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5 Big Takeaways from AEW Dynamite - April 26, 2023: Things are Starting to Heat Up


Another AEW Dynamite is in the books after being broadcast LIVE from the Sunshine State this week, and their stars were shining brightly. On a night that featured turmoil, turncoats, and title defenses, the fans were on the edge of their seats.

The biggest part of AEW's annual schedule is in full swing now, with all their huge summer and fall events not far off on the horizon. So, now is the time for them to line up their chess pieces for the remainder of 2023.

At the same time, there's still the launch of a new Saturday show soon, and rumors abound that CM Punk will be returning when the company returns to Chicago in the first week of May.

With a lot of huge developments swirling around in the air, this episode of Dynamite moved along quickly and featured some great action. A definite 'thumbs up' edition of this show, and here are five big reasons why...

#1 - Wrestling's most reliable leadoff hitter led off the show once again

It seems like Tony Khan knows he can always get a great reaction and match out of Orange Cassidy at the start of the program.

That formula seems to be working, as Freshly Squeezed has been as good at the top of the lineup as Rickey Henderson in his prime. Cassidy's appearances always set the table for the remainder of the show.

Just some really good exchanges between these two in a fast-paced International title match. Orange Cassidy came into this match 11-0 since the start of 2023, and overall, he's been on a fantastic winning streak since capturing the belt from Pac at Forbidden Door last June.

One factor in this match has been the nagging injury to Cassidy's right hand, which neutralizes his Orange Punch finisher. Bandido used that to his advantage throughout the entire bout, and you could almost feel that the gold was within his grasp.

This segment of the show took up a huge portion of the first hour, lasting over the course of two segments and around 20 minutes of airtime. After their close contest, both Orange and Bandido came to the back. They comically feigned that they were going to a promo with Renee Paquette - who hurriedly told them she was out of time. The pair simply walked off quietly and without incident.

#2 - Tony Khan has BIG NEWS!

The Owen Hart Cup is returning Events will culminate in the crowning of the 2023 winners at the Tournament finals in Calgary during the promotion's upcoming Canadian tour.

This is another great PR move for the promotion, and at the same time, it's a positive for professional wrestling as a whole. Owen Hart will always be seen as a heroic yet tragic figure in the industry, so this is a pretty heartwarming thing to do - in an industry where hearts and flowers don't always cut it.

While last year's Owen Hart Cup was a little disorganized and disjointed at times, it will surely be a little more polished in 2023. The fact that the event will take place in Hart's hometown only makes it that much sweeter.

AEW has been on a hot streak as this year rolls on, and this is just another solid move. 'The Owen' could very well establish itself as a well-watched annual event... and for a good cause, to boot.

#3 - The plot thickens between AEW's Four Pillars

Before Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin would face off in an elimination match, Jungle Boy and The Dark One talked about how MJF already has 'rigged' everything in his favor. They attempted to reconcile, but egos continued to be in the way.

This was basically the same formula match that all of the pillars have when they meet. Lots of give-and-go in the ring, as no one truly dominates their opponent. As the action broke down, Darby Allin was nearly counted out but beat the ref's cadence. That brought MJF up from the announce table and headed to ringside.

Shenanigans soon ensued, and The Salt of the Earth tossed Daryb Allin his skateboard while Guevara pretended to be hit. The ref then turned, caught Allin with the object, and called for a DQ. That led to a beatdown and Jungle Boy making the save.

Despite Max and Sammy's post-match gloating, they were informed by Tony Schiavone that management had made a decision. Because of the nefarious tactics, Tony Khan decided to set up a tag match between the two sides. If Jack Perry and Darby Allin can defeat the heel duo, they can force a four-way dance for the AEW World Championship at Double or Nothing.

As Maxwell Friedman and The Spanish God were exiting the arena, MJF got in his car and left The Spanish God behind... leaving his supposed friend dejected.

#4 - Adam Cole is an 'undisputed' favorite of the AEW audience

A hoppin' mad Adam Cole power-walked his way to the ring, grabbed a microphone, and immediately tore into Chris Jericho. He called the legend a 'son of a bitch' for getting his better half involved in their issues last week.

That led to a fight with the other members of the JAS, and then a huge save from his Undisputed brother, Roderick Strong! A nice callback here, and the crowd gave it a lot of love. Further cementing how over Cole is since his return, the two of them sharing an embrace blew the lid off the place.

While Cole originally came into All Elite Wrestling attempting to be a heel, it never really worked. The people love everything about this guy, and he's got a magnetic persona that they can't get enough of. While some credits and pundits have taken shots at Cole because of his smaller frame, he's larger than life to the fans.

That's why, as he works his way back to form, Cole must be kept on a hot streak. If handled properly, he could go on a long journey to his very first AEW World Championship. And as the face of the franchise? He would have the opportunity to go down as maybe the most popular titleholder the promotion has ever had.

But that starts with Jericho putting him over in this feud. Which is likely will happen. The elder statesman is now in the fold for the long haul with All Elite Wrestling, and he's been working with a lot of younger stars. If he does the right thing here (which is the most likely scenario), then Cole can move on to bigger things. And that should include him staking his claim to that stunning diamond and gold belt.

#5 - The Blackpool Combat Club

Kenny Omega and Konosuke Takeshita were out for a tag team match against The Butcher and The Blade in the main event. However, the IWGP United States Champion and his young partner were actually out for, was to be harrassed by Bryan Danielson.

Right before the match started, The American Dragon came out to provide commentary on the match. And honestly: as much as people love to cheer Danielon, the heel version is downright hilarious.

The moral of the story in this one is that following the match, things got ugly again between The Blackpool Combat Club and The Elite. And what appeared to be an initiation ceremony turned ugly.

After beating down The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, the BCC looked as if they wanted to welcome an upset and confused Konosuke into their faction. With the jump-in ceremony now complete, they raised his hand in victory. But Takeshita refused and showed his disdain for their actions.

In an 'either-you're-with-us-or-you're-against-us' kind of moment, Danielson ordered the attack. As the show closed, Jon Moxley was driving the screwdriver into yet another victim's head.

And for another week in a row... The Blackpool Combat Club shows no mercy.



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