AEW Dynamite Preview for July 14, 2021
Last week's DYNAMITE: ROAD RAGER was absolutely wild with the cataclysmic arrival of Malakai Black at Cody Rhodes and Arn Anderson's expense, the violent World Tag Team Title Street Fight, and MJF laying out the Labors of Jericho! It was certainly an exciting way to kick off AEW's return to the road, and the action is only going to get hotter this week when we head to Cedar Park, TX and the SOLD OUT H-E-B Center!!
FYTER FEST 2021, NIGHT 1 airs LIVE on TNT at 8pm EST/7pm CST, or on AEWPlus.com for our International fans, and is loaded up with one must-see bout after another! Darby Allin and “All Ego” Ethan Page will bring their rivalry to a place never before seen in AEW when they meet in a Coffin Match! Team Taz is liable to self-destruct when “The Machine” Brian Cage defends his FTW Title against fellow Team Taz member “Absolute” Ricky Starks! “Big Money” Matt Hardy and Christian Cage meet one-one-one in a battle with decades of history behind it! Making his return to competition for the first time since DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021, Jon Moxley will defend the IWGP US Title on DYNAMITE once again, this time against “The Machine Gun” Karl Anderson!
Plus there's a tremendous women's bout lined up between Penelope Ford and the returning Yuka Sakazaki, we expect to hear from “Hangman” Adam Page, and hopefully get some answers about the actions of Malakai Black last week!
Prior to DYNAMITE though, you can dive into the official AEW YouTube Channel for the full Elite Experience! Catch-up on this week's loaded editions of DARK: ELEVATION and DARK, as well as the most recent uploads of WRESTLING WITH THE WEEK and OUTSIDE THE RING, and get yourself primed for night one of FYTER FEST 2021!!!
FAKES ARE SNAKES...
Last week during DYNAMITE: ROAD RAGER, we had several problems when it came to brief blackouts in the arena. They only lasted a few seconds, and thankfully did not affect the viewing experience for the fans watching on TNT or AEWPlus.com. That is why when it happened as Arn Anderson was addressing the crowd about his son Brock's debut, and Cody's South Beach Strap Match victory earlier in the night over QT Marshall, it didn't feel abnormal.
Yet when the lights did return, the entire wrestling world was shocked to find Malakai Black standing in the center of the ring, although none were more surprised than Arn Anderson who was laid out with a devastating kick to his skull. “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes immediately came to the ring to check on Coach, but he too was subject to those wicked feet, and left laying in the ring.
Just what Black's agenda may be is exactly what all here in AEW are waiting with bated breath to find out. It would certainly appear Malakai's targets are The Nightmare Family, given it was Arn and Cody who he made victims of in declaring his arrival, and there are few louder ways to trumpet said arrival than decimating one of AEW's foundations in Cody Rhodes.
Will we see more from Malakai Black this week during the first night FYTER FEST 2021? Or perhaps it will be Cody himself who gets the first word after he and Arn were the recipients of Black's first shots in AEW! Hopefully we will find out more this week, so do not miss a moment of DYNAMITE on Wednesday night!
(#4) Darby Allin vs. (#5) “All Ego” Ethan Page
Imagine being locked away inside a six-sided box, be it wood or metal, with plenty of space for your head but narrowing down towards the bottom until your feet have just enough room to slightly move side-to-side. The lid above you cuts off the light, the fresh air, drops you into total sensory deprivation save the sounds of your own breathing against the top.
That is the experience of being locked inside a coffin, one that words cannot truly express, and it is usually one reserved for the deceased. But this Wednesday night, when former TNT Champion Darby Allin and “All Ego” Ethan Page continue their rivalry that was initially birthed in Dallas some five years ago, it is the fate in store for one of these two living, breathing individuals.
Just in All Elite Wrestling, fans have seen these two men engage in their fair share of violence. Whether it was in official matches such as when Sting and Darby toppled The Men Of The Year in tag action or when the former TNT champ bravely went at MOTY in a Handicap match, or when Page and Sky threw Darby down a flight of stairs, and also got themselves involved in Allin's title bout with Miro, they have fought one another tooth-and-nail. In their pre-AEW time, Darby and “All Ego” engaged in Last Man Standing fights, Anything Goes battles, and Allin very nearly had his career ended by a shovel-wielding Ethan Page. Their hate runs deep, and this Wednesday night during FYTER FEST 2021: NIGHT ONE, the AEW faithful will get to experience this Mariana Trench of disdain under the auspices of the very first Coffin Match in company history.
