It’s the final Dynamite before this weekend’s Double Or Nothing pay-per-view event, and things are heating up.


After a night of the EVP Young Bucks running amok with power, they received their comeuppance when Darby Allin – with an assist from Tony Khan, – blazed his way into the building, defying the ban that the Bucks had put on him, and turned up the heat.

It was a hot ending to an otherwise decent go-home show.


The show started with a customized introduction video, mixing in clips from the new movie Furiosa with the normal AEW footage.


Match 1: Orange Cassidy and Will Ospreay vs. Trent and Roderick Strong (w/ Matt Taven and Mike Bennett)

Don Callis joined the commentary desk for this one, continuing to scout OC. For the first time, I disagree with Don Callis – because normally when OC is on the screen, I change the channel. But, since I am contractually-obligated to do the report this week, I’ll suffer through his nonsense.

This is a preview of the two singles matches that will happen on this weekend’s Double Or Nothing event, where Ospreay challenges Strong for the International Championship and Trent faces OC in a skippable Street Fight.

The opening minute saw brawling on the floor and the babyfaces hit dives all over. Distraction by Taven and Bennett allowed Strong and Trent to take over. They beat on Ospreay for a while, until he escaped. OC came in, but he got beaten up, too. He put his hands in his pockets and the very little interest I had in this one disappeared. Which sucks, because I’m a fan of Roddy and Ospreay, but it is what it is.

Anyway, the end was a cluttered mess. Taven and Bennett got involved, then Callis left the announce desk and got involved to save OC from a Roderick Strong finishing move attempt. OC hit Slumdog Millionaire and Ospreay hit a Springboard Cutter. Ospreay then took out Taven and Benett with a Somersault Dive on the ramp. And then he got flattened with a sneak-attack by Wardlow who ran out from the back. That left OC alone with Strong and Trent, and they double-teamed and pinned him.


After the match, Trent and the Undisputed Kingdom beat up Ospreay and OC. As the others held up Ospreay, Srrong clocked Ospreay in the head with the International Championship, busting him open, and then hit his finisher. Meanwhile, Trent clamped on a submission on OC on the ramp.

Winners: Trent and Roderick Strong

In yet another moment that would normally change the channel, they then switched to the Young Bucks in the back. They handed out pictures of Darby Allin to a security team, telling them that Allin had been barred from the building tonight. They said he was too dangerous, since he attacked the Elite last week.

Sonjay Dutt came up to the Bucks and said that one of their opponents at Double Or Nothing, Bryan Danielson, was going to be dealt with tonight when Bryan faces Satnam Singh. The Bucks indicated that they would like it if Singh injured Danielson in the match and he said that if they had the money, he’d do the crime..


Bang Bang Gang promo

The Undisputed Trios Champions, the Bang Bang Gang (Jay White, Austin Gunn, and Colton Gunn), came to the ring. They had nothing good to say about PAC. They said his name three times, and like Beetlejuice, PAC appeared on the Khan Tron. He said that the BBG beat him up last week, but that was a 3-on-1 situation. So he said he would even up the odds.

Then he, Penta, and Fenix – collectively knowns as Death Triangle – appeared on the entrance ramp. They rushed the ring and beat the tar out of the BBG. The BBG skedaddled, and as they ran up the ramp, PAC challenged them to a Unified Trios Championship match at Double Or Nothing.


Match 2: HOOK vs. “Bounty Hunter” Bryan Keith vs. Katsuyori Shibata

“The Learning Tree” Chris Jericho was accompanied by Big Bill to the commentary desk, where he was stationed for this one. He was there, because the winner of this match will get a title shot against Chris Jericho for the FTW Championship at Double Or Nothing on Sunday.

The opening minute saw everyone hit Suplexes on each other in a fun sequence. Later, Shibata was on fire, running back and forth to pummel both his opponents on opposite ends of the ring. Then there was some Picture-in-Picture action where all three men did more moves to each other.

When we returned from the ads, Shibata locked on a Figure-Four Leglock on Keith, and then HOOK locked Keith in Redrum. Trapped in painful holds on both ends, Keith had no choice but to tap out to both moves.

The referee declared HOOK and Shibata as co-winners.

The crowd chanted to “Let them fight” but instead, they got to hear Jericho talk. He grabbed the mic and put himself over, and ingenuously said that he was looking forward to taking on both of them in a Three-Way match for the FTW Championship on Sunday. From his deathbed, Tony Khan texted in and made the match official, and a graphic magically appeared seconds later confirming it.

Winners: HOOK and Katsuyori Shibata

A video package aired hyping the Double Or Nothing match between Mercedes Mone and TBS Champion Willow Nightingale.

The Young Bucks and Okada did a commercial for some new Reebok shoes.

A video package aired hyping the Eliminator match between Jon Moxley and challenger Konosuke Takeshita on Sunday. If Takeshita wins that match, he will earn a future IWGP World Heavyweight Championship title shot against Moxley.


