FEEDBACK: AEW Dynamite "Grand Slam" 9/22/21

What did you think of AEW Dynamite “Grand Slam”?

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Noah from Vaughan

Tonight was definitely a Grand Slam. The show went by so fast and legit felt like a huge PPV show. Omega and Bryan just put on my favourite singles match of the year and yet I still think they can top it in their next encounter. An all time great episode that will be remembered for a long time. I know I say it alot, but THIS was the best episode of dynamite yet


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Good show tonight. The Kenny Omega-Brian Danielson match was awesome! I love the ending, it leaves it wide open for a rematch. Cody Rhodes was seen as the heel in his match with Malakai Black. Hopefully, what we saw tonight is the beginning of a heel turn for Cody. I do question the way the matches were set up tonight. I didnt understand why the Omega-Danielson match went on first when every match after that was not going to be able to follow it. I thought when they announced the women’s match as the main event that we would see a title change but we didn’t. 8 out of 10

Bret from Texas.

Amazing opener. I couldn’t hear any time updates and even though I was expecting a draw it seemed to come out of no where. Still a top match of the year and adds to the eventual PPV match.

The rest of the matches were solid and time flew by, but I couldn’t help but think that the show would have benefited from a high-flying flippy shit match. Especially to show new eyes how AEW can be different.

Baker and Solo was a solid match as well, but I felt like the fans were a little tired by this point. So the quieter audience took me out of it a little. I was also expecting a surprise or title change at the end, but there was none to be had.

Overall great show as the amazing opener anchored the show. 8 /10

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Andrew from Saint John

AEW loves to put its big TV moments on first, and there’s nothing bigger than Kenny vs. Bryan, a really tremendous match that showed off both of them in peak performance. Going in I felt myself wishing this show was on a PPV, but it absolutely transcended being a “TV match” to me. Totally had the atmosphere of a G1 block final. I only wish they had announced the time calls more clearly and so the crowd could have built to to the time limit rather than booed it.

Loved the main event, hope we see more between these two. Makalai Black-Cody was fun and they presented Sting really well. Crowd elevated everything, can’t wait for Rampage. Thought Arthur Ashe was a great venue, more tennis arenas to come? 8 Don Callises out of 10.

CM Punk had it right about not wrestling tonight. Who would wanna follow Bryan Danielson and Kenny Omega? It was an electric, outstanding opener that fulfilled me. The draw just begs for a rematch for even more superlatives. The rest of the show hummed along consistently. Punk’s promo was fiery, Cody/Malakai is nudging the former to going heel down the road and the Baker/Soho title match was good.

Friday can’t come soon enough.

I feel like I would need to watch much of the show again to properly evaluate it because I think I missed a bunch while I was recovering from the amazing opening match. It set a very high bar for the rematch that’s obviously in the mail.

But it’s not like anyone else let the side down (other than the camera operators/ director during the Malakai/ Cody match). I was especially impressed with Sting, who I thought gave his best in-ring performance tonight. I can’t wait until I’m 62 so I can move like that!

Although Tony Khan hasn’t totally won my trust when it comes to the handling of the women’s division, putting them in the main event tonight definitely helps. What should they do now to keep Ruby looking strong and energized?

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Danielson and Omega was obviously incredible and I liked how serious Omega was, but I loved the FTR vs Darby/Sting match.

FTR sold their asses off, sting looked great, Darby looked great and everyone got over. Such a fun match.

Everything else was good and made sense. 9/10 show

According to the Mat Men Podcast’s Andrew Zarian, All Elite Wrestling is set to introduce a new secondary women’s championship in the near future. Zarian reported the name of the new title on Denise Salcedo’s F4WOnline AEW Dynamite post-show on Wednesday night, confirming it will be called the “TBS Championship.” This would be AEW’s second women’s championship after the AEW Women’s World Championship, currently held by Britt Baker.

