By most accounts, AEW Dynamite Grand Slam was a successful show. The ratings and matches were good, but this one thing held it back live.
AEW‘s Dynamite Grand Slam was a success based on several factors, but one thing prevented the show from being genuinely terrific for those who attended live. Some fans might have issues with Tony Khan’s booking decisions, but that’s normal for any wrestling broadcast. Overall, Grand Slam pulled in a solid ratings number while also setting up numerous storylines for AEW television in the coming weeks and months.
Chris Jericho winning the ROH Championship has some folks wondering if Khan has finally secured a broadcasting deal for Ring Of Honor. Saraya’s debut was a major deal, while Jon Moxley became a three-time AEW World Champion by defeating Bryan Danielson in the main event. Tack on a feel-good moment for The Acclaimed, who worked their way up from AEW Dark to tag team champions, and a successful title defense for Toni Storm at Grand Slam left most of the audience happy.
The exception is for the fans who decided to head to Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch the broadcast live. As great as the show was, those in attendance were asked to spend an astronomical amount of time at the venue, especially for a Wednesday night. In the most recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer wrote the following about how long the taping was: “The big negative on the show was the length. They started at about 7:30 p.m. and taped two matches for Dark Elevation, and with the two-hour Rampage special, the show ended at about 12:40 a.m… they have to figure out a better way to do it. I know they hate to tape out of order, but they really should start at 7 p.m. and do the first hour of Rampage, and then only have one hour left to start shortly after 10 p.m.“
That’s A Long Night For New York’s AEW Fans
As Meltzer noted, that kind of show length would be fine for an independent promotion running on a Friday or Saturday night. That wasn’t the case for Dynamite, though, and some fans on Twitter expressed irritation about not getting home until well past 1 a.m. For audience members who lived farther away from Arthur Ashe Stadium, the commute took even longer.
It’s tough to figure out a good solution to the problem. Recording Rampage out of order is one way, but booking Friday’s show in a way that wouldn’t give anything away from the live Wednesday broadcast would be a nightmare. Running two shows instead of one would also double production costs, as everyone involved would need to be paid for two nights of work instead of one. During smaller shows, some fans will leave after Dynamite and before Rampage, but this week’s Friday night show was a special two-hour taping, with several major storylines unfolding during the broadcast. It’ll be interesting to see if Tony Khan and AEW make any sort of adjustments to the timing of Grand Slam for the 2023 edition.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter,
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