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AEW Dynamite Preview for July 12, 2023


With the finals of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament coming on Saturday night in Calgary and Blood & Guts a week away in Boston, All Elite Wrestling comes to Saskatoon, SK and the Sasktel Centre for the very first time!


One-half of the Women's Finals will be set when Skye Blue locks horns with Ruby Soho, the Blind Eliminator Tag Tournament will continue with Adam Cole and AEW World Champion MJF in action against Big Bill and Brian Cage, and Chris Jericho will take on the high-flying Komander! Plus 18-year old sensation Nick Wayne will make his long-anticipated AEW debut against Swerve Strickland, and we will find out who The Elite and The BCC will pick as the fifth man in their team for Blood & Guts!



DYNAMITE gets underway at 8pm ET/7pm CT LIVE on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international fans, so be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel prior to the show to catch-up on highlights from last week's episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, as well as the newest edition of THE CONTROL CENTER, and more!

THE 5TH MAN IN THE CAGE...



The clock is ticking down towards the moment The Elite and The Blackpool Combat Club enter into the Blood & Guts Cage, and attempt to destroy one another. There is no other way to describe it than destruction, just look how the previous two such fights played out and it is clear this is about nothing more than decimation and violence.


We know one side of the equation will be Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Kenny Omega, and Hangman Page while the other will be Jon Moxley, ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta, and Konosuke Takeshita, but the question remains just who each team's final combatant will be. We know it won't be Eddie Kingston stepping into the fight alongside The Elite like he did at Forbidden Door, that day he is slated to take on EVIL as part of NJPW's G1 Climax Tournament, so who will be the man tapped for this violent gathering? There has been much speculation as to who The Elite's fifth man will be, with a few names dominating the field, will it be one of those or something more out of left field that The BCC are unlikely to anticipate?


And what about The BCC and their fifth man? There's been much less speculation about their man, fewer names bandied about to replace Bryan Danielson's spot in the cage, but based on last week interaction with Don Callis, Chris Jericho has to be one of the names thrown into the guessing game. Chris is a veteran of both previous Blood & Guts matches, suffering rather ignominious fates in each, but he brings a knowledge stemming from experience.


Other than Jericho, the members of The BCC and Takeshita have a wealth of connections they could tap into in order to fill that spot, but who would be wild enough to step into Blood & Guts on just a week's notice knowing the fate in store for every person involved in the fracas? We will have an answer to both mysteries this Wednesday night in Saskatoon!


OWEN HART FOUNDATION WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL MATCH...

Ruby Soho vs. Skye Blue



The last time Ruby Soho and Skye Blue were in the ring together, albeit in a tag team match rather than singles, it was the latter who scored the pinfall victory, and that momentum has helped propel Skye in this year's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament. That being said, in their lone singles encounter back in March it was Ruby who picked up the victory, just as she did in their first tag team bout a few weeks later.


But that was a different animal, at least in the case of Ruby, though she may be already thrown her lot in with The Outcasts at that point, the Ruby who is heading into this fight on Wednesday night seems far more driven and, quite frankly, violent than the woman who Skye has fought previously. There's an edge to her that wasn't there in March, and definitely wasn't there last May when she fought Dr. Britt Baker in the finals of the 2022 Owen. Just look at the woman in the video below for a feel of her vibe:


This Ruby seems scarier than she ever has before, and while Skye Blue has far more confidence heading into this fight, far more momentum, and seems far more prepared for the inevitability of the rest of The Outcasts, she has to be wary of what this Ruby is carrying on her back with the 2023 Owen Finals just days away in Calgary. For Skye this is a huge opportunity to have the biggest week of her AEW career, but for Ruby this is about redemption, about a history of coming up short, and really about winning to spite the rest of the women in All Elite Wrestling.


This is a moment for this Outcast to prove their point about the women in the AEW locker room, but it's also one for Skye Blue to prove the power of those same women. Ruby already shook one monkey off her back when she beat Britt, now she just has to put down Skye for a second time in order to have a chance to shake off another on Saturday night. Who will take that next step towards becoming part of history this Wednesday night?

BLIND ELIMINATOR TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL...

AEW World Champion MJF & Adam Cole vs. Big Bill & Brian Cage



Whereas the opposite side of this tournament is two teams made up of men who know each other well, this side of the equation is made up of two teams who are anything but familiar with one another, but that didn't stop either unit from being quite successful in their Quarter-Final matches. The AEW World Champion and Adam Cole topped the impromptu, yet intriguing, duo of Matt Menard and The Butcher, while the equally unlikely pairing of Big Bill and Brian Cage toppled Trent Beretta and Matt Sydal. Bill and Brian may be an unlikely team, but they are possibly the most intimidating ever assembled in All Elite Wrestling.


In terms of stature, in terms of power, they are one of, if not the, most fearsome duos that could've arisen from the Blind Eliminator pairings. Are there two men on the AEW roster who could match the attributes these two men bring to the table? They are far more likely than MJF and Adam Cole to genuinely remain on the same page, and what they managed to accomplish as a team last week against Trent and Sydal showed they're a force to be reckoned with as long as they stay alive in this tournament.


So while some may predict Cole and MJF as shoe-ins to run the table based on their abilities alone, Big Bill and Brian Cage are apt to play spoiler to those predictions and smash their way to the World Tag Team Title match that awaits the tournament winner!

BLIND ELIMINATOR TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL...

AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy & Darby Allin vs. Daniel Garcia & Sammy Guevara



This is one loaded with potential to tear the roof off the house on Wednesday night; four of the greatest young talent in All Elite Wrestling, all holding championships at some point in their AEW career (or currently holding in the case of Orange Cassidy), and in the case of Darby and Orange, two of the most beloved competitors in AEW.


