10 Troubling Things AEW Won't Change

AEW Dynamite is a great watch most weeks - if you have the energy for it...

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AEW is generally an excellent pro wrestling company. Moreover, AEW is a generally excellent pro wrestling company that seeks feedback from the audience to improve their experience.

Of late, Sammy Guevara turned heel. After a weird spell of darkened, WWE main roster-style lighting - which looked as though AEW was hiding piss-poor attendances despite the arenas packing in a very respectable throng - the promotion has listened, and is making the Dynamite experience feel vibrant again. A noisy crowd is essential to making a very good show special, and the ability to see a set of fans losing their minds adds an immeasurable effect to the atmosphere. WCW 1996 Nitro didn't become a powerhouse because the crowd was a living, breathing, blinded thing - but it helped.

AEW does listen...


Every booker has their quirks. Gedo has a strange obsession with Americanised heel work, knows how effective the count-out tease is and takes the absolute piss with it, and treats the referee like a thick t*sser. Vince McMahon hates the concepts of 'meaning" and "importance", and basically operates as a withholding carny because that way, he doesn't have to do anything.

Khan his own, too - and the issue is that, three years deep, they are ingrained within him...

10. Not Allowing Anything To Register

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Excalibur's auctioneer-voiced big sell of the next round of TV shows is as silly as it is endearing as it is impressive - but the reasons behind it are not ideal. He has to do this because everything moves too quickly.

Writing from the perspective of a critic whose tastes are aligned with Khan's, and has grown to despise the old school d*ckhead grift, one can absolutely see why AEW isn't for everybody - which is a problem, since it is sold as a catch-all for everybody.

So little gets sold. Action is mostly sold well in the ring, contrary to volumes of bad faith takes, but selling in wrestling isn't limited to limb work.

The other week, Chris Jericho threw a fireball in Eddie Kingston's face. This was sold well enough by Kingston himself, in that he missed shows and applied make-up upon his return - but on the night itself, Tony Schiavone expressed his disapproval with an obligatory tut before Excalibur ran through the next Dynamite and Rampage line-ups without taking a single breath. It was onto the next thing, powered by Khan's manic energy. AEW creates amazing moments and books compelling angles, but does nowhere near enough to extract the maximum effect.

Oddly, for a man nicknamed 'Mid South Tony', he really could do with applying that which made the "pressure bandage" angle so seminal into the rhythm of his programming.

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Writer, podcaster and editor. Deft Punk. Author of Becoming All Elite: The Rise of AEW, which is available to purchase at the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-All-Elite-powerful-Wrestling/dp/B09MYSNT71