AEW FEUD TRACKER: Assessing and grading Samoa Joe-Swerve, Danielson-Ospreay, Kingston-Okada, Storm-Purrazzo, Copeland-Christian, more

By Zach Barber, PWTorch contributor


Mercedes Moné is All Elite and her debut couldn’t have been more of a home run. She was presented as star and looked like a million bucks. Now that all of the new acquisitions have made their debuts it’s all about utilizing them properly and building off of this shot of momentum AEW’s had over the last month or so. As long as TV remains consistent and AEW’s premier talent is put position to succeed the ratings will eventually turn around. The important thing is keep putting on strong shows each week. Tonight’s lineup is featuring an Okada singles match, Mercedes Moné live promo, and an I Quit match is certainly that. With that said, let’s get this party started.

Samoa Joe vs. Swerve Strickland

Samoa Joe defeated Wardlow just like everyone knew he would. The pre-match vignette Adam Cole did for Wardlow filmed as though he was gathering the audience around to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas was good and I’m glad they paid lip service to the idea that Wardlow might win but yeah it wasn’t happening. After the match Swerve came out to confront Joe, still mad from being choked out the previous week. The chain in his hand and him laying out multiple officials assuaged any fear Swerve lost his edge. Joe vs Swerve is the presumptive main event for Dynasty. Now the important thing is make this match feel like a big deal. I expect both men to be on the show even though they’re not specifically advertised. Their promo or promos need to pack a good punch.

Grade: B+

Bryan Danielson vs. Will Ospreay

Last week on Dynamite Will Ospreay cut one hell of a promo. It was fiery, inspiring, and ended with Ospreay intimating that he and Danielson are each going to do some really crazy stuff to win the match. Danielson responded in two ways on Collision. The first way was a match that just six or seven years ago would’ve seemed impossible, Danielson vs Katsuyori Shibata. These two held nothing back. They did some snazzy grappling before getting into some bruising (literally) strike exchanges including a gnarly seated slap fight. In the end Shibata attempted to leverage his way out of the LeBell Lock only for Danielson to leverage out of that and pin him. Just exemplary pro wrestling skills on display. Later in the night Danielson cut a promo while in a yoga position. While his body may have been in zen mode, his words were not. Without raising the timbre of his voice, Danielson told Ospreay he had no idea what Danielson was willing to do. All of this was great. Can we have the match now please?

Grade: A+

Toni Storm vs. Deonna Purrazzo

A couple smart things were done in the process of furthering this feud. On Rampage, Storm and Mariah May had squash tag match. Following said match Deonna emerged and revealed that she’d acquired Thunder Rosa as a partner. The following night on Collision Deonna and Rosa cut a simple promo during which Rosa reminded everyone that she never actually lost the title Deonna’s currently going after. Not only did they set up tonight’s tag match, they also set up a potential first opponent for Deonna should she win the title at Dynasty. Effective and efficient.

Grade: B+

Kazuchika Okada vs. Eddie Kingston

In the words of the legendary Mariah Carey this match “has me feeling emotions”. On the one hand I’m excited for an Okada singles match. Who wouldn’t be? I think Eddie’s the perfect opponent to get heel Okada booed. On the other hand Okada winning just the Continental title is not something I particularly like. Separating that title from the Continental Crown makes it feel like just another secondary title. Okada’s going to have to do some heavy lifting to make this work.

Grade: A-

Mercedes Moné vs. ???

I already talked about the Steph Curry 3 point swish that was Mercedes’ star presentation so now we have to talk about what’s next. Nobody interrupted Mercedes first promo which was probably the right call. In the main event segment she came to Willow Nightingale’s aid when Willow was getting jumped by Julia Hart and Skye Blue. That implied to me in that moment that Mercedes was going to be slotted as Julia’s challenger. Were that the case she would most assuredly beat Julia and win the TBS title which would mean that the TBS champion would overshadow the Women’s World champion which isn’t ideal. Because Willow and Statlander are booked in a tag team street fight with Julia and Skye scheduled for the Rampage airing immediately after Dynamite, I now lower the likelihood of that significantly. Instead I think we could be looking at setting up a Serena Deeb/Mercedes match after all. Just the thought of that match, the earnest but dry master technician battling the equally skilled but more charismatic foe, has obvious echoes of Bret vs Shawn without the vitriol. For that reason I’m interested if that’s the way they choose to go.

