Brock Heasly Interview by Big Gold Belt Media Brock Heasly – (Director/ Producer)-Synopsis:In The Shift, a dystopian drama and sci-fi thriller, one man is faced with infinite worlds and impossible choices. When Kevin Garner meets a…
All Elite Wrestling returns to pay-per-view this Saturday night, November 18th, for FULL GEAR 2023 live from the fabulous KIA Forum in Los Angeles, CA! AEW’s return to the West Coast has already been an exciting endeavor, and now it comes to a head with multiple championship bouts, epic grudge matches, strained friendships, and the top shelf professional wrestling the world has come to expect from the athletes of All Elite Wrestling! Click here for all the details on how the AEW faithful around the world can watch our November tradition, then sit back, strap in, and get ready for a rocket ship of a ride in Cali!
AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
MJF(c) vs. “Switchblade” Jay White
On November 1st, just four days after beating Kenny Omega on COLLISION, Maxwell Jacob Friedman became the longest reigning AEW World Champion in AEW’s history, surpassing the 346-day marker set by “The Cleaner” between WINTER IS COMING 2020 when he beat Jon Moxley and FULL GEAR 2021 when he lost to Hangman Page. One week later, on the November 8th DYNAMITE in Portland, MJF defeated Daniel Garcia in a World Championship defense, thereby tying the mark of 9 successful defenses set by Moxley during his reign from REVOLUTION 2020 where be bested Chris Jericho to the aforementioned WINTER IS COMING 2020 loss.
These are two huge milestones in the history of All Elite Wrestling, as well as in the professional career of Maxwell Jacob Friedman, not to neglect his fifth consecutive victory where the Dynamite Diamond Ring is concerned, but unfortunately MJF has had to celebrate both this championship milestones without his precious Triple B, the AEW World Championship title. For weeks now “Switchblade” Jay White has been parading around with the physical title belt and using his possession of it to proclaim himself the real AEW World Champion. While White is certainly championship material, his status as a former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion is testament to that, he is not the AEW World Champion regardless of his physically holding the title belt.
While he’s not champion, what “King Switch” has been is a thorn in MJF’s side that he’s been unable to remove, a foe Max has been unable to get a leg up on, and man surrounded by three other men willing to get their hands dirty in order to lend “Switchblade” an assist when it is need. Jay White is also one of just two people who’ve pinned MJF’s shoulders to the mat since he returned to the fold at ALL OUT 2022, the other being Dax Harwood the night Better Than You BayBay challenged FTR for the AEW World Tag Team Championship. To say Jay White has the psychological edge heading into this fight would be an understatement, and though initially it seemed the Devil-masked individual, and their gang of black clad thugs, that have encircled this bout was MJF’s balance to everything White had done, it became clear after White’s victory over Mark Briscoe that they (a) The Devil was not MJF and (b) they were not on the side of the World Champion either. Even though their initial arrival on the scene was at the expense of Jay White, this time around they left The Acclaimed and Daddy Ass laying, even chucking Anthony Bowens through a window.
So after everything that has gone done between MJF, his allies, Jay White, and BULLET CLUB GOLD, the two men will finally go one-on-one for the AEW World Championship! It’s MJF’s chance to become the most successful champion in AEW history by breaking Mox’s record, it’s Jay White’s opportunity to ascend to the throne in All Elite Wrestling just as he did in New Japan, and it plays out this Saturday night live on pay-per-view from the legendary KIA Forum!
AEW WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
Hikaru Shida(c) vs. Toni Storm
Though it’s been a little more than ten years since the very first time Toni Storm and Hikaru Shida stepped into the ring with one another, that fight from the REINA promotion is their lone fight away from All Elite Wrestling and a tag team one won by Storm and her partner.
It would be nine years before Storm and Shida saw each other inside the squared circle again, only now they were working as partners on DARK: ELEVATION #74, teaming with Willow Nightingale as their third to top Emi Sakura, Marina Shafir, and former AEW Women’s World Champion Nyla Rose. The two women would actually team up several more times in 2022, actually proving quite successful both as a team and a trio, but the AEW Women’s World Championship would enter the picture.
At ALL OUT 2022, with the title having been vacated as a result of Thunder Rosa’s injury, Toni Storm bested Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D, Jamie Hayter, and Shida to win her first title, acquired by pinning Hayter, and since she was not the woman pinned, lining up Shida for a title fight of her own. That first singles bout between the women would go down on TITLE TUESDAY 2022, and end with Toni Storm still the reigning champion.
The two women would go their separate ways, reconnecting in May 2023, but unlike Shida who had stayed true to the side of angels, Toni Storm had aligned herself with Ruby Soho and Saraya to form The Outcasts. The alliance-turned-rivalry would blossom into a Women’s World Championship match at the 200th episode of DYNAMITE and that fight would end with “The Shining Samurai” becoming a 2-Time World Champion. Sadly it was a short-lived title reign as Saraya would bring it to an end just 25 days later at ALL IN: LONDON, though not by pinning Shida, but rather by putting down Toni Storm to claim the victory. That pinfall on Toni would prove a breaking point for Storm’s role in The Outcasts as she began to spiral out into the woman we see now, and the Women’s World Champion defeating Toni at GRAND SLAM 2023 completely broke the camel’s back.
