AEW Dynamite Preview for November 23, 2022
FULL GEAR 2022 was a landscape shifting pay-per-view event for AEW, featuring the crowning of three new champions! The first to claim a new championship was ROH World TV Champion Samoa Joe when he choked out Powerhouse Hobbs to win Wardlow's TNT Championship, albeit after “The War Dog” did most of the work on Hobbs with a Powerbomb Symphony, and with the liberal use of a title belt across Wardlow's skull. The next person to make a championship their own was Jamie Hayter who, with a little help from her friends, ended the Interim Women's World Championship reign of Toni Storm.
But the most shocking title change that occurred in Newark, NJ was Maxwell Jacob Friedman defeating Jon Moxley to become the new AEW World Champion. It may have felt like destiny to MJF, as well as those who had embraced AEW's own devil as if he was some kind of hero, but the fact is that it happened largely due to the machinations of William Regal. MJF had thrown everything he had at Mox, but it took Regal's trusty brass knuckles to actually finish off the heart and soul of All Elite Wrestling.
So this Wednesday night in Chicago, on the eve of American Thanksgiving, All Elite Wrestling will usher in a new era live from the Wintrust Arena! MJF's reign atop AEW begins at the same venue where Moxley won his first AEW World Championship, and we will no doubt have to suffer through hearing from “The Salt of The Earth” on Wednesday night. Plus, the ROH World Championship will be on the line when “The Ocho” gets right back on the horse after surviving that Four Way on Saturday to meet former ROH World Television Champion Tomohiro Ishii in combat!
Plus Jericho's J.A.S. compatriot Jake Hager will collide with Orange Cassidy with the All-Atlantic Championship at stake, Ethan Page and Ricky Starks lock horns in the Men's World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals, and the second match in the Best of 7 series between Death Triangle and The Elite will go down on DYNAMITE! It all gets started at 8pm ET/7pm CT on TBS, and at AEWPlus.com for international audiences, but be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube page for the latest editions of AEW DARK, AEW DARK: ELEVATION, ROAD TO, and THE CONTROL CENTER with Tony Schiavone, as well as highlights from previous DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE episodes!
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
“The Ocho” Chris Jericho(c) vs. “The Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii
On his Twitter account this past Monday, ROH commentator Ian Riccaboni detailed how Chris Jericho is rapidly becoming one of the best Ring of Honor World Champions of all-time, despite The Ocho's stated desire to do everything he can to desecrate the legacy of the championship. It's quite a fascinating read, Ian noting all the statistical reasons why Jericho is becoming one of the best champions in the ROH World Title's twenty-year history, and even touching on the makings of the man who doesn't have to break the rules to win, as evidenced at FULL GEAR 2022.
Instead he makes the choice to break the rules, he elects to use Floyd the baseball bat or a low blow when he feels his championship is in jeopardy, and that is what he uses to lay disgrace on the Ring of Honor name. He actively wants to be a disgraceful champion, but in the process, his output in the ring and willingness (ego-driven it may be) to prove the best ROH champion across all divisions, is inadvertently putting him into the category of an ROH all-timer.
But this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE it could all come crumbling down with that Jericho ego puts him in the ring with former ROH World Television Champion Tomohiro Ishii just four days after his Four Way title defense at FULL GEAR 2022. Now Ishii has become a familiar face to AEW audiences over the last year, his alliegance with CHAOS, and thereby The Best Friends, putting him in the AEW ring for the first time against The Butcher & The Blade a year ago in Norfolk, VA. He's also been in there with Eddie Kingston during the ALL OUT 2022: ZERO HOUR, and fought Adam Cole in the 2022 Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Qualifiers. He's shown AEW audiences he's a tough as nails fighter, willing to step into the ring with anyone, but for the ROH audiences, the path that brought him to a championship fight with Chris Jericho, they learned this lesson back in 2016 when he defeated Roderick Strong at HONOR RISING: JAPAN, NIGHT 1 to end his 119 day reign as ROH World TV Title in Ishii's first first Ring of Honor match!
Ishii wouldn't hold the title for long, just 79 days before losing it at GLOBAL WARS 2016, but he managed to squeeze three successful defenses into that time, including one during NJPW's ROAD TO INVASION ATTACK 2016 tour against EVIL. Ishii wasn't done with ROH just because he lost the Television Championship, fighting three more times during the WAR OF THE WORLDS 2016 tour, and returning against in 2018 for bouts at SUPERCARD OF HONOR XII and DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR 2018, before making his final ROH appearance in 2019 during the G1 SUPERCARD at Madison Square Garden.
