AEW Dynamite Preview for January 20, 2021
Coming out of our two week NEW YEAR'S EVE SMASH extravaganza, All Elite Wrestling hits the airwaves this week LIVE with another loaded edition of DYNAMITE on TNT! Last week we saw The Elite unite in six-man action, but not The Elite anyone expected to see, least of all The Young Bucks. The Good Brothers teamed up with AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, leaving Matt and Nick Jackson high-and-dry, but if you believe what everyone said on BTE (Watch Here) this week, it was never the plan.
Fans also witnessed Jon Moxley attempt to decimate the World Champion, The Waiting Room turn chaotic with Cody Rhodes as the guest, Serena Deeb retain the NWA World Women's Title, Miro make Chuck Taylor his butler, and it all kicked off with PAC and Kingston going to war!
This week the excitement continues with a DYNAMITE first: a three way tag team match with The Inner Circle versus The Inner Circle versus...The Inner Circle?!!? Plus Cody Rhodes is in singles action, Hangman Page and The Dark Order are teaming up again, Hirsch and Ford bring the heat for the women's division, Jon Moxley will compete, and plenty more on tap to fulfill your wrestling needs!
DYNAMITE is coming at you hard starting at 8pm EST/7pm CST on TNT, or on AEWPlus.com for our International fans, and do not miss the Pre- and Post-Game shows exclusively available on our YouTube channel (Watch Here).
***RANKINGS LISTED AS OF 1/13/21***
INNER CIRCLE TAG TEAM CHALLENGE...
(#5) Proud-N-Powerful (Ortiz & Santana) vs.
Chris Jericho & MJF vs.
Sammy Guevara & Jake Hager
“I think this is the year that Chris Jericho and MJF are going to win the AEW Tag Team Championships of the World!”
Those where the words of “The DemoGod” last Wednesday night when the collective Inner Circle members were supposed to gather to declare their New Year's Resolutions. Simply put: it did not sit well with all the others. It seems as if it would've been obvious to Jericho even before the words fell out of his mouth that the men who comprise Proud-n-Powerful would've had an issue with this statement, and clearly that was the case when Santana spoke up.
As the two men brought into The Inner Circle as an actual tag team, one whose time together dates back a decade all across the wrestling landscape, Ortiz and Santana have every right to be upset with their leader for that statement. Originally coming into AEW with their eyes firmly locked on The Young Bucks and the ultimate goal of becoming World Tag Team Champions, they have been pushed and pulled all over the place, mostly in service of Jericho's needs, and to date have not challenged for those belts. Sure there have been a few #1 Contender bouts, a Texas Street Fight with The Young Bucks, a Four Way, and a Battle Royal, but none of those have gone in favor of PnP and, quite frankly, the odds were certainly not 50/50 in two of those situations. Regardless, from the outside looking in, it does not feel like the machine of The Inner Circle has been behind Santana and Ortiz pursuing those championships. It is also not the first time these two New Yorkers have heard Jericho declared his tag title aspirations...
See when Sammy Guevara so eloquently referred to Chris Jericho as a “tag team slut” in the midst of this, he was not exactly wrong in affixing that label. During the 15 month existence of The Inner Circle the self-proclaimed “Million Viewer Man” went from teaming with Sammy Guevara as “Le Sex Gods” to declaring he and Jake Hager would pursue the tag titles to now jumping into the division with the intent of making MJF his championship partner. But this is not unusual to Jericho over the course of his career, from 1999 until 2009 he reigned as a tag team champion on seven occasions with five different partners, so loyalty and Jericho don't necessarily go hand-in-hand.
Then there is Jake Hager who excitedly stated just wants championships, while Wardlow sat back with a grin on his face as Jericho talked about he and Hager's fight (a bout that The War Dog won) two weeks ago. They both seem pretty content to go with the flow of The Inner Circle, but one moment in the heat of the situation that that was particularly interesting saw Hager step up to defend Max when Guevara was going off on Jericho and MJF. A little receipt for Max checking on Big Jake after that Wardlow loss perhaps?
So how will this three way battle of The Inner Circle affect the group moving forward? Will it be another moment of “get it out of your systems and move on” as we saw with Jake and Wardlow, Jericho and MJF, and Jericho's Ultimatum back on the December 9th DYNAMITE? Eventually, one would think, these struggles within the unit are going to create rifts that just cannot be mended and if that proves the case, it's going to be Chris Jericho who will have to look in the mirror and just ask himself some questions.