The Women’s World Championship would end up back in Shida’s possession after TITLE TUESDAY 2023, making her the first 3-Time champ in the division, but as for Toni Storm, a week prior to Shida’s win at DYNAMITE: 2023 ANNIVERSARY, we all witnessed Toni spiral out on RJ City before making her “Timeless” declaration.
Now lost in this “Timeless” Hollywood starlet delusion, Toni has declared this year’s FULL GEAR event as her “Hollywood Homecoming” and “Quest for the Gold”, heaping a great deal of the blame for her woes on Shida’s lap despite it being The Outcasts, Toni’s former friends, who caused much of that misfortune. As for Shida, while Toni has been experiencing this break from reality, she has posted three successful title defenses against Ruby Soho, Willow Nightingale, and that unforgettable Fright Night Fight with Abadon on COLLISION. Meanwhile Storm has not been inside the ring since an October 7th victory over Kiera Hogan, which means she may be well-rested and healed up from any nagging issues, but heading into FULL GEAR 2023 is she ready for a fight, especially the type of fight Hikaru Shida will undoubtedly bring?
The defending Women’s World Champion does not want this third reign to end as abruptly as the second, and thus she will throw every bit of her arsenal at “Timeless” Toni Storm to insure this go-round isn’t a repeat of the second. While she may hold the spot as longest-reigning Women’s World Champion of all-time at 372 days, so too does Shida hold the position for shortest with that 25 days reign, and if Toni beats her on Saturday night, she’ll also have the second shortest time with the title as well. That’s not the history Shida intends to make…
AEW INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
Orange Cassidy(c) vs. Jon Moxley
After 326 days and 31 championship defenses, Orange Cassidy had the AEW International Championship ripped from his waist by former 3-Time AEW World Champion Jon Moxley at ALL OUT 2023. It was a violent bout, one in which Cassidy was brutalized like never before in his career, but it was a beating that earned him the respect of Mox, not an easy thing to acquire by any means.
Unfortunately for Moxley, his time as International Champion did not come close to touching the records set by Cassidy during his reign because on his fourth defense of the title, just 17 days in, Rey Fenix dropped Moxley hard, and wrested the championship from The BCC member’s grasp. It was a shock to be certain, a win many considered an upset despite Fenix’s championship pedigree, and one that actually put Mox on the injury list for several weeks as far as AEW was concerned, though that didn’t stop the man from fighting for OTT in England and Ireland, for NJPW in Osaka, and at NJPW STRONG’s event at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, the home of FINAL BATTLE 2023.
Meanwhile, during the month that Moxley was kept on the sidelines before his OTT trip, Orange Cassidy had the opportunity to challenge Fenix for the International Championship, a one-on-one rematch of their 11/2/22 Three Way title fight early in Orange’s reign, and just like that fight, it ended with “Freshly Squeezed” getting his hand raised in victory. So not only was OC the longest-reigning International Champion in that title’s short life, not only is he the most successful champion in all of AEW history with those 31 defenses, but now he is also the only 2-Time Champion in the history of the International Title.
Seeming somewhat lost after losing the title to Mox, Cassidy seems rejuvenated by his reclamation of the championship, as if it helped salve the lingering injuries he’d sustained over those 326 days, and reinvigorated him for this second run atop the division. He’s already bested John Silver and Mox’s BCC brother Claudio Castagnoli in championship defenses, but this Saturday night at The KIA Forum, he’s got to get back into the fight with the man who battered him not that long ago.
It’s obvious that Cassidy wants this fight, why else would he have shoulder-bumped Mox after the show of respect Moxley gave him after their fight, provoking the man, almost rubbing it into his face that OC had taken the belt back from the man who beat Moxley. The situation began to blow up this past Wednesday on DYNAMITE as The BCC of Moxley and Yuta met Cassidy and HOOK in a tag team battle, and not only did The BCC defeat championship pair when Yuta pinned HOOK, but Moxley ate a straight shot from an Orange Punch and did not even go down to a knee! It very clearly shook OC to see his primary weapon have no effect on the man he’s got to fight on Saturday night; will we see the same reaction if Cassidy scores with an Orange Punch in the championship match, or can it actually put the 3-Time AEW World Champion and former International Champion down?
Moxley says FULL GEAR 2023 will be a course correction, a moment where he shows the world that Cassidy is actually who Jon Moxley says he is, and he puts the 2-Time International Champion back in his place. Will this be the case when the final bell rings, or will Cassidy do what he has done repeatedly since coming to All Elite Wrestling and show Jon Moxley he is as real as The BCC?
“Hangman” Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland
Swerve Strickland came into this entire ordeal with former AEW World Champion Hangman Page with the intent of proving he was worthy of a top spot in the AEW pantheon. A former AEW World Tag Champion, just like Hangman, Swerve has relentlessly pursued that top tier status ever since violently parting ways with Keith Lee and nothing has deterred those aspirations, not even being locked in a coffin by Darby Allin and Sting.
