AEW FEUD TRACKER: Britt Baker-Mercedes Mone, Elite Hostile Takeover, Swerve-Hangman, Statlander-Willow, Jericho-Joe & Hook, MJF-Ospreay, more

By Zach Barber, PWTorch contributor



•A old school “coming soon” vignette aired on AEW Collision. I very much assume it was for Ricochet given the whole zooming aesthetic. Vignettes like these are rare these days so this was a nice throwback and an appetite-wetter for a coming attraction that’s not quite on the level of the big ticket free agents who joined earlier in the year

•“The Dynamite Kid” Tommy Billington, nephew of the original Dynamite Kid, is making his return to AEW on Collision from Calgary. He’ll be fighting Konosuke Takeshita. I expect a really good match between these two before Takeshita wins and heads to Japan for the G1.


Last week was one of AEW’s strongest weeks of TV in quite some time. Dynamite was newsworthy and full of major developments that flowed through Collision and back into this week’s Dynamite. Even Rampage had an important tournament match that made it necessary viewing. More of this, please. Get the most out of all of those hours of TV. Tonight’s Dynamite is live from Calgary. After last week’s show and the aforementioned follow up on Collision, I’m excited for tonight. It feels like AEW is picking up steam at the right time. People are slotted where they need to be. The Women’s Division is cooking. Let’s keep this momentum going, okay?

Elite Hostile Takeover

Latest Developments

Mark Briscoe officially declared himself the first member of Team AEW for Blood & Guts only to get jumped by the Elite. The Elite attempted to schmooze “Hangman” Page into rejoining them.


Mark Briscoe being on Team AEW makes perfect sense. He is an insane person, so of course Tony Khan would want him on his team. The problem is that it feels like things happened out of order. He declared and then got jumped by Jack Perry and Kazuchika Okada. That should’ve happened first to justify his entry into Blood & Guts.

Given that Swerve Strickland, Darby Allin, and The Acclaimed are the people who have been victimized or targeted by the Elite, it would seem that they are the most likely candidates to comprise the rest of Team AEW. At the same time, The Elite are trying convince Hangman to rejoin them. They ejected the Bang Bang Gang from ringside for Hangman’s match against Jay White in a clear effort to win him over. I don’t think they’ll be successful on their own, but once Swerve officially joins the opposition that’ll be enough motivation for Hangman to form a tenuous alliance with his former friends.

I said this last week and I’ll repeat it again, they have to add stakes to this match. These teams MUST be fighting for something. Given that there will only be one more Dynamite between now and Blood & Guts, they need to do it this week to really sell the importance of what’s on the line.

Grade: B+

Swerve Strickland vs. Hangman Page

Latest Developments

This isn’t official yet, but it very much seems like we are on course to revisit the bloodiest of blood feuds. Swerve had the week off while Hangman won two matches in the Owen Hart tournament, first crushing Jeff Jarrett and then winning a brutal fight with Jay White.


To the surprise of probably nobody, “Hangman” Adam Page was the wild card in the Owen Hart tourney. He made his return complete with brooding new music and a foreboding lighting scheme. Jeff Jarrett, fighting to honor his fallen friend, did his best but he was no match for Hangman, who was just as unhinged as when he left if not more. Double J got a shockingly big pop when he reversed a Buckshot lariat into a Sharpshooter. That proved to be his last stand.

Hangman smashed Jarrett with a Buckshot and then added a Dead Eye just for the hell of it. Following the match, a wild-eyed Hangman was being interviewed by Renee Paquette when the Bucks approached him. He was their handpicked wild card so it was something of a surprise when he turned down their request to be the fifth man for Blood & Guts and made it clear that he has one singular focus. He reiterated his focus in an even more wild-eyed promo ahead of his match against Jay White.

On paper, Hangman vs. Switchblade looked like a strange match on paper. Two heels, nobody for the audience to get behind. In action, this thing was a brutal fight that engaged the crowd even if they didn’t have a rooting interest. It turned unexpectedly bloody when Hangman accidentally cut himself hardway on the concrete floor during the double-box break. I initially didn’t see it, so I was very confused when it came back and Hangman had a crimson mask.

The finish was a little overbooked with a ref bump, an obligatory Jeff Jarrett appearance in Memphis to disarm Hangman, and Christian spearing Jay White but ultimately it did what it needed to do. Hangman advanced and therefore Jay can focus on the trios feud (more on that later).

