5 Ups & 4 Downs From AEW Dynamite (April 17 - Results & Review)

Why was it difficult to FEEL something about a very good Dynamite?

Jon Moxley IWGP

It's time for AEW to make like Jade Cargill, and cut the s***. What the hell has happened to the promotion over the last few weeks?!

CM Punk happened.

He spoke candidly about his time in the promotion in an interview with Ariel Helwani, and in response, to the detriment of the Dynasty build, Tony Khan suffered catastrophic head loss. He dispatched Adam Copeland to cut a babyface rah-rah speech on Dynamite a few weeks ago, and it was awful: almost word-for-word a pathetic "Just enjoy wrestling guys!" engagement bait post on X.

Then, as announced after night one of WrestleMania 40 in a bid to steal focus from it, Khan vowed to show the footage of CM Punk losing it at Wembley stadium in his infamous altercation with Jack Perry. And he did. And it led to - Jesus Christ - a babyface rah-rah speech, cut by Dax Harwood, talking about how "great" AEW is. Punk, now a top star in WWE again, looked like an unhinged madman - but also, at the same time, the most compelling and must-see man in a company with which he's no longer employed.

In and of itself, Will Ospreay's response to Paul Levesque was justified - Ospreay has worked as hard as anyone and was incredibly diplomatic about his talks with WWE - but on the same show, it reeked of AEW being gotten-to.

AEW cannot sanction that WWE is white-hot and generating critical acclaim. What was once a fun exercise in poking the bear and smirking at WWE's general awfulness is now becoming a sad and defensive display. AEW badly needs to learn how to exist without WWE. The paradigm has shifted.

Did AEW concentrate on selling its own, supposedly important pay-per-view last night...?


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 Champions Kenny Omega and MJF, and current Undisputed WWE 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!