AEW Dynamite Preview for April 7, 2021
Last week's edition of DYNAMITE was indeed a tumultuous one as fans witnessed QT Marshall and a horde of Nightmare Factory students, including Anthony Oogo, Aaron Solow, and Nick Comoroto, bloodied Cody Rhodes, decimated Dustin Rhodes, and even knocked out Arn Anderson. It was a shocking scene that played out before the wrestling world, and left so many questions as to why QT would orchestrate this “Ides Of March”-esque betrayal.
On top of that betrayal, there's no doubt AEW World Champion Kenny Omega felt a similar sting as Cody last Wednesday when The Young Bucks stood beside Jon Moxley rather than him and The Good Brothers. In keeping with what seemed to be a theme, MJF's betrayal of The Inner Circle came back to haunt him when Chris Jericho and company returned to DYNAMITE to annihilate each and every member of The Pinnacle, even Tully Blanchard felt the wrath.
On Wednesday, fans will experience fallout from all that drama as Omega & The Good Brothers unite to battle Jon Moxley & The Young Bucks in six man action! We will hear from Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle! Tay Conti and The Bunny will lock horns coming out of their wild tag team battle one week ago! Plus the TNT Title will be on the line when JD Drake answers Darby Allin's Open Challenge while Jurassic Express and Bear Country meet in a tag team battle presented by GODZILLA VS. KONG (in theaters and on HBOMax now)!
DYNAMITE is coming at you LIVE and in living color on TNT this Wednesday night starting at 8pm EST/7pm CST, or on AEWPlus.com for our International audiences! It's the third of four huge nights of All Elite Wrestling this week with a stacked DARK: ELEVATION on Monday and a loaded AEW DARK on Tuesday getting things underway exclusively on the official AEW YouTube channel (Watch Here)! Then, to close out the week of action, AEW's first ever non-televised event THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS happens on Friday night at Daily's Place!!
SIX MAN SHOCKER...
AEW World Champion Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers (Anderson & Gallows)
Jon Moxley & AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
The words of Don Callis hold true to his surname, but they clearly struck some kind of nerve in Matt Jackson, or perhaps it was just the strike from “The Invisible Hand” that really got the attention of that half of the AEW World Tag Team Champions. Whatever the case may be, The Young Bucks were certainly ready for a fight when the time came last Wednesday night. The unsettling twist, at least for the AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers, was that the brothers Jackson were queued up to fight the men they once called friends and not the stranger who formerly held the AEW World Championship for 277 days.
To call it an unexpected moment for Omega, Anderson, and Gallows would be an accurate assessment but also not encapsulate the myriad of emotions that swirled about inside their hearts when they say Matt and Nick side-by-side with Moxley. Betrayal, confusion, shock, heartbreak, disappointment; those feelings are likely just a handful of what rapidly spun out inside The Bullet Club crew.
Similar emotions likely found a home inside The Young Bucks, it could not have been an easy choice to stand in opposition to that trio, and Kenny Omega in particular. The AEW World Champion had previously laid out for Matt and Nick how he did not necessarily pick AEW, but rather picked them and their friendship, their brotherhood, when making choices for his professional wrestling career. In turn, Omega felt as if they had not once chosen him during this entire time. Whether or not fans believe that to be true, that is the reality the World Champ is apparently living in and what he is carrying with him heading into this first time for DYNAMITE collision with his former best friends.
Sure there have been battles in the past between Kenny, Matt, and Nick, most notable last year's Wrestling Observer Match Of The Year at REVOLUTION 2020, but this is the first time where the bout is more than just competitive in nature. Yes at that February 2020 pay-per-view event Hangman Page came into the fight loaded with issues, but for the other three it was about a competitive fight over the World Tag Team Titles. Jump ahead thirteen months where those same three wrestlers are just rife with interpersonal drama, and it is set to implode on Wednesday night after Matt and Nick Jackson once again chose someone other than Kenny Omega.
Jon Moxley made it pretty clear he did not like The Young Bucks, but he did owe them a bit of a debt when they intervened to stop Kenny and The Good Brothers from inflicting serious injury on the former World Champ. The intent of the brothers Jackson likely had less to do with saving Moxley and more to do with stopping their Bullet Club “brothers” from doing something way over the line that they'd possibly regret. Sadly, it is clear from their actions since December that Omega, Anderson, and Gallows regret nothing they have done thus far, and doubtful it is something they will ever feel about their own actions.
It falls on Jon Moxley to make them regret those actions, and it now also falls on the AEW World Tag Team Champions to back him up. Without a doubt this is a case of the strangest of bedfellows, perhaps a dream match scenario to some, but for Omega and The Good Brothers, it may prove to be more a worst nightmare birthed into reality.
