AEW Dynamite 5/29/24: 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved

Welcome to Wrestling Inc.'s weekly review of "AEW Dynamite," the show that you'd think would have been the choice for MJF's return promo, rather than tacking that promo on to the end of his return segment at Double or Nothing and then just not having him here at all the following Wednesday, but you do you, Tony! Honestly, the WINC staff was just about unanimous in thinking this was an entirely lackluster showing from AEW's flagship program. There are so many things we didn't like that we're not going to get to talk about — the way-too-late reveal of Mercedes Mone's backstage attacker, the Swerve Strickland vs. Killswitch match, the fact that Rocky Romero is now appearing on like every episode of "Dynamite" for some reason. We can't do that, though, because we have other things we hated more, as well as some stuff we actually did enjoy. Also, kind of a lot happened this week, even if we were giving most of it the side eye.


As always, for a more comprehensive and more objective look at every single one of the evening's events, check out our "Dynamite" live coverage. Stay right here for our opinions on those events, from the Don Callis Family getting a new member and AEW getting a new authority figure to Will Ospreay and Mercedes Mone both securing an unexpected opponent for Forbidden Door! Here are three things we hated and three things we loved from the 5/29/24 episode of "AEW Dynamite."

Hated: TV Time is a complete disaster

I know that in past editions of this column, I have not been one to give Chris Jericho glowing reviews for his "Dynamite" segments. However, "TV Time With The Learning Tree Chris Jericho" tops the list as the worst segment he has ever had in AEW, if not any other promotion he's appeared in.


From the second that Jericho, Big Bill, and Bryan Keith picked up mics and began speaking to the second they put them down, not one good thing came out of their mouths. I don't think one can truly encapsulate the experience of watching the promo, but it was like a combination of watching a teacher in a preschool classroom give their students the most basic cliches to make them feel better when they get upset (i.e. Big Bill's "the leaves that fall off the tree in the autumn grow back brighter and stronger than ever in the spring" line and Jericho's "put a cherry on top of the adversity that is ice cream" line) and watching bad motivational speakers give a talk to an audience who didn't really care.


Jericho trying to talk to an audience who was vocal about not being interested in what he had to say (for the most part) came off as super cringe. Yes, Jericho's gimmick is supposed to come off a certain way, but watching him actively thank the LA crowd for their support while they're essentially chanting "f*** you" at him was incredibly awkward to watch. As if that wasn't enough, Jericho enjoyed touting his new Learning Tree University being a number one selling shirt and being the longest reigning FTW Champion (which everyone knows is not true) in what was an extremely bad look for him.

Bill and Keith's presence did absolutely nothing to help save this segment in any way, and they pretty visibly had no idea how to react to the hostile reaction from the crowd. It seemed pretty clear that they both knew things were not going well, and it just only made things worse. Jericho has tried to replicate the success of the Inner Circle with the Jericho Appreciation Society and this new one with Bill and Keith, but neither has proved to be as successful as the Inner Circle because they both revolve around the idea of faction members idolizing Jericho rather than working together and having equal say. Lastly, ending the segment with HOOK and Joe seemingly forge a new alliance with the common goal of taking down Jericho and friends created some intrigue, but it felt abrupt and came a little bit out of nowhere.


Written by Olivia Quinlan

Loved: Stephanie Vaquer and Mercedes Moné will feed families

Although it was not advertised for various reasons, Mercedes Moné made the most out of her "AEW Dynamite" debut match against Skye Blue. Moné absolutely dominated the competition, and after defeating Blue in swift fashion, it looked like nothing could stop the newly crowned TBS Champion from absolutely running through not just the AEW women's division, but whichever female competitor should be thrown her way for the upcoming Forbidden Door event.


Enter: Stephanie Vaquer. The shot of Moné — who was so close to claiming the NJPW Strong Women's Championship — staring down the current NJPW Strong Women's Champion was absolute money.

Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre had a huge presence on this week's edition of "Dynamite," from Vaquer's appearance to Místico's entry into the Casino Gauntlet match. However, where Místico failed to mystify and claim an AEW World Championship shot, Vaquer appeared in stunning fashion, with a strong presence and domineering personality that could potentially rival the star-power of the so-far undefeated "CEO". When you add on the fact that Vaquer is the current titleholder of the title that Moné severely injured herself fighting over? It's a full-circle moment, and a moment that AEW could exploit creatively to give Moné something to fight for — truly, with grit, fight for. If handled well, this feud and match could be a classic that will catapult both women into the upper echelons of their career — Moné's WWE run included.


Maybe I'm exaggerating, but it feels good to have a legitimate contender to beat Moné in a match. Vaquer had a video package earlier on in the night that saw her simultaneously hold three titles a la Viva Van or Matt Cardona — AEW are doing their best to make her look good and exciting. Even without Tony Khan's embellishment, Vaquer's record speaks for itself: in 2024, she boasts a 74% win rate. She is an international icon on the brink of breaking out in the North American wrestling scene, and honestly, the AEW women's division would benefit greatly from her presence.

While there have been concerns that Moné is turning into the female Jericho (resting on her laurels, claiming to elevate a division while burying her colleagues in practice), I do think that if Moné is given a legitimate challenge, she can gain some of her lost luster back. Her match with Blue wasn't anything groundbreaking, but it was promising. Moné's in-ring skill has improved tremendously — it's just the way that she is booked and presented that may cause some to raise an eyebrow. If Moné is faced with a challenge — if she is not just handed this victory over Vaquer, if she has to fight for it, if there is considerable doubt that she might not overcome Vaquer — then that'll make for an intriguing storyline that will add complexity to Moné's admittedly static representation.


You can't win all of them, so let's see that with this upcoming feud between Moné and Vaquer. Let's see both of them struggle, let's be truly at the edge of our seats to see who will barely manage to come out on top. This feud has the potential to feed families, and we are on the ground level of what could potentially be a contest that will soar above expectations.

Written by Angeline Phu

Hated: Who exactly joined the Don Callis family?

Factions in professional wrestling gaining new members is nothing new, but there are good ways and bad ways to do it. The Don Callis Family getting at least one new member in Trent Beretta was an example of the latter.


Overall, the segment was not a great one, but there were two glaring issues that made it outright bad. First, it was very unclear who exactly joined the Don Callis Family here. While Trent Beretta is clearly part of the faction as was clear from the contract signing, it wasn't clear if Kris Statlander and Stokely Hathaway also joined the group. Statlander introducing Beretta was an indication that such was the case, but there was no official announcement, and her and Hathaway having their own promo primarily focused on Nightingale without any other members of The Don Callis Family made it seem like the two were doing their own thing. Second, it was pretty clear that Cassidy wasn't going to be the person joining The Don Callis Family. While AEW did indicate that Cassidy would be offered a contract, they did not advertise exactly who was joining the faction, which made it apparent it wouldn't be Cassidy. The predictability took away from the segment a little and made the moments of Cassidy ripping up the contract and Beretta attacking him slightly less special.


While the issues outlined above were the main ones within the context of the segment, there's a bigger one at hand with the Don Callis Family. With each week that passes, the group feels more and more like it's slowly beginning to run its course as a faction, especially without having much of a common goal that unites the members of the group apart from Callis recruiting them all. Adding new members like Beretta does generate a little more interest, but it isn't going to help the issue. Unless the faction decides to go after gold or takes the approach of wanting to destroy members of the AEW roster or something along those lines, the faction will simply just be another tag team in AEW that's open to adding new members.

Written by Olivia Quinlan

Loved: The Authoritative Angel

I know there are people out there who don't want AEW to have an on-screen authority figure. I am not one of those people. I've argued for a long time that AEW desperately needs a non-Tony Khan on-screen authority figure in order to maintain the barrier between the show and the audience (the TV audience, specifically) that allows people to be sucked into a narrative. As of Wednesday night, it seems like they might finally have one.


