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AEW Dynamite & Rampage Preview for May 1, 2024



Coming off AEW's visit to Daily's Place and Jacksonville, we are headed to the Great White North once again, this time for a return to Winnipeg's Canada Life Centre after more than a year away! It's liable to be an explosive night as AEW Triple Crown winner Kenny Omega returns to the stage in his hometown, and with everything that's happened surrounding The Elite, one can only imagine what he'll have to say! Plus, Chris Jericho will defend the FTW Championship against “The Wrestler” Katsuyori Shibata, Mariah May will take on Serena Deeb, and we will find out who will challenge AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland's at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2024! Plus TNT Champion Adam Copeland will defend his title in another Cope Open, but all he knows is that it will be a House of Black member stepping up to the challenge; all that and more is coming your way Wednesday night with THREE HOURS OF ACTION live on TBS beginning at 8pm ET/7pm CT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for international fans.  Be sure to drop by the official AEW YouTube channel, as well as AEW's various social media platforms, for highlights from last week's episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, as well as the latest edition of the CONTROL CENTER!



After visiting Winnipeg, All Elite Wrestling heads to Edmonton on Wednesday May 8th for DYNAMITE and then Vancouver on Saturday the 11th for COLLISION and RAMPAGE!

All eyes are on Las Vegas for the 5th anniversary of DOUBLE OR NOTHING taking place on May 26th, and everyone wants to be a part of that pay-per-view event!!


DYNAMITE


WHO WILL CHALLENGE SWERVE?



DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2024 will mark five years (and a day) since All Elite Wrestling presented its very first event, the original DON, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. For this anniversary, AEW is bringing DOUBLE OR NOTHING back to the MGM Grand Garden Arena and with that also comes an AEW World Title match! Unless something drastic happens between now and May 26th, Swerve Strickland will enter Las Vegas as the defending AEW World Champion, but who will challenge him for his first pay-per-view title defense?


Well this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE the AEW faithful will find out just who gets that golden opportunity! As we understand it, AEW GM Tony Khan may not be cleared for travel after being assaulted by The Elite last week in Jacksonville, but he is still capable of fulfilling his duties remotely so it will be very intriguing to see how that plays out with determing the #1 Contender for the fifth anniversary of the original All Elite Wrestling event!


KENNY OMEGA RETURNS!


And speaking off that attack on Tony Khan perpetrated by The Elite, with All Elite Wrestling returning to Winnipeg on Wednesday night, one of the men that The Young Bucks fired from The Elite will be making his return to the AEW stage in his hometown! Kenny Omega, the only AEW Triple Crown winner in company history, has been absent from AEW TV since December 13th when he and Chris Jericho challenged then-World Tag Champions Big Bill & Ricky Starks to a championship match at WORLDS END 2023. Two days later that all changed:

It was learned shortly thereafter that Omega was suffering from diverticulitis, and he later disclosed that it very well could have cost him his life from a blood infection had it not been treated. Suffice to say it has been a very tumultuous several months for the former AEW World Champion, his sickness obviously the biggest part of it, but being tossed to the wayside by men he's called brother, getting fired from The Elite, and being replaced by one of his biggest in-ring rivals has to sting as well. 


So besides the fact that AEW is coming to Winnipeg, Omega's hometown, why is Kenny coming back to the fold on Wednesday night? Is it to respond to The EVPs and their actions alongside Jack Perry and Kazuchika Okada last week? Is it to tell the world he's physically cleared to compete? Is it to share far less joyful news about the future of his career? The world waits with bated breath to hear what “The Cleaner” has to share...


COPE OPEN TNT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

Adam Copeland(c) vs. A House of Black Member



Adam Copeland knew the second he defeated Christian Cage on March 20th to regain the TNT Championship that there would be a fresh target on his back. Adam got ahead of that by reinstituting his Cope Open Challenge, only this time with the TNT Championship at stake each time, and having to fight former ally Matt Cardona in his first defense. Immediately following that victory Copeland was confronted by Malakai Black, attacked from behind by Buddy Matthews, but saved by Mark Briscoe and Eddie Kingston. That situation created their Trios match at DYNASTY 2024, but the road to get there was still filled with House of Black activity. After his TNT Championship victory over Penta El Zero Miedo, Copeland was assaulted by Brody King but Willow Nightingale came to his aid because of Julia Hart's involvement. 


