AEW Dynamite Preview for April 20, 2022
After an absolutely stacked week of AEW action last week, the momentum is rolling right on into our Pittsburgh return to the Petersen Events Center this Wednesday night! The AEW World Title, the AEW World Tag Team Titles, the AEW Women's World Title, the TNT Title, and the ROH World Title were all defended over the course of Dynamite, Rampage, and Battle Of The Belts II but only the TNT Title found a new home around a familiar waist. Sammy Guevara, after giving Scorpio Sky a little taste of his own cheap shot artist medicine, became the TNT Champion for the third time, tying the record set by Cody Rhodes when he beat “The Spanish God” on Christmas last year.
After seeing that, there is no question The Men of The Year will be hot on Guevara's heels going forward, but that's not all that went down last week! Wheeler Yuta made a tremendous first impression against The Gunn Club in his first outing as part of the Blackpool Combat Club, Thunder Rosa survived the physical onslaught of Nyla Rose to remain Women's Champion, Dustin Rhodes challenged CM Punk to a match, and Team Taz snuck one out over Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee in Ricky Starks' hometown!
This Wednesday night is going to be wild just based on the Coffin Match alone, but we've also got CM Punk answering that challenge from “The Natural”, two of AEW's behemoths going head-to-head for the first time, Dr. Britt Baker making her homecoming in a Women's Owen Hart Foundation Qualifying Match, Kyle O'Reilly and Jungle Boy fighting to qualify on the Men's side , and the Wednesday in-ring debut for HOOK!
Dynamite comes at you LIVE on TBS at 8pm EST/7pm CST, and also on AEWPlus.co for the international audience. Get prepared for the night's festivities by visiting the official AEW YouTube Channel for highlights from last week's trifecta of events, as well as the newest episodes of Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, and Road To!
Darby Allin vs. Andrade El Idolo
On July 14th of 2021, at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Texas, Darby Allin brought the Coffin Match to All Elite Wrestling for the very first time. That night it marked the culmination of his battles with Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky that had been raging on for the last several months following Allin defeating Sky in their 3/10/21 TNT Title match. It was a bitter rivalry that saw Darby maliciously tossed down a flight of stairs, got him bruised and battered in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match, put him and Sting in the ring together against those Men Of The Year at Double Or Nothing 2021, and finally came to a head with a coffin outside the ring. It was also something larger than just the AEW history between Page and Darby, their story, their hate, had been raging on for years even prior to AEW's inception, and it finally was quelled when Allin first closed the lid on the wooden box, and then delivered a Coffin Drop to the helpless “All Ego” trapped inside.
This Wednesday night, the Coffin Match returns as Darby has challenged Andrade El Idolo to meet on this battleground inside the Petersen Events Center. This is the culmination of months of harassment, violence, and battles between the two men, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say Darby, Andrade, and the parties associated with each individual.
What started as Matt Hardy and Andrade trying to recruit Darby into the AHFO has of course pulled in Sting as Allin's staunchest ally, seen Matt Hardy exiled from the very organization he founded, brought Jeff Hardy into the AEW fold to help his brother, incorporated the TNT Title as well as Sammy Guevara, and now looks to end in violent spectacle in Pittsburgh!
The last time Darby and Andrade met in singles competition the match was an instant classic in the annals of Dynamite, but it was not a successful endeavor for The Relentless One. Although there was no direct interference from Andrade's associates, not for lack of trying from Jose The Assistant, it was an assault on Sting outside the ring that opened up opportunity for Andrade.
Darby's concern for his friend set his concerns elsewhere for just a moment, and that dive onto The Butcher, The Blade, and Jose was all Andrade needed to recover his faculties and pull out the victory. Of course it wouldn't be an Andrade-related match if it didn't end in an all-out assault on his foes, luckily for Darby, he had his own associates to offer assistance when it was needed.
But now this Wednesday, under the auspices of a Coffin Match, all of that interference is fair game. Anyone can throw Andrade a hand if he so chooses to demand their assistance, and the only way this battle ends is when the coffin lid is slammed shut on either Darby or El Idolo. The Butcher may be endeavored elsewhere for the night, but that still leaves Jose, Private Party, The Blade, and The Bunny available to lend a hand. That also means Sting and The Hardys can play that game if need be, but Darby is not the man to bank on that. He's the type to fight the whole lot by himself if the situation calls for it, the kind who will fling himself into the masses and just start swinging until he's either the last one standing, or he's unable to stand. Either way, no one walks away unscathed from the fight, and that will undoubtedly be the case on Dynamite when the coffin lid is raised, a hungry mouth just waiting to be fed with the body of Darby Allin or Andrade El Idolo!
