AEW Dynamite: Winter Is Coming Preview for December 15, 2021
DYNAMITE: WINTER IS COMING (Buy Tickets) emanates from the Curtis Caldwell Center in Garland, TX this Wednesday night on TNT! In the main event, fans will witness the highly-anticipated World Title collision between Adam Page and Bryan Danielson that has been building since FULL GEAR 2021, and we will see if Maxwell Jacob Friedman can hold onto the Dynamite Diamond Ring for the third consecutive year. Plus former AEW Women's World Champion Hikaru Shida and former NWA Women's Champion Serena Deeb will collide for the third time to try and settle their score while “The WarDog” Wardlow and Matt Sydal will go one-on-one!
Winter has arrived in AEW and it begins at 8pm EST/7pm CST on TNT, as well as on AEWPlus.com for our international audiences! But before DYNAMITE kicks off, be sure to subscribe to the official AEW YouTube channel so you don't miss the latest DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, and ROAD TO episodes when they premiere! In addition, be sure to follow the official Twitter for breaking news, highlights from events AS THEY HAPPEN, the latest rankings and more!
AEW WORLD TITLE MATCH...
“Hangman” Adam Page(c) vs. “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson
FULL GEAR 2021 was a game changing night for both of these men; first Bryan Danielson earned a World Title opportunity by defeating Miro in the finals of the Men's World Title Eliminator Tournament, then Hangman Page defeated Kenny Omega to claim the AEW World Title as his own. It was a night of joyous celebration for both the victorious individuals as well as the fans of each, but that rapture did not last long as just a few days later on DYNAMITE, “The American Dragon” came out to have a little face-to-face with the new World Champion.
Suffice it to say that the version of himself that Danielson had presented to the AEW audience since his arrival rapidly faded away now that the World Title was in his sights, and being held by one of the most beloved individuals in All Elite Wrestling. Now Bryan had always made it clear that the AEW World Championship was his ultimate goal upon entering the company, yet he certainly didn't anticipate it being anyone other than Kenny Omega holding the belt. Thus the change in opponent necessitated a change in approach, or perhaps it wasn't a change in approach but rather just how the fans took to it. Instead of rallying against the cowardice of Kenny Omega, he was claiming the same for Hangman Page. Instead of it being The Elite he was willing to decimate to get to his goal, it was now The Dark Order who would suffer on their friends' behalf until the World Title match was set. Bryan's intent was essentially the same, just his targets had changed, but the words coming out of his mouth were absolutely insulting to the individuals they targeted.
He ran down each member of The Dark Order prior to facing them, he flat out stated that they all were beneath him, that Hangman Page was beneath him, and he would kick each of their heads in one-by-one until he got the championship. The disdain Bryan apparently felt for John Silver, Evil Uno, Alan Angels, and even his own long-time friend Colt Cabana, just oozed from every pore of the number one contender, and the utter disrespect he demonstrated for Adam Page was utterly bewildering given the hard road Hangman had endured to earn that World Title.
To his credit, Hangman has not let any of these verbal diatribes really get to him, he has heard it all before over the last two years, and from men he actually considered friends no less. Instead what got to Adam was the treatment of The Dark Order, the abuse Danielson heaped upon them merely for taking a stand on behalf of their friend. Bryan's constant “coward s**t” rhetoric wasn't a trigger, but stomping out Colt Cabana's tooth and continuing to assault John Silver after the match was over, now that pulled Page's trigger and led him to trying to unleash the Buckshot.
Bryan skirted away from that lariat several times, but this Wednesday night, when winter comes to Garland, TX and the Curtis Caldwell Center, there will be no running away from Hangman. The verbal taunting, the narrow escapes up the ramp, taking it out on The Dark Order, all of that ends when Danielson meets Page inside the ring with the AEW World Championship on the line! That first title defense is as crucial as actually winning the championship, and Hangman could not have pulled a more difficult opponent for his than “The American Dragon”. Is it inevitable that 2022 is AEW's own Year of The Dragon? Will this year's WINTER IS COMING see a repeat of last year's championship title change between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley? Or can Hangman Page make 2022 the Year Of The Horse in All Elite Wrestling and as he said “stomp the cowboy s**t” out of Danielson on the way there?
