Wednesday night at Little Caesars Arena (LCA) was special. History was made. It was the first-ever All Elite Wrestling (AEW) show in Detroit. And it was long overdue.
Hell, even AEW owner, Tony Khan alluded to it.
He knew that even with the pandemic, it should not have taken AEW three years to come to Detroit, or even Michigan, for that matter. The pro-wrestling history in the state is too rich. So many memorable events and moments have happened. When popular wrestling companies or events come to Motown, it’s usually a sell-out show.
Wednesday night was no different.
And for that, AEW, as a company, should be proud. Because it was the greatest display of pro wrestling in the arena’s short history. Except the area near the production cameras, there wasn’t an empty seat.
From the time they opened the arena doors, fans were amped for AEW. There was a constant flow of energy in the building. It was more than the fans cheering. It was more than the homemade signs.
The AEW show at LCA felt raw. It felt authentic. It didn’t feel overproduced or rehearsed.
Let’s recap a few of those amazing moments.
For starters, there’s Christian Cage. When he cut his promo, you could literally feel the heat he drew. The boos were so loud that he couldn’t get a word out at first. His Detroit disses sent the boos into damn-near deafening decibels.
Or let’s talk about The Acclaimed. The “bars” they had for Detroit (and Flint) drew some boos and groans, but it was entertaining, nonetheless. How about Jade Cargill? When she made her entrance to the ring, she looked like wrestling’s next big superstar.
Then there’s Brody King, who has to be a talking point. Hell, he won the Royal Rampage match. He looked like a complete bad ass in the process. Having Darby Alin in a chokehold as his feet dangled was a sight to see. That ending sequence positioned him as a legit threat to Jon Moxley’s reign as AEW Interim World champion.
One of the night’s most memorable moments was the entrance of Chris Jericho, and the Jericho Appreciation Society. Over 15,000 wrestling fans sang Fozzy’s “Judas” in unison as Jericho and his stable entered was epic.
Yes, it happens with every Jericho entrance. But it never happened in Motown.
Last, and certainly not least, is the Blood & Guts match, the headliner of AEW’s Detroit show. From the opening bell to the end, there were barely any fans in their seats, especially when Eddie Kingston launched Sammy Guevara off the top of the cage.
That match had everything.
Tables, kendo sticks, thumbtacks, steel chairs and glass. It was literally blood all over the wrestlers, the mats, and even the camera lenses. It was a fun and entertaining match.
With several of its top stars out with injury, much curiosity surrounded how AEW would fair in its first Detroit show. Months ago, fans clamored for these tickets. They expected to see CM Punk, Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, and several others.
They weren’t in attendance, but AEW put on such a spectacular show that it didn’t matter. It’s no secret that Tony Khan cares about TV ratings. And he should. So the numbers for Dynamite and Rampage will matter to him. However, he and his company should be happy with how their show went.
It should also signal that AEW needs to come back to Detroit sooner than later.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.