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AEW Dynamite preview (May 17, 2023): TNT’s huge announcement makes this the most important day in AEW history

AEW Dynamite

Dynamite airs tonight (May 17) with a live show from Moody Center in Austin, Texas. There are less than two weeks to go until AEW’s next pay-per-view on the calendar, Double or Nothing, which is scheduled for May 28.

TNT’s huge announcement makes this the most important day in AEW history

Per AEW President Tony Khan, TNT is going to make a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT today that will be one of the most important announcements in AEW history.

There’s a very good chance that this announcement will reveal a new television deal between AEW and Warner Bros. Discovery that also comes with the launch of a new Saturday prime time show on TNT named Collision. It’s also likely that CM Punk’s official return to AEW will be revealed as part of this announcement.

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say this is the most important day in AEW history. There is a lot of speculation running wild about how much money AEW will get from WBD for exclusive rights to all of their content. If the dollar figure really does end up being on the high end and approaching one billion dollars over five years, it instantly transforms AEW’s business and launches the company to a level of success that will make all the haters and trolls look like morons for doubting AEW’s long-term viability in a pro wrestling industry that has been dominated for decades by WWE.

On the other hand, if the dollar amount is more in line with what AEW is currently being paid by WBD, it will be a discouraging sign regarding AEW’s ability to retain all of its key players while also signing some of the top free agents around the world.

Tony Khan seems pretty excited about this announcement, so I think it’s reasonable to expect a number somewhere between the extremes, which could still mean a doubling or tripling of the amount of money AEW is currently being paid by the network each year. But it’s all speculation at this point, with nobody besides Khan really knowing what to expect.

On the wrestling side of things, last week’s episode of Dynamite showed why AEW needs more TV time to showcase its talent. For months I’ve been wondering where the f*** Miro is, and it turns out he was on his way to Tony Khan’s office. Thunder Rosa also met with Khan, leading to Tony’s reveal that AEW stars are lining up looking for more TV time to show what they can do. It’s pretty clear that AEW has the roster depth to handle two more hours of TV each week, especially if CM Punk is on his way back to anchor a new show.

TNT’s huge announcement should be made during the day at the upfronts, and then I’m sure we’ll hear more about it from Tony Khan tonight on Dynamite. It’s a very exciting time to be a fan of AEW, unless you happen to hate CM Punk.

The rest of tonight’s lineup

Chris Jericho takes on Roderick Strong tonight in a Falls Count Anywhere match where Adam Cole and JAS are banned from the building. I think it’s pretty clear where this one is going; Strong is going to lead Jericho outside the building, where he’ll be ambushed by Cole.

It was two weeks ago when Hikaru Shida tricked The Outcasts into thinking she was on their side, only to beat the shit out of them with a kendo stick. That angle leads to tonight’s trios match, where Shida teams up with Dr. Britt Baker DMD and AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter to fight The Outcasts. Jamie Hayter still needs a challenger at Double or Nothing, so the finish of this match might give us a clue as to who it will be.

AEW World Champion MJF has to defend his belt at Double or Nothing against the other three pillars of AEW. Two of them will compete in the ring tonight, with Jungle Boy going one-on-one with RUSH, and Sammy Guevara “in action.” MJF needs to come up with a new scheme for walking out of the PPV as champ, so maybe he’ll set that plan into motion during one of these matches.

Ricky Starks is determined to take out Bullet Club Gold. He recently picked up a win over Juice Robinson, and now has the chance to do the same thing to Jay White in tonight’s singles match. There’s a good chance it won’t be so easy this time for Starks, however. Does White have a new member of Bullet Club Gold waiting in the shadows, ready to strike?

That scumbag Don Callis shocked the world last week when he stabbed Kenny Omega in the head with a screwdriver, costing him a steel cage match against Jon Moxley. Callis pointed at the scar on his own head multiple times during his betrayal, so that figures to be a key part of his decision to turn on Kenny. Callis has the mic tonight to presumably explain his actions. Will Konosuke Takeshita follow along in this new direction for Callis? Which side is he on?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- House of Black wrestled their first Open House match last week, where their challengers opted to add the rule that witches are banned from ringside. That choice doesn’t inspire much confidence in the future of this gimmick, even though it could still be an interesting idea. It looks like The Acclaimed and Daddy Ass are being set up for something big in the trios division. If they end up challenging HoB for the AEW world trios titles at Double or Nothing, which rule will they choose?

- After his latest successful defense of the AEW International championship, Orange Cassidy was attacked by Aussie Open’s Kyle Fletcher. Fletcher then mocked OC after beating Action Andretti on Rampage, so it definitely looks like Cassidy vs. Fletcher is planned very soon.

- Dax Harwood hit Mark Briscoe with a piledriver last week after his vision was temporarily blinded by Sonjay Dutt. I bet Dax will claim it was an accident, but that seems like an awfully convenient excuse. I mean, how many times have you ever accidentally piledriven someone? At any rate, FTR better hope that Briscoe is cool about the whole thing one week later, because he’s the special referee for their AEW world tag team championship defense against Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal at Double or Nothing.

- Christian Cage talked a whole lot of shit about Arn Anderson and TNT Champion Wardlow last week, including a very awkward mention of Arn looking for a new son. Christian claims he was talking about Brock Anderson, who wrestles for AEW, but Arn’s other son Barrett died two months ago, so it was an ambiguous statement. Either way, it looks like Christian is begging to be powerbombed into the mat over and over again by Wardlow whenever they fight for the title.

- The Hardys, Isiah Kassidy, and FTW Champion HOOK deleted The Firm. However, Ethan Page is now aligned with The Gunns and wants their help in taking out The Hardys. This is leading to a match where Matt can control Ethan’s contract if he wins. Can’t they come up with a Matt Hardy angle that doesn’t involve controlling someone else’s contract?

- Will Taya Valkyrie’s suspension be lifted tonight so that she can officially challenge TBS Champion Jade Cargill to a rematch at Double or Nothing?

- AEW is in Texas this week, which means it’s time for home state guys Dustin Rhodes and Keith Lee to put a whooping on Swerve Strickland and Brian Cage.

- Hangman Page returned to AEW at a house show over the weekend wearing an eye patch, thanks to the Blackpool Combat Club’s recent screwdriver attack on him. Will he be back on TV tonight looking for revenge?

- Where the f*** is...Scorpio Sky?

What will you be looking for on Dynamite?

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