Hello everyone! Today, we are previewing the second episode of (All Elite Wrestling) AEW Dynamite on TNT. If you would like to read a review comparing last week’s episodes? You can find that here: Wednesday Night War!
Unlike last week when everything was all fresh and new with very little expectation, this week is possibly the most crucial episode in its history. And not necessarily because of anything they have done, but what others have done since AEW made an impact on TNT.
Capitalizing On The Moment
October 2nd provided us a glimpse of what to expect from the ‘marathon’ that will be NXT vs. AEW. And for this brand new company to outdo NXT in the ratings on its first night is pretty impressive; but we’re not patting ’em on the backs just yet. What will be interesting to know is whether AEW Dynamite will gain/lose viewers, and if NXT can close the gap in the ratings.
The general consensus was that NXT provided the better wrestling, while AEW Dynamite felt like a bigger show with more memorable moments. Will AEW want to show they can deliver the goods in terms of wrestling quality this week? Or will NXT decide to scale back a little, in favour of something which will elicit more talking points? This is what makes the 2nd week intriguing, because both brands will react to other and try to work out any weaknesses.
The cool thing is that AEW hasn’t used half its roster yet, and has a story in Chris Jericho vs. Cody already lined up. NXT gave us some shocking returns, but we don’t know what to expect as nothing has been set in stone. AEW on the other hand, has already announced its promising card for tonight’s event. Not gonna spoil it for those who don’t want to know, but if you do? You can find it here: AEW Dynamite Updated Card
The biggest question of all surrounds WWE’s questionable booking of their Hell in a Cell main event. Will the incident encourage some fans to give AEW a chance? Or is WWE so ingrained in people’s minds they’ll simply forgive and forget? I’m sure many are waiting to see the rating; as a severe increase will be attested to WWE shooting itself in the foot.
Yet To Debut
Last week I provided a “Do’s & Don’ts” section, but it feels kinda pointless this time. Instead, let’s have a gander at some of the best talents who have yet to debut in any form on AEW Dynamite (not including dark matches).
- Tag Teams – We’re in the middle of a tag team tournament, so we will see all the teams eventually. But out of those waiting for their turn, I think Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) will be the most entertaining to first-timers. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta) are another good team, although I’m not expecting ’em to reach the top anytime soon. Personally, I’m a believer of The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) becoming one of the best heel teams in the division. The tag team scene is very competitive, and it’s refreshing to see a company focusing so highly on it.
- Orange Cassidy – The guy is controversial because he’s entertaining in a manner which rubs some the wrong way. So incredibly laid back, he attacks his opponents with the laziest punches and kicks you will ever see. And to many it’s entertaining, while others tut in disapproval. He’s like Marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it; but he can wrestle when needed. Orange Cassidy isn’t all gimmick, but the main question is how thick will he lay it on when he is booked?
- CIMA – The 41-year-old owner of Chinese promotion Oriental Wrestling Entertainment is as athletic as wrestlers half his age. Training a new breed of Chinese talents, he is a leader and a steady hand. While his win-loss record leaves much to be desired, he has the ability to make anyone look good. Always the consummate professional, he will provide AEW an avenue for talent other promotions will never consider.
- Joey Janela – From what I’ve seen of Joey, I’m still looking for what makes him special. His strength is hardcore wrestling, and I guess he can talk as well? But I’m not sure what AEW will do with him, and I believe he needs more appeal if he wants to be taken seriously.
- Awesome Kong, Leva Bates, Hikaru Shida and Sadie Gibbs – Another cool thing about AEW Dynamite is we’ve yet to see most of its women’s division. Leva Bates is deep in to “The Librarian” gimmick, while Awesome Kong is working an office job; but it won’t stop her appearing every so often. I already covered Hikaru Shida in one of my latest pieces (#2), so you can check that out if she peaks your interest. However, Sadie Gibbs is still very much an unknown. AEW made a big deal out of her signing, but she’s only worked one match so far (a battle royal). During that, Sadie & Bea Priestley worked stiff against each other, as there’s likely some real-life heat between them. We don’t know why, but AEW needs to sort ’em out if they ever want to book them with or against each other.
There’s a few more exceptions, but I’ll add those next week if they are still sitting on the sidelines.
The most important thing for AEW Dynamite is it doesn’t see a considerable drop in ratings. I reckon they will be happy with 1.2 million+, but if it starts dropping towards the 1m mark? Then we’ll know many of those who tuned in, only did so because it’s new. Did AEW make enough of an impression to keep them? And will WWE’s recent Hell in a Cell debacle play a factor in bringing new viewers? It’s an exciting time to be a wrestling fan, as for the first time in years we can say that ratings matter somewhat.
I remember the talk about ratings back in the Attitude Era and how crucial it was for the WWF and WCW in their rivalry. It’s nowhere near as important as it was back then, but at least it gives us an indication on how well they are doing. Sometimes it’s a matter of the network limiting the potential; much like how SmackDown gained 1.8m viewers just by moving from USA to FOX. Whatever happens, the world knows AEW is here, and the second episode is possibly the most important in its history. Either they continue trending upwards, or they will start a fall which may never see them get back to their impressive 1.4m rating.
Do you have any predictions? Will AEW Dynamite win this week and do just as well in the ratings? Or do you think they will fall a little, while NXT will see an increase? Please let us know what you think, and thank you for reading. If you would like to learn about some AEW wrestlers you may not know? Please check out these lists: Profiling AEW Wrestlers You Might Not Know #1 & #2