AEW Dynamite: Championship Week Preview for April 13, 2022
After a long two year wait as a results of multiple uncontrollable delays, All Elite Wrestling is finally debuting in New Orleans at the UNO Lakefront Arena (Buy Tickets) this Wednesday night!
Coming off last week's red hot editions of Dynamite and Rampage, Ricky Starks' hometown is in store for a wild night! In the last week, Samoa Joe made his in-ring AEW debut, qualified for the Owen Hart Foundation Men's Tournament, and now has a shot at claiming the ROH World Television Title! FTR and The Young Bucks had an absolutely classic match for both the AAA & ROH World Tag Team Titles with Cash and Dax retaining! Wheeler Yuta earned his handshake from William Regal after bloody combat with Jon Moxley, Shane Strickland topped QT Marshall, and both Red Velvet and Hikaru Shida qualified for the Women's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament. Plus, Adam Page and Adam Cole have now been signed for a Texas Death Match with the AEW World Title at stake this Friday night on Rampage!
We've also got Ricky Starks making his homecoming in tag team action, Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt promising Samoa Joe a present of some sort, Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz going into battle with The J.A.S, and the World Tag Team Titles on the line! It's another stacked event in a long history of stacked events from AEW because that's what the best fans on the planet deserve!
Dynamite gets underway TBS at 8pm EST/7pm CST on TBS, as well as on AEWPlus.com for the international audience, but prior to the action, be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube Channel for highlights from last week's Dynamite and Rampage, as well as the newest episodes of Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, and Road To!
AEW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH...
Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus(c) vs. reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly)
They are not in the rankings, that is the first thing necessary to point out about reDRagon, but despite that fact, this Wednesday night Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly will receive a bid at the AEW World Tag Team Titles. It started in the lead to Revolution 2022 when reDRagon earned their way into the Three Way Championship match with defending champs Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus and challengers The Young Bucks. The champs would defeat Matt Jackson to retain their titles that pay-per-view night, but it did not mean reDRagon weren't still hungry for the championships afterwards. After all, they weren't the ones who got pinned that night in Orlando but nor were they part of the rankings at that point. Now Bobby and Kyle could've worked their way up into contention the right way, defeating teams like The Acclaimed, The Gunn Club, or FTR who have all been part of the rankings essentially since the beginning of 2022.
Instead the pair chose to take advantage of situations, or rather their cohort Adam Cole did when he committed a little larceny with the World Tag Team Title belts while JB and Luchasaurus were otherwise occupied. Now while those three men may have had physical possession of the World and Tag Team titles, that obviously does not make them champions, but it certainly didn't stop them from having an Undisputed Elite Celebration as if they'd legitimately won them. The party didn't last long as Hangman Page, Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage would crash the ring to get back the gold, and ultimately bring things to this point.
On Dynamite, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus are caving in to reDRagon's games by giving Fish and O'Reilly exactly what they've wanted the whole time: a straight up championship opportunity between the two teams. The champs are enabling this line jump in order to put reDRagon out of title contention completely, and hopefully out of their lives as well as long as they remain the title holders. It's a gamble for JB and Luchasaurus heading into this sixth defense, putting the titles on the line against non-contenders just to make a point, but with victories over The Lucha Brothers, The Gunn Club, The Acclaimed, Reynolds & Silver, and Private Party, as well as that Three Way over both reDRagon and The Young Bucks, they have reason to feel confident.
Hopefully that confidence does not prove the undoing for Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, either that or the inevitable involvement of Adam Cole considering these three men seem incapable of letting the others handle their own business! Will we see the crowning of new World Tag Team Champions this Wednesday night, or will the defending champs put down another challenger in their pursuit of being the greatest champs in AEW history?
ROH WORLD TV TITLE MATCH...
Minoru Suzuki(c) vs. Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe returned to the Ring of Honor Wrestling landscape at Supercard of Honor 2022 to the joy of the fans watching worldwide but to the chagrin of Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt. Then he would come to the rings of All Elite Wrestling last Wednesday on Dynamite and secure his position in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament by smashing Max Caster. That domination that became synonymous with Joe's name over his twenty-two year career was on full display, and it made the former record-setting ROH World Champion an odds-on favorite in the Owen Hart. It made the future for Samoa Joe quite an exciting one just based on that, but then AEW CEO Tony Khan went and upped the ante on Joe's immediate future...
Minoru Suzuki, after defeating ROH stalwart Rhett Titus at Supercard, laid claim to being the 29th World Television Champion since the title's inception in 2010. Its lineage boasts the likes of ROH's first Triple Crown Champion Eddie Edwards, Christopher Daniels, Bobby Fish, Adam Cole, Tomohiro Ishii, Matt Taven, Jeff Cobb, as well as Jay Lethal, and now it was in the possession of one of the most dangerous men in all of professional wrestling. For Suzuki, the ROH World TV Title also holds the distinction of being the first North American based championship he has ever won in his historic career. The man affectionately dubbed “Murder Grandpa” by his fans has been a multi-time champion New Japan Pro Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan, as well as Revolution Pro in the United Kingdom, but the championship win over Titus marked his first in this part of the world.
