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5 Big Takeaways from AEW Dynamite - Feb 15, 2023

With the in-ring action on a roll recently, AEW Dynamite looked to keep the momentum going as they broadcast live and in living color from Laredo, Texas

AEW Dynamite originated from Laredo, Texas, this week, and The Lone Star state was treated to some great action. It helped to really bring the Revolution event on March 5 into focus.

While there wasn't quite as much star power of in-ring action as some of the shows of the last few weeks, this was more of an effort to advance storylines. Particularly the upcoming Iron Man Match for the World Championship between MJF and Bryan Danielson. That angle received a lot of play on Wednesday, as did the ongoing story in the AEW Women's Division.

Overall, it was a fun two hours, even if it wasn't completely intense all the way through. It was, admittedly, more of a show to work as an assembly line, moving all the pieces forward to Revolution. And in that aspect? It accomplished that goal with flying colors.

Here are five things that really stood out when viewing this week's episode of AEW Dynamite.

#1 - The Acclaimed have arrived as one of the most entertaining aspects of AEW Dynamite

Despite recently losing the World Tag Team Championship recently to The Gunn Club, the duo of Max Caster and Anthony Bowens couldn't be running hotter. They continue to wow the crowd with their antics and athleticism.

This pairing is a matchmaker's dream, as their babyface appeal harkens back to historic and heroic teams like the Rock 'n' Roll Express and the Fabulous Ones. Admittedly, that's a lot of high praise. The Acclaimed may not reach their level of legendary success, but they at least have that same kind of affection from the AEW audience. The people just love them and don't ever want to see them lose. That's a prescription for a great babyface.

On this night, Caster and Bowens tagged with their surrogate father, Billy Gunn, and Orange Cassidy to defeat Jeff Jarrett and his various TNA brethren. The match was nothing special, but the fact that it highlighted some of the company's most entertaining young stars made it a great way to kick off this show.

#2 - The Texas Tornado Tag Team match was either a storm of entertainment or a total disaster, depending on who you ask

The Blackpool Combat Club - Claudio Castagnoli and Jon Moxley - defeated Rush and Preston Vance in a wild, no-hold-barred knockout battle. It was a mtach where basically everything and the kitchen sink was thrown in. And of course, Mox bled buckets... like always.

(PS - Bonus points to Khan & Company for holding a Texas Tornado match actually IN the state of Texas.)

While we got the usual technical greatness from Claudio and the wild brawling from Moxley, the match actually went longer than most observers might have expected. Not because the combatants weren't worthy of the TV time, it's just not as common in the modern era to give a bout like this the proper time it needs to develop. In this case, Tony Khan did, and the four men involved made the most of it.

Purists likely won't like the violence, while the hardcore crowd probably didn't think it was brutal enough. Unfortunately with a match like this, even a terrific performance rarely lives beyond the pre-conceived notions of the audience.

#3 - The intrigue surrounding the AEW World Title Match at Revolution continues to get thicker and thicker

Clips were shown early on Dynamite of a bloody Bryan Danielson from last week, where he vowed to take the champ to the limit - and take the gold - at Revolution.

Later on, MJF came to the ring and cut a promo where he defiled the good name of The American Dragon. The Salt of the Earth said that it was he, not Danielson, who was the best wrestler in the world, and he was going to prove it. Then, he called out a special guest.

The Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels arrived, and he was supposed to be there to badmouth his longtime friend and rival at the behest of MJF.

Instead, the veteran revealed that the AEW World Champion had paid him to come out and belittle Danielson, but he said he wouldn't do so. Instead, he insulted MJF, before the Man in Burberry eventually attacked him. Danielson would make the save.

By all rights, Danielson should win the match at the PPV, as he has never held the title before and is certainly due. Also, the first title reign of MFJ has NOT gone as planned. So, no matter the outcome, someone has to come out of this thing looking like a dominant titleholder.

Because right now? Maxwell Jacob Friedman isn't quite filling the bill, to almost everyone's surprise.

#4 - The soap opera between Jon Moxley and Hangman Adam Page continues...

After Adam Page defeated Kip Sabian in a surprisingly competitive match, the announcers kept harping on the fact the Hangman seemed to still be feeling the ill effects of his serious concussion. Eventually, the Blackpool Combat Club appeared (again) on the night. Mox got in the ring and appeared to try and at least find some common ground with Page, all the while telling him that he could never beat him again.

Mox almost seemed to hint at Hangman joining up with the BCC, when The Dark Order emerged from the back. Page didn't seem too happy about his friends being there, but that didn't stop Evil Uno from getting in Moxley's face and jawing with the former World Champion.

In the end (and I think we all see this coming) Page and Moxley will form a bond over mutual respect and form some kind of duo. Or Page may, indeed, lock up the supergroup by becoming the next member of the Blackpool Combat Club. Either way, it will be refreshing. Not just for him, but for Mox and the faction as a whole, if it eventually ends up that way.

#5 - Rubo Soho has a big decision to make

The nWo vibes continue in the AEW Women's Division, as Saraya and Toni Storm have been knocking out opponents and painting an 'L' on them. This story also mirrors the Outsiders' angle in that it's lining up AEW originals led by Dr. Britt Baker vs. the heel faction of free agent signees from WWE. That group may/may not be going by the name, 'The Freelancers'.

Not really clear on that name yet. And even then? It still needs some work.

In the middle of this is poor Ruby Soho, who is caught up in the middle of it all. The storyline is that she has been with All Elite Wrestling for so long, that her loyalty is likely there. Especially considering the way she was cast out so unceremoniously from McMahonland.

This episode ended with the same type of cliffhanger. Ruby got the victory over Britt in a three-way dance but was confronted by Storm and Saraya - who want her to join their group. For Ruby's part, she stood there, just looking like she didn't know what to do.

I guess Soho is supposed to be the 'Sting' in this nWo scenario, where whichever side she chooses will have an upper hand. That's a bit of a stretch for a performer who still has yet to win a title in AEW, but it could also lead to a star-making run. It will be interesting to see how this one shakes out at Revolution. That's where it will all likely come to a head.


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