up the win for STP over the team of Hook, Chris Jericho, and Shibata, allowing Taylor to face Hook for his FTW Title, and pushed a rematch between Moriarty and Shibata. Cassidy has also recently faced (and defeated) Taylor, prompting after the match gang antics from STP. And so, we have arrived at a tough decision; does the team of Cassidy and Shibata go over to keep up their individual momentum (and in the case of Orange, his forward trajectory towards a match with Beretta), or does STP continue to build their unit up to be even better than it is now? One thing is for certain, and that is that you do not bet against Cassidy on the double.

WINNER: Orange Cassidy and Katsuyori Shibata

Zero Hour
ROH & AEW Trios Tag Team Championship Unification Match

The Acclaimed vs. Bullet Club Gold

Image Credit: AEW

Sometime ago (but not that long), it was predicted that this would end up being the conclusion of what was obviously a farce and a pretentious team made up of the “Bang Bang Scissor Gang.” It was not that long ago that the Acclaimed helped to land the nickname of the “Arse Boys” for both Austin and Colten Gunn (with help from Danhausen, but none the less). Add in the tense relationship between Billy Gunn and his sons even after they turned on their father, and it was clear that we would get to this point, however, the only question left to ask was when we would get to the split?

Well, the guess work has been laid to rest, as it would end up being Bullet Club Gold turning on The Acclaimed and Daddy Ass, after the latter attempted to stop Jay White and the Brothers Gunn from beating up Darby Allin (to no avail, as it were). So, the adamant conclusion of what we were expected to get has been reached, but the question now becomes, who comes out on top in this title unification match? Well, I feel like the company is not making that big of a deal of the match since it is on the Zero Hour part of the show, which makes me feel like the heel BCG might end up winning both sets of titles. That also becomes even more suggestive when you figure that the fourth member of Bullet Club Gold, one “Rock Hard” Juice Robinson, might be due to return soon, and if so, he could make the difference for White and the Brothers Gunn.

(Also, as an aside to the main point of previewing the match itself, I feel like it was the right decision to merge the ROH 6-Man Titles and the AEW Trios Belts because, while the company is loaded with a lot of possible trios’ teams, two sets of belts was kind of precocious in the first place.)

WINNER: The Bang Bang Gang AKA Bullet Club Gold (NEW Unified Trios Tag Team Champions)

Adam Copeland, Eddie Kingston & Mark Briscoe
vs. The House of Black

Image Credit: AEW

On paper, this should be a one-sided affair, with a win for the far more established House of Black (especially if they have Julia Hart at ringside, although given she has a title match and is also injured, that may not be the case). However, the collaboration of Copeland, the TNT Champion, Briscoe, the ROH World Champion, and Kingston, the man who Briscoe beat for the ROH World Title, is a very intriguing team that, while it lacks in chemistry, does not lack in veteran experience between the ropes and, in the case of Copeland and Briscoe, a wealth of tag team experience between them.

However, while the team opposing the House of Black feels like it could be a feel-good story if they were to win, it is not certain that their members can work together to beat the much more established trios’ team. Also, keep in mind the outside elements in this equation, such as the possible return of Christian Cage and his Patriarchy to take Copeland out of the equation, as they have been quiet since Cage dropped the TNT Title to Copeland at Revolution. At the end of the day, it seems to me that the House of Black should take this match, as the experience as a trio becomes too much for the hodgepodge team of Copeland, Kingston, and Briscoe to overcome and, depending upon who gets pinned in the match, could set up a future title shot for someone. I mean, could you imagine Malakai Black pinning Briscoe for an ROH Title shot, or Brodie King pinning Copeland and getting a TNT Title shot?

WINNER: The House of Black

FTW Championship Match
HOOK vs. Chris Jericho

Image Credit: AEW

You know, as much as I have enjoyed AEW since the company formed in 2019, it cannot be argued that sometimes, they lose the plot and the narrative that they should be working on. Case in point, this FTW Title match, with Hook defending the title against Chris Jericho, and at the core it is a fine, albeit unimaginative, match between a future star talent and a long-established talent within the business. The problem I have with this match is that it was not that long ago that Jericho and Hook came together as a tag team (with the wildly ambitious team name of JERIHOOK) and it looked like Jericho was going to take on another younger wrestler in an attempt to raise his profile and put him over.

However, what seemed like an inauspicious interaction between Hook and their tag team partner Katsuyori Shibata led to Jericho becoming offended and going off the deep end, leaving Shibata to take the pin in their trios’ match with Shane Taylor Promotions. Since then, Jericho has attempted to manipulate and brainwash Hook into being his understudy and wants to instill all his knowledge on the younger talent. It was not until Jericho shoved Hook’s father Taz that Hook took Jericho to task and challenged him anytime and anywhere, so that anywhere is St. Louis and that anytime is Dynasty for the FTW Title. To put it in simple terms, there is absolutely no reason for Jericho to win this match, as putting the FTW Title on him makes no sense and he absolutely does not need it. However, since Hook recently defeated Jericho on Dynamite, it does make the winner of this match a little more interesting, but with all of that said, I cannot see Hook dropping the belt, even if it stands to be an “Outlaw Title” to the veteran Jericho.

WINNER: Hook (STILL FTW Champion)

AEW International Championship Match
Roderick Strong vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Image Credit: AEW

The Undisputed Era powers are set to explode as Roderick Strong defends his International Title against former friend and running mate of said NXT stable in Kyle O’Reilly. At the base of this announcement, we are going to get a high-quality match between two guys who know each other well from not only said group, but the years they were both a part of the original Ring of Honor. However, my point about AEW sometimes losing the plot and the narrative in terms of storytelling regarding the above entry also strikes true for this match as well.

Case in point, O’Reilly, who recently returned from a long-term injury to the ring, has made it clear that, while he appreciates and respects Strong and the group that he now runs with (The Undisputed Kingdom), he wanted to do things on his own. Initially, this was met with positive introspection from Strong and the rest of the UK, however, when it became clear that Strong could not sway O’Reilly back into teaming with him, he decided to lay out O’Reilly following an eliminator match at the most recent Battle of the Belts. If this match does not feature shenanigans from the rest of the Undisputed Kingdom, both Strong and O’Reilly are fully capable of having a great match between them, although I question just how far along O’Reilly really is, since he has not been evaluated since he returned. That will change this Sunday, as Strong already knew his weaknesses, and can exploit the injury history that O’Reilly has to his great benefit. All of this to say, Strong just recently knocked off Orange Cassidy for the International Title, and he is not going to be dropping it any time soon.

WINNER: Roderick Strong (STILL AEW International Champion)

AEW TBS Championship Match
Julia Hart vs. Willow Nightingale

Image Credit: AEW

One of the biggest “what-if” matches coming into the show, it provides the great benefit of multiple outcomes as to who can win this one and where we go from there. Initially, it seemed like it would be an adamant conclusion that Nightingale would knock off Hart, and with the arrival of Mercedes Mone, it would provide the vehicle for Willow and the CEO to continue their preexisting feud. However, new elements have come into play over the weeks that might change the outcome of this match-up.

First up, we have the mysterious “blackout” attack on Mone during a backstage interview, of which these actions tend to lineup with being a House of Black tactic (whether it was Julia or Skye Blue or both we do not know). Secondly, there is the matter of the injury that Hart suffered during her Rampage match defending the TBS Title against “Legit” Leyla Hirsch a few weeks back. The possible severity of said injury not only forced the re-write of the mixed tag team match on this past Dynamite, but also casts doubt as to how close to 100% Hart is going to be for the title defense this Sunday. Whether or not the injury is something that she can fight through, I still feel like the result is Willow going over and then at some point down the line (at Double or Nothing, but it could be later) defending the title against Mone. However, given the recent events of Mercedes getting attacked in the dark, I can see them being allies for the short term against Skye and Hart.

WINNER: Willow Nightingale (NEW AEW TBS Champion)

AEW Continental Championship Match
Kazuchika Okada vs. PAC

Image Credit: AEW

You know, if it were not for matches that involved Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland, Bryan Danielson, and Will Ospreay, I would have to say that this match would be the best in terms of not only the talent involved in, but the possibility to steal the show. Which again, says so much when you consider that you have the men I mentioned involved in matches already, but the allure of PAC and Okada bashing it up not only is fun in theory, but it also puts more luster on the Continental title belt.

Since Okada signed with AEW, has been unstoppable in the ring, having not yet lost a match, and aligning himself with the Young (EVP) Bucks has guaranteed that he has backup in the highest form (both literally and figuratively). However, let us not kid ourselves and sell the Rainmaker short, as he would be able to do just as well if he had staked it out on his own after joining AEW. That theory, whether in practice or hypothetical, will be assessed by the Bastard PAC, who returned recently from injury and has made it his goal to take down Okada and win the Continental title belt. And who could blame him since PAC held this very title belt when it was still known as the All-Atlantic title and defended it everywhere. Nevertheless, Okada just became champion, defeating Eddie Kingston for the title, and I do not see him losing at Dynasty, or anytime soon at all.

WINNER: Kazuchika Okada (STILL AEW Continental Champion)

AEW Women’s World Championship Match
Toni Storm vs. Thunder Rosa

Image Credit: AEW

In a perfect world, the AEW Women’s World title reign of TIMELESS Toni Storm would never end. Not only is she incredibly talented in the ring, but she has been a pure delight in terms of her character work and her commentary work as well. Like I said, in a perfect world, Storm would never drop the title belt and would reign forever, complete with her entourage with Mariah May (AKA Cosplay Toni) and her faithful butler, Luther.

And yet…

There is the fact that, even though she is challenging for the AEW Women’s title, Rosa never actually lost the belt in the first place. You will recall that she had to relinquish the title after suffering an injury, allowing for, among other things, title reigns for the likes of Jamie Hayter, Saraya, and multiple reigns for Storm, including her current run. Also, one must consider the uphill battle that Rosa will find herself in, since she refused the help of Deonna Purrazzo to help ward off Storm’s merry band of supporters. I feel like it would have behooved Rosa to not reject the help from The Virtuoso, even if it meant that she would give her first crack at the Women’s Title if she were to defeat Storm for it. I feel like this will be the undoing of Rosa, as the numbers game will simply be too much for her to overcome.