TNT Title Match
Darby Allin (c) vs. JD Drake
“Because I don't have any other choice...”
Those are words spoken by JD Drake in his “Road To Dynamite...” segment embedded at the top of the article, but they could very well apply to both men entering into this TNT Title fight on Wednesday night.
For JD Drake, who made his AEW debut less than two months in an impressive fight with Eddie Kingston, this is the largest opportunity of his entire wrestling career. He has been a champion elsewhere over the course of his grappling life, but never with so many eyes upon him nor with the potential to be the face of an entire television network at stake. It's a high pressure situation in which to have his very first DYNAMITE match, but Drake has certainly shown throughout his career that he has the fight inside him to meet the challenge. Fans of AEW have witnessed JD do battle with a pair of heavy hitters in Eddie Kingston and Stu Grayson in singles matches, as well as an all-around pro in Chuck Taylor, and prove he could hang in there.
He would demonstrate the same with Ryan Nemeth as his partner when facing Taylor and Orange Cassidy in tag team action, and while those aforementioned bouts all notched marks in the loss column, Fuego Del Sol and Baron Black can attest to Drake's skill as his wins for AEW. Drake certainly has no issues stepping up for a fight, having competed in six fights in seven weeks, with this battle against Darby marking seven-in-seven. He also has no problem admitting to self-doubt, to nearly caving into that desire to give up, but having his family to boost him up and help JD continue to fight for their hopes and dreams.
Drake has even found support in AEW in the form of the aforementioned “Hollywood Hunk” Ryan Nemeth and Cezar Bononi, and collectively these three men have also shown a willingness to pursue the big money prizes:
They may have had a numbers advantage to try and turn the tide for Bononi, but it still takes some bravery to get involved with Jon Moxley in any fashion, and that same bravery (and possibly numbers game) could prove crucial in this TNT Championship match.
As for Darby, with this bout the champion heads into his fifth title defense since defeating Cody Rhodes at FULL GEAR 2020 and third in under a month, but much like JD Drake, Allin would say he doesn't have a choice either. He needs to be a fighting champion, he is driven to be one and, when the curtain falls on his reign, to have cemented his legacy as the greatest TNT champion of all time. That is why Darby opens the door for a man such as JD Drake to come after his title, many would argue JD has not earned the opportunity despite his pre-AEW credentials, but neither had Eddie Kingston or Ricky Starks when Cody gave them a shot and look at what they've accomplished since that door was opened.
Allin also offers this opportunity knowing the bullseye painted on his back by Matt Hardy, and thus The Hardy Family Office, as illustrated by “Big Money” himself on DARK: ELEVATION:
With JD Drake looking to upset the apple cart Wednesday night, and Matt Hardy hungry for his title, Darby Allin is now just where he wanted to be ever since he became the 4th TNT Title holder: in position to be a fighting champion and have challengers coming at him from all sides!
ONE WILL FALL...
***BROUGHT TO YOU BY GODZILLA VS. KONG (NOW IN THEATERS & ON HBOMAX)***
(#2) Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus w/ Marko Stunt)
Bear Country (Bear Boulder & Bear Bronson)
Since Bear Country made their AEW debut in the closing weeks of 2020, they have not exactly seen eye-to-eye with the members of Jurassic Express. Bronson and Boulder went head-up with Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus in their second match on the December 22nd AEW DARK, and although they came up on the wrong side of the three count, Bear Country showed they could be a force in the tag team division if given the opportunity.
Well that is exactly what they have gotten here in 2021, winning six of their seven tag matches, including a huge victory over The Hybrid2 on Tuesday night during AEW DARK. It was a major boost heading into this DYNAMITE confrontation with the number two ranked Jurassic Express duo who also scored a victory of their own on Tuesday night. Yet this one isn't just about climbing the ranks of AEW's tag team division, it's also about the tension that has existed between these five men since that December battle.
In the video clip embedded above from March 17th, when Bear Country and the full contingent of JurEx united to take on The Hardy Family Office, it was clear that neither getting along nor being on the same page was the highest priority. That tension was simply a continuation of the Casino Tag Team Royale from REVOLUTION 2021 where Bronson and Boulder eliminated Luchasaurus from play, leaving Jungle Boy to fend for himself until only he and Rey Fenix remained to battle for a future World Tag Team Title opportunity.
It spilled onto DARK: ELEVATION on March 29th when Bear Country lost to Private Party and Marko Stunt was inadvertently responsible for their defeat through a failed attempt to counteract Matt Hardy's presence. Stunt's undesired influence on that contest led to JurEx and Bear Country having to be pulled apart by AEW officials, and has brought us to DYNAMITE! This Wednesday night one team will fall when Jurassic Express battles Bear Country, and the battle is brought to you by the legendary clash that is GODZILLA VS. KONG, in theaters and available on HBOMAX now!
