AEW Dynamite has kept trying to give fans who are quarantined and isolated at home some sort of entertainment to get their minds off the coronavirus pandemic.
While WWE has been hit or miss with their no-fan experiences — relying on old PPV matches and promos to bide the time — AEW Dynamite has been business as usual, even without fans.
AEW Dynamite has also been immensely more entertaining than Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown, as its stars have gotten into a groove of performing, even without a crowd.
AEW Dynamite rolls on
The first week that AEW Dynamite aired after the coronavirus pandemic banned large gatherings of fans at events, it was a home run. Despite no fans, AEW still pulled off a very entertaining show.
They had wrestlers standing around the area where fans usually sat and these wrestlers responded to the action in the ring, a smaller, yet still familiar, reaction to matches taking place.
It was highly enjoyable.
The next week, TNT and AEW learned that they could not have more than 10 people in an area at a time. This meant no wrestlers around the ring. So, AEW decided to pull out two major surprises.
First, Luke Harper showed up, revealing himself to be the Exalted One and the leader of the Dark Order, reverting to his old indie name of Brodie Lee.
Then, the show ended with Matt Hardy making his AEW debut as a new partner for The Elite in their upcoming Blood & Guts match with the Inner Circle.
Of course not.
It was merely a fleet of Aerial Assault Drones led by Vanguard 1 projecting an array of images of #BROKEN @MATTHARDYBRAND to confuse @chrisjerichofozzy which hasten the MAKER OF PAIN’S descent into madness during last week’s #AEWDynamite.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) March 30, 2020
AEW plans for more changes
One week, AEW was live as usual with enthusiastic fans. Then, the next week, they were not allowed to have fans in attendance and had wrestlers around the ring to react to matches. Then, they were not allowed wrestlers at ringside and had to change things again.
With the coronavirus pandemic, things are changing by the day. AEW wanted to make sure they were not caught without something to air. While WWE has decades of programming they can play, AEW is not even a year old yet.
So, they taped a ton of stuff last week — just in case.
Dave Meltzer said they taped a ton of matches two weeks ago and then taped even more last week so they could have a stockpile of new matches to air in case Jacksonville shut them down completely.
“They will be taping more than the live stuff this week,” Meltzer said. “As far as whether it is for Dark or further episodes of Dynamite that is to be determined.”
For now, this week is going on as planned and they might be taping even more. AEW wants to make sure they can bring matches to fans no matter what happens.
AEW Dynamite airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on TNT.