AEW Friday Night Dynamite Preview for June 18, 2021
All Elite Wrestling's momentum continues to grow daily as we ramp up for our return to the road, the impending debut of AEW RAMPAGE, and now the announcement of DYNAMITE in NYC come September 22nd! And each week DYNAMITE presents one exciting night after another, last week being no exception with Christian Cage kicking off the show with a rather pyrrhic victory, as well as Miro retaining the TNT Title over Evil Uno, Hangman Page and Ten topping Team Taz while the orange and black seems to be unraveling, and a wild six man tag as well!
It all continues this week with Eddie Kingston and Penta El Zero Miedo being joined by “The Elite Hunter” Frankie Kazarian to battle The Elite, Andrade El Idolo talking with Jim Ross, Orange Cassidy in action with The Wingmen, as well as Darby Allin going solo against The Men Of The Year! All that and more is coming your way on FRIDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE at 10pm EST/9pm CST on TNT, or on AEWPlus.com for our International audiences.
In addition, be sure to head over to the official AEW YouTube channel for episodes of DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, OUTSIDE THE RING, WRESTLING WITH THE WEEK, and more!!!
SIX MAN BATTLE...
EDDIE KINGSTON, FRANKIE KAZARIAN, & PENTA EL ZERO MIEDO (W/ ALEX ABRAHANTES)
WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPION MATT JACKSON & THE GOOD BROTHERS (DOC GALLOWS/KARL ANDERSON W/ DON CALLIS)
Strange bedfellows and all that; there are probably few who ever expected Eddie Kingston and Penta El Zero Miedo to stand on the same side of the ring again after how their relationship soured late last year, yet here they are two weeks in a row. Now given that, there is even less of a chance a single soul walking the planet expected Frankie Kazarian, the self-styled Elite Hunter, to step up to the plate and sign on for this six-man bout alongside Kingston and Penta. There is no history between Eddie and Frankie save one lone tag team match seven years ago, but between Penta El Zero Miedo and Kazarian, well there is definitely some mileage.
It would be a bit dramatic to call them enemies, but in the dawning days of AEW, The Lucha Bros were certainly rivals with SCU with the World Tag Team Titles at the center of their relationship. After all, it was Kazarian and Scorpio Sky who bested Penta and Fenix on 10/30/19 to become the first ever World Tag Team Champions, and repeated the feat at FULL GEAR 2019 in a three way that also included Private Party. Again, not exactly bitter foes, but when championships are at stake, there is certainly some animosity that results, but that is the past, one that Frankie Kazarian has had no choice but to move on from over the last several weeks. In the present, with The Young Bucks having ended the partnership of Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky's journey with Ethan Page having effectively ended SCU, “The Elite Hunter” stands alone in AEW.
Or does he?
Clearly Frankie has similar ends as a great many individuals in All Elite Wrestling, Kingston and Penta just two of those wanting to decimate the men who compromise The Elite, and as such there are many allies of convenience in Kaz's mission. That is what brings these three disparate individuals together; it is not love, it is not friendship, it is not unity. It is hate, it is disdain, it is a desire to hunt The Elite down and make them pay for their transgressions.
Be it The Young Bucks, The Good Brothers, Kenny Omega, MK Nakazawa, or Brandon Cutler (probably even Don Callis) no man associated with The Elite is safe from The Elite Hunter, The Mad King, and The Lord of Lucha Libre. Now just imagine what it will like when Jon Moxley and Rey Fenix eventually return from the injuries inflicted upon them by The Young Bucks; their debts will have to be paid in full, and there may not be enough bodies to throw in the way to stop that death ride from coming for The Elite!
THE IDOL SPEAKS...
He has been known by many names over the course of his 17 year professional wrestling career, claimed many championships from the NWA to CMLL to NJPW, helped found one of the most ungovernable factions in modern wrestling, and now Andrade El Idolo has arrived in All Elite Wrestling with a stated goal of becoming the face of AEW!
This weekend, on a special FRIDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE edition, Andrade will sit down with Jim Ross to discuss his signing with AEW and what he wants for his future as a competitor. As with any man or woman who enters the ring, the goal is ultimately to become a champion, and to truly become the face of All Elite Wrestling, that has to be the number one goal on El Idolo's list.
There are many faces in the locker room familiar with Andrade, from Shawn Spears to FTR to Paul Wight to Matt Hardy, who can attest to the ability of the man, but there is one in particular who best listen closely to this interview given their impending date August 14th at AAA TRIPLEMANIA XXIX. On that night “The Belt Collector” Kenny Omega will defend his AAA Mega Title against Andrade El Idolo, but likely that is not the only belt Omega sports that AEW's newest acquisition has his eyes on claiming for himself.