For the sake of The Inner Circle's future, hopefully this Wednesday is not the breaking point...
-1 BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
SIX MAN TAG ACTION...
Hangman Adam Page & The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds, Colt Cabana, & John Silver)
TH2 (Angelico & Jack Evans) and Chaos Project (Luther & Serpentico)
As part of the celebration of -1's birthday, Dark Order members Alex Reynolds and John Silver will be in action, and they are once again joined by “Hangman” Adam Page for some six man tag team action! The Dark Order has been courting Page for months now, even before he and Kenny Omega lost the World Tag Team Titles, but ever since that defeat and the heartbreak of the World Title Eliminator Tournament, it has been a full court press by The Dark Order.
And Page at least seems interested in something this rather unique family has to offer, so much so that he has in fact teamed with Reynolds and Silver twice in the last month. This unusual trio carries one win and one loss in their outings, but there is so much more going on than just what happens inside the wrestling ring. There appears to be a genuine interest in the well-being of Hangman Page from The Dark Order, and a particular excitement at the prospect of him officially signing on with the group, especially from John Silver.
It's a rather odd situation for sure, one that likely came out of some desire to manipulate or use Page, but it has evolved into something else, something that appears genuine. As for Adam, well he has demonstrated on numerous occasions a desire, if not a visceral need, for some form of support in AEW, some kind of family, and when he has isolated himself from that (by choice or by consequence) it has not been good for him personally. Fans have seen it when Adam stepped away from The Elite willingly and when he was manipulated by FTR after thinking them his friends, they also witnessed it when Page was evicted from The Elite by The Young Bucks and so to when Kenny Omega left him by the wayside in pursuit of the World Title. Page, on his own, is volatile and self-destructive, but the antics and the seemingly genuine affection shown him by The Dark Order has actually put a smile on Adam's face several times over and for the first time in what feels like ages.
In that video embedded above, Page even tells the gathered members of The Dark Order that he will give them an answer by the end of the night Wednesday about his status with them. Is Adam in or is he out? Will the outcome of this bout against the first-time quartet of The Hybrid 2 and Chaos Effect be a factor in Hangman's decision? We will find out Wednesday night!
(#3) “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes vs. Pretty Peter Avalon
As has been discussed ad nauseam, there is a great deal on the plate of Cody Rhodes on a daily basis. Between his duties as an EVP of All Elite Wrestling, his time with the GO BIG SHOW, these issues that keep popping up with Jade Cargill and Shaquille O'Neal, the baby he and Brandi are expecting, Team Taz, and just general in-ring competition, one would think Cody would start to feel stretched thin. Most any person would looking at all that business before them, but it seems to be a situation in which “The American Nightmare” thrives. He takes it all and uses it to get better, grow stronger, and to learn. Cody excels under adversity, and has proven it time and again.
On the other hand, his opponent this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE spent a great deal of time caving in under adversity. Peter Avalon, starting with his first AEW match at FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN 2019 and continuing on until the September 15th episode of DARK, lost twenty-seven straight matches. Eight singles matches and nineteen tag team matches over the course of those fourteen months and every single one of them ended in defeat. Sadly for Peter, that losing streak was not even broken by a victory but rather by a pair of draws against former tag team partner in The Initiative, Brandon Cutler. The first ended in a double count out, while the rematch culminated in a double disqualification; a pair of firsts for AEW so at least the two men have that in the record books. Their rubber match would sling another loss onto Avalon's record, putting him at 0-28-2 as he prepared to reintroduce himself to singles competition on AEW DARK the week of Thanksgiving 2020.
To the shock of many, possibly even Pretty Peter himself, he would end up with a great deal to be thankful for that chilly Tuesday night as the losing streak was broken when PPA defeated Fuego Del Sol. Finally that first column had something besides a zero to occupy the space as Peter was now: 1-28-2.
Peter would follow-up that victory with two more DARK wins over Jon Cruz and Louie Valle, marking three consecutive Tuesday nights with a notch in the win column to put Avalon at 3-28-2. Taking one week off, Avalon came back with his fourth victory in a row, this one over Mike Verna, to close out 2020, and then would kick off 2021 with a fifth win notched on Angel Fashion.
Finally, after more than a year of being beat down, of being demoralized, by loss after loss, Pretty Peter Avalon learned from the adversity and ended the worst year of his wrestling career on a solid winning streak. This Wednesday night, in his first match on DYNAMITE since participating in the TV Title #1 Contender's Battle Royale on May 27th, Peter Avalon will receive his reward for that winning streak in the form of a match with one “American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes!