So when Page and Swerve went into battle at WRESTLEDREAM, Strickland viewed it as his opportunity to snatch the spot while Hangman saw it as his moment to get back on track with his own career after spending a great deal of 2023 wrapped up in Elite business with Blackpool Combat Club and then, surprisingly, winning the ROH World Six-Man Titles from Swerve’s allies in The Mogul Embassy. But instead of Swerve proving his merits on his own, he resorted to an assist from Prince Nana and his crown to defeat Hangman, and shortly thereafter, when the opportunity arose to fight Bryan Danielson for a shot at TNT Championship, Swerve tried the same tactic. Thankfully Hangman was on the spot to stop that crime from being committed, but that only served to escalate the issues, and next thing Hangman knew, Swerve and Prince Nana were breaking into Page’s house.
That disturbing scenario is best left untouched, suffice to say that Swerve committed the heinous sin of dragging family into this issue that started as a professional jockeying for position, making it as personal as any issues experienced in All Elite Wrestling. We heard Hangman speak his mind about this, tearing Swerve down to the core with every bit of personal drama Strickland has experienced, and capping it all off by assaulting Nana since the two Texas Death combatants were forbidden from any physical content on DYNAMITE.
But that rule doesn’t extend beyond the borders of AEW…
At Pro Wrestling Revolver’s UNREAL event, as Swerve and Nana stood in the ring talking about the FULL GEAR 2023 fight, Hangman attacked out of nowhere, and promised that he would beat Swerve’s ass this Saturday night. Swerve chose to make this personal, messing with a man’s family, so much so that it led others like Penta El Zero Miedo to fight the him, but once Hangman chose to oblige Swerve and join him in the muck and mire, it was bound to get ugly. Fans have seen the former AEW World Champion in Texas Death before, he’s undefeated in that stipulation here in AEW, and that’s because he’s willing to get uglier and dirtier than anyone else when the fight comes.
Swerve led this into ugliness by his actions outside the ring, will he be able to get that ugly when the bell rings on Saturday night?
Adam Copeland, Darby Allin, & Sting vs. TNT Champion Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, & Nick Wayne
It was a huge moment at WRESTLEDREAM when “The Rated R Superstar” Adam Copeland arrived on the scene in All Elite Wrestling and stood side-by-side with Sting and Darby Allin in opposition to TNT Champion Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and sadly also Nick Wayne. In the weeks since then, we have heard Sting announce to the world that he would bring his legendary career to its end at REVOLUTION 2024, we heard Copeland repeatedly say he would not fight his best friend, we saw Ric Flair come into the equation to ride this home stretch out with “The Icon”, and we’ve watched Christian Cage continue to be a horrible human being.
But after hearing Cage after being attacked by Cage’s “sons”, after hearing Christian threaten to break his neck, Adam Copeland has agreed to ride into battle alongside Sting and Darby Allin this Saturday night at FULL GEAR 2023! We witnessed these three men get their first reps in as a trio against The Righteous and Lance Archer, and though they looked very solid in action, they are still new to the idea of working with one another. In truth, it’s not all that different from the situation with Christian’s Patriarchy, much like Darby and Sting, Christian and Luchasaurus have spent a great deal of time together and formed their own dynamic, and much like Adam Copeland, Nick Wayne is a new ingredient to that formula. Unlike the Darby/Sting/Copeland trio though, The Patriarchy all fall under the direction of Christian Cage, they do not think for themselves, they follow the direction of their erstwhile father figure, and only his direction.
Their opponents are individuals, allies, friends; it’s not a case of Darby falling into a subordinate role just because of Sting and Copeland’s seniority or being led by their direction. This will be a trio operating on the same page but making use of their varied levels of experience, pooling their assorted resources and knowledge, and applying each other’s best attributes to the fights. There is obviously a concern about the history between Christian Cage and Adam Copeland, how all that friendship, those roads traveled together, those championships held as a team, the time spent with each other’s families, how will all that play into this Trios fight at FULL GEAR 2023? All of it has to be nagging at the back of Copeland’s skull, but will it effect his ability to fight? We will all see this Saturday night…
TAG TEAM BATTLE…
The Golden Jets (Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
***TAG TEAM TITLE OPPORTUNITY VS. TAG TEAM BREAK-UP***
It was at WRESTLEDREAM that The Young Bucks earned a future shot at the AEW World Tag Team Titles at a moment of their choosing; they did so by defeating The Lucha Brothers, The Gunns, as well as the team of HOOK and Orange Cassidy. Since that PPV event, we’ve seen Nick Jackson lose to AEW International Champion Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks & Hangman Page lose the ROH World Six-Man Championship back to The Mogul Embassy after just one successful defense, and watched The Young Bucks completely lose their cool after that championship defeat.
Over the last few months we’ve also seen Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho form one of the most unlikely pairings in AEW’s history, brought together by their mutual issues with Don Callis and his Family, putting aside their own sordid history in order to fight against Callis’ relentless onslaught. Clearly this is not a situation that sits well with the brothers Jackson; call it jealousy over the relationship with Jericho or call it caution given that the history between Jericho and The Elite created Stadium Stampede, either way it is driving a rift between Omega and The Young Bucks.
Now we now from history that The Young Bucks do not deal well with their friends having other friends, we witnessed it many moons ago with Adam Cole and reDRagon, but when it’s a man such as Jericho with whom there was so much bad blood from the first year of AEW, it’s got to be infinitely worse. That is why this match is going down, after all when there’s an issue between professional wrestlers the best place to settle it is inside the squared circle, and why not amp up the stakes when both teams have something to lose?
