4 Ups & 5 Downs From AEW Dynamite (15 Feb - Review)


5. Opener Sets Inessential Tone

Jeff Jarrett

The Acclaimed, Daddy Ass and Orange Cassidy Vs. Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt was a house show match promoted when AEW needed to unleash its prime episodic TV form.

In and of itself, the opener was a fun enough match for which your mileage will vary (subjectively, there's been a lot of zany material on TV of late, and it's growing a bit thin). The problem is that, combined with a card bereft of real anticipation and quality, and a poorly attended arena that the production crew could not hide, the match set a suboptimal tone. AEW - with Revolution really not too far away at this point - felt like the irreverent, distant number two promotion. There was a hard-to-place smugness about this.

AEW, once the most well-booked promotion on the planet, is losing the battle of perception - and this cutesy opener felt like it was sneering at the critics and not showing them up. Elements of it were fun - how could you not guffaw at the sight of Satnam Singh doing the Jarrett strut on the apron? - and Jarrett himself did well to get through it, God love him. But it was a piss about when the show needed to get serious about making you pay $50.

The finish felt like the US adaptation of the Snowman, edited to remove the heft from last week.

The Acclaimed: they're OK, folks!

They'll be right back.


Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, present AEW World Champion MJF, and surefire Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!