Last week in Dayton fans witnessed three championship matches between DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, with the crowning of one new champion as Samoa Joe defeated Darby Allin to become a 2-Time TNT Champion! As for the other two, Jade Cargill retained her TBS Championship against Red Velvet and secured the 50th consecutive win of her wrestling career while The Elite made their first defense of the AEW World Trios Championship titles.
In addition, Jon Moxley topped Hangman Page, Bryan Danielson survived Timothy Thatcher, Rush toppled Christopher Daniels, and the Saraya/Toni Storm pairing send a message to the rest of the women here in All Elite Wrestling! This week, with AEW coming to El Paso, it’s going to be a Championship Fight Night when Top Flight and AR Fox challenge The Elite for that Trios Championship, and The Acclaimed defend their World Tag Team title against The Gunns. Plus, MJF will face Takeshita in an Eliminator bout while Jamie Hayter does the same against The Bunny! And to top if off, after defeating one former ROH World Champion in “The Fallen Angel”, Rush is coming after another one in Bryan Danielson, and he’s got some extra incentive in the form of MJF’s cash.
DYNAMITE: CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT NIGHT comes to our fans this Wednesday on TBS, marking AEW’s debut in El Paso, TX at the County Coliseum! With two World Championship matches on the books, as well as two Eliminator matches, The American Dragon’s final fight to get a World Championship match at REVOLUTION 2023, and the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet for Ricky Starks, doors open at 4pm MT, and the bouts kick off at 5pm!
The event gets underway at 8pm ET/7pm CT live on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences, and the best place to get ready for the fights is the official AEW YouTube channel! It’s the home for highlights from DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the most recent editions of AEW DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, and ROAD TO!
AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATOR MATCH…
AEW World Champion MJF vs. Konosuke Takeshita
This Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, Maxwell Jacob Friedman has to do the one thing he does not like to do: wrestle. Not only that, but he has to wrestle on TBS, not on pay-per-view, but on television, which Max, for some reason, views as beneath his standing. And no this is not an attitude brought about by becoming the AEW World Championship, it’s one that he’s carried with him as long as he’s been in All Elite Wrestling, and why he’s done everything he can to avoid wrestling as much as possible. In fact Max has wrestled less than 50 matches since DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2019, just over counting Battle Royale situations, and there is likely not a single individual who has been in AEW since day one that has competed in less matches. 2020 was when MJF took on his biggest workload, a grand total of 19 singles, tags, and multi-man matches, and this fight against Konosuke Takeshita will be his first in 2023.
Suffice to say, MJF isn’t a wrestler’s wrestler, not like Bryan Danielson who’s wrestled more matches in 17 months than Max has in his whole AEW career, or Konosuke Takeshita who has fought more times since April 2022 than MJF has since 2021. Yet this Wednesday night, after the events that took place in Dayton, MJF is left without a choice in the matter and has been ordered to fight Takeshita in an AEW World Championship Eliminator bout! That means if Konosuke Takeshita defeats the World Champion, he will earn himself a future title fight against MJF, possibly as early as next week in Laredo, meaning we could see Bryan Danielson fight Takeshita at REVOLUTION 2023 in an AEW World Championship match!
Not only is this bout throwing a wrench into the plans MJF had to keep himself fresh as daises heading into March 5th, it could completely upset the entire World Championship picture! Fans have seen what Takeshita has to offer once that bell rings in his fights against Eddie Kingston, Jon Moxley, Brian Cage, and Claudio Castagnoli, so he clearly has all the tools to knock Max down a peg or three in El Paso.
What will the AEW World Championship picture look like at the end of the night on Wednesday? And even if MJF survives his first match on DYNAMITE since barely beating Ricky Starks on December 14th, will either champion or challenger be in any condition for their pay-per-view fight in San Francisco?
ONE LAST HURDLE…
“The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. “El Toro Blanco” Rush
It’s a reasonable question because, in the final match of this series, “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson will have to take on “El Toro Blanco” Rush! Both men can claim status as former ROH World Champions, but this will be their first time colliding inside the squared circle, and it is one of the most important bouts of Danielson’s AEW career. This is the last hurdle, the final fight in order to secure that Iron Man Match at REVOLUTION 2023, all Bryan has to do is survive a match with one of the most violent men in the AEW locker room.
Fans have witnessed Rush’s willingness to pull out all the stops ever since he came to AEW, as well as during his ROH tenure, and in his wrestling career prior to that. “El Toro Blanco” has shown a propensity for using the cables around ringside to choke the life out of his opponents, to use chairs and tables and anything not nailed down as a weapon against his opponent. Thankfully Rush also has Jose The Assistant, and now “El Perro Peligroso” Preston Vance, to run interference with the AEW officials while he indulges in his violent tendencies, otherwise his record book would be littered with disqualification losses and no contests.
Of course this is a bout that Danielson is looking forward to; it’s in his nature to relish the fight and appreciate how new challenges can help him grow as a competitor. Bryan likes being tested by the best wrestlers from around the world, he wants that new experience, because it makes him a better fighter in the process, and it all serves as preparation for the night he hopes to face Maxwell Jacob Friedman for the AEW World Championship.
As with Brian Cage though, it doesn’t seem like MJF is concerned with whether or not Rush defeats “The American Dragon” but rather with the condition in which he is left coming out of the battle. Max doesn’t want a Danielson fighting in peak condition, he wants a foe with injured limbs, he wants to damaged goods standing across the ring from him at REVOLUTION 2023, and with Rush as the chosen final foe for Danielson, there’s a great possibility that Max will get exactly what he’s paying for.
AEW WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATOR MATCH…
AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter(c)
The Bunny has been part of AEW since FYTER FEST 2019, she has stood across the ring from virtually every woman who has entered into the ring here, and been involved one of the most unforgettable bouts with that bloody Tag Team Street Fight at the end of 2022. Yet there is one specific thing that has alluded her across those three years: a shot at the AEW Women’s World Championship.
Bunny has been in the ring with Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship, she’s battled Hikaru Shida over the Regina di WAVE, and even went head-to-head with Leyla Hirsch in an Eliminator Match for an NWA Women’s Championship match, but at no point has she had an opportunity to contend for the AEW Women’s World Championship. No title shots, no Eliminator Matches, no #1 Contender’s situations save the Casino Battle Royale; but that all changes this Wednesday night during Championship Fight Night when The Bunny faces Jamie Hayter in a Women’s World Championship Eliminator bout!
As REVOLUTION 2023 approaches, no definitive contender has emerged from the pack for Hayter’s championship, although Toni Storm and Saraya would certainly love to be the ones coming for the crown, and this is The Bunny’s opportunity to step-up as that challenger! Can she finally achieve that goal that has alluded her for over three years, or will The Bunny find out first-hand just what the Women’s World Champion means when she says “Hayter Hits Hard”?
AEW WORLD TRIOS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson)
AR Fox & Top Flight (Dