6 Ups & 4 Downs From AEW Dynamite (8 May - Results & Review)

Copeland & King got to war, Anarchy In The Arena at Double Or Nothing, Mogul Embassy stun Swerve.

Adam Copeland Brody King

Another week another Dynamite, and another Dynamite where it's tough to assess the overall state of AEW.

An excellent match by anybody's standards was followed up on by the surprise return of two beloved babyfaces to set up an equally-adored massive multi-man pay-per-view match. On the same episode, a series of tweener vs tweener feuds continued to muddy waters for fans that are struggling to invest, with one too many segments being greeted with an uneasy quiet in the building. There are a lot of worthy Champions, but that's in-part because there are a lot of belts. Historically, that's a problem, more than a solution.

Boiled down? It's still not that hot.

The longer All Elite Wrestling doesn't feel like a particularly hot wrestling show on television, the longer it will take for the heat to return. This is an age-old rule in professional wrestling, but as long as the organisation continues to follow the "Where the best wrestle" philosophy that underpinned its very existence in 2019 and was made canon in 2024, the good days will come again.

The May 1st Dynamite provided a perfect example of this paradox. Much of the show played out to an awkwardly quiet hum, including, initially, hometown hero's Kenny Omega's return from life-threatening diverticulitis. Yet, when the 'Best Bout Machine' spoke, fans listened. When he spoke more, they cheered. When he fought off The Elite, they roared. The love remains, the vaunted "feeling" is in there somewhere, and on any given week, it stands a chance of bursting forth like the multi-coloured graphics that used to flash up in the opening credits of the Wednesday flagship. As its soul gets fought for in kayfabe, what would AEW look like this week?

Let's light the fuse...


4. Wheels Spin For Willow & Mercedes

Mercedes Mone

Another weak verbal display from Mercedes Moné was the lone headline from a build - and indeed run - that has thus far flattered to deceive.

Giving Moné and AEW TBS Champion Willow Nightingale time to cut promos on each other was time wasted rather than well spent. Premise re-establishment is one of the biggest criticisms levied at WWE and for good reason, but with the exception of Moné getting mysteriously attacked by somebody (it’s Kris Statlander) weeks ago, it’s all that Champion and Challenger have been given to do.

Much has been made of the cadence of Moné in particular and the critique isn’t without merit. Her words do sound a touch forced even if they’re from the heart, and without much heat in the plotting, many of them are floating off into the ether rather than burrowing into your brain.

The pressure remains high on the Double Or Nothing match to deliver in a way thar almost all of her run has yet to. It will rule, probably, but it can’t come soon enough.

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Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back almost 35 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz" Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast and its accompanying YouTube channel, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 60,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times, GRAPPL and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett