AEW Dynamite Preview for July 19, 2023
After several weeks traversing the Great White North, All Elite Wrestling heads to Boston's legendary TD Garden for the very first time, and we are bringing Blood & Guts with us! The Blackpool Combat Club and The Golden Elite will throw down inside Blood & Guts, while AEW World Champion MJF & Adam Cole meets The J.A.S. duo of Sammy Guevara & Daniel Garcia in the Finals of the Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament, and HOOK will defend his FTW Championship against former friend Jack Perry!
DYNAMITE begins at 8pm ET/7pm CT LIVE on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international fans, and with such a loaded schedule last week, be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel to get caught up on highlights from last week's episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, as well as BATTLE OF THE BELTS VII, plus the newest edition of THE CONTROL CENTER!
BLOOD & GUTS...
The Golden Elite (“Hangman” Adam Page, Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson)
Blackpool Combat Club (ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli, Jon Moxley, Konosuke Takeshita, “The Bastard” PAC, & Wheeler Yuta)
It has been a long and bloody road to get to this third Blood & Guts battle, this time pitting Konosuke Takeshita, “The Bastard” PAC, and The Blackpool Combat Club of ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli, Jon Moxley, and Wheeler Yuta against The Golden Elite of Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, The Young Bucks, and Kota Ibushi.
The road is littered with pieces of The BCC and The Elite, their flesh and their blood, as well as the (at the very least) tattered friendship of Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley, the shattered one of The Dark Order and Adam page, and the corpse of the Don Callis/Kenny Omega decades-long relationship. It's a road first paved by the issues between Jon Moxley and Hangman Page, then further laid out by The BCC targeting The Elite for, in the words of Bryan Danielson, being amateurs rather than fighters.
But that target put on Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks by Moxley and company, it actually served to bring healing to the broken bonds between Hangman Page and The Elite. While Page and The Young Bucks had reached some kind of neutral ground as Hangman headed into his FULL GEAR 2021 AEW World Championship fight with Kenny Omega, they'd essentially kept to their own lanes ever since, and as for Page and Omega, well they'd completely avoided one another after Kenny's return to action in August 2022, save for The Elite's bout with The Dark Order and Hangman during the World Trios Championship Tournament. So it was a mighty shock to all, even the Brothers Jackson and “The Best Bout Machine” when it was Hangman who stepped up to assist them in the face of The BCC's onslaught.
And since then, it's been a case of strange bedfellows as Moxley bested Omega inside a Steel Cage due to Don Callis' betrayal, and then Omega was pinned by Wheeler Yuta at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023's Anarchy In The Arena when Konosuke Takeshita bonded himself to Callis and The BCC. Then at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023 things got even stranger as Eddie Kingston, despite his dislike for The Young Bucks due to their issues several years ago and in spite of his longtime bond with Jon Moxley, sided with The Elite solely based on his disdain for Claudio Castagnoli. He even brought Tomohiro Ishii along for the fight, which turned out to be a boon for their team as it was Ishii who got the victory when he beat Yuta.
Still, no matter what momentum The Elite managed to garner here and there, it was always The Blackpool Combat Club who left them battered and bloodied, and who managed to find an ally in unexpected places. Take the sudden reappearance of “The Bastard” PAC for example, it's highly unlikely he was on the short list created by any fan or wrestling pundit when trying to figure out who The BCC's fifth man would be, and yet he is a perfect fit with a myriad of reasons to want a piece of The Elite. He's got issues with Adam Page that date back to the very first DYNAMITE, he's got issues with Kenny Omega that can be traced by to the first ALL OUT in 2019 and include being shafted in an AEW World Championship match at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021, and he's got history with The Young Bucks that runs back to 2008, saying nothing for Death Triangle's battles with The Elite over the AEW World Trios Championship! Add in that fact that he is a brutally violent competitor who relishes in the pain he causes his foes, and he is a perfect compliment to the ethos of The Blackpool Combat Club.
Then there is Kota Ibushi, the fifth man for The Elite's side of this equation, and what he means to this entire situation. The bond between Kenny Omega runs deep, collectively referred to as The Golden Lovers, whose connection dates back to their days in DDT starting in 2008, and sees them fighting as 2-Time DDT KO-D Tag Team Champions, 2-Time KO-D Six Man Tag Champions, and as New Japan's IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. The two men would also do battle over DDT's KO-D Openweight Championship, as well as the IWGP Heavyweight Title, and battle one another in the 2018 G1 Climax. Their relationship has been complicated to say the least, but now, for the first time since March 31st, Ibushi is stepping inside a wrestling ring to support his friend in the battle of a lifetime.