The Butcher vs. Wardlow
As mentioned about regarding The Butcher, he does find himself quite preoccupied this Wednesday night as the monetary agreements between MJF, The AFO, and quite frankly anyone who will take his dirty dollar as fans witnessed with Dan Lambert at Dynamite: St. Patrick's Day Slam 2022. The Maxwell Jacob Friedman money has now purchased the services of The Butcher for this Wednesday night, and The AFO's behemoth is being aimed squarely at “The WarDog”!
After having seen Wardlow cost Shawn Spears a match with Shawn Dean, and having lost a second fight himself to The Captain as a result of his former bodyguard, MJF has reached his limits and has tapped one of the scariest men in the AEW locker room to do his dirty work. It should be no surprise, does anyone expect Max to fight his own battles until he either has no choice, or thinks he has a way to get one over on the competition?
The Butcher looked absolutely ready for the fight in that utter domination in the video embedded above from Rampage, and is physically in the best condition of his entire career. Wardlow has not experienced too many foes that can match him for power and size, but when he has, well we've witnessed “Mr. Mayhem” conduct his Powerbomb Symphony at the expense of two of AEW's biggest fighters in Cezar Bononi and Nick Comoroto, as well as against Butcher's tag team partner back in February.
Can Wardlow hoist Butch up like he did those individuals? Or will The AFO's resident behemoth live up to their end of the deal with MJF? Will Max stick his nose into this one? Will the rest of the AFO? We all know Wardlow likely stands alone after two years of being at Max's beck and call, a few weeks of coming for MJF's throat doesn't change all the bad he did, but “The WarDog” knows that's the situation he created for himself. It doesn't change Wardlow's willingness to fight against all odds, nor his desire to prove himself a better man than what AEW has experienced. If he truly wants to make this Wardlow's World, the first step was Revolution 2022, but the road continues Wednesday night in this fight with The Butcher!
OWEN HART FOUNDATION WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT QUALIFIER...
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D vs. Danielle Kamela
The boycott comes to an end this Wednesday night when Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D returns home to Pittsburgh! See the former AEW Women's World Champion decided she wouldn't set foot anywhere near AEW after losing inside the cage to Thunder Rosa, and seeing her 290 day title reign come to an end. The word conspiracy has been on Britt's lips for years now, spilling out anytime something in AEW doesn't go the way she thinks it should have (meaning not what she wants), and that was again the case when (a) Thunder beat Leyla Hirsch to earn a rematch after Baker's screwjob at Revolution 2022, (b) the rematch took place inside a Steel Cage, and (c) the rematch went down in Rosa's adopted hometown of San Antonio.
Now, Britt has added the necessity of qualifying for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament to her list of AEW conspiracies. The Good Doctor feels that, given her status as a former Women's World Champion and the self-proclaimed Face of AEW, she should not have to qualify for anything. She probably even think she deserves a bye, that's just an assumption but one certainly consistent with her track record. Perhaps she should look to the woman she beat for the AEW Women's World Title last year for an example; Hikaru Shida is the standard bearer for Women's World Champions in AEW and she did not whine or complain about having to qualify. She went out and won the match, and now looks ahead to Long Island where the tournament proper begins.
As for her opponent in this Qualifying Match, Danielle Kamela may be new to AEW, but she's got six years of experience inside the squared circle after training under Rikishi and Gangrel. She has been in the ring with Tay Conti, Athena, Serena Deeb, Ruby Soho, KAIRI, Deonna Purrazzo, and Marina Shafir, to name a handful of opponents, and is certainly prepared for the fight this Wednesday. The biggest difference between all Kamela's experiences heading into her Dynamite debut and this Wednesday night though: Britt's hometown advantage. When AEW came to Brittsburgh the last time, there was no one more beloved than Baker that night, even with a fan favorite Red Velvet serving as her own opponent on the very first Rampage.
Can Danielle Kamela block out that inevitable crowd response to her opponent and upset the AEW apple cart? Or will Baker overcome this self-described conspiracy to earn a spot in the Owen Hart Foundation Women's Tournament? Find out when AEW returns to the Peterson Events Center this Wednesday night!
OWEN HART FOUNDATION MEN'S TOURNAMENT QUALIFIER...
AEW World Tag Team Champion Jungle Boy vs. Kyle O'Reilly
Last week reDRagon proved unsuccessful in trying to take the AEW World Tag Team Titles from Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus when Bobby Fish got his shoulders pinned to the mat. Thirty seconds and change after the bell rang, as the champions attempted to celebrate their retention, Kyle O'Reilly was on the spot with chair in hand to assault both men. Luchasaurus felt the wrath first as the chair was driven into the back of his left knee, then it was JB's turn as he stood on the ropes to celebrate with the crowd, back turned to the ring, oblivious to Kyle's chair until it cracked him across the back.
