AEW Dynamite: The Crossroads Preview for March 3, 2021
REVOLUTION 2021 is just days away, airing live on pay-per-view THIS Sunday night via Bleacher Report Live (Order Now), and just jam-packed with one exciting bout after another.
But before we get there, well it is Wednesday and you know what that means! DYNAMITE: THE CROSSROADS is coming your way LIVE, and it is loaded up with one top shelf match contest after another! From the in-ring debuts of both Shaquille O'Neal and Jade Cargill to a return to action for the legendary Tully Blanchard, plus the Women's World Title Eliminator Finals and a massive 10-Man Tag, TNT is in store for a hot night in the Bold City!
Last week, a massive announcement was made that the largest athlete in professional wrestling, Paul Wight, had signed on with All Elite Wrestling! Fans witnessed as The Inner Circle assaulted Brandon Cutler following his loss to Jake Hager simply to distract The Young Bucks from their own father being attacked! Matt Hardy beat up Five as a message to The Dark Order and Hangman Page, then tossed him off the stage through a table! Jon Moxley delivered a powerful message to Omega following his win over Ryan Nemeth! Lance Archer and Rey Fenix stole the entire night with their FACE OF THE REVOLUTION Qualifier! And Nyla Rose continued her march towards the AEW Women's World Title!
Join AEW on Wednesday night at 8pm EST/7pm CST LIVE on TNT, or over on AEWPlus.com if you're a member of our International audience, for DYNAMITE: THE CROSSROADS! Not only is it the final chance for everyone to set the tone for their REVOLUTION 2021 bouts, it is loaded with pay-per-view level contests of its own!
Before DYNAMITE: THE CROSSROADS hits your television screen, be sure to head to the official AEW YouTube page (Watch Here) for the Women's World Title Eliminator Tournament Specials, a huge edition of “Road To...”, a loaded AEW DARK, and of course the Pre-Game show on Wednesday night! And stay tuned to TNT immediately following DYNAMITE for the COUNTDOWN TO REVOLUTION special!
MIXED TAG-TEAM MAIN EVENT...
“The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet
Shaquille O'Neal & Jade Cargill
Much like the Jurassic Express/FTR situation that also comes to a head this night, the situation between these four individuals (five including Brandi Rhodes) has been simmering for quite some time. It all comes to a head this Wednesday night when the tag team clash pitting NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal and Jade Cargill against two-time former TNT Champion Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet opens up DYNAMITE: THE CROSSROADS at 8pm EST!!
It all began after FULL GEAR 2020 in November where Cody Rhodes lost the TNT Title to Darby Allin in a tremendous fight, finally getting Darby that elusive victory he'd been chasing since his AEW debut. So when Cody walked out into the ring the following Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, it was not only to congratulate Darby, but also to tell the world where he was heading from there with his career. The former two-time TNT champion managed to get it out that he would not be seeking a rematch at this time, but as he began to utter the name of former friend-turned-foe MJF, Cody was interrupted by a face unfamiliar to AEW audiences. Rather, that should be unfamiliar to all those who were not astutely paying attention to the individuals populating the ringside area every week, but that unfamiliarity would not last long as the rather striking woman introduced herself as Jade Cargill.
Jade, like many others, had been waiting for an opportunity within AEW, but apparently got tired of being patient, and decided that Cody's time was now her time. Not only was it her time, but it was also the right time to drop another name down on The American Nightmare's head, the name of legendary NBA giant and now analyst for INSIDE THE NBA on TNT, Shaquille O'Neal. The pair apparently took umbrage with one of Cody's earlier statements that he was a Giant Killer after toppling men like Lance Archer, Wardlow, and Mr. Brodie Lee during his AEW tenure. This was not the first time Cody's name had been brought up in conjunction with Shaq's though as Shaq Diesel had tweeted out the following in August 2020:
The blatant disrespect shown by Jade Cargill for Cody, and All Elite Wrestling as a whole, raised the ire of Brandi Rhodes as well, so the CBO of AEW confronted Jade on the spot and sent the upstart away with her proverbial tail between her legs. Unfortunately that moment only served to escalate the hostilities as Jade, with a little assistance from Nyla Rose and Vicki Guerrero would assault Brandi, using a steel chair to attack her arm. That would in turn bring Shaq onto AEW television for the first time via joint sit-down interview (Watch Here) with Tony Schiavone and Brandi, and suffice to say the NBA All-Star ended up all wet by the end.
