AEW has existed from day one as the most hyper-scrutinised wrestling promotion in recorded history.
The consensus, among the reasonable fans anyway, is that the AEW of 2022 isn't is as good as the AEW that was promised in the dream-like build to All Out 2021.
And yet, go back and remember the last six weeks of television. Those episodes of Dynamite boasted a deluge of brilliance. Jon Moxley cutting two of the best promos of the 21st century; Kenny Omega telling a bold story, escalated brilliantly, of his return to 100% health; Daniel Garcia emerging as both crowd favourite and TV star with his improved ability to emote as a sympathetic babyface following a glorious series with Bryan Danielson; Chris Jericho working a near career-best effort opposite Mox, who is rapidly becoming the babyface of the century: AEW is fantastic.
And collapsing and past its peak at the same time, somehow.
Of course, all this played out against an extraordinary backdrop of toxicity, following which four top stars and phenomenal talents are on, at best, indefinite hiatus. Are the following problems mere flaws in an otherwise outstanding product? Or are they the first, bleak signs of a wider decline?
They all need to be fixed, right now, regardless...
10. The Chase Is Too Often Better Than The Run
Is Tony Khan better at building stars than simply presenting wrestlers as stars?
What he does is actually more impressive. Creating stars is the most difficult task facing a wrestling promoter - Vince McMahon built his empire on the back of Antonio Inoki and Verne Gagne's work - and Khan is fantastic at structuring a push.
Wardlow seethed in the background before showing his appreciation of the crowd and discovering his agency at the same time. Hangman Page told a bold and emotionally resonant mental health story, somehow, in the silly context of pro wrestling. Wheeler YUTA across every TV match in 2022 showed that bit more tenacity, fire and endurance in what was a masterclass in crowd psychology and character development.
Wardlow's run hasn't worked out as expected outside of a great defence opposite Orange Cassidy. Hangman's in-ring work was special, but his main event storyline with Adam Cole was overshadowed. Wheeler YUTA might be turning heel, as was foreshadowed on this week's Dynamite, but he just sort of existed as a babyface after his breakthrough moment. Shouldn't a turn only happen when a character has ran its course?
The money is in the chase, and Khan is proving the adage to be true - and someone like Wardlow isn't helped by the super-stacked roster around him. Whenever he has a middling week or two, suddenly, about 15 wrestlers start looking good with the TNT title Photoshopped around their waist.
Inviting the comparison isn't the only byproduct of the aggressive recruitment strategy...