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!
Just seven days after the biggest night in All Elite Wrestling history, we are right back at it with our second pay-per-view offering in a week! ALL OUT has been at the heart of AEW since 2019 when Chris Jericho defeated Hangman Page to become the first AEW World Champion, and it has provided a lion’s share of memorable matches and moments every year since! The Chicagoland area has been home to this event every year save one, and 2023 will be no different, but for the very first time, ALL OUT will emanate from the United Center!
If you can’t be there in-person, click here for details on all the ways you can watch the pay-per-view event live no matter where you are in the world! Also be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from this week’s episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, as well as the latest edition of CONTROL CENTER, highlights from ALL IN: LONDON, and more to get you up to speed for ALL OUT 2023!
AEW International Championship Match…
Orange Cassidy(c) vs. Jon Moxley
This past Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, after Orange Cassidy bested Penta El Zero Miedo in his 31st International Championship defense, he was confronted by the next man scheduled to challenge for the title regardless of who won Wednesday night’s fight, former 3-Time AEW World Champion Jon Moxley.
Three years ago this would’ve seemed a largely lopsided fight, but in the time since Orange Cassidy fought his first AEW singles match at REVOLUTION 2020, coincidentally at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago as well as the same night Moxley won his first AEW World Championship, he has proven to be in a class all his own. There was never any question that Jon Moxley was at the top of the heap in All Elite Wrestling, he pretty much heralded that himself with how he arrived on the scene at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2019, but Orange Cassidy has been questioned, doubted, bullied, and tested at every step of his AEW career.
It didn’t matter how he performed in that first fight with PAC, that he beat Chris Jericho in two straight matches, that he beat Adam Cole in a Lights Out Match, or that he took Will Ospreay to his limits at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2022, he was still doubted. But since the October 12, 2022 edition of DYNAMITE where he defeated “The Bastard” to claim the AEW International Championship, Orange Cassidy has done nothing but proven himself as one of the elite competitors in pro wrestling. His first two title defenses took place in Three Way bouts, he took on “The Wrestler” Katsuyori Shibata in his next, and from that point on, it has been a matter of fighting everyone who stepped up to the plate. Daniel Garcia, Wheeler Yuta, Big Bill, Jeff Jarrett, and Jay Lethal; they all fell before “Freshly Squeezed” and at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023 he really showed the world where he stood as champion when he took on 20 challengers simultaneously in the Blackjack Battle Royale. As a result of that many simultaneous challengers in Vegas, as Cassidy heads into this fight with Moxley, he has defended the AEW International Championship 31 times against 41 different men, and been champion for 326 days. He’s defended his title more times than any champion in AEW’s entire history across all divisions, and sits behind Jade Cargill’s 508-day TBS Title reign, Hikaru Shida 372-day AEW Woman’s World Championship reign, and Kenny Omega’s 346-day AEW World Championship run in terms of duration as champ.
And if that’s wasn’t enough to make the entire wrestling world stand-up and recognize the greatness of “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy, perhaps it should be noted that at 121 overall victories, he’s got more wins than any man in All Elite Wrestling, topping Jon Moxley’s 118 overall wins, though Mox does surpass OC as a singles competitor, holding 75 victories to Cassidy’s 68.
As if that wasn’t enough, Cassidy also has the longest active singles win streak in AEW with thirty-one consecutive victories, eclipsing Moxley’s run of 25 from 11/13/19-12/2/20 and HOOK’s from 12/10/21-7/19/23. All that put together, it could be argued that Orange Cassidy is the absolute best in All Elite Wrestling, that he is the measuring stick for the company, and that he is the one everyone else should be looking to as their litmus test.
Jon Moxley clearly is not a man who sees that to be the case, and after their engagement the last several weeks, including Stadium Stampede at ALL IN: LONDON, he aims to put OC to the test this Sunday at ALL OUT 2023! Mox aims to put Cassidy through the wringer in the process of proving that it is he and The Blackpool Combat Club who run AEW, and given the AEW career path that has brought both men here, this may be one of the most important pay-per-view matches in AEW’s history. It is also a night Jon Moxley could make history as the first AEW World Champion to capture another AEW singles championship!
