AEW Saturday Night Dynamite Preview for June 26, 2021
Last Friday night fans witnessed the first-ever MMA Rules Cage Match in AEW's history between Wardlow and Jake Hager. The Inner Circle representative secured the win by choking out The WarDog, and shockingly tried to show some respect to his adversary. That didn't stop The Pinnacle from seizing the moment to attack their enemies, with MJF clocking AEW Coach Dean Malenko after The Man of 1,000 Holds stopped him from further injuring Chris Jericho's fractured elbow with Max's Salt Of The Earth armbar!
On top of that chaos, Darby Allin's brave attempt to take down The Men Of The Year by himself was ultimately shut down, Orange Cassidy knocked Cezar Bononi out cold, Brock Anderson made an impressive debut alongside Cody Rhodes, and The Elite took down Penta, Kingston, and Kazarian in the main event!
This could be another historic night for AEW as DYNAMITE takes over TNT for a special Saturday night edition featuring a major World Title match-up between Kenny Omega and Jungle Boy! In addition, Hangman Adam Page and Powerhouse Hobbs will collide in a bout with serious ranking implications!
It all goes down at 8pm EST/7pm CST this Saturday night LIVE on TNT, or if you're a member of our International audience then AEWPlus.com is your destination of choice! And in the meantime, head over to the official AEW YouTube account to experience this week's editions of AEW DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, and all the other content available over there like the new sneak peek at the official AEW replica championship belt!
AEW WORLD TITLE MATCH...
“The Cleaner” Kenny Omega (c) vs. (#1) Jungle Boy
He is the winner of the 2021 Casino Battle Royale, he has competed in more matches than any other member of the AEW roster, and with 49 wins after DARK: ELEVATION on Monday, Jungle Boy also has the most overall victories of anyone in All Elite history. And this Saturday night, on a special edition of DYNAMITE, he will be the fifth challenge for Kenny Omega's AEW World Title.
Now in his 200+ days a champion, Omega has turned back Jon Moxley at REVOLUTION 2021 in an Explosive Barbwire rematch of their DYNAMITE: WINTER IS COMING title change. He bested Rey Fenix in a championship challenge on DYNAMITE, as well as then-IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann in a bout where both championships were on the line during IMPACT: REBELLION. Most recently Kenny turned back the combined efforts of PAC and Orange Cassidy in a Three Way battle at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021 where OC ended up the beaten man. Whether you like the man or not, he has certainly found ways to live up to his boasts of being the greatest wrestler alive today. Be it with the help of his Elite allies, Don Callis, or his own willingness to stretch the rules as needed, Omega continues to stand atop the competition.
So it is with all these elements that Jungle Boy and Kenny Omega enter into the ring on SATURDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE, the first Saturday night edition of AEW's flagship since August 22nd of 2020. Why is that significant? Because on that night, Mr. Brodie Lee decimated “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes to claim TNT Title for The Dark Order. There is a bit of an historical precedence for championship changes, and Jungle Boy is looking to upset the apple cart with one of his own.
Jungle Jack, as Omega so kindly called him, has demonstrated throughout his AEW tenure just how far one individual can come with hard work, grit, and determination. From the wrestler with the absolute record at the close of 2019 to taking Chris Jericho to a time limit draw to earning his spot as the #1 contender, Jungle Boy is the ultimate example of growth. Be it as a singles wrestler where he is 9-1 in 2021, or as a tag where he is 9-2 on the year, Jack Perry has continued to evolve with each and every match, just watch the Dax Harwood bout from the 1/27 DYNAMITE or his TNT Title bout with Darby Allin to see how far he has come since that Jericho draw in December 2019. One would be hard-pressed to find an individual in AEW who has come farther, and that has to worry Kenny Omega, regardless of the front he puts on when accompanied by the goon squad.
That is the main thing Jungle Boy has to worry about, the involvement of The Elite, obviously Omega is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of this generation and Jungle Boy is especially aware of that fact, but his chances of becoming the 4th AEW World Champion would be greatly increased if The Elite were not a cause for concern anytime “The Belt Collector” enters the ring.
As mentioned, there is the historical significance of a SATURDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE in regards to championship bouts, but there is also a little history between Omega and Jungle Boy to look at circa 2020. Not only did Kenny and Hangman Page successfully defend the AEW World Tag Team Titles against Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, The Young Bucks and Omega bested the complete Jurassic Express trio one month prior. Of note in that six man bout, it was one of the first times fans started to see the facade of Omega crack, that “The Cleaner” inside came out when Kenny assaulted Marko Stunt post-victory.