Which of these two men will find themselves living their own personal horror movie, trapped inside a box, deprived of any sensation save their own breath on the lid of the coffin, thinking back to how this all began just a few hours north from the H-E-B Center in April 2016, and how it ended up here?
IWGP UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH...
Jon Moxley (c) vs. “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson
At 558 days come Wednesday, Jon Moxley has more than doubled the longest reign of any previous IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion in the four year existence of the title, far outstripping Kenny Omega's 210 day reign. Just over a third of the title's life has been spent in possession of the former AEW World Champion, he has tied the record set by Omega for successful defenses at four, and it is reasonable to believe that without pandemic restrictions, Moxley could have shattered that record as well. Well this Wednesday evening, during night one of DYNAMITE: FYTER FEST 2021, the man who New Japan Pro Wrestling refers to as “The Death Rider” will have his chance to become the most successful IWGP US Heavyweight Champion when The Elite's own “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson come gunning not just for that title, but also his ticket back to NJPW.
See the lion-emblazoned rings of NJPW were home to Anderson for eight years, eight years that absolutely changed his life as a professional wrestling, and eight years in which “The Machine Gun” was a huge part of history. Not only did Karl capture the IWGP Tag Team Titles on four occasions, three of those with Doc Gallows, he also competed in multiple New Japan Cup tournaments, multiple G1 Tournaments, made it to the finals in 2012 against Okada, made it to the finals of the NEVER Openweight Title Tournament, and entered multiple G1 World Tag Leagues, including winning the Tag League in 2009, 2012, 2013. And it would be extremely neglectful not to mention his involvement in the historic formation of The Bullet Club faction that brought The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Anderson, and Gallows together in the first place, and whose effects are continue to resonate in AEW to this day.
Yet, despite those successes and historical accomplishments, one thing Karl Anderson never achieved in his near-decade as a member of the NJPW roster, was winning a singles championship. He had bouts with Shinsuke Nakamura over their IWGP Intercontinental Title, the NEVER Openweight Title final with Masato Tanaka, as well as IWGP Heavyweight Title fights with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada, but none of those matches led to Anderson claiming a title for himself.
This is a blemish on his career that Karl intends to correct on DYNAMITE, and to do so at the expense of a man like Jon Moxley who has evolved into one of The Elite's bitter enemies, will make it that much sweeter a success. Then there is the added bonus for “The Machine Gun” of possibly punching a ticket back to Japan, once more competing in front of the audiences where he truly made his name as a professional wrestler!
It's high stakes during FYTER FEST 2021: NIGHT ONE when the IWGP US Heavyweight Title is on the line between champion Jon Moxley and challenger Karl Anderson with repercussions not just in AEW, but ones that reach around the world! It's The Elite looking to once more maim Moxley while the most dominant AEW World Champion in company history aims to pay “The Machine Gun” back tenfold for what his buddies did at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021! It's about the company that made Anderson the wrestler he is today, it's about Moxley becoming the most dominant IWGP US Champ ever, it is about pride, it is about simply being the best wrestler inside that ring come Wednesday night!
Christian Cage vs. “Big Money” Matt Hardy
August 20, 1998 in Salem, MA; that is the oldest date and location the internet provides for meetings between Christian Cage and Matt Hardy. It was a random tag match pitting Matt Hardy and his brother against Christian Cage and Shawn Stasiak that was won by the brotherly duo. A year later the two men would have their very first singles match on record, one of just six one-on-one bouts recorded, and as would be the case in each of those meetings, Matt Hardy walked away the victor.
Who would have ever thought that twenty-three years later, these two veterans of the ring wars would be doing this dance LIVE on TNT as part of FYTER FEST 2021: NIGHT ONE? It seemed inevitable from the moment Christian Cage signed with All Elite Wrestling that their paths would cross, and also rather unsurprising given how deep Hardy had gone into his “Big Money” truth, that Matt would try to barter their shared history into some self-serving capacity, especially when both were part of the Casino Battle Royale at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021.
