8 Ups & 1 Down From AEW Dynamite (March 20 - Results & Review)

Will Ospreay ELEVATES another cracking all-rounder of an episode.

I Quit Adam Copeland Christian Cage

The feeling is back.

After a promising start to 2024, AEW is showing as well as telling. Revolution was an all-timer of a pay-per-view, complete with the sense of anticipation that was lacking in 2023. Beyond a dismal WWE composite angle on the "season premiere" - a promo train leading to an impromptu can-they-co-exist match, f*ck off - the last two editions of Dynamite were exceptional. Last night's show promised another great time.

Could Kazuchika Okada pull off a second 'Rainmaker Shock'? The parallels are hardly identical - it would be a shock and terrible idea if he didn't dethrone Eddie Kingston - but the conviction was similar. Okada in AEW should be presented as a God magnetic to gold. What a character contrast too: the entitled millionaire who started at the top versus the man who took decades to make it. Overbearing pr*ck versus a good guy prone to anger.

That match had some ceiling on it. As did Dynamite on the whole.

That said, Adam Copeland hasn't felt truly 'Elite' since his debut at WrestleDream. Really, the idea that he would usher in a "new era" feels laughable in the wake of Will Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada and Mercedes Moné arriving. It was always a means by which to sell the pay-per-view, but you'd expect him to have made far more of an impact. Broadly, he's been fine, even good. His try-hard hard-man Jack Reacher character isn't especially convincing, and he's only worked one match truly worthy of the promotion's stratospheric standard. The expected programme with Christian Cage was sometimes fun and mostly well-plotted in a call-back-heavy sort of way, but just felt inessential throughout. Perhaps wrestling is just a lot better than it was in the 2000s. To be less harsh, perhaps Copeland needs to turn heel.

Did Copeland prove himself at the top level in Toronto...?

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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!