WINNER: TIMELESS Toni Storm (STILL AEW Women’s World Champion)

AEW World Tag Team Championship Ladder Match
The Young (EVP) Bucks vs. FTR

Image Credit: AEW

No matter who wins this match, we will be guaranteed the first ever 3-time AEW Tag Team champions in company history. The question then becomes, which team will persevere and climb the ladder to unhook the title belts, the team that hasn’t missed since they turned heel and accepted who they are and turned that into smarmy heels, or the team who has been having issues with momentum, but their history suggests that they could turn it around at any moment?

The history of FTR and The Young (EVP) Bucks within AEW is the stuff of legends, and it comes as no surprise considering that both teams are incredibly talented, and their clash of styles also makes for a fun get together. With that being said, the previous tag team meetings with the belts on the line were more conventional matches, and now we have a ladder match to determine the next tag team champions. Considering that the Bucks are the ones who are more well known for throwing themselves around with reckless abandon, it would make more sense if the Bucks would win this match. But we simply cannot rule out the fact that FTR can win any given match in any given situation, although I have a strong feeling that this match is the strongest ploy for the Bucks to get the tag team titles back.

WINNER: The Young (EVP) Bucks (NEW AEW World Tag Team Champions)

Will Ospreay vs. Bryan Danielson

Image Credit: AEW

So, usual readers of my now routine preview for all things AEW Pay-Per-View shows will notice that I like to format my preview with non-title matches (or Zero Hour matches, of course) at the beginning of the preview, to make way for the title matches because of course, they usually have more meaning than a non-title affair. Not only is that untrue in this situation with a match involving the “Willy GOAT” Will Ospreay and the “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, but I would argue that the excitement for this match is the highest of any on this show, bar none. And again, that is no disrespect to the presumed main event (the AEW World Title match), but if ever there was a time to bust out the “Dream Match” tagline, well, this is it!

How does one go about even breaking this match down? Both men have or currently do embody the personification of pro wrestling in their respective eras and their equally respective primes of their careers. Danielson, for all his technical prowess and striking ability, can still open the high-flying vault and hit dives between the ropes like he was 20 years younger again. And Ospreay, for all his high-flying ability and creativity (he didn’t earn the nickname “The Aerial Assassin” for nothing) has come into his own with his ability to grapple with the best of them and even throw in some different finishing moves, relying more on the Hidden Blade but also still being able to use the Storm Breaker and Tiger Driver 91 just as easily. If Danielson wasn’t winding down his full-time career in the ring, I think the selection of a winner here would be more difficult, because then you can fantasy book a lot more matches between these guys, maybe even going back to the days of the “best of seven series” that we used to see. However, Ospreay is the here and the now of AEW, and Danielson seems quite content with picking up wins over lessor foes but in this case, he puts over Ospreay in fantastic fashion. I just hope that all outside interference from the Blackpool Combat Club and the Don Callis Family stays out of the match, or at worst, if they want to fight each other to the back, that’s okay with me, just so these guys have the spotlight is all I ask, and I don’t think that’s asking a whole lot.

WINNER: The “Willy GOAT” Will Ospreay

AEW World Championship Match
Samoa Joe vs. Swerve Strickland

Image Credit: AEW

And so, we arrive at the destination for what is presumed to be Swerve’s final chance at winning the World Heavyweight Title of AEW. Admittedly, Samoa Joe has been a good champion for the company in a time of need, given that former champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman (or as we know him, our favorite scumbag, MJF) would need to drop the title to have surgery on his various injuries and take time to heal up properly. And one can and will argue that Joe is a made man even without the World Title, but the same cannot be said for Strickland, who, should he not win the World Title at Dynasty, will forever be seen as the lame duck loser.

And listen, that is no slight at all against Strickland; for all his losses in title matches (whether it was for the TNT Title, the Round Robin Tournament, or the first AEW title match at Revolution) he has given us many highlights in AEW to this point, including multiple wins over former Heavyweight Champion “Hangman” Adam Page. However, all these big wins aside, none of them have come when it matters most, and now Strickland has a one-on-one match with Joe, as opposed to a 3-way title match at Revolution which also included Page. The adage is to strike while the iron is hot, and Strickland has an uphill battle against the much bigger (trying to hold off from the Scott Steiner jokes) champion in Joe, but Strickland is in a prime position to take the World Title from Joe and rewrite history in the relatively young history of All Elite Wrestling. It is time for everyone to scream out in unison, “WHOSE HOUSE?”

WINNER: Swerve Strickland (NEW AEW World Champion)

AEW Dynasty will air this Sunday Night, starting with Zero Hour completely FREE on the company’s YouTube Channel at 7:00PM EST, followed by Dynasty proper, starting at 8:00PM on conventional PPV and satellite stations, and is now also available for purchase on the company’s YouTube channel in the US and around the world!

article topics :

AEW Dynasty, Ryan Ciocco