Does this help earn that trust? I’m confused by lack of trust in TK re: Women Wrestling…it took the Women how long to get featured the way they are in WWE? And here we have AEW employing MORE Women than any company has in its infancy. I didn’t see any other promotion giving them work during the Pandemic the way AEW did hiring them to work Dark tapings, etc.
It took years of the Horsewomen in NXT before WWE every called them up and featured them. And half the Women’s roster on Raw/Smackdown is as bad as the Diva’s era now…featuring Carmella isn’t evolving Women’s Wrestling, it’s desperately trying to retread backwards.
think we collectively forget that a company has a million things to accomplish in its first year+ of existence, and then we had a Global Pandemic that certainly didn’t help things. All that said, look where we’re at. A Women’s Royal Rumble at All Out and Main Event-ing the biggest live show in the company’s history. All this and we don’t trust them to figure out the Women’s division…but actually, we trust the company that avoided Women’s wrestling besides Bra and Panties for 20 years and then wanted us to celebrate a 20 year late Women’s Evolution Network Special - which was never run again…
I hope this title puts the discussion of AEW doesn’t feature women to bed once and for all. Their women’s division is as good as anywhere else, and there is 3 hours vs. 7 hours of TV time to around. In one more year’s time AEW will be known as having the best Women’s division in all of wrestling (excluding Stardom which is a female promotion). Not a prediction, a spoiler.


Saying that it took the WWE a longer time than AEW to feature women is a bad faith argument since it assumes they started under the same cultural circumstances. And the fact that the WWE main roster is doing a bad job with their women’s divisions isn’t an excuse for AEW not doing better. I said that this was a strong vote of confidence and made me feel better about the direction of the women’s division. But since things have arguably gone backwards since the Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker headlined Dynamite in March, I’m still not convinced. There was a wave of momentum happening in the women’s division at that time that was evident in the ratings that women’s matches were getting, among other things (e.g., Riho vs Deeb and Shida vs Conti).

A secondary title will help. Giving women’s matches more time on TV, not just in the 9:30 Dynamite slot will help more. Having multiple storylines (including ones not tethered to titles, such as the they seem to be developing with TayJay and Bunnylope) will help. Signing higher profile free agents to create a stronger mid-card between the top draws and the greener, developing talent will help. Having more than one women’s match on a PPV show will help. (All Out had that, which is another good sign. It’s also the only show to have more than one women’s match since the original Double or Nothing and the second match only got moved on to the main card when one of the men’s matches was canceled.)

It’s not an accident that the one audience demographic that AEW has failed to connect with is women. There are good signs but the company remains behind where it should be given the time and circumstances in which they started. The discussion of when the women have truly come into their own isn’t going to end because of one element like a new title because our trust wasn’t rattled by one element. Also, I hate to break this to you, but men aren’t going to decide when women have adequate representation in AEW. You might have to hear about this one for a while.

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This feels like the key to me. Unfortunately many of the women in AEW are falling victim to the same issue as much of the men’s midcard… they lack the star power (except Britt Baker who is definitely a star) to compete for air time with the likes of Danielson and Punk and other new signees right now. The roster is absolutely loaded and it’s a weekly competition for TV time behind the A-list. Sadly, AEW’s women’s division doesn’t include much of that A-list, and they lack representation as a result.

You can definitely question why the women’s midcard isn’t featured more in lieu of the likes of Matt Hardy or Paul Wight, and I would agree with you. But I think it will be hard to really elevate this current women’s division until we start seeing some stars brought in at the level of Punk or Danielson, whose star power will demand TV time. And that list is pretty short. Charlotte. Becky. Sasha. Maybe Bayley? That’s pretty much it.

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Who are the top women talent that would even be available to bring in? A promotion essentially has to build their own. There is nobody outside the Horsewomen Bianca and Bliss who are close to A-tier talent. And you can debate if Bliss is even A-tier or just over-featured. (I’m a big Bliss fan for what it’s worth…).