Ever since Cage “betrayed” Hardy in that situation, The Hardy Family Office has leveled a bullseye on the certifiable Hall of Famer, and anyone in his orbit. That's how the mutual respect shared between Christian Cage and Jungle Boy, and now by proxy the rest of Jurassic Express, has led them to uniting in victory over Private Party. To balance out The HFO, Christian Cage now has his own support system, and he is going to need it because now that the tensions have reached their boiling point, “Big Money” and Christian Cage will go head-to-head for the first time in 11 years! It already popped off on DARK: ELEVATION on Monday following Darby Allin's win over Angelico, but this Wednesday, it will be all about them and their 23 year history!
Will Christian Cage pull out his first ever one-on-one win over “Big Money” Matt Hardy during night one of DYNAMITE: FYTER FEST 2021? Or will it be The Hardy Family Office who hands Christian Cage his first loss in AEW and gives Matt Hardy the bragging rights he so desperately wants to have?
FTW TITLE MATCH...
“The Machine” Brian Cage (c) vs. “Absolute” Ricky Starks
There has been an ebb-and-flow to the relationships of the men who compromise Team Taz. FTW Champion Brian Cage, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Ricky Starks have had rough patches over the last several months, but each time they either came back to common ground on their own or were dragged there by the patriarch of their unit. With Taz as the nexus of the unit, it felt as if “The Human Suplex Machine” was able to manage the egos and pull his men together when the binding ties began to fray.
But over the last few weeks, as Ricky Starks recovered from an unfortunate neck injury, whatever control Taz had over “Absolute” and “The Machine” began to slip out of his grasp. When Hangman Page questioned Brian Cage's ability to get it done on his own prior to their DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021 rematch, it forced the FTW Champion to question it himself given that Cage won their first meeting thanks to his team's assistance. That night on pay-per-view, Brian refused the assistance of Starks and would ultimately end up on the losing end of that fight, but at least Cage knew he got their of his own accord.
The scenario would repeat itself on DYNAMITE, albeit in tag team form, when Page was joined by Ten to battle Cage and Powerhouse Hobbs. Once more Starks tried to interfere on his team's behalf, and once more his assistance was rebuffed, but this time instead of just taking the rejection, Ricky Starks slapped the FTW Champion across the face. Cage would leave Hobbs high-and-dry as he chased Ricky to the back, leaving Powerhouse to take the loss for his team.
This Wednesday night all of the tensions that have been building up for months, the verbal jabs on commentary from “Absolute” Starks, that stinging slap across the face, it all gets resolved when the FTW Championship is put on the line between “The Machine” Brian Cage and “Absolute” Ricky Starks! Taz himself has said this is how his family settles their problems, but will that be how either wrestler sees it, especially when a championship is on the line? Has Taz unintentionally orchestrated the demise of his own team? Tune into TNT for night one of DYNAMITE: FYTER FEST 2021 kicking off at 8pm EST/7pm CST!
Penelope Ford vs. Yuka Sakazaki
It has been quite some time since the above embedded bout took place, since the March 3rd 2020 edition of AEW DARK to be precise, but it is the only time Penelope Ford and Yuka Sakazaki have shared the ring together. That night it was Britt Baker, Ford's partner for the evening, who scored the victory for her time by applying The Lockjaw to Yuka's partner for the match, former AEW Women's World Champion Riho.
Seventeen months later, both of the competitors set to meet in this bout have grown tremendously as wrestlers, and each have their eyes on the Women's World Title held by Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. Ford, after the chaos that unfolded following over the weeks after her wedding to Kip Sabian and the injury Miro inflicted upon her new husband, has finally returned to active competition with three consecutive wins following Tuesday night's edition of DARK.
For her part, Yuka Sakazaki returned to AEW-proper on Monday night during DARK: ELEVATION with a victory over KiLynn King, but she had quite an impressive outing as part of the Japan Bracket of the Women's World Title Eliminator Tournament earlier this year. With victories over Mei Suruga and Emi Sakura, Yuka made it to the finals of the Japan Bracket before her defeat at the hands of tournament winner Ryo Mizunami. It was just a taste of what AEW audiences were able to experience prior to the pandemic preventing Sakazaki traveling to compete, but now Yuka is back once more with eyes on the prize!
Which of these athletes will come out on top, and continue her ascent up the ranks of the Women's Division? Who will continue building on the hope of challenging the AEW Women's Champion, be it Britt Baker, Nyla Rose, or another challenger down the line, for the most prestigious Women's Championship in professional wrestling today?
THE WORDS OF HANGMAN...
