The August 3 edition of AEW Wednesday Night Dynamite featured a familiar scene for fans of the product: a ridiculous high spot that was built up over the course of weeks, only to be given a few seconds to breathe on air before the show frantically scurred forward. For the last several months, The Acclaimed and Gunn Club have been building towards one very specific moment. First, they were friends, while Anthony Bowens was injured.
During that time period, Max Caster really settled into his rapper gimmick, and The Acclaimed entrances became one of the most entertaining aspects of every show the duo appeared on. There was great on-screen chemistry between Gunn Club and The Acclaimed, but as time went on, it became clear that the latter tag-team needed to be turned face. AEW did this effectively by having Billy Gunn stab Max and Anthony in the back. Fans were already cheering them, even though they were supposed to be heels. In a way, this was giving everyone what they wanted.
So, naturally, the new faces in The Acclaimed challenged Gunn Club to a Dumpster Match. Anyone familiar with the Attitude Era knew exactly how that fight would end. AEW was going to call back to a famous spot that Billy Gunn was involved in during his time in WWE. The New Age Outlaws became prominent heels almost overnight following an incident involving Cactus Jack, Chainsaw Charlie, and a dumpster. Gunn, along with Road Dogg Jesse James, put their opponents into a dumpster and shoved it off the side of the stage, garnering legit heat from the WWE audience. AEW tried to do the same thing on Dynamite, except it was the good guys pushing the bad guys off of the stage while trapped in a dumpster.
Not only does that not make any sense logically, but AEW gave what should have been a monster moment zero time to breathe during the broadcast. It took Max and Anthony an awkward amount of time to get the dumpster into position. At one point, they were literally inches away from pushing the giant metallic structure off of the wrong edge and into the pyro. Whereas Jim Ross called the New Age Outlaws segment with passion and real fear in his voice, the announce team on AEW treated the spot like it was a basic headlock on AEW Dark. Fans were given all of 15 seconds to take in what had happened before Dynamite cut to a commercial break. When the show returned, fans weren’t treated to a scene where Billy was worrying over his two sons as they are stretchered to the back. There was no mention of them being taken to a local medical facility. Nothing. Months’ worth of a build-up to one moment went off not with a bang but a whimper. Again.
It’s not the first time this has happened on AEW television. The company always seems to build up to these massive moments that don’t quite deliver. Not only that, but when they do, Tony Khan tries to cram so much into a two-hour show that AEW audiences aren’t given the opportunity to take in what happened. The announce team is forced to try and make sense of everything in mere seconds when what’s happening on screen is a big deal. The fix is simple: slow the show down a tiny little bit and let these moments breathe. The frequency with which they occur and the lack of respect given to them are glaring problems for AEW‘s programming.