AEW Dynamite Preview For April 12, 2023
After a busy week featuring three big AEW events, as well as a loaded edition of ROH ON HONOR CLUB, AEW returns to the UW-Milwaukee Panter Arena this Wednesday night for another stacked edition of DYNAMITE! Three different individuals are in pursuit of MJF's AEW World Championship, and all need to stack up victories to get close to that goal, we've seen Sammy Guevara and Jungle Boy get a few of their own, as well as Darby pick one up last week, and Allin will be back in action this week to try to net another. Plus, The Blackpool Combat Club will face down The Elite's allies who are just sick and tired of being bullied, Keith Lee will step into the ring with “The Ocho” for the very first time, and Orange Cassidy will put his International Title on the line against The House of Black's Buddy Matthews!
The action begins at 8pm ET/7pm CT live on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, so be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from recent episodes of DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest from AEW DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, ROAD TO, THE CONTROL CENTER, and much, much more!
Well if there is any upside to Milwaukee having to tolerate the mandated appearance of AEW World Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman this Wednesday night, it's that they can all mock him for this moment that took place right in front of Max's hometown crowd last week in Long Island:
Having beaten Christian Cage in their Final Burial match at REVOLUTION 2023, as well as Matt Hardy after declaring his intentions for MJF's championship, “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry let Max know that he best have eyes in the back of his head at every moment, and that's just in regards to Perry. Don't forget that both Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin have their sights set on MJF's prized Triple B as well, and we know both of those men will also do anything to make sure MJF knows his days are numbered.
Will MJF make it out of Milwaukee in one piece, or will he leave the UWM Panther Arena the same fashion in which he left UBS a week ago?
A RIVALRY REKINDLED...
Darby Allin vs. Swerve Strickland
The rivalry between Darby Allin and Swerve Strickland dates back to late 2017, with their first singles match hitting in May 2018, and the majority of it being controlled by Swerve. Of their five singles matches prior to All Elite Wrestling, it was Strickland who took home the victory in four of them, but Darby who scored it in the fifth bout, as well as in their lone collision in AEW during the 2022 Owen Hart Foundation Memorial Tournament.
But after last week, it appears that not only is the rivalry back on, but Swerve comes into it with a whole new set of affiliates, a trio of the most monstrous men in AEW: The Embassy of Brian Cage, Kaun, and Toa Liona. Obviously some sort of deal has been struck between Prince Nana and the head of Mogul Affiliates, a deal to bring the two units under the same umbrella, and one that has Darby Allin behind the 8-ball.
This is a situation where both parties need the win; Darby to continue establishing his bona fides as a World Championship contender and Swerve to establish his new alliance as a dominant threat. Which man will pull it off come Wednesday? Will Darby have some of that Iconic assistance to help balance the scales that Prince Nana will inevitably try to tip in Swerve's favor, or will he be fighting this fight alone as he has had to do so frequently in life?
Keith Lee vs. Chris Jericho
Well, it's reasonable to assume that Chris Jericho did not anticipate having Keith Lee be the one to get into his face regarding Adam Cole. After all Lee and Cole are not what one would call bosom buddies, they certainly are not friends, but it is safe to say there is a respect built between the two men as a result of their battles inside the squared circle. They've fought in one-on-one collisions, tags, trios, inside steel cage confines, and even for a championship, and through it, Keith clearly grew an appreciation for what Adam Cole brought to the fight.
Clearly Chris Jericho does not have that respect, and as Keith Lee noted, is pretty much the poster child for disrespecting people within the AEW locker room. Essentially if you're not on Jericho's team, you're “less than”, then again even if you're on his team, you're not necessarily respected either. Maybe ask Sammy Guevara if being called “little buddy” felt like a respectful comment...
So after hearing what Jericho had to say about Adam Cole and Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D celebrating Cole's return to competition after so many months away, Keith has taken it upon himself to teach the former AEW World Champion a lesson in respect. It also seems Lee has already taught Jericho a little lesson in fear; after all, when was the last time fans saw Jericho wither the way he did in the presence of “Limitless” Keith Lee? For Chris' sake, he better not wither like that on Wednesday night when the bell rings to start the match, otherwise he will find himself on the losing end of this fight quite quickly.
AEW INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
Orange Cassidy(c) vs. The House of Black's Buddy Matthews
Let's put the question right out there: what is the condition of Orange Cassidy's hand after the abuse it has taken over the last couple weeks? It started when Buddy Matthews blocked an Orange Punch using his AEW World Trios Championship belt, and has only continued to worsen by OC using his signature strike in multiple matches. Just look at how Cassidy cradled that hand after defeating Dralistico at BATTLE OF THE BELTS VI last Friday, how much pain he was clearly in after knocking his challenger out to score the pin, and yet OC still accepted the challenge from Matthews that followed the win.
The machinations of The House of Black have nearly come to fruition it seems; the willingness to take a DQ loss against The Best Friends that pulled Orange Cassidy out, risking the AEW World Trios Championship, and now using their risk as a chance to score the reward of the AEW International Championship. The champion is obviously feeling the rigors of his championship regimen, having defended the title 17 times in just over 180 days, not to mention competing twice last week, and at least once a week since the February 6th edition of DARK: ELEVATION, for a grand total of 15 fights in 9 weeks, three of them during REVOLUTION 2023 week! Orange is just about the hardest working man in All Elite Wrestling, but eventually that grind has to catch up on even the healthiest body, and The House has done their best to make sure Cassidy doesn't qualify as such.
