AEW DYNAMITE Preview for January 8th
On January 8th of 2019, the inaugural AEW press conference was held in the shadow of TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville to announce the formation of All Elite Wrestling. Fast forward one year and fans have experienced multiple pay-per-view events, several B/R Live events, the debut of “Dynamite” on TNT, and the crowning of World Champions for the Men's, Women's, and Tag Team divisions within AEW.
It's been a crazy year, especially since “Dynamite” began coming to your homes weekly on Wednesday nights, and the insanity will not let up anytime soon as AEW heads to the Memphis area for the very first time to debut at the Landers Center! One championship will be decided, two big tag team matches are signed, and several men have some major decisions to make about their futures! All this and more with the wrestlers of AEW this week on “Dynamite” live from Southhaven, MS!
AEW WOMAN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
RIHO (c) vs. KRIS STATLANDER
Kris Statlander finished up 2019 as the #1 ranked woman on the AEW roster, setting her up for a title challenge at the Homecoming edition of “Dynamite” last week in Jacksonville. Unfortunately a scheduling conflict that predated Statlander's commitment to AEW arose, and the company permitted her to honor those commitments.
In that match's place, AEW Women's World Champion Riho successfully defended her championship against the #2-#4 contenders in one match, but as seen in the video above, left that match in far worse shape than she started thanks to the uncontrollable Nyla Rose. Yet, in spite of that assault, Riho is honoring her commitment to defend the championship against Statlander this week on “Dynamite”!
Statlander heads into this title confrontation with possibly more momentum than any other person on the AEW Women's roster. Her opponent, on the other hand, is nowhere near 100% despite being given the okay to compete after Rose's attack, but Riho's will to compete and to win is undeniable. Adversity is nothing a stranger to the champion, and no matter how she feels walking to that ring, when the bell rings, Statlander will have a fight on her hands.
CODY & DUSTIN RHODES VS. THE LUCHA BROS (PENTAGON JR. & REY FENIX)
Family is something that has shaped AEW in many ways; be it Matt and Nick Jackson, Cody and Dustin Rhodes, or Pentagon and Rey Fenix, the bonds of blood have been a driving force in this company, particularly within the tag team ranks. Fans have seen The Young Bucks and The Lucha Bros go to war on many occasions since the inception of All Elite Wrestling, and they have seen the brotherhood of Cody & Dustin fight it out with the brothers Jackson as well.
But for the very first time, when AEW comes to Memphis, the fans will bear witness to the Rhodes brothers stepping into the squared circle within The Lucha Bros! This is a tag team match that dreams are made of, and with the record books wiped clean for 2020, it could also shape the picture of future contenders for the World Tag Team Championships held by the SCU duo of Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian.
This is just one more example of All Elite Wrestling hosting the absolute best tag team wrestling anywhere on the planet each and every week!
KENNY OMEGA & “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE VS. PRIVATE PARTY (MARQ QUEN & ISIAH KASSIDY)
Another example of that top shelf tag team competition is here in this battle of two duos at different points in there AEW journey. Private Party is without a doubt one of the most gifted teams on the roster, and they've demonstrated that on numerous occasions, particularly when the defeated The Young Bucks in the AEW World Tag Title Tournament and Proud-n-Powerful on “Dynamite”, not to mention nearly capturing those Tag Titles at the “Full Gear” PPV event.
Kenny and Page, on the other hand, are certainly two of the most gifted individual wrestlers on the planet, but as a team they are in the nascent stages of their evolution. They've competed in a few matches together, had a moderate degree of success, but it's a duo that appears to exist only due to the insistence of Kenny Omega rather than a true desire from Page to be in a team. This is a man who stepped away from his Elite brethren to go nomad, and that path has led him to dark places. Fans have witnessed his drunken antics both backstage, and most recently in Jacksonville, at the commentary booth. Page has been keeping it together for his matches, but once that final bell rings, all bets are off. Just ask his opponents this evening how the man has been acting, or watch the video above to see for yourself.
What will it take to right the good ship Hangman? Clearly it was not seeing his Elite brothers close out last week's “Dynamite” riding high, and thus far it has not been this pairing with Omega not matter how much Kenny may want it. Perhaps it will fall on Private Party to smack some sense into Page this Wednesday night live on TNT (and boost their own standings in the rankings as well).
CHRISTOPHER DANIELS VS. SAMMY GUEVARA
To say Sammy Guevara is riding high after that victory over Dustin Rhodes (as seen in the above video) would be an understatement. A man already prone to arrogance, Sammy might be on a whole new level after scoring a win over a true legend in Dustin, regardless of how it happened and the involvement of Jake Hager.
But it doesn't even take that kind of victory to bring out the bravado of Guevara, his own mouth and trash talking of SCU during an interview with Jen Decker is what got him into this match, and that was before he even defeated Dustin! Only now, heading into Wednesday night, Sammy has some momentum and extra swagger thanks to the victory while Christopher Daniels seems to be doubting himself after that “incident” with Pentagon Jr.