The Inner Circle Speaks
One week ago, The Pinnacle became victims of a drastic escalation in the hostilities with The Inner Circle. Now MJF, FTR, Shawn Spears, and Tully Blanchard laid waste to Chris Jericho, Ortiz, Santana, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara in such a decisive fashion that The IC remained absent from any AEW programming over the next couple weeks until their sudden arrival in The Pinnacle's co-opted locker room.
The violence that ensued can be seen in the video embedded above, going far beyond The Pinnacle's prior crimes against The Inner Circle, with the entire onslaught proving quite brutal for every man in MJF's new squad. Even Tully Blanchard found himself a bloody victim of Jericho's crew, but it was Dax Harwood who perhaps ended up with the worst of it:
This Wednesday night we will hear from The Inner Circle in the aftermath of that vicious assault, and hopefully get some idea of what they have in mind for The Pinnacle moving forward. DYNAMITE: ST. PATRICK'S DAY SLAM may have been the night The Pinnacle welcomed themselves to All Elite Wrestling, but March 31st was when The Inner Circle replied “hope you survive the experience”!
The Bunny (w/ The HFO) vs. (#1) Tay Conti (w/ The Dark Order)
In the span of just two weeks, The Bunny has reasserted herself as a force to be reckoned with in the women's division of All Elite Wrestling. After many months assisting The Butcher & The Blade in their endeavors, but not competing herself, The Bunny declared herself active once against by first assaulting the AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida, and then scoring the deciding pin over Tay Conti in a tag team affair one week ago. That victory may have come due to the combination of Vickie Guerrero's distraction and a kendo stick, but it was Bunny taking Conti “Down The Rabbit Hole” that netted the win.
Now the number one ranked woman in the division is squaring up for revenge, and that will happen live on Wednesday night as part of the DYNAMITE festivities! The black belt judo and blue belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner will no doubt have some members of The Dark Order watching her back to counterbalance The Hardy Family Office that The Bunny now represents. Hopefully that keeps the fight fair for Tay to get her retribution while maintaining that top spot in the rankings. But The Bunny is hungry for successes of her own and taking down number one is a surefire way to get her name in the talks of contendership for Shida's championship title!
NUMBER ONE WITH A BULLET...
(#1) “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Max Caster (w/ Anthony Bowens)
With six straight singles wins under his belt since that heartbreaking FULL GEAR 2020 loss to Kenny Omega, and nine win undefeated record for 2021, Hangman Page has quietly risen to the top spot in the men's division rankings. He has done so despite the distractions put in his path by Matt Hardy, and done it with the unflinching support of The Dark Order even after Adam very publicly rebuked their membership offer. Ryan Nemeth, Isiah Kassidy, Matt Hardy, Cezar Bononi, and Bill Collier have all gone head-to-head with Page this year and each one has ended up on the losing end of the fight, yet despite that track record, it does not stop a hungry individual from going after the top of the mountain.
Enter: Max Caster.
With his Acclaimed tag team partner Anthony Bowens recovering from an injury, “Platinum” has embarked on very strong singles run in his absence. Max sit at 7-1 this year as a solo act, with that lone blemish coming as part of the Face Of The Revolution Ladder Match at REVOLUTION 2021, and following his DARK: ELEVATION victory over Colt Cabana on Monday night, the third over a Dark Order Member mind you, Caster is hungry for that top spot held by one of their allies.
That is why AEW GM Tony Khan has granted Max Caster's request for this match with Adam Page set to go down Wednesday night on DYNAMITE! The upstart Acclaimed member has every single tool to be at the top of the heap like Adam Page is right now, will this be the week Max claims it for himself? Or will Hangman continue to build his resume and momentum towards that AEW World Title that slipped through his grasp almost 600 days ago?
“Iron” Mike Tyson is coming back to AEW this Wednesday night, and for the first time he gets to do it in front of a LIVE audience! Last time the former World Heavyweight Champion graced AEW with his presence, he ended up getting into a brawl with Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle! Who knows what might happen with the man once known as “Kid Dynamite” back on TNT for AEW DYNAMITE! Tune in on Wednesday night to experience it LIVE!
Daily's Place is in for a wild Wednesday when DYNAMITE returns to the TNT airwaves LIVE at 8pm EST/7pm, or on AEWPlus.com for our international fans. The TNT Title is up for grabs between Darby Allin and JD Drake, The Young Bucks join Jon Moxley to head into battle against men they used to consider friends in Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers, Tay Conti looks for revenge against The Bunny with The Dark Order and The HFO having their respective backs, and hopefully we will hear more on just why QT Marshall engaged in what can only be called a coup of The Nightmare Family!