For Samoa Joe, this particular ROH championship is the only singles title in company history he has never held. At 645 days, Joe stands as the longest reigning World Champion in company history, in fact he is the man who made the ROH Title a World Title to begin with back in May 2003. He also reigned as ROH Pure Champion for 112 days, taking it from Jay Lethal it should be noted, but the World TV Title did not exist during Joe's original five year tenure with ROH, and in his brief 2015 return to the fold, it was all trying to reclaim the ROH World Title.
So now we get to kill two birds with one stone; an absolute dream match and Joe's chance to become an ROH Triple Crown Champion. It is doubtful anyone thought Minoru Suzuki versus Samoa Joe would ever be a possibility, and yet it is about to go down in New Orleans. It is doubtful anyone expected to see Samoa Joe challenging for any ROH championship ever again, and yet the UNO Lakefront Arena is about to bear witness. And there is no way anyone thought we would see an ROH championship defended on AEW television, and yet it is about to go down live on TBS during Dynamite. The professional wrestling landscape is wildly unpredictable, and this fight here is an example of that in the best possible way.
It's Minoru Suzuki versus Samoa Joe for the ROH World Television Title on AEW Dynamite! This is one for the history books, but there is still quite a lingering issue pertaining to Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt...
A GIFT FOR JOE...
Just what do Jay and Dutt have in mind for Joe? What on Earth could this present be? There's so much history wrapped up between these three men across multiple wrestling companies. In ROH, Joe took Lethal under his learning tree in 2004, and Jay spent the better part of the next year as his protege. It was a year in which Jay become the Pure Champion, and saw the pair unsuccessfully try to become ROH World Tag Team Champions together. It also witnessed Lethal lose that Pure Title to Joe, become frustrated over his position as the protege, and violently turn his back on his teacher.
As for Sonjay, well Dutt was the very first victim of Samoa Joe's when he arrived in IMPACT Wrestling in 2005, and the two would go on to be involved in several bouts over the next year in singles, tag, and multi-man situations.
And now in AEW, the three men are back on the same playing field and clearly there is still some animosity towards Samoa Joe for all that history, the question is what are Lethal and Dutt planning to do about it with this gift? Will it affect Joe's TV Title bid? We will all have to wait until Wednesday night to see how these schemes play out...
MJF vs. Captain Shawn Dean
The very first Dynamite of 2022 did not go as Maxwell Jacob Friedman had hoped; the 3-Time holder of the Dynamite Diamond Ring expected to waltz into the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ and kick off his year with a resounding victory over his opponent. The fact that his opponent was Shawn Dean only further amplified Max's arrogance because after all, in their first meeting on 9/16/20, MJF beat Captain in seven seconds. At the time it was the fastest victory in AEW history, now second to Ricky Starks' five second win in February 2021, but still a point of bragging for Max, as well as more fuel for his ego.
Unfortunately for MJF, he had raised the ire of CM Punk during the closing months of 2021, and it would cost him dearly on this Newark night. Punk would hit the ring after the match had officially started leading MJF to predictably bail to the outside. And if you watch the footage below, you can see the proverbial light bulb click on for Punk as he realizes just how he can get one over on Max in this moment, albeit at the cost of Captain Shawn Dean:
Dean may have had to eat a GTS in order for Punk to poke the bear, but Captain seemed to understand the means to the end, appreciated that he could now claim a victory over Max, managed to parlay that into some merch sales (Buy Now), and after last week, he can also add Shawn Spears to his list of AEW triumphs.
So after Spears' failing, MJF has now decided to step up and fight his own battle this Wednesday night on TBS. Can the Captain earn his victory over Max once again? Or will this be a night of retribution for MJF?
Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, & Jake Hager)
Eddie Kingston, Ortiz, & Santana
The hostilities between Jericho, Kingston, and Chris' former Inner Circle allies has amped up quite quickly. After Kingston made Jericho submit to the Stretch Plum at Revolution 2022, it clearly snapped something within Jericho because he reneged on the handshake after the match. Then, the following Wednesday on Dynamite, under the guise of honoring that handshake agreement, Jericho lured not only Kingston into a trap, but also Santana and Ortiz.
Despite the tensions that had existed within The Inner Circle the last several month, it was a shocking turn of events to see Jericho align himself with 2point0 and Daniel Garcia to form this Jericho Appreciation Society. Now half the reason for those I.C. tensions stemmed from Kingston's insistence that Jericho only cared about his allies as far as they benefited him, and this was clear indication of that fact. Also, naming the group Jericho Appreciation Society was further evidence that this has always been about Le Champion's massive ego, and that Kingston was right.