The talents of each man here are well known, and though many may think Garcia and Guevara would be the more cohesive team given their Jericho Appreciation Society ties, the fact is they've only had two matches as a team, and that's including their win over Matt Hardy and Jeff Jarrett last week. Meanwhile, Darby Allin and Orange Cassidy have made quite the tag team of themselves over the course of 2023, going 8-0 to date, and very much looking towards the AEW World Tag Team Championship opportunity earned by the winner of this tournament.


Will Darby and Orange, undefeated as a team, continue that roll over Daniel Garcia and Sammy Guevera, or will The J.A.S. duo live up to the challenge set before them by Chris Jericho to blaze their own trail separate from him? There's plenty of history between these four men beyond the confines of this tournament, be it the TNT Championship history between Darby and Sammy or the recent AEW International Championship issues between OC and Garcia, they are all quite familiar with one another inside that squared circle. It's going to make for quite the interesting tag team situation in this Semi-Final contest in the Blind Eliminator Tournament!

ONE-ON-ONE...

Chris Jericho vs. Komander



Chris Jericho was left with some thinking to do after being confronted by Don Callis last week on DYNAMITE. Though it may have been difficult to hear given how the fans in Edmonton responded to Callis, the offer laid out for Jericho to join Don's family was impossible to ignore. Now that being said, just who comprises Callis' family beyond Konosuke Takeshita is a reasonable question, like is he lumping The Blackpool Combat Club into that unit? If that's the case, where do people like Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and Bryan Danielson stand on the offer extended to a man they've all had tremendous issues with at various points in AEW's existence? How would they feel standing next to Chris Jericho if he was the one to claim the fifth spot for BCC in Blood & Guts?


While that's a question sure to arise in light of Callis' offer, there's also the question of how Chris Jericho will roll with the high-flying stylings of Komander when he takes on the luchador this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE? Komander's last ROH appearance was several weeks ago when he took on Castagnoli in a ROH World Championship match, and he certainly took the measure of the defending champion before ultimately succumbing to the Swiss Superman. That same fight is what Komander will no doubt bring when he locks up with “The Wizard” on DYNAMITE; it has the potential to bolster the profile of Komander to extraordinary heights, or serve as the first step for Jericho on whatever path he chooses!

THE DEBUT...

Swerve Strickland vs. Nick Wayne


Though barely 18 years of age, literally his birthday was just on July 10th, Nick Wayne has been signed to an AEW contract since January 2022 when he was 16 years old, a contract that would become effective when the young man turned 18, but contingent on the stipulation that he finished high school, a milestone he achieved in June. So with that part of the agreement met, all Nick Wayne had to do was wait for that 18th birthday to hit, and he knew it would be time to step into an AEW ring for the first time as an active competitor.


Wayne also had the fortune of not having his first AEW opponent be a mystery because three months ago, after he beat Swerve Strickland for the DEFY Championship on April 9th, Swerve promised that he would be the first man Nick would meet inside the AEW ring. That means both men have had time to prepare for this fight, and each time to reflect on their previous pair of DEFY outings to see where they went wrong and game plan accordingly. Their DEFY history together stands at one win a piece, Swerve's coming first back in February of 2022, and now the rivalry will be amplified onto the worldwide stage that All Elite Wrestling provides to the greatest collection of professional wrestlers fighting today!


Nick Wayne has never fought on a stage such as this, with the eyes of the wrestling world watching his every move, but the fact he grew up in this world, son of the late Buddy Wayne, has already helped Nick tremendously along the way, but not because of the name. What growing up surrounded by wrestling did was instill a love in the sport in the young man, he gave him eyes not just to enjoy the sport, but also to learn and study what he was watching. Nick Wayne may only be 18 years old, but he handles himself in a fashion well-beyond that age and with a poise beyond his in-ring experience. He learned from tapes, he learned from being in the ring with veterans like Christopher Daniels, TJP, Alex Shelley, and 2 Cold Scorpio, as well as by traveling around the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan. There are a lot of miles on the young man's resume already, and the fact he can look to 2-Time TNT Champion Darby Allin as a mentor and friend is another boon to those accomplishments.


As for Swerve, he considers AEW his house and he's not about to let the newest addition to the roster make their bones at his expense. The fact that Nick is also tied to Darby, while that makes it all the more necessary for Strickland to stomp his feet through Wayne's chest this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE. The issues between Strickland and Allin are the type that will never fade out completely, so any opportunity for Swerve to twist the knife on Darby is one he relishes.


But no matter which man's boots you stand in, this bout comes with a lot of pressure, the pressure for Swerve, in his mind at least, to defend his house, and the pressure on Nick Wayne to live up to the hype that comes from being offered a contract by All Elite Wrestling at such a young age, knowing that means the company is invested in your potential, but it's all on you to live up to it. Can Nick Wayne, who has spent several years showing the world he can be one of the best, parlay that into success with this elevation of his career? Or will Swerve shut Nick Wayne down on his AEW day one?


AEW's Canadian Summer Tour nears its end when All Elite Wrestling debuts at Saskatoon's Sasktel Centre for a high-octane edition of DYNAMITE! The Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament continues as Adam Cole and MJF meet Big Bill and Brian Cage, the Finals of the Women's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament will be shaped when Ruby Soho fights Skye Blue, and we will learn the identity of the 5th men in Blood & Guts for both The BCC and The Elite!



The night begins at 8pm ET/7pm CT on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, so be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel before the night begins to catch DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION highlights, as well as this week's edition of THE CONTROL CENTER, and much more!










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