Backstage Details On AEW Dynamite’s First Empty Arena Episode

Here we are in the second week of pro wrestling with no live audiences, and we’ve now seen what AEW Dynamite looks like in an empty darkened arena, which is very different from what we got with WWE Raw and Smackdown. Dynamite came to us live from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, which looks to be their off-the-road home base for the time being.

According to PWInsider, all the roster members who were there chose to be, with anyone who feels uncomfortable working during the pandemic being given the option by Tony Khan of staying home and still getting paid. Personally if it were up to me, I would have told Jake the Snake, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, and Jim Ross to definitely stay home and still get paid, but convincing Boomers to take this whole thing seriously is notoriously difficult anyway.

The current plan, says PWI, is for AEW to keep running shows every week, but they understand that the situation may change suddenly. That’s why they kept saying “on the next Dynamite” last night instead of “next week on Dynamite.” They’re keeping their options open.

PWI also notes that the Brodie Lee reveal had been planned for a long time. He’s been the intended Exalted One ever since AEW figured out when he’d be able to debut after his WWE non-compete ended. Hints pointing at Matt Hardy were deliberate red herrings. Clearly since they knew Hardy was also debuting as his beloved Broken character, any disappointment that it wasn’t him would be short-lived.

Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio adds that Marko Stunt wasn’t with the Jurassic Express for their match because he’s sick. From what Meltzer says, it doesn’t sound like he has Covid-19, he’s just down with something else and didn’t want to travel in the midst of the pandemic.

PAC wasn’t able to travel to the show either, which meant the Best Friends faced the Lucha Bros instead of Orange Cassidy joining in to make it a six-man match against Death Triangle. Of course, that freed Cassidy up to provide stunning insights on the commentary desk.

Meltzer also mentions that everyone arriving for their show had their temperature taken to make sure they’re not sick. It’s not exactly a Covid-19 test, but under the circumstances it’s better than nothing.