AEW DYNAMITE RESULTS (3/6): Keller’s report on Will Ospreay vs. Kyle Fletcher, Young Bucks major announcement, Darby speaks, Hook vs. Brian Cage for FTW Title, Riho vs. Statlander

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


MARCH 6, 2024

Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Tony Schiavone

Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts

Attendance: WrestleTix reported earlier that 2,927 tickets have been distributed; arena was set up for 3,760.



-The new Dynamite opening theme played with the new color scheme with a hard rock song playing. The final image was of Samoa Joe holding up the AEW World Title belt.

-Excalibur introduced the show as pyro blasted on the stage with the new set. He said it’s a new season of Dynamite and a new era for All Elite Wrestling.

-“Swerve” Strickland made his ring entrance with Prince Nana. Excalibur and Taz commented on a clip of the finish of the AEW World Title match at Revolution on Sunday night. Nana led the crowd in an enthusiastic chant of “Swerve’s house!” Tony Schiavone asked him what’s next. Swerve said he’s not sure if he deserves the crowd appreciation. He said he came up short in the match. He said it was two years ago that he stood on the stage at AEW Revolution 2023 and Schiavone offered him the AEW contract. Schiavone said he remembers that vividly. He said he vowed to win championships including the AEW World Title.

He said he stands there without a title and he believes it might be karma from all the bad things he’s done. He said maybe it’s payback and “maybe I’m not supposed to be a champion here.” He said maybe he’s supposed to be a role player who comes close but can’t quite grasp it and he has to settle. He politely took the mic from Schiavone and began to pace. He said something felt different on Sunday because it felt like people were truly rooting for him for the first time. He said it felt like they really wanted him to win and make history.

He said he heard people flew from his home state of Washington went to show to see him make history. He said for that, he will not let the fans down. He leaned into the camera and promised to come after Joe, “whether you still hold that World Championship or not.” He said he doesn’t know when or where, but he will defeat him for the AEW World Title. He asked, “Whose house?” The fans chanted back “Swerve’s House!”

(Keller’s Analysis: A really good babyface promo. I think what I liked the most is that you could drop that into any era. He didn’t talk about any meta-nonsense. There was nothing there trying to “create a buzz on social media.” It was storyline kayfabe purity – a challenger who came up short, reflecting on it, giving his fans assurances he’s not giving up, and thanking them for their support and making it clear that support means everything to him. Check, check, check, check. His delivery was earnest and intense, but without any needless yelling or bombast. It felt authentic, and it’s that type of promo that will bring more fans to his cause.)

Samoa Joe marched out next with the belt. Excalibur said the men are dressed to fight. Taz said he noticed that too. Joe said for a man he beat down the other night, he’s making a lot of promises to the people he won’t ever keep. He said he’s there to deliver a reality check. He said they’re in Swerve’s house, “but unfortunately, your house exists in my world.” He said he didn’t want to leave the fans with someone who was “almost a champion,” so he came out there so they could gaze upon an actual World Champion. He extended his arms and spun around.

Swerve said he’s talking really spicy for a man he has yet to beat. He challenged Joe to put the title on the line tonight. “How about right now?” he said. Undisputed Era’s music then interrupted. Adam Cole was in his wheel chair, accompanied by Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Wardlow, and Roderick Strong. Cole said all people should be talking about coming out of the Revolution PPV is them. He said Strong is the new AEW International Champion. He said Taven & Bennett are still the greatest ROH Tag Team Champions of all-time. He said Joe is big and bad, but the only reason he’s the World Champion now “is because we let it happen.” He said Swerve is the hot new thing, but six months from now, no one will give a damn about him. “The only thing you’re going to swerve from is the main event scene,” he said. He said Wardlow is going to be the one who very soon wins the AEW World Title.

Swerve laughed and said he’s funny telling him to get to the back of the line. He asked Cole how many times he’s failed after one opportunity of another. He said he’s taking to his new role as a manager. “The whole Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget is really funny to me,” he said. He said if he needs a new client, “I’ve got Britt Baker’s second phone number in my pocket right here.” The fans “ohhh’d!”