DYNAMITE DIAMOND RING FINAL...
MJF vs. Dante Martin
Maxwell Jacob Friedman, as absolutely obnoxious as he is and as deserving of a punch in the mouth as he may be, has proven time and again that he is in fact a winner. He has topped Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, and Sammy Guevara over the course of the last several years, challenged Jon Moxley for the AEW World Title, and now finds himself embroiled in a war of words with CM Punk that will certainly explode into violence sooner than later.
And for the purposes of this night, MJF's third go-round for the Dynamite Diamond Ring, it should also be noted that he beat current AEW World Champion Hangman Page to claim the ring in 2019 and then bested Orange Cassidy to retain possession in 2020. Max's overall track record in AEW is stellar, having won 29 of his 36 matches (as well as the 3 Dynamite Diamond Battle Royales), and no matter what he is doing, MJF always manages to make himself a conversation piece. Last week in Long Island, he even managed to find the one place, quite possibly in the world, that actually cheered him to victory! He is braggadocious, he is arrogant, he is smug, but unfortunately for his innumerable detractors, MJF has also found ways (often unscrupulous ones) to be a winner.
Standing across the ring from him on Wednesday though is a man who couldn't possibly be more polar opposite of Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Having successfully deceived Team Taz into thinking he joined their ilk, Dante Martin comes into DYNAMITE: WINTER IS COMING as a rocket just beginning its ascent into orbit. He has wowed audiences and peers alike with his amazing athleticism and preternatural agility, the seeming ease with which Martin soars through the skies has made him stand out among the crowd, and at such a young age, his unlimited potential is what first pulled Matt Sydal into his orbit, then Lio Rush, and recently Team Taz. They all see what Martin can become and, at least for the first two, wanted to help him grow into that potential, while the latter just wanted to exploit it for their own ends. Safe to say that in the Battle Royale last week, it was Dante who took advantage of Taz and Ricky Starks.
Now as for this week and the Dynamite Diamond Ring Finals, as stated, one would be hard-pressed to find be an example of two more disparate individuals. Unlike MJF, Dante is humble about his tremendous gifts, that's not to say Martin isn't well aware of his abilities and confident in those skills, just simply that he does not go running off at the mouth about his own greatness at every turn. Clearly from his relationships with Sydal and Rush, Dante isn't a man who believes he already knows it all and is willing to learn from those who have been there before him and can pass on knowledge that goes well beyond just what to do inside the squared circle. Dante Martin is a sponge willing to soak up knowledge and apply it to his craft, Maxwell Jacob Friedman is more likely to say “Yeah, I know” to any advice dolled out.
One need only watch a single match from each man to see how different their approaches to in-ring competition are as well, and those differences are going to make for one intriguing clash for the high-priced ring Max has treated like his precious since 2019. Giving the number of people interested in the actions of both men, there will also no doubt by many eyes on this meeting; Taz, Hook, Ricky Starks, and Powerhouse Hobbs all have their reasons for wanting to see Dante go down while CM Punk will absolutely be watching Max here. And while Lio Rush clearly has a vested interest in Dante Martin's future, there is a lingering question of what MJF's usual second has to be feeling about this situation.
Max eliminated Wardlow himself, he crept up behind Wardlow and dumped him out in a mass with Lio and Lee Johnson, and that cannot possibly sit well with “The War Dog” no matter how much money MJF uses to line his pockets. Still, Wardlow has his own things to worry about on Wednesday that don't involve Max, this match, or the future of the Dynamite Diamond Ring.
So with so many factors surrounding this one-on-one meeting, will it be MJF who pulls a three-peat out in Garland, TX or will Dante Martin break the streak to score the biggest victory of his singles career?
THE RUBBER MATCH...
Hikaru Shida vs. “The Professor” Serena Deeb
Round One: DYNAMITE, 10/6/21, with Hikaru Shida chasing her 50th victory, Serena Deeb actually defeats the former Women's World Champion to stifle the bid. The speed bump to Shida's journey was one thing, but it was the aftermath where Deeb attacked Hikaru with the commemorative trophy that really left an impression on fans and Shida's head.