OC has already made history during his International Championship reign, it started with being the man to level the belt up from the All-Atlantic to the International Championship, and has continued with each title defense he survives. But eventually the rigorous schedule Orange has kept will catch up to him, but will that point come this Sunday at the United Center? If there is anyone likely to push OC past that point, it is Jon Moxley, and if the defending champion can’t find an even deeper level to his reservoir of strength, he’s in for a rough night and most likely the end of his historic championship reign.
TNT Championship Match…
Luchasaurus(c) vs. Darby Allin
As much as Christian Cage may claim otherwise, as much as he would rather have the fans believe an alternative truth, the reality is that Luchasaurus is the TNT Champion, not Christian Cage. Cage may carry the belt around, may consistently refer to the belt as “his” TNT Title, but it was Luchasaurus who won the belt from Wardlow, it’s been the former AEW World Tag Champion who’s defended it since that victory over “The War Dog”, and it will be Luchasaurus who faces former 2-Time TNT Champion Darby Allin this Sunday night at ALL OUT 2023!
But what condition is the challenger in? Like so many others at ALL IN: LONDON, Darby went through tremendous physical punishment, but the x-factor of the coffin elevated his to a whole other level. He was slammed on the metal lid, went for a Coffin Drop on Swerve while Strickland was draped across the top only for Allin to find no one home when he crashed down, he was battered and bruised, but ultimately victorious, though it also came at the expense of young Nick Wayne. Wayne, seeking to balance the scales of the bout, ended up being taken away by The Right Hand of Destruction, but that wasn’t the end of the story.
This week on COLLISION we heard Nick Wayne speak on Darby Allin’s actions pertaining to AR Fox, leading Darby out to the ring to publicly discuss the issue, but even that was interrupted by Christian Cage, who proceeded to say horrid things about Wayne’s mother, and of course promised destruction would rain down upon Allin’s head in his TNT Championship fight with Luchasaurus. Of course it wouldn’t have been Cage if he didn’t, yet again, imply he was the actual TNT Champion, but of course it won’t be he who steps into the ring to face Darby Allin, it will be the former AEW World Tag Team Champion.
Can Darby overcome the size of Luchasaurus, the numbers game that will be played by Christian Cage, and the injuries he sustained at ALL IN: LONDON’s Casket Match? If so, he will become the second man after Sammy Guevara to achieve 3-Time TNT Champion status, but if he cannot, and Cage has his way, will there be anything left of Darby to dust off and try again?
“The Redeemer” Miro vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
Forty-two days, in the span of 42 days between 3/8/23 and 4/19/23 Powerhouse Hobbs managed to defeat Wardlow to claim the TNT Championship, defend it five times, and then lose it right back to Wardlow. It was not the way Hobbs anticipating his championship reign going when he won the belt, and after it ended, he spent some time on the House Rules loop getting back on track, leading to a five match win streak, including a smashing victory over Powerhouse Hobbs in the 2023 Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Quarter-Finals.
Unfortunately he ran into a familiar foe named Ricky Starks in the Semi-Finals, and “Absolute” would best his former Team Taz partner en route to winning the entire tournament shortly thereafter. Again, not the way Hobbs wanted his COLLISION career to go, but he rebounded and has since won six consecutive bouts, including an eight-second victory last night in Chicago.
As impressive as that streak may be, as rapidly as Hobbs has dispatched those foes, perhaps the most impressive thing Hobbs has done is have the gumption to call out “The Redeemer” Miro for a fight! A former TNT Champion himself, Miro is one of the most intimidating men in all of professional wrestling, and to call him out for a fight is to court pain and punishment. Thus he is also the supreme test for a men looking to redeem himself for the key losses he’s experienced in 2023.
Will Hobbs live to regret his choice to goad Miro into battle? Will he be humbled before “The Redeemer”, or will Hobbs instead find that redemption he’s looking for?
