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5 Big Takeaways from AEW Dynamite - Feb 22, 2023

Another week of Dynamite featured a ton of red-hot action, with Wheeler Yuta challenging Orange Cassidy, Evil Uno battling Jon Moxley, and an announcement of a new AEW television show

Another Wednesday night of AEW Dynamite has come and gone, and the suspense toward AEW Revolution continues to build. With a huge title match on the horizon and a lot of things unfolding in the promotion, this week's show held up a mirror to where the company is headed in 2023.

As mentioned, Revolution will be taking place on March 5, so this episode continued that build as usual but also featured some announcements and a couple of minor surprises. One of those would be the launch of an AEW 'after show' that will follow Dynamite. The new program, called AEW All Access, will be a behind-the-scenes look at the company and its talent.

Having said all that, there was still a night of plenty of wrestling action and intrigue. Here's a closer look at five things that stood out in this week's presentation of AEW Dynamite.

#1 - Orange Cassidy vs. Wheeler Yuta showed hints of the future

As the Ring of Honor Pure Champion, Yuta was looking to add a little more hardware by taking Cassidy's AEW All-Atlantic Title. He came up short, but that wasn't really the overarching story in this one.

While the match was mostly friendly, it was definitely intense, and the two men pushed each other to the point that tempers often flared. After his win, Cassidy offered his former tag team partner a hug, as a sign of respect and that there were no hard feelings.

Instead, Claudio Castagnoli appeared on the ramp, ordering Yuta back to the locker room. Rather than acknowledge The Freshly Squeezed One, Yuta walked to the back with his veteran mentor.

#2 - Chris Jericho takes the bait

Absolute Ricky Starks came out in his finest green pimp uniform and said that since he wouldn't be facing Chris Jericho at AEW Revolution, he was issuing an open challenge. Peter Avalon attempted to walk out and answer Starks until he was cut off by a Judas Effect elbow on the ramp. Jericho then proceeded to the squared circle in what would become a minor development - but a segment with some fun moments.

Like Starks, Jericho went through his closet to find something special that night. The inaugural AEW world Champion was wearing a leather jacket with spikes sticking out all over it. He looked sort of like a heavy metal porcupine.

After some reverse psychology by The Absolute One, The Ocho was suckered into signing a deal to face Starks with no backing from his faction, The Jericho Appreciation Society. One entertaining point came when Chris was about to ink the contract, he lifted up his pen - old school style. As he mimicked the motion of his once-famous 'List' in WWE, the fans exploded. Great little sidebar that should set up another big win for young Ricky Starks at the pay-per-view.

#3 - The AEW World Championship showdown between Bryan Danielson and MJF at Revolution continues to get more and more personal

We saw another MJF promo on Danielson this week where the AEW World Champion tried to shock us some more. These things are starting to feel less like Roddy Piper, and more like the ones that Shane Douglas was doing in ECW in the late 90s. (minus a little bit of the swearing).

Somewhere along the way, MJF has gotten more shocking than he has been clever. His infamous 'car accident' story is a very recent example of that. While it's still effective, it seems like he's reaching a bit these days and isn't quite hitting on all cylinders with this one. His promos used to be funny; now, they suddenly seem very dark.

Still, it's going to be an interesting match-up, with many fans and observers thinking that The American Dragon may even win the bout. While MJF is clearly the franchise player and the future of the promotion, his first reign hasn't gone as planned. He may drop the belt, re-group, and then return for a second, more dominant reign later. This formula has worked before, and it might be the reason we see a title switch on March 5.

#4 - A lot of questions will be answered in the AEW Women's Division at Revolution

As it shakes out now, Ruby Soho has been added to the pay-per-view title match with champion Jamie Hayter and fellow challenger Saraya. That all came to fruition this week, and it looks like some mysteries are about to be solved at the huge event in San Francisco.

With sides forming in the All Elite Wrestling Women's Division right now, the allegiance of Soho has been one of the main subplots. While she is a former WWE star, she's found a home in AEW. So where does her loyalty lie?

Ruby could go heel and come out with the title, Or she could go heel and help Saraya win the belt. Or, she could stay babyface and either win/lose. So, in essence, whatever decision she makes at Revolution will shape not only where her character goes from here, but the entire division. Look for a major occurrence between the three competitors and their allies. Hopefully, it will be one that helps to further the momentum the ladies have going right now.

#5 - The AEW Dynamite main event saw Jon Moxley wreck Evil Uno

The Dark Order faction has been around All Elite Wrestling from the very beginning, and they were 'grandfathered' into special status following the death of Jon Huber. And in small doses, they are fine to have around. While they add very little to the overall product, they also do little harm... but only IF you keep them away from the main event.

No such luck on this one.

In a finish that even a blind man could have seen coming, Mox brutalized Uno for several minutes, despite the latter actually getting in some decent office. The Wild Thing bled buckets (like he does every time he breathes), before eventually choking the masked man out.

When things were all said and done, Uno looked like he got caught in a blender with an alligator.

The Blackpool Combat Club has always toed the line in terms of violence, but they were particularly brutal on this night, brawling after the match with The Dark Order until Hangman Page hit the ring. Could this whole episode be a hint of an upcoming heel turn for the BCC?

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