Last Wednesday in the main event of Dynamite we saw the much-anticipated implosion between Chris Jericho and MJF, as well as the introduction of a brand-new faction, MJF led The Pinnacle to war!
What started as a ‘War Counsel’ meeting between the Inner Circle soon descended into chaos, bringing us one of the most memorable final images in Dynamite’s short but colourful history.
There were so many swerves in this 10-minute segment that you’d be forgiven for thinking you were taking a drive through the Magic Roundabout in Swindon. But unlike the confusion of that junction, this revelation made all the sense in the world.
What Went Down
Having fallen short in their tag title match at Revolution, in a post-match interview Jericho and MJF announced an Inner Circle ‘War Counsel’ meeting for the following Dynamite in an attempt to get the faction back on track. Whilst Jericho was his usual boisterous self, MJF seemed decidedly low-key and serious – almost as if he was planning something.
Fast forward a few days and the time had come for the Inner Circle to air any dirty laundry or grievances they had. Jericho and MJF were joined by Santana, Ortiz and Hager with Mr Mayhem himself Wardlow conspicuously absent from proceedings (for now). We opened with a spiel from Jericho about how the group had suffered a decline in recent weeks, a decline easily remedied by the group’s collective intelligence, attitude and even teasing a new member. Jericho’s assessment was quickly rebuffed by MJF who suggested letting someone go – inert Sammy Guevara.
The returning Guevara, who had quit the group a month prior, turned our attention to the titantron and played a clip where it appeared that MJF had convinced the other Inner Circle members to turn on Jericho. In a tense moment, it seemed as though the cunning MJF had successfully turned Santana, Ortiz and Hager against their leader – until the three men turned back around, foiling the ‘Salt of the Earth’s’ plans.
The now cowering MJF appeared to have been outwitted and out of his depth. Had the young heel bitten off more than he could chew? He pleaded with Jericho that he was never trying to take over the Inner Circle, why? Because he was too busy building his own.
The lights fell. Darkness filled Daily’s Place. Upon reillumination, we were greeted to a shocking sight. Stood behind the Inner Circle was FTR with Tully Blanchard, Shawn Spears and Wardlow. Chaos ensued with the new tandem violently overcoming the Inner Circle, with Dax Harwood smashing Jake Hager with a bottle, Shawn Spears catapulting Guevara into a steel chair and MJF busting Jericho open with the Dynamite Diamond ring that Jericho helped MJF win. This was swiftly followed by the bloody Jericho being beaten with a bat and power bombed off the stage – yikes!
The last image of the group apparently named ‘The Pinnacle’ was amazing and set a new course for AEW going forward. So how can AEW book this new group as an inevitable feud with the Inner Circle unfolds?
What We Could See
What’s great about this new dynamic is that we know who the villains are. The Pinnacle has immediately asserted themselves as the biggest heel faction in AEW, usurping the Inner Circle in an instant. Jericho and co can now be considered babyfaces which is something that will only serve to keep the group fresh and showcase the talents of the men involved.
Jericho as a face is always an absolute hoot and Guevara showed his likeability in his verbal sparring with MJF a few months ago. As for Santana, Ortiz and Hager, this is really a massive opportunity for them to add some new layers to their characters and to reintroduce themselves to the fans.
There are multiple different avenues that I can see the storyline being told but with the same result, head-to-head competition on a big stage. My first thought reverts to a Blood and Guts match, a WarGames like contest that was originally booked for last March before the COVID-19 pandemic put those plans on hold.
The Inner Circle were pencilled in to face The Elite and Matt Hardy in a match where two rings would be encompassed by a giant steel cage, with a win condition of submission or surrender (no pinfalls, count outs, or escaping the cage).
The Elite has very much gone their separate ways as of late, freeing up The Pinnacle to possibly be the team to take on the Inner Circle in what would be a true spectacle for fans. The other avenue that would be equally entertaining is some sort of Survivor Series 2001-esque approach, where multiple matches between each faction would take place. For example:
- Santana and Ortiz vs FTR in a Tornado Tag Team match
- Sammy Guevara vs Shawn Spears in a Falls Count Anywhere match
- Jake Hager vs Wardlow in a Pillow Fight – just kidding, a singles match would do
- Chris Jericho vs MJF in a 30-minute Iron Man match
I would also suggest getting the AEW women involved too somehow, perhaps a returning Awesome Kong could represent the Inner Circle in a battle against Dr Britt Baker or Jade Cargill for The Pinnacle? How about Tully Blanchard getting in a scrap with Jericho’s dad, Ted Irvine? Yeah, maybe not.
The point here is that there are numerous ways in which this feud can work based on the array of talent involved and the creativity that AEW possesses. Whether they all collide in a Blood and Guts match or indeed in various head-to-head bouts, the benefits for both groups are huge. We know that this is about MJF and Jericho with a proverbial passing of the torch likely to occur, but for the likes of Spears, Guevara and Wardlow this could be a massive opportunity to showcase what they’re really capable of. We’ve seen glimpses, now let’s go all in. Let’s reach The Pinnacle!
When and Where
One thing AEW does masterfully is given their stories time to evolve. I for one would love to see them milk this bad boy for a while.
If we’re going with the Blood and Guts route, that could take place on a Dynamite television special or even a PPV if they don’t mind having two rings set up for the duration. As for the Survivor Series like set up, AEW could dedicate an entire episode of Dynamite to that.
The quarterly PPV set up that AEW have is precious and must be protected, so it wouldn’t be viable to have the Inner Circle vs The Pinnacle dominate an entire PPV when you have multiple champions who need to defend. A Wednesday night special with a full two-hour focus would do this story justice and with fans already returning to Daily’s Place, we could be in for a raucous two months.