AEW Dynamite 3/13/24: 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved

Welcome to Wrestling Inc.'s weekly review of "AEW Dynamite," the show that now officially features Mercedes By God Mone. And yes, in case anyone was wondering, we will be talking about that debut in this column, which is about our feelings. We had feelings about Mercedes Mone; shocker. We're actually going to do a decent job of covering most of the major things that happened on this episode, though you may have to wait until the weekly promos column on Friday to hear more about Will Ospreay. As always, our "Dynamite" results page is always here to provide all the gritty details, though none of the opinion.


Here, though, we are all about the opinion. Were we cheering on the end of the Bang Bang Scissor Gang, or did it kind of bum us out? Are we over Chris Jericho yet, or do we think he has more in the tank? And most imporantly, were we ready for literal storytime with Adam Cole, Bay Bay? The answers to these questions (and more!) lie before you — here are three things we hated and three things we loved about "AEW Dynamite: Big Business."

Hated: Somewhat disputed kingdom

This is weird to write because I'm usually super into dumb garbage like this, but the whole thing where Adam Cole reads a fairy tale about Wardlow winning the title didn't work for me. Maybe it's because the things I really like are weird gimmicks that aren't afraid to be fun — things that don't mind risking accusations of being unserious. This was just like, a guy reading a book? Because one of his numerous catchphrases involves the word "storytime?" And I think it was supposed to come off as more cool than silly, which ironically made it less cool and more silly. To me, it was just a lot of unnecessary fluff to try and pad out a match with very little build and the most obvious result in the world. You pull this kind of thing out for PPV main events, not for world title matches that are opening an episode of TV because they have zero chance of not being overshadowed by the big debut. The earnestness with which this largely irrelevant video package tried to pass itself off as an incredibly relevant video package, actually, is where it fell down.


The Undisputed Kingdom seemed like they might be able to recover some of their lost momentum after Revolution, when Roderick Strong won the International title and Wardlow earned his world title match, but having him lose that match 10 days later — with the bigger, more important Joe/Swerve feud hanging over it every second — takes a bit of the wind out of those sails. Hopefully the storybook segment's shots of MJF are meant as an indicator that he (and hopefully Cole as well) are nearly ready to get back in the ring, so they can try and recapture the magic of summer 2023. The kingdom is not whole, and at this point it might not even be salvageable.

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Loved: Trios match tears it up

More often than not, AEW programming is filled with matches that have little storyline going into them and feel thrown together at the last second. However, the trios match between The Elite and Eddie Kingston, Penta El Zero Miedo, and PAC was an exception to this and a refreshing break, especially with the rest of the card largely fitting that description (apart from maybe the AEW World Championship match between Samoa Joe and Wardlow).


The actual match itself was great — not surprising given that the match featured six of the best in-ring wrestlers in the world today, who kept things fast-paced and smooth from bell to bell. What made it even better, though, was the fact that there's so much history between The Young Bucks, Kazuchika Okada, Kingston, Penta, and PAC. Both Kingston and PAC have an extensive past with Penta, having teamed up with and against him on several occasions in AEW, which added another layer to everything and made it even more interesting to see play out.

With Okada set to challenge Kingston for his AEW Continental Championship next week, it seems as though the issues between the six men are far from over, and I can't wait to see what they'll end up doing next.


Written by Olivia Quinlan

Hated: Darby Allin might die (but he needs to put over Jay White first)

I don't like Darby Allin. I don't like him as a wrestler; I don't like him as a person. There's nothing about Darby Allin that is "for me." That being said, I have no desire to take the sick glee in his potential death that seems to be the general sentiment among wrestling fans.


In any other workplace, Darby spending last week saying his earnest goodbyes before heading into the unforgiving climate of Mount Everest would be the kind of behavior that would see him put in a pair of grippy socks and removed from society until his feet are back on the ground. The fact that Wednesday's match with Jay White was partially built around seeing Darby for the last time before he disappears into the snowy-white fog of the Himalayas left me feeling off.

I'm hoping I've been worked and Allin shows up furious that White's attack cost him the opportunity to climb Everest, but until then it just feels ghoulish to lampshade that Allin's appeal is "he might die." Even before he started saying he was heading up the mountain in the footsteps of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, Darby's appeal has always been rooted in his disregard for his own safety, and with one wrestler suspended for ignoring concussion protocol and so many other wrestlers injured that a whole match at AEW Revolution had to be postponed, it's a bad look for the company. I know it's fun to joke about Darby's seeming invincibility, with each show thick with the promise that this week will be the week that AEW presents a genuine snuff film, but as a viewer with empathy it has become emotionally tiring.


I don't think Darby should die on Everest, and I don't think Darby should die in the ring, but I don't get to make those calls. Darby does. I can, however, say enough is enough.

Written by Ross Berman

Loved: Bullet Club Gold get their edge back

AEW had done a great job getting Jay White into a position where he was seen as a top guy in the company during his feud with MJF, and everything that he's done since has felt like he, and the rest of his faction, were being watered down. All four members of Bullet Club Gold are stronger as heels, which is something they've all proven throughout their careers, which is why fans were perplexed when Tony Khan turned them babyface. An alliance between Bullet Club Gold and The Acclaimed was never needed or wanted, and ultimately it has hurt everyone involved. Putting them together as one giant faction watered down the strengths of each group — sure, BCG have some fun catchphrases and they're certainly charismatic, but that doesn't mean that they needed to take up babyface roles.


