AEW Dynamite Preview for April 19, 2023
Last week's editions of DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE featured some hard-hitting combat with THREE championship defenses between the two nights. Orange Cassidy survived the brutal onslaught of Buddy Matthews to retain the AEW International Championship for the 18th time, Powerhouse Hobbs decimated former ROH World TV Champion Silas Young in their TNT Title fight, and Aussie Open brought their newly won IWGP Tag Team Championship to AEW for a victory over The Best Friends!
Plus, Jeff Hardy returned to the fold to help his brother against The Firm, leading to the challenge seen in the tweet embedded above, Dralistico made a challenge to El Hijo Del Vikingo, Taya Valkyrie continued to prove her credentials a challenger to the TBS Champion but it was Cargill who got the last laugh, and the bout pitting Shawn Spears against “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry made Friday night a must-see event!
DYNAMITE kicks off live at 8pm ET/7pm CT and even 5pm PT live on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, so be sure to hit up the official AEW YouTube channel for the top highlights from last week's DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest from AEW DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, ROAD TO, THE CONTROL CENTER, and much, much more!
TAG TEAM BATTLE...
AEW Women's World Champion Jamie Hayter & Dr. Britt Baker DMD
The Outcasts (Ruby Soho & Toni Storm) (w/Saraya)
The Outcasts relentless assault on the women of All Elite Wrestling continued unabated last week when Ruby Soho and Toni Storm topped Skye Blue and Riho in tag team action, then attacking their foes afterwards, only to be interrupted by the AEW Women's World Champion.
Unfortunately Jamie Hayter was a victim of The Outcasts' numbers advantage and also found herself on the losing end of an assault, albeit momentarily as Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D hit the scene to help balance the scales, leading to this tag team bout going down in The Good Doctor's hometown!
In 2023, Baker and Hayter are undefeated as a team, including a victory over Saraya and Toni Storm back in Los Angeles at the KIA Forum, and have won their last four consecutive tag bouts. Now Toni Storm and Ruby Soho are themselves undefeated as a team, 3-0 all told, but what's perhaps most important about that statistic is that two of those victories came over Britt and Jamie in 2022. The roles were a bit reversed, although even then Britt was rallying against their presence in her division, but it goes to show that Soho and Storm had what it took to beat Baker and Hayter then, and now with Saraya at their side, and an increased willingness to bend the rules, this Outcast team is perhaps more dangerous than they were a year ago!
Britt's previous AEW homecomings have been good to her; a year ago, almost to the day, she qualified for the Women's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, and the year before that, on the debut episode of RAMPAGE, she bested Red Velvet in an AEW Women's World Championship match. Even back on October 23, 2019, the night of AEW's Pittsburgh debut, Britt was victorious, and coincidentally her foe was none other than Jamie Hayter. So while the track record at the Petersen Event Center is in Baker's corner, and the home field advantage in terms of fans will be strong, the head-to-head record is in the favor of The Outcasts.
But with a renewed sense of purpose, and with returning to her hometown to defend the wrestling promotion she's helped build, will Dr. Britt Baker, along with AEW Women's World Champion Jamie Hayter, be able to take the victory this rubber match? Or will The Outcasts continue to run roughshod over the entire Women's roster?
TNT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
Powerhouse Hobbs (w/QT Marshall) (c) vs. Wardlow
The TNT Championship has been very hotly contested throughout 2023; starting the year in Samoa Joe's possession, Darby Allin ended that reign just four days into the new years to begin his second run as TNT Champ. Unfortunately for Allin, Joe stomped out any hope Darby had about repeating the successes of his first run when the Samoa Submission Magician ended that run just 28 days later to begin a second stint of his own.
Joe immediately had a target on his back though as “The War Dog” Wardlow, the man Joe took the TNT Title from to begin his first run, returned to the AEW stage with his eyes on the prize Joe had just reclaimed. 32 days later, live on REVOLUTION 2023, Wardlow crushed Joe's hopes of having a historic reign of his own, taking back the belt he wasn't beaten for at FULL GEAR 2022, and beginning his own second reign as TNT Champion.
Sadly Wardlow's fate was sealed the moment Powerhouse Hobbs ascended to the top of the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match to grab the brass ring symbolic of a future TNT Championship match. In the mathematics of pro wrestling, it was now the man Samoa Joe beat to end Wardlow's reign (Hobbs) facing the man who ended Joe's reign (Wardlow) and it was taking place just three days after both champion and challenger went through a punishing pay-per-view.
