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14 Ups & 3 Downs From AEW Dynamite (Dec 4)

Le Champion swaps his List for a Lexicon as AEW tries to rebound from Thanksgiving.

AEW

AEW's Thanksgiving ratings collapse made this the most important episode of Dynamite since its 2 October launch.

663,000 viewers for a show marketed around a World Championship match, Kenny Omega vs. PAC, and Cody's return wasn't good. At all. It stunk, in fact, and that NXT came so close to matching AEW's flagship in demographics Dynamite had previously dominated was particularly worrying, despite the usual holiday-related caveats. It was one of the year's biggest bar nights in the United States, after all.

So the biggest questions heading into this show didn't revolve around the advertised Jon Moxley vs. Joey Janela and Young Bucks/Dustin Rhodes vs. Inner Circle bouts, but how AEW would respond. Would they trust their own process and continue unabated, or hit the panic button, make swooping changes, and take big risks to recapture the lost viewers?

The answer? The former, mostly. There was a conscious effort to develop new stars throughout the night (from Jungle Boy to Kris Statlander), but this was still AEW doing AEW. It was also one of their strongest weekly offerings to date, with the promotion putting faith in their core product to rebound as it did after the World Series dip, though only the numbers will tell if they made the right decision.

Let's light the fuse...

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WhatCulture's big bad wrestling news baron. 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.