Last week’s edition of AEW Dynamite heated up the snowy and icy Cleveland, Ohio as it played host to this year’s AEW Beach Break special.
We saw Sammy Guevara defeat Cody Rhodes to become the Undisputed TNT Champion plus Orange Cassidy defeated Adam Cole in a Lights Out Match.
Tonight’s show emanates from Chicago which will play host to two first time ever matches a grudge match and the FTW Title is on the line.
Here is everything advertised for tonight’s show:
Preview (via AEW) - It has been building for weeks on end, every since the moment on November 17th when CM Punk interrupted MJF's usual diatribe about just how good he is (Watch Now). Punk didn't even have to say a word that night, but it was clear that Max was shook from the complete lack of acknowledgment from someone that MJF once looked up to in his days as a fan. Never at a loss for words or confidence, Max actually got a little mush-mouthed and tongue-tied, and all Punk had to do was smile about it.
It continued one week later, on the eve of Thanksgiving, and right inside the Wintrust, when MJF chose to return the favor and interrupt Punk, but if Max's aims were to humble Punk the same way he had been a week prior, MJF's plans certainly backfired. He was the one tucking tail and running, walking away from a potential fight, and beginning a scene that has repeated itself on-and-off for the last two months.
See, as the situation escalated, Max has either run his mouth or he has placed the bodies of his Pinnacle...allies...in the way of any actual physicality with “The Best In The World”. To be fair to Max, right before Christmas, he did step into the ring against CM Punk on one occasion, albeit in a six man tag with FTR at his side while Darby Allin and Sting joined Punk, and although he spent most of the match running away from the fight (actually physically fleeing into the stands), technically he did participate in a match against CM Punk.
To start the new year, MJF swore up and down it would be his year and that he would go on an undefeated 2022, but when it came time for his first match of the year against Captain Shawn Dean, well let's say CM Punk had other ideas for Maxwell (Watch Now), and at the expense of The Captain, handed Max a Disqualification loss when he drilled Dean with a GTS. That incensed Max, as did Shawn Dean poking the bear with his merch (Buy Now), and that is exactly what brought Wardlow into the equation.
One week later, January 12th, CM Punk stepped into the ring with “The WarDog” and it really should have been the night Punk experienced the first loss of his AEW career. One powerbomb after another from Wardlow, a veritable symphony of them, should have been the end of Punk and his win streak (at the time nine singles matches), but Max got greedy. It wasn't enough to see Punk battered inside the ring, Max wanted him driven through a table as well, so “Mr. Mayhem” complied and left Punk to a countout loss. Except he did not lose, Punk used every last bit of strength he had to crawl back into the ring and beat the ten count, infuriating MJF and making him insistent that Wardlow deliver yet another powerbomb.
Max's ranting, his desire to see Punk suffer, that would prove the undoing for Wardlow as he allowed Punk just enough to to recover and execute a small package pin on “The WarDog”, Punk having the faintest wherewithal to scissor his legs and secure the fall. FTR, check! Wardlow, check! Time for Shawn Spears to gleefully take his stab on behalf of MJF; suffice to say it did not go the way Spears nor Max hoped it would.
With nothing and no one left to throw in the path of Punk, and with The Pinnacle last Wednesday having done their best en masse to give MJF an advantage, the two will finally collide on Dynamite in a one-on-one fight! Max desperately wants to end Punk in front of his foe's hometown audience, he needs to end Punk in Chicago, and there is no doubt MJF will cut any corners he can to do just that. Be it finding a way to sneak the Dynamite Diamond Ring into play, or using his Pinnacle allies, Max will do whatever it takes to insure he leaves the Wintrust as the victor.
Punk, coming in as one of the two men with a 10 match singles win-streak (Scorpio Sky being the other), would love to put MJF to sleep and move on with his life, move onto concerns about rankings and championships. Doing it in front of his hometown crowd, bringing it back to the city where his self-imposed exile from pro wrestling ended, that is just icing on the cake, an extra bit of satisfaction knowing the joy it will bring the Windy City on Wednesday.
Preview (via AEW) - “The Bastard” PAC is finally returning to AEW! It has been two months since anyone has laid eyes on the man in-person, and it was only a few short weeks ago that we heard the first words from PAC since Malakai Black blinded him with that viscous fluid sprayed into The Bastard's eyes. And those words, the images that accompanied them, in short, they were terrifying.
As intimidating as Malakai Black is, as imposing a force as Brody King presents, and as psychologically terrifying as their ring entrance can be, there is just something...other...about what PAC brings to the game in moments like this. He feels utterly unhinged yet completely calm, an unnerving serenity about him, a new sight that came from having his vision ripped away, and this week on Dynamite that violent package returns to action in a tag team affair.
The words from The House of Black in the video embedded above, well those are terrifying in their own right. The promises of pain and violence to appease an audience that just demands more, describing The HoB as inevitable, it casts such an apprehensive pall over the clash to come this Wednesday night. AEW fans have seen the kind of violence that PAC, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Malakai Black bring to the ring, but Brody King, well he is the x-factor in this equation, the man who AEW fans have only had the briefest glimpse of what horrors lie in his heart.
