AEW Dynamite Preview for August 16, 2023
The biggest event in All Elite Wrestling history, ALL IN: LONDON, is so close and it is already quite the stacked event, but there's still more road to travel before we get there, and the next stop on that road is a return to Nashville for AEW's debut at the Bridgestone Arena! This Wednesday night Chris Jericho will give his answer to Don Callis, the AEW World Champion and his ALL IN: LONDON challenger will discuss their bout, and The Young Bucks will battle The Gunns in the perpetual debate of who is the best brother tag team! Plus, Dr. Britt Baker and the returning Bunny will fight it out for the fourth spot in the AEW Women's World Championship match going down at Wembley, Darby Allin and Nick Wayne will be in tag team action against The Gates of Agony, and Orange Cassidy will defend his AEW International Championship against Wheeler Yuta!
DYNAMITE: FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN 2023 begins at 8pm ET/7pm CT LIVE on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international fans, so drop by the official AEW YouTube channel to get caught up on highlights from last week's episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, plus the newest edition of THE CONTROL CENTER, and more! This year we are supporting those affected by the devastating fires in Hawaii, and encourage everyone to support the Maui Food Bank.
AEW INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
Orange Cassidy(c) vs. Wheeler Yuta
Six months ago Wheeler Yuta stepped into the ring with his former trainer, his former friend, Orange Cassidy and attempted to wrest the then-AEW All-Atlantic Championship from Cassidy's grasp. It was a bout months in the making, the result of Wheeler turning his back on The Best Friends unit and aligning with The Blackpool Combat Club, and it would end in Cassidy's favor. To this day, with 28 championship defenses to his reign, there are many who still consider this the best bout of Cassidy's title run.
But being the opponent who took the champion to their limit doesn't actually mean anything if you don't win said championship, and that is where Yuta was at following their title fight. Each moved on with their life, at least for a short period of time, The BCC went to war with The Elite at Anarchy in The Arena and inside Blood & Guts, but along the way Yuta and company tangled with Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta in Trios matches. Orange continued to build his legacy, making history as the most prolific champion AEW has seen to date, defeating every single challenger that stepped up, no matter the cost to his body along the way.
But inevitably the paths intertwined once again as, in the aftermath of Claudio Castagnoli's ROH World Championship match against PAC at DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR 2023, The Best Friends' issues with Death Triangle would bring Orange Cassidy into the fray, and lead to issues between The BCC, Death Triangle, and The Best Friends. Escalation, there is always escalation, and it came with The Luchas winning a three way tag bout over their foes, then Trent pinning Penta in a Three way with Moxley, and then the epic Parking Lot Fight between Best Friends and BCC in Jacksonville. In that last one, Cassidy and Yuta would have that moment where a showdown felt inevitable, but instead it was a group assault by The BCC on Cassidy that left the International Champion, as well as Trent and Chuck Taylor, battered on the concrete at Daily's Place.
It's also why Orange was all alone when Wheeler, Moxley, and Claudio surrounded the ring following Cassidy's championship victory over Johnny TV last Friday on RAMPAGE, but instead of assaulting the man 3-on-1, the former 2-Time ROH Pure Champion issued a challenge to Cassidy to face him this Wednesday night in Nashville, and put the International Championship on the line!
Through his reign as International Champion, Orange Cassidy has found a way to beat opponents of all shapes, styles, and sizes, but few of his foes have come with such a personal edge as Wheeler Yuta. Cassidy may have beaten Yuta six months ago in Phoenix, but OC has had 16 defenses since then, not to mention numerous other fights, that have taken their toll on his body. Yuta has been through Anarchy, he's been through Blood & Guts, he's been to battle with Kenny Omega, and he's been banged up himself. But one thing these two men have in common, maybe something born out of how their careers began, is that they seem to grow stronger through this adversity. It doesn't matter the pain they've experienced, or how they are hurting, both Yuta and Orange persevere.
Who will be the one to persevere through this championship fight on Wednesday night?
TAG TEAM BOUT...
