6 Ups & 3 Downs From AEW Dynamite (21 June - Review)

Everybody knows who Kazuchika Okada is on a mostly great Dynamite.

Kazuchika Okada

On paper, this was a very Tony Khan-looking Dynamite.

Busy, chaotic, a wildly uneven prospect threatening as much mid action as perfect matchmaking, how could he even fit it all in? After the eight announced segments and a heavily rumoured CM Punk appearance, there was the small matter of an apparent, entire tournament (!), details of which were kept vague.

Tony Khan has never booked a Dynamite that has exceeded seven matches. Aside from the 'Blind Eliminator' tournament, he booked five ahead of last night. Wasn't that a minimum of eight matches (!), including two semis and the final? Wasn't that the least one could reasonably expect of a tournament? And wasn't that insane, considering that Khan had already promoted three separate talking segments and had an entire PPV undercard, just five days away, to build and promote?

The copy was strange; on official channels, AEW promised to promote a tournament. Not a match. Not the 'Blind Eliminator Tournament Starts Tonight!'

A...tournament. This isn't bad faith - nobody really expected an entire tournament - but the promotion of it was needlessly vague.

Was this as weird as it seemed? Was a rumoured reboot of Lethal Lottery as strange and unsuccessful as the original WCW version? Did all of this get in the way of the Forbidden Door build?

Was there enough time, and was it a good one?


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!