TBS Championship Match…
Kris Statlander(c) vs. Ruby Soho
The challenge was made by Ruby Soho, a woman that Kris Statlander has yet to defeat, and it appears a challenge born out of this Outcasts frustration at having never won a championship during the last 13 years. Just in All Elite Wrestling, after making her debut at ALL OUT 2021 by winning the Women’s Casino Battle Royale, she was frustrated in her first World Championship match at GRAND SLAM 2021 against Dr. Britt Baker, and sadly that would not be the last time Ruby’s dreams were dashed. A month later, in the inaugural TBS Championship Tournament, Soho would make it past Penelope Ford, Kris Statlander, and Nyla Rose but end up stifled in the finals by Jade Cargill, having to watch her claim status as the first TBS Champion. Even the AAA Mixed Tag Title alluded her and Ortiz at ALL OUT 2022 when they faced Sammy Guevara and Tay Melo on the ZERO HOUR, and finally at REVOLUTION 2023, in a Three Way where she and Saraya challenged AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter, Ruby was again turned away. The frustration is understandable, she is unquestionably one of the best wrestlers competing today, but has repeatedly failed to achieve the trophies that cement that fact in the history books.
That being said, it’s not as if Kris Statlander has had the easiest road to the status she now holds. Injuries have slowed her professional growth on multiple occasions since she first came to All Elite Wrestling, even her first AEW championship bout at REVOLUTION 2020 was tainted as Stat fought Nyla Rose with a debilitating flu that had kept her on bed rest for several days leading up to that night in Chicago. Even in the COUNTDOWN TO ALL OUT Statlander shared about her feelings as champion, a rather open look at the thoughts spinning around in her head despite defending her title eight times in the last 100 days on DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, COLLISION, and on the HOUSE RULES tour. She has been a fighting champion from the moment she beat Jade Cargill at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023, and yet doubt still creeps.
It’s not an easy road for champion or challenger, both are driven to be the best, both have had their frustrations and setbacks, but only one has taken those challenges and used them to make herself a better version of who she was. Statlander has gotten tougher, she’s gotten stronger, and it’s led her to the status as TBS Champion whereas Ruby Soho has thrown her lot in with The Outcasts which in turn led her to watching both Saraya and Toni Storm become champions, although Toni’s current situation makes one question whether or not becoming a champion was worth the ramifications of losing it.
This Sunday, when Kris Statlander and Ruby Soho meet in their third singles match, it’s clear there is a bit more than the TBS Championship on the line for each woman. Pride, ego, legacy; they are all wrapped up in this fight between two of today’s best, but only one can walk away as champion while they other will have to find a way to handle with the disappointment and frustration…
“The Cleaner” Kenny Omega vs. Konosuke Takeshita
Kenny Omega has been betrayed by Don Callis on so many levels since that Cage Match against Jon Moxley back in May, and yet this Sunday night at ALL OUT 2023 he will still come to fight in the face of that sting. Whether it was Callis throwing his support behind Will Ospreay at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023, ripping Takeshita away from his growing alliance with The Elite, or signing up with BULLET CLUB GOLD, the man who was once akin to Omega’s uncle has done anything he can to wreck the former AEW World Champion’s life.
This all stems from some sense of ownership Callis has over Kenny’s career, some belief he is entitled to the credit though it is Omega who did the heavy-lifting of actually getting in the ring for the fight. Uncle Don may have shown a young Kenny the ropes, but it was Omega who did the work and earned monikers like “Best Bout Machine” and “The God of Pro Wrestling”. It was Kenny in the ring with Okada for their four matches that, over the course of three-plus hours, firmly established both men as the best in the world. It was Kenny in the ring with Chris Jericho at WRESTLE KINGDOM 12 and DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2019 not Don Callis, and point of fact, the only actual accomplishment in Kenny’s career that Callis could take some credit for would be Omega defeating Jon Moxley to become the AEW World Champion. It’s undeniable that “The Invisible Hand” played a part in assisting Kenny’s championship challenge, but it’s certainly possible that it was Don whispering in Kenny’s ear that he needed his Uncle’s help to achieve that success.