Hangman cut really good promos all week, but the one posted to Twitter following the Jay White match was by his best. He was somehow the most wild-eyed and unhinged of any of his promos. Working himself into a near homicidal rage, he threatened to burn down “his” world and yelled that the fans chose Swerve despite what Swerve had done and never paid for. I hope they air this promo on Dynamite, but if you haven’t seen it, go find it right now.

The most masterful part of all these promos was that he never used Swerve’s name once. It seems like Bryan Danielson, who’s banged up from his previous two matches, is in for a rough night at the office. Given the likely finish in the women’s Owen final, I suspect Hangman just beats Danielson clean even with Jeff Jarrett as the special enforcer.

I know there was a lot of discussion on PWTorch programming about who is a better match for Swerve and a lot of people including our esteemed editor-in-chief, chose Danielson. I understand why, but I really think Swerve and Hangman can do something magical in Wembley. It’s the best blood feud in AEW’s short history. Blowing it off with an epic finale on the biggest stage of the year only feels right.

Grade: A

MJF vs. Will Ospreay

Latest Developments

MJF betrayed Daniel Garcia after Garcia came short in his effort to dethrone Will Ospreay. Garcia was left bloodied and stretchered out of the arena to close Dynamite. MJF opened Collision with a hit and miss promo explaining his actions.


The most memorable angle of the last week. The setup for this started with a cold open on Dynamite in which Garcia guaranteed on his mother’s life that he was going to win the International Title. MJF walked into the picture and asked to be in Garcia’s corner to which Garcia accepted. Daddy Magic even shook Max’s hand.

Fast-forward to later in the night and Garcia and Ospreay unsurprisingly had a very good match. MJF attempted to pass Garcia the Dynamite Diamond Ring. Garcia took it, thought about it briefly, and handed it back before immediately turning around into a vicious Hidden Blade.

After the match, Ospreay consoled Garcia before taking his leave. MJF also consoled Garcia, raising his hand and hugging him, before kicking him low. The attack was on from there. MJF punched Garcia with the ring and, when he tried to intervene, Daddy Magic got socked in the head for his trouble. Both men were bloodied. MJF relentlessly battered Garcia with punches. He placed Garcia on the top rope and set up for a tombstone piledriver which brought out refs and officials led by Christopher Daniels. MJF did the move in spite of their pleas not to. Ospreay finally came limping back out and that finally sent MJF scurrying away through the crowd so Garcia could be tended to by medics. As MJF made his way through the crowd, he immediately got into with several fans, even going nose to nose with one of them.

This heel turn needed to happen and it was pulled off brilliantly. MJF looked like an absolute slimeball. Wearing a white wife beater t-shirt to soak up the blood was a nice touch. Garcia is a great sympathetic babyface. Daddy Magic, a gaping wound in his head and blood running down his closed eyes, was quite the visual. Daniels and the other officials coming down sold the gravity of the second rope tombstone. Daniels did get a little hammy after that, but it didn’t take away from the scene. Tony Schiavone really made this whole thing with his outraged exclamation of “I knew it. I knew it. That son of a bitch is no good. Never was.” It just made the whole thing more memorable.

Collision smartly opened with a video package recapping this angle including Schiavone’s line and featuring bits of an interview a bloody Daddy Magic did in the immediate aftermath, spliced in. MJF came out sporting his suit and Burberry scarf to explain his actions and proceeded to cut a modified version of a “You People” promo. Typically “You People” promos are trotted out when a popular face turns heel for seemingly no reason (think Becky Lynch after Summerslam 2018) but that really doesn’t fit this situation.

His explanation, aided by video of a promo he cut nearly a year ago: He felt rejected by the fans when they cheered other faces in his absence and in turn he is going to come after those faces starting with Will Ospreay. This was a strange way to get to a match with Ospreay but again Tony Schiavone gets credit for a smart comment. He made this promo more digestible by reminding the audience that MJF is a narcissistic psychopath. Pointing out MJF’s narcissism made his motivation make more sense.

Still, I would’ve preferred a more direct route to Ospreay. I will say, I’m glad Max had either the foresight or the in-moment awareness to not use his catchphrase which the audience recites in an almost Pavlovian manner. Rounding this angle off, Daddy Magic was interviewed backstage and revealed that Garcia had lost use of the left side of his body but was expected to make a full recovery and that when he does get back it won’t be “dick dancing Danny Garcia,” it’ll be Red Death.

