AEW Dynamite Preview for February 17, 2021
Last week on DYNAMITE, fans around the world witnessed KENTA compete inside an AEW ring (and throughout the building) as he teamed with AEW World Champion Kenny Omega to battle IWGP United States Champion Jon Moxley and Lance Archer. It was unbridled insanity that eventually saw Omega, with some help from The Good Brothers, beat Archer with a One Winged Angel.
In addition, Thunder Rosa advanced in the Women's World Title Eliminator Tournament with a hard-fought victory over “Legit” Leyla Hirsch, Team Taz dragged the unconscious frame of TNT Champion Darby Allin around the parking lot WITH A CAR, Hangman Page and Matt Hardy had a meeting, The Acclaimed nearly topped Jericho and MJF in tag action, and perhaps most shockingly, Sammy Guevara apparently left The Inner Circle.
This week, when DYNAMITE goes live on TNT at 8pm Est/7pm CST, fans will bear witness to The Young Bucks defending the World Tag Team Titles against Santana and Ortiz, with the winners in great position to defend the titles against Chris Jericho & MJF at Revolution on PPV March 7!
Also on tap, Eddie Kingston get his request for a six man fight answered, another First Round match in the Women's World Title Eliminator tournament with Deeb versus the returning RIHO, Sting calling out Team Taz, and more!
But before you tune into TNT, be sure to hit up our official YouTube channel (Watch Here) to check out BOTH the latest edition of AEW DARK as well as the four 1st Round Matches from the Japanese Bracket of the Women's World Title Eliminator Tournament (Watch Here)!
***RANKINGS CIRCA 2/17/21***
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH...
THE YOUNG BUCKS (MATT & NICK JACKSON) (c) vs. (#4) SANTANA & ORTIZ
The history between these four men runs deep, back to the very first night Ortiz and Santana made their presence felt in All Elite Wrestling at ALL OUT 2019. That late August night, the two competitors, initially masked, took the opportunity presented by Matt and Nick being worn out after Escalera de la Muerte to decimate The Young Bucks.
That would just be the beginning though as the four would compete in official tag team and multi-man bouts, as well as various fights outside the confines of actual wrestling matches. They were all part of the very first DYNAMITE main event that birthed The Inner Circle at the expense of The Elite, as well as a pay-per-view contest at FULL GEAR 2019 which Ortiz and Santana would win. Their last two-on-two tag team match took place on the 12/11/19 DYNAMITE in the form of a wild Falls Count Anywhere Texas Street Fight with the #1 Contendership for the World Tag Team Titles at stake, but that would not be their last meeting inside (or around) the squared circle.
They met again in a Four Way #1 Contender's Match in January 2020 that included Hangman Page, Kenny Omega, and The Best Friends, as well as the Tag Team Battle Royal last year where Matt Jackson eliminated both Santana and Ortiz to win the REVOLUTION 2020 tag title shot. Of course the history of this Inner Circle duo and The YB would not be complete without mentioning the craziness of the Stadium Stampede at last May's DOUBLE OR NOTHING event!
The two teams would find themselves entwined once more in a Battle Royal at DYNAMITE: BEACH BREAK, this time vying for the REVOLUTION 2021 Tag Title opportunity, and with a near repeat of history. Santana would get some delayed vengeance by eliminating Matt Jackson, but this time Nick Jackson would be the one to eliminate both Santana and Ortiz before finding himself dumped out by another Inner Circle member in MJF.
Now, The Good Brothers may have played a part in Nick's elimination, an inadvertent one of course, but as evidenced in the video above, they also play a part in this long-awaited rubber match coming into being! Anderson and Gallows certainly gassed up Matt and Nick in that interview, fueling an already angry fire burning in the elder Jackson brother. One could argue the IMPACT Wrestling Tag Team Champions were trying to focus The Young Bucks on their actual foes, another one might argue they were trying to divert attention away from themselves...
Either way, for the first time in fourteen months, The Young Bucks will meet Santana & Ortiz in a tag team bout AND the AEW World Tag Team Championships will be on the line! With just a few weeks to go before REVOLUTION 2021 (https://live.bleacherreport.com/wrestling/all-elite-wrestling/events/aew-revolution/986133) airs on BRLive.com, this third bout between two of the greatest teams of this generation has major ramifications!
