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AEW Dynamite preview (May 3, 2023): The world title scene is a convoluted mess

AEW Dynamite

Dynamite airs tonight (May 3) with a live show at CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. There are more than three weeks to go until AEW’s next pay-per-view on the calendar, Double or Nothing, which is scheduled for May 28.

The AEW world title scene is a convoluted mess

The Four Pillars drama continues tonight when Jungle Boy and Darby Allin team up for a tag match against Sammy Guevara and AEW World Champion MJF. If Boy and Allin win the match, they will both be added to the world title match that is currently scheduled between MJF and Guevara at Double or Nothing.

This world championship feud between the Four Pillars of AEW began in the middle of March when Boy, Allin, and Guevara crashed MJF’s Re-Bar Mitzvah. A four-way title match looked like the obvious direction coming out of that segment. However, Tony Khan had more than two months of TV to fill out between that segment and Double or Nothing, so there have been a bunch of unnecessary twists and turns that have turned this whole thing into a convoluted mess.

First, a mini tournament was announced to determine which of Boy, Allin, or Guevara would get the title match against MJF at the PPV. MJF used his riches to pay off Guevara and help him win the tourney, with the agreement that Sammy will lay down for him at the PPV. Sammy went along with this scheme even though he had just spent weeks explaining how much winning the world title means to his career, and more recently being reminded by his wife that he doesn’t even need the money.

Along the way, Boy, Allin, and Guevara were exposed on the mic as not being on MJF’s level, making this story feel like it doesn’t belong in the main event of an AEW PPV. Even worse, the babyfaces came off as unlikable when they traded verbal barbs with each other right before the Four Pillars tournament began.

MJF’s plan worked. The babyfaces were screwed over and Guevara won the tournament, so now Sammy is set to lay down for MJF at the PPV. This sounds like a terrible championship match to ask fans to pay 50 dollars for on PPV, so Khan intervened and set up tonight’s tag bout where Boy and Allin can still be added to the PPV match.

Jungle and Darby need to win this match for obvious reasons. But when that happens, it will essentially reset things to where they were before the Four Pillars tournament was booked, showing that the last several weeks of angles and matches have been a complete waste of everyone’s time.

The idea of the Four Pillars feuding over the world title was interesting on paper, but AEW didn’t have two months of good angles planned to support it. The whole thing has instead become a convoluted mess and it has only hurt interest in the world title match at Double or Nothing.

We still have several weeks to go until the PPV, so the story won’t end tonight with the babyfaces having one last shot to get back into the PPV match. There are four episodes of Dynamite left (counting tonight) to turn this angle around and get it hot heading into Double or Nothing.

Let’s see if AEW can figure out how to do that.

The rest of tonight’s lineup

Roderick Strong shocked the pro wrestling world last week when he showed up in AEW to help Adam Cole fend off the Jericho Appreciation Society. Strong makes his AEW in-ring debut tonight in an 8-man tag: Strong, Cole, Bandido, and AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy vs. Jake Hager, Daddy Magic, Cool Hand Ang, and Daniel Garcia. Given that Chris Jericho himself is not competing and this is Strong’s first match in AEW, I like the chances of the babyface team.

Tonight’s card also features a Tres de Mayo Trios Battle Royale. Some of the teams involved include: Daddy Ass & The Acclaimed; Lucha Bros & Hijo del Vikingo; Powerhouse Hobbs, QT Marshall, and Aaron Solo; The Blade, The Butcher, and Kip Sabian; John Silver, Evil Uno, and Alex Reynolds; Josh Woods, Ari Daivari, and Tony Nese. The House of Black are the AEW world trios champions and need opponents for Double or Nothing. The winning team of this Battle Royal will be in good position to get that title match, so my money is on The Acclaimed and then the Lucha Bros, in that order. The rest of the field look like pretenders.

Saraya has competed in only five matches since she returned to the ring last November. Tonight will be her sixth match when she gets in the ring with Willow Nightingale. Willow feels sort of like the Konosuke Takeshita of the women’s division, in the sense that she is super popular but doesn’t often win on AEW television. She might have a tough time overcoming the numbers game of The Outcasts in this match, unless Britt Baker and AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter decide to get involved.

Ricky Starks finally gets Juice Robinson in the squared circle for a one-on-one match tonight. Well, it’s theoretically a singles match, but Bullet Club Gold leader Jay White will undoubtedly be lurking around somewhere. After White pinned Shawn Spears last week on Rampage, it might be time for the babyfaces to return the favor.

Finally, we’ll hear from The Elite, who have a lot on their mind ahead of next week’s exploding steel cage match between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley. Given the recent aggression of the Blackpool Combat Club, there’s a good chance the two factions will come to blows tonight. After BCC left Takeshita a bloody mess last week, how will The Elite strike back?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- AEW World Tag Team Champions Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler each dropped singles matches against Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal, respectively, last week. The heels will likely use these wins to justify challenging the champs for a title match at Double or Nothing. Is FTR losing patience with Mark Briscoe, who happens to be caught in the middle of both teams?

- TBS Champion Jade Cargill remains undefeated after last week’s victory over Taya Valkyrie. The fight had a shitty ending which could perhaps lend itself to a rematch at Double or Nothing. Will Taya be punished after putting her hands on referee Aubrey Edwards?

- Arn Anderson has joined up with TNT Champion Wardlow to try to help him regain some of his lost momentum from last year. Meanwhile, Christian and Luchasaurus are back in AEW, and they clearly have Wardlow in their sights. Will Luchasaurus squash some jabronis before earning a title match against Wardlow at Double or Nothing?

- Is the current feud between Julia Hart and Anna Jay leading to some kind of stipulation match on TV or at Double or Nothing?

- Later this week on Rampage, Matt and Jeff Hardy are returning to the Hardy Compound for a cinematic match dubbed The Firm Deletion. The Hardys, FTW Champion HOOK, and Isiah Kassidy will battle it out with Stokely Hathaway, Big Bill, Lee Moriarty, and Ethan Page. The heels got the advantage last week by chokeslamming Kassidy off some scaffolding, putting his status for the match into question. Even so, there’s a very good chance that Matt Hardy and his wacky cast of characters at the compound will succeed in deleting The Firm.

- It looks like Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes are on a collision course with Swerve Strickland and Brian Cage, but this feud has mostly been relegated to Rampage and its changing time slots.

- Where the f*** is Miro?

What will you be looking for on Dynamite?

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