And what are those stakes? If The Young Bucks win, then the existence of The Golden Jets comes to an end. There will be no more team of Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho, no more fighting the good fight together against a common foe, they will just be quits as soon as that bell rings. But if The Golden Jets win, then Matt and Nick will have to say goodbye to the World Tag Team Championship match they earned at WRESTLEDREAM! That opportunity will belong to The Golden Jets, no Young Bucks championship match on the horizon, just Jericho and Omega maintaining their dynamic to challenge whoever wins Saturday night’s Ladder Match. And what of the relationship between Omega and The Young Bucks? Well it has survived a great deal, and it has endured, but they haven’t been at this point before where so much hostility has put them at odds.
Previously that was Hangman with Omega trying to keep the peace as best he could for as long as he could; only now there is no cooler head trying to prevail, just four men looking to fight, and we shall see if the friendship between The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega can survive the ordeal.
TBS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
Kris Statlander(c) vs. Julia Hart vs. Skye Blue
Kris Statlander is a breakneck pace as the TBS Champion; in the span of 174 days, Stat has successfully defended the title on 16 occasions against fourteen different women. For perspective, by that point in her historic TBS Championship reign, the longest title reign in AEW history across all divisions, Jade Cargill had only defended the title eight times while Orange Cassidy, the most successful champion across all divisions in AEW, was also heading towards his 17th defense against Dralistico.
This Saturday at FULL GEAR 2023, Statlander heads into her 17th defense against two foes she’s already beaten in one-on-one contests, but who she now must contend with in a Three Way situation. To make matters more intriguing, there is an entire other dynamic between Julia Hart and Skye Blue that has little to do with Statlander. Ever since Hart misted Skye, the latter has taken a turn towards the dark, so much so that there was absolutely a concern she’d walk through the doors of The House of Black and be lost to her friends forever. Though Skye would repeatedly rebuke the handshake of help of the TBS Champion, when the moment came between choosing between Willow Nightingale and Julia Hart, Skye turned and sprayed her own blue mist into the face of The House of Black’s Hart.
So with each woman’s position set, the light of Statlander, the dark of Julia, and the chaotic middle of Blue, they will now collide on Saturday night with the TBS Championship on the line! This will mark the first defense for Stat that’s involved multiple challengers, will that be the ticket to ending this potentially historic reign? Or will the strife between Julia Hart and Skye Blue be the key to the champion retaining her championship?
AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH…
Big Bill & Ricky Starks(c) vs. FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) vs. LFI (Dralistico & Rush) vs. The House of Black (Brody King & Malakai Black)
A Ladder Match, only one other time in the history of AEW have the World Tag Team Titles been at stake in a Ladder match, and that was the night The Young Bucks beat Jurassic Express to start their defenseless 28-day second reign, as well as the night Christian Cage first stabbed Jack Perry in the back.
But four teams fighting to climb the rungs to championship status? That is a whole new ballgame, and one likely to end up in plenty of pain, suffering, and punishment! Just yesterday the AEW faithful witnessed the chaos that erupted between these eight men, especially Dax and Rush as they battled to a No Contest, now put that into a situation with no rules, the freedom to use weapons, and with a title at stake. This will be an intensely physical situation, and even though Ricky Starks is the one who laid the stipulation on the table, not necessarily the best one for the champions to retain their titles. They may not have to worry about a pinfall or submission happening to someone else to lose their status, but Big Bill and Ricky Starks constantly have to be concerned about stopping someone else climbing the ladder. There are six bodies besides theirs all with the same goal, but only one has to ascend to the top of the ladder and pull down the belts.
Can the defending champions survive six other opponents, as well as the Ladder itself, or will they be hoisted on their own petard?
FULL GEAR: ZERO HOUR
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
Eddie Kingston(c) vs. Jay Lethal
ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
MJF(c) & Samoa Joe vs The Gunns (Austin & Colten)
Blackpool Combat Club’s Claudio Castagnoli vs. House of Black’s Buddy Matthews
All Elite Wrestling is back on pay-per-view this Saturday night with FULL GEAR 2023 coming to you live from the KIA Forum in Los Angeles! This PPV experience is loaded with multiple championship bouts, including a Four Way Ladder Match for the AEW World Tag Titles, as well as huge grudge matches, and all the elite class professional wrestling fans expect from an All Elite Wrestling pay-per-view! All the details on how to watch FULL GEAR 2023 can be found here, so if you can’t be there in-person, you have to join us through your preferred method for the greatest PPV experience professional wrestling has to offer! And don’t forget to join us for the FULL GEAR: ZERO HOUR prior to the start of the PPV where the ROH World Title and the ROH World Tag Team Titles will be defended!