Now Chris Jericho and MJF may have won the Inner Circle three-way bout several weeks ago to officially dub them THE tag team of the unit, but that did nothing to quell their inner turmoil. Three different Inner Circle teams were entered into the aforementioned Battle Royal at BEACH BREAK: DYNAMITE, and while Jericho may have won it to secure himself and Max that REVOLUTION 2021 title bout, it was at the expense of Sammy Guevara. Jericho eliminating Sammy deepened that rift, then MJF essentially blew it up last week on DYNAMITE, causing “The Spanish God” to quit The Inner Circle.
And now Santana and Ortiz, who have been craving a championship opportunity since day one, having never nailed down an AEW title bout despite their successes as a team and 16-9 overall record, will get a shot BEFORE Jericho and MJF. Proud-N-Powerful have proven in the past they can beat The Young Bucks in a straight up tag situation, so how will things look for The Inner Circle if they pull it off again and meet the self-proclaimed DemoGod and Ratings Ruler on March 7th with the World Tag Team Titles on the line?
EDDIE KINGSTON, THE BLADE, & THE BUTCHER vs. (#1) IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPION JON MOXLEY, LANCE ARCHER, (#4) REY FENIX
You can read it for yourself in that embedded tweet: this bout was REQUESTED by Eddie Kingston in what can only be a sure sign he is trying to live up to that “Mad King” moniker. What kind of mindset must Kingston be in to actually seek out a fight with three of his family's most bitter rivals?
In Jon Moxley we have the reigning IWGP US Champion, hurting after last week's insanity with KENTA and AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, but always itching for a fight no matter his physical well-being. He also holds a pair of victories over Kingston with that AEW World Title on the line, as well as one over The Butcher. He certainly has earned the family's animosity.
Then there is “The Murderhawk Monster” who bested Kingston in a chaotic Lumberjack Match at BEACH BREAK (Watch Here) but who Eddie holds also holds a one-on-one victory over albeit under dubious circumstances thanks to the family. There are also the pair of multi-man fights they've split, one with Archer taking on The Lucha Brothers as partners and the other with The Dark Order completing the team. Archer has more than raised the ire of Kingston, and thus The Butcher and The Blade as well.
Rey Fenix, for his part, once stood at the side of his foes for the evening but Eddie Kingston always made it clear that Penta El Zero Miedo was “his best friend,” and dismissed Fenix fairly easily. He was the won who forced Fenix to forfeit his spot in the World Title Eliminator Tournament to his brother, rather than let Rey heal up to compete in the next round. Eddie was also the man who pitted Rey and Penta against each other once again, seemingly for his own amusement, in a bout that got shockingly violent between the two brothers. Given the blood and desecration of masks that went down there, it is frightening to think where the road may have led if not for PAC returning to wake the Lucha Brothers up to what “The Mad King” had done to them. Despite the constant wedge Kingston drove between The Lucha Brothers, and how he disregarded Fenix at every turn, Eddie still views him as a turncoat to the family and as such Rey has receipts due.
Sure Kingston, Blade, and Butcher have reasons for wanting each man to suffer, just based on tweets alone where he stated “let's see the beauty in violence”, it would seem The Butcher is hungry for this one, but to actually make the challenge, well it begs the question: what does Kingston have up his sleeve? This is not the request of someone without a plan, it just can't be, that is just too utterly insane to fathom. How sick would a mind have to be to request a fight with Jon Moxley, Lance Archer, and Rey Fenix?
It's the mind of a man that directs two other men who think of this situation as “6 beautiful animals in their natural habitat”....
STING IS CALLING THEM OUT...
It would not be accurate to state last week escalated the hostilities between TNT Champion Darby Allin, Sting, and Team Taz as they were already running extremely high. After all this enmity has been a part of their lives for months now, since Brian Cage temporarily put Allin on the shelf coming out of the Casino Ladder Match at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2020 in May.
What started as a grudge has evolved into so much more with instances such as Cage powerbombing Darby while he was trapped in a thumbtack-filled body bag, like Allin driving a tack-laced skateboard into the flesh of Ricky Starks, or the assault on Allin at FULL GEAR 2020 after Darby dethroned Cody Rhodes as TNT Champion. The level of violence keeps getting more and more intense, more vicious, and this past week on DYNAMITE, everyone including Sting had to sit there in horror as Darby was the victim of the latest amplification.