That loyalty is simultaneously both Kenny’s biggest positive and negative, especially since his return to action in August 2022 after taking 10 months to recover from a litany of injuries collected over his wrestling career. Despite Callis’ entire oeuvre being a stark contrast to where The Elite stood as people in the fall of 2022, Omega kept Don by his side and Callis clearly bristled at the fact Kenny was not on the same page as he when it came to how to conduct business. Omega’s loyalty was that strong, his love for everything Uncle Don had been to him and his family was that strong, and yet Callis clearly grew unhappy with the fact he was no longer the primary voice in Kenny’s ear as he’d been during Omega’s championship reign.
All that anger and disappointment led Callis to betraying Kenny inside that Steel Cage, allowing Jon Moxley to get some revenge for Omega’s equally shady victories several years prior, and has taken us all down this path to ALL OUT 2023. It led Callis to put Takeshita inside the Blood & Guts Cage, and to pull him away from the fight when things weren’t looking promising for The Blackpool Combat Club, it led to the BC GOLD attack on Kenny when he sat down to talk to Jim Ross in Jacksonville, and now has Takeshita fighting Omega on Sunday night.
The relationship between Omega and Takeshita dates back to the earliest years of the latter’s career, so far back that Kenny was the opponent for the fifth match on record in Takeshita’s career, the first of their thirteen encounters in DDT Pro Wrestling between 9/30/12 and 10/26/14, all which posted them as opponents. It wasn’t until Takeshita first came to AEW in April 2021 that the two men fought as partners, and when he became a regular part of the roster one year later, it looked as if Takeshita would ride alongside The Elite as he pursued the growth of his own career.
Then Don Callis got in his ear, promising the sky, and turned Konosuke against those who’d supported him, leading to Takeshita’s impact on Omega’s face during Anarchy in the Arena at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023, and now here we are, four months later, with the two men colliding in their first AEW singles match, and their first head-to-head in a decade. It should be noted, though they were over a decade ago during Takeshita’s early days as a wrestler, Omega is 2-0 in their singles matches, but obviously Takeshita has grown exponentially since that time.
So should Takeshita fail in this singles match, will this be the end of Don Callis’ pursuit of Omega’s end? If Kenny walks away with the victory, will Uncle Don give up this mission to end his nephew, or is Kenny stuck in this infinite loop of Don Callis throwing everything at Omega just hoping he breaks until the weight of it all? And what is the future if Takeshita pins Omega as he did at ALL IN: LONDON? That is the kind of victory that potentially bolsters Takeshita up into championship contention, but what would it mean for Kenny Omega’s immediate future? The ramifications for this one will be felt for some time by all parties involved, but just looking at it as a fight, this one could possibly steal the show at ALL OUT 2023!
ROH World Tag Team Championship Match…
AEW World Champion MJF & Adam Cole(c)
Dark Order (Alex Reynolds & John Silver)
After defeating Aussie Open at ALL IN: LONDON to become the new Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions, Adam Cole and AEW World Champion MJF were informed they’d have to defend their championship against the winner of a Tag Team Battle Royale at ALL OUT 2023. So, in typical MJF fashion, he took the week off to recover from his UK journey while Adam Cole came to work only to be confronted by Roderick Strong, Matt Taven, and Mike Bennett, including Roddy throwing his name in the hat for the Grand Slam Tournament of Champions and telling Cole he would do what Adam couldn’t: beat MJF.
While that is indeed a concern for Cole, the more immediate matter is the match this Sunday with the winners of the aforementioned Battle Royale: The Dark Order of Alex Reynolds and John Silver! Though they have been part of AEW since the earliest days of DYNAMITE, the pair have only challenged one time for the AEW World Tag Team titles, during the reign of Jurassic Express, and they were unsuccessful in that endeavor. Since coming into the ROH fold back in April, the duo has been embroiled in their own violent affair with The Righteous, one that culminated with victory in the first-ever Trios Fight Without Honor at DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR 2023. But none of that matters to MJF who, having some experience with both Alex Reynolds and John Silver early in his career, doesn’t have a bit of respect for either man.
Well Dark Order is quite the motivated, driven duo, one whose bond runs far deep than just the last couple months of this year, and they aim to break this championship drought on Sunday night!
