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AEW Dynamite Preview for July 3, 2024




The FORBIDDEN DOOR has closed once again, but the repercussions from it will be felt for quite some time. AEW International Champion Will Ospreay failed in his bid to claim the AEW World Title from Swerve Strickland, Jon Moxley failed to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Tetsuya Naito, five individuals failed to prevent “The Scapegoat” Jack Perry from adding the TNT Championship to The Elite's already overflowing trophy case, and Stephanie Vaquer failed to retain her NJPW STRONG Women's Championship in the Title-for-Title bout against TBS Champion Mercedes Moné, making “The CEO” a double champ. 


Yet what is failures for one is success for another, and even opportunity for some! Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D returned to the AEW stage as Mercedes celebrated her dual championships, Swerve Strickland further cemented his status as the best professional wrestler in the world by beating Ospreay, Naito can now take the IWGP World Heavyweight Title into the G1 CLIMAX tournament, and Jack Perry now holds his first AEW singles championship! And let's not forget the huge opportunity Daniel Garcia has tonight in Chicago when AEW returns to the Wintrust Arena for DYNAMITE and how Ospreay's crushing defeat could play into that bout! 



It all begins tonight at 8pm ET/7pm CT on TBS when DYNAMITE takes to the airwaves for that Garcia/Ospreay International Championship match, three big match-ups in the Owen Hart Tournament, including Jeff Jarrett versus The Elite's handpicked Wild Card! Plus we will hear from the former AEW Women's World Champion after her monumental return on Sunday night, celebrate Mercedes' Double Championship victory, as well as experience the rest of the fallout from FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024! Then join us in Southaven, MS for AEW's return to the Landers Center for a COLLISION featuring Maxwell Jacob Friedman in Memphis!


AEW INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

“The Aerial Assassin” Will Ospreay vs. Daniel Garcia



A week ago a very confident Will Ospreay promised Daniel Garcia an International Championship bout tonight on DYNAMITE: BEACH BREAK 2024. Not only that, but Will also promised that when he won the AEW World Title from Swerve Strickland at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 this past Sunday, he would put that championship at stake as well. This agreement was made as Maxwell Jacob Friedman stood in the background, a position he is quite unaccustomed to accepting, with his offer to Garcia for a match at ALL IN: LONDON 2024 left unanswered. 


As exciting as that prospect sounds, the more immediate impact of an International Championship match, and a potential World Title bout, took precedent for Garcia making one week later his focus rather than six weeks down the line. Obviously it was presumptious of “The Aerial Assassin” to introduce that World Championship into this situation, but that choice made it quite clear just how confident Will Ospreay was about his chances on Long Island.


Sadly he was wrong, and with Daniel Garcia watching on from the UBS Arena suites, AEW International Champion Will Ospreay was defeated by AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland. It took everything Swerve had in him to put down Ospreay, with the distraction created by Don Callis certainly opening up a moment for Strickland to take advantage of, and began the snowball rolling into the match's conclusion. 


Ospreay took the beating of a lifetime, of that there is no doubt, but eventually it was more than even his constitution could handle and he crumbled to his knees. It broke Ospreay's heart that he couldn't get the job done, that was evident in the moment between he and Kyle Fletcher that cameras captured, but he has little time to mourn that loss because the bout he made possible is happening tonight on AEW's flaghship program!


Daniel Garcia versus Will Ospreay, the AEW International Championship on the line, and there may not be a better moment for Garcia to win his first AEW championship title! Not just because of the devastating loss Ospreay suffered on Sunday, nor simply because of the physical toll it took on the man, but also because this is a Garcia who has won his last eight matches, as well as last eight singles matches, making him 11-1 over the last twelve. He's hungry, tired of coming up short, but yet the rare individual who actually accepts responsibility for that rather than point fingers, and deeply feels this is moment to take the next step. 