Those two encounters are the only times Jungle Boy and Kenny Omega have ever crossed paths, with both resulting in wins for Omega's team, but this one-on-one meeting is far and above the most significant of the three, as well as the most important in the career of the Jurassic Express member. It is Jungle Boy's opportunity to become the face of AEW just before the Welcome Back Tour kicks off in July, and with AEW RAMPAGE launching in August. It is his chance to be the first competitor in AEW to reach 50 wins, and also to be the one to shut the braggadocious mouth of Kenny Omega for at least a few seconds!
Will Jungle Boy make history on SATURDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE, or will the reign of The Belt Collector continue on into the summer? Tune it at 8pm EST/7pm CST to experience the championship fight of a lifetime!
(#2) Hangman Adam Page vs. (#4) Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Taz)
This is familiar territory for Hangman Page; sitting high up in the rankings with a member of Team Taz coming for his head as well as a spot of their own in that top five. The first time out it was Brian Cage who pulled Adam's card, and with a little help from his friends, managed to top the then-number one ranked Hangman on DYNAMITE. It not only knocked Page out of the number one spot, it slide an unranked Cage into the five spot, and over the next several weeks would result in Hangman briefly dropping out completely.
The rematch at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021 was much more favorable to the former World Tag Team Champion, in part because “The Machine” refused the assistance of Team Taz in that pay-per-view collision. Page's victory would then lead to a tag team affair, stemming out of a challenge made by The Human Suplex Machine, in which The Dark Order's Ten and Hangman would top Cage and Will Hobbs after the former abandoned his partner in favor of chasing down fellow Team Taz member Ricky Starks.
To say this did not sit well with the the head of Team Taz would be a huge understatement, nor did it Powerhouse Hobbs. It was with all this in his head that Taz issued another challenge to Hangman Page, as heard in the video embedded above, and to which Adam responded later in the night:
Page accepted, even giving credit to Hobbs for nearly beating him and Ten by himself, but the former World Tag Champ seemed much more focused on celebrating the performance of Evil Uno in his TNT Title match with Miro. Interestingly enough, Adam avoided Alex Marvez's question about the Kenny Omega/Jungle Boy World Title Match, and it's not the first time he's ducked a question pertaining to that championship. Adam did so prior to the Brian Cage match when he was sitting at the top spot in the rankings and in the midst of a tremendous winning streak, and he's doing it again here now that he's number two and potentially looking at the winner of Saturday night's World Title fight. In that vein, Page once also avoided a Marvez question stemming out of The Young Bucks choice to realign with Kenny, so there is clearly a theme to the sort of queries to which Page avoids responding.
Should Hangman step out of this one-on-one battle as the victor, he may not be able to avoid the Kenny question for much longer. Then again, if the defending champion status gets an update to former champion, Page may not have to worry about answering it any time soon. Another “then again” also comes if Hangman faces a repeat of the first collision with Brian Cage and the numbers of Team Taz once again rip him down the rungs of the rankings ladder!
A DARK REMATCH...
Matt Sydal vs. Dante Martin
Dante Martin has never made it a secret that Matt Sydal was an inspiration for him at a young age, one of the motivating forces for Dante to begin his professional wrestling journey. Back in January, when Sydal teamed with Top Flight to take on Matt Hardy and Private Party, both Dante and Darius were quite clear about the impact the world-traveled Sydal has had on their career. They considered it an honor to team up with Matt, and even though it was in defeat, it was still quite a career highlight for Top Flight to unite with Sydal.
Fast forward five months to the June 8th edition of AEW DARK and Martin got to relive his dream from another aspect. Rather than uniting with his inspiration, he got to step into the ring with Matt Sydal and test himself against one of his heroes. Now the saying often goes “don't meet your heroes” but in the case of Sydal, Dante has had nothing but positives, even if their singles bout was a losing contest for the Martin brother.
But so exciting was their match (as seen in the video embedded above) that AEW GM Tony Khan has signed a rematch for this Saturday night on DYNAMITE! This is just Dante's second singles bout on DYNAMITE, the first being his TNT Title challenge against Miro, and while it isn't a title fight, it is still a huge opportunity to show-and-prove on AEW's flagship program in a rematch with one of the most experienced veterans on the roster!
(#4) Kris Statlander (w/ Orange Cassidy) vs. The Bunny (w/ The Blade)
For both of the women involved in this singles contest 2021 has been a year of renewal. With “The Galaxy's Greatest Alien” the year marked a return to action after an injury shelved Statlander for ten months. Since that in-ring return, the current #4 ranked women's wrestler has won eight straight matches and proven that not only is she back, but she is even better than before the injury!
