AEW Dynamite Beach Break Preview for January 26, 2022
Dynamite: Beach Break is upon us once again, and this time it's going down with AEW's return to Cleveland (Buy Tickets) at the Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State University! Last week in Washington DC was a hot one with the return of Jon Moxley on Wednesday, followed up by a victory over Ethan Page on Friday, and TNT Champion Cody Rhodes challenging the Interim Champ Sammy Guevara to a Ladder Match at Beach Break. Plus Jade Cargill successfully defended her TBS Championship for the first time, CM Punk shocked Shawn Spears, Adam Cole and Britt Baker scored a costly victory over Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander, and Trent topped Nick Jackson in a rare singles match for one of The Young Bucks.
The action never stops though as we roll into The Land with OC and Cole set to collide in a Lights Out Match, the aforementioned TNT Title Unification Ladder Match, and The Inner Circle going into trios war with 2point0 and Garcia, while Red Velvet and Leyla Hirsch settle their differences in singles competition!
The hottest wrestling promotion on the planet is coming your way LIVE on TBS starting at 8pm EST/7pm CST, and at AEWPlus.com for the international audience! The AEW wrestling kicks off on Monday nights with Dark: Elevation on the official AEW YouTube channel then is followed up with brand new episodes of AEW Dark, Road To, and The Control Center to get you ready for Wednesday night's action!
TNT TITLE UNIFICATION MATCH...
TNT Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Interim TNT Champion Sammy Guevara
Last Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes made his return to the AEW stage. After several weeks away due to medical protocols, the 3-Time TNT Champion strode to the ring with several things to get off of his chest.
He touched upon subjects from CM Punk to The Young Bucks and Ricky Starks to reDRagon, but eventually Cody would come back to the most obvious topic at hand; what do you do with two TNT Champions?
See since Cody was unable to make his scheduled defense of the TNT Title at Battle of The Belts against Sammy Guevara, and it was uncertain when Cody would return to action, a bout between Guevara and Dustin Rhodes was scheduled to crown an Interim TNT Champion until such a time as the reigning champion was clear to return to action.
“The Spanish God” defeated “The Natural” to claim the Interim crown, and would actually go on to successfully defend it against “Red Death” Daniel Garcia on the Dynamite episode just four days later. Sammy made it clear that, Interim or not, he had every intention of defending this championship just as he did in his original TNT Title run that Cody Rhodes ended on the Dynamite: Holiday Bash edition.
But just as quickly as Guevara became the Interim Title holder, Cody returned to the fold to reclaim his spot as the one true champion, and issue the challenge to Sammy that can be seen in the video embedded above. Clearly Sammy had a head's up on Rhodes' intent because, before the evening was through, he sent over his own response from the comfort of a Brazilian hotel room.
So it will be this Wednesday night on Dynamite: Beach Break, for the very first time in AEW's history, a singles championship will be contested in a Ladder Match! The AAA Tag Titles were fought over in Escalera de la Muerte back at All Out 2019, and we have seen two Casino Ladder matches with future title opportunities at stake, but this is the first time in AEW's nearly three year existence that any AEW title is at stake in a Ladder Match! Cody and Sammy competed in the very first match in Dynamite history, and now they will make the record books once more this Wednesday night when each man attempts to become the Undisputed TNT Champion!
LIGHTS OUT MATCH...
Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy
That is the first word that springs to mind when trying to sum up just what the Lights Out concept means here in All Elite Wrestling. Lights Out is what results when rules are stripped away, when the rankings are meaningless, and competitors are left to their own devices with a referee merely there to call for the bout to end. No restraints, no confines, no restrictions save the limits of one's own violent imagination; that is the freedom of Lights Out, but also what makes it such a frightening stipulation.
Yet that is what Adam Cole has challenged Orange Cassidy to at this year's Beach Break in Cleveland, OH. It's a wildly unpredictable situation, these Lights Out fights, but perhaps there is no one better to make such a challenge as Cole has the first-hand expertise of Dr. Britt Baker at his disposal. Baker, having gone through unarguably the most famous Lights Out Match in AEW's history with Thunder Rosa, can attempt to educate Adam as to what the experience may be like for him. She can illuminate just what getting involved here means, but there is very little than can prepare one for the actual fight. Britt certainly couldn't prepare for being bloodied and driven through a table, nothing was preparing Jon Moxley for being choked with a belt while having his hands duct-taped behind his back, and how could Kenny Omega get ready for being dropped head-first on the exposed wood of the ring?
Those are just a few of the atrocities wrestlers have committed to one another in the handful of Lights Out affairs AEW has experienced since 2019, and there is little doubt Adam Cole would love to inflict something equivalent (if not worse) upon “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy on Wednesday. Also, given the stipulations (or lack thereof) in Lights Out, this is the perfect playground for The Young Bucks, Kyle O'Reilly, or Bobby Fish to get involved in any way they see fit! Early warning; this will not be a match for the faint of heart to watch, nor one for the weak-willed to take upon themselves, but it will certainly be a memorable affair, just like the ones that came before.
Will Adam Cole finally rid himself of OC, or will it be Cole who gets knocked down a peg or three by “Freshly Squeezed”? Tune into Dynamite: Beach Break LIVE on TBS this Wednesday night to watch it all go down!
The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Ortiz, & Santana) vs. 2point0 (Jeff Parker/Matt Lee) & Daniel Garcia
Things are tense, to say the least, between Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz as they head into this Trios bout with 2point0 and Daniel Garcia. Obviously the animosity has grown between these units over the past several weeks, in large part because Ortiz and Santana stepped up to help their long-time friend Eddie Kingston in his own beef with Parker, Lee, and Garcia.
