That’s how long AEW left fans to ruminate on the ill-received Dark Order angle, in which the decidedly-not-over group inexplicably welcomed enhancement talents Alex Reynolds and John Silver into their ranks by beating down the company’s top stars. It was disastrous, with The Young Bucks, Cody, and Kenny Omega diminished, the crowd reacting with a library-like silence, and the internet filling with gifs of those “punches” on Dustin Rhodes, opening AEW to ridicule.
That response, coupled with the latest ratings collapse, made last night’s the most important episode of Dynamite thus far. AEW’s ship has veered off course in recent months. In Jacksonville, it was time to address that.
Time to steer back towards the oft-questioned “real sport feel” undone by nights like 18 December. Time to reconfigure the records system, with January’s clean slate giving the ideal platform to finally establish that wins and losses do, indeed, matter. Time to book Omega, the Bucks, and co. in credible ways that might catch on with a wider audience. Time to appeal to that wider audience - period.
With Cody vs. Darby Allin II, Jon Moxley’s Inner Circle decision, and Chris Jericho, the Bucks, Lucha Brothers, MJF, and more set to appear, AEW gave themselves a great card to start addressing the aforementioned problems (amongst others). Let’s analyse whether or not they were successful...
WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.