Adam Cole and Maxwell Jacob Friedman have proven themselves to be a strong tag team duo, with a genuine bond that defies all logic and reason, but they are facing a team who’ve been together for over a decade, and who have a whole lot to prove to themselves and the world. Adam Cole and MJF are in for a fight, and they will have to pull out every Double Clothesline, Kangaroo Kick, and any other offense to keep these ROH World Tag Team Titles around their waists.
ROH World Television Championship Match…
Samoa Joe(c) vs. Shane Taylor
The history of Samoa Joe in Ring of Honor has been well-documented; for 645 days he reigned as ROH World Champion, elevating the title from a regional one to World Championship status, and engaging in legendary fights that proved influential to the modern wrestling scene. Even after that reign ended at FINAL BATTLE 2004, Joe remained integral to the workings of ROH, claiming the ROH Pure Championship from Jay Lethal at MANHATTAN MAYHEM, and keeping that for 112 days until he was dethroned by Nigel McGuinness. Even then, his influence on both ROH and pro wrestling at large was felt as he engaged in one of the hardest-hitting, most memorable bouts in modern wrestling history when he fought the legendary Kenta Kobashi at JOE VS. KOBASHI, and even after Joe first parted ways with ROH in March 2007, his presence loomed large over every individual who held the ROH World Championship in his wake. All World Champions were compared to Joe and his legacy, and every big man who ever entered into ROH competition was sized up against Samoa Joe’s shadow as well.
That was the world into which Shane Taylor entered when he first joined Ring of Honor in November 2014 at GLORY BY HONOR XIII, and though he reigned as a dominating ROH World TV Champion for 218 days, and a ROH World Six Man Champion for 295 days, the comparisons to Samoa Joe never ceased, but Taylor never had a chance to tackle those comparisons head-on until now.
When Samoa Joe re-entered the ROH landscape at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2022, the fanbase was excited at the prospects of all that could be, speculating on if Joe would pursue the ROH World Championship he lost, or who he may want to lock horns with inside the squared circle. It turned out his first mission was to claim a championship that he had no opportunity to hold during his original ROH tenure simply because it did not exist until 2010, the ROH World Television Championship.
Shortly after his arrival, Joe dethroned Minoru Suzuki to claim the title, and 508 days later, he is still standing tall as the champion with 13 successful defenses to his reign! This makes Joe the second longest reigning TV champion of all time, behind Jay Lethal, and put him just above Shane Taylor on the list of successful defenses, a list Jay Lethal is also at the top of, having retained the belt on 36 occasions during his 567 days.
So it shall be this Sunday night in Chicago that two of Ring of Honor’s most dominant forces, two of the most imposing competitors in professional wrestling today, will engage in combat for the very first time, a right Taylor earned with victories over Serpentico, Christopher Daniels, and Gravity in an Eliminator Tournament. This is a fight about the championship, about legacy, and about who will be the dominant force moving forward, and for Shane Taylor, with a visit to his hometown of Cleveland looming next Saturday, it’s absolutely about being able to go home a champion!
NO DISQUALIFICATION STRAP MATCH…
“Absolute” Ricky Starks vs. “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson
Well Ricky Starks certainly did not anticipate getting the match he’s got to face on Sunday night at ALL OUT 2023, he was looking to fight a 70 year old “Dragon” in a Strap Match, but instead he got a date with a different Dragon, an “American Dragon”. This came as a shock to the AEW faithful in Chicago, as well as those watching at home, as no one was aware Danielson was cleared for competition following his injury in the Kazuchika Okada match at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023.
To his credit, Starks recognized the mistake he had made, and essentially told the world “if this is the bed I made, than I’m going to make myself comfortable”. After all, it’s a huge opportunity for the 2023 Owen Hart Foundation Tournament winner, the chance to spoil Danielson’s return to action almost two years to the date since his AEW debut at ALL OUT 2021, and continue to rise up towards the championship status he craves.
Will Sunday night be Ricky Starks night, or will it be the night “The American Dragon” roars?