Darby Allin & Nick Wayne vs. Gates of Agony (Bishop Kaun & Toa Liona)
This dynamic between Darby Allin and Swerve Strickland has become brutally personal, something beyond the wins and loses, something now soaked in blood and betrayal. AR Fox stabbed Darby in the back, apparently because of how he viewed Darby's support of Nick Wayne, and throwing his lot in with Swerve and the Mogul Embassy was the best way to make Darby feel the pain.
Apparently the best way to share that pain with Nick Wayne was to visit his training facility and leave him a bloodied, battered mess, but what The Mogul Embassy didn't count on was the return of “The Icon” Sting to the AEW landscape, nor the Casket Match that would be set-up for ALL IN: LONDON. So now Prince Nana's men are on the offensive ahead of that Wembley date and trying to hurt Darby, and his allies, in any way they can. Brian Cage stepped up last Friday night in a losing effort against the 2-Time TNT Champion, and now his ROH World Six-Man Championship partners will take their stab at Darby and the returning Nick Wayne, the latter certainly with revenge on his mind after the assault at his school.
Can Darby and Nick Wayne keep the momentum building as AEW approaches ALL IN: LONDON? Or will The Mogul Embassy throw a speed bump on the path and get an upper hand before the Casket lids are opened?
ALL IN: LONDON WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER...
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D vs. The Bunny
The Bunny has been out of action since February when she faced then-AEW Women's World Champion Jamie Hayter in an Eliminator Bout, but this Wednesday night she returns to the AEW stage with one of the biggest opportunities of her career! There is one spot left in the AEW Women's World Championship Four Way at ALL IN: LONDON, and The Bunny has an opportunity to fight in her first AEW championship bout in front of the largest crowd in All Elite Wrestling history!
All she has to do is defeat a former Women's World Champion, another individual whose been a part of the fold since the very beginning, Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D! Now these two women have only faced off one time in singles competition, a match that took place on the 2020 Jericho Cruise, and was won by The Good Doctor.
Aside from bragging rights, that was a fight with very little stakes, but this one has some of the highest stakes possible save the title actually being on the line. Can The Bunny make her return to competition a triumphant one, or will it be spoiled by Dr. Britt Baker's mission to become a 2-Time champion like Shida and Toni Storm?
THE BEST BROTHERS...
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. The Gunns (Austin & Colten)
Aside from the 2022 Battle Royales that shaped the REVOLUTION 2022 AEW World Tag Team Championship bout, The Young Bucks and The Gunns have had little interaction, but Austin and Colten's insistence that they're the best brother tag team is about to put them on a collision course. It won't be the first time those claims have gotten The Gunn boys into a fight, they beat Top Flight and The Hardys to bolster their bragging, and now they've got the Brothers Jackson to tussle with on DYNAMITE.
The Young Bucks have a huge date with destiny on their plate at ALL IN: LONDON with the FTR rubber match, and their return to tag team competition last week, after months embroiled in Trios bouts and wars with The Blackpool Combat Club, proved quite successful when the bested The Hardys.
So for Matt and Nick it's now about keeping the momentum going as they head to Wembley for one of AEW's most historic events, and possibly the most important match of their careers. There's a bit of irony here that The Young Bucks attempt to build momentum could be cut short by a team with BULLET CLUB affiliation, or that, should Juice Robinson and Jay White be on hand, the Jacksons could be cut off at the knees by the same actions they themselves once employed as part of that unit.
It could be a huge night for Colten and Austin Gunn, an opportunity to actually bolster their claims to be the best brother tag team in AEW, but it's hugely important to The Young Bucks morale that they don't acquire an “L” in tag team action before making the trip to Wembley Stadium.
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE DEATHMATCH...
Jeff Jarrett vs. Jeff Hardy
In conjunction with the release of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre game, dropping August 18th on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox, AEW presents the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Deathmatch this Wednesday night in Nashville! Pitting Jeff Jarrett against Jeff Hardy, it has been twelve years since the last time these two clashed in a singles match, and their only AEW interaction took place when Jeff and his brother lent an assist to The Elite following their Trios Bout with Jeff, Jay Lethal, and Satnam Singh.
Now Jeff and Jay will rekindle their rivalry in this special bout, a match where anything goes, and who knows what kind of chaos will result from that! Only 20 miles from Double J's hometown of Hendersonville, will he put that guitar to use across Jeff's head, or will Hardy put away Double J like he has so many times before?