Fans have been waiting since December 2018 for a reunion of The Golden Lovers, and this Wednesday night they will get it when Ibushi not only steps inside an AEW ring for the very first time, but also steps into a cage like Blood & Guts for the very first time in his career, and there is nothing that can prepare a wrestler for what that entails. The two previous B&G experiences have seen a man thrown off the roof, have seen another defeated on top of the steel structure, and have seen entirely too many man bleed their careers out. Yes, this is a match that changes career, no one has seen Santana since last year's B&G between The J.A.S. and The BCC, and could certainly do the same for any member of The BCC or Golden Elite. At least Claudio, Mox, and Yuta have some experience in this situation...none of The Golden Elite have set foot in this structure prior to this Wednesday night...and that may make all the difference.
All ten must enter before this match can end, but once all ten are in, there is nothing off limits and that was made clear last year in Detroit by all the implements of destruction used between The BCC and JAS. There is no doubt that, given the dynamics, the B&G favors The BCC but, looking at their AEW careers alone, Kenny Omega has tasted barbed wire and explosions, The Young Bucks have literally had explosive strapped to a shoe, Hangman Page has been in multiple Texas Death Matches, and Ibushi...well Ibushi has seen a few hardcore-style matches of his own as well. To think The Elite is unprepared for such a fight is to willfully ignore what they've been through just in their AEW careers, let alone their wrestling lives pre-AEW, and suffice to say that they've all seen some chaos.
But who has what it takes to survive Blood & Guts this year? Will Moxley and his ilk be the survivors of the chaos, or will it be The Golden Elite? Find out this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE when these two teams of warriors step inside Blood & Guts and leave it all inside the squared circle!
BLIND ELIMINATOR TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT FINALS...
AEW World Champion MJF & Adam Cole
Daniel Garcia & Sammy Guevara
So we've got a very odd couple in Adam Cole/MJF and a pair of Jericho sycophants in Sammy Guevara and Daniel Garcia, and these four men will meet this Wednesday night with a future AEW World Tag Team Championship bout on the line!
After COLLISION's epic 2/3 Falls Bout between FTR and BULLET CLUB GOLD, we know the winner of this fight will take on Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, but will it be the utterly incomprehensible duo of Cole & MJF or the Jericho Appreciation Society pair of Guevara and Garcia? One pair is clearly only held together by mutual ambition of becoming AEW World Tag Champs while the other at least has history as Jericho aficionados, not to forget the time Chris force-paired Garcia with Sammy serving as his mentor.
Can Cole and MJF keep it together long enough to earn a shot at FTR, or will the far more cohesive duo of Guevara and Garcia figure out the keys to victory to challenge Dax and Cash?
FTW CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
HOOK(c) vs. Jack Perry
It seemed as if it would be just a temporary, perhaps one-time thing, “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry and FTW Champion HOOK uniting to battle Lee Moriarty and Big Bill, but it spawned a friendship, a tag team name with JungleHOOK, and matches against the teams of Ethan Page & Matt Hardy and LFI's Dralistico & Preston Vance. It seemed to also include the two men supporting each other in their individual careers, that's what HOOK must have thought when he came out at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023 following Jack's IWGP World Heavyweight Championship loss to SANADA. So it absolutely came as a shock to The Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil when Perry sucker punched him and threw down the FTW Championship with utter contempt.
Clearly Jack Perry, having vowed to win a singles championship in 2023, had hit some sort of breaking point in his own mind with that loss coming so soon after the one at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023 when the AEW World Championship was at stake. So while “Jungle Boy” had no problem sneaking one on HOOK, nor a problem laying the blame on the man simply because he carries a championship title, Jack very much does not want a piece of HOOK inside the squared circle. He may claim otherwise, but Perry's constant running from a fight is demonstrative of an utter reluctance to engage with HOOK. Fortunately any semblance of Jack having a choice will disappear this Wednesday night in Boston when he meets HOOK inside the ring with FTW Championship at stake!
While the title may not be officially recognized by All Elite Wrestling, it has still been defended numerous times.
The Canadian Summer Tour has ended, and now the Blood & Guts Cage looms overhead when AEW debuts at the legendary TD Garden in Boston. The BCC will fight The Golden Elite inside Blood & Guts! The Finals of the Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament will take place! And HOOK will defend the FTW Championship against former friend Jack Perry! The night's events begin at 8pm ET/7pm CT on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, just be sure to drop by the official AEW YouTube channel before the action to catch DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION highlights, plus BATTLE OF THE BELTS VII, as well as this week's edition of THE CONTROL CENTER, and much more!