The subsequent mixed tag match between those four ended with Willow and Copeland on the losing end thanks to Julia using Brody King's chain to knock out Nightingale before applying her Hartless submission, and then the Trios match at DYNASTY 2024 ended with Copeland misted and pinned. The TNT Champion has suffered losses in two of his last three matches, both of them to The House of Black, and now he must face a member of The House this Wednesday night in another Cope Open TNT Championship Match!


The Cope Opens have been a mixed bag of opponents, from Minoru Suzuki to Dante Martin to the aforementioned Penta match, in some cases Copeland knew who he'd be facing ahead of time, but in several he went in utterly unaware of who he'd face. This Wednesday in Winnipeg is a mix of the two, the TNT Champion knows he's facing a member of The House of Black, he just doesn't know which one it will be! Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews; all three are fearsome foes for the TNT Champion to have to square up with, but which one will it be?


ONE-ON-ONE...

Mariah May vs. “The Professor” Serena Deeb



“The Professor” wants what she doesn't have, and after four consecutive victories since returning after 18 months away, Serena Deeb is adamant about getting the AEW Women's World Championship around the waist of “Timeless” Toni Storm! She made that intention clear on Wednesday night in the chaos that followed Anna Jay's match with Mina Shirakawa, and further voiced it in the interview embedded above.


Now the work continues this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE when Deeb steps into the ring with Toni's understudy, her protégé, her “child” as it were, Mariah May. This first time match is going to be quite the intriguing bout for several reasons; Deeb is in hot pursuit of Toni's title and a victory here would help push her closer towards that goal, Mariah is in need of some redemption after losing to both Thunder Rosa and Deonna Purrazzo in the last month, and while Storm may be supremely confident, eventually she will find the woman who can best her. She's managed to survive the top tier challenges of Purrazzo and Rosa over the last month, but if “The Professor” gets into the position of challenger, will “The Timeless One” be able to survive another? The onus may fall on Mariah May to stop this one from ascending to the role of challenger, can she pull it off?


FTW CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

“The Learning Tree” Chris Jericho(c) vs. Katsuyori Shibata



Chris Jericho told the world his intentions last Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, and he certainly tried to sell sincerity, but whether or not fans believe he is sincere is an entirely different story. His AEW career does not exactly scream of caring for the wellbeing and careers of others save for how it may benefit him, just ask the former Inner Circle and J.A.S. members how they look back on their time under Jericho's learning tree.


While it looks like there's at least one person who believes what “The Learning Tree” is selling and that's former AEW World Tag Champion Big Bill. After Jericho's speech he made his way to the ring to offer show his interest in what jericho had to offer, and did his best to prove it in his dominant 90-second victory on RAMPAGE last Saturday night. But one man who does not buy into anything Jericho has to offer is former ROH Pure Champion, as well as friend to HOOK, Katsuyori Shibata, and he looks to end Jericho's run with the FTW Championship rather abruptly. 


With FTW Rules in effect for this title fight, anything can happen, which means Shibata needs to be wary of someone looking to prove themselves to Chris Jericho, especially someone who's seven foot tall and can knock your face off with one shot from his steel toed boot. Can “The Wrestler” snap a few branches of “The Learning Tree” here in Winnipeg?


ORANGE SPEAKS...


After being asked to sit back as The Best Friends tore each other apart last Saturday night in a Parking Lot Fight, then watching as Trent Beretta brutally assaulted Chuck Taylor's already injured ankle after the match was over, “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy has to have a lot emotion swirling about in his heart and mind. This Wednesday night during DYNAMITE, we will hear from the 2-Time former International Champion regarding this situtation and perhaps what the future holds!


RETURN OF THE KING...

Samoa Joe vs. Private Party's Isiah Kassidy



There's not a lot to say about this one, it's not as if there is some long-standing grudge needing to be settled, a championship at stake, or some notion of contendership surrounding this bout on DYNAMITE. This is former AEW World Champion Samoa Joe returning to the ring for the first time since losing the title to Swerve Strickland at DYNASTY 2024, and Isiah Kassidy being brave enough to step up to the fury that Joe likely aims to unleash. The Private Party member is in a “nothing to lose, everything to gain” situation by taking up this challenge but he does so knowing that Joe will not be in a good mood appearing on DYNAMITE for the first time since January 3rd without the AEW World Title over his shoulder. 


Say a little pray for Isiah Kassidy before the bell rings, he is going to need it to survive Samoa Joe, but if he does survive, it will absolutely amplify Zay's standing as a singles competitor like no other match he has fought since the inception of All Elite Wrestling.


