In a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast, All Elite Wrestling’s Senior Vice President and co-Executive Producer Mike Mansury discussed several topics, including the recent changes to the look and feel of AEW Dynamite.

“I joined in December of 2022, I joined I believe Winter is Coming 2022 was my first show, so in Texas right. I learned that in January, when we were kicking off the year with Dynamite in Seattle, Washington that we were going to roll out a brand new Dynamite look, a brand new Dynamite set and I was like alright, cool, that’s great, something to look forward to, I can’t wait to see it, I didn’t really know what was going on. When we arrived in Seattle that day and I saw the set, it was cool, but it wasn’t my favorite thing, just speaking honestly here. I saw the new graphics, and I’m not going to lie to you, and this has nothing to do with the fact that I spent the bulk of my career there, but I remember walking in that day when they were starting to run through elements and stuff, I looked and I was like oh, that looks like a Survivor Series sort of look.

At this point, I’m maybe three weeks into the job at AEW, I’ve been out of wrestling for a couple of years at this point doing MMA and working with Pat McAfee and his group in Indianapolis, but that was the first thing that hit me was man, that red and blue. I remember connecting with Tony at some point, a couple of weeks after that show and he’s like, initially the direction I had kind of given the folks was that he wanted to look more like the throwback American Gladiators look, I think that was kind of the interpretation of what kind of fell into play. If you notice, as we got later into 2024, we amended it a little bit to kind of get away totally from RAW and SmackDown, and the Survivor Series look, we had known going into that Summer that we were going to kind of refresh Dynamite going into 2024.

Going into Dynamite 200, I believe it was, we went with a bit of a throwback look with the color powder burst or whatever, and I know that that was something that resonated very strongly with our fan base, they were very much into that sort of original vibe, it kind of fit into a lot of what we’ve been talking about internally when it came to sort of restoring the feeling. I started to have preliminary conversations with Tony, in terms of the new look for next year, and also we began talking about the set. That theme was there, that restoring the feeling, but me personally, I didn’t want to do a full reversion back to what was, for me, I was of the mindset of let’s pay homage to Day 1, but let’s also show that AEW is continuing to grow, continuing to evolve, so when I got together with our internal team, both on the inner arena and the post-production side, and then we also involved the team from WBD, as they’re phenomenal collaborators to work with, you know, case in point are those what we’re calling the ready to fight from those that have been airing across the WBD networks that have just been so awesome, and a fresh coat of paint and a different way to kind of attack promotion for a wrestling organization.

We wanted to kind of tip our cap and acknowledge what brought AEW to the dance, but also show you like, hey we’re also thinking about growth and moving towards the future, so that was the idea behind it, that’s why, even with that colorful presentation and vibe of the new Dynamite package, it’s a throwback to the color splash in terms of just that vibrance and that eye-catching, eye-grabbing sort of color palette, but it’s an evolution of it, it’s not a direct, just sort of quote unquote rip off of it, it’s just more like, hey we acknowledge you. When we were coming into designs, and when I was talking to our team, I said in terms of the LED aesthetic or whatever, that’s kind of last on priority, for me, what I’d like to do is, let’s take the tunnels, because we still had those tunnels, they were in one of our warehouses in Orlando, but let’s beef them up, let’s figure out a way that we can take these tunnels, and again, homage to the past, but at the same time, evolution to the future.”

The full episode is available at this link.