Will we see the full breadth of what The House Of Black, these Kings of The Black Throne, bring to bear when they collide with the reunited Death Triangle? Or will this be the night Malakai has to pay the piper courtesy of PAC's new found sight and the man who fears nothing?
Preview (via AEW) - Revenge seems to be quite a theme for this Wednesday night in Chicago! PAC and Penta want it, CM Punk is definitely looking for it, and so is “The Native Beast” Nyla Rose, but there is a little difference between those previous two, and that of the former AEW Women's World Champion. Death Triangle and Punk, well they are aiming to even the score for grievous assaults by their foes while Rose, in her case, Nyla is simply bitter.
Rose has no legitimate gripe here; she has no reason to feel robbed or slighted, the bottom line is she lost their TBS Title Tournament Semi-final bout clean. Nyla brought a chair into play only to have it dropkicked back into her face, Rose had Vickie Guerrero interfere on her behalf, and it was “The Native Beast” who got kicked in the head by a one-armed Ruby to ultimately lose the match.
Nyla and Vickie are just miserable and bitter, avoiding facing their own disappointment and instead pointing fingers, looking to blame anyone but themselves for that TBS Title Tournament loss. So now their eyes, and pointed finger, fall back to that December fight with Ruby Soho, and in their eyes, they need to get some revenge.
There is an oft used saying that “when you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you”, and perhaps that is something these Vicious Vixens should look into, but that's highly unlikely. Instead it falls on “The Runaway” to attempt to fend off the wrath of “The Native Beast” once again, and while there are not explicit title implications in this bout, every victory matters towards the rankings and getting into contention. It's a new year, the rankings are fairly fresh, in fact Ruby started the year in the top five, but now neither woman is in that group.
A victory here would help bolster each fighter's resume, as well as hopefully bring this tense issue between the two women to a head! But will it be Ruby or Nyla who celebrates victory in the Windy City? Tune into Dynamite this Wednesday night on TBS to watch the fight go down!
Preview (via AEW) - In a surprising announcement Tuesday night, AEW's official Twitter account revealed that one of the most respected minds in pro wrestling is heading to Dynamite this Wednesday night! Since October 1999, when he fought his first match against Bryan Danielson, Brian Kendrick has toured the world competing inside the squared circle. From Texas to Philadelphia, from Japan to the United Kingdom, and against foes like Jerry Lynn, Matt Hardy, Minoru Suzuki, even Jeff Parker and Matt Lee. In fact, Kendrick's very last match back in October 2020 was actually a victorious effort against 2point0, and several months later, Brian would actually confirm a retirement from in-ring competition.
Plans have clearly changed, and AEW is better for it, because this week the well-traveled and highly-decorated athlete will make his return to active competition LIVE on TBS in front of the entire world! And what better way to make a comeback then by jumping straight into the fire against another man back on the scene after a few months away, the red-hot former AEW World Champion Jon Moxley! Mox has been on a tear in the handful of weeks since his return, including two tremendous victories over Ethan Page and Anthony Bowens respectively, and is game to fight anyone lined up across the ring.
It won't be the first time Moxley and Kendrick have shared a ring, there is one other night back in March 2010 that holds that distinction, but they were partners rather than foes that evening in Phoenix, AZ. This will be their first dance as opponents, and what better stage than inside an All Elite Wrestling ring!
Ricky Starks (c) vs Jay Lethal (FTW Championship)
Preview (via AEW) - It's something that's been building up for the last several weeks, but this Wednesday night on Dynamite it will finally go down with the FTW Title at stake! With 20 years in the game under his belt, Jay Lethal arrived in AEW through the Forbidden Door, and immediately stepped up to Sammy Guevara's TNT Title Open Challenge. Although unsuccessful in that debut match, it gave Lethal a good taste of what the level of competition in AEW had to offer, and since then he has gotten the lay of the land while putting together a series of victories in both singles and tag team competition.
Clearly there was something Lethal did not appreciate about Ricky Starks, Team Taz, and how they handled their business with Dante Martin, because he did not hesitate to step up and do the right thing. Lethal had no problem telling Starks just what he thought about him, Team Taz, and the value of that FTW Title that Ricky took from Brian Cage several months ago. No member of Team Taz has ever taken kindly to having anyone sticking a nose in their business, nor hesitated to use their numbers to make sure those noses get broken, but Lethal wasn't about to let that game be played against Dante Martin.
As such Lethal has now willingly placed himself in the orange-and-black crosshairs, and expressed his desire to claim the FTW Title as his own not so much because Jay actually desires the unsanctioned championship, but rather because he knows Ricky Starks cherishes it. The time for talking is done, the time for the fight is upon us! Will Lethal be able to overcome to numbers game of Team Taz, or will he end up just another victim under the FTW flag?
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