Match 3: Konosuke Takeshita (w/ Don Callis) vs. Matt Sydal

Takeshita started off with a big Suplex and then some disrespectful kicks to Sydal. This fired up Sydal and he mounted a brief comeback before getting planted with a Blue Thunder Slam. Takeshita then blasted Sydal with a huge Forearm Smash, and that was it.

After the match, it looked like Takeshita was going to show some respect to Sydal by extending his hand, but instead he pulled Sydal into a huge Release German Suplex. He was going to continue the beat-down but Moxley’s music hit and he made his way through the crowd and entered the ring.

Mox had a microphone and it looked like he was going to say something, but instead he clocked Takeshita with the mic, knocking him flat. And then Mox spoke, saying he’ll see Takeshita on Sunday.


This was a good squash match, accomplishing what it needed to do, and the post-match worked, too.

Winner: Konosuke Takeshita

In the back, the Young Bucks were still handing out Darby Allin posters. They ran into Swerve Strickland who was just chilling in their office. He said he hadn’t seen Allin. They didn’t seem bothered with his cocky attitude and his clear disrespect for them, saying he was the Champ and could do what he wanted.


Match 4: Swerve Strickland vs. Nick Wayne

Swerve was looking for revenge after Wayne and his “father” Christian made him bleed his own blood last week.

Wayne tried to avoid physicality, but he got caught, and Swerve pummeled him and then strapped him with a leather belt, which the ref didn’t disqualify him for. Wayne fought back and knocked Swerve to the floor. There, Wayne tried for a Springboard Moonsault, but Swerve caught him, but then Wayne converted that into a Tornado DDT on the floor, and that looked great. \

After a Picture-in-Picture break, Swerve caught Wayne in a top-rope move attempt and dropped him with a Sheik Suplex on the apron. Swerve followed that up with a nice Swerve Stomp off the apron to the floor.


He tried for another Stomp in the ring, but Wayne got his feet up, hurting Swerve. Wayne then hit a Code Red for a two-count. He went for a House Call, but Swerve caught him, and then hit a big Powerslam. He waited for Wayne to sit up and then Swerve drilled him with a huge House Call for the pin.

Immediately after the pin, Killswitch ran in from nowhere and dropped Swerve with a huge Lariat to the back of the head. Christian Cage and Mama Wayne then entered the ring and checked on Nick. They didn’t see Swerve escape Killswitch’s clutches, and were surprised when they turned around to see any angry Swerve.
Christian ran away and Swerve followed him all the way to the back and into the parking lot where Christian pulled a GTA5 and stole someone’s car. He tried to high-tail it out of there, but he was blocked by a car that pulled in front of him. The driver of that car revealed himself and it was Prince Nana.

Cage was trapped and he couldn’t do anything to stop Swerve from reaching him and pulling him out of the car. Then, Swerve whipped Christian into the side of a truck, and then beat him up some more. Christian tried to flee, leading them to fight on top of the stolen car, where Swerve DDTd Christian, who slid down to the hood.

Nana gave Swerve a chair, and Swerve was going to brain Christian with it, but Christian got up and ran away. Swerve and Nana congratulated themselves on their scheme.

The match was pretty good, and the post=match was fun.

Winner: Swerve Strickland


Match 5: Malakai Black vs. Kyle O’Reily

They started off with simultaneous strikes on one another, and then some back-and-forth striking. Black won the battle with some huge kicks and a jumping knee to the face.

After some Picture-in-Picture, they were engaged in a grappling battle that Kyle won, and after a big Arm Wrench, Kyle was in control. He surprised Black with a fast striking combo that left Black a bit dazed and confused. More strike exchanges followed, and then Kyle clamped on an Ankle Lock.

Black was able to escape and he hit a Brain Buster for a near-fall. Some more strike exchanges, that saw Black win with a Spinning Boot to the Head.

At times, this looked like an MMA fight more than it did a wrestling match – hard-hitting and it looked good.

Winner: Malakai Black

After the match, the arena lights turned red and started flickering. When they stopped, suddenly Black was doused with a major Bloodbath. That looked absolutely wicked.

On the Khan Tron, Adam Copeland was shown descending a flight of stairs. He told Malakai to be careful what he wished for, and said he’d see Malakai soon.

The Bloodbath was spectacular. Black and the ring were fully-drenched, and the liquid actually looked like blood. Awesome visual.


A video package aired hyping the Anarchy in the Arena match at Double Or Nothing, and then Excalibur ran down the entire PPV card. After that, they showed the interaction between Serena Deeb and Toni Storm from last weekend’s Collision show.


Match 6: Mariah May and Toni Storm (w/ Luther) vs. Saraya and Harley Cameron  (w/ Zak Knight)

Zak is Saraya’s real-life brother, if you didn’t know. It was noted that Saraya and Cameron were making their tag team debut. Surprisingly, they didn’t give them a goofy portmanteau name that they could throw on a T-shirt.