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DYNAMITE in Philadelphia was a wild ride this past Wednesday; not only did “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair arrive on the scene to stand at Sting’s side, but “The Icon” was also challenged to a fight by TNT Champion Christian Cage for FULL GEAR 2023! Plus, we witnessed Kazuchika Okada make his DYNAMITE debut alongside Orange Cassidy to fight The BCC, but unfortunately for the AEW International Champion, it ended with Claudio pinning OC and earning himself a championship fight next week. Hikaru Shida retained her AEW Women’s World Championship over Ruby Soho, The Elite retained their ROH World Six-Man Titles, and not only did MJF keep possession of the Dynamite Diamond Ring, but he also found himself with an unexpected challenger:
That’s right, on COLLISION, MJF will defend his AEW World Championship against former champion Kenny Omega, and should Maxwell retain, he will be on track to break Omega’s 346-day record as the longest reigning champion in AEW history! But that’s on Saturday at the Mohegan Sun, and before we get there, there’s RAMPAGE, and that has three big fights on tap! Ortiz and Mike Santana, the former Proud ‘n’ Powerful, will kick things off with a No DQ, No Countout fight that no one ever thought they would see! Plus, we will find out the next challenger to Shida’s Women’s World Title when four of ROH’s best compete for a title match also set for this Saturday night, and after his falling out with Don Callis’ Family, Kyle Fletcher will clash with Takeshita!
AEW’s Friday night fights get underway at 10pm ET/9pm CT on TNT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, so check out the official AEW YouTube channel prior to RAMPAGE begins to see highlights from this week’s DYNAMITE, as well as previous episodes of RAMPAGE and COLLISION, plus THE CONTROL CENTER, and a great deal more!
NO COUNT OUT, NO DISQUALIFICATION…
Mike Santana vs. Ortiz
This has been a long time coming; Mike Santana and Ortiz have been part of each other’s lives for over a decade, they are Tag Team Champions 15-times over across multiple wrestling promotions throughout their careers, and were bonded as Proud & Powerful from the inception of All Elite Wrestling until the injury suffered by Santana at Blood & Guts 2022. At least that was the perception most had following their return to the AEW landscape to compete at ALL IN: LONDON’s Stadium Stampede. Based on the words shared by Ortiz in the video above, it seems the issues between these two men predate that 2022 injury, it’s just that it all finally fell apart in the aftermath.
Since London these two men, once among the upper echelon of tag team wrestling, have engaged in something tantamount to a cold war; a great deal of words exchanged, their feelings and emotions laid bare for the AEW faithful to see, and each looking to the other as the party responsible for how this all started.
For this team who first made their impact on AEW during ALL OUT 2019 at the expense of The Young Bucks, it looks like this Friday night in Philadelphia will be the end of their road traveled together. With no disqualifications and no count outs, Mike Santana and Ortiz will fight each other one-on-one for the first time since 2016, and possibly for the last time ever. Both men want to be done with one another, to put each other in the rear view, and move on with their careers on their own, but before either can, they must put an end to each other.
No one knows Ortiz like Santana, nor does anyone know Santana like Ortiz, and each will bring all that knowledge, all that venom, all those feelings and emotions to this fight, with the hope of being the one still standing at the end of the fight…
COLLISION TITLE MATCH AT STAKE…
Abadon vs. Skye Blue vs. Willow Nightingale vs. Anna Jay
Out of action since June, this Friday night Abadon returns to AEW competition and jumps right into the fire! With a shot at Hikaru Shida’s AEW Women’s World Championship on the line this Saturday night, Abadon will compete against Skye Blue, Willow Nightingale, and Anna Jay in a Four Way bout!
Of these four women, only Skye Blue has never locked horns with Shida, only stood by her side as an ally, and of the three who have been in the ring with the 3-Time Women’s World Champ, not one of them has scored a victory over her. Of the three loses on Abadon’s record, two of them have been to Shida and one in a championship bout while Anna Jay has fallen three times to Shida, twice in title fights, and Willow has just one loss to Shida with no championship involved. Skye Blue is the only one with a clean slate opposite Shida, and that may play in her favor should she make it through this fray on Friday, but she’s got to get to COLLISION first!
Hikaru Shida will be ready for the fight no matter which woman comes out of this contender’s bout on top, but considering she just went through one championship fight already this week, one has to ask how her body’s feeling following a fight with Ruby Soho? At least Shida will have a few days to recover while the winner of this has less than twenty-four hours to prepare for their championship opportunity!
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Kyle Fletcher
When Sammy Guevara went down with injury, Don Callis pulled Kyle Fletcher into his world of drama to be Konosuke Takeshita’s partner against Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho. Though Callis’ duo lost, Fletcher was every bit the impressive athlete in this match that he’d shown to be as a team with Mark Davis. Still, the fact they lost didn’t stop Callis from putting all the blame on Kyle’s shoulders, and thus when Fletcher went head-to-head with Kenny Omega and lost, with Callis sitting there on commentary, it only gave Don more fuel with which to denigrate one-half of Aussie Open.
Well this Friday night on RAMPAGE, Kyle Fletcher will have his opportunity to shove it all right back in Don Callis’ smug face when he takes on “The Alpha” Konosuke Takeshita in singles competition! It’s the second time in their careers these two men have faced off, the first taking place in England back in January 2020 and won by Takeshita. Will the results be the same nearly four years later, or will Kyle Fletcher be able to reckon with the numbers of the Don Callis Family and take home the victory?
RAMPAGE begins at 10pm ET/9pm CT on TNT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, so swing by the official AEW YouTube channel before to the show for highlights from Wednesday’s DYNAMITE, as well as previous episodes of RAMPAGE and COLLISION, plus THE CONTROL CENTER, and much, much more! And do not miss the biggest night in COLLISION history this Saturday when MJF and Kenny Omega meet for the very first time and with the AEW World Championship at stake no less!