POWER VS. POWER...

The Mogul Embassy's Brian Cage vs. Blackpool Combat Club's Claudio Castagnoli



Last Saturday night fans bore witness to Claudio Castagnoli putting newly crowned AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland to the test when The BCC member stepped up as the champion's first challenger. It was a hard-fought twenty-one minute battle between two of the best athletes in AEW, but ultimately Swerve found a way to overcome the power of Double C and score his first successful championship defense. Swerve absolutely earned the respect of Claudio through their fight, but after the fight Castagnoli clearly told Strickland something about Prince Nana, perhaps it was delivering a warning, only the three men standing in the ring know for sure. It's feasible that it could be a warning, after all during their Ring of Honor days together Castagnoli had a brief association with Prince Nana's Embassy, never fully throwing his hat into Nana's ring, rather working more as an associate of The Embassy, but still teaming with men like the late Bison Smith, the late Jimmy Rave, and even Nana himself to fight The Briscoes, Colt Cabana, and Grizzly Redwood. It was short-lived connection, just a few months in 2009 really, but long enough to give Claudio an idea of how Prince Nana operates, and perhaps that is what Claudio shared with Swerve following their match.


Whatever it was, it clearly didn't sit well with The Mogul Embassy because now Claudio finds scheduled for his first one-on-one match with “The Machine” Brian Cage! These are two of the most powerful men in all of AEW, men who have an agility and quickness that defies logic given their size, but who have never fought in a singles match prior to this week's DYNAMITE. In fact the only time they've ever shared a ring was last September in a Three Way #1 Contender's Match for the International Championship that Nick Jackson actually won, so this match looks to be something special. It's not a case of either man being able to throw the other around like the proverbial rag doll, but it is a case of Cage having The Mogul Embassy at his back for support should the tide of the match flow towards The BCC member. Castagnoli knows this is a risk inherent in fighting any member of Prince Nana's ilk, but he may unfortunately be on his own when it comes to support. Bryan Danielson has not been heard from since DYNASTY 2024 while ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta is still on the mend and IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley is NJPW-bound for the WRESTLING DONTAKU events and his scheduled May 4th defense against Ren Narita. 


That doesn't mean Claudio won't fight the whole Mogul Embassy if he has to; as he said himself he's the wrestler he needs to be not the one he wants to be, but the odds are certainly stacked against “The Swiss Superman” if Prince Nana elects to unload the full Mogul Embassy on Castagnoli this Wednesday night!


RAMPAGE

ONE-ON-ONE...

AEW Unified World Trios Champion Jay White vs. Top Flight's Dante Martin



A week ago both Jay White and Dante Martin took part in the first-ever Casino Gauntlet Match to determine the #1 Contender for AEW International Champion Roderick Strong at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2024. Neither man proved the victor, but “King Switch” absolutely laid the blame for his inability to claim victory at the feet of Top Flight's Dante Martin.


That led to Jay White and The Gunns defending their Unified World Trios Championship against Top Flight and Action Andretti last Saturday on COLLISION, a bout whose conclusion came when White pinned Andretti to retain in their first defense. Though the titles remained secure around the Bang Bang Gang's waists, that doesn't mean that this issue is over, because Jay White still wants to even the score for last week's perceived slight by beating Dante Martin directly! So on this special Wednesay night edition of RAMPAGE, “Switchblade” will go one-on-one with Dante for the very first time in hopes of getting even for the Casino Gauntlet outcome! Will Jay White find satisfaction in this fight or will Dante Martin push him closer to the edge and perhaps even earn his unit another bid at the Unified Trios Titles?


All Elite Wrestling begins another tour of Canada this Wednesday night in Winnipeg at the Canada Life Centre! It's been over a year since our last visit there, and this time we've TNT Champion Adam Copeland facing off with a member of The House of Black in a Cope Open Championship Challenge, Kastuyori Shibata facing Chris Jericho for the FTW Championship, as well as Mariah May fighting Serena Deeb. Plus, we will learn who AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland will face at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2024, and former AEW World, Tag, and Trios Champion Kenny Omega makes his return to the AEW stage!


It all begins live on TBS at 8pm ET/7pm CT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for international fans, so be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel, as well as AEW's assorted social media platforms, for highlights from last week's episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, as well as the latest edition of the CONTROL CENTER with Tony Schiavone!

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