Adam Cole & MJF Battle To Time Limit Draw In AEW Dynamite World Title Eliminator

With no more NBA or NHL playoff competition siphoning off viewers, the debut of "AEW Collision" this weekend, Forbidden Door a couple of weeks away, and a presumed main event featuring Adam Cole vs. MJF, with a shot at MJF's AEW World Championship on the line, Wednesday's "AEW Dynamite" was set to be one of the biggest episodes of 2023, regardless of how it turned out. However, there were some twists to the expected narrative right off the bat. The world title eliminator ended up opening the show, and Cole did not win as most expected, instead taking MJF to the 30-minute time limit for non-title matches in AEW.

When referee Bryce Remsburg was bumped near the end of the match, MJF tried to flop and frame Cole by tossing him the belt, but Remsburg was still trying to get up, so Cole hit the champion with a belt shot and the Boom — however, that only earned him a two count. More shenanigans followed, culminating with MJF trying to use the Dynamite Diamond Ring, but Remsburg stopped him, allowing Cole to hit his entire finishing sequence and cover MJF. The time limit expired, however, just before Remsburg could slap the mat for a third time. After the match, Cole demanded five more minutes, but the champion turned him down, leaving Cole in the ring without his title match.

Cole had been in the world title picture a year ago when he was sidelined by back-to-back concussions, which kept him on the shelf for nine months. Before that, he had two unsuccessful challenges against then-world champion "Hangman" Adam Page and one against then-IWGP World Heavyweight Champion "Switchblade" Jay White.