Red Velvet, by sheer association with Brandi, ended up the victim of an attack from Cargill and it was very clear that Jade would just keep pushing until she got what she wanted: a match in All Elite Wrestling and clearly she wanted it to involve the Rhodes family in some form. Well Jade would not be able to get what she wanted, at least not out of Brandi, because the Rhodes' family would announce to the world the impending arrival of a baby! Would that stop Jade from pushing to get what she wanted? Not in the least...
With Brandi out of the picture as far as a match was concerned, it started to feel like Jade might even try to push Cody into a match with how that all played out on The Waiting Room, she even tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to cost Rhodes his bout with Peter Avalon on the 1/20 DYNAMITE to further antagonize the man.
Shaq himself even said he would fight Cody and left the ball in Rhodes' court as to the next step. Yet it was not “The American Nightmare” who would make the final move, rather it would be Red Velvet with a little encouragement from Coach Arn Anderson:
The stage was set, and at BEACH BREAK (Watch Here) it was made official that on March 3rd the tag team collision would go down! In the month since that blockbuster announcement, fans have seen the training videos from the Jade and Shaq camp, and have witnessed both Red Velvet and Cody compete inside that ring. Cody, as he has mentioned on his Twitter, had his shoulder dinged up during a recent tag match on DYNAMITE, but nothing is going to stop Cody from stepping into the ring to answer the trash talking he has endured from Shaquille O'Neal all these months.
As for Shaq, well there is no questioning the athletic pedigree he carries when he climbs into an AEW ring for the very first time. Standing over 7 feet tall, O'Neal was a graduate of LSU before becoming the number one overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. He went on to a basketball career boasting four NBA championships, three NBA Finals MVP awards, 15 times an All-Star, the Rookie of The Year award, a two-time scoring champion, a 1996 Olympian, and had his jersey retired with both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. He was inducted into the James Naismith Hall of Fame in 2016, and has been a part of INSIDE THE NBA on TNT since 2011. While he may not have any wrestling pedigree to speak of, Shaquille O'Neal is a dominating physical presence whose sheer size and power makes him a force to be reckoned with once that bell rings on Wednesday night.
Cody has stated on many occasions that no one can touch him in the ring, and recently referred to Velvet as “true grit” on his Twitter, and both of those statements are quite true. Unfortunately Shaq is not a wrestler looking to prove he can hang with Rhodes as a wrestler, and Jade is an untested commodity that Velvet can't exactly go watch tape to prepare for the match. This is a situation unlike any Cody or Velvet have faced before, but if there is one thing that “The American Nightmare” has proven throughout his career it is his adaptability.
This historic tag team battle will kick off DYNAMITE: THE CROSSROADS at 8pm EST LIVE on TNT so do not miss a moment! Win or lose though, for Cody's sake hopefully there is something left in the tank to climb that ladder come REVOLUTION 2021 on Sunday night...
THE RETURN OF A LEGEND...
Tully Blanchard & FTR (Cash Wheeler/Dax Harwood)
Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy/Luchasaurus/Marko Stunt)
Earlier this week, AllEliteWrestling.com posted an article looking at the history of Tully Blanchard's tremendous professional wrestling career (Read Here). It is a record book littered with championships as well as many a fallen foe. This Wednesday night, as Tully returns to in-ring competition on the biggest platform of his last thirty years, he and FTR look to add three more names to that list in Jurassic Express.
This heated rivalry has been on-going since the moment FTR entered into the auspices of All Elite Wrestling, not at the level of their animosity with The Young Bucks, but simmering with Cash and Dax's general disdain for what they believed Jurassic Express to represent. Be it how Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt look, how they carry themselves, or how they choose to compete inside the ring, if there was anything FTR could find to hate about Jurassic Express, they would pick it apart.
In fact the DYNAMITE after FTR captured the World Tag Team Title from Hangman Page & Kenny Omega, the new champions held a celebration for themselves, invited all the tag teams to join in, and essentially used it as a platform to insult JurEx. The joke would end up being on FTR as the celebration broke down in to chaos, capped off with Marko Stunt dumping a cooler of ice on FTR's heads. This being wrestling, where things get settled inside the squared circle, a match was quickly signed for the following week on DYNAMITE, but the newly won championships belonging to Dax and Cash would NOT be on the line.