Round Two: DYNAMITE, 10/27/21, the TBS Women's Title Tournament, Hikaru Shida evens the score to get her 50th victory and advance in the tournament, but she suffers at Serena's hands after the match
Round Three is now upon us this Wednesday night during DYNAMITE: WINTER IS COMING and as encapsulated in that video embedded above, the hostilities are at an all-time high! Deeb played no small part in costing Shida her Quarter-Final match in the TBS Tournament against Nyla Rose, attacking that banged up knee while the referee was distracted, and leaving Shida fighting on a bad wheel for the brief remainder of the battle. It was yet another example of this ruthless side Serena Deeb has unleashed since that first fight with Shida, and will no doubt let out in all its horrific glory in this rubber match.
The TBS Women's Title has nothing to do with this match, nor does the AEW Women's World Title; this one is just about vengeance and disdain. It's about Deeb feeling like she was robbed by Shida in the First Round, it is about Shida rightfully knowing she was robbed in the Quarter-Finals, and each woman has promised to make the other suffer. WINTER IS COMING won't see a mat classic or pro wrestling clinic between these two women but rather, to paraphrase Deeb, “two women beating the living s**t out of each other”!
Wardlow vs. Matt Sydal
Neither man involved in this one-on-one match has to be very happy with how last week's Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale went for them. Matt Sydal was the second man eliminated, in his case by Powerhouse Hobbs, barely a minute into the fight and had to shuffle back to the locker room to see how the rest played out.
What Sydal would've seen, if he elected to torture himself for losing and watch the remainder of the bout, was Wardlow being eliminated, along with Lio Rush and Lee Johnson, by Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Clearly being eliminated by his Pinnacle stablemate was not going to sit well with “The WarDog” and as Max plead ignorance from inside the ring, Shawn Spears stood between them on the floor to play peacemaker. It's not the first time MJF has used Wardlow as cannon fodder over the last two years, and given Max's personality, it surely won't be the last as long as MJF is paying Wardlow's salary.
So that leaves Matt Sydal in the unfortunate position of being the first man who has to face Wardlow after that rage-inducing moment. Now it's not the first time in his twenty year career Matt has faced a powerhouse in the ring, but it is the first time he's faced Wardlow in a singles match and he is unlike any of the other beasts Sydal has met over the years. It's time to open up that third eye and find the secret key to survival if he doesn't want to end up a victim of those vicious locomotion powerbombs or that disgusting elevated knee to the face!
OWEN HART CUP TOURNAMENT...
Back in September (Read Now), in conjunction with the Owen Hart Foundation, All Elite Wrestling first announced that it will endeavor to honor the memory of Owen Hart with unique merchandise, the upcoming AEW video game, and an annual Owen Hart Cup Tournament.
That announcement created a large buzz with the AEW faithful, and great anticipation for just what that tournament would entail. Antsy fans speculated about how it would look, who could be involved, and were hungry for more details. AEW GM Tony Khan took to Twitter a month ago to give the fans a little tease for what was to come...
Well WINTER IS COMING is here at the Curtis Caldwell Center in Garland, TX so be sure to tune into DYNAMITE on TNT live at 8pm EST/7pm CST for further details about just what the Owen Hart Cup Tournament will entail!
DYNAMITE: WINTER IS COMING begins at 8pm EST/7pm CST on TNT, and at AEWPlus.com for our international audience, this Wednesday night! But the AEW action begins before that at the official AEW YouTube channel with the latest editions of DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, and ROAD TO that get you ready for the explosive action! Will Hangman Page or “The American Dragon” leave Texas as the World Champion? Can MJF three-peat as the Dynamite Diamond Ring holder or will Dante Martin be the first to pry it Max's fingers? Who do you have in the Shida/Deeb rubber match? All that and more is coming your way this Wednesday night L IVE on TNT from the Curtis Caldwell Center in Garland, TX!!!