Britt Baker became A-tier in AEW. The feud with Thunder Rosa lifted her out of relative obscurity (yes, I doubt 80% of the casual audience had any clue who Thunder Rosa was before AEW).
Red Velvet and Jade Cargil were featured in a non-title story that got paired with Shaq. That’s a pretty big spotlight on unknown women who are now established. Just this week we get Ford/Allie and Ana/Tay.

Statlander and Ana Jay both got injured right as they were being pushed and are now being integrated back into things. Baker was sidelined for so long so to the extent she can help elevate others, that wasn’t an option for a while. The pandemic eliminated the option for more Joshi Wrestlers which seemed to be an area they were going upon inception (arguable whether it was working or would have worked). Do we ignore the circumstances of AEW’s short history or can we give benefit of the doubt where they clearly had massive setbacks to the division.

On the business side:

AEW is trying to grow an audience for a new product, it’s tough to argue they should focus on unknown women > established names that may attract WWE or lapsed fans. Imagine spending 50% of the TV time on unknown women and then not producing ratings and therefore not getting a TV renewal and therefore not being able to pay the dozens of Women featured across their non-TNT programs.

Meanwhile, the ratings are healthy and the attention on the promotion is growing and that will in-turn allow more and more people to gain exposure to the Women of AEW who are mostly unknown to non-hardcore fans. Again, there isn’t exactly a list of unsigned top tier women to bring in so if the goal is to grow your own, I think they are doing that pretty darn well. Does anyone disagree that several female talent are significantly more over and known than they were prior to AEW(?) and that is a direct result of AEW’s approach to casting as wide a net as possible to bring in those lapsed fans and WWE casuals. If the trade off is AEW gets the big time TV Renewal and can then afford to employ more and more female talent vs. they try to draw a female audience at the risk of not reaching a broader audience it seems pretty business like.

@katred you make a wonderful point, and I do see how part of my argument could be viewed in bad faith (last 20 years). If we are simply doing a “what have you done lately” comparison, is WWE that much advanced in presenting Women’s wrestling? Is any promotion? The reason I look at the history of WWE and their Women’s division is because until reaching critical scale they did not prioritize women’s wrestling either and in fact used them to grow a male audience by exploiting sex appeal. Once they were an iconic brand, could fund a performance center to train women wrestlers and had big TV rights deals secured, they could afford all the time in the world to Women’s wrestling - and they have. The Women’s Revolution era was some of the best stuff WWE did in years.

But, and maybe it’s my personal opinion, in the last few years the division has regressed immensely. (When is Evolution 2? or am I suppose to buy in to the idea that having a Women’s match in Saudi Arabia of all places is the holy grail?) It’s pretty stale and the talent they’ve tried to introduce have been reduced to vampire, superhero, and Diva-like gimmicks. We’re getting away from actual women’s wrestling and more into cartoon like presentation of women. Who in WWE exemplifies women empowerment anymore? At least when I see a women’s match in AEW be it on Youtube or TNT it’s featuring real wrestling and not silly characters.

Ruby immediately feels like more of a star upon arrival than 70% WWE women’s roster. I suspect continued development of Ana, Statlander, Shida, Hayter, etc. will enhance their star power. We just now have what seems to be a fully healthy roster and as a result it seems they are getting more and more of a spot in the promotion.

Britt Baker is not only my favorite female wrestler of all time but she’s right up there with one of my all time favorites - why? because how AEW has allowed her to develop and blossom into a bona-fide star. She’s did so many things during her injury time to enhance herself as a character, build her personality, and her in-ring work has improved so much since she was on the All In card.

I close by saying More is not necessarily Better. I see you want MORE women’s wrestling in AEW but I do (being a male, viewing Women’s wrestling through the lenses of a male) see that the more WWE features women, the worse the division gets and regresses from the women empowerment/revolution. It’s frankly embarrassing to have them trot out skilled professionals in the gimmicks they come up with. As a male, who enjoys good women’s wrestling and character development, will always defend protecting the Women’s division in any company so that it doesn’t become a joke OR meaningless (which might be worse). Every secondary storyline in WWE featuring women is a joke right now unfortunately. But when I pick a women’s match to watch in AEW I am ensured it will be presented as a real wrestling match featuring women that seem to be real people (Abadon being the exception). Find me anything as comical as an pro-MMA-turned-pro-wrestler biting somebody. Or Nikki Cross being reduced to a whatever this superhero gimmicks is suppose to be about…Heck, who remembers the high school drama that was Sasha-Bayley for months on end that we used to mock in the feedback on Rewind a Raw.