Wednesday night began the final few days before WRESTLEDREAM goes down this Sunday night in Seattle. Fans learned that Adam Cole suffered an injury at GRAND SLAM 2023 that necessitated pulling himself from the ROH World Tag Team Championship match, but as seen above, rather than vacate the belts, MJF will fight The Righteous himself. In addition, through their contract signing, we all witnessed the kind of aggression Hangman Page is bringing to his fight with Swerve Strickland:
But that wasn’t all; Rey Fenix defeated Jeff Jarrett to retain his AEW International Championship while Nick Jackson defeated both Claudio Castagnoli and Brian Cage to earn the next shot at said title. Success wasn’t universal for The Young Bucks though as Matt Jackson ate the pinfall in his Four Way PPV preview bout. A lot of the pieces for WRESTLEDREAM fell into their final place, and that will continue this Friday night on RAMPAGE! The bouts begin at 10pm ET/9pm CT on TNT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, so visit the official AEW YouTube channel before RAMPAGE begins to see highlights from this week’s DYNAMITE, as well as previous episodes of RAMPAGE and COLLISION, plus THE CONTROL CENTER, and much, much more!
NJPW STRONG OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
Eddie Kingston(c) vs. Rocky Romero
It’s been two years since the last time Rocky Romero and Eddie Kingston collided inside the squared circle, a fight won by Kingston, but not one in which any championships were involved. They celebrated July 4th with NJPW STRONG this year, teaming up to fight, and defeat, BULLET CLUB’s KENTA and Gedo in tag action one day before Eddie beating KENTA to earn the NJPW STRONG Openweight Championship.
This Friday night on RAMPAGE the circle comes back around as, after being Eddie’s ally two months ago, Rocky steps up as the next challenger for the NJPW STRONG Openweight title, and just two days before Kingston is set to defend both it and the ROH World Championship against Katsuyori Shibata. Should Kingston fall to Rocky, then obviously only the ROH World Championship would be on the line at WRESTLEDREAM, but win or lose, with a foe like Romero gunning for him on Friday, what kind of condition will Eddie be in on Sunday?
AEW WORLD TRIOS CHAMPIONSHIP OPEN CHALLENGE…
The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens, Daddy Ass, & Max Caster)(c)
Brother Zay & The Hardys (Jeff & Matt)
Ever since defeating The House of Black to claim the World Trios Championship titles, The Acclaimed and Daddy Ass have made it a point to be defending champions, taking on anyone willing to step up to the challenge, defending the belts on three occasions in the 33 days since ALL IN: LONDON. This week on RAMPAGE there will be another trio who answers the call to arms, forming a unit for the very first time, Brother Zay and The Hardys will take on the World Trios Champs!
Isiah Kassidy has been under the tutelage of Matt Hardy for quite some time now, both through good and bad, meaning they’ve united on plenty of instances, and there have been a few multi-man instances like The Firm Deletion, but this is the first time it’s just been Matt, Jeff, and Brother Zay.
The Hardys know plenty about being champions, though they’ve yet to achieve that here in All Elite Wrestling which is additional common ground with Zay, but that could all change this Friday night on RAMPAGE! Will the Scissor Party be brought to an end?
TITLE TUESDAY OPPORTUNITY…
Ruby Soho vs. Hikaru Shida
This could have some very interesting ramifications; for the very first time Ruby Soho and Hikaru Shida will lock-up in a one-on-one match and to the victor comes an AEW Women’s World Championship opportunity on DYNAMITE: TITLE TUESDAY on October 10th. So there is a possibility that, for the second time in as many weeks, Saraya will have to defend her title against someone who has stood by her side as an Outcast! Difference between Toni Storm and Ruby Soho though is that Ruby is still loyal to Saraya, making that potential title bout rife with potential drama.
The other possibility is that Hikaru Shida earns the opportunity to become the first 3-Time Women’s World Champion and beat the woman who ended her second reign in the process. Though Saraya may have been the one to leave ALL IN: LONDON as the new champion, it wasn’t the woman defending her title who she pinned but rather Toni Storm. That also makes this fight with Ruby one step away from revenge on Saraya, and one step away from Shida redeeming the indirect loss of her championship.
Will we see the remaining Outcasts have wedge drive in-between them, or will Shida get her shot at redemption for what happened at Wembley?
THE RIGHTEOUS IN ACTION!
After learning that their ROH World Tag Team Championship match at WRESTLEDREAM will now be a handicap match against AEW World Champion MJF, Dutch and Vincent have to be quite ecstatic about their impending Sunday night fight.
Before they get their though, The Righteous will be in tag team action on RAMPAGE, one final tune-up before their date with destiny on pay-per-view! There has to be a great deal of confidence on their part knowing they’ll have a man advantage in the championship fight, hopefully it doesn’t make them overconfident in this Friday night fight and leave them ripe for an upset.
RAMPAGE gets underway at 10pm ET/9pm CT on TNT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, so drop in on the official AEW YouTube channel prior to the show for highlights from Wednesday’s DYNAMITE, as well as previous episodes of RAMPAGE and COLLISION, plus THE CONTROL CENTER, and much, much more!