Now the inner turmoil didn't come because of that trio and their actions, it came because of the interactions between Jericho and Kingston. Suffice to say they do not like one another, in particular Eddie does not care whatsoever for “Le Champion”, and has not kept quiet about that fact. Kingston has gotten into Jericho's face at every turn, even when he has been in the position to help Chris (completely out of allegiance to Ortiz and Santana and hatred for 2point0), he has made sure to let Jericho know that it wasn't about him.
The most important facet of this for Kingston isn't even Parker, Lee, and Garcia, although he certainly despises their existence, it has been how he view the dynamic within The Inner Circle. In Eddie's eyes, his two friends should have been at the top of the AEW tag team food chain a long time ago, they should've been champions a long time ago, and the only reason they aren't is because of the baggage associated with the former AEW World Champion. If Jericho is fighting The Elite than so are they, if he's getting into it with MJF and The Pinnacle, then so are they, but Kingston does not see this as a two-way street whatsoever, and clearly from the interview embedded above, Ortiz and Santana are starting to see things the same way as Kingston.
With this internal crisis bubbling up in front of the whole world, can The Inner Circle stand against the onslaught of a unified Jeff Parker, Matt Lee, and Daniel Garcia? 2point0 and “Red Death” have stood strong as a trio, racking up a 5-2 record thus far in AEW since their first bout against Darby, Eddie, and Sting last August, and are far more practiced as a unit than their foes. Jericho, Ortiz, and Santana may all fly The Inner Circle flag, but they've only danced together three times, and the last one was nearly two years ago to the day. They are not a practiced trio, and this current strife absolutely does not help matters.
Can The Inner Circle pull it together to actually win at Beach Break, or will Kingston's words prove to be prophetic?
Leyla Hirsch vs. Red Velvet
Speaking of contentious alliances, the last few weeks have also been quite tense between Kris Statlander, Leyla Hirsch, and Red Velvet. Hirsch has felt like Statlander's been focused elsewhere, Kris has accused Leyla of worrying more about being the one to get the win at the expense of her own allies. The thing is, regardless of how each woman perceives the situation, the reality is that they've only suffered one loss this year in their handful of matches. Stat, Leyla, and Red Velvet have won as a trio, “Legit” and Red have won as a team, but it is just that one time on the January 14th Rampage that seems stuck in the craw of Leyla Hirsch. She blamed it on Statlander looking past that match to her impending Mixed Tag with Orange Cassidy against Dr. Britt Baker and Adam Cole, and as seen in the video above, chose to remind Kris and Red both about it after Stat and OC lost.
But what that video clip did not capture was the moment “Legit” Leyla Hirsch let her frustrations boil over, and she not only waylaid Red Velvet from behind, but also attacked Statlander before applying that nasty armbar Hirsch has been using to score victories. It seemed an overreaction to a simple misunderstanding between friends, but if one were to dig a little deeper into recent history, one would find that Statlander handed Hirsch a loss to close out 2021, and perhaps that is where the seed for Leyla's attitude problem was planted.
Wherever it came from, this Wednesday night on Dynamite, Red Velvet will get a chance to even the score for that sucker punch last week when she steps into the ring for a one-on-one fight with Leyla. It's Hirsch's opportunity to follow up that assault with an actual victory, or it's Velvet's chance to nip this uprising in the bud!
CM PUNK SPEAKS...
Last week CM Punk dashed MJF's hope that Shawn Spears could accomplish what Wardlow did not, and hand Punk his first loss in All Elite Wrestling. Nevermind that MJF is the reason “Mr. Mayhem” didn't beat Punk himself, forget that Max actually punished Wardlow for the whole situation even though Max caused it; if anyone actually expected the 3-Time Dynamite Diamond Ring winner to accept responsibility for his actions, well there are several bridges for sale.
So now that every single one of MJF's plans have backfired on him, now that he's thrown every body in The Pinnacle (save Tully) in front of Punk as a human shield, what on Earth does he have left to hide behind? Not much it seems, and perhaps that is what “The Best In The World” will address this week in Cleveland when he arrives on Dynamite. There is seemingly nothing left for MJF to hide behind, so perhaps Punk has the key to pull Max out of the shadows and inside the squared circle for an actual one-on-one fight. Tune into Beach Break LIVE on TBS starting at 8pm EST to find out what CM Punk has to say!
THE DOCTOR WANTS A WORD...
When last we saw The Good Doctor on television, it was laying in the shards of a broken table after Orange Cassidy inadvertently knocked her off the apron and down through the pine. That accident directly led to the Lights Out fight that will go down on Dynamite between OC and Adam Cole, but it's doubtful that is what she's aiming to address on Wednesday night. Cole will handle that problem, so it remains to see just what is next up for the AEW Women's World Champion! She's got a strong list of potential contenders, including the woman who beat her in their own legendary Lights Out match, so perhaps that is what Baker looks to address. Tune into TBS to see what The Good Doctor has to share with the world!
AEW returns to Washington, DC this week, the place where DYNAMITE began a little over two years ago, for a pair of live events! First up is DYNAMITE with Punk/Spears, Deeb/Blue, HoB/Blonds, Cody's return, Sting in action, and loads more! TBS is the new home for DYNAMITE so be sure to adjust your DVR settings, but we still hit your TV screens at 8pm EST/7pm CST, as well as on AEWPlus.com for our international audience!
The Elite action gets started Monday night's on the official AEW YouTube channel with the latest edition of Dark: Elevation, and continues with AEW Dark, Road To, and the Control Center as we head towards Dynamite!