Ospreay, prior to Sunday night, was 18-0 in singles matches here in AEW and on the roll of a lifetime with the quality of opponents he'd faced during that time. Takeshita, OC, Roderick Strong, Kyle O'Reilly, Danielson, Shane Taylor, Claudio; he'd faced the absolute best and beaten them all before Sunday night, but Swerve Strickland proved the one man he could not overcome. 


So is that a fact that will linger in Ospreay's head tonight when he steps into the ring with Daniel Garcia? Will having to accept he is, in fact, vulnerable eat at him as he hands the International Championship to the referee for possibly the last time? Or will fans see Will Ospreay rebound from that heartbreak and overcome the challenge of Daniel Garcia in Chicago? This is one of the most intriguing International Championship defenses yet, and it is going down tonight on DYNAMITE: BEACH BREAK 2024!


MEN'S OWEN HART FOUNDATION TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL...

Jeff Jarrett vs. The EVPs Wild Card



Jeff Jarrett spoke to the connection between himself and Owen Hart recently on COLLISION, and it was one of the most emotional segments ever seen on All Elite Wrestling television. The pain Jeff still feels to this day about that loss was evident on his face, and in the tears that his memories of Owen brought forth, not to mention Jeff's talk of how leaving that trauma unaddressed ripped him apart on the inside and contributed heavily to Jeff digging himself into a hole to mask the pain.


It was a long road to acceptance for Jeff Jarrett, allowing himself to grieve Owen's death years later, and of truly realizing what effect the loss of Owen had on his psyche. Now here he stands in AEW, surrounded by friends and loved ones, and though he's far from fighting on the side of the angels most of the time, it's hard not to look at the road “The Last Outlaw” has traveled and not see how much he's overcome to get where he is today, as well as recognize just why competing in The Owen is such a huge moment for Jeff. 


“The Owen means more to me than anything I've ever done in the professional wrestling business...”; those are the words of Jarrett when he sat down and talked to AEW's cameras about his entrant into The Owen, but those sentiments clearly mean nothing to two men with Executive Vice President power:



Matthew and Nicholas Jackson are dropping their own Wild Card into the tournament in hopes he runs the table, claims the AEW World Championship at Wembley, and consolidates a fourth AEW championships into The Elite. Now that idea hinges on The Young Bucks not losing their AEW World Tag Titles to The Acclaimed when they finally get the shot they earned, as well as neither Kazuchika Okada or Jack Perry losing their title prior to ALL IN: LONDON 2024, but even before that, it presumes that Jeff Jarrett can't overcome whoever The EVPs put into the ring with him tonight in Chicago. 


Whoever it may be that the brothers Jackson have put their faith into must realize they're dealing with thirty-eight years of experience inside the squared circle, a man who carried gold with Owen Hart, who called him friend and brother, a man for who this tournament means something so much deeper than just a World Championship opportunity. For The EVPs it's about consolidating power, for Jeff Jarrett it's about family and love; it's not hard to see which choice is the right one here...


WOMEN'S OWEN HART FOUNDATION TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL...

Kris Statlander vs. Willow Nightingale



Several years before All Elite Wrestling was born, Kris Statlander and Willow Nightingale had their first match against one another for NYWC in Deer Park, NY. That night, September 30th of 2017, Willow successfully defended the Starlet Title against Kris and they'd go onto have two more singles matches under the NYWC banner, one in 2018 and one in 2019, with all three going in favor of Willow. Around those matches they fought in tags, they fought in trios, even in a wild multi-person “Psycho Circus” match with four different championships at stake! Seven pre-AEW matches in all, three singles won by Willow Nightingale while three of the four others went in Kris Statlander's favor, but after their final NYWC match in 2019, four years would pass before the two women would unite inside the squared circle again. Unlike all the previous occassions though, Kris and Willow were able to unite as friends, to bring the bond they'd forged over the years into being as allies rather than enemies, and in one-on-one matches about friendly competition more than a heated rivalry.