This Wednesday night All Elite Wrestling returns to Cincinnati’s Heritage Bank Center for a brand new DYNAMITE that will continue to give form to GRAND SLAM 2023 on September 20th! The Grand Slam World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals are going down between Roderick Strong and Samoa Joe, Hangman Page will go one-on-one with “The Machine” Brian Cage for a third time in their careers, Le Sex Gods will be in the building to discuss their collision at Arthur Ashe, and Jon Moxley returns home to defend his AEW International Championship against Big Bill!
DYNAMITE get underway at 8pm ET/7pm CT LIVE on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international fans, so be sure to check in on the official AEW YouTube channel and watch the highlights from last week’s action during DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, plus the CONTROL CENTER, and more!
GRAND SLAM WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT FINALS…
ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe vs. Roderick Strong
This is where Samoa Joe and Roderick Strong have spent the last week fighting to get to: the precipice of an AEW World Championship match, a first for either man, taking place at GRAND SLAM 2023 on September 20th. There is just one last step to take on this road, a matter of either Roderick Strong defeating a man he’s only beaten once in their eight singles matches, or Samoa Joe once more beating a man he only lost to once back in January 2005.
Both Joe and Roderick have plenty of motivation pushing them towards victory, Roderick’s well-documented issues with Adam Cole’s friendship with MJF and Joe’s issues with the disrespect thrown his way by the AEW World Champion, but for both men that’s putting the cart before the horse. There’s a fight taking place this Wednesday night in Cincinnati that takes precedent, and while 87.5% of their fights have gone Joe’s way, Strong may have deeper reasons to fight than he ever has before, even when it was the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament that was at stake.
This is about the AEW World Title, ultimately that is the most primary reason to fight, but it’s also about broken trust and shattered friendships, it’s about respect and disrespect, and it’s about Roddy shaking the monkey off his back to finally defeat Samoa Joe, but if that neck is actually as hurt as Strong, Matt Taven, and Mike Bennett have claimed, than “Mr. ROH” is just one Choke or Muscle Buster away from ending up back on the shelf.
WOMEN’S WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR FOUR WAY…
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D vs. Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose vs. Toni Storm
Take four former AEW Women’s World Champions, all with plenty of history binding them to one another, and throw them in the ring together to see what happens. Add in the additional factor of a World Championship match being at stake, and this is an explosive formula worthy of DYNAMITE. Baker beat Shida for her first championship, Shida beat Nyla Rose for her first and Toni Storm for her second, Toni Storm won a Four Way that included Britt and Shida to claim her first shot, and then there is the whole issue of The Outcasts and what they’ve been aiming for with the AEW originals since they first united. Now Nyla Rose may have been left alone in that Outcasts mission, most likely out of fear, but reclaiming the Women’s World Championship is something that’s always been part of Nyla’s own personal mission.
Speaking of The Outcasts though, it is abundantly clear that Toni Storm is on the outs with Ruby Soho and AEW Women’s World Champion Saraya, especially since she insured Ruby couldn’t cheat to beat Kris Statlander at ALL OUT 2023. So add in that drama, on top of that mixed in with these four women, and this is quite the intriguing bout set for this Wednesday night.
Which of these four champions will get their chance to reclaim the gold they once lost, or in the case of Toni and Shida twice-lost? Will Britt get to face down Saraya in the same venue where the AEW Women’s World Champion made her AEW debut, the woman who beat her at FULL GEAR 2022? Will Toni Storm end up in a fight with the woman who pinned her at ALL IN: LONDON to claim the title? Or will we see first-time fights in Hikaru Shida or Nyla Rose?
AEW INTERNAIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
Jon Moxley(c) vs. Big Bill (w/ Ricky Starks)
As he heads home to Cincinnati for his 3rd AEW International Championship defense in a week, Jon Moxley has to be feeling the effects of not only the two previous bouts, as well as the match at ALL OUT 2023 where he beat Orange Cassidy, but also the attack perpetrated by Big Bill on COLLISION while Ricky Starks choked the life out of Bryan Danielson with a BCC shirt just a few feet away.
This is the third year in a row that Cincinnati has welcomed AEW, the second at the Heritage Bank Center, and each year has presented Jon Moxley with a huge undertaking, but one in which he has proven victorious. The first year he fought Minoru Suzuki and walked away the winner after eight of the hardest-hitting minutes AEW has seen, while the second hosted an AEW World Championship defense as Hangman Page challenged Mox, with the challenger ultimately ending up on a stretcher after a vicious King Kong Lariat knocked Hangman out.
This year, with a new championship around his waist, Moxley comes home to face the indomitable threat of Big Bill, a man who laid out the International Champion with a single big boot last Saturday night. Now this isn’t their first engagement in singles competition, that took place in June 2019, but it is their first one-on-one encounter in All Elite Wrestling, having only met in a tag match during the HOUSE RULES: TROY event, some 75 miles north on I-75, back in March.
Moxley is hellbent on surpassing Orange Cassidy’s legacy as the best International Champion of all-time, which means defending the title more times than any champions in AEW history across all divisions, as well as holding it for more than 327 days (20 days shy of all three of Mox’s World Championship reigns combined). So that’s why Mox is on his third defense in a week, coming into it having won nine straight singles matches, and with an 11-3 record on the year in those ranks that includes a Steel Cage Match win over Kenny Omega.
