AEW Dynamite Preview for August 11, 2021
Last week's DYNAMITE was a doozy as the classic rivalry between Chris Jericho and Juventud Guerrera was renewed for Jericho's Third Labour, Miro smashed Lee Johnson to retain the TNT Title, and Cody Rhodes was not shockingly decimated by Malakai Black in under five minutes but also laid out after the match in the midst of what seemed to be a retirement speech! As if that wasn't enough, Hangman Page was also absolutely destroyed by The Elite after requesting The Dark Order let him ride this journey out alone. Plus Leyla Hirsch earned herself an NWA Women's World Title bout with Kamille, the debut of 2.0, and Christian Cage took down another HFO member in The Blade en route to being named the new number one contender for the AEW World Title!
This week AEW owns Pittsburgh (Buy Tickets) for two nights, including the historic debut of AEW RAMPAGE THIS Friday night on TNT at 10pm EST! That night will feature a Women's World Title match between Pittsburgh native Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D and Red Velvet as the amazing team of Mark Henry, Excalibur, Chris Jericho, and Taz announce the events of the night!
Before we get to the weekend and RAMPAGE, Wednesday brings our fans an all-new episode of DYNAMITE! Jericho faces his fourth labour in the form of “The War Dog” Wardlow, while Darby Allin answers the challenge of “Red Death” Daniel Garcia. Plus two big trios matches go down with The Hardy Family Office facing The Best Friends and The Elite fighting The Sydal Brothers and Dante Martin! Plus, in a rematch of their REVOLUTION 2020 Women's World Title bout, Nyla Rose and Kris Statlander will go head-to-head! The action starts at 8pm EST/7pm CST on TNT, or on AEWPlus.com for our International audiences.
If you want the full Elite Experience, it's a must to head over to the official AEW YouTube channel and subscribe so as not to miss brand new editions of AEW DARK: ELEVATION and AEW DARK every week, as well as all the other content offered for our amazing fans!
THE FOURTH LABOUR...
Chris Jericho vs. Wardlow (w/ MJF at ringside)
“Of course, you know this means war!” is a line from Groucho Marx in “A Night At The Opera” circa 1933, and made part of our cultural lexicon by Bugs Bunny years later. Nearly 90 years later, a version of those words echoes through every arena All Elite Wrestling uses whenever “The War Dog” comes to the ring.
“THIS IS WAR” will be the words Chris Jericho hears as the face of this fourth labour, The Pinnacle's own Wardlow, comes to the ring on Wednesday night for their one-on-one match. Those words could also be the final ones the former AEW World Champion hears should Wardlow shut down Jericho's pursuit of MJF just shy of the finish line.
As a singles competitor, Wardlow has lost just three matches and only one of those was in a traditional wrestling scenario. In the man's very first AEW match, he battled Cody Rhodes inside a Steel Cage and it took “The American Nightmare” flinging himself off the top of the structure in order to defeat Wardlow. His second loss came to Hangman Page during the World Title Eliminator Tournament prior to FULL GEAR 2020, and stands as his only one in a standard singles bout. The third blemish on Wardlow's record came at the hands of Jericho's right hand man Jake Hager, and took place under the auspices of a MMA Rules Cage Match. Three loses, one in a traditional wrestling match, but fifteen wins on the other side of that column. It's a very solid resume to bring to bear against “Le Champion”, especially after the ringer Jericho has been put through this last month.
Chris' singles record, at 15-4-1 in AEW, is not that different from Wardlow's, but he comes into this fight having survived three consecutive weeks of exhausting physical battles, with the Nick Gage fight proving particularly taxing for Jericho. In the Shawn Spears labour, Chris had to endure the pain of steel chairs wearing him out, while in the Gage labour he had to taste his own blood and tolerate pain like he'd never experienced in his 30+ years as a wrestler. Glass and light tubes and a pizza cutter were not something brought into battle at any point in his career, and yet Jericho endured once more and made it through MJF's second obstacle.
The third labour tested yet another aspect of Jericho's storied career by dragging Juventud Guerrera, one of Chris' staunchest foes, into the AEW fray with the stipulation that Chris had to win via top rope maneuver. The Lucha stylings of Juvi put Chris to work in a style he hadn't faced in quite some time, but he once again stepped up to the plate, drilled “The Juice” with a top rope flying Judas Effect, and persevered into Labour Four.
Now he has to deal with power, a very scary power, in Wardlow all while MJF is at ringside, no doubt concocting some nefarious scheme in his brain to end Jericho's quest one step shy of getting Max in the ring for a one-on-one battle. Wardlow is the final stage after all, the last hope MJF has for Jericho's dream to be crushed as Max himself is the Fifth Labour, or perhaps none of this was actually about stopping Chris from making it to MJF. Surely Jericho failing was a hope, but has this all actually been about just wearing Chris out before he got into the ring with Maxwell Jacob Friedman?
Max likely views it all as a win-win; if Chris loses along the way, MJF wins, but if Chris makes it through this crucible, MJF then faces a man battered down by the journey, so Max wins again. There is also the fact that, as the 5th Labour, Max also has the opportunity to name the stipulation for their meeting should “The DemoGod” survive Wardlow. Max will likely do anything he can from ringside to insure Jericho doesn't make it to chapter five, but the conniving head of The Pinnacle no doubt has a plan already in mind if that happens.
IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH...
The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows) (c)
The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson)
At FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN 2021, The Dark Order and Hangman Page stood in opposition to The Elite with a great deal at stake for all teams. The future of both the AEW World Titles as well as the AEW World Tag Team Titles hung in the balance, and although everything turned up aces for The Elite, it is highly unlikely anyone involved thought the future of the IMPACT World Tag Team Titles would also end up being determined that night.
During the course of that match, Stu Grayson eliminated Karl Anderson, one-half of the IMPACT Tag Champions, before fighting the other-half, Doc Gallows, into the audience for a double countout situation. Ultimately it was The Elite who won the Elimination bout, but clearly it was not lost on the decision makers that The Dark Order had eliminated both members of the IMPACT World Tag Team Champions.
So it is with that in mind that, for the first-time ever, the IMPACT Tag Team Titles will be defended on AEW DYNAMITE, and it will go down in this first-time tag team meeting between The Good Brothers and The Dark Order! These tag belts have not been defended outside of IMPACT since February 2020 when they were held by “All Ego” Ethan Page and Josh Alexander, and AEW is excited to be the host for this momentous moment in pro wrestling. Will Evil Uno and Stu Grayson capture the championships, as well as deliver some comeuppance to The Good Brothers for the events two weeks ago? Or will Anderson and Gallows make this first defense of their second stint with these titles a successful one at the expense of The Dark Order?
One other thing that must always be considered when talking about The Elite is the influence outside forces may have on this bout. Although The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega are engaged elsewhere on this night, Don Callis, MK Nakazawa, and Brandon Cutler are still free and clear to make themselves available to The Good Brothers, and those other obligations don't necessarily mean the other Elite members won't take a minute to help out their boys.
Normally The Dark Order would be all there to have each other's back, but after what happened last week with Hangman Page and what we saw on BEING THE ELITE, there is clearly some inner turmoil with the group of the Hangman situation. Did Page's video message help mend that strife?
REVOLUTION 2020 REMATCH...
Kris Statlander (w/ Orange Cassidy) vs. “The Native Beast” Nyla Rose (w/ Vickie Guerrero)
It feels like a lifetime ago with everything that has occurred in the world as a whole, and also in the careers of both Kris Statlander and Nyla Rose, but it was just 18 months ago that the two women collided at REVOLUTION 2020 over the Women's World Title. Nyla Rose, then champion, turned back the challenge of Statlander on that cold Chicago night, but it was not the last time the competitors would butt heads. On three instances in the months following, Rose and Statlander would compete in tag matches opposite one another. Each time “The Galaxy's Greatest Alien” would have Hikaru Shida standing at her side as partner while Rose would have a different ally each time. The first instance in March 2020 would see Nyla and Bea Priestley beat Kris and Shida, while the second tag meeting has proven quite noteworthy in retrospect. Not only was it the night Nyla and Dr. Britt Baker teamed up to beat Statlander and Shida heading into DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2020, but it was also the bout in which Baker sustained the knee injury that arguably changed the direction of her career.
Whatever perspective you look at it though, it was a third straight victory for Nyla Rose over Kris Statlander, and one that “The Native Beast” basically had to pick up by herself after Baker's injury. Their final tag team meeting, and the one in which Kris Statlander suffered the injury that kept her on the shelf for 10 months, featured Penelope Ford as Rose's partner. That victory for Nyla and Penelope would earn the latter a Women's World Title shot against Hikaru Shida, and would mark the last time fans saw Statlander in action until she emerged inside a claw machine during the Arcade Anarchy bout on the March 31st DYNAMITE.
Since her return, Statlander has remained undefeated with fourteen straight wins, twelve of them in singles competition, including wins over The Bunny, Penelope Ford, Diamante, to name a few. While The Hardy Family Office has been a thorn in the side of The Best Friends family of which Statlander counts herself a member, Kris has remained focused on getting a Women's World Title match. If there is an undeniable force within the Women's Division at this moment, it would have to be Kris Statlander, but Nyla Rose is aiming to be the immovable object standing in path of Statlander's goal.
With Nyla having just recently earned a title bout with Dr. Britt Baker several weeks ago, her hopes for another immediate rematch are slim, but defeating one of the top ranked women in the division would no doubt put “The Native Beast” right back into the contender's discussion. And with the impressive track record of victories Nyla has over Statlander, history is certainly in the former World Champion's favor.
Tune into DYNAMITE, coming at you LIVE from Pittsburgh, to see if history repeats itself or if “The Galaxy's Greatest Alien” continues to build on her already impressive undefeated streak en route to battling the Women's World Champion, be it Dr. Britt Baker or Red Velvet following AEW RAMPAGE, in the very near future!
Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, & Wheeler Yuta
The Hardy Family Office (Isiah Kassidy, Matt Hardy, Marq Quen)
With Private Party coming off an AEW DARK victory on Tuesday night over Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta, the momentum rides with The Hardy Family Office coming into Wednesday night's edition of DYNAMITE.