He took that first step; one week ago “Hangman” Adam Page took that first step in facing down the fears that The Dark Order laid out before the world a week prior to that. It's not fear of Kenny Omega, it's not fear of The Elite, but rather fear of failure at the highest level that eats at him. It is the fear of repeating the past and failing to capture the AEW World Title as he did in 2019 at the very first ALL OUT when he and Chris Jericho squared off to become the first. It's the fear of coming up short should Adam actually hold onto this number one spot in the rankings and be slated as the next challenger for Kenny Omega and that championship.
But last Wednesday night, Page did something that he has not done since November when Omega beat him at FULL GEAR 2020 in the World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals, something he has gone out of his way to avoid doing, Adam actually looked his former World Tag Team Championship partner in the eyes. He did not back down or turn away, Hangman did the one thing his friends in The Dark Order encouraged him to do, he faced his fears, and guess what? It wasn't Hangman who blinked, it was the AEW World Champion who bailed, and that leaves the question of if Omega, who so callously disregarded Page back in November, now finds himself scared of his former championship partner?
On Wednesday night, Hangman will join FYTER FEST 2021: NIGHT ONE to share what's going on in his head following this confrontation, and wherever he may be in the arena, no doubt Kenny Omega will be all ears for this one!
OPPORTUNITY AT THE DOOR...
“The Spanish God” Sammy Guevara vs. Wheeler Yuta
Although he may be a new face to the legion of AEW fans, Philadelphia native Wheeler Yuta has been making waves in independent wrestling well before his DARK: ELEVATION debut against “The Machine Gun” Karl Anderson on June 28th. The current IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion, an honor also held by AEW's own Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander, Yuta has been competing across the indy wrestling landscape since 2015, and even internationally in Germany as well as Japan, plus recently entering into the world of NJPW STRONG.
He has seen competition against Rocky Romero, 2 Cold Scorpio, Alex Reynolds, MJF, Max Caster, and Chuck Taylor, just to name a handful of his foes. That was all preamble to the last several weeks where Yuta has burst onto the AEW scene on recent episodes of AEW DARK: ELEVATION and AEW DARK with bouts like the aforementioned Anderson, a victory over Ryan Nemeth, a loss to Angelico, and the six-person tag victory alongside Taylor and OC in which he scored the deciding pinfall. Suffice it to say his impact has been sudden and strong, hence this huge opportunity on night one of FYTER FEST 2021.
As for Sammy Guevara, two weeks ago he was on the cusp of a major victory over Maxwell Jacob Friedman in the main event of DYNAMITE when “The Chairman of AEW” Shawn Spears got involved in their business to cost “The Spanish God” his much deserved victory. Clearly based on the video embedded above, Guevara is not done yet with Spears but this week he has to worry about Yuta, a competitor who is in a similar slot as Sammy himself was two years ago. Just as Guevara was then, Wheeler is looking to secure himself a spot on the AEW roster and a victory on one of the signature events, over a talent as red-hot as Guevara, would go a long way toward getting Wheeler future victories.
But one thing with Sammy heading into this match, he best have eyes in the back of his head or another member of The Inner Circle watching his back, because there is no doubt that Shawn Spears is looking for revenge of his own after last week.
This Wednesday night FYTER FEST 2021, NIGHT 1 is coming your way hot out of the SOLD OUT H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, TX! Between the Coffin Match, the FTW Title fight, the Matt Hardy versus Christian Cage battle that's decades in the making, and the IWGP US Title bout, this is shaping out to be one of the most memorable editions of DYNAMITE thus far! Add in Hangman Page hopefully addressing last week and the World Title situation, Ford taking on Sakazaki, and following up on Malakai Black's shocking arrival last week, this will be downright unforgettable, and it kicks off at 8pm Est/7pm CST on TNT, or on AEWPlus.com for our International audience!
And be sure to catch-up on all the Elite action prior to DYNAMITE courtesy of our official AEW YouTube Channel! Between loaded editions of DARK: ELEVATION and DARK, as well as WRESTLING WITH THE WEEK and OUTSIDE THE RING, there is plenty of there to wet your palate for DYNAMITE: FYTER FEST 2021, NIGHT! Also, with AEW back on the road, be sure to check out our upcoming events AEWTIX.com to see if we are coming to a town near you! You don't want to miss out on the greatest live experience professional wrestling has to offer!!!