So after back and forth battles, the last of which sent Jericho and his crew hightailing it out of Boston in their car, this week on Dynamite the JAS will answer the challenge to face Eddie, Ortiz, and Santana in a Six Man Tag. There have been plenty of situations in AEW in which one might feel bad for the referee tasked with containing the chaos, but this may take the cake right here. See while Ortiz, Santana, and Eddie may have teamed up before against 2point0 and Garcia, that was just about the grudges between the six men. This right here is personal, it's about betrayal and being stabbed in the back by a trusted friend. There may have been issues within The Inner Circle, but it truly felt like that hatchet had been buried prior to Revolution 2022...turns out the hatchet was just buried in-between the shoulder blades of Ortiz and Santana.
Wednesday night is a chance for retribution, a chance for revenge, and for as wild as the Big Easy can get, it's going to have a hard time containing this one!
HOMECOMING TAG MATCH...
FTW Champion Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland
The FTW Champion Ricky Starks calls New Orleans home, and after much patience, he finally gets to come back with All Elite Wrestling's debut. Unfortunately for Starks, he has to deal with the combined forces of Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland in this long-awaited homecoming! Thankfully for Ricky, he has Powerhouse Hobbs at his side in this grudge tag team match, and that is going to make for one interesting tag team situation! Team Taz has been successful in their last three tag team bouts, while Strickland and Lee have never teamed together in AEW, and it's been four years since they stood side-by-side as partners elsewhere.
Now we've got this grudge tag team bout set for Wednesday night as Starks and Powerhouse look to get the hometown boy a win in his first match in Louisiana since 2015, while Keith and Swerve look to beat some sense into Team Taz after weeks of disrespect. In singles bouts they've split the difference, Lee holds a victory over Hobbs while “Absolute” has a notch over Swerve, will that play a psychological role in this tag team affair? Will Starks get his homecoming celebration or will Swerve and Lee rain all over this parade?
“The Problem” Marina Shafir vs. Skye Blue
Marina Shafir has been topping the competition on Dark here in 2022, racking up four consecutive wins in the process to make it an undefeated year thus far, and now she's on the radar of the TBS Champion Jade Cargill. “Smart” Mark Sterling slotted Shafir in as Jade's opponent for her thirtieth match after the champ wanted to face tougher competition than Leva Bates, and though the date of that meeting has not been set, it looks like Cargill is set to have a problem very soon as she tries to win thirty consecutive matches.
In preparation for that match, Marina Shafir will make her first appearance on Dynamite this Wednesday night when she takes on a woman quite familiar with what the TBS Champion brings to table: Skye Blue. Skye has stepped into the ring with Jade twice in her AEW career, and both times felt the power of the TBS Champion, she is well aware of what “The Problem” will be facing when that match goes down, and will absolutely give Shafir a run for her money on Wednesday night.
This match is as crucial for Skye Blue as it is for Shafir; if the former wants to get into the championship picture, than she needs to rack up some wins, and if the latter wants to continue building momentum for her title fight, she needs to the victory as well.
Will it be number five ranked Marina Shafir or fan favorite underdog Skye Blue who takes home the “W” on TBS this Wednesday night?
ASK AND YOU SHALL RECIEVE...
CM Punk vs. Penta Oscuro
A few days ago CM Punk asked for somebody, any body, to fight (save Eddie Kingston) when All Elite Wrestling came to New Orleans this Wednesday night for Dynamite. The list of names he threw out certainly made for several interesting pairings, be it Yuta after his outing with Moxley last week, Bryan Danielson, Jonathan Gresham, or Dustin Rhodes, they all would have made for some very intriguing fights.
Kyle O'Reilly, Penta, Dustin Rhodes, Evil Uno, and Lance Archer were just some of the people who said they'd be up for the fight, well in Kyle's case a fight another time because of his prior engagement, but the fans also chimed in with who they'd love to see Punk fight at the UNO Lakefront Arena as well.
But it looks like one name in particular jumped out to AEW GM Tony Khan, and it certainly makes for another match-up that no one could have ever predicted would ever take place in any ring ever:
At 5-0 and 5-1 respectively, Penta Oscuro and CM Punk occupy the fourth and fifth spots in the Men's Rankings as of this week, so this bout is not only a bit of a dream, it also has some serious implications in those World Title aspirations Punk has expressed since his Revolution 2022 Dog Collar victory over MJF. Just as it would bolster Punk's championship goals, so too would toppling “The Best In The World” give Penta a massive singles career boost.
In a night full of wildly intriguing match-ups, this fight between two world class athletes is one of the most intriguing. It's a bout no one could have ever predicted they'd see, but it is going down this Wednesday night live on TBS as part of the Dynamite: Championship Week edition!
After two year's of anticipation, this Wednesday's edition of Dynamite is coming at you LIVE from the UNO Lakefront Arena in New Orleans! It all kicks off on at 8pm EST/7pm CST, as well as at AEWPlus.com for the international audience! Prior to the event, be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel to get ready for the best wrestling going with the latest editions of AEW Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, and Road To episodes, as well as the Control Center with Tony Schiavone!