wrestling / Columns

AEW Dynamite Delivers A Good Reminder Of Why We Love Pro Wrestling

September 17, 2020 | Posted by Blake Lovell
AEW Dynamite 9-16-20 Parking Lot Brawl

The lasting image on one of the greatest episodes of pro wrestling television in recent memory? The mother of a wrestler flipping off the camera while driving away in a van.

Go figure.

Wednesday’s edition of AEW Dynamite has certainly created quite a buzz. 411’s own Tony Acero even went as far as saying it was the greatest episode of wrestling he’s ever reviewed.

Even if you don’t agree with him, that’s not the point. The point is that for two hours, a wrestling company achieved the objective that all wrestling companies want to achieve: they hooked you. They pulled you in, gave you a big ‘ol hug, and refused to let go. Seems fitting for a show built around Best Friends.

There was action from the very beginning. The Young Bucks came out and superkicked a referee. Jurassic Express and FTR put on an action-packed, back and forth tag team match that made you believe the reigning AEW Tag Team Champions were about to suffer their first defeat. They didn’t, but the fact they made you believe it could happen made it that much better.

Hangman Page and Frankie Kazarian followed that up with a terrific match, with Kenny Omega playing up his character change on commentary. MJF was his usual self as the perfect antagonist who believes so much in his own reality that you can’t help but love him.

Eddie Kingston’s faction of the Lucha Bros and Butcher and Blade sent a strong message with a swift ass-kicking before teasing the next chapter in their own story. After assaulting Matt Hardy earlier in the evening, Chris Jericho and Jake Hager capitalized with a win against Private Party. That, of course, came after an impromptu ‘Judas’ concert, free of charge, from fans and wrestlers in attendance at Daily’s Place.

We also had history made with the NWA Women’s title being defended on AEW television. Thunder Rosa, who is a joy to watch as one of the rising stars in women’s wrestling, successfully defended her championship in a physical match against Ivelisse. That led to Diamante attacking Thunder Rosa, which then led to AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida making the save.

We even had Miro bench pressing on Miro Day! What a treat.

Jake Roberts and Taz formed an unholy alliance, with Lance Archer, Brian Cage, and Ricky Starks joining forces for the ultimate mission of destroying AEW Champion Jon Moxley. That catapulted Will Hobbs – another of AEW’s top emerging young stars – into the biggest spot of his career as the one to save Moxley from his demise. Being a huge Hobbs fan, I couldn’t help but smile at his obvious elation for being given such a monumental opportunity so early in his career.

And then came the main event. Holy shit, that main event.

During the build to the Parking Lot Brawl between Santana and Ortiz and Best Friends, AEW pushed the focus both teams had of trying to annihilate each other. That was for a reason, because these four men destroyed their bodies in the most brutal street fight I’ve ever seen.

Tony Khan said on Twitter that Jim Ross called it the greatest street fight he’d ever called, and let’s remember he called Triple H vs. Cactus Jack at Royal Rumble 2000. Even the hardcore legend himself, Mick Foley, took to Twitter to offer his own praise for the ‘world class brawl.’ Others had a similar reaction, as Wrestling Twitter was in an absolute frenzy.

It’s a main event that few wrestling fans will ever forget, and it that put a cap on one of AEW’s best overall efforts in the company’s short history thus far.

Everything had a purpose. Everything had a story attached to it. And most of all, everything was fun.

Isn’t that why most of us love wrestling? No matter what’s going on in our lives, pro wrestling can offer a form of fun and entertainment that, when great, cannot be rivaled. When I truly love pro wrestling, I feel like I’m eight years old again sitting in front of a TV screen, hanging on every move and emotion that my favorite wrestlers experience.

My favorite moments as a wrestling fan have had nothing to do with star ratings or TV ratings. I’m so invested in the characters and story that nothing else matters. And when wrestling makes you feel like that, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.

WrestleMania X-Seven was one of those moments for me as a wrestling fan. I remember loving the show so much that I couldn’t go to sleep. So, I stayed up and rewatched the entire show again, start to finish. The next day, I was glowing. I couldn’t stop thinking about the TLC Match, Austin and McMahon joining forces, and all the other things that made it such a memorable show.

As I write this on Thursday, the day after AEW Dynamite? It’s a similar feeling.

No, I’m not comparing a single episode of wrestling television to one of my favorite wrestling pay per views in history. And no, I didn’t stay up and watch Dynamite again from start to finish (maybe I’m getting old?).

However, both shows produced a feeling that can’t quite be put into words. Maybe it’s joy, maybe it’s happiness. Perhaps it’s something in between. But it’s that feeling all wrestling fans have felt before. It’s the one we chase each and every time we fire up a wrestling show.

Enjoyment of a particular wrestling product will always be subjective. But when you find what works for you, it’s something you want to keep going back to again and again and again.

2020 has been a year of challenges – both personally and professionally – for many people around the world. And while pro wrestling can’t fix all of life’s problems, it can, for even just a few hours, give you a feeling of happiness and joy that is hard to rival.

So, whether it’s AEW, WWE, or anyone else, when a show like this week’s Dynamite comes along, I prefer to simply enjoy it.

Above any company allegiance, I love pro wrestling. And when a company like AEW can produce two hours of television like it did on Wednesday, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate it, no matter where your fandom lies.

The thing about a great wrestling show is that it’s all in the eye of the beholder. What some find enjoyable, others may not. And that’s OK. But what unites us all in this strange world of professional wrestling fandom is that special moment or special show when it hooks us and makes us never want to let go.

For some fans, the newest edition of AEW Dynamite may be one of those shows.

If by some chance it was your first AEW show (or wrestling show, in general), welcome aboard. For others like me, it was simply a reminder of why I fell in love with wrestling in the first place. So, consider this a thank you to Tony Khan and AEW for putting together a show that reminded me of that.

We’re living in one of the best eras of creativity in wrestling history. The athleticism and innovation is a thing of beauty, and you can’t help but admire good wrestling when you see it. What AEW offered on Wednesday was balls-to-the-wall fun for two hours, and that’s all I ask for as a wrestling fan.

At its best, pro wrestling is a free-flowing joyride that offers many twists and turns that, ultimately, result in many fun and exciting adventures along the way.

And sometimes in your journey on the road through this incredible form of entertainment, you’ll see a wrestler’s mom driving by to give you the bird.

Be sure to listen to more of Blake Lovell’s thoughts on wrestling on the 411 on Wrestling Podcast:

article topics :

AEW, AEW Dynamite, Blake Lovell