Fortunately, all of that changed Wednesday evening. After White defeated Darby Allin, the group ended up turning on The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn after they stopped Bullet Club Gold from attacking Allin further post-match. They ended their alliance with the AEW World Trios Champions, seemingly setting up an obvious six-man storyline between them, and they still sent Allin packing to Mount Everest with an injured ankle as they slammed a baseball bat down onto his leg while it was trapped in a chair.

The group instantly felt like they had their grit and edge back which is what they needed. Hopefully, this should bring an end to them being involved in goofy backstage segments and they can kick on to where they were before this alliance started, which was allowing them to become one of the top acts in the company.


Written by Matthew Wilkinson

Hated: LionHOOK doesn't hook me

Clearly Kenny Omega's unfortunate illness situation derailed whatever plans were in place for he and Chris Jericho as The Golden Jets, but whatever pinballing AEW's been doing with Jericho in the now nearly four months since we last saw Omega doesn't seem to be accomplishing much of anything outside of getting Jericho to work with, seemingly, whoever he damn well pleases. In the case of he and HOOK, that will now be work with (as in a tag team), as well as against, since it was announced that these two will be facing each other on next week's "Dynamite."


Jericho's place in wrestling history is beyond secure but clearly, he's lost a step. That goes without saying but there, I said it anyway. Sorry, the truth hurts, but that's pretty much inarguable at this point. Beyond that, in recent weeks (and I'm not counting "Rampage" because "Rampage" doesn't count), Jericho has had one-offs with Kyle Fletcher, Konosuke Takeshita, and CMLL's Atlantis Jr. and Titan, as well as the Eight-Man All-Star Scramble at Revolution which was almost unanimously the only thing that most people didn't like about that show. (I'm not sure that cluster accomplished anything either, even for Wardlow, since the title shot he earned there has now already come and gone.) Tell me what any of these matches has done for anyone, other than entertain the relative rarity that is a CMLL diehard as far as the Atlantis and Titan matches go.


And Wednesday night, with not much really going for it for the majority of the match in the first place, the tandem finish featuring HOOK's Red Rum and Jericho's Lion Tamer was sloppy as hell — becoming a staple of Jericho matches lately, said slop! — as was Jericho's kick to Toa Liona on the outside at the close of the match that featured "Lionheart" just about landing on his face. And since we mentioned the "Lionheart" moniker, let's wrap it up there: Enough with the greatest hits tour, man. Whether it's "Lionheart" or "The Painmaker" or "Corazon de Leon," it's not working at the moment. There's nothing that says this guy needs a match every week. He can do something else or nothing at all far more effectively at this point.

Written by Jon Jordan

Loved: Mercedes Mone is All Elite

It's something we all knew was coming, but the debut of Mercedes Mone was a heck of a way to kick off "Big Business." The former Sasha Banks' hometown crowd absolutely ate it up, and after so many months out of the ring with an ankle injury that cost her an NJPW title that seemed to be created just for her to win, it was nice to see. I never like seeing anyone get injured, and Mone was just really starting to get on a great roll post-WWE, so I found the timing of everything to be just tragic. I've never thought Mone was the strongest promo, but I think between the energy from the crowd and the excitement to be back, in front of not just an American crowd, but in her hometown, that really helped her here. I wasn't hanging on her every word, per say, but I was definitely interested in what route she would take when it came to her character. I was surprised that nobody came down to interrupt her, but I'm sure Tony Khan wanted to let her have some time to shine. And in "Bo$$ton," it worked out quite well.


While Mone name-dropped Willow Nightingale during her first promo in AEW, because it was Nightingale who ended up winning the NJPW Women's Strong Championship in a call made on the fly with Mone's injury, it was great to see her come to her rival's aid at the end of the night when Julia Hart and Skye Blue attacked her. I wasn't entirely sure we'd see Mone in any kind of physical action Wednesday night, so I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't much, but it was just enough for her debut night, even dropping Hart with her finisher. She even had a costume change from the awesome gear she debuted at the beginning of the show, and she still looked great, living up to her new "CEO" moniker. (Which to be honest, I like a little bit more than "The Boss"). I think she'll work fantastic as a heel when the time comes and the newness of her debut has worn off, but I don't mind her as a babyface for the first few months of her run.


AEW announced toward the end of the show that we'll be hearing from Mone again next week, and I'm really hoping she calls out Nightingale for Dynasty in a friendly challenge. Or even before, but I'm thinking they save her debut match for their newest pay-per-view. AEW has already sold me a ticket for Dynasty, so that would be a welcome addition for something I already plan on watching. I don't think you need to put someone with such star power in line for a title right away. She has plenty of history with not just Nightingale, but Saraya as well. But if you want to throw her into the mix for the TBS title, I'm not going to complain. Mercedes. Is. Money. And I think she's going to prove that over and over as she helps strengthen the AEW women's division, something it VERY desperately needs.

Written by Daisy Ruth