For The Bunny, 2021 has not only marked a return to active competition after spending time focusing on her allies, but also seen her embrace The Hardy Family Office as her own alongside The Butcher, The Blade, and Private Party. She has been a respectable 4-2 in her singles bouts, but what has been more frightening is her willingness to bend the rules to any degree to get those wins as well as the willingness of her HFO members to help that cause.
Thankfully for Statlander, she has not stood alone since returning to competition and that will again be the case this Saturday night when these two athletes collide! Given Kris' status in the Women's Division rankings, a win for The Bunny will no doubt help out her cause in entering the contender's field for Dr. Britt Baker's AEW Women's World Title just as another victory for AEW's resident alien will continue to help bolster her bid for a shot at that championship!
“All Ego” Ethan Page (w/ Scorpio Sky) vs. Bear Bronson (w/ Bear Boulder)
Bear Bronson, due to an unfortunate injury sustained by his partner Bear Boulder, has seen a great deal of singles action the last month and a half, and all of it has been against top flight opponents. Bronson has danced with Brian Cage, Lance Archer, Joey Janela, Jungle Boy, QT Marshall, as well as Brian Pillman Jr., and although there is a zero in the win column, the experience has proven invaluable. Now experience is crucial to any career, be it a five year run such as Bear Bronson's or a twenty-five year run, and losses have their own lessons to teach. Eventually though, it becomes frustrating and one gets tired of the lessons of loss and wants to experience those of victory. After six rounds with education in defeat, it is a reasonable assumption that Bear Bronson is hungry to see what he learns from a win.
His opponent on this Saturday night is on the opposite end of that spectrum in the singles ranks. “All Ego” Ethan Page has won six of his seven bouts in that division, and to be fair that one blemish comes from the Face of The Revolution Ladder Match won by Scorpio Sky that featured six total competitors. That means in singles matches, Ethan Page has yet to be pinned or submitted and is building a pretty impressive resume on his own to go along with the tag team one The Men Of The Year are compiling.
So it makes for quite an intriguing situation when the 0-6 Bronson, in his first DYNAMITE singles match, collides with the, essentially, 6-0 Ethan Page this Saturday night! Can one-half of Bear Country notch himself a huge upset LIVE on TNT? Or will the ego of Ethan Page continue to expand as he racks up another victory on his ledger?
In what is certainly a meeting no one ever expected they would experience, Tully Blanchard, the legendary grappler and now manager of The Pinnacle, will have a face-to-face meeting in the ring with another legendary wrestling figure, Konnan!
Konnan has been a mentor to Santana and Ortiz for quite some time now, he even made a surprising appearance during Stadium Stampede II when FTR and the Inner Circle members brawled inside the night club area of TIAA Bank Field. Under his guidance, Santana and Ortiz (who Konnan affectionately refers to as his “lucha sons”) captured championships and elevated their game to become one of the premier tag teams in professional wrestling. Konnan has been as important to Santana and Ortiz's career growth as Chris Jericho, perhaps even more so, and they have never forgotten their roots.
FTR owe a great deal of their AEW success to the guidance of Tully Blanchard over the last year; he has served not just as a manager steeped in tag team successes but also as Cash and Dax's tie to the roots of the professional wrestling they love. With him at their side, Harwood and Wheeler became AEW World Tag Team Champion and have been in constant pursuit of reclaiming those titles since the moment The Young Bucks captured them at FULL GEAR 2020 last year.
Both Tully and Konnan have phenomenal minds for professional wrestling, and clearly from the successes of their proteges, have a keen eye for cultivating talent, yet the worlds each comes from could not be more disparate. It is going to be fascinating to watch this meeting of the minds take place before our very eyes this Saturday night LIVE on DYNAMITE!
SATURDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE is looking to make history once more with the highly anticipated World Title collision between champion Kenny Omega and challenger Jungle Boy, plus a grudge match with major rankings implications between Hangman Page and Team Taz's Powerhouse Hobbs! Plus we've got The Bunny versus The Alien and an AEW DARK classic rematch!
In addition to the live DYNAMITE, fans in attendance will be able to take part in a special Meet & Greet Session prior to the event (limited availability, order in advance) PLUS experience AEW DARK: ELEVATION and AEW DARK matches first-hand before anyone else! This is a can't miss opportunity for our amazing AEW fanbase in Jacksonville before we return to the road!
AEW is invading your weekend with a special SATURDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE at 8pm EST/7pm CST LIVE on TNT, or on AEWPlus.com for our International audience. Get ready for all the action by heading over to our official AEW YouTube page (Watch Here) to see jam-packed editions of AEW DARK: ELEVATION and AEW DARK, as well as all the other exciting offerings from WRESTLING WITH THE WEEK, OUTSIDE THE RING, highlights from last week's DYNAMITE, and a 1st look at the AEW replica World Title belt!