They fought in Street Fights together, they had a TBS Championship match that Stat won, a rematch at WORLDS END won by Willow, in fact Nightingale earned her TBS Championship opportunity at DYNASTY 2024 in a Four Way that included Statlander. In fact, Nightingale actually got that victory by pinning Anna Jay as her attention was focused on Kris Statlander. The presence of Stokely Hathaway into their dynamic likely didn't help matters, he perpetually insisted on the two women adopting his rather twisted way of handling business, but for the longest time neither acquiesced. In fact it somewhat felt like the positivity and genuine goodness of the two women was infectious and turning Stokely around.


It wasn't until after Willow lost the TBS Title to Mercedes Moné that the facade of friendship slipped away and Kris Statlander cracked. Perhaps she was never Willow's friend in ways that mattered, perhaps for her it was only a matter of convenience and she never forgot their history on Long Island, or perhaps she felt like she'd just become a background piece in the Willow Nightingale story and wasn't going to live that anymore. After all, how many times can a former TBS Champion hear her friend refer to herself as the best TBS Champion without the words eventually having an impact?


Maybe it was also seeing Trent Beretta finally do what he felt needed to be done with Orange Cassidy that emboldened Kris Statlander to do what she'd been yearning to do to Willow. After all, just like how Trent chose one of Orange's tougher losses as the moment to stab him in the back, so too did Kris Statlander choose Nightingale's lowest moment in AEW to play Brutus, yet when the time came to pay the piper Sunday night during the FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024: ZERO HOUR, Statlander chose to run from consequences and avoid a fight with Willow. 


Tonight on DYNAMITE, there won't be any running because the two former best friends are set to meet in the Semifinals of the Women's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament! Running away means not going to Calgary for the Finals, running away means no opportunity to travel to Wembley Stadium and fight for the AEW Women's World Championship at ALL IN: LONDON 2024, running away means giving up on a dream of fighting in one of professional wrestling's most historic venues. 



Neither woman wants to lose that shot, so tonight on DYNAMITE: BEACH BREAK 2024 they will fight one-on-one for the third time in All Elite Wrestling, but with more at stake than even their TBS Championship bout. Who will go to Calgary and stand on the precipice of Wembley?


MEN'S OWEN HART FOUNDATION TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL...

“The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. “The Bastard” PAC



Much like his match with Shingo at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024, this is a rematch a long time in the making, but with stakes higher than any of their previous encounters. The first time they met was under the auspices of Ring of Honor, at the August 24, 2007 CAGED RAGE event to be exact, and on that night in Hartford, CT Danielson utterly dismantled a very young PAC. Two years later, this time for the IPW: UK promotion in SITTINGBOURNE SPECTACULAR event in Sittingbourne, England, they would lock horns once more and even though Danielson again won the battle, it demonstrated just how much the future “Bastard” had grown as a competitor since their first match.


The first match from ROH is available on Honor Club while the second can likely be found scouring the internet, but watch the growth in each man between the two, particularly PAC, then extrapolate that to 2024 and imagine what them colliding fifteen years later might look like.


Thankfully fans don't have to imagine for very long because tonight, in the Semifinals of the Owen Hart Tournament, “The Bastard” and “The American Dragon” will go one-on-one once more to see which man moves onto the Finals in Calgary next Wednesday night! The sadistic streak that earned PAC his “Bastard” nickname wasn't there in 2009, the training of The Blackpool Combat Club wasn't building Bryan up in 2007, but nor where the aches and pains and career-threatening situations. Each has been through their own personal heavens and hells since their last encounter, but in this rather intriguing way, those trials and tribulations have also honed each into the best version of themselves inside the squared circle. All that knowledge, the experiences inside and out of the ring, it has sharpened their iron and now the world will get to see what results from their third career meeting.