(#4 SINGLES) ORANGE CASSIDY VS. CEZAR BONONI
“Why have Best Friends when you could have Wingmen?”
That is the question posed to Orange Cassidy by JD Drake in the above embedded tweet from DARK: ELEVATION in regards to this one-on-one contest. Monday night, “Freshly Squeezed” picked up a victory over Cameron Cole, his first bout since the heartbreaking loss to Kenny Omega at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021, while Cezar Bononi scored one of his own on Tuesday's DARK over Dillon McQueen. For both men, it was preparation for this first-time meeting on FRIDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE, but for both men it is also a situation in which the stakes are quite high, far higher than just the Wingman Makeover that Ryan Nemeth referred to in that interview.
Orange wants another crack at “The Cleaner” after the way his World Title opportunity ended, and in order to do that, Cassidy must maintain his spot in the rankings to get that championship rematch. For his part, Cezar Bononi wants a spot in those rankings for himself and one of the best ways to get in that vicinity, especially when you're on the outside looking in, is to upset someone with a spot. Scoring victories, one win after another, that is certainly one path but another is to snatch it away from someone else. Brian Cage rocked the rankings when he beat then #1 ranked Hangman Page weeks ago, knocking Adam out of the top spot and even temporarily out of the system, and that's just the sort of thing Bononi would like to replicate on Friday night.
With The Best Friends and Kris Statlander always there to support “Freshly Squeezed”, it's a reasonable assumption that the numbers game of The Wingmen will not play a factor in this outcome, but where there's a will there's a way, and if Nemeth, Drake, and Avalon want to sway the outcome, they will figure out a way to try.
Can OC keep his name in the World Title conversation with another win this week, or will Bononi score a massive upset and perhaps get his name into that contender's role as well?
(#3 SINGLES) DARBY ALLIN VS. THE MEN OF THE YEAR (ETHAN PAGE/SCORPIO SKY)
At DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021, Sting made his triumphant return to action in front of a live audience for the first time in six years. Alongside Darby Allin, The Icon bested Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky in front of a sold-out Daily's Place audience, as well as live on pay-per-view, and that is a fact The Men Of The Year were quite unwilling to accept. Ignoring the historic TNT Title reign of Darby's, ignoring his hard-earned status as one of the premier athletes in AEW, Sky and Page gave all the credit to Sting, saving none for Darby himself.
In fact, they gave Darby such short shrift that Ethan and Scorpio challenged Allin to go find another partner to face The M.O.T.Y and they could prove it was all Sting, all along, that Darby had nothing without him. Clearly, by the tone Darby spoke to Sting in the video embedded above, they struck a chord because the former TNT Champion not only neglected to find a partner, he has elected to go it by himself against Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky!
As confident as The Men Of The Year are about this twist, perhaps the history of Allin in AEW should've shown them that it is something Darby is willing to do if need-be. Once upon a time, on the 03/04/20 DYNAMITE to be exact, Allin found himself in a defacto handicap match against Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara when Jon Moxley, Darby's intended partner that night, was rendered incapable of competing by The Inner Circle. Still, Darby went into action by himself and fought his heart out before falling to the superior numbers of Jericho's unit. That's what is at the core of Darby Allin, a relentless drive to prove himself even when he has nothing to prove, an unwillingness to ever bow to the odds, and in this case especially, a need to humble his foes, to shatter their pride, by conquering them on his own.
Sky and Page see foolishness, they don't see heart. The MOTY see stupidity, they do not see guts. These elements that made Darby Allin the greatest TNT Champion to hold the title to date are the ones that Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky see as weaknesses, and that blindness may be the key to Darby overcoming the odds on Friday night.
MMA RULES CAGE MATCH...
WARDLOW VS. JAKE HAGER
***3 five minute rounds***
***45 second rest period between rounds***
***KO, TKO, or Submission Only***
It feels likely that the bad blood between The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle will perpetually boil over until one of the two units is decimated beyond repair. Be if FTR and Proud-N-Powerful, Shawn Spears and Sammy Guevara, or in this case, Wardlow and Jake Hager, these two factions will be at each other's throats for the foreseeable future.
This Friday night, after tearing each other apart during Stadium Stampede II at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021, the two heavy hitters will lock up for their second-ever singles match, but this time the confines will be quite different than any of their prior encounters. With this encounter, Wardlow will answer the challenge to meet Jake Hager in Jake's world: an MMA cage fight.
Back in January, during the first DYNAMITE of 2021, Wardlow picked up the victory over Hager in a traditional pro wrestling match. At the time it seemed like yet another rough spot in the MJF/Inner Circle dynamic, and in the short term it appeared to be a result begrudgingly accepted for the greater good, but that dynamic is what ultimately led to here.
