AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES (3/27): Ospreay vs. Shibata, Swerve vs. Takeshita, Mercedes on commentary, Adam Cole

By Gregg Kanner, PWTorch contributor


It’s a great time for wrestling fans. Whether you prefer the Wrestlemania build up with The Rock & Cody or the freshness of AEW over the past month, there is something for everyone. When it comes to AEW, this is the first Dynamite in a few weeks that does not have something “special” attached to it. Not that it’s a bad card, but without the additional hype, it’s up to them to provide a show that continues their momentum of good matches and good stories and, for their sake, improves the rating. So here we go!



Great way to open the show. Showcasing the guy who should be your number one star is a smart move. The crowd in Quebec was strongly behind Ospreay and they saw one heck of a match with Shibata. I like how Ospreay puts on a very good match on TV, but it’s clear he holds back a little to make the PPV’s more special. He’s still talented enough to impress you by giving 75% and he’s really getting more and more comfortable being on weekly television. Ospreay always knows where the camera is and so far he has played to that camera just enough to keep viewers engaged, but not too much where he could come across as needy. Very enjoyable start to the show.


It’s been an issue for as long as I can remember, but give credit where it is due. This week, they did a great job setting up the night’s matches with shots of wrestlers arriving at the building and short video packages to prepare viewers for what they were going to see. They even added a solid Adam Copeland video package to set up Collision. I just hope his “open challenge” is against a legitimate opponent and not someone who always loses but puts up a good fight.


This was another stellar match from two guys who should be looked at as the future of the company. The match was well-promoted during the show so fans could understand the stakes. That made it more than just a showcase of talented performers but a battle with something on the line. Don Callis’ commentary added to that as well. With more than three weeks until Dynasty, having the World Title match set up should lead to multiple weeks of build that hopefully has fans fired up for the main event of the PPV.


Bryan Danielson’s video was very well done. Every once in a while, it’s important to remind viewers how special Danielson is and what he’s gone through to get to this point in his career. After seeing an impressive performance by Will Ospreay, you get a hype video for his opponent and that’s easily enough for me to be ready for their battle at Dynasty.

Bucks vs. Private Party — Due to the overproduced finish, I can’t give this a full ‘HIT’, but this was a fun match that likely reminded fans of what the tag team division once was and what they are hoping for it to return to. It had the usual impressive athleticism, but added some subtle storytelling that added to the fun. The Bucks are continuing to do a good job in their heel roles and are keeping it mostly serious with very little over-the-top goofiness.

Darby & Tony Hawk — It was a very nice gesture to have Darby Allin talk about the charity he was going to climb Mount Everest to support. It was also cool to see Tony Hawk and Darby interact and to have some fun at the skatepark. The more they showcase Darby and allow fans to continue to get to know him and his story, the more of a star he becomes. When he returns, I have a feeling he will have a championship run set up for him.



First, the women’s four-way match was very good. All four competitors were impressive. On paper, it was a good idea to put Mercedes Mone on commentary, but the execution was poor. It was a great opportunity for Mercedes to put over the four wrestlers in the ring, building them up and telling the viewers how impressive the women’s roster is in AEW and how excited she was to come and challenge herself against these women. Instead, she said very little and seemed unprepared. The commentators tried to set her up on many occasions but she answered in very brief vague sentences. Finally, in the second half of the match, she came alive a bit and provided some reaction to what she was seeing in the ring and while that was better, this was a missed opportunity.

Also, we are three weeks in with Mercedes and I think it’s time they adjust the entrance to remove the piped in “CEO” chants in her music. It was okay the first week as they were establishing her persona, but now it seems like they are trying to lead the fans and that does not work in this day and age. The fans in Quebec did not chant “CEO” when she came out and the only time I heard a chant was right after the Willow stare down before the commercial break. They gave some love, but the crowd response to her needs to be more organic and not forced.


This is the second week in a row that Adam Cole was not in the building for Dynamite. In order for the Undisputed Kingdom to be taken seriously as a threat, they need a star like Adam Cole constantly with the group giving it credibility. The more it’s just The Kingdom and Roddy Strong, who were comedy acts that lost a lot before the Devil reveal, the less important they will seem to be.


Thanks to great matches book-ending the show, this was another solid episode of Dynamite. I’m glad the lack of ratings increase has not caused a panic and hopefully their patience will pay off with bigger viewership. While new additions Ospreay and Okada have been doing a good job, I think it’s been a mistake to have Mercedes Mone involved in the TBS Title picture to start her run with the company. I’m hoping a returning star or the teased Serena Deeb feud can quickly replace this sooner rather than later unless they have something special up their sleeve that can save this.

We’ll talk more about Dynamite and the state of AEW on The All Elite Conversation Club, found on the PWTorch Dailycast podcast lineup on Friday afternoons. Joel Dehnel and I have a great time breaking down all things AEW and appreciate those who have listened and participated!

Send questions and comments to

RECOMMENDED NEXT: AEW DYNAMITE RESULTS (3/27): Keller’s report on Ospreay vs. Shibata, Young Bucks vs. Private Party, Takeshita vs. Strickland, Statlander vs. Blue vs. Anna Jay vs. Willow (updated with additional commentary)

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Swerve Strickland vs. Konosuke Takeshita, Will Ospreay vs. Katsuyori Shibata, two AEW Tag Team Title tournament quarterfinal matches

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