The video above showcases the heinous actions of Taz, Hobbs, Cage, Starks, and Hook and their special form of vehicular assault, and as such The Man Called Sting has called out Team Taz ahead of their REVOLUTION 2021 Street Fight set for March 7th on pay-per-view! Given their numbers advantage, Taz and his goons will no doubt answer the call on Wednesday, but history has shown that Sting will dive headfirst into the fray no matter the perceived disadvantage.
This powder keg is primed to blow...
UNITED STATES BRACKET...
1ST ROUND WOMEN'S WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT...
(#4) NWA WORLD WOMEN'S CHAMPION SERENA DEEB vs. RIHO
March 17th and March 18th....eleven months ago...two losses on back-to-back evenings; those are the last memories AEW fans have of the first-ever AEW Women's World Champion Riho. On DARK it was a tag team loss to Britt Baker and Penelope Ford, and then, as a part of the very first show at Daily's Place in this “new normal”, Riho would lose to Penelope Ford in a surprising upset. It was a rough couple days for the women who successfully defended the AEW Women's Championship four times over her 133 day reign.
Riho would then return to Japan where, after a few months of downtime, she would get back to competition in July, primarily with STARDOM, and consistently worked through the rest of 2020. But ever since her forced departure, the question persisted of just when the former Women's World Champion would be able to return to AEW and try to reclaim her crown. The answer comes this Wednesday night when, as part of the United States bracket of the Women's World Title Eliminator Tournament, Riho comes to Jacksonville for the first time since March!
It's a highly anticipated homecoming, for fans as well as Riho, but it is a very different landscape to which she returns. When Riho left, the ranks of the women's division were just beginning to fill out with many of the talent who burst onto the scene throughout 2020. Just to name a handful, competitors such as Tay Conti, Anna Jay, Red Velvet, Thunder Rosa, and Diamante had not become staples of the division yet. Another of those women who had not yet made their AEW debut when Riho departed is the current NWA World Women's Champion Serena Deeb!
Making her debut in September 2020, Deeb has gone 7-2 in her AEW run, including four successful NWA title defenses against Leyla Hirsch, Tay Conti, Thunder Rosa, and Allysin Kay, and now Serena has her eyes on the championship around Hikaru Shida's waist. In order to get there though, Deeb has to contend with a Riho who is fixed on a shot at the championship she never had an opportunity to reclaim. It should also be noted that Thunder Rosa eagerly awaits the winner of this contest in the bracket Semi-Finals, and one would imagine she is hoping for another bout with Deeb after dropping her last two (as well as that NWA Title) to Serena.
Monday night, on the Japanese side of the bracket, fans witnessed eight wrestlers battle it out to get closer to the AEW Women's World Title opportunity at REVOLUTION 2021, with Yuka Sakazaki, Emi Sakura, Ryo Mizunami, and Aja Kong all advancing to their brackets' Semi-Final bouts. The must-see action from the Ice Ribbon Dojo in Saitama, Japan can be enjoyed in the video embedded below, or here (Watch Here) with Japanese commentary from AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida!
TAG TEAM ACTION...
(#3) FTR (CASH WHEELER & DAX HARWOOD) VS. MATT & MIKE SYDAL
Coming off their suspension following a vicious assault on Jurassic Express (Watch Here), not to mention an absolutely suspect abduction of Marko Stunt in response to being pulled from the #1 Contender Tag Team Battle Royal, FTR returns to action on this week's DYNAMITE. To say Cash and Dax are angry would be a drastic understatement though, all it takes is a peek at their social medias to see that fact. Having dropped to the number three position in the latest rankings, after being pulled from that battle royal, and having to even compete in it in the first place to get a title match; all those things added up have left the self-declared MVP's itching for a fight, and this week they get one against another pair of brothers!
Matt Sydal is bringing his brother Mike to All Elite Wrestling for the first-time on AEW Dynamite and they are diving right into deep end of the tag team division with this bout against the former World Tag Team Champions! Despite only a year difference in their age, Mike started his wrestling pursuits eight years later than his younger brother, and as such their paths have been unlike many brothers who both step into the squared circle. They did not make their names as a duo before going off on their separate paths, nor did they form a team once Mike joined the professional ranks. As a point of fact, this tag team meeting with FTR marks just the fourth time in their wrestling careers, and the first time since June 2019, that the Sydal brothers have united! They have each tread their own unique paths, both in life and in wrestling, and now come together for this tremendous opportunity to make an impact on AEW's tag team ranks.
