5 Ups & 2 Downs From AEW Dynamite Grand Slam 2023 (Results & Review)

On a special Dynamite, MJF and Eddie Kingston lift the black cloud that cloaked New York City.

Adam Cole MJF

AEW had to accomplish the following at Grand Slam 2023:

MJF had to defeat Samoa Joe after convincing the crowd that he was going to lose - basically work the idealised television pro wrestling match and extract drama from a predictable scenario.

Jon Moxley had to wrestle an ass-kicking match. Nothing less. With no long-term arc even hinted at as International Champion, his run risked a diminished return of his predecessor's. Orange Cassidy wrestled excellent matches weekly, and threaded everything together with a body that had begun to fail him. Thus far, Mox's defences have peaked at "fine".

Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara had to wrestle a great match - one that fans weren't especially mad about going in - and make you want to see a more violent sequel at the same time.

Saraya, bluntly, had to do something worthehile. The entire division has been warped to her role since last year's event. She failed as a babyface, and so she turned heel and became the fulcrum on which everything else hinged thereafter. It was time for Saraya to provide a return on the investment.

Eddie Kingston had to defeat Claudio Castagnoli. Long-term storytelling for the sake of it has rendered AEW, all too often, a meandering, not particularly vital experience. The Mad King had to finish his story.

Did these things happen - and did Grand Slam generate the atmosphere necessary to lend the event the special feeling missing from AEW's recent TV output...?


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!