Kyle only took the one shot at each man before he dragged Fish out of the ring, presumably hightailing it away before there could be any repercussions, only to be confronted by the ROH & AAA Tag Team Championship duo of FTR. Words were exchanged there, clearly that's a match fans would love to see take place, but the intent seemed to be more that Cash and Dax also have their eyes on reclaiming the AEW World Tag Team Titles they lost back at Full Gear 2020 to The Young Bucks.
How the FTR/reDRagon/Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus situation breaks down in the tag team picture remains to be seen, however this Wednesday night it's all about the singles game as the rivalry between reDRagon and the reigning AEW World Tag champs migrates towards the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament!
Live on Dynamite, Kyle O'Reilly will meet Jungle Boy in a Tournament Qualifying Match to see who will join ROH World TV Champion Samoa Joe as part of the field. Though much of his AEW career has been spent in tag team competition, Jungle Boy has proven more than adept as a singles competitor against a wide variety of foes. He took Chris Jericho to a 10 Minute draw in his very first AEW singles match, has gone toe-to-toe with Cody Rhodes and Kenny Omega when they were TNT and AEW World Champion respectively, and even made Dax Harwood tap out. JB has been the victor in his last five singles bouts, won nine of his last ten, and notched twenty-one wins over the course of thirty matches. It may not be the field of focus for Jungle Boy, but clearly he has proven adept at going one-on-one with any competition.
Now much like his foe, Kyle O'Reilly is widely thought of as a tag team competitor alongside Bobby Fish. He has yet to have a singles match in All Elite Wrestling, and a great deal of his accolades have come as a pair. Kyle's a three time ROH World Tag Team Champions and a two time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Champ, a nine-time Tag Team Champion overall with all but one of this reigns coming alongside Fish. He's faced the best tag teams in the world, been dominant at almost every turn, and that is why the science of tag team competition is what springs to mind when thinking of “The Violent Artist”.
What isn't always at the forefront of his wrestling resume is Kyle's championship runs as a singles wrestler. He is a former ROH World Champion, he held the PWG World Title for 203 days, and can credit several championships in Canadian independents to his curriculum vitae as well. He's had tremendous fights with Malakai Black, Keith Lee, John Silver, Christopher Daniels, and even Adam Cole over the course of his career. Kyle's mettle has been tested time and again, against many considered the best in the game today, and has been tempered by those fights.
This Wednesday, in front of the a worldwide audience on TBS and AEWPlus.com, both Kyle and JB will attempt to make the cut for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament and show the world why they can hang in singles competitors just as strong as they do in the tag team field. For both the Men's and Women's fields, these tournament spots are already a highly valued commodity and things are just getting started!
SWEET DREAM (MATCHES) ARE MADE OF THESE...
CM Punk vs. “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes
As noted before the Penta Oscuro match, CM Punk essentially put out an open call for challengers to meet him in New Orleans. That half of the The Lucha Brothers stepped up to the challenge, impressively but unsuccessfully mind you, but he was not the only competitor to raise their hand up to express interest in a fight with “The Best In The World”. Evil Uno, Kyle O'Reilly, and Lance Archer were among the other men who wanted the bout, but it isn't any of them getting the nod this Wednesday. It's someone with whom “The Murderhawk Monster” is quite familiar with, someone with nearly thirty-four years of experience in the ring wars, but who has never fought Punk one-on-one...
“The Natural” versus “The Best In The World” will take place this Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, the first time these two men have ever gone one-on-one, and a match that no one could've predicted taking place in 2022. They stood as partners on a couple occasions in multi-man tag, were foes in one of the most unique Trios matches imaginable back in 2005, but have never squared off in head-to-head competition! This is what wrestling dreams are made of, the unpredictable and wild circumstances no one saw coming, and one of those is taking place live on TBS this Wednesday night!
Can Punk continue his ascent towards an AEW World Title Match, or will Dustin Rhodes shatter those dreams on Dynamite? Tune in Wednesday night to find out!
HOOK'S DYNAMITE DEBUT...
After six consecutive victories in six matches, five on Rampage and one on the Revolution 2022: Buy-In, HOOK is headed to competition on Dynamite for the very first time! Clearly the attention HOOK has received has raised the ire of several members of the AEW roster, QT Marshall and The Factory being the most vocal, but now it seems Tony Nese and his representation “Smart” Mark Sterling can be added to the list. It doesn't seem like “The Premier Athlete” wanted a fight, at least not in the moment captured in the tweet above, but that does not mean he won't have his eye on HOOK's fight come Wednesday.
Another man who will likely be watching from...somewhere...will be the eclectic Danhausen whose fascination, or perhaps frustration, with HOOK has led him to pop up everywhere “The Cold Hearted Handsome Devil” appears to try and cast some kind of curse. HOOK seems quite immune to Danhausen's magick, but that hasn't stopped him from trying.
So what opponent will step up and try to end this unbeaten streak on Wednesday night? Tune into TBS to see who has the guts to step up to the challenge!