Not since the old days of World Championship Wrestling in the 1990s had over 20,000 fans filled a venue in the United States, unless industry juggernaut World Wrestling Entertainment were promoting the show.
However All Elite Wrestling's meteoric surge since forming in 2019 has restored dimension to the entire scene, with Wednesday's special 'Grand Slam' edition of weekly flagship show Dynamite providing yet another peak in the promotion's short history.
The show, staged at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, began in style with a non-title encounter between reigning AEW men's World Champion Kenny Omega and the debuting Bryan Danielson, who main evented WWE WrestleMania twice as Daniel Bryan including earlier this year.
A slow-burning battle reached breathtaking levels of back-and-forth physicality before the 30-minute time limit on non-championship contests expired. This likely serves as an appetizer for a title bout with no time limits between the two down the line, and the live crowd's reaction to their first AEW encounter suggests the rematch will be very well-received.
Appearances from stars such as CM Punk, Sting, Malakai Black, Cody Rhodes and more kept the show going at a strong pace before AEW women's World Champion Dr. Britt Baker DMD tore the house down with number one contender Ruby Soho (formerly Ruby Riott in WWE). Baker retained via her Lockjaw finisher to keep her impressive reign which began in May going.
AEW return to the Ashe Stadium on Friday for a two-hour special edition of their secondary show Rampage, with Punk, Chris Jericho, Adam Cole and The Young Bucks, Christian Cage and Jurassic Express, Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston, Suzuki-gun and more in action.