Thursday, April 18, 2024

AEW Dynasty 2024 Preview & Predictions

Hey remember a month ago how I said I'd be shocked if any PPV topped AEW Revolution this year?  Apparently AEW's response to that was "Hold my fuckin' beer."  Jeezus, what a lineup this is.

The inaugural AEW Dynasty PPV is upon us, and on paper it's a card for the ages.  A potential all-time dream match, a probable historic coronation of the company's hottest babyface, a monster title defense for Okada, a blowaway ladder match, and a slew of strong undercard bouts.  And there are still a ton of key people not even on the show.  This oughta be sick.

Zero Hour AEW/ROH Trios Championship: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn vs. Bullet Club Gold

I will say, thank Christ this feud is coming to an end; it's been going on in some form for at least four months and it was never all that exciting.  I really hope the plan is to unify these two sets of titles because having two sets of trios belts is just silly.  Yes they're technically for different promotions, but BCG has been on AEW television way more than they've been on the brand they're supposed to be representing.  Let's pare down these championships huh (That goes for you too, WWE)?  Anyway, it's time for The Acclaimed to drop their titles, as they've barely defended these damn things since winning them at All In(!?).  Jay White and friends get the duke here and hopefully move on to another trio they can have a more heated feud with.

Pick: Bullet Club Gold

Adam Copeland, Eddie Kingston & Mark Briscoe vs. House of Black

Speaking of trios, this one should be a lot of fun.  Cope and his allies have been stymied by HOB for several weeks and it's time for them to come together and vanquish their common enemies.  Team Cope has two current champions in Adam and Mark, so I think they're winning this.

Pick: Cope, Eddie and Mark

FTW Championship: Hook vs. Chris Jericho

I could see this one going either way, as Hook's beaten Jericho once, in pretty dominant fashion, but if they want to blow this feud off later Jericho probably needs to win this time.  Hook's lost the FTW Title before to Jack Perry before quickly winning it back, so I could see that happening here.  I wonder if this feud is sort of channeling CM Punk vs. Jack Perry.  Old veteran offers unsolicited advice to young star with famous dad, gets indignant and abusive when young star doesn't heed unwanted advice?  Jericho's promo about the "learning tree" certainly carried the same sense of self-important douchebaggery as every Punk interview nowadays.  Anyway I think Jericho steals this one so Hook can chase him.

Pick: Jericho

AEW International Championship: Roderick Strong vs. Kyle O'Reilly

Two good friends, both in-ring wizards, colliding for the I-N Title.  Not exactly a marquee match but it should be a pretty great grapple-fest.  Both guys are cosmically underrated and always overdeliver.  I think it's way too soon for Roddy to drop the title, so I'll pick him to retain.

Pick: Roddy retains

TBS Championship: Julia Hart vs. Willow Nightingale

So I'm of two minds about this one.  On one hand they've been building toward Mercedes vs. Willow since Moné's debut, so it would make sense for Willow to win here and defend the title against Mercedes at Double or Nothing.  On the other hand, Willow is really popular and having her defend against, and lose to, Mercedes only a month after winning her first AEW championship might turn the crowd against Moné.  And that's fine if the plan is for Mercedes to be a heel (For the record she's better in that role so that should ultimately be the plan, but perhaps not so soon).  They've also set up an issue between Mercedes and Julia by having (presumably) Julia attack Mercedes in the dark.  So I could see Julia retain here, drop the title to Moné at Double or Nothing, and then Willow chases Moné, who by the time they face each other at All In has in fact turned heel.  That seems the neater scenario to me.

Pick: Julia retains

AEW Continental Championship: Kazuchika Okada vs. Pac

One of four potential show stealers, this will be all kinds of awesome.  Pac is stunningly great, and Okada is an all-timer.  Not much else to say - Okada's obviously not losing here but the match will be fantastic.

Pick: Okada retains

AEW Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: The Young Bucks vs. FTR

This will also be incredible.  I'm always here for a Bucks-FTR match, and the addition of ladders will make this one stand out from the others.  Jack Perry HAS to get involved somehow, right?  The question is, does he help the Bucks who have stood up for him, or does he screw over the Bucks, who are part of the AEW management that suspended him?  I think probably the former, but Perry should ultimately be an antihero.  And The Bucks should win here because their characters are hot and unbelievably entertaining, while FTR is due for a reinvention of some sort.  Anyway this'll be a helluva spectacle.

Pick: Bucks

AEW Women's Championship: Toni Storm vs. Thunder Rosa

If these two formed a tag team they could be ThunderStorm.  Alas they are enemies.  Rosa has a legit claim to the title since she never lost it, but I don't see her being the one to dethrone Toni.  There's also the intrigue of Mariah May and Deonna Purazzo getting involved.  Deonna and Rosa don't like each other and Mariah will obviously be challenging Toni at some point.  Do we see some kind of double turn?  

Pick: Toni retains

Will Ospreay vs. Bryan Danielson

The best in the world vs. the GOAT.  Just sit back and enjoy.  Give these guys 25-30 minutes to weave a masterpiece.  Far too many AEW fans have no idea how good we have it right now.

Pick: Ospreay

AEW World Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Swerve Strickland

I've been loving the interactions between these two.  Joe has been great as the dominant heel champion people respect so much they kinda have to cheer, while Swerve is the coolest guy in any room he enters.  Some have been pushing for Joe to retain here so Swerve can chase longer and maybe dethrone Hangman Page later, but I think it's time to pull the trigger on this one.  Swerve is very hot right now and the company needs a new top babyface.  By summer he'll have Page and a returning MJF (who I figure goes back to being a heel by then) to challenge him.  I know a lot of people want Ospreay to win the title at All In, but I don't see the rush there.  Have Swerve vs. Hangman as the AEW Title match, while Ospreay goes after Okada (which could even headline).  Regardless, this will be a great main event and likely the long-awaited moment for Swerve Strickland.

Pick: Swerve

Love this lineup.  For all its flaws, there's no denying AEW knows how to put on a big, memorable PPV that leaves you satisfied.  They already had my money at Ospreay vs. Danielson, but then they loaded up the rest of the show to boot.  It's a helluva time to be a wrestling fan. 

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