Yet even with the titles not at stake, FTR still had to resort to some dubious tactics to pull out the win, adding more fuel to their arrogant belief that the members of Jurassic Express were somehow beneath them.
Jump ahead to January and a tag team rematch signed for DYNAMITE, but instead of Jungle and Lucha taking on FTR as it was before, Cash and Dax elected to push Stunt's buttons. They pushed so hard that Marko forced Luchasaurus to step down from the match so he could team with Jungle Boy against the now former tag champions. It was a brave, bold move by Marko in response to the games played by FTR, and one that nearly cost Cash, Dax, and Tully the match! It was only the direct interference of Blanchard, shoving Marko hard into a corner post on the outside of the ring, that let FTR hit The Big Rig on “Mr. Fun Size” to get the win. For the second time FTR beat JurEx, but for the second time they had to break the rules in order to do so.
In response, Jungle Boy challenged Dax Harwood to a singles match and it was also decided that to even the playing field, both Cash and Tully would be handcuffed to Luchasaurus at ringside. That proved to be the crucial decision in how that one-on-one bout would unfold because, without his allies able to interfere, Dax would end up tapping out to Jungle Boy's Snare Trap submission in a match many point to as the best of 2021 thus far.
The victory was fleeting however as Tully and Cash used powder to blind Luchasaurus, and then escape from him to begin an assault on Jungle Boy. The trio would also lay out Lucha with a spike piledriver, use scissors to cut off his horns, and leave JurEx suffering in their victory. FTR's decision did not come without consequences as they found themselves not only suspended, but pulled from the #1 Contender's Battle Royal that earned Jericho/MJF their title shot at REVOLUTION 2021. The response that elicited from FTR and Tully was disturbing, to say the last, as they abducted Marko Stunt and temporarily held him hostage in their trailer to send a message.
FTR returned to action on February 21st against Matt & Mike Sydal, and true to form, victory was not enough for Cash, Dax, and Tully as they assaulted the team following the match, stealing surgical scissors from Doc Sampson, and attempting to cut the hair off Mike Sydal. The lights went out, and when they returned Jurassic Express stood in the ring to fend off their foes. They were not about to let FTR do to another person what they did to Luchasaurus.
That brings us to this coming Wednesday night when the legendary Tully Blanchard steps into the ring alongside his charges Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler to collide with the Jurassic Express trio! Despite having not competed since 2007, and not having been on a stage of this magnitude in thirty years, Tully remains one of the most intimidating presences in All Elite Wrestling. When paired with the pure tag team greatness that the self-proclaimed “Top Guys” bring to the ring, FTR stands as one of the most threatening trios have to compete against.
But if there is one thing Jurassic Express has shown FTR over the course of the last six months, and over the course of 2021 in particular, it is that they should never be underestimated. The last official interaction between the units saw Dax tapping out to Jungle Boy, their two tag team contests only ended in victory for FTR because of underhanded tactics, so it is safe to say that, regardless of what FTR vocalizes, they recognize the threat JurEx truly is once that bell rings. The psychological warfare is over, the sneak attacks and outside interference are done, all six men will be inside that ring to fight it out, and hopefully bring an end to these hostilities!
One week ago All Elite Wrestling shocked everyone with the announcement that the largest athlete in professional wrestling had signed a long-term deal with AEW covering multiple purposes. In addition to securing his wrestling license, Paul Wight will also host the brand-new AEW DARK: ELEVATION program alongside Tony Schiavone! The all-new show will premiere on AEW's official YouTube channel on Monday March 15th, but fans do not have to wait that long to hear from this colossus!
This Wednesday night, as part of THE CROSSROADS, fans will hear from Paul Wight for the very first time LIVE on DYNAMITE! What will Wight have to say when he appears on AEW television for the very first time? The best way to find out is to tune into TNT starting at 8pm EST!!
WOMEN'S WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT FINALS
***WINNER EARNS WORLD TITLE MATCH AT REVOLUTION 2021***
United States Bracket Winner Nyla Rose vs. Japan Bracket Winner Ryo Mizunami
The path that has led these two women to the precipice of an AEW Women's World Title Match has not been simple for either competitor. Nyla Rose, the winner of the United States Bracket, had to beat Tay Conti, Dr. Britt Baker, and former NWA World Women's Champion Thunder Rosa to make it to this point. She put in just over thirty-five minutes of work, and now must survive one last fight to get her revenge on AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida. There is plenty of bad blood there, especially seeing how Shida is the women who dethroned Nyla back on May 23rd, and turned her away once again at FULL GEAR 2020 in their rematch.