Grade: N/A

Adam Copeland vs. Christian Cage

It all comes to an end just a few miles from where Adam Copeland and Christian Cage trained to become pro wrestlers. Their trainer will even be in attendance. (By the way their trainer, Ron Hutchison, posted a promo to Twitter ( that really summed up the gravitas of this match). After months of bitterness, animosity, Conchairtos, and each telling the other to “go F themselves,” it all comes down to this. One of these men will have to force the other to say “I Quit”. Copeland has a not-so-secret weapon though. During his promo on Collision, Copeland revealed that during his time recovering from the Conchairto he received two phone calls, one from Mick Foley and the other from The Monster Abyss. From their inspiration Copeland designed an instrument of destruction similar to Barbie (Mick’s barbed wire wrapped 2×4) or Janice (Abyss’ board with nails sticking out one side). Copeland introduced the world to his Spike, a 2×4 with dozens of nails sticking out both sides. Suffice to say this match likely won’t be for the weak at heart because Copeland is looking to maim his former best friend in the process of forcing him to verbally surrender.

Grade: A

Kris Statlander & Willow Nightingale vs. Julia Hart & Skye Blue

As mentioned above Julia and Skye jumped Willow after Willow successfully defeated Riho. In a post show promo released on Twitter, it was revealed that Stat had been unable to aid Willow because she was jumped in the back. If this is anything like previous street fights it’s going to be a wild and bloody affair. While this match would ordinarily probably be the blow off, Willow is still looking for a TBS title match against Julia so look for her to pin the Princess of the Black Throne here to set that up.

Grade: B+

AEW Tag Team Title Tournament

I have to say the tag team tournament bracket released on Rampage was underwhelming. The Bucks are probably cruising to finals. The Undisputed Kingdom will be one and done. Ricky Starks and Big Bill are back after having been off TV since dropping the belts to Sting and Darby. The Infantry had a chance to break out in this tourney but they came in hamstrung (more on that in a future column) and the booking of their match against the House of Black did them no favors. The HOB attacked before the bell and basically dominated the match. Buddy Matthews had the match one after a stomp to Shawn Dean but pulled Dean up to inflict more punishment. He climbed the top rope to presumably hit a completely legal splash when Julia distracted the ref for no reason other than so Mark Briscoe could come and throw a chair at Buddy’s head, knocking him out. That allowed Dean to drape an arm over Buddy for the win. The Infantry got their asses kicked and only won because Mark Briscoe intervened thanks to a unnecessary distraction. Not exactly a shining moment. If anything have Buddy miss the splash and Dean get the win off that. That way it’s hubris that costs the HOB and the Infantry look they used the HOB’s arrogance against them. Now the Infantry head into their first round match with FTR, a match they’re not winning, totally impotent. At least the likely finals between The Bucks and FTR will be excellent.

Grade: C

Ruby Soho & Angelo Parker vs. Saraya & Zak Knight

It was a bit of a weird week. Zak Knight continued to be a complete maniac backstage. Angelo Parker confronted him and they trade blows until security pulled them apart. In a promo on Twitter ( , Ruby very cerebral fashion, said that the way to get to Saraya was through her family, and then Cool Hand Ang challenged Zak to a match on Collision. The next night Zak refused to fight Ang in Canada because of Ang would have home field advantage. Ang was ready to forego the match and challenge him to a fight but Ruby was able to persuade him not fall into Saraya’s trap of using his emotions against him. Solid storytelling to be sure but I need a match of some kind ASAP.

Grade: B+

Bullet Club Gold vs. The Acclaimed

Hallelujah! Our long national nightmare is over. The Bang Bang Scissor Gang is no more. Bullet Club Gold finally turned on the Acclaimed. Now book the title unification trios match, put the unified titles on BCG, and let’s try to forget that this super-group ever existed.

Grade: B-

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