From the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, this event was sold out with a reported 13k crowd. A pretty big deal considering that this is one of AEW’s go-home shows before next week’s massive Athur Ashe Stadium show in New York. Nonetheless, pretty much this was primarily a build up show with a few bright spots and CM Punk doing commentary.
This episode of AEW Dynamite was broadcast from the Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pretty much the two things heavily advertised here were Jon Moxley’s main event match with Minoru Suzuki and Brian Pillman Jr as both are hometown heroes (well Pillman is quickly becoming one here). Also, this event was the start of the fallout for their All Out PPV and the first time AEW had come to Cincinnati. So a unique crowd for them as a first time situation.
From the Now Arena in Chicago Illinois, AEW is doing a triple hitter out there. I will admit that this show ended up being a damper for me just because I was distracted by what was going on from TNA’s Daffney, who went on Instagram Live and was essentially threatening suicide. It was quite disturbing and I think she even had a gun, but so far no one has heard anything back, which makes me even more concerned given the 10+ hour period since she turned off the camera (or perhaps Instagram turned it off). If Instagram had been the one turning it off, I really hope they also took responsibility for tracking her down via an IP and relaying her messages to her local police to get her help because that situation was severe.
Another Wednesday (actually Thursday for me) and you know what that means! Yes, jobberville is back. This was live from Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the UWM Panther Arena. I think this was one of the more interesting places for AEW to appear because now they’ve completely gone off their “safer” target markets into places that I’m not certain they’ve been to yet. So I will say that the crowd felt a little more tepid than the previous ones even though the show itself looked sold out. But I will add more to that later.
This Dynamite came from Fertitta Center in Houston, Texas. Pretty hot crowd but I found the show very mixed in terms of the ups and downs. Too much schizoid nonsensical booking again but I’ll go into detail later towards the conclusion of the show for my overall thoughts.
Another Wednesday (actually Thursday as I’m writing this), another Dynamite show. This was live at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, PA. I believe this might’ve been at a university minus a university type of crowd. Lots of yellow flags in the audience that night (mostly for Britt Baker). Don’t think this was a complete sell out, maybe 5000 from what I’ve read. But still pretty big for a non-WWE showing.
AEW returned to Daily’s Place in Jacksonville Florida for Homecoming after taking a small road trip around the country as things began opening up again.
Tonight’s Dynamite was at the Bojangles Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina, which in theory had been a traditionally strong spot for NWA wrestling in the 80s and maybe up to the mid 90s through WCW with Flair, etc. And the spot looked fairly packed with people hot for the opening which would start off with a big 5 v 5 match.
The talk right now has been that the plan with AEW was to load up these shows as AEW goes back on the road. And it seems that with the various contracts cuts or expiring contracts, Tony Khan has been opening up the checkbook and trying to get as many people as possible along with plenty of title matches or stipulations to take advantage of the returning crowds. So how did Fyter Fest Night 2 compare?
Coming from the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Texas, this is one of the first truly on the road shows for AEW as things begin opening up again from COVID-19. For me this show would be the initial litmus test for seeing how non-Florida fans would react. The current theory is that fans are going to be exceptionally hungry for wrestling and live events since the start of the pandemic and various lockdowns. According to Wikipedia, the H-E-B Center holds about 8000 people and for the most part this place looked sold out and was pretty hot to start.