As for Big Bill, most of his AEW competition has been in tag team and multi-man competition, but as a singles he’s run a 4-3 record on the year, including an International Championship loss to Orange Cassidy, and three wins in his last five bouts. Though he’s one of the most imposing figures on the AEW roster, Bill hasn’t tasted championship success yet in AEW, though he also united with Brian Cage to challenge FTR for the AEW World Tag Team Championship just over a month ago. Given his dominating presence, his strength and stature, it seems an inevitability that Big Bill will hold a title in All Elite Wrestling before too long.
Will that success come to Big Bill this Wednesday night in Cincinnati, or will Jon Moxley go three in a row in his hometown, as well as three in a row with International Championship defenses? Will Ricky Starks be the kind of presence in Big Bill’s matches the way Bill is in his? And if so, will there be any BCC at ringside to balance the scales? Tune into DYNAMITE this Wednesday night to see if we have a new AEW International Champion by night’s end!
As mentioned above, the last time All Elite Wrestling was in Cincinnati Hangman Page did not leave the arena on his own two feet, instead finding himself carted out on a stretcher and hoisted into an ambulance after a Jon Moxley lariat knocked him unconscious. Though Hangman would recover shortly thereafter, the fact that his last time in town ended the way it did had to be scratching at his brain as this event drew closer.
Well now the former AEW World Champion has an opportunity to redeem himself before the Cincy crowd when he enters into battle with ROH World Six-Man Champion Brian Cage for their third singles fight! Back in the spring of 2021, before AEW returned to a touring schedule, “The Machine” shocked everyone, including Hangman, when he beat Page on the April 28th edition of DYNAMITE. The loss came at a time when many fans felt Hangman was on the path to dethroning AEW World Champion Kenny Omega months before he actually did so at FULL GEAR 2021.
Hangman would rebound from that loss a month later at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2021, beating Brian Cage in a twelve minute slobber knocker, and evening the score. Though the two would meet one last time in a tag match on the subsequent DYNAMITE, a match won by Hangman and Dark Order’s Ten it should be noted, they never had that rubber match to truly decide who was the better man.
Not until now at least; though Hangman was out there to address his victory in the Over Budget Charity Battle Royal, his presence in the ring last week turned into a confrontation with Swerve Strickland and Prince Nana, and ultimately an assault perpetrated by “The Machine”. So with that in mind, as well as the history between Page and his assailant, the rubber match between Page and Cage has been set for this Wednesday night in Cincinnati! Will this be a repeat of Hangman’s last trip to town, or can the former World Champion shake that monkey off his back and score a second victory over “The Machine”? The presence of The Mogul Embassy is all but certain, the only question is just how much of an impact they will have on this contest!
So what’s next for Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita, the man that Callis has proclaimed as the “New God of Professional Wrestling”? Don has already stated, despite steering Takeshita towards two pinfall victories over Omega, and assisting in Will Ospreay’s victory over him at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023, that he’s not done utterly dissecting the life of Omega and anyone who supports him.
So what does that mean, and how does it pertain to this revelation Callis has promised for this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE? Who is their next target in this mission to bleed Kenny Omega dry?
One of The Elite seems the obvious choice, the most accessible targets possible, and it wouldn’t be improbable for Don Callis to throw his lot in with someone like Prince Nana to have his Mogul Embassy do the dirty work on Hangman. After all, he did it with BULLET CLUB GOLD and Kenny, but that’s just a bit of speculation about where Callis will attack next. Thankfully the guessing game doesn’t need last long and Don Callis will tell us himself in Cincinnati…
LE SEX GODS…
It is official that Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara, men who’ve been bonded since the very first episode of DYNAMITE back in 2019, who’ve fought together as members of The Inner Circle and The Jericho Appreciation Society, and who’ve been in Stadium Stampedes and Blood & Guts together, that they will go one-on-one at GRAND SLAM 2023 for the very first time.
Now they fought one another in a Four Way for the ROH World Championship at FULL GEAR 2022, and they’ve been on opposite sides of a few tag matches over the years, but they’ve never just straight up fought each other in a singles match. September 20th will change all that, but before we get to Arthur Ashe, these two men will both be on-hand in Cincinnati to address what is about to happen. Though this was presented as a way for the two men to get past their problems, and move onto being tag team championship challengers, there’s more than a little bit of ego at play, so it should be quite interesting to see what thoughts Jericho and Guevara have to share!
Come Wednesday night All Elite Wrestling brings to you the absolute best professional wrestling on the planet, this time emanating from the Heritage Bank Center in Cincinnati, OH and it will shape the face of both the GRAND SLAM 2023 World Title match as well as the Women’s World Championship bout! Plus, Hangman Page and “The Machine” collide for a third time, Le Sex Gods will be in the house with words before their singles bout, plus hometown hero Jon Moxley returns to defend his AEW International Championship against Big Bill!
DYNAMITE begins at 8pm ET/7pm CT LIVE on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international fans, so be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel and catch up on highlights from last week’s episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, as well the newest edition of THE CONTROL CENTER, and so much more!
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This week RAMPAGE features Takeshita versus Bandido, CHAOS colliding with United Empire, Taya Valkyrie in action, and a unique Trios bout!