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5 Big Takeaways from AEW Dynamite - Feb 8, 2023

It was a truly explosive night for All Elite Wrestling, as Dynamite featured all five world championships on the line, including MJF in action

This week's episode of AEW Dynamite was broadcast LIVE from the El Paso County Coliseum in El Paso, Texas, and the guns were firing both barrels. On what was billed as 'Championship Fight Night', we saw multiple world titles on the line. with all that gold on the line, things started fast and ended furiously.

While the show has been on a bit of a roll lately, this edition was aided by the intrigue surrounding all the title tilts. This included the rarely-in-action MJF gracing us with his presence in the ring. With WWE raging like wildfire as they head toward their elimination Chamber event, Tony Khan offered a little bit of counter-programming on Wednesday night. For the most part, it worked and provided an entertaining evening.

With so much gold being flashed in front of the cameras, it's easy to be blinded by all the happenings on the night. So, with clear eyes, here's a look at five key items that stood out about AEW Dynamite this week:

#1 - MJF took on Konosuke Takeshita in the opener(?) of AEW Dynamite

MJF successfully defeated the rising star from the Land of the Rising Sun, but Takeshita was able to shine brightly once again. He may be a newcomer to All Elite Wrestling, but the promotion's faithful following has taken to him immediately.

In all honesty, the Japanese performer was the one who carried most of the match, although MJF certainly held his own. Inevitably, however, Takeshita would tap out to The Salt of The Earth. He would be assaulted after the bout by The Champ until Bryan Danielson came to the ring to make the save.

This match is another example of a strange phenomenon when it comes to AEW. They often kick off their shows with what should be considered the biggest (or at least close to the biggest) bout of the night. This is another example of that.

It makes sense, as Tony Khan has looked to capitalize on the initial viewing audience at the top of the hour and secure their attention. However, there's been no signs that starting off the show with a marquee match-up does anything to sustain the ratings throughout the show's two hours.

#2 - Ricky Starks vs. The World

It's star-making time once again for Ricky Starks, as he continues his war with Chris Jericho and his minions in the Jericho Appreciation Society. With the legend waiting in the wings, Starks was facing a gauntlet challenge from all of the designated roadblocks.

The Absolute One had to go through the team of Angelo Parker and 'Daddy Magic' Matt Menard, both of whom he dispensed rather quickly. After that, the JAS sent out Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia at the same time, adding to the confusion of an already confusing situation. (AEW Announcer Tony Schiavone confessed during the match that he mistakenly thought the gauntlet would run over multiple shows, not take place all in one night.)

It eventually settled into Garcia vs. Starks in an electric showdown. It was a terrific contrast in style, with Absolute Ricky's aerial skills and awesome speed going blow-for-blow with Daniel's Technical prowess and submission expertise.

As the contest wore on, it looked like Garcia would score the win and deny Starks his date with destiny. Ricky would rally back, only to be defeated by dirty tactics. As Starks walked by ringside, a masked 'fan' threw a back elbow from across the guardrail, knocking him for a loop. Garcia then rolled him into the ring for an easy three-count.

The masked man was revealed (of course) to be Chris Jericho, who dodged Starks for yet another week. However, you can almost bet that this feud will come to a head at AEW Revolution on March 5. That's likely when The Absolute One will finally have his vengeance.

#3 - Bryan Danielson unlocks a path to glory

Scheduled to face Rush as part of MJF's challenge to gain a title shot, Bryan Danielson found himself locked in the back following a pre-match interview. Someone on the other side had blocked him from making his way to the ring, even as he could hear his opponent's music playing.

Of course, MJF immediately came out and told referee Aubrey Edwards that The American Dragon wouldn't be there and that she should start the match and count Danielson out. Finally, Bryan broke free and sprinted to the ring as Aubrey purposely made a slow count.

With his evil plot thwarted, Maxwell J. Friedman had no choice but to sit there helplessly and watch Danielson persevere. And by persevere, that means more like survive, as Rush pushed him to levels that were off the charts. This was one of the hardest-hitting, most intense matches in Dynamite history. EASILY.

Despite MJF trying to jump him following his win, Danielson stood tall. The former WWE Titleholder has now secured the opportunity to win his first such crown in All Elite Wrestling in a 60-minute Iron Man Match at Revolution.

#4 - The Trios Tag Team Title Match was like a tornado fueled with cocaine and caffeine

To say that this bout was hyperactive might be a bit of an understatement. The spot-kateers were out in full force as The Elite and the team of Top Flight and AR Fox spent plenty of time in the air. Fast-paced and hard-hitting, this was a great warm-up for the main event.

Dante Martin shined in this battle, and although he forms a great team with his brother, could be a singles star someday. But in the midst of all this action, each one of the six performers had a chance to take the spotlight. They all, as in many lucha-style matches, took turns showcasing their superb skills. In the end, The Elite continued to carry on like the wayward sons they are, retaining the Trios Titles. However, expect to see more from the six-man division in 2023, as Omega and The Young Bucks continue a fantastic title reign. Look for more matches like this one, against the likes of The House of Black, Blackpool Combat Club, and other three-man groupings. #5 - The Acclaimed and The Gunn Club finally For a long time now, there has been chatter among the AEW faithful about the massive potential of Billy Gunn's two sons, Austin and Colten. They have everything it takes to be superstars like their father - great looks and physiques, along with plenty of charisma and a lot of natural athletic ability. They have been brought along slowly, and that's clearly benefitted the Brothers Ass. They look much sharper in the ring now, and this long-running storyline with The Acclaimed has been a perfect storyline to elevate them to main event status. The Gunns used their power to overwhelm Max Caster early in the bout before Anthony Bowens helped turn the tide. As things broke down and the ref powdered out, Billy Gunn emerged from the back to put a stop to some nefarious tactics. At first, it looked like Gunn was setting everything up for a heel turn, as many have speculated that he'd be reuniting with his sons by now. Instead, The WWE Hall of Famer actually took a title belt out of Austin's hands. Mr. Ass stayed true to his adopted sons of The Acclaimed. But in the end, it wouldn't matter. As things continued to break down, Billy was eventually knocked out, as was The Acclaim's long run with the championships. The Gunn Club closes this FANTASTIC episode of AEW Dynamite with the belts held proudly over their heads... no matter how low they had to stoop to win them. FOLLOW REALRASSLIN ON FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE


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