8 Ups & 2 Downs From AEW Dynamite (24 May - Review)


2. Dynamite Is Awesome Live...But...

Jungle Boy

Dynamite was a very, very fun show to attend. Going mental like a freakazoid comes highly recommended. Do Garcia's dance! It's fun!

As someone who has loved Dynamite, mostly, for four years, going on a work trip to watch it live and then review it - for income! - is an enormous privilege. I'll never lose sight of that. Earnestly, the show was tremendous at various points.

I watched masters at work, more than one great match, one totally f*cking nuts angle surging with AEW's inimitable energy, and watched a certain talent involved in a certain, widely panned storyline prove that he is above the material. The thing is, in spite of all that, AEW Dynamite is not a hot ticket right now. It bordered on the bleak.

Green, empty seats were visible on the hard camera side, opposite which I sat, and up until five minutes before the Dynamite taping I expected it to fill up. It didn't happen. AEW, whether a normalised victim of its own success or simply not as great as it used to be, felt small in that building. The people in that building love this promotion, don't get that wrong. At times, when the show reached its peaks, the magic felt through the TV was palpable in the building. But in all honesty, the buzz and the feeling that AEW is the super acclaimed, red-hot alternative is lacking.

That packed to the rafters, everybody is mad into it vibe of 2021 just isn't there.


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!