Cole said he thinks he’s really cute and a tough guy. He told Swerve and Joe to team up against Bennett & Taven. Swerve suggested they do it right now since they’re already there. Joe sneered. Cole said they make the rules, not them, and the match is happening next week. Schiavone interjected that he just heard from Tony Khan that the match is on. “Bring us a referee!” he said. Cole threw a fit. “What do you mean right now?” he yelled. Joe and Swerve argued about who’d start the match. Excalibur said Joe didn’t seem pleased with this.

(Keller’s Analysis: This whole opening segment felt like a new booker took over the show. I liked the segment for the most part a lot, but it just felt different than what AEW usually does. The key element I didn’t like is Swerve being so easily manipulated into wanting a tag match with Joe instead of a World Title match against Joe. That felt like a downgrade for his aspirations, no matter how annoying Cole is. Cole was really good here on the mic. He’ll have to work hard to not get lost in the crowd of top acts in AEW, and this was a strong performance where he felt more alpha than he has in a while even if he’s still a heel whining about not getting his way. I don’t mind, in general, Swerve and Joe teaming because they’re not bitter enemies, but rather just two wrestlers with an edge and pride who exchange intense words, but it doesn’t feel personal in a way that would preclude them coexisting under certain circumstances.)


The bell rang 14 minutes into the hour. They cut to a double-box break a minute in. [c/db]

Back from the break, Joe fought back after an extended beatdown and hot-tagged in Swerve. Swerve landed a top rope double stomp to Bennett and then he eyed Samoa Joe. Swerve landed his House Call kick on Taven followed by a JML Driver for the win. Swerve immediately eyed Joe who didn’t look happy that Swerve won so quickly without his help.

WINNERS: Swerve & Joe in 7:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: That wasn’t the best framing of the ROH Tag Team Champions to have lose so quickly and decisively like that. It’s not the wrong place for them on the roster to be losing like that to a team the level of Swerve & Joe, but they are the ROH Tag Champs and two pieces of a pushed heel faction. I’m glad that Swerve and Joe didn’t team cohesively and there was tension throughout.)

-Wardlow walked out. Swerve stared at him. Joe put Swerve in a sleeper in a nice callback to Joe telling Swerve in the opening promo segment not to turn his back on him. Schiavone said you can’t turn your back on Joe.

-Excalibur noted that Wardlow will get his match against Samoa Joe for the AEW World Title on Dynamite’s “Big Business” episode next week.

(Keller’s Analysis: This explains Swerve’s odd comment earlier that he’s coming for Joe, whether or not he’s champion when they next wrestle, but then vowing to take the title from him.)

-Excalibur hyped the Hook vs. Brian Cage match as clips aired of them as part of Team Taz together.

-Renee Paquette interviewed Hook backstage. She asked how he was feeling. Chris Jericho interrupted. He said his first-ever match he had as “Lionheart” was in ECW Arena against his dad, Taz. He said Taz suplexed him on his head and he’s never forgotten it. He said he’s always felt a connection to Taz because of it, which made him think he has a connection to him. He said he never respected Hook until he dumped him on his head on Sunday at Revolution. He said maybe he is the real deal. They fist-bumped. Hook muttered a single syllable and then walked away. [c]

-Excalibur plugged Big Business without any specifics other than saying it’d make history.

-A clip aired of Hangman beating up the referee at Revolution. He said rumors have been circulating all day.

-Matthew & Nicholas Jackson said they have two huge announcements. Matthew said they’d make them live in the ring later. They wore smiles, but were intentionally acting like green stiff stereotypical announcers.

