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5 Big Takeaways from AEW Dynamite - April 12, 2023


This week's episode of Dynamite featured a host of AEW stars, including Darby Allin, Chris Jericho, Sting, World Champion MJF & more


AEW Dynamite emanated from the beer-brewing city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and there were a few reasons to toast this one. The show featured some terrific action, some more movement in storylines as we head towards some huge events, and a really charismatic return.


Even though they found themselves the target of a lot of ridicule from their naysayers in 2022, things couldn't be going much better for AEW as we start heading toward the halfway point of this year. The announcement of their upcoming event in London's Wembley Stadium was groundbreaking, and it's been long awaited by fans across the pond.


Regardless of what anyone may point to - including the CM Punk soap opera - All Elite Wrestling seems to be focusing on building for the future, not looking back at the past. That's a good sign for a fan base that was starting to get a little worried just a few months ago.


That future includes the Four Pillars that Tony Khan named at the very inception of the franchise. Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, and (of course) AEW World Champion MJF have always been an important part of the promotion's programming, but it feels like they are taking the next step now. Perhaps TK's long-term vision was more correct than anyone thought.


This was not a total 'blow-away show' but it had some great highs and a couple of nice surprises. Here are five things that stood out on this entertaining episode of AEW Dynamite.


#1 - Darby Allin, MJF & Sting have a meeting of the minds


The show kicked off with a long segment that saw Darby Allin gain a victory over Swerve Strickland. It's odd to see how much of a side note that Swerve has become recently, considering he was one of the most over guys with the crowd just a short time ago. The heel turn hasn't done much for him at all so far. However, he would seemingly play a factor later on in the evening.


Allin would have a long heart-to-heart with MJF, who came out to chastise his fellow Pillar. He then invoked the other two stars' names as well and pointed out why he excelled while they have all tread water. Darby then informed the AEW World Champion about what a flawed human being he was.


What followed sounded like a PSA for mental health awareness, as Darvy talked about seeking therapy to deal with his demons. He suggested that Max do the same.

Then, Sting's name came up, as MJF taunted Darby with the notion that he needs his 'Daddy' around to carry him to success. Allin defended himself, and then the Icon made his presence known, The Stinger showed up and told MJF he wasn't Darby's daddy, he was a cheerleader. Then, he threw a pair of pom-poms he had stashed in his jacket at Friedman. (It was a bit of an odd exchange at times, but turned out fantastic)


The volume in the building was set on high, as the crowd amplified their approval that Sting was in the house. He talked about his career and thanked those that helped make him - like Nature Boy Ric Flair. That got a giant pop... and a lot of whoos.


Sting then mentioned MJF had a babysitter of his own at one time. Then he said Cody's name, which got a GREAT response from the audience.


"I said 'Cody' and the truth hurts, doesn't it, Max?" Sting said.


Nice work on the callback there, especially when it also involves mentioning a monumental star who left the promotion. It may be a cheap pop, but the fans dig it, nonetheless.


He then said even though things are almost over for him, it was just starting for Darby Allin. Then, The Master of the Scorpion Deathlock guaranteed that Darby would be AEW World Champion eventually. After the scrum, MJF was left scurrying away in what was a great stage-setting segment.


#2 - Wardlow is LITERALLY a one-man wrecking crew


TNT Champion Powerhouse Hobbs showed up in a vehicle that resembled something like a Super Villian's Matchbox car, and he confidently strode his way into the arena. It didn't take long for him to put away Silas Young in an easy title defense.


However, the former titleholder, Wardlow, is still a little miffed about losing both his belt and his ponytail recently, and he decided to take it out on Hobbs' ride. He decimated it with a baseball bat, leaving Hobbs steaming mad. He then turned his attention back to Young, who he planned on taking his frustration out on.

As Wardlow entered the building, it didn't take long before sledgehammer shots were being fired between the two men. The back emptied for a classic pull-apart.


This feud has had a lot of ups and wons over the past several weeks, and it's time for things to catch fire. Hobbs' title win was a great sign that he's finally ready to make the next step. So far, he's been getting the star treatment.


The same can't be said for Wardlow, who went from being a surefire World Champion to almost an afterthought. Both men need this angle to be successful for different reasons: Hobbs to keep his momentum going, and Wardlow, who really needs to regain his relevance. No matter who comes out on top, a solid effort by these two onyl helps them both.


#3 - Jeff Hardy returns


Matt Hardy and Private Party are looking to get away from The Firm, but Ethan Page was on the mic, and he was laying down the law. This looked like a dead segment until the events eventually unfolded.


When Hardy and Isiah Kassidy showed up on the scene, The Broken One had some news for Page. He told All Ego that he had written into their contracts that they could leave per some upcoming stipulations and kind of fumbled things on the delivery a bit. But the point here is that Hook kicks a lot of people's asses. Oh yeah... and somebody is finally back in AEW.

As a brawl ensued with Lee Moriarity, Big Bill, and Hook getting involved, JEFF HARDY came in to clear the ring. And once again, he got a huge reaction from the audience, despite his absence due to legal issues. He's looking great, so let's hope this is finally a sign that he's healthy and focused on living a happy life.


Surely this has to be The Charismatic Enigma's final opportunity for a last run in pro wrestling. If he drops the ball again - sadly - he will likely end up out of the business, and maybe even incarcerated.


#4 - The Blackpool Combat Club vs. The Elite rivalry is heating up


The BCC isn't playing around, and they've gotten to the point now where every match is a fight and every fight is a match. Right now? The ladies' faction known as The Outcasts has been using the old nWo gimmick of spray painting their opponents. However, it's the Blackpools who more resemble The Outsiders in terms of pure thuggery.

They showed that again this week. They essentially mugged Michael Nakazawa and Brandon Cutler to the point that Kenny Omega walked onto the ramp, daring the BCC members to come down and fight.


However, while their backs were turned, the Young Bucks surprised everyone by sliding into the ring. SUPERKICK PARTY and The Blackpool Combat Club were neutralized. Then, they threatened to shove a screwdriver into Moxley's head in retaliation for what happened to their friend, Hangman Adam Page. However, Mox escaped without receiving his retribution.


This is another great feud going on right now in AEW. And as the summer months grow nearer, things promise to get hotter in the promotion. Especially considering we are going to see plenty of huge match-ups, in both singles and team competition, from these two warring factions.


#5 - A Legendary and Limitless Main Event


It was time for a battle of respect between big Keith Lee and Chris Jericho. This all stems from a promo segment last week when The Limitless One stepped up to challenge the sports entertainment legend


So, Lee was out to teach Jericho some manners in what turned out to be a solid main event between two reliable veterans. As one can expect, Lee used his power advantage to take control. To his credit, Jericho gave the younger competitor most of the match. Even though he can't flip and flop in the ways he did 20 years ago, Le Champion is still an artist at selling through emotion and acting ability. It's a lost art, but one that Jericho has honed and perfected.

The match was marred by the constant interference of a pesky and precocious Daniel Garcia, who Lee kept swatting away throughout the contest. Eventually, as he and Jericho were on the mat, a figure appeared that resembled Swerve Strickland.


Eventually, Strickland revealed himself. Then, Adam Cole's music hit and he was out to check on Lee. This led to yet ANOTHER staredown with Jericho. These two are headed for a huge collision. Here's hoping that Cole rides his current wave of momentum past The Ocho and all the way to a title shot against MJF.


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