The encounters that took place between “The War Dog” and Jake during the violent Blood and Guts affair, as well as in Stadium Stampede II, clearly showed that the disdain the two men have for each other has not abated whatsoever. Point of fact, it has only increased in intensity with each meeting with neither individual willing to accept a defeat as proof of their other man's superiority, and that is why this week on FRIDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE, Wardlow is stepping into Hager's world for an MMA Rules Cage Fight!
Knockout or Tap Out, Wardlow has prepared for this fight with Hager by doing both to his opponents during “Wardlow Week” on DARK: ELEVATION and DARK on Monday and Tuesday respectively. They were very short-lived bout against Jason Hotch and Chandler Hopkins, but they demonstrated the fire Wardlow is bringing to this special bout on Friday night. There is no question Wardlow is ready for the fight, but he is entering into this against a man who is undefeated in his MMA career with three wins and one no contest, and two of those victories coming via submission in the first round. Jake Hager is a NCAA All-American, a man who has specifically trained for combat in the Mixed Martial Arts realm, and is eager to take Wardlow apart in this world. While “Mr. Mayhem” may have some jiu-jitsu experience in his past, as well as boxing training, he has not competed at the levels which Hager has and that may be the key to another Inner Circle victory over The Pinnacle. Wardlow may hold the win in their traditional wrestling match-up but here, inside the cage and under MMA rules, the advantage is heavily in the favor of Jake Hager!
Whose monster will step out of the cage as the victor? Will it be The Inner Circle or The Pinnacle who records the next victory in this ongoing faction warfare? The weight of this next chapter rests on the shoulders of Wardlow and Jake Hager...
TAG TEAM GRUDGE MATCH...
THE NIGHTMARE FAMILY (CODY RHODES & BROCK ANDERSON W/ ARN ANDERSON)
THE FACTORY (QT MARSHALL & AARON SOLOW W/ NICK COMOROTO)
As a member of the ringside crew over the last year, Brock Anderson has witnessed some great wrestling action from the finest professional athletes competing today, but it wasn't until one night in February, when Cody Rhodes stopped to shake the hand of the young man prior to he and Lee Johnson's victory over The Wingmen, that the world learned about the man.
As it turned out Brock Anderson, the 23 year old son of Nightmare Family Coach and certifiable wrestling legend Arn Anderson, had been training at the Nightmare Factory to begin his own wrestling career. Much like Julia Hart, Brooke Havok, Carlie Bravo, Dean Alexander, Dillon McQueen, and others who have competed on the various AEW programs, Brock has been learning the ropes in Atlanta, but this Friday night he will be thrust into a position unlike any he has experienced before.
Although Brock may be the child of a Hall of Fame talent, and an athlete himself with a football pedigree, he has not experienced the ring wars for himself just yet, and having his first dance be opposite a bitter, angry veteran like QT Marshall and a hungry young man like Aaron Solow may be a case of diving into the deep end without knowing how to swim. The fact that Brock's partner for the evening, “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes, is destined for a South Beach Strap Match with Marshall on July 7th as part of AEW's return to the road also adds a whole other weight to this tag team debut.
QT is going to want to make a statement prior to that Miami meeting, and what better way to do it then by humiliating Brock in his debut. The Factory's figurehead has already sucker punched the elder Anderson on several occasions, now he has a chance to rub the son's face into the canvas and score another win over Cody in addition to the tag team victory QT and Anthony Ogogo's picked up the other week. That being said, if the novice notches the win, it's certainly going to spin QT off in a whole other fashion.
It's a tremendous amount of pressure for Brock Anderson to have his first match occur with so many eyes locked on the results, but if the apple landed anywhere close to the tree, Brock will excel under just such circumstances. And with Cody Rhodes as his partner in this debut, as well as his father coaching at ringside, Anderson could not ask for a better support system.
Can QT and Solow pull another victory for The Factory in their battle with The Nightmare Family, or will they be humiliated by a rookie in his debut match and humbled so close to that South Beach Strap Match? Don't miss FRIDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE to see how this tag team bout plays out!
FRIDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE is coming your way at 10pm EST/9pm CST on TNT, or on AEWPlus.com for our International fanbase! With an intriguing six-man tag on tap, as well as another chapter in the Pinnacle/Inner Circle war pitting Wardlow against Hager inside a cage, a Factory/Nightmare Family tag team grudge match, and Darby Allin going solo against The Men Of The year, Friday is shaping up to be another intense night of wrestling action!
To prep for FRIDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE, make the official AEW YouTube channel part of your destination viewing for episodes of DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, OUTSIDE THE RING, WRESTLING WITH THE WEEK, and more!!!