Tag Team Battle…
NJPW STRONG Open Weight Champion Eddie Kingston & ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata
Blackpool Combat Club (ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta)
The bad blood between Eddie Kingston and Claudio Castagnoli has kept these two men bonded across many, many years, and even years wrestling in drastically different spheres did nothing to lessen the feelings of disdain. It’s spread from AEW to Ring of Honor and back again, putting Kingston inside Blood & Guts alongside The Golden Elite, putting him on the same side of Stadium Stampede as The Best Friends and Penta El Zero Miedo, and even putting him at odds with a man who was like a brother: Jon Moxley.
It’s been story of Eddie and his strange bedfellows, doing whatever he needs to do in order to get to Claudio, uniting with whoever has motivates that align with his, and hoping it leads to ending Castagnoli. This Sunday night in Chicago that means uniting with ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata to face the ROH World Champion and the man Shibata dethroned to claim that Ring of Honor title, the only 2-Time Pure Champion in ROH history, Wheeler Yuta!
The sad reality is that the animosity between Claudio and Kingston will probably never be satiated as long as both men are breathing. It’s shattered promotional boundaries, it’s bled across years and years, and sustained itself even when both men were on opposite sides of the wrestling world. Given that these men were once friends, roommates even, it’s a shame it’s gotten to this point, but that familiarity has bred contempt like none other. Is this a case of mutually assured destruction? Can either survive their own hate?
AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) and The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
BULLET CLUB GOLD (Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn, Jay White, & Juice Robinson)
It may come as a shock in 2023, but in 2020 The Young Bucks and FTR actually united on two occasions ahead of their first clash at FULL GEAR 2020. Neither ended up as positive moments for the four men, they lost both the eight and ten man tags in which they participated, and as history as shown, they’ve since fought it out in three landmark bouts. The first won by The Young Bucks at FULL GEAR 2020, the second by FTR on the April 6, 2022 edition of DYNAMITE, and the third also by FTR at ALL IN: LONDON just a week ago. Though the brothers Jackson walked away from the match without shaking the hands of Dax and Cash, a common foe had brought them together once again this Sunday night at ALL O UT 2023.
BULLET CLUB GOLD has been a thorn in the side of FTR since the inception of COLLISION, and have also inserted themselves in Elite business time and again, including Kenny uniting with Ibushi and Hangman Page in a losing effort to Jay White, Juice Robinson, and Takeshita at ALL IN: LONDON. Now all the worlds collide as FTR and The Young Bucks try to put aside their differences to fight BC GOLD live on pay-per-view! Is it possible? Or will BC GOLD celebrate in the Windy City tonight!
ALL OUT 2023: ZERO HOUR…
-AEW World Trios Championship Match: The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens, Daddy Ass, & Max Caster)(c) vs. Jay Lethal, Jeff Jarrett, & Satnam Singh
-ROH Women’s World Champion Athena, Diamante, & Mercedes Martinez vs. Hikaru Shida, Skye Blue, and Willow Nightingale
-Over Budget Charity Battle Royale: Winner gives $50K to the charity of their choice
ALL OUT 2023 emanates from the United Center in Chicago, IL this Sunday night, and live on pay-per-view beginning at 8pm ET/7pm CT! Make a point to check out the official AEW YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFN4JkGP_bVhAdBsoV9xftA/videos) to get up to date with highlights from the lastest episodes of DYNAMITE, RAMPAGE, and COLLISION, as well as the CONTROL CENTER, highlights from ALL IN: LONDON, and more to get you ready for ALL OUT 2023!
Twenty-four hours before ALL OUT 2023 comes to pay-per-view, AEW brings COLLISION back to the United Center with multiple matches whose impact will be felt on Sunday night! Ahead of their meeting at ALL OUT, FTR’s Dax Harwood will collide with BULLET CLUB GOLD’s Jay White, new AEW World Trios Champions The Acclaimed will be their titles on the line against the former J.A.S, and the Four Way Women’s Championship from ALL IN: LONDON will mingle with the TBS Championship match set for Sunday night when all three Outcasts meet Statlander, Baker, and Shida in Trios competition! Plus, Ricky Starks will be in the house with a challenge for the legendary Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat!
The show begins at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for AEW’s international fans, so make it a point to visit the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from this week’s episodes of DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest edition of CONTROL CENTER, and so much more!