All Out is in Chicago. What better place to seek revenge than the scene of the crime.

Grade: A-

Toni Storm vs. Mariah May

Latest Developments

Mariah May advanced to the finals of the women’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament by defeating Hikaru Shida in hard fought match on Rampage.


May and Shida were not holding back in their match, really laying into each other. There were points in this match where I thought Shida might actually win which would’ve thrown everything on its head. Instead, Mariah pinned Shida with her slick new pinning combination to advance to the finals which I fully expect her to win. At that point, they really need to pivot and start telling the story between Storm and May. They’ve been doing a very good job telling this story thus far but they really have to stick this landing.

Grade: N/A

Mercedes Moné vs. Dr. Britt Baker, DMD

Latest Developments

Dr. Britt Baker cut a heartfelt promo explaining her absence and thanking fans for their support before being interrupted by Mercedes and her double championship celebration leading to a tense verbal showdown between the two.


Britt was introduced by good friend Tony Schiavone. The two embraced before Britt took center stage. She then told the audience that it wasn’t the herniated discs in her back or previously unreported hip injury that kept her out for so long. She revealed that last fall she suffered a mini stroke that left her hospitalized for a month. That was genuinely shocking to hear.

Mini strokes are serious business and that had to be terrifying for her. I’m very relieved to see her back and healthy.

Britt then turned her attention to Mercedes and threw a small forest’s worth of shade in her direction for the fact that she’s called herself the new face of the division and pipes the “CEO” chants into her entrance music. At that point, Mercedes showed up at the arena in her chauffeured limo and was greeted by The Bucks who instructed the ring crew to commence setting up for Mercedes celebration with Britt still in the ring. Mercedes got her full entrance and did her little dance before turning around and noticing Britt still in the ring. That’s when things got interesting.

Mercedes tried to dismiss Britt as irrelevant, but Britt wasn’t having it and went over her history at the first All In as well as last year’s before saying Mercedes looked like “a broken bitch with a broken leg in the stands.”. Mercedes told Britt to get in line to which Britt borrowed from an old Sasha Banks promo by looking behind Mercedes and replying “Bitch, what line?” The promo ended without a match being agreed to.

Man, this was electric. Britt as the babyface and Mercedes as the arrogant heel is a perfect fit. From the minute these two went face-to-face it was riveting television mostly because of the disparity between the promo skills. Britt can fire off-the-cuff with ease while Mercedes is so used to having pre-written material. That leads me to believe that this was probably more laid out than Britt is used to, but it didn’t come off as canned. That’s a testament to the talent of the women involved.

I’m ready to see how the next verbal exchange between these two go but I have a feeling it’s going to break down between them at some point.

Grade: A

Kris Statlander vs. Willow Nightingale

Latest Developments

Willow Nightingale pulled off the somewhat surprising upset over Kris Statlander to advance to the finals of the Women’s Owen.


The match between these two former friends started off hot with Statlander charging Willow in the aisleway. The two women really took it to each other. In the end, Stat attempted to use a chain passed to her by Stokely Hathaway but wound up getting rolled by Willow for the win. That was not the outcome I was expecting. It’s nice that Willow has advanced to the finals for the second year in a row, but I was definitely expecting Statlander to steal a win to keep the feud going. As such, I think’s it a safe bet that Statlander will get involved in the final between Willow and Mariah May.

Grade: B+

Serena Deeb vs. Riho

Latest Developments

After winning a squash match on last week’s Collision, Serena Deeb demanded better competition and Riho answered the call. This past weekend, Serena cut a backstage promo respectfully accepting Riho’s challenge prior to Riho defeating Lady Frost in a match that wasn’t pretty to say the least.


Riho is perpetually over with the live crowds. I’m not a Riho hater, but I have my reservations about her. Given her small stature, it’s hard to buy into the efficacy of her offense, especially her strikes. It has to make agenting her matches tricky. Riho matches simply strain credulity on a good day. Unfortunately, Saturday was not good day. Riho was off from the opening bell. She struggled to get on the same page as Lady Frost who was moving around as fluidly as always.

At one point Riho came up short on a crossbody from the top to the floor and came up favoring her wrist. The finish saw Riho use a pinning combination, similar to the one Mariah May’s been using, to defeat Lady Frost. That particular pinning combo really looks better when someone like Mariah, with more convincing leg strength applies it. Given Lady Frost’s gymnastics background, her legs must be extremely strong so it’s hard to swallow the idea that Riho of all people could hold them down. In my opinion, it made Lady Frost look bad.

