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AEW Preview: TNT Championship Tournament

Preview for the first round of the tournament

Cody v Shawn Spears

With the exception of last weeks teaser tag match in which he paired with Sammy Guevara to face Darby Allin and Cody, Spears has been working, in-ring, primarily on AEW Dark. Outside of the ring he appears to be the odds maker of the AEW gambling circuit. The Chairman is hoping to get his "revenge" on Cody after their feud from 8 months ago is suddenly relevant to him again. What better way to do so than knocking Cody out of the tournament? Cody stressed the importance of this tournament by reminding us that he cannot challenge for the AEW Championship since he lost his match against Jericho. On Road to Dynamite he went as far to say there was something romantic about the idea of him becoming the first TNT Champion.

Sammy Guevara v Darby Allin

We last saw both of them in singles action on March 25th. Sammy in a losing effort to Kenny Omega in match for the AAA Mega Championship. Darby faced off against fellow tournament participant Kip Sabian. Prior to this match, Darby had a vignette telling Sabian he "would be a sacrifice for the sins of the Inner Circle". Darby won by pinfall. Not sure how Sabian was sacrificed there but the vignette made it appear that Darby is still focused on the Inner Circle. Now he draws Sammy on the left side of the bracket. Each week Darby Allin's ceiling gets higher. This dude is just different. Allin is part skateboarder, part ballerina, part Hot Topic model, and a complete wild card. Sammy Guevara might be one of the most underrated heels going right now. That's possibly because he's simply really good in ring and entertaining as a character. He's like a young Chris 'Lionheart' Jericho; we're not supposed to like him but it hard not to at this point. This match could be a bell-to-bell highlight reel and possibly a step in a longer feud between the two. 

Dustin Rhodes v Kip Sabian

Most of Kip's recent activity was mentioned previously so we won't dwell on it again. He did have a solid match on last night's AEW Dark, against the debuting Tony Donati. Lately, Dustin has been paired with QT Marshall, Brandi Rhodes and tagging as The Natural Nightmare. It is safe to assume the matchup of Dustin v Kip is to get Dustin a quality opponent to beat before he moves on to be a pawn in the storyline of Cody & Archer.

Lance Archer v Colt Cabana

Colt is entertaining in the ring and he reminded us last week, while doing commentary on Dynamite, he is entertaining on the mic. Colt was in the booth with Tony Schiavone while Murderhawk Lance Archer made his debut. So he got to be a principle witness to the murder of Marko Stunt (may he rest in peace). I would like to take this opportunity to thank Colt for his services and efforts in advance. If you're unfamiliar with Lance Archer, his US Title matches with Juice Robinson and Moxley in NJPW are worth your time. Let's be frank though, you don't pair Jake the Snake with a guy that lives by the mantra "Everybody Dies" just to have him lose to Colt Cabana. The Archer/Cody collision course is the big storyline within the tournament. Will they meet in the TNT Championship match or will they find some way to protect both and make this feud last longer than a few weeks?

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