The anticipation and hype surrounding AEW’s inaugural weekly show Dynamite can not be overstated.
Fans and wrestling insiders have been not so patiently waiting for this event since the announced deal between TNT and AEW. After a spectacular exhibition of its talent throughout the summer, AEW is finally able to give the fans what they want, more AEW. The four summer shows were great for the fans but the month-long gap between each show left a wrestling void in the lives of the sports most die-hard fans. A weekly show is just what the doctor ordered to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal that the industry’s most rabid fans are suffering from.
The stakes have never been higher as AEW takes on the wrestling universe. WWE has put its developmental, and arguably most compelling product, NXT, up against AEW’s Wednesday night Dynamite show. SmackDown Live has been rebranded, repackaged, and moved to Friday nights on FOX and Monday Night RAW has undergone a transformation in anticipation for an epic battle for the heart and minds of wrestling fans across the globe.
Who will win this battle or if both outfits can coexist remains to be seen? What is clear is that the fans of sports entertainment are being catered to like no time before in the history of professional wrestling. Let’s take a moment and reflect on 5 things we learned from this week’s show.
5. Expect The Unexpected
The only thing you can be sure of with AEW’s Dynamite is to expect the unexpected. Jon Moxley showing up to not only attack, but remove Kenny Omega from a 6 man tag team match that he was participating in is exhibit one.
MMA competitor Jack Hager showing up at the conclusion of Dynamite aligning himself with Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevera, Santana, and Ortiz to decimate Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks is exhibit number two.
What is clear is that AEW is willing to do whatever is necessary to keep fans guessing and coming back for more. Fans appreciate being surprised during the show and this serves to keep the content fresh and hopefully keeps fans from switching channels for fear of what they may miss.
4. Tag Team Wrestling Matters
The six-man tag team match between Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks v Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz being billed as the main event of the first-ever episode of Dynamite is evidence of the importance being placed on the division. SoCalUncensored and Lucha Bros were featured in an all-out brawl even though neither team was on the schedule for the show is another indicator of AEW’s dedication to the often undervalued tag team division. These two points illustrate AEW’s commitment to the tag team division as it tries to generate excitement in preparation for the tag team tournament beginning next Wednesday night, October 9th from Boston, Massachusetts on Dynamite.
3. MJF Is A Top Tier Bad Guy
From mocking his opponent, Brandon Cutler to insulting the crowd, no one can elicit a response from a crowd like Maxwell J Friedman. Chants of “asshole” raining down on MJF as he easily disposed of the under matched Brandon Cutler tell you all you need to know about MJF’s charisma and mic skills. He has become the man fans love to hate. MJF demanding that Cutler “Look into the camera and tell your kids you’re a bum” shortly after insulting the crowd and uttering his “I’m better than you and you know it” catchphrase got the audience going in an otherwise not noteworthy match. His press conference after the show was vintage MJF as he rails against Chis Jericho while admonishing the media about how they ask him questions.
2. The Women’s Division Will Be Unpredictable
The women’s division is going to be a wild, unpredictable, and exciting division. The first-ever AEW women’s championship match appeared, on paper, to be a lopsided match with the much larger and stronger Nyla Rose having a distinct advantage. The match featured contrasting styles and eventually concluded with Riho defeating Nyla Rose via pinfall to be crowned AEW’s first-ever women’s champion.
Nyla Rose would not go quietly or graciously however and made an attempt to exact revenge on Riho until Kenny Omega showed up to protect his one-time NJPW partner. A visibly upset Rose stormed out of her post-match press conference after voicing her frustration.
The women’s division is loaded with talent all looking for an opportunity to vie for the title. Competitors like Awesome Kong, Britt Baker, Brandi Rhodes, and of course Nyla Rose will prove a formidable gauntlet for anyone to navigate on their way to a championship match. This division provides far more than the cliche eye candy presented by some promotions. AEW’s women’s division offers compelling characters and contrasting styles and promises to be an uber and entertaining compliment-competitive to the men’s division.
1. The Heavyweight Mens Division Is Stacked
Chris Jericho has done a masterful job of creating intrigue, drama, and excitement as the reigning champion. He has continually and brutally attacked his rivals outside his sanctioned matches. Remember Jericho dressed as a creeper to attack Hangman Adam Page at Fyter Fest?
Last night was no different as Jericho, Ortiz, Santana, and Jack Hager ambushed Cody Rhodes at the conclusion of the 6 man tag team match.
As if the actions of Chis Jericho against his rival, Cody Rhodes for the upcoming pay per view Full Gear weren’t enough, there was a hell of a match between Adam Page and PAC which could possibly propel PAC to the number one contender position following Full Gear. We can definitely not rule out the likelihood of MJF getting a major push going forward. Every great promotion needs a heel to hold the title and keep the fans engaged. His mic skills are unparalleled and he would certainly raise havoc as champion. The bottom line is that the men’s division is set up to be the most exciting and entertaining division in all of wrestling, bar none. The unique blend of characters and storylines will continue to attract and retain fans in this extremely competitive landscape that is professional wrestling.
Well, that’s a wrap on 5 things we learned from AEW’s inaugural episode of Dynamite. I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did. There is so much interesting wrestling content and so many fantastic characters for the fans to root for or against. I would hope that today’s fans would embrace the diversity and choices offered across so many promotions and not feel compelled to offer blind loyalty to only one promotion. Watch what you like and support those performers that inspire you regardless of which promotion they wrestle under.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on AEW’s first edition of Wednesday Night Dynamite.
You can find me on Twitter @ngtriplett. Thanks for reading.