PAC is a little more rested, his Quarterfinal victory with Claudio Castagnoli was two weeks ago while Danielson just battled in his with Shingo Takagi on Sunday, but “The American Dragon” isn't going to let any one stop him from making it to Wembley no matter what shape his body is in after the battle with Shingo. His neck is hurting, his body is aching, but his soul is still willing and strong enough to push his body on through it all. Unfortunately “The Bastard” PAC lives up to that nickname at every opportunity and he will be merciless on any potential weakness Bryan shows in that match, or anything he may have picked up on watching the FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 contest.


This one is going to be violent, it will be brutal, and the winner will know he went through yet another form of hell to get to the victory, but that is what The Owen means to both of these men, to all the men and women who entered into the tournament for that matter, and that is what a World Title match at ALL IN: LONDON 2024 is also worth!  


THE DOCTOR IS BACK...



The world witnessed it Sunday night at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 following Mercedes Moné successfully defending her TBS Championship and becoming new NJPW STRONG Women's Champion by defeating the outstanding Stephanie Vaquer. After the conclusion of their hard-fought battle, former AEW Women's World Champion Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D  returned to the fold! It's been almost ten months since the last time the Good Doctor stepped into an AEW ring for a fight, but she's clearly back with eyes on getting into one with the woman who declared herself “The CEO of Women's Wrestling” leading up to FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024. After the PPV ended, Baker told Lexy Nair she had a lot to say tonight on DYNAMITE so do not miss out when on Britt Baker's return to AEW television to hear what she has to say!


DOUBLE CHAMP!


Call her Mercedes Two Belts, call her Champ-Champ, call her “The CEO of Women's Wrestling”; her name is Mercedes Moné and she is now both the TBS Champion and the NJPW STRONG Women's Champion! That means it is time for a celebration tonight on DYNAMITE: BEACH BREAK 2024, and for her sake hopefully it works out better than her TBS Title victory celebration did. That Wednesday after DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2024 ended with Skye Blue's knee on the throat of the newly crowned champion, and the reveal that it was Skye who attacked Mercedes during her interview a few weeks prior. 


That incident took place when Mercedes had just one belt around her waist, now that she's got two there will be twice as much trouble waiting for her around every corner, and we already know one of those party's interested in what Moné has, Dr. Britt Baker, is going to be live in Chicago tonight as well!


TRIOS BATTLE...

Cage of Agony (Bishop Kaun, Brian Cage, & Toa Liona) vs. HOOK, Katsuyori Shibata, & Samoa Joe



After successfully defeating "The Learning Tree" Chris Jericho, "The Redwood" Big Bill, and NJPW TV Champion Jeff Cobb at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024, the trio of HOOK, Shibata, and Samoa Joe is back in action tonight on DYNAMITE!


They'll be facing the monstrous challenge of Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun, and Toa Liona, collectively now known as Cage of Agony, and though HOOK and company are undefeated, this is a whole different ball game than their other trios battles.


Will they emerge victorious as they did Sunday night, or will they suffer their first loss traveling the Path of Cage?



FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 closed with AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland retaining his championship, and now the path to ALL IN: LONDON 2024 begins in Chicago at Wintrust Arena for a DYNAMITE where the aftereffects of Sunday's pay-per-view will begin to play out! We know Daniel Garcia will challenge Will Ospreay for the AEW International Championship despite the war “The Aerial Assassin” survived Sunday night. We also know Bryan Danielson will battle “The Bastard” PAC for the first time in fifteen years in an Owen Hart Tournament Semifinal match, former best friends Willow Nightingale and Kris Statlander will meet in a Semifinal fight of their own, and Jeff Jarrett will compete in the last Quarterfinal match of the Men's Tournament against The Elite's chosen one. We also expect to hear from Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D after her shocking return on Sunday night, and who knows what else will unfold as everyone's eyes turns towards the Owen Hart Foundation finals in Calgary next Wednesday and ALL IN: LONDON 2024 on August 25th!


It's true there is a long path to travel to get to Wembley, with the next stop coming on Saturday in Southaven, MS with AEW's return to the Landers Center for COLLISION, but the end game right now is Wembley and everyone wants to stand in the center of that ring!



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