Storm and May appeared to be the fan favourites here, though they are supposed to be heels, no?  Well, Saraya and Cameron seemed to roll with that dynamic, as they did a lot of cheating and cheap-shotting behind the referee’s back.

After a Picture-in-Picture, May was fighting her way free from the wrong part of tow and she tagged in a fresh Storm, who was on fire.


At some point, someone got bloodied up because the referee put on some gloves. Meanwhile, Saraya and Cameron reversed some moves and hit stereo Sunset Flip Powerbombs off the top rope. Before they could capitalize, Storm and May surprised their opponents by hitting them with some sweet HLA. Then they hit simultaneous finishers on Saraya and Cameron, and Stom added the punctuation mark with a Storm Zero on Cameron to get the pin.

This was pretty good – and you can’t go wrong with some HLA.

Winners: Mariah May and Toni Storm

After the match, Storm and her posse were celebrating when Serena Deeb sneaked into the ring and blasted Luther in the back with a chair and chair-shotted May for good measure, too. She then spiked Toni in the head with a high-heeled shoe, knocking her down. Deeb then trapped Toni under a chair and locked on a Half Crab. As Storm screamed in pain, two referees made Deeb release the hold – but the damage was done.

In the back, the Bang Bang Gang said that they would face PAC and the Lucha Brothers on Collision in an Eliminator match. If the Death Triangle won that match, then their match at Double Or Nothing would be for the Unified Trios Championship. Presumably, if the BBG won on Saturday, they would simply have a non-title rematch on Sunday? Guess we know who’s winning. #BookerOfTheYear


Match 7: Bryan Danielson vs. Satnam Singh (w/ Sonjay Dutt, Jeff Jarrett, and Jay Lethal)

The announcers reminded us that FTR were not medically-cleared to be there tonight and Darby Allin was banned from the building, so Danielson would have no backup to combat Singh’s entourage.

For the record, Satnam Singh’s AEW singles record in this one is 1-0. Better watch out, Goldberg.

Singh immediately put the hurt on Bryan with some huge strikes and a Vertical Suplex that wasn’t great but probably better than expected.


He threw Danielson to the floor, likely with the goal of putting him through the announce table, but in the botch of the night, Sonjay swept the surface of the table clean and that little bit of pressure collapsed the entire thing. I am NOT the table!

Meanwhile, Danielson fired back at Singh with some big kicks and Flying Knees off the apron to the giant’s face. But when Bryan went for a charging attack, Singh stopped him and Chokeslammed him on the apron.

In the ring, Satnam pulled the top turnbuckle pad off and was going to ram Danielson’s head into it. The ref stopped him, though, and tried to replace the pad. As the ref did that, he missed seeing Danielson punt Singh right in the little Satnams.

He then chopped down the big man with more kicks, and hit a series of Yes Kicks. But Satnam was too tough, and he smashed Bryan with a huge chop to the chest.

Satnam picked up Daniel, but ate a bunch of Elbow Strikes to the head for his trouble. He staggered the giant down to the mat and locked on the LeBell Lock. Satnam was trapped, but before he could submit, Dutt, Jarrett, and Lethal ran into the ring and swarmed Danielson, resulting in the disqualification.

This was about as good as could be, and the ending was what you’d expect. Short, but sweet.

Winner, by disqualification: Bryan Danielson

After the bell, the foursome tried to end Danielson with an El Kabong guitar shot, but he escaped. He went to hit Satnam with the guitar, but the big man simply punched the guitar into smithereens. And the beating continued.

The Young Bucks then made their entrance, holding an envelope of cash to pay Dutt for taking out Danielson. They paid him off and asked them to leave so they could finish off Danielson themselves.

They set him up for the EVP Trigger, but he moved and their scrawny chicken legs smashed into each other. Danielson then put the boots to them, until he was distracted by Okada’s music. As Danielson watched Okada come out to the entrance ramp, he was blindsided by Jack Perry who ran in from the crowd.

The Elite put a 4-on-1 beating on Danielson, with Okada sending him topsy-turvy with a Rainmaker. They then dragged him up the entrance ramp. They going to throw him off the ramp through a table, but they stopped when the Khan Tron started broadcasting the image of a car pulling up to the building.

Darby Allin got out of the back seat, and it was revealed that the driver was Tony Khan. Allin then made his entrande, brandishing a flame-thrower. This scared the Elite enough that they stopped paying attention to Danielson. He got up and threw one of the Hardys off the ramp and through the table. The others backed away from Allin who simply held the trigger down on the flamethrower with a menacing look in his eye.

The show ended with Bryan and Allin celebrating while the Elite screamed and whined about what had just transpired.


AEW Dynamite - May 22nd, 2024

Mechanics Bank Arena – Bakersfield, CA

As a go-home show before this weekend’s PPV, this was a decent episode. There was too much Orange Cassidy and the Young Bucks for my liking (zero-point-zero is the right amount of both for me). But overall the matches were pretty good, and the build-up for the PPV matches were all pretty effective. Better show than the last few, that’s for sure.