This is, unarguably, the biggest match and greatest opportunity Avalon has experienced in his entire AEW career. No disrespect meant to Darby Allin, Colt Cabana, Orange Cassidy, or the other men PPA has fought in singles competition, but this is the highest profile bout that he could fight short of a championship being on the line. Cody is Mr. Go Big Show, he is a former 2-Time TNT Champion, he is an EVP, he is the head of The Nightmare Family, and if Peter Avalon can find the tools inside him to top Rhodes on AEW's flagship program, in front of a worldwide audience no less, he will be a made man and each of those twenty-eight defeats on the road to January 19th will have been worth it.
THE HARDY PARTY...
Matt Hardy & Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)
Matt Sydal & Top Flight (Dante & Darius Martin)
It would be safe to say that all is not copacetic in the world of the “Hardy Party” as a rather egomaniacal aspect of Matt Hardy's personality has come to the forefront and repeatedly abused the trust placed in him by Private Party. Once serving as a mentor to help Marq and Isiah grows a competitors, Hardy has morphed into an untrustworthy and manipulative manager-type whose clients are already bristling under his thumb. He has locked Private Party into a contract with him that is...imbalanced...at best, with terms that seem rather arbitrary, heavily in the favor of Mr. Hardy, and that is just what is happening outside the ring.
Inside the ring, as their partner in recent six man tags or as the man on the outside, Matt has pushed his charges to bend the rules, to use a chair if they can get away with it, to push it to the extreme to win. These are not the actions in which Isiah or Marq want to engage in order to pick up wins and move up in the ranks, but it is where their management is pushing them to go.
Across the ring from The Hardy Party on Wednesday will stand a trio that could be considered a parallel: two young hungry athletes from the tag team ranks teamed with a well-traveled veteran who has achieved wrestling successes around the globe. But in the case of Matt Sydal, Dante Martin, and Darius Martin, there is no contract legally binding them together, nothing forcing Top Flight to give Sydal half of their AEW earnings, or percentages from other outside income sources. The Martin brothers won't be encouraged by this Matt to take shortcuts if they turn to him for advice, nor be reprimanded for how they choose to conduct themselves. If they choose to use the knowledge of the man they'll be sharing the ring with on DYNAMITE, Top Flight will be encouraged and boosted up rather than talked down to for having less experience than their partner.
It's certainly an interesting dynamic presented by this six-man tag, especially with five men who will let it all hang out to pick up the victory! The sixth, like any shady manager, well he will probably let the others do the work and try to take all the credit...
“Legit” Leyla Hirsch vs. (#4) Penelope Ford (w/ Kip Sabian, Miro, & Butler Charles Taylor)
Originally scheduled as Hirsch versus former AEW Women's World Champion Nyla Rose, COVID-relation precautions necessitated a change to the match-up, and in that original match's place now sits one loaded with history that predates AEW's existence.
Back on February 23rd of 2018 in Asbury Park, NJ, Hirsch and Ford stepped into the ring to face one another for the very first time in a singles match. Penelope, at that point into the second year of her wrestling career, topped Leyla who had garnered maybe ten matches under her belt.
From there each would traverse around the wrestling world, garnering experience against a laundry list of opponents from coast-to-coast, and outside the United States, before each of their journeys brought them to All Elite Wrestling.
Penelope was All Elite almost from jump street, making her debut in the Women's Casino Battle Royale during the ALL OUT 2019: BUY-IN, while Leyla did not enter into the auspices of AEW until October of 2020 when she fought Serena Deeb for the NWA World Women's Title on DYNAMITE.
Now, live this Wednesday night, by a twist of fate outside of their control, Leyla Hirsch and Penelope Ford will lock horns for the first time in nearly three years. While their roads may have started in the same place, albeit a few years apart, and may have converged here in AEW, their respective experiences in professional wrestling have taught them both very differently lessons and now each woman will bring those lessons to the ring on DYNAMITE!
MIRO & HIS BUTLER...
In addition to Miro's good friend Penelope Ford being in action, we also expect an update from “The Best Man” as it pertains to Chuck Taylor, or should it be Charles Taylor, who Miro beat last Wednesday on DYNAMITE. Unfortunately for Chuckie T, that defeat was not merely just a notch in the loss column, rather it indentured one-half of The Best Friends to Miro until after DYNAMITE: BEACH BREAK and the Sabian/Ford nuptials set for February 3rd.
