SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
Since the debut of AEW Dynamite in 2019, I’ve been fortunate enough to see my fair share of shows in Texas. This past Wednesday was the sixth show I’ve attended live. Now, did Dynamite still hold up as an experience?
The event was held in the Moody Center in the heart of Austin. The Heb Center in Cedar Park has hosted all of the AEW performances in the past. Call me old-fashioned, but I require more from a presentation than just enormous LED boards. Additionally, since the show was in a new venue, it should feel different from a typical WWE Raw scenario. Based on what I observed from the rewatch, the production team did a terrific job with the lighting throughout the night.
Without a doubt, wrestling is a spectator sport, and when the crowd gets involved, the show is greatly improved. Unfortunately, I’ve watched too many television episodes lately where the audience is passive. The purpose of a wrestling event is to entertain the crowd, but viewers can, at the very least, express their admiration for the wrestlers that appear during the show. If you believe the audience was louder or popped for a particular thing while you are in the fanbase, there are times when you could feel like you are a prisoner of the moment. According to multiple people, I spoke with who saw Dynamite live on Wednesday night, the consensus was the same. Austin fans were one of the noisier crowds and improved the entire experience of the show.
I won’t bore you with match summaries or in-depth analysis. Wade will handle such matters. What do I think of this Dynamite overall? This program ranked just below Winter is Coming II, which topped my list of the most amazing AEW television events I’ve seen and featured the Danielson vs. Hangman hour draw AEW title match. It was a wise move for Tony Khan to feature three of the four pillars on the night, except for MJF. The Roderick Strong vs. Chris Jericho Falls Count Anywhere was amazing. When you combine Strong’s brutal attacks with the slapstick humor of Jericho, pro wrestling magic is generated. Strong and Jericho’s match was excellent, but it was made even better by the crowd following them around like Taylor Swift was performing.
I would be careless if I didn’t mention the women’s tag team match. It’s great to have Hikaru Shida back on weekly TV. Shida’s stuff looks so hard and stiff. You could hear the forearm shots from the stands. Toni Storm got the win, followed by Storm challenging Jamie Hayter for the AEW women’s title, which was the proper booking decision. The main event angle was AEW running on all cylinders. You had a hunch that the teams for Anarchy in the Arena would be revealed soon, but I didn’t believe it would happen on this show. The Elite’s reunion and Hangman Page’s comeback made it clear that the clash with the BCC at Double or Nothing would be spectacular.
The Elite did have an interesting post show promo. A few things were referenced about C.M Punk during the promo.
Kenny Omega – “Something more near and dear to my heart. Catching up with someone that I thought I’d maybe never be able to be in the same room with again. That this proves Hangman, it’s that bitter enemies, bitter rivals, men that once hated one another, can sit the room, can sit in the ring and hash it out for the greater good.”
FINAL THOUGHTS: I was really surprised with how AEW maintained focus and gave the fans in Austin, Texas a fantastic event despite the busy day that came with the premiere of a new television program and dealing with C.M. Punk turmoil. Onward and upward to Double or Nothing Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas.
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