(2) HOOK vs. “THE MACHINE” BRIAN CAGE – FTW Title match

Excalibur explained that Taz created the FTW Title and it isn’t recognized by any organization. He said Hook has held the title in his two reigns longer than anyone else. The bell rang 31 minutes into the hour. Hook punched away at Cage at the start. Cage brushed off the punches and kicked Hook. Hook avoided a charge in the corner and went for a T-Bone, but Cage blocked it. Cage suplexed Hook onto his back. Cage gave Hook a belly-t0-belly suplex. Taz said he suggested Cage incorporate that move into his matches and seeing him execute it against Hook is wild. “Funny, not funny,” he said.

Cage grabbed a chair from under the ring and wedged it in the corner. Hook sprayed a fire extinguisher into Cage’s face and then bashed him with the top of a trash can lid three times. Cage threw Hook into the ringside steps. When he charged, Hook moved. Hook leaped at Cage, but Cage caught him and poweslammed him onto the ringside mat. Cage charged at Hook at ringside, but Hook moved and Cage crashed through a barricade. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” They cut to a double-box break at 3:00. [c/db]

They brawled at ringside during the break. Cage had control after the break. The ring had a chair, a trash can, a kendo stick, and a security railing in the ring. Hook countered Cage and DDT’d him onto the chair. Fans chanted “Hook! Hook!” Hook took Cage down with a flying clothesline and then delivered a T-Bone suplex. Hook then suplexed Cage onto the ringside barricade and scored a two count.

Cage came back with a neckbreaker and a powerbomb. He dropped Hook onto a chair, but it showed some light. Taz even hedged, saying it “caught the side of the face, I think.” Cage scored a two count. Schiavone called it an arrogant cover. Cage grabbed a black bag at ringside and carried into the ring. He poured out thumb tacks. Hook floated over Cage’s suplex attempt and went for a Red Rum sleeper, but Cage backed him into the corner turnbuckles. Hook bashed Cage with a kendo stick and then backdropped him onto the tacks. The camera showed a few tacks stuck to his back. Hook then forearmed him and applied Red Rum. Cage leaped back and drove Hook’s back onto the tacks. Hook held on, though, and Cage passed out.

WINNER: Hook via submission in 10:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good match, one of Hook’s better singles matches. Hook scored some street cred points holding that Red Rum after landing on the tacks like that.)

-Afterward, the Gates of Agony attacked Hook. Jericho’s music played and he ran out to save Hook from a further beating. He used his bat to clear the ring. He played to the crowd and then bashed the trash can with the bat.

-A video played with Tony Khan announcing that the tag titles will be vacated and they’ll hold a tournament. Excalibur said in coming weeks, the tournament would take place.

-Renee interviewed Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor. She asked Cassidy what’s next for him after losing his title. Cassidy said he’ll do whatever he can to fill his backpack with another championship. She asked if they’ll enter the tag tournament. Chuck said he’s not cleared yet, but Trent & Cassidy have a match on Friday.


Christian Cage’s music played and he, Nick Wayne, and Shayna Wayne accompanied Killswitch onto the stage. Menard attacked Killswitch as soon as he entered the ring and the ref rewarded the illegal attack by calling for the bell 46 minutes into the hour. Christian joined in on commentary. Killswitch came back with a chokeslam at 1:30. Christian bragged about taking out Adam Copeland and Danny Garcia. He said Garcia’s chance will come some day, but not while he’s in AEW. He threatened to rip off Excalibur’s mask and show that he is uglier than Schiavone. Killswitch finished Menard decisively with a clothesline to the back of his head.

WINNER: Killswitch in 3:00.

-Afterward, Christian laughed as Killswitch picked up Menard for more of a beating. Garcia made the save. Nick ran into the ring and attacked Garcia. Killswitch then held Menard as Nick landed a leaping cutter off the second rope. Christian said there’s nothing Nick can’t do under his guidance. As they celebrated on the stage, Copeland attacked Nick with a chair. He put him in a sleeper. Christian backed away. Shayna went for a low-blow, but Copeland grabbed her arm and blocked it. He chased Christian back to the ring and through the crowd and eventually through the backstage area. The cameras were stationed everywhere to film it as Christian ran to the parking garage, yanked someone out of a vehicle  and sped off in it. Copeland called him a little bitch and said he’ll face him for the TNT Title in an I Quit match in Toronto.

-They went to Excalibur, Schiavone, and Taz at ringside. Excalibur said he was just informed by Tony Khan that Copeland vs. Christian is official.

-Renee interviewed Kyle O’Reilly backstage. She said he was gone nearly two years. She asked what he was doing. O’Reilly said he hated to admit it, but for a while he didn’t think he’d ever wrestle again. He said he’s grateful he’s getting a second chance to do the only thing he was ever good at. He said he has great respect for Undisputed Kingdom, but he’s not sure what path to take because he’s fallen so far. He said he’s got to do whatever’s next for him on his own.

(Keller’s Analysis: Nice promo. He was nice and earnest and came across as someone you’d want to root for. A good foundation to build on from here.) [c]

-A video package aired on the Sting & Darby Allin vs. Young Bucks match at Revolution.

-Matthew & Nicholas Jackson made their entrance.


-Schiavone said that was quite the entrance after the ass kicking they took on Sunday. Nicholas yanked the mic from him and told Schiavone to get out. “We’re moving past that, for God’s sake!” he said. He said Sting & Darby cheated. He said they brought their friends from the retirement home and then had Sting’s sons “who happened to be six-foot-eight and 300 pounds” beat them up. Matthew told Nicholas to calm down. Nicholas said they ended Sting’s career forever. He said they are entering themselves in the tournament.

Matthew then said, “On to today’s agenda – two huge announcements.” He said the first thing is tough, but it pertains to two of their dear friends. He said they are EVPs and they take their jobs seriously. He said they can’t play favorites and their hands are forced. He said Hangman put his hands on two AEW officials and crossed a line. He said it’s difficult to say it, but they’ll be suspending him indefinitely from The Elite without pay. He said then there’s the next announcement. “I don’t even know how I’m going to say this one,” he said. He said Kenny Omega disappeared off the face of the Earth. He said he hasn’t made any of his dates for any reason. Excalibur interjected that he’s been sick. Matt said Kenny’s fired from any association with The Elite. He said he’s sorry he had to find that out on live television. Eddie Kingston’s music interrupted.

Kingston made his way to the ring. He called Nicholas a hot-head. He said if they’re going to fine people for talking crap about them, they might as well do it now. Matthew said they should take the conversation off line. Matthew stepped between Kingston and Nicholas. He put his arm around Kingston. Nicholas grabbed Kingston. When Kingston punched him, Matthew gave him a low-blow. Nicholas then gave Kingston a superkick. Schiavone said, “Is this what The Young Bucks have become? Am I really seeing this?” Kazuchika Okada’s logo appeared on the entrance stage and he walked out in a suit. Excalibur said it’s “The Rainmaker.” He entered the ring and checked on Kingston.

Fans chanted “Okada.” Kingston made a move toward The Bucks. Okada stopped him and gave him the Rainmaker clothesline. He then gave a dead stare to the camera and loosened his tie. Nicholas said they forgot to announce who the newest member of The Elite is. Okada spread his arms and put his foot on Kingston’s chest. Matthew dropped money over Okada. Taz called it a shocking blindside. Okada smiled and looked down at Kingston and gestured that he wants his Continental Crown Title. Okada posed on the stage with the Jacksons. Excalibur underlined that it’s a new season and new era for AEW.

(Keller’s Analysis: I liked this choice to have Okada be a heel with the Jacksons in The Elite. I’m curious what the reaction is among the wider fanbase who had certain expectations and hopes for how Okada will be used. It sets up Okada as a heel against Ospreay as a babyface plus it doesn’t push Swerve, for one, another notch down on the babyface depth chart. I’m enjoying the Jacksons in this role, and they seem to be embracing this too.)

-They went to the announcers on camera who talked about Big Business next week. Taz said it’ll be wicked. Excalibur threw to a video package on Will Ospreay’s first match since becoming an official member of AEW.