CHAMPION AND CHALLENGER...
After last week, AEW World Champion MJF and Adam Cole are now set to pull double duty at ALL IN: LONDON, first taking on Aussie Open in a ROH World Tag Team Championship bout during the ZERO HOUR, and then colliding with each other during the pay-per-view proper with Max's title on the line.
It was an idea laid out by Cole, an opportunity to claim a championship he never held during his seven year Ring of Honor tenure as well as add his name to the ROH Triple Crown list, and for MJF to get his first ever bout under the auspices of ROH. Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis were more than happy to accept the challenge last Friday on RAMPAGE, and that makes the situation for Wembley's AEW World Championship match even more intriguing.
But that's not all that's complicating the situation, there is the entire matter of Roderick Strong and whatever is going on with The Kingdom of Matt Taven and Mike Bennett. Clearly the former multi-time ROH World Tag Champs are in the ear of Roddy, offering Strong a shoulder to lean on as he watches his best friend repeatedly make terrible choices in this dynamic with MJF. Cole may be insistent that Roderick trust him, but it's hard to do that when the man asking for trust keeps making questionable choices.
Well this Wednesday night, the AEW World Champion and his challenger will be on hands to discuss ALL IN: LONDON and the situations they are facing. Can these two new-found “brochachos” continue to bond with so much at stake in less than two weeks?
KENNY OMEGA AND JIM ROSS...
Kenny Omega has been through a lot in the last few months; he and The Young Bucks lost the World Trios Championship at REVOLUTION 2023, he was betrayed by Don Callis and quite literally stabbed by a man he considered family, betrayed by Konosuke Takeshita, and went through hell with Anarchy In The Arena and Blood & Guts. In the midst of all that, Kenny also lost the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship to Will Ospreay at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023; The Elite may have come out of Blood & Guts the victors, but Omega lost more personally than anyone else involved in the BCC war.
With all that in his heart and mind, Kenny Omega will sit-down with Jim Ross this Wednesday to discuss what the future may hold for the former AEW World Champion. Will he be in London? Will he look for vengeance against Don Callis? Where is Omega's head at and what will it mean for All Elite Wrestling?
CHRIS JERICHO & DON CALLIS...
And speaking of Don Callis, another of his pet projects watched as his unit disintegrated before his very eyes this past Wednesday night. Chris Jericho, after being propositioned by Callis to join his family, never gave a definitive answer one way or the other, and that was something that sat ill with the rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society. Then when Jericho teamed up with Takeshita, another of Callis' projects, to actually fight Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia, it infuriated The J.A.S, and to make matter worse, the way Jericho conducted himself in that fight, it essentially drove the final nail in the coffin of The Jericho Appreciation Society, leading to the mandatory meeting called to order by “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard rather than Jericho himself. So when every member of The J.A.S walked away from “The Ocho”, it left him, for the first time since the premier episode of DYNAMITE birthed The Inner Circle, utterly alone...except for Callis' offer.
So what will it be? Will Jericho actually traverse the AEW landscape by himself, or will he surround himself with Callis, Takeshita, and whoever else may comprise this family Don is trying to surround himself with? Can Chris do it by himself, or is he afraid of standing among a locker room full of men he's spent four years infuriating without a multitude of people insulating him?
All Elite Wrestling returns to Nashville for a debut at the Bridgestone Arena and with it comes loaded up edition of DYNAMITE: FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN 2023, with donations being made to support the Maui Food Bank and those affected by the fires. On tap, The Young Bucks and The Gunns will meet in tag team action, as will The Gates of Agony battle Darby Allin and Nick Wayne. Plus, The Bunny returns to action to face Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D for the final spot in the AEW Women's World Championship bout at ALL IN: LONDON, Wheeler Yuta challenges former friend Orange Cassidy for the AEW International Championship, and we will find out Chris Jericho's decision regarding Don Callis' offer!
DYNAMITE begins at 8pm ET/7pm CT LIVE on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international fans, so drop by the official AEW YouTube channel to get caught up on highlights from last week's episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, plus the newest edition of THE CONTROL CENTER, and more!