Ishii is battle-tested, hard as nails, and coming back to AEW having won 11 of his last 12 fights in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He's the king of NEVER, having won the Openweight Championship six times and the Six Man Tag Championship two times, and is likely hungry to be a champion once more, having gone nearly 11 months now without a title belt in his possession. Chris Jericho may want to look at Ishii as the young boy he was around in the last days of his tenure with the WAR promotion in Japan, but the reality is Jericho is facing a brick wall of a man, one who has captured nine different championship during his career, and done so against the likes of Tetsuyo Naito, Zack Sabre Jr., Minoru Suzuki, Jay White, and the Guerrillas of Destiny.
Jericho is in for a fight unlike any of his previous ROH World Championship defenses, and this Wednesday may finally be the night his ego (and arrogance) proves his undoing.
ALL-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
“Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy(c) vs. Jake Hager
It's been a long time since these two men shared a ring in All Elite Wrestling, since a July 2020 ten-man tag where The Best Friends and Jurassic Express defeating The Inner Circle, a match where OC and Hager actually started the bout for their respective teams.
Fast-forward two years and four months, and a whole lot has changed for these men. “Freshly Squeezed” has risen to the top of AEW as the second All-Atlantic Champion, beating “The Bastard” PAC on October 12th, and since defending the championship on four occasions, including against “The Wrestler” Katsuyori Shibata. Hager has continued to be ever-present at the side of Chris Jericho, whether it be as a member of The Inner Circle or in The Jericho Appreciation Society, he is always there to throwdown on Jericho's behalf. Jake's even acquired a nifty purple hat that he seems to have grown rather attached to over the last several week, but that moment with Orange Cassidy at FULL GEAR 2022, it was one of the rare times Jake has actually done something for himself.
OC offering up a championship match had nothing to do with Jericho and his numerous issues, or anything to do with The J.A.S, it's solely Jake doing something for Jake, and Orange just being Orange. The way Cassidy so nonchalantly offers up championship opportunities is unlike the fashion in which most champions tend to operate. It's as if defending the title is so...whatever...to Orange that he's just game to give anyone a shot if they say yes. He's put it up in two different three ways with this laissez faire attitude, and approached both his fight with Shibata as well as his with Lee Johnson with much the same manner.
Will that disposition continue to pay dividends for Orange Cassidy this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, or will Jake Hager and his purple hat be the one to put “Freshly Squeezed” in check? Tune into TBS starting at 8pm ET/7pm CT to find out!
MEN'S WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT FINALS...
“All Ego” Ethan Page vs. “Absolute” Ricky Starks
***WINNER RECEIVES A WORLD TITLE MATCH AT WINTER IS COMING***
It was a hell of a road for “Absolute” Ricky Starks to get to the finals of the Men's World Title Eliminator Tournament this Wednesday night in Chicago. First he was injured by “The Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer, putting Starks' ability to compete in question but ultimately only delaying their Quarter-Final match one week to last Friday night.
Starks managed to escape the match with Archer victorious, but he paid a hefty price for it when Archer assaulted him in retaliation. Then, less than 24 hours later, Ricky had to go into battle with his former Team Taz ally “The Machine” Brian Cage, to see which man would meet “All Ego” Ethan Page in the finals.
As with his match the night before, Starks' body was put through hell by his opponent, but ultimately he found a way to defeat Cage once again, and move on to the finals of the tournament. His body was battered, and his heart tested, but Ricky Starks was still standing, and as can be heard in his interview above, still willing to go into war to finally earn an AEW World Championship bout.
On the other hand there is Ethan Page and his two previous tournament matches; it's not to say “All Ego” didn't experience two rough battles on his road to Chicago, after all he was in there with Eddie Kingston and Bandido, but he did not sustain the damage “Absolute” has in the last several weeks. Page won his first match against Kingston two weeks ago, and his second with Bandido last week on DYNAMITE, he has had a week to recover from any harm that befell him, whereas Ricky Starks has had just four days, and endured a great deal more punishment on the way here.
To the winner of this contest goes a championship match with MJF at WINTER IS COMING in just two weeks time, and each man has made it quite clear their desire to become the next AEW World Champion. Ethan has been much more aggressive in his approach, targeting both Moxley and MJF in the weeks prior to FULL GEAR 2022, game for taking down whichever man walked out of Newark as the champion. Starks has been more concerned with battling through these assaults, did not make this pursuit of the AEW World Championship about Jon Moxley or Maxwell Jacob Friedman, and instead kept it quite personal, focused on the betterment of himself and his AEW career.