Now, why is the on-screen authority figure not just the Young Bucks, seeing as they've been running the show and making matches and firing people for weeks now, and they just beat "Team AEW" in the main event of arguably AEW's biggest show of the year? I don't know. That makes no sense to me. But apparently Tony Khan is just not willing to let his WCW actually get taken over by his nWo, so what we have now is "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels being named "interim EVP" and essentially acting as the voice of Tony Khan on "Dynamite" (and presumably other shows as well). In this segment, after the Bucks vacated the TNT Championship and tried to just give it to Jack Perry, Daniels appeared to overrule them and declare a mini-tournament for the title instead, so it's been established right off the bat that his authority supersedes theirs. So he is essentially the first official AEW on-screen GM.


I like this for a few reasons, the biggest one being that I just really like Christopher Daniels and I'm stoked that he's going to be on TV more often. I've enjoyed his hostile attitude toward the Bucks' heel EVP characters since their first backstage interaction on "Collision," and if we have to do the "voice of Tony Khan" thing, there are few I'd prefer in the role. I also appreciate that we had the Bucks doing what their characters would logically do in this situation (hand the belt to their flunky) but then were able to pivot into an actual match for the vacant title at Forbidden Door, which is a much better way to handle the Adam Copeland injury from a business standpoint.

I think it heavily neuters The Elite as villains, and I have no interest whatsoever in Khan's regime being physically backed up by The Acclaimed, but hey, they needed an authority figure, now they have one, and Daniels is a good choice. On this particular episode of "Dynamite," that's going to have to be enough.

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Loved: The Casino Gauntlet brings a shot of adrenaline

This week's episode of "AEW Dynamite" was slower than a molasses factory in January. It was simply a weird, toneless mash of "things that happened" that left very little impression on me or my adrenal glands. Wrestling is supposed to take those adrenaline factories and squeeze them for all they're worth, but tonight was a thoroughly juiceless affair. Thankfully, the main event was AEW's flagship brand of chaos: A Casino Match Of Some Form. In this case, it was a sudden-death casino gauntlet. Now, why these wrestlers were waiting their turn to enter a match that could end at any second? I don't know. But questions like that are for five years ago, when they started doing these chaotic nonsense matches in the first place. Like I said, it was a pretty sad night so far, so I appreciated the mayhem, even if it felt a little repetitive.


AEW has no shortage of guys who will throw themselves into a losing situation with reckless abandon, thankfully. Not a soul believed Hechicero or Lio Rush were going to win the match, but they threw themselves into the car crash nonetheless. So too did Jay White, Mistico, Will Ospreay and all the other people who I feel like just did this a month ago in Daily's Place.

The chaotic nature of the match meant that I was literally second-guessing the final pin until the third fall was counted by the referee. Will Ospreay's win was a genuinely shocking end to a wildly entertaining match, but then I sat with it ...

Hated: We just did this. Am I crazy? We just did this!

... we just did this. I know I'm not crazy. I looked it up. April 24, 2024, Daily's Place. Will Ospreay won a Casino Gauntlet Match to earn International Title shot. Jay White was there, a number of luchadors were there in the interchangeable way AEW uses luchadors. We literally just did this a little over a month ago!


I sometimes have this terrifying fear, before I hit "publish" on a post for Wrestling Inc., where I'm terrified that every link is wrong, I've accidentally pasted in the text of an old story in some kind of transcribing error, or even worse linked to some random Twitter thread or inappropriate website, and I the empathetic part of my brain felt that same icy anxiety as Ospreay was declared the winner. "Tony Khan must've accidentally pasted in the results from last month's Dynamite. Man, I would hate to be him right now."

It's the only explanation. So much of the match felt repetitive. It feels way too early to have Ospreay facing the AEW Champion Swerve Strickland, especially so early in both men's reigns. What is left for Ospreay to accomplish at Wembley? It feels like something went terribly wrong here. I probably shouldn't feel that way when the guy they've made painfully obvious is next in line as face of the company gets a win this important.


Written by Ross Berman