AEW: Dynamite - An Explosive Debut
An opinion piece
Ivan Spasov, Editor-In-Chief at FITE.TV
"This Wednesday saw the debut of All Elite Wrestling's weekly show - Dynamite. And what a debut it was. The entire team here at FITE.TV was stoked and hyped up about putting it on display for our international audience. We were also waiting in anticipation - we are Pro Wrestling fans after all. We wanted to know what the new Pro Wrestling phenomenon on the scene was going to look like. And what we saw was all we thought it would be and much more!"
History was being made this Wednesday
There was a special energy in the air from the very first moments of Dynamite's opening. Excitement and joy, anticipation and hope - everything started to crystalize as the show opened.
The arena was full of fans - a huge crowd with eager viewers. All waiting to see the rising giant in action - All Elite Wrestling taking form and stepping firmly on the ground. One couldn't help but get excited further by the hype the fans were bringing.
As the show started to progress, I felt a strong sensation of something familiar, yet completely new. A sense of Deja Vu accompanied with the feeling of seeing something innovative.
The commentary of Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone had me remembering my most beloved years of Pro Wrestling fandom.The voices that defined my childhood and love of the business were back but this time together. And then there was Excalibur. I've known he's great on commentary but he was simply awesome this Wednesday. He held his own with the two most legendary announcers in the history of the business and managed to contribute a lot to the presentation package.
The promo packages were simply awesome!
One of the things that had me popping from the very beginning of the show were the promo packages. What got me big time was Cody's interview with Tony Schiavone before the first match of the evening - Cody vs Sammy Guevara. Cody made everything feel so real. He set the stakes, got the ball rolling and the story began.
And speaking of that match - what an opener it was. Beloved by fans, both Cody and Sammy put on a performance that would set the bar high.
The promo packages would continue to be a highlight for me - everything up until the very end served a purpose. Everything was set up in a way to make you want to know more. The structure and direction of the promos contributed to the non-stop hype that was felt throughout the debut episode of Dynamite.
Storytelling was at an all-time high
AEW knows how to build an interesting story. Starting from the first match of the evening, leading all the way up to the last. There were intertwining storylines - with Cody and Chris Jericho, with Riho and Kenny Omega, with Sammy Guevara and Cody … just so many pieces that fit in one big narrative. I won't dive too deep into it as we're still in week one of the show and there still may be people that haven't watched it but believe me when I say that the setups and the stories are tightly put in place to make something big!
Aside from the overarching themes of the show, there were also stories within the stories.From the David vs Goliath in the Riho vs Nyla Rose match, through the clear rivalry of contenders in the Cody vs Sammy Guevara match to the excellent promo segment between SoCal Uncensored and The Lucha Bros pitting two of the most competitive Tag Teams out there against each other!
The storytelling was also very strong in the matches themselves. To anyone who would want to study the psychology of a match and how to tell the story of combat should look at the Adam Page vs PAC match. Without spoiling the result, this match told an outstanding story through sheer physical performance! From facial expressions to selling moves, this was a big-time standout. However, nearly all matches had a strong story performance-wise going for them! Including the Main Event.
The Main Event was awesome and shocking!
One thing to always remember is that it doesn't matter if you start strong when you end on a low note. Thankfully, AEW are students of the game and they produced an ending fit for the type of high-impact spectacle they had going all night long!
The main event did not disappoint! A match between The Elite in the form of Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks versus Chris Jericho, Ortiz & Santana was in itself a great way to end the night but there was just so much more!
As I said before, I really don't want to get into spoilers, so what I'm about to write down might seem a little cryptic, yet I can't contain myself and I'm going to write it down anyway.
The main event had me marking out like the 10-year-old me, watching Pro Wrestling back in the day. It had me marking out like I had a child's perception of what I was watching. It had it all - a surprise return from a very prominent roster member; an all-out brawl in the arena and in the back; some of the most organic yet elaborate high-spots I've seen in a long time; involvement from major characters within the show and … a debut that came as a real shocker.
These sequences had me watching with my eyes wide open and as the show came off the air I was feeling like I had watched something special!
I want to see more!
That's just it! I want to watch another episode! Not in a week's time - I want to watch it now. I want to see how everything unfolds. I want to know why so-and-so did what they did during the Main Event of the evening! I want to hear more of JR, Tony, and Excalibur. I just feel like I've watched the first episode of an expected season of a show I really love and have been engaged with for a long time.
I'm really looking forward to watching this show next Wednesday.I'm sure my colleagues at FITE.TV are excited too. But above all else … I'm sure the fans are really looking forward to it as well. Reading reviews online, going on YouTube and reddit, I see a lot of very happy fans!
It's that happiness and excitement that drives the business - from the huge companies of the day to the smallest indie promotion. The business is driven by excitement.