What has Taylor had to endure over the course of the last week serving as a butler to the man who put his tag team partner Trent on the shelf for the foreseeable future? Washing dishes? Cleaning dirty laundry? Scrubbing bathroom floors with a toothbrush? What does a man like Miro need his butler to do on a daily basis? We will get an update on Wednesday!
MOX IN ACTION...
Put yourself in the shoes of the number one ranked former World Champion Jon Moxley; robbed of your title via nefarious means despite a gentleman's agreement, physically dissected by a three-on-one assault with your own barbwire wrapped baseball bat, and then, when you come looking for vengeance, watching the target of your wrath turn tail and leave others to handle the chaotic situation left behind. How would you feel? Probably a bit frustrated, likely disappointed, certainly angry that the one responsible evaded his comeuppance once again, and most definitely aiming to unleash all that inside the ring.
Now, slide into the boots of the person who must stand across the ring from Mox this week on DYNAMITE when he returns action and imagine what you'll feel inside. It can most likely be summed up with one word: FEAR. After all, it is the only appropriate response when you have to be the first person locking up with Jon Moxley since he was screwed out of the World Title on December 2nd on DYNAMITE: WINTER IS COMING.
Kenny Omega should pay close attention to what unfolds live on Wednesday night because it will be just a small sample of the future in store for him once Moxley gets “The Cleaner” locked in for a rematch.
AEW World Champion Kenny Omega & Don Callis
Speaking of “The Cleaner”, it looks like the AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and Don Callis will grace DYNAMITE with their presence to “reflect on Kenny's dominance”. Coming off a big win over the IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann on Saturday night in a six man tag, compiled with his successful AEW World Title defense topping Rey Fenix, and The Elite's overwhelming victory in that DYNAMITE six man tag last week, Kenny does have a lot to crow about in recent weeks. Take in the big picture of Omega's entire career, and the AEW World Champion has even more to be proud of as a professional wrestler. But to say he requires time on DYNAMITE this week to “reflect on his dominance”, that just reeks of an arrogance that Kenny had not exuded in AEW prior to winning the World Title and Don Callis whispering in his ear.
Omega's self-aggrandizing aside, there is a question that needs to be asked after the events of last week and the deception around The Elite six-man tag. Clearly evident in the BTE video embedded below, The Young Bucks expected to be Kenny's partners for the bout but someone had other plans. Of Kenny, Anderson, and Gallows, none of them claim responsibility, in fact they plead total ignorance, and essentially lay the blame on Don Callis. Matt and Nick weren't buying it, but we will have to wait and see what that will mean for the Bucks relationship with Kenny and The Good Brothers.
TNT Champion Darby Allin & Sting
Last week, the TNT Champion Darby Allin went to battle against “The Machine” Brian Cage with the TNT Title on the line. The last time the two men were in the ring together, in a tag team bout with Cody and Ricky Starks as their respective partners, it was Cage who defeated Allin and cemented himself deserving of this championship match.
But when the title was on the line, Darby's first defense since defeating Cody Rhodes for the championship at FULL GEAR 2020, it was Allin who dug deep to overcome the massive size differential and found a way to win the bout. In retrospect, how Darby won the match may have been a little salt in the wound as well, given that it was a similar situation which prompted Taz to offer Darby his services many months ago.
During the course of the match, as is unsurprisingly the case with Team Taz, Ricky Starks attempted to insert himself into the bout but was greeted with the signature baseball bat of Sting for his efforts. Once again the legendary competitor got involved in the business of Darby Allin, furthering the questions of just what Sting's intentions are for his fellow face-painted competitor.
This week on DYNAMITE, Sting will be on hand to congratulate Darby for his successful retention of the TNT Championship last Wednesday night, and perhaps give us all a deeper look into just what it is about Allin that has Sting's interest.
What a tremendous night of action on tap for our fans this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, dropping on TNT at 8pm EST/7pm CST, or on AEWPlus.com for our audience abroad! And the Full Elite experience really begins with AEW DARK, only on our YouTube channel (Watch Here), every Tuesday night!
This week it is loaded with action from Top Flight, Sammy Guevara, The Lucha Brothers, Scorpio Sky, Proud-n-Powerful, Private Party and more, plus it's DRAGON VERSUS DINOSAUR when Luchasaurus and Brandon Cutler collide! Then get back to the channel prior to DYNAMITE for our Pre-Game Show, and immediately following for our Post-Game wrap-up!