AEW Dynamite Preview for January 12, 2022
All Elite Wrestling has already experienced a tremendous 2022 and we've only presented one week of AEW events! Hangman Page retained the AEW World Title in a tremendous fight with Bryan Danielson, Jade Cargill became the 1st ever TBS Women's Champion, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus became the new AEW World Tag Team Champions, and Sammy Guevara became the first-ever Interim TNT Champion when he beat Dustin Rhodes! Jake Atlas had a tremendous bout with Adam Cole, AEW presented its first-ever Saturday Night Fight special with BATTLE OF THE BELTS, Dr. Britt Baker finally shook the monkey off her back when she beat Riho (albeit with more than a little help) to retain the Women's World Title, and Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz won an absolutely wild No DQ contest over Lee, Parker, and Garcia!
That, and a whole lot more, took place over the course of just four days, and we are getting right back at it this week with a DYNAMITE hailing from Raleigh, NC (Buy Tickets) for the very first time. Punk and Wardlow! Shida and Deeb! Martin and Powerhouse! Garcia and Guevara for the Interim TNT Title! It's already shaping up to be one memorable edition of AEW's flagship program, and that's just what's on paper!
Of course, as began last week and every week from now on, the best wrestling on Earth comes to you on TBS at 8pm EST/7pm CST, as well as at AEWPlus.com for the international audience! And our week, as it always does, gets started on Monday nights on the official AEW YouTube channel with DARK: ELEVATION, and is followed up with AEW DARK, ROAD TO, and the AEW CONTROL CENTER to get you primed for Wednesday night's action!
INTERIM TNT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
“Spanish God” Sammy Guevara(c) vs. “Red Death” Daniel Garcia
On Saturday night at BATTLE OF THE BELTS, Sammy Guevara became the first individual in AEW to hold an interim championship, in this case the TNT Title, as 3-Time champion Cody Rhodes was unable to defend said title due to medical protocols.
In a tremendously competitive bout pitting two hungry athletes against one another, “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes came a hair's breadth away from capturing his first AEW championship and potentially setting up a rematch of the legendary DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2019 bout with his brother. Ultimately it was “The Spanish God” who, in this third singles bout between the two warriors, found a way to win and claim the Interim TNT Title as his own. In a tremendous show of respect for Sammy, something that certainly didn't exist coming out of their prior fights, the veteran Rhodes embraced the new champion before departing the ring to allow Guevara time to soak in the fan's adulation.
While that may have been Rhodes' intent, giving Sammy a time to celebrate, Daniel Garcia had other plans in mind and immediately entered the ring to get ring in Guevara's face. It was only a matter of seconds before the words exchanged turned to blows being thrown, and the entire referee corps was forced down to the ring to separate the two wrestlers.
It did not take long for AEW GM Tony Khan to sign these men into a title fight for this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, essentially continuing the Open Challenge tradition established at the TNT Title's outset by Cody Rhodes, and adhered to by Sammy Guevara during his initial 84 day reign as champion. And while this meeting may mark a first-time one for Sammy and Daniel Garcia, it certainly feels like an outgrowth of the issues between Garcia, his 2point0 buddies, and Guevara's Inner Circle compatriots.
Daniel, Jeff Parker, and Matt Lee have had plenty of problems with Chris Jericho, Ortiz, and Santana as of late, and even after the fight last Friday night on RAMPAGE, it seems those issues with The Inner Circle are not going away. In fact, they've clearly grown to encompass Sammy Guevara and the Interim TNT Title as well! Can Sammy follow in the victorious footsteps of Ortiz and Santana from the fight on RAMPAGE, or will he end up like they did after the match as a victim of a vicious beatdown? Tune into DYNAMITE this Wednesday to see if Sammy survives!
Hikaru Shida vs. “The Professor” Serena Deeb
Across the board in All Elite Wrestling, there are few competitors who have gone one-on-one as many times as former AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb. Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin have done it; other competitors, like Jericho/MJF and Nyla/Shida, have had a trio of singles bouts, but there is nothing about the Rhodes/Allin quartet of bouts that remotely compares to the anger that has seeped into Shida/Deeb rivalry.
It started when AEW seemed to begin celebrating Shida's 50th win before it had even occurred, even crafting a trophy prior to the match that would have netted Hikaru that landmark record. It was almost as if the win was a given, and that victory would've come at the expense of none other than Serena Deeb. “The Professor” ended up playing spoiler that night, besting Shida in the center of the ring, and then to add insult, as well as injury, to injury, Deeb smashed the 50th win trophy across Hikaru's head.
And just like that, a rivalry that seemed strictly professional on the surface was elevated into something far more personal. Perhaps it was the trophy situation that pushed Serena over the edge, or perhaps this is just who she has truly been the entire time, the darkness was just simmering under the surface waiting to break loose. Unfortunately for Shida, it broke loose at the expense of her 50th win (at least for the moment) and at the expense of her knee.
She'd bounce back though, score that 50th win, and it would be at Serena's expense after all, only this time instead of in a standard singles match on DYNAMITE, it would come in the opening round of the TBS Title Tournament! Deeb won the opening battle, but Shida certainly won the bigger one, it there was no way Serena was going to let that go without a measure of revenge. That would come during Shida's Quarter-Final tournament bout with Nyla Rose when Serena found an opening to clip Hikaru's injured leg, an attack that would prove Shida's undoing when Rose slapped on a Horse Collar submission.