(4) KRIS STATLANDER (w/Stokely Hathaway) vs. RIHO

Willow Nightingale joined Statlander and Stokely on the stage before returning to the back. Riho set up an early 619, but Statlander avoided it and knocked Riho down. Statlander blocked a sunset flip and applied a bearhug. Statlander delivered a delayed vertical suplex that got a little sloppy at the end. She continued the beating as they cut to a double-box break. [c/db]

Riho made a comeback and hit a flurry of moves. Stokely coached Statlander from ringside. She delivered a Northern Lights suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Riho went for a top rope double stomp, but Statlander moved. Statlander nailed Riho with three lariats to the jaw. Riho came back with a 619. She climbed to the top rope and landed a leaping crossbody. Statlander caught her, but Riho slipped out and delivered a Dragon suplex into a bridge for a near fall.

Statlander landed a powerbomb into a high-stack pin attempt for a near fall. Stokely slid a chain to Statlander, then distracted the referee. Statlander picked it up, but then dropped it to the floor. She suplexed Riho instead. Riho rolled through on another suplex attempt for a three count. Stokely appeared disappointed and frustrated at ringside. Statlander told Stokely it was his fault. Stokely tried to make his case.

WINNER: Riho in 10:00.

-Clips aired of the Toni Storm vs. Purrazzo match at Revolution. Excalibur noted that Purrazzo made Storm tap, but the ref didn’t see it.

-Renee interviewed Toni Storm backstage and asked how she felt about her win. Toni asked Renee what season it is. Renee said, “Almost spring.” Toni said, “So you only look smart.” She said it’s award season, specifically Toni Season. She gave Mariah May her first merch t-shirt. She said she’ll be getting a cut. [c]

-Renee interviewed Stokely and Willow backstage. She asked what went wrong out there. Stokely said Statlander wanted to do things her way, and she is her favorite, and she wishes she would just accept the help from the ones who love her the most. Renee said at Big Business, Willow will face Riho. Willow was excited by the news and said she’s going to do things her way. She said she wants to be a champion herself. She said she’ll beat Julia Hart and become the face of TBS by winning the TBS Championship.

-Schiavone stood mid-ring and said Darby will face “Switchblade” Jay White next week on Dynamite. He then introduced Darby. Darby made his entrance. Taz and Excalibur said they have to get used to seeing Darby come to the ring without Sting. Schaivone asked about Sting being gone now and how that affects him going forward. A chant of “Darby!” broke out.

Darby said about five years ago he was homeless about 40 minutes from there in Downtown Atlanta, and Sunday he was main eventing one of AEW’s best PPVs of all time in Sting’s retirement match. He said he would stop at nothing to be sure his career ended with the match it deserved and he did just that. He said he’s lacerated, beat up, and tired. He said next week he’s got a match against White. He said he’s then going to climb Mt. Everest. He said he’s talking from the heart when he says there’s no guarantee he’s coming back alive from climbing Mt. Everest. (More than 330 people have died trying, so he’s not exaggerating.)

He voice cracked as he thanked the fans and AEW for giving him this dream. He said if next week is his final match, he’ll do what he always does and fight for his life. He said some people have asked why he doesn’t find another partner. He said he can’t replace Sting. He dropped the belt. Taz said he just relinquished the title. As he began to leave the ring, Jay White and the Gunns walked out. Jay said he didn’t want to interrupt his sob story about being homeless in Atlanta. He said Darby is an elusive and “kind of weird guy,” so he wanted to take this chance to talk to him face-to-face.

White congratulated him on an amazing night at Revolution. He said Darby showed he’d be willing to sacrifice himself to let Sting go out as a champion. He talked about him crashing through the pane of glass, which left Sting all by himself against the Bucks. He said Sting prevailed, though, and he had the sendoff to his career he so wanted. Jay said he didn’t see it himself, but it’s all anyone is talking about. He said what he cares about is that Sting is gone, and what is Darby without Sting? “I think Darby Allin is a little lost puppy” with no one to feed him treats, clean up after him, and hold his leash. He said now he’s scheduled to face him, but it doesn’t have to happen.

