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5 Big Takeaways from AEW Dynamite - April 5, 2023

AEW Dynamite returned this week to Long Island, so this was a huge night for World Champion MJF. And along with The Salt of the Earth's big day, there was a major debut and a tag team match with huge stakes

AEW Dynamite returned this week to Long Island, New York, so this was clearly a huge night for World Champion MJF. And along with The Salt of the Earth's big homecoming, there was a major debut and a tag team main event with a LOT MORE than just championship gold on the line. There was plenty more exciting action in this fast-paced, two-hour roller coaster ride.

It was MJF Day for the homecoming boy, and he expected all his flowers as he strutted his stuff at his old stomping grounds and Tony Khan continues to add pieces to the roster. Despite the fact that the news cycle has been owned by WWE, it's really irrelevant to All Elite Wrestling's product. So focusing on their own strengths, instead of their dominant competitor, isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Right now, it's better that All Elite Wrestling focuses on its huge events in the next few months, looking ahead instead of peripherally. For several years, the strategic error has been throwing verbal bombs in the direction of their Stamford, Connecticut, nemesis. Meanwhile, the house back in Jacksonville was leaking and had holes in the roof.

Right now, it seems like Khan & Company have shifted their focus on just being the best version of AEW they can be, and it's shown in an overall improvement of the product. They still really need to address a lot of issues with their sister show, Rampage, but the flagship was going strong again this week.

Lots of prominent performers and more focus on the hometown heroes in this one, which is what the Elite audience wants anyway. Here's a closer look at five big things that really stood out about this week's episode of AEW Dynamite:

#1 - The mystery of Switchblade Jay White has been solved

Ricky Starks, who has been a star on the rise, opened the show and attempted to make his way to the ring to face Juice Robinson, but he didn't get very far. That's when the speculation about where Switchblade Jay White would be appearing next ended. Apparently, he's not signing with WWE, after all.

In a quick and stunning attack, White leveled The Absolute One before the bell. Then, he and his Bullet Club brother put the beatdown on poor little Ricky, and we were off to the races. The match was ruled a no-contest, but it was pretty clear who came out on top here. BC stood tall over one of AEW's four pillars.

This is no doubt leading up to what could very well be a massive Forbidden Door event in June, but a major comeback in terms of content for the company. The warm weather months are where their bread and butter lies, so any working relationship with New Japan or appearances by its stars right now only adds to the luster of what comes next.

So, White is in the fold with AEW, Juice is on a collision course with Ricky Starks, and this should be a fun story to follow in the weeks ahead. Oh and by the way? Bullet Club is fine.

#2 - Isn't EVERY DAY considered 'MJF DAY' in All Elite Wrestling?

Back home on Strong Island, the AEW World Champion took full advantage of being the local boy who made good. MJF strolled out with the ever-present Triple-B title, and he was decked out in a white, Vegas cocktail-lounge-style tuxedo. He looked as if he was about to order a martini... shaken, not stirred.

The Atlantic City vibe didn't stop there, as The Salt of the Earth broke into a little singing number with a big band backing him. His belting out 'Pennies from Heaven' like he was the second coming of Tony Bennett was rather fitting. Not just for the MJF heel character, but for the man behind it.

Maxwell Friedman was somewhat of a 'show kid', who engaged in acting and singing in his youth, and also made an appearance as a child on The Rosie O'Donnell Show. So that might explain a little why he has found himself in multiple Borscht Belt musical numbers as part of a pro wrestling program somehow. Still, he manages to pull it off nicely and in a manner that fits his role on the show.

His celebration went about as one might expect, with MJF being surrounded by balloons and other decorations. The Champ then received the key to the city from Joseph Saladino, the legitimate Town Supervisor of Oyster Bay, New York.

The Long Island faithful showed their love for their guy, despite him being one of the most villainous figures in wrestling today. He talked about his past, touching on his real-life struggles with learning disabilities and how he overcame it all. It would have felt more like a babyface promo if you weren't expecting to flip on the crowd.

Instead, he toed the line here, and then MJF told the people he was going to deliver an encore musical presentation. However, Jack Perry had different ideas. Jungle Boy jumped MJF and the two brawled. Eventually, we saw Sammy Guevara was out, too. It's looking like a three-way dance between these young stars is inevitable. And Darby Allin might make it four.

#3 - A sequel has been announced... 'The Son of ALL IN: The Return'

Much to surprise of his critics, Tony Khan's massive announcement did not disappoint. Quite the opposite, actually, as he appeared backstage with commentator Nigel McGuiness (also now with AEW) and discussed the origins of the organization. He made sure to give props to all four of the original Executive Vice Presidents - including the departed Cody Rhodes - and mentioned how the company was born out of ALL IN.

The AEW President rightly pointed out the significance of the event being the largest independent card ever, and said that this promotion wanted to mimic the event, five years after the original.

This 'return to Woodstock' would be exciting enough on its own, but there was a little more icing on the cake.

All Elite Wrestling will hold the next version of ALL IN, at Historic Wembley Stadium in London, England. This promises to be a superb spectacle and an international celebration of pro wrestling. This is a huge positive, not just for AEW but for the entire industry. Tony Khan can take a bow here. In this instance, one of his 'huge' announcements did more than live up to the billing.

#4 - The Blackpool Combat Club shoul dominate the summer's storylines

The four-man combination of Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Caludio Castagnolli, and Wheeler Yuta continued to run roughshod over the promotion, and they got another quick and convincing win this week. Against who and how doesn't matter. BCC doesn't seem concerned with success. Only suffering.

This clique has the chance to be a marquee attraction for AEW. While no faction can possibly be asked to replicate what The Bloodline has accomplished for the last two years in WWE, the Blackpool Combat Clun could still be a big boost as AEW's biggest angle. Currently, they are looking pretty heelish, especially after the shots tha The American Dragon was firing at the guys in the locker room. But it might be best to just make them all-purpose ass-kickers. Pure punishment... without pride or prejudice.

This is leading to an all-out war with The Elite, who will fortify their ranks by having Hangman Adam Page back with them, will make for a great 4 vs. 4 match-up for The BCC. If that's how it all plays out then Mox and Danielson and the Club should pound the pretty boys into the mat.

By the time the weather gets hot, these guys should be the talk of the promotion. They may be a little bit sadistic, but they're more than capable of getting this storyline over with the audience. That's something that AEW could certainly use more of right now.

#5 - Top Guys return to the penthouse suite

The very best tag team in the world has had a few tumultuous months. uch like the promotion they work for, 2022 wasn't exactly a banner year, but they are rebounding nicely. In order to completely exorcise their demons, however, they needed to get some gold back around their waists.

In order to get to that point, they would have to offer The Gunn Club something as an incentive to gain a chance at the championship. Thet put their tenure in All Elite Wrestling on the table, and The Ass Boys were happy to lay their cards down.

It turned out to be a bad move, as Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood were holding a royal flush. After weeks of speculation that they might be departing, FTR proved they are staying put. The returned to their rightful spot back atop the promotion by vanquishing the Gunns in an expected finish.

With the popular and highly-skilled duo back as the faces of the tag team division, the promotion can try for another renaissacne in that style of wrestling. In the early days of All Elite Wrestling, tandems like FTR, Lucha Bros, and Santana & Ortiz made it arguably the roster's greatest strength.

Things haven't gone quite as planned since then, but the re-building process could be starting right now. There's already a ton of talent in place with duos and trios squads aplenty. But that starts with the very best you have to offer, and you can't ask for a better foundation to build around than the Top Guys.



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