Taking advantage of the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation, Powerhouse Hobbs would see the assistance of QT Marshall help him bring an end to Wardlow's second TNT Championship reign after just three days. In the record books, “Mr. Mayhem” became the shortest reigning TNT Champion in AEW history, bumping Sammy Guevara and his 11 day stint to the second position. Not the kind of record anyone wants to leave as their legacy, and certainly not when it came about the way it did. If Hobbs had beaten Wardlow fair-and-square, a loss just three days after winning the TNT Championship would at least have been palatable, but when it came via QT Marshall, well that was just not something Wardlow could tolerate.
To make the situation worse, the night he won the belt in San Francisco, Wardlow was the victim of a smash & grab in which the TNT Championship belt, his gear, and his passport, were all stolen from Wardlow's rental car. Come to find out, it was Aaron Solo and Marshall's QTV hacks who were responsible for the theft in the first place, deploying their own bit of psychological warfare to give Hobbs an edge.
But as can be seen in the video embedded above, what goes around comes around and Powerhouse's new car became a victim of Wardlow's ahead of their TNT Championship rematch this Wednesday night in Pittsburgh! Almost as much a hometown to Wardlow as Cleveland, the Pittsburgh-area is where he cut his teeth fighting for the International Wrestling Cartel (IWC) in towns like Elizabeth, Meadville, and White Oak, to name a few, and he did it against men like John McChesney, Dylan Bostic, Bill Collier, and Super Hentai, among a plethora of others. Pittsburgh is home for Wardlow, as much as Sacramento was to Powerhouse Hobbs the night he won the TNT Championship in the first place, and as such it would give “The War Dog” extreme satisfaction to take it all back right here on the campus of Pitt.
Powerhouse Hobbs will have a numbers advantage, with the entire QTV contingent at this beck and call, but Wardlow will have the entire city boosting his pursuit of becoming the second 3-Time TNT Champion!
The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) & “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn
The Jericho Appreciation Society (Angelo Parker, Jake Hager & Matt Menard)
After courting The Acclaimed and “Daddy Ass” for several weeks, including dropping a lot of cash in St. Louis, The Jericho Appreciation Society decided they'd had enough of their antics, and after just one match together, attacked Bowens, Caster, and Gunn.
The sheer fact that any of the parties involved thought these strange bedfellows could co-exist was wild, thus utterly unsurprising when it all fell apart. The only thing surprising was how quickly it all unraveled given the time, energy, and money that The J.A.S. had put into their recruiting endeavors. It should also not come as a surprise how quickly this fight is coming together, especially after last Friday night's “rap battle” on RAMPAGE; The Acclaimed and “Daddy Ass” want their pound of flesh, and they will get their chance this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE!
Can Parker, Menard, and Hager withstand the fury of Bowens, Caster, and Gunn? We've seen both trios get down and dirty before, watched their matches turn into straight-up fights, this will likely be another such situation in The Steel City, and if you watched the ROAD TO... embedded up top, you saw there's a while new wrinkle added into this Trios bout!
IF The Acclaimed and “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn lose this bout on Wednesday night, then they will be conscripted to The Jericho Appreciation Society until DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023 on May 28th! That means, as Angelo Parker put it, not more rap music, no more t-shirts, and no more scissoring. It's a big risk, but to The Acclaimed and “Daddy Ass” it is worth the reward.
“Switchblade” Jay White vs. Komander
BULLET CLUB GOLD; that is the label by which Jay White and Juice Robinson have chosen to stamp their sect of the legendary BULLET CLUB stable, they aren't the first offshoot of The BC, The Elite itself started as such in New Japan Pro Wrestling, but they are the first men to bring that BULLET CLUB brand into All Elite Wrestling.
And given the fact Jay White stood atop The Bullet Club as leader in NJPW, just as Kenny Omega once did prior to AEW, there is an extra weight to “King Switch” and “Rock Hard” using the brand, the logo, etc. now that they are here together. After all, White lost a “Loser Leaves Japan” bout to Hikuleo at NJPW's THE NEW BEGINNING IN OSAKA 2023 event and a “Loser Leaves NJPW” bout to Eddie Kingston at NJPW BATTLE IN THE VALLEY 2023 in San Jose, CA. The fact David Finlay, the man who's since adopted the leadership role of BULLET CLUB in NJPW, attacked “Switchblade” after that second loss, may give an idea of how Jay White is viewed in BULLET CLUB.
There are also five men in AEW for whom that club meant a great deal in the history of their careers, and though they are all currently wrapped up on their own situations, be it with The BCC or Chris Jericho, one can't help but wonder what they think of The BULLET CLUB GOLD being born under their roof. It's reasonable to think a lot of eyes from around the wrestling world will be on “King Switch” and Juice Robinson this Wednesday, and that means a lot of eyes will be on Komander as well.