In the case of Ryo Mizunami, this 16 year veteran of the ring wars had to make it past Maki Itoh, the legendary Aja Kong, and Yuka Sakazaki, clocking in 43 minutes and 39 seconds of ring time in the process, and then undertaking a sixteen hour flight to the States. It was a tremendous endeavor for Mizunami just to get to this opportunity to fight “The Native Beast” in hopes of surviving to challenge Hikaru Shida for the championship at REVOLUTION 2021. While Ryo has become more familiar to the AEW audience over the last several weeks through the Women's World Title Eliminator Specials on YouTube, she is still somewhat of a mystery.
Over the course of her sixteen year career, Ryo Mizunami has been a multi-time champion, has competed throughout Japan in multiple promotions, as well as in the United States and Canada. She even crossed paths with Nyla Rose on one prior back in the fall of 2018, each on opposite sides of a Six-Person tag that also included Hikaru Shida on Ryo's team. Over the course of her decade and a half in competition, Mizunami has stepped into the ring with Joshi legends like Manami Toyota, Chigusa Nagoya, and Meiko Satomura, as well as Aja Kong, who Ryo beat for the very first time in that Semi-Final bout en route to Wednesday night.
This meeting at THE CROSSROADS pits two wrestling powerhouses against one another, a situation in which Nyla Rose rarely finds herself, and with the highest of stakes short of the championship being on the line. Which woman will rise up to the challenge and move onto REVOLUTION 2021 this Sunday to try and make some history?
FACE OF THE REVOLUTION LADDER MATCH QUALIFIER...
The Dark Order's 10 vs. Max Caster
With both men coming into DYNAMITE: THE CROSSROADS with wins on Tuesday night's AEW DARK, both Max Caster and The Dark Order's 10 are looking to pick up the biggest singles victories of their AEW careers.
Caster, while generally engaged in tag team competition with Anthony Bowens as The Acclaimed, has had a bit of success in the singles ranks, picking up a pair of wins in 2021, first over Marko Stunt and then JJ Garrett in the aforementioned AEW DARK contest on Tuesday night. Still, the challenge those two fights brought to Caster don't touch the kind of raw power that The Dark Order's Ten brings to the contest.
And as for Ten's solo history, well thus far in 2021 he has won four straight singles matches, and six of his last seven dating back to October 27th. As for the defeats he has eaten since debuting in AEW, well there is no shame in falling to the likes of Dustin Rhodes, Orange Cassidy, Darby Allin, and Jon Moxley. It has all been a learning experience; those matches, the time spent with The Dark Order and under Mr. Brodie Lee's tutelage, it has all helped mold Ten into the force he is growing into in AEW.
Still, this fight on Wednesday has higher stakes than any of those bouts as it puts the victor one step closer to a TNT Title opportunity against Darby Allin in the future. Of course, that is provided he can survive the Face Of The Revolution Ladder Match at REVOLUTION 2021 with Cody Rhodes, Scorpio Sky, Lance Archer (who qualified in the match embedded above), Penta El Zero Miedo, and another competitor to be named by Tony Khan during DYNAMITE.
For Caster, it's an opportunity to continue what has already been a breakout year for him and Bowens. For Ten, it's not only a breakout opportunity, but it is also coming closer to returning the TNT Title home to The Dark Order.
THE PRESS CONFERENCE...
On Sunday night, Chris Jericho and Maxwell Jacob Friedman will get their opportunity to bring the World Tag Team Titles into the Inner Circle. It's an opportunity they earned at DYNAMITE: BEACH BREAK several weeks ago, but one that has proven quite costly in that it came at the expense of Jericho eliminating Sammy Guevara to win, and cascading down to Sammy quitting the group.
Jericho and MJF have seemingly brushed it off though, and remained focused on the goal of conquering The Young Bucks at REVOLUTION 2021. They did not hesitate to attack Matt and Nick following their victory over Santana and Ortiz, Chris and Max locking the champions in their respective submissions holds, while the rest of The I.C. fended off anyone's attempts to help the brothers Jackson. Tried and true tactics from Jericho and his ilk...