Round three came at DYNAMITE: WINTER IS COMING where Shida picked up the win in the rubber match, and one might anticipate that would bring about the end of the road for this rivalry. But clearly, based on the words Deeb spoke to Jim Ross in the video embedded above, that is not the case for “The Professor” and she simply wants to permanently hurt Hikaru Shida. Serena wants to insure Shida cannot walk away after the match, and one can extrapolate that is exactly what she wants for the rest of the women's roster as well.
This is not going to be an athletic exhibition or catch-as-catch-can contest between two of the best wrestlers in the game today; this is going to be a fight and neither woman is going to walk away unscathed.
“The Best In The World” CM Punk vs. “The War Dog” Wardlow
Last week on DYNAMITE, Maxwell Jacob Friedman did what Maxwell Jacob Friedman tends to do best when faced with difficult situations: he ran and hid, not in his locker room or under the ring or out of the arena. Rather he did what he always does, hid behind someone else, and in this case that someone being his frequent choice of human shield: “The War Dog” Wardlow.
He threw Wardlow in front of Cody, inside a Steel Cage no less, in what was the man's first AEW match. He dumped four men in the path of Jericho as “Le Champion” pursued a fight with MJF, the fourth of which was once again a bout with Wardlow. It's pretty much par for the course that MJF will avoid a fight at all costs, and take advantage of a situation whenever possible. Just look at the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale one month ago, MJF had no problem dumping Wardlow out of the match when the situation presented itself.
And through it all, any time Wardlow has shown the slightest bit of chafing at the leash, MJF has made sure to remind “War Dog” just who pays his bills. Perhaps all that is why Max displays zero compunction in throwing Wardlow to the wolves whenever the situation arises, and why he had no hesitancy in putting “War Dog” against CM Punk this Wednesday rather than fight “The Best In The World” himself.
But there is a difference between how Wardlow will approach this match versus how his boss will; that is if Max ever has the courage to step into the ring with Punk one-on-one. Wardlow is not going to back down and he is not going to run, he will go headfirst into the fight and he will look Punk in his eyes. He will throwdown with CM Punk, Punk will throw it right back, and they will have themselves some good old fashioned fisticuffs. Now it's almost a sure thing MJF will look for an opening to get involved, some opportune moment to take a shot at Punk, to try and cost him a match the same way Punk handed MJF a loss to Shawn Dean, thus putting The Captain in the illustrious company of Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho as someone with a win over Max.
One has to wonder what Wardlow has to say about this, what is going through his head about having his opponents dictated to him, or perhaps he is just content to decimate whoever is across the ring regardless of how they got there. Whatever the situation may be, CM Punk has to know he is in for one hell of a fight on DYNAMITE, but it is one he must endure in order to get his hands on Maxwell Jacob Friedman.
Dante Martin vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
On September 8th in Cincinnati, Dante Martin and Powerhouse Hobbs squared off for the very first time. Although Hobbs won that fight, and it left both men feeling battered and bruised, it also piqued the interest of Taz in relation to Martin. Shortly thereafter, Team Taz would begin making overtures towards Dante despite his affiliation with Matt Sydal, and those pursuits did not let up when the 20 year old athlete chose to explore a mentorship with the newly arrived Lio Rush.
Team Taz waited to extend an official offer to Dante though, waited until a week where Lio was not in attendance due to the passing of his grandmother. Perhaps it was the friendship between Dante Martin and HOOK that gave Taz the belief he had the necessary leverage to woo Martin to Team Taz, and perhaps that's why it was totally plausible Dante signed onto the fly the FTW banner.
Yet all was not as it seemed and the truth would reveal itself in the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale when Martin, Ricky Starks, and MJF were the last three individuals standing. It seemed the perfect opportunity for Team Taz to double up on Max, dump him out, and fight at DYNAMITE: WINTER IS COMING to see who would carry the Dynamite Diamond Ring for Team Taz.
Jokes on Taz...
Martin dumped out Ricky Starks himself, and when the two-on-one assault from Starks and MJF began afterwards, it was CM Punk who made the save to even the odds. Turns out that Lio and Dante had played Team Taz, and suffice to say that does not sit well with The Human Suplex Machine or the men who comprise his unit. Last week, Hobbs and Dante were signed to square off this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, but Ricky Starks decided to send a message prior to the bout by calling out Martin's former mentor Matt Sydal at BATTLE OF THE BELTS. “Absolute” even put the FTW Title on the line to up the ante, and the extremely game Sydal nearly made Starks regret that choice. Matt took nearly everything Ricky had, including Starks' leg, but when the FTW Champion finally hit the Rochambeau, it was all over for Matt.
The aftermath of what happened can be seen in the video embedded above, but suffice to say Dante Martin has zero fear of facing Powerhouse Hobbs this week on DYNAMITE. Will Hobbs make it a repeat of their first meeting and get revenge for Dante's ruse? Or will Martin continue to rise up the ranks under the tutelage of Lio Rush?
DYNAMITE comes to Raleigh, NC for the very first time this Wednesday night and with it comes Sammy Guevara's first defense of the Interim TNT Title, Wardlow being unleashed on Punk, Powerhouse Hobbs looking to hurt Dante Martin, and the ever-escalating war between Serena Deeb and Hikaru Shida enters another chapter! TBS is the new home for All Elite Wrestling but we are still coming your way at 8pm EST/7pm CST, and on AEWPlus.com for our international audience!
As it does every week, the action begins on the official AEW YouTube channel with the newest episodes of DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, and ROAD TO!