He said nobody would think any less of him after what he’s been through physically and mentally and emotionally. He said when he faces him in the ring, there are worse things that happen than a few scratches. He said instead, when he gets back, he can hang with the Bang Bang Scissors Gang. He suggested his name be Darby Scissors Hands. “What do you say?” he asked.

Darby asked if he’s done. Darby said he might’ve been at the Tokyo Dome twice and won titles all over the world, but since he came to AEW, what’s he done. “Play with cardboard cutouts?” White said. Darby told him he doesn’t believe the hype, but he challenged him to come alone. He pushed the bat into White’s chest and neck. The Gunns held White back. Darby said he’d see him at Big Business. White left, but looked back at Darby.

(Keller’s Analysis: Really good segment. A lot of emotion there. White shined here, too. More of stuff like this, AEW.)

-Backstage, Julia Hart with Skye Blue cut a promo. Julia talked about an open challenge for Rampage on Friday. [c]

-A soundbite aired with House of Black. They talked about their feud with Mark Briscoe. Brody King said he should let them know if they should dig one grave or three.

-Renee interviewed Mark Briscoe. He said he fears no man, so he said he’d face all three himself on Saturday night. Jay Lethal walked in and said it’s about time he man up and come help his friend of over 20 years. He said he loves him and he has his back. Briscoe told him not to bring Jeff Jarrett with him. Lethal said who could be better to have on their side than Jarrett. Lethal said Briscoe doesn’t have to trust Jarrett, he just has to trust him.


Ospreay made his entrance first. Fletcher came out next. Don Callis joined in commentary. The bell rang 46 minutes into the hour. They cut to a double-box break at 2:00. [c/db]

Back from the break, Ospreay played to the crowd and then flung himself over the top rope onto Fletcher at ringside. Ospreay delivered a back suplex for a two count.

A few minutes later, Ospreay landed a leaping Cutter on the ring apron. Both were down at ringside and slow to get up. They cut to another double-box break at 11:00. [c/db]


Ospreay and Fletcher reversed each other’s piledriver attempts. Ospreay won the battle. Fletcher knocked Ospreay off balance on the top rope. Ospreay came back and landed a Liger bomb. Ospreay landed two sidekicks. Fletcher countered Ospreay and then side-slammed him for a near fall. Fletcher landed a nasty high sitout powernomb. Ospreay’s head slammed on the mat. They replayed the impact. Excalibur began plugging the matches and segments on Collision including The Elite together.

Ospreay landed a top rope poison rana and a flying back elbow for a near fall. Taz wondered if Fletcher could still defend himself. Callis said he’d step in, if necessary, to protect the family. Fletcher began to fight back with several elbows. Ospreay kicked him and then landed a superkick. Ospreay came back with a Spanish fly for a near fall. Ospreay then hit the Oscutter for a dramatic near fall. “How tough is Kyle Fletcher!?” exclaimed Excalibur. Fletcher called for Ospreay to bring it on, and Ospreay hit him with a charging back elbow for the win.

WINNER: Ospreay in 21:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Ospreay is special, and Fletcher was a strong opponent for Ospreay to show off. Fletcher hasn’t been pushed a lot, though, so Ospreay taking that long to beat him is the only possible downside.)

-As Callis joined Fletcher and Ospreay shaking hands in the ring, Bryan Danielson made his ring entrance to his theme. They circled each other as the show ended.

(Keller’s Analysis: Intriguing. Is Danielson going to be the one to talk sense into Ospreay? Is Danielson still a heel, though? Or will he invite Ospreay to join Blackpool Combat Club, who will then be positioned as foes of The Don Callis Family?)

FINAL THOUGHTS: One of the better overall episodes of Dynamite. A really definitive step in an encouraging direction. It really felt like the start of something new and better.


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