AEW World Tag Team Champion Dax Harwood vs. Jay White
With FTR and The Young Buck set to team up against BULLET CLUB GOLD this Sunday at ALL OUT 2023, it looks like Saturday night’s edition of COLLISION is going to give fans a little preview of the action to come on pay-per-view! Dax Harwood and Jay White will go head-to-head for the very first time, and it stands to reason that these two warriors have gotten to know each other quite well since the premiere of COLLISION. These two men fought each other on four of the first five episodes of Saturday night’s premiere wrestling program, including two of the most memorable tag team matches in AEW history on July 8th and July 15th, but they’ve never met in one-on-one competition before.
Will it be Dax picking up the momentum for his unit heading into Sunday night, or will it by “King Switch” who gets the nod for BC GOLD?
AEW World Trios Championship Match…
The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens, Daddy Ass, & Max Caster) vs.
Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia, & Matt Menard
At ALL IN: LONDON, The Acclaimed finally got the monkey off their back and defeated The House of Black to become the new AEW World Trios Champions. It was a rough road to get there, one that nearly brought an end to the in-ring career of Daddy Ass, but instead motivated Bowens, Caster, and Billy Gunn to championship status.
So after celebrating their achievement on DYNAMITE, and rewarding themselves with new custom championship titles, they declared they would defend the belts this Saturday night on COLLISION against any trio. The first men to step up to the challenge will be former Jericho Appreciation Society members Angelo Parker, Daniel Garcia, and Matt Menard who come into this with a 10-4 record in Trios competition.
It’s somewhat of a return to their roots for all three men, working as a trio with Garcia is how Parker and Menard started their AEW career, and it brought them victories over The Dark Order, Kingston/Ortiz/Santana, and many others. So with this return to those beginnings, with The Jericho Appreciation Society apparently behind them, can Parker, Menard, and Garcia end The Acclaimed’s run right out of the gate?
TBS Champion Kris Statlander, Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D, & Hikaru Shida
The Outcasts (AEW Women’s World Champion Saraya, Ruby Soho, & Toni Storm)
With Kris Statlander set to face Ruby Soho this Sunday night at ALL OUT 2023, the TBS Champion unites with Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D and Hikaru Shida to face The Outcasts in trios competition! Now after the events of ALL IN:LONDON, there is undoubtedly a question of how these two units will function together. On one side, Baker and Shida have had two matches now where miscommunication has played a role in their fight while on the other side, it’s certainly uncertain how The Outcasts can even function. Saraya pinned Toni Storm at Wembley Stadium to become the new AEW Women’s World Champion after the two women came to blows during the course of a bout that also saw Ruby Soho and Toni have their own physical confrontation. It was certainly that seemed like a situation that would implode The Outcasts, but here they are, uniting on Saturday night for a fight.
Clearly Toni Storm isn’t sure what to do about all of this and seems to be unraveling a little more with every passing moment. How will all of these factors play into this Trios match, and how will its outcome effect the TBS Championship fight set for ALL OUT 2023?
An Absolute Challenge…
“Absolute” Ricky Starks is coming to Chicago with one person on his mind: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat! After putting the belt to the legendary World Champion, Starks was suspended as a wrestler so instead he turned his attention to managing Big Bill and whipping Bill’s fallen opponents after their loss.
Well this Saturday night, it appears that Starks is coming to lay out a challenge to “The Dragon” to meet him in a Strap Match at ALL OUT 2023! Though Steamboat has only wrestled one match in the last 13 years, it’s highly unlikely he’s just going to take what Starks did to him without wanting some measure of revenge, but is he up for a Strap Match with the 2023 Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Winner?
ALL OUT 2023 comes to pay-per-view this Sunday, but before we get there, AEW returns to the United Center for COLLISION! This one is going to have a tremendous impact on Sunday night’s bout, so don’t miss out as FTR’s Dax Harwood fights BULLET CLUB GOLD’s Jay White, The Acclaimed defending their AEW World Trios Titles against Garcia/Menard/Parker, and Ricky Starks making a challenge to the legendary Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat! Plus, the TBS Champion and the AEW Women’s World Champion will lead their respective trios into battle as Statlander and Soho prepare to fight at ALL OUT!