Ganso Bomb

Write Forever: Swerve Strickland is set to build his dynasty on AEW Dynamite for March 27

Write Forever: Swerve Strickland is set to build his dynasty on AEW Dynamite for March 27

Last week it felt like my entire body was imploding, so I decided I'd just rest and not write about wrestling. I baked a potato I was very excited to eat and everything, then I couldn't even bring myself to eat it. A terrible shame. Then, we had no AEW on Friday! No AEW on Saturday! A true nightmare!

This week, my body no longer feels like that guy in RoboCop who gets exploded into mush when hit by a car so let's fucking go.

The In-Between

A little rough, but a well-earned win for Willow Nightingale

There were some shaky patches in the women's four-way match to name a number one contender for Julia Hart's TBS Title, but nothing that lingered too long or soured the match as a whole.

Mercedes Moné sat in on commentary which was fine but not interesting or spectacular by any means. Honestly, most of Mercedes' promo work has been lacking since arriving in AEW and I'm eager to see her get in the ring to do the thing she does best.

It feels like people on the internet (or maybe just in the places I frequent) have been expecting a heel turn from either Kris Statlander or Willow as a wrinkle in this whole Stokely Hathaway saga. I don't know that I necessarily want or need to see either of them turn, and at this point it feels like a turn from either may be less likely.

If I rub my temples hard enough to see the future, I'm sensing something along the lines of: Willow wins the TBS Title from Julia at Dynasty, teasing some dissension with Stat that hangs in the air for a little bit without anything actually happening. Maybe some miscommunications. In her quest for revenge for her loss to Willow for the NJPW Strong Women's Title, Mercedes challenges Willow for the TBS Title. Willow accepts, and it's there when Stokely – not Willow or Stat – turns giving the TBS Title to Mercedes.

Stokely and Mercedes feel like a natural and super fun pairing, especially if it means Stokely would be cutting the majority of promos rather than Mercedes herself.

The Good

Can you believe that the power of AEW Dynamite this week was on the professional wrestling and build toward Dynasty? It's crazy, but it's true!

Ospreay vs Shibata reminded me why it's so easy to love professional wrestling.

It's been a long time since I've actively followed New Japan Pro Wrestling. I fell off sometime between Wrestle Kingdom 14 and 15, if I'm remembering correctly. So while I spent a lot of time watching NJPW for a good number of years, seeing guys like Will Ospreay, Kenny Omega, and Katsuyori Shibata somewhat regularly it's still completely wild to me that there exists in 2024 a wrestling promotion in the United States that gives us Ospreay, Omega, and Shibata on free weekly TV.

There has likely never been a better time to be a fan of professional wrestling with how many options there are at our fingertips, especially now that quality professional wrestling on TV is alive in the US again. For a lot of years it was hard to love pro-wrestling due to the scraps we were getting in the US along with the hoops you often had to jump through to find and follow the good stuff. It's nice that it's easy to love pro-wrestling again.

That's what this match made me think about. A wild, high-quality match on a weekly television show that I don't have to wake up at 3AM to watch live.

Ospreay's entire goal here was to show Bryan Danielson, his Dynasty opponent, that he could not only hold his own against Shibata but defeat him just as Danielson did on Collision. Ospreay has grown a ton since his last meeting with Shibata, an important detail of this encounter.

Shibata ate some forearm strikes like a wrestler in an N64 AKI game and it was beautiful. He couldn't avoid the Hidden Blade following a sick Tiger Driver, though, awarding Osprey the win in a fantastic ~20 minute opening bout. A simply ridiculous way to kick off Dynamite.

The Sleazeball Elite

The best Young Bucks are always slimy, shady dickheads. It's scientific fact. This may be my favorite run of theirs in AEW so far, second only to the time they started wearing dangly earings and breaking Tony Schiavone's phone during promos. The act of doing something bad and then immediately, and literally, throwing money on the problem tickled me.

Blowing up at Renee during a backstage interview and then telling her to "try smiling" some more was top tier dickhead stuff. Not like evil masterminds or anything, just dip shit CEO-types who think they're the smartest guys in the room while completely showing their asses at every opportunity. Really fun twist on their characters, and I hope we never see babyface Young Bucks again because that's when they truly suffer.

A Falcon Arrow off of the barricade onto the floor?! What the fuck, guys??

Marq Quen still seems perhaps a step or two behind since his comeback. This is where it feels like AEW not running more shows is a detriment to its workers who may only work once a week assuming they're not working indie dates between episodes of Dynamite and Collision. Reps are the key to growth, but you can only get so many reps in when you're wrestling a few times a month.

The low blow from The Bucks was expected, but the quick turnaround with a belt shot from Quen was a nice way to balance things out. Despite a messy ending with the EVP Trigger, The Bucks picked up the win to advance in the tag tournament.

It's not the outcome I wanted, but I understand not beating The Bucks again at this point in their run. Maybe we're heading toward a Bucks/Top Flight final at Dynasty? I'm just hopeful that the champions we end up with are new champs rather than repeat champs.

I'll mention the Best Friends/Kingdom match here, because it was fine but nothing to write home about. I intensely appreciated the post-match taunting from The Bucks due to Matthew Jackson deciding to change his facial hair after their match earlier in the night. S-tier move. Bucks/Best Friends should rip!

The crowning of Swerve Strickland is imminent

Swerve Strickland and Konosuke Takeshita in the main event was everything AEW should be. These two could be two of the faces of the company for the next decade if Tony Khan wanted. There is so much both of them have yet to do in AEW and so much ground that both of them can cover.

Swerve has been on the rise for months with the end of the story being clear as day for all to see – Swerve Strickland, AEW World Heavyweight Champion. With Samoa Joe taking the belt away from MJF at Worlds End, the entire feeling of the World Title scene in AEW shifted.

Immediately, it felt like the matches were going to mean more with Joe at the helm. As such, it would have been far too early to take the title off of him at Revolution. Dynasty, though, allows for a bit of a longer reign while still striking while the iron is hot with Swerve.

Looking down the road, it could be Ospreay taking the belt from Swerve at All In if they decide to go for the hometown boy winning the big one but I'd be just as fine with Swerve getting a long and healthy run with the belt before dropping it either to Ospreay or a returning Hangman Page.

Swerve and Takeshita delivered in a big way in the main event, the ending moments a dance back and forth with both man attempting to hit the one final move that would put their opponent away. It turned out to be Swerve's night, pinning Takeshita with the renamed Big Pressure (formerly JML Driver).

It's now official – Swerve vs Joe for the World Title at Dynasty. Whose house?

Wrapping Up

Turns out, when your body isn't fully betraying you it means you get to enjoy the professional wrestling TV show even more! This show sped by with just a couple of valleys amongst the peaks and some excellent groundwork continuing to be laid for Dynasty in April.