Daniels, a man with championship pedigree and a resume that cements him as one of the greatest of this generation, needs to overcome his case of wrestling yips in order to put down Sammy. Now “The Spanish God” will no doubt have Inner Circle back-up, but so to may Daniels have his SCU brothers at his side to even the odds. It is a generational battle, but for Christopher Daniels, it is reasonable to say that the win here would mean so much more.
JURASSIC EXPRESS (LUCHASAURUS, JUNGLE BOY, & MARKO STUNT) VS. THE BEST FRIENDS (TRENT & CHUCK TAYLOR) & ORANGE CASSIDY
Added to the card Monday night, these 6 man will dance to settle an issue that, on the surface, seems to be about something as basic as a hug. But watch the segment of “Road to Memphis...” embedded above and viewers can see that it is about something deeper than that. It's about show and prove...
In the case of JurEx, it is the same thing it has been about since day one of AEW, establishing themselves in a company crowded with the best wrestling talent on the planet, and proving they deserve to be included among them. Jungle Boy did it when he hung in with AEW World Champion Chris Jericho for ten minutes, Luchasaurus is clearly one of the biggest men on the roster, and Marko has made it his mission to silence all the critics. All three men have been embraced by the AEW fans for their heart, their skill, and their will to persevere despite any odds.
The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy, OC in particular, have also been embraced by AEW fans worldwide for much the same reasons as the Jurassic Express. Trent has had some of the biggest successes of the trio, claiming a pinfall victory over Rey Fenix in tag action and Pentagon Jr. one-on-one, as well as competing in bouts with Jon Moxley and PAC. And in assorted matches they've also beaten Private Party, as well as gone at it with PnP, TH2, The Young Bucks, and SCU.
But now, in the 2nd “Dynamite” of the year, these two trios have a chance to break out and exert a dominance they did not solidify in 2019. And viewers can bet that whichever team has their hands raised in victory, well there will probably be a hug to celebrate.
MOXLEY HAS HIS ANSWER FOR JERICHO...
For several weeks the question has lingered: will Jon Moxley join The Inner Circle? AEW World Champion Chris Jericho extended the offer to Mox to stand with his group, and since that initial offer, has upped the ante to lure the top contender into the IC: 49% stake in the group, an EVP title, a new car, and a personalized license plate to go with it. Difficult offer to turn down for sure, and one that left Moxley with some things to ponder over his flights to/from Japan over the weekend. This writer would even speculate that Jericho may have continued to push the issue or sweeten the deal during their mutual overseas travel...
Now, with both men back on American soil, Moxley has promised to make his decision public this Wednesday night face-to-face with Le Champion. Which way will Jon go? Credit the man for his poker face because he has given no tell as to which way he is leaning. One thing is certain though, should Jon Moxley choose to align himself with The Inner Circle, the balance of power within AEW will firmly rest with Chris Jericho and his unit, and it may become an impossible feat for any man, woman, or unit to stand up in opposition.
MJF MADE HIS DEMANDS, CODY TO RESPOND...
Last week on “Dynamite”, MJF and Wardlow strolled to the ring as confident as ever and laid out Max's stipulations for Cody if the estranged friends were ever to have a match against one another. To get what he wants, Cody must (1) agree to keep his hands off MJF until the “Revolution” PPV on February 29th, (2) agree to receive 10 lashings from Max on live TV, and (3) agree to a CAGE MATCH WITH WARDLOW! Clearly, and as easily predicted, each of these stipulations is designed to tip the balance into MJF's favor should Cody accept them all to get that head-to-head with his former best friend.
“How badly do you want this?” is what MJF wants to know; Cody has to agree to put himself through hell and humiliation in order to get this match, and his willingness to do just that is the question Cody will answer this Wednesday night when he steps foot in the ring for the anniversary edition of “Dynamite”.
TRIBUTE TO THE LEGENDS OF MEMPHIS...
The Memphis area is a territory steeped in professional wrestling history, and All Elite Wrestling is a company that recognizes the rich traditions and the foundation upon which today's in-ring offerings are built. It is with that in mind that AEW, as part of our own Anniversary Celebration, will also celebrate the legends of Memphis! Brian Christopher, Angelo Poffo, Randy Savage, Tommy Gilbert, and Dave Brown, just to name a few, will be celebrated this week at the Landers Center, but if you want to experience this tribute to its fullest, you need to grab your tickets at AEWTix.com to be in attendance Wednesday night!
This Wednesday night, AEW takes over the Landers Center for the Anniversary Edition of “Dynamite” LIVE on TNT! The action kicks off on TV at 8pm EST/7pm CST, with doors opening at 6:30pm CST, and you can be there in-person courtesy of AEWTix.com. Great seats are still available for our fans in the Memphis area, or make sure you catch all the explosive action on your television screens.