There's plenty of animosity between these two units, it was just a little over a month ago that Chuck Taylor lost to The Blade in a singles bout on DARK: ELEVATION, but that was followed up with OC beating Angelico in a singles bout, OC and Statlander topping Blade and Bunny in a rare Mixed Tag match, and the OC/Chuck/Yuta combination defeating Private Party and Jora Johl. Those are just a few examples of how the bulk of the victories in this rivalry have come on the side of The Best Friends quartet, which has only further infuriated “Big Money” Matt Hardy, who was already at his wit's end having been simultaneously frustrated by Christian Cage and Jurassic Express.
Perhaps that is why Hardy is stepping into the ring himself for the first time against these particular foes. Matt likely believes he is the x-factor that will bring his HFO a victory in Pittsburgh this Wednesday night. Will that be the case in this six-man grudge match, or will The Best Friends once again show Matt Hardy and his HFO just who is the dominant unit? Is it family or is it money that is the deeper bond?
Darby Allin vs. “Red Death” Daniel Garcia
Last week the trio of 2.0 and “Red Death” Daniel Garcia challenged the baddest men on Planet AEW to a bout at HOMECOMING 2021. It certainly takes a special kind of guts to face Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, and Darby Allin at the same time, but it's a whole different mold of crazy to be the ones calling them out for the fight!
Garcia, Jeff Park, and Matt Lee put up a tremendous fight but were quite overwhelmed by the offensive onslaught of the former AEW World Champion, the former TNT Champion, and one of pro wrestling most feared/respected competitors.
Yet, to the shock of pretty much every individual who heard the words in the video embedded above, Daniel Garcia was not done yet with challenges and wanted more, not just more matches, but more matches with the top level talent in All Elite Wrestling. It does not get more top level than the former TNT Champion, the man who set the record for both longest reign and most title defenses, the competitor with Sting in his corner, the Relentless One himself, Darby Allin!
In preparation for this challenge, the man known as “Red Death” put himself through a ringer over the weekend, four matches in three days, including a 60 minute draw with Wheeler Yuta for the IWTV Independent Wrestling Title. It was nearly two hours of ring time between the four bouts, and has gotten Garcia primed for the highest profile match of his entire young life. At just 22 years of age, Daniel will have more eyes on him come Wednesday night than at any point since his career began four years ago, and a victory under such circumstances could automatically cement him a spot on the AEW roster.
Darby Allin is always game for a challenge, he certainly respects one from a hungry athlete like Daniel Garcia, but that doesn't mean he's going to take the challenge lightly. Darby may respect the gumption from Garcia, but he knows it's also a challenge to the throne. This is a man looking to make Darby's spot his own, and he will get that chance on DYNAMITE live from the Petersen Events Center!
A TRIOS CHALLENGE...
AEW World Champion Kenny Omega & AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks (w/ Don Callis)
Dante Martin & The Sydal Brothers (Matt & Mike)
It is no secret that Dante Martin credits Matt Sydal with serving as inspiration for his wrestling career, and the pair of bouts they had in June were demonstrative of the professional respect shared by the two competitors. The veteran Sydal may have captured the victory in those matches, but they served to show Matt what this half of Top Flight had in his gas tank, which in turn has led to this trio uniting for competition.
On the special edition of AEW DARK that aired Friday night, the Sydal Brothers and Dante Martin united as a trio for the very first time and scored an impressive victory over Aaron Frye, Darian Benington, and Vary Morales. This Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, the Sydals and Martin will undergo a quantum leap in competition though as they bring their nascent trio to bear against The Elite group of AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and the AEW World Tag Team Champions Matt and Nick Jackson. As a group in All Elite Wrestling, The Elite have won five of their six trios bouts, saying nothing of their seven-plus years they've spent competing together. In terms of experience, there is no question where the power lies, the first time Omega and the Brothers Jackson teamed up in a trio was back on January 5th of 2015, but there is definitely a hunger in their foes to prove themselves top competitors on the level of The Elite.
The arrogance of the three World Champions is also something that could weigh against them; although The Elite have certainly earned a right to a bit of overconfidence, there is that old biblical quote about pride, destruction, a haughty spirit, and a fall. Perhaps The Sydal Brothers and Dante Martin will the much need reality check that Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks so desperately need...
This week AEW takes over Pittsburgh (Buy Tickets) for two huge nights, and it all begins on Wednesday with a brand-new LIVE edition of DYNAMITE! Jericho just needs to survive one final labour to get his hands on MJF, Daniel Garcia looks to experience the biggest moment of his life at Darby Allin's expense, and The Elite will be in Trios action! It all kicks off at 8pm EST/7pm CST on TNT, or on AEWPlus.com for our International audiences. And that's just the beginning of a landmark week as AEW RAMPAGE premieres on TNT THIS Friday at 10pm EST with Pittsburgh's own Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D defending her Women's World Title against Red Velvet with Excalibur, Mark Henry, Taz, and Chris Jericho calling the action!
Get ready for the greatest professional wrestling around today by heading to the official AEW YouTube channel for brand new editions of AEW DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, and loads of top shelf content for that full Elite Experience!