This Wednesday night in Chicago, both men are one step closer to achieving their dream, to earning their very first shot at the AEW World Championship, all they have to do is make it past one another. Historically speaking, in their two prior one-on-one meetings in 2019, Starks bested Ethan Page in both instances, but so much has changed for both men in the three years since, neither is the same as who they used to be. The future for each man can begin this Wednesday night in the finals of the World Title Eliminator Tournament, who will step forward into their possibility?
BEST OF SEVEN SERIES...
AEW World Trios Champions Death Triangle (PAC, Penta El Zero Miedo, & Rey Fenix) (1)
The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson) (0)
On Saturday night, The Elite made their highly-anticipated return to All Elite Wrestling to challenge Death Triangle for the AEW World Trios Championship. It was an emotional moment when Kansas' “Carry On Wayward Son” echoed through the Prudential Center, heralding the return of AEW's founding fathers, and the energy that cascaded around the venue was quite palpable.
Thus when Rey Fenix caved into his baser instincts, and the insistence of PAC, by using a hammer to counter Kenny Omega's One Winged Angel and roll him up for the win, so too was the energy sucked out of the room. 20 minutes earlier it felt like destiny that Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, and Kenny Omega would reclaim the titles they never lost upon their return to action, but instead their hopes were smashed by the reluctant Rey, much to the delight of “The Bastard”.
But before the end of the night, it became clear that The Elite would have multiple opportunities to even the score with PAC, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix, because before the end of FULL GEAR 2022, it was announced the two units would meet in a Best of 7 series, with the winner of the series earning the AEW World Trios Championship! With that pay-per-view collision being slotted as the first of the series, the rest of the schedule was quickly announced, and can be seen in the tweet embedded above.
The AEW history books show that, after Saturday night, these two trios have split their bouts 1-1, but only the victory for Death Triangle matters in this series of bouts. They are so evenly matched, between hard-hitting offense, high-flying antics, and tag team cohesion, one would be hard-pressed to find two better trios in all of professional wrestling, and now fans get to watch them collide at least three more times in the coming weeks!
The thing with these sorts of series is that it forces the competitors involved to expand their horizons, to come up with something new, to add to their repertoire, because otherwise teams risk predictability, and that in turn risks defeat. The same moves, effective in match one, end up countered or reversed by match four, and the key is growth, is evolution, is change. If Death Triangle hopes to remain the AEW World Trios Champions when this series is through, if The Elite want to reclaim that which was never lost, then all must adapt week-by-week.
Coming off her TBS Championship defense against “The Native Beast” Nyla Rose at FULL GEAR 2022, Jade Cargill apparently traveled to Miami to pay rapper Bow Wow a visit after the two spent the last several weeks going back-and-forth on social media.
Well it appears as if AEW will have footage of what took place at Bow Wow's concert this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE! What has Jade Cargill gotten herself into with this hip hop superstar?
A BAD MAN...
Saturday night at FULL GEAR 2022, William Regal made a choice that changed the outcome of the AEW World Championship match between Jon Moxley and Maxwell Jacob Friedman. After getting MJF to discard the Dynamite Diamond Ring he'd been hiding in his trunks, Regal would end up slipping a pair of his trusty brass knucks to AEW's resident devil, a tool MJF would use to defeat Mox and claim the AEW World Championship as his own.
On Wednesday night, we will hear from Mr. Regal himself regarding his actions in Newark! Why did he do what he did to help MJF? What does it all mean for the future of The Blackpool Combat Club he helped created with Mox and Bryan Danielson, that's since taken in Wheeler Yuta and Claudio Castagnoli? Hopefully we will have some answers from “The Gentleman Villain” this Wednesday night on TBS!
This Wednesday night, All Elite Wrestling must learn to live in the era of MJF when we experience his first night of television as the AEW World Champion. Plus The Elite look to even the score in the second match of their Best Of 7 against Death Triangle, Chris Jericho defends his ROH World Title against NJPW's Tomohiro Ishii, the All-Atlantic Championship is at stake between Orange Cassidy and Jake Hager, plus Ricky Starks and Ethan Page fight to see who will challenge for the AEW World Championship at WINTER IS COMING 2022 on December 14th!
DYNAMITE comes to you live from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago starting at 8pm ET/7pm CT on TBS this Wednesday night, and the official AEW YouTube channel is the best place to catch up on the latest action from DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as recent editions of AEW DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, and ROAD TO!