AEW DYNAMITE ON-SITE REPORT (1/10): In person observations on two wrestlers who were most popular, Samoa Joe’s aura, Tony Khan’s off-air speeches to crowd, Jericho crowd reaction


JANUARY 10, 2024

-Tony Khan was something else. He got the second biggest pop of the night behind Swerve Strickland, but also got some boos at points. The crowd obviously ate up the hometown stuff, but it’s super bizarre to hear him rattling off business metrics about how good AEW is doing and droning on about Wembley to try to rally the troops. Nobody wants to cheer a billionaire’s quarterly metrics and there was some hostility from a not-insignificant part of the crowd a few days after the Jags season imploded for asking a lot from a small market without being able to put a winning team on the field.

But with that said, he was mostly beloved. He came wandering out after Dynamite looking like he was on another planet and announced three times in a row that Collision is coming to Daily’s Place. He would finish the announcement and then repeat it from the start as though he thought he was making it for the first time. He had a weird line that sounded like, “I’m so gross” that he used like 100 times in the context of “I love wrestling and I’m so gross, I brought in Vikingo!”

At one point he talked for a few minutes, told the crowd he would see them after Rampage, got a big ovation, and left, but then ten seconds later wandered back out on the ramp and started talking again. Filming more ROH seemed totally improvised and, when they were setting up, Tony was talking about how the ring crew haven’t had a week off since the stone age because they run 52 weeks a year that made him unintentionally sound awful.

When we left around 11:30, you could see the Daily’s screen while walking in the parking lot and, as a lot of people were walking away, Tony was back out again rambling about Honor Club and what a success Final Battle was and everyone was audibly laughing – not in a mean-spirited way, but in a “this man is a meme” way. He had kind of a strange interaction with Negative 1 where he seemed lost as well.

-By far the most over act on the show was Swerve Strickland and it wasn’t even close. I wasn’t on the bandwagon as heavily as others, but in person the guy has an aura and star presence that overshadowed almost everyone. His Rampage match when 30 percent of the crowd was probably gone had the loudest babyface reaction of anything all night.

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-Julia Hart got a massive reaction for her entrance even though for whatever reason the match wasn’t that over and in the section I was sitting in she and Swerve were the two people virtually everyone was anticipating seeing and had signs for. Both she and Swerve seemed like WWE-level character acts in a promotion dominated by in-ring focus.

-Ricky Starks was shockingly underwhelming in person. His entrance got virtually no reaction, a hot crowd totally died from the jump in this match, and in person he seemed like a guy who maybe I mistook for being wildly charismatic because he looks a little like The Rock. Roderick Strong was way more over than Ricky and I left feeling like losing him to WWE wouldn’t even be that big of a loss.

-It was a very Chris Jericho-friendly crowd. He got a huge reaction and I don’t think turning off the music would have resulted in many audible boos.

– My perception of Samoa Joe was NXT guy I didn’t really want to see in AEW, but he had such an incredible World Champion feel and was so over in his promo that I’ve done a 180 and now kind of hope he isn’t just a transitional champ.

Overall, a blast of a show!

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