That last name there, with all the talk about BULLET CLUB this and BULLET CLUB that, it may be “The King of Rope” Komander who ends up stealing the thunder of BC GOLD! One of the most impressive athletes to enter onto the AEW landscape this year, Komander comes into Pittsburgh having been part of a Four Way Bout at AAA's TRIPLEMANIA XXXI: MONTEREY event in which he, Swerve Strickland, and Rich Swann all failed to claim El Hijo Del Vikingo's AAA Mega Championship.
It was Komander's second brush with becoming AAA Mega Champion in less than a month, and coming so close is just making him want to push harder and faster, to be even better, so that if there is another opportunity to become AAA Mega Champion, it will be the last one he ever needs. So “King Switch” better be wary, for all his experience, Jay White'd be hard-pressed to find anyone on his resume whose skills are comparable to those of Komander. He soars like no other, he walks the ropes with the ease an average man walks a sidewalk, and makes his body do some of the most impressive high-flying twists and turns imaginable.
This is a bout with a must-win vibe for Jay White, both to kick his AEW career off on the right foot and to make sure BULLET CLUB GOLD gets a proper start as a unit; for their sake, “King Switch” and “Rock Hard” better not underestimate all that Komander brings to the table!
“The Ocho” Chris Jericho took issue with Adam Cole's return to All Elite Wrestling, not so much the fact Adam beat J.A.S. member Daniel Garcia in his first match back, but more that Adam and Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D had the audacity to celebrate this moment they weren't sure they'd ever experience.
Jericho spun it into a tale about disrespect, somehow making it about himself when he had nothing to do with the moment, and was rightfully put in his place by Keith Lee, though their in-ring handling of the issue went in favor of Jericho. To be fair to “Limitless”, that only happened because of Swerve Strickland decided to reinsert himself into Keith's life just as he was about to defeat the original AEW World Champion.
After the bell, much to the chagrin of Chris Jericho, Adam Cole came down to the ring to share some words with Lee, a gesture of actual respect considering the history between the two men prior to All Elite Wrestling, but perhaps also done by Cole just to poke the bear a bit.
Well this week on DYNAMITE, the two men will have a face-to-face confrontation of their own, but given the numbers generally on Jericho's side, it may not be the safest situation for Adam Cole. Still, that won't stop the 2022 Owen Hart Foundation Tournament winner from standing head-to-head with Jericho in Pittsburgh. Will it escalate into a physical situation?
Last week everyone thought that Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa would stand alone against The Blackpool Combat Club, and while the two Elite associates did their best against Mox and Claudio, never backing down from the fight, they ended up bloodied and battered nonetheless.
If that had been the end of it, perhaps The BCC would've left town never knowing The Elite were on premise, but because they elected to continue the assault on Cutler, as well as verbally assault The Elite and Hangman Page, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks made their presence known.
They laid out ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli and former 2-time ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta, and then turned their attention to Jon Moxley. First, he was laid out by a BTE Trigger from the brothers Jackson, and then nearly stabbed in the head with a flathead screwdriver by Omega, saved at the last possible moment by Claudio and Wheeler. Funny enough, despite being behind the 8-ball with The Elite, Moxley never stopped running his mouth, not after the BTE Trigger, not while he was staring down the screwdriver-wielding Omega across the ring, not once did Jon Moxley ever stop trash-talking his foes, and one can imagine what sort of things the former 3-Time AEW World Champion was saying.
Well perhaps The Elite will share it with the faithful this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE when we hear from them during AEW's return to Pittsburgh! These issues between The Blackpool Combat Club and The Elite continue to escalate with each passing week; what could possibly happen next between these two units?
THE 2-TIME TAG CHAMPIONS SPEAK...
Last Friday night, AEW World Tag Team Champions Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler let the world know that they were still All Elite for the next four years! Their mission has always been, and will continue to be, proving FTR as the greatest tag team of all-time, and now that they once again hold the AEW World Tag Team Titles, they can renew that mission in earnest.
This Wednesday night, the AEW faithful will hear from Dax and Cash once more, and now that we know they are here to stay, the question is where will they go first? Who will be the first team to step up to the new champions, or perhaps the champions will be the ones making a challenge? Tune in Wednesday night to see what FTR has to say about their path ahead!
DYNAMITE begins at 8pm ET/7pm CT/5pm PT on TBS, and at AEWPlus.com for our international fans; be sure to visit 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!