AEW fans have seen Matt Sydal make his presence known in the singles ranks, particularly on AEW DARK, with eleven wins in his fifteen one-on-one contests, including a superb showing against Cody Rhodes last month on DYNAMITE. Still, this marks Matt's first tag team outing on Dynamite since debuting with AEW last fall, and it is against former champions with FTR, but what better partner to bring to battle than someone who has known you your whole life?
It is clear FTR and Jurassic Express are on another collision course down the line, especially with Jungle Boy's comments last week (View Here), but Dax and Cash better not be looking beyond this one or the Sydal Brothers are going to shock the world!
MATT HARDY & HANGMAN PAGE VS. THE HYBRID2 (ANGELICO & JACK EVANS)
Originally set as Private Party, Matt Hardy, and Hangman Page against TH2 and The Chaos Project, this contest took a turn after the following tweet from Big Money Matt himself:
Now it should be noted that Private Party has posted all over their social media that Hardy has ghosted them the last several days. They even sent him an apology video that can be seen below, but none of that had any impact on the fact that Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen are now the odd men out for this contest.
In fact, it is reasonable to say that not only is Hardy ignoring Private Party but he has moved on to other things, declaring proudly on Twitter that Adam Page would “...make his debut as an official member of The Matt Hardy BRAND” this Wednesday night at that they would “...make LOTS of money together...”; it's a safe bet that Big Money Matt is talking about more than the $12 Hangman has owed Isiah and Marq for the better part of AEW's existence.
In the big picture, to Hardy it probably does not matter if Private Party competes nor does he feel obligated to acknowledge their existence unless he feels it necessary; he's still getting paid either way. That is what matter to Matt, the carniest of the carnies, and what he THINKS he is getting out of Hangman Page as well. Clearly Matt is not savvy to what the rest of the world saw in the video of their quasi tete-a-tete last week, but Hardy's arrogant enough to never worry about checking the tape, or reading anything but the hype he puts out into the world himself.
So this is going to be one interesting situation when DYNAMITE rolls along and Matt Hardy unites with Hangman Page to take on the dynamic duo of The Hybrid2! If they aren't on the same page, the unique offensive stylings of Jack Evans and Angelico are going to give The Matt Hardy Brand LLC a rude awakening.
But it must be asked, just where will Private Party be while this bout is going down?
“Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy (w/ Chuck Taylor) vs. Luther (w/ Serpentico)
In his first singles bout since last December's Dynamite Diamond Ring Match with MJF, Orange Cassidy gets back to action this week on DYNAMITE! But OC best be wary, not just of a foe nicknamed “The Original Death Dealer”, but also of the people he offended two weeks ago when Orange and Chuck went above and beyond to ruin every aspect of the Sabian/Ford wedding following “I Do”.
Miro made it abundantly clear in the video embedded above that he aims to put Orange and Chuck Taylor in the hospital alongside Trent, so it's a good thing Sexy Chuckie T is out of servitude and back to walk on the side of the angels with Freshly Squeezed!!
As for Luther, while it's been a couple months for OC since his last singles bout, it has been even longer since this half of Chaos Effect has gone one-on-one. His last singles contest went down on the September 4th edition of AEW DARK where Darby Allin picked up the victory, and since then, “The Original Death Dealer” has focused on tag team work with Serpentico.
Luther has a huge opportunity at hand come Wednesday to shock the world by not only picking up his first singles victory since May 19th when he topped Jon Cruz, but also notching his first ever on DYNAMITE!
Which man will pick up the win on TNT? Will anyone be lurking in the shadows waiting for their opportunity to strike back for the wedding fiasco, or will they step up face-to-face for their revenge? Tune in Wednesday night to to find out!!!
This week DYNAMITE presents a tremendous AEW World Tag Team Title bout with history reaching back to before AEW hit TNT's airwaves, as well as the next 1st round bout in the Women's World Title Eliminator Tournament! Plus Hardy & Page unite once more, Eddie Kingston gets his request for war, Sting comes at Team Taz, and FTR returns from suspension. The road to REVOLUTION 2021 is fraught with peril, and the ride is only going to get rougher as March 7th gets closer. Do not miss out on a second of the action as it kicks off at 8pm EST/7pm CST on TNT, or on AEWPlus.com for our International audience!
And, as mentioned earlier, be sure to head over to our official YouTube account for an action packed AEW DARK and the 1st round of the Japanese Bracket of the Women's World Title Eliminator Tournament, as well as the Pre- and Post-Game shows for DYNAMITE!