This match just didn’t work. I may disagree with a booking decision within a match or the layout of a finish but rarely do I advocate for an audible to be called. This is one of those occasions. I know the plan is Serena vs. Riho, but given the way the match was going and the normal issues with Riho, it might’ve been wise to switch the finish of the match, particularly in light of Riho’s potential injury, and have Lady Frost win, give her the graphic, and slide her into a feud with Serena. I’d be much more interested in that. Riho confirmed on Sunday that she does have a fractured arm so it seems like she’s going to have to be replaced anyway. Lady Frost is right there. I’m just saying.

Grade: C+

Chris Jericho vs. Hook

Latest Developments

Chris Jericho got Taz ejected from the building en route to attacking Samoa Joe, Katsuyori Shibata, in particular Hook who was struck with brass knuckles, put through a table, and shot with a fireball.


This was a bizarre week for Chris Jericho. He came down to the ring prior to the Joe & Hook & Shibata vs. Cage of Agony match and went to his full awful Learning Tree schtick. He whined about Hook beating him with his own move and whined about Taz celebrating it. He then revealed that the got an executive order from the Bucks kicking Taz out of the building. Security escorted him away so that we could be subjected to Jericho on commentary which was the audio equivalent of a dentist’s drill without Novocain.

After Joe, Hook, and Shibata dispatched of their opponents by choking them all out, Big Bill, Bryan Keith, and Jericho jumped them. Joe and Shibata were disposed of leaving Hook to be punched in the face by Jericho’s brass knuckles loaded right fist. Big Bill then chokeslammed Hook through a table. After the commercial, as Hook was being assisted to the trainer’s room, Jericho blasted Hook right in the face with a fireball.

The attack on Hook and the promo (and commentary) are hard to reconcile. The Jericho who is an oblivious schmuck spewing what he thinks is good advice in a ridiculous cadence and the Jericho who masterminded getting Taz thrown out so that he could assault Hook are incongruous. They’re not the same person.

If Jericho had shown any sort of edge, any sort of acknowledgment that he knew the Learning Tree garbage was a façade, this would’ve made sense and the gimmick would’ve been more tolerable from the beginning. That’s not what happened, though. Maybe this is the signal of a shift in the presentation to something less atrocious but I don’t take that as a given.

Tonight, Jericho faces Joe in a Stampede Street Fight which means more wrestle-syncing from Jericho. He’s going to smoke and mirror his way through this walk and brawl with Joe who has promised to massacre him. Don’t tempt me with a good time, Joe. I imagine Jericho ekes out the win with help from his “branches.” Clearly a Hook-Jericho Hook rematch is being built. As long Hook wins and we move on, I’m fine.

Grade: C+

Bang Bang Gang vs. The Patriarchy vs House of Black

Latest Developments

Christian responded to being verbally abused by Jay White last week and then involved himself in White’s match against Hangman Page. Meanwhile the House of Black warned Christian that he would “feel everything” when they come for him.


Jay White pretty much had his way with Christian and the entire Patriarchy, so it unsurprising that Christian responded. He brought up how White’s been used since he came to AEW and how little the Bang Bang Gang have defended their titles. He called the Gunns “genetic waste” and told Juice Robinson to “go suck on another fentanyl lollipop.” I have to say it wasn’t as strong a response as I was expecting.

Christian shining a spotlight the questionable way White’s been used since he arrived to AEW was maybe not the best idea. I did not, however, mind him vowing to bring relevancy back to the Trios Titles given what he did for the TNT Title.

As mentioned earlier, Christian interfered in White’s tournament match against Hangman, spearing Switchblade and allowing Hangman to advance. That worked to further the story between these two teams. What worked better was the HOB’s promo. Malakai and Brody made it clear that while they feel nothing, Christian won’t be so lucky when they come for their revenge. With Rhea Ripley’s return on Raw, I have to wonder if Buddy won’t be far behind and we can properly get into this feud with HOB positioned as the faces because the crowd already love them.

Grade: B+

RECOMMENDED NEXT: PARKS’S TAKE: At Forbidden Door, Shirakawa and Vaquer arguably outshined the men from outside of AEW

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Will Ospreay vs. Daniel Garcia for the AEW International Championship, Mercedes Mone and Britt Baker, Owen Hart Cup tournament matches

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