Will this Wednesday night be the one in which The House of Black finally has a singles championship to call their own? Attempts on the All-Atlantic, as well has the TNT Championship, have been made by House members before, but none have been successful thus far, can Buddy Matthews succeed against OC were 18 others have failed?
The Blackpool Combat Club (Claudio Castagnoli & Jon Moxley)
Brandon Cutler & Michael Nakazawa
Eventually the moment comes enough is enough and a line has to be drawn, the bullied will reach their breaking point, they will fight back, and win-or-lose, they will make their bully aware their behavior will no longer be tolerated.
That is the moment in which Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa find themselves currently living; a moment in which all of their friends, even those estranged, have been taken off the board by The Blackpool Combat Club and only the two of them remain. The Elite of Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, and Kenny Omega, were taken out by The BCC, as was Hangman Page, even Don Callis wasn't safe from the wrath of Moxley, Castagnoli, Yuta, and Danielson. The only two left standing were Cutler and Nakazawa, and the reality of standing alone in that locker room, knowing everyone they care about is either in the hospital, or has been recently, it was finally enough to push them into action:
It is a brave, bold move by Cutler and Nak, standing up to the most sadistic quartet in AEW, especially considering the track record of each man in the AEW ring. Neither is setting records with their win-loss record, Nakazawa hasn't even competed in an AEW singles match since February 15th of 2022, but there is a distinct fire in his eyes, in Cutler's eyes, as they made that challenge to The Blackpool Combat Club. They know it's a suicide run, but they are going to make sure The BCC knows they were in a fight on Wednesday night, and that there are consequences for their actions. Cutler and Nakazawa know that The Elite will never stop fighting until their last breath, so in their stead, they will do the same no matter how foolhardy the fight may be!
TAG TEAM GRUDGE MATCH...
Riho & Skye Blue vs. The Outcasts (Ruby Soho & Toni Storm)
A week ago fans witnessed Riho try to become the first 2-Time AEW Women's World Champion when she challenged Jamie Hayter, but she ultimately fell to that Hayterade Ripcord Lariat. It was a tremendous fight, one in which both women earned the victory, but only one woman could win, and that was the defending champion.
Obviously The Outcasts had their eye on the title fight, waiting to see who they would have to target moving forward, and although Renee Paquette tried to get a little clarity on just which member of the unit would be the one to challenge, all that Saraya, Storm, and Soho gave on the subject was that they'd sort it out among themselves.
Well this Wednesday on DYNAMITE, two of the three will be in action as Ruby Soho and Toni Storm tag up to face Willow Nightingale and Riho! Nightingale recently fell to Soho on DYNAMITE, fighting with a bit of a broken heart knowing a woman she looked to as friend and mentor had betrayed her, as well as the women of AEW. Willow also dropped a pair of fights to Toni Storm this year, while Riho actually topped Storm a few weeks back. To be fair, Ruby Soho does hold an Owen Hart Foundation Tournament victory over Riho from May 2022, but clearly neither of these women are the same animal they were a year ago.
So in this ongoing struggle for dominance in the AEW Women's Division, the tag match going down this Wednesday night in Milwaukee will shape how that battle continues to play out! It could be a moment for the Originals to get a leg up on The Outcasts, especially after Nightingale's heartbreaking losses to Storm and Soho, or one to further assert Outcast dominance as they pursue another championship challenge against Jamie Hayter!
TNT CHAMPIONSHIP OPEN CHALLENGE...
Powerhouse Hobbs(c) vs. “The Last Real Man” Silas Young
The Open Challenge tradition established by Cody Rhodes upon the birth of the TNT Championship continues under the auspices of Powerhouse Hobbs, and after putting down both Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero Miedo in back-to-back editions of RAMPAGE, the defending champion will keep that Open Door policy going this Wednesday night in Milwaukee!
And just who will be the man be to walk through said open door? Well, it looks like “The Last Real Man” Silas Young has taken up the challenge! The hometown competitor, and former 2-Time ROH World Television Champion, returns to AEW for the first time since last August, and aims to make an impact with this fight against Powerhouse Hobbs. It's the biggest opportunity Silas has had in All Elite Wrestling, certainly one of the biggest in his two decades of squared circle competition, and a victory would no doubt cement his status in AEW. Hobbs is not only the TNT Champion, and not only in the top 5 for singles victories in the Men's Division, but he's also likely to be accompanied by QT Marshall, if not the whole QTV contingent, for this championship bout. So Silas has to keep in mind that he won't necessarily be fighting just one man, there's a whole mess of humanity backing up Hobbs, all with the same desire to insure Powerhouse remains TNT Champion for as long as he desires!
DYNAMITE begins at 8pm ET/7pm CT on TBS, and at AEWPlus.com for our international fans, so be sure to hit up the official AEW YouTube channel before the fights begin for highlights from previous episodes of DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest offerings from AEW DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, THE CONTROL CENTER, and this week's edition of ROAD TO! And be sure to stay tuned following DYNAMITE for the latest episode of AEW: ALL ACCESS on TBS!