But last week's actions by MJF and Jericho may stand up as the most disgusting act in AEW's history, and certainly the most disgraceful by either of those two individuals, which covers a lot of ground. Using a post-victory assault on Brandon Cutler as a diversion to draw The Young Bucks out, the challengers accosted Matt and Nick's father backstage, then dragged his bloody body onto camera for the world to see. Yet that wasn't enough, Jericho and MJF just had to take it farther, and proceeded to smash Papa Bucks' face into the back of an AEW truck baring the images of both Matt and Nick!
Of course they then high-tailed it away from the scene of the crime before The Young Bucks could get there, and now they want to take the stage for a press conference on Wednesday night. They have invited members of the wrestling media to engage with them, but it is a safe bet MJF and Chris Jericho will use this platform to do nothing more than engage in the self-aggrandizing behavior that is their hallmark.
Whatever drivel comes out of their mouths following that disgusting assault on Papa Buck, the World Tag Team Title challengers best remember that it is only a matter of days before they will have to answer for the crimes committed en route to REVOLUTION 2021!
Hangman Adam Page & John Silver
Big Money Matt Hardy & Marq Quen
Ahead of the Matt Hardy and Adam Page Big Money Match set for REVOLUTION 2021 this Sunday, Hangman locked horns with Isiah Kassidy on last week's DYNAMITE. It was a tremendous fight with Kassidy showing Page, and the world, he can roll in a singles bout almost as well as a tag, but in the end falling victim to a Hangman's signature Deadeye maneuver.
Throughout the bout, Alex Reynolds and John Silver stood ringside in Page's corner, in part to balance out Angelico and Jack Evans presence on Kassidy's side, and in part to support their friend. As such, in the aftermath of his man's loss, “Big Money” Matt Hardy elected to send a message to all his foes at the expense of The Dark Order's Five.
With Five left in a heap amongst the rubble of a table, Reynolds and Silver initially took off in pursuit of Hardy but quickly returned, with Page, to check on their fallen brother. Originally that would have brought us to this week's edition of DYNAMITE where The Dark Order was looking for some vengeance against Hardy and his paid support squad. But it looks like that has changed...
Now, thanks to Tony Khan, Big Money Matt has arranged for an early shot, in tag team form, at his pay-per-view foe! Matt will unite with the other half of Private Party, Marq Quen, and attempt to wear out Page before their Big Money Match at REVOLUTION 2021! It's a reasonable assumption that Captain Carny has something up his sleeve to push for this fight, some angle to try and play to get an edge of Adam Page before Sunday. Thankfully Hangman not only has John Silver in his corner as a partner, but the rest of The Dark Order at his back in case Hardy or his hired help try anything sneaky.
How will this bout bout affect Sunday night? Tune in to DYNAMITE: THE CROSSROADS to find out!
THE DEATH TRIANGLE RETURNS...
As if this edition of DYNAMITE was not loaded enough, it was also announced that two-thirds of The Death Triangle would be back in tag team action on Wednesday night! Rey Fenix went through an absolute dogfight last week with Lance Archer in that Face Of The Revolution Qualifier, but is always ready for action when the bell rings. As for PAC, his last AEW bout saw “The Bastard” totally brutalize Ryan Nemeth about a month back, so he is certainly itching for a return to action! It may be a good idea to say a little prayer for who ever the poor, unfortunate souls that draw this match-up on Wednesday night!
It's gonna be a REVOLUTION (Order Now) on Sunday night when AEW returns to pay-per-view on BRLive.com, but before that All Elite Wrestling will see you at THE CROSSROADS on Wednesday night! With the landmark Shaq & Jade versus Cody & Red Velvet tag team battle on top, the return of Tully Blanchard to in-ring competition, the next qualifier for the FACE OF THE REVOLUTION Ladder Match, the Inner Circle Press Conference, and more, DYNAMITE is set for one unforgettable evening!
And before Wednesday, make sure to visit the official AEW YouTube page (Watch Here) for the Women's World Title Eliminator Tournament Specials, the latest edition of “Road To Dynamite...”, a stacked AEW DARK episode, and the tremendous Pre-Game show before DYNAMITE kicks off at 8pm EST! Then, when DYNAMITE comes to a close Wednesday night, be sure to keep your channel locked on TNT for the COUNTDOWN TO REVOLUTION special that airs immediately after!