Maybe this stuff lands with the female audience AEW cannot attract. I’m not a woman so I won’t claim to know what sticks, but as a male, I will just say it’s not even close to which company seems to want to empower their female performers and which is subscribing to the more is better version and ultimately setting the concept of Women’s Wrestling backwards not forwards.

I’ll ask this question with the upmost respect to the Queen of Post Wrestling: would you prefer men view 4 segments on the weekly Cable show as meaningless or jokes or would you prefer men view the 1 women’s match a week as serious and meaningful for showcasing talent? Do you enjoy the presentation of women in other companies more to AEW, or do you just want more on AEW? I don’t like that it’s reduced to the comparison between one promotion and another but that’s all I got. There is no Stardom in North America, and maybe one day AEW will do their own female show on a platform like Youtube or HBO Max. I do have hopes for that and would love to see it.

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I think that the AEW audience, at least the core of it, knows enough indie names that they’d be excited if the company were to sign the likes of Trish Adora (still independent, but has worked with ROH recently), Masha Slamovich (possibly a new signee with Impact), Tenille Dashwood (appeared on the first Battle Royal and then signed to Impact), or Alyson Kay. Those are a few of the names that I’d go after if I were making signings to start. They need an upper mid-tier of people who are a little further ahead in terms of experience. The very top-tier can wait, or they can continue to build their own, as they have with Britt.

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I think I’m pretty “core AEW fan” and obviously a religious listener of POST Wrestling - I don’t know any of the names you mentioned besides Tennille :man_facepalming: :man_shrugging:.

Also, wouldn’t signing more less known talent just get in the way of the building of emerging stars like Ana Jay, Statlander, Tay Conti, Hirsch, Red Velvet, Jade and Thunder Rosa (just to name a few who are on Dynamite pretty regularly)?

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If they want more talented women to use, just use that forbidden door and get anyone from Impact, I for one would love to see Jordynne Grace tear it up on Dynamite as well as Impact.


Their women ARE talented.
Ana Jay has improved so much. Tay is way better than in NXT. Hirsch is very good and obviously has legit talent, just recently signed full time. Statlander is young and emerging. Baker is the best case of growth and improvement in all of wrestling over a 5 year period. Ruby is hella talented and getting her fair shot now to be presented as a star. I’ve enjoyed Red Velvet’s fire and promo ability and she’s been in two major programs this year and Jade is a work in progress but has all the makings of a star with her presence. They paired her with Shaq which is a ringing endorsement for where they see her long term.

This is what I’m confused by - the talent is there, they are presented seriously when given time…is the AEW doesn’t have a good women’s division just about wanting MORE or is it something else…we are getting more which is what prompted me to first respond - the secondary title, and the non-title storylines which have been present over the past year (I gave examples above)…Is Jordan Grace that much more talented and more of a draw than the names I listed above?

If we are being totally honest about it - the Bella Twins drew women viewers to WWE because of Total Divas and Total Bellas. Maybe AEW Heels needs to do a reality show to attract fans. Let’s see if Rhodes to the Top does. So really it wasn’t anything on Raw/Smackdown, it was the use of female talent on a reality TV show that drew a female audience. Oh, and Ronda Rousey who is a once-in-a-generation special attraction.

I’ve never seen a correlation between in-ring women’s wrestling and the female rating. I have seen the increase in female viewers over the years in which the female roster was on a reality show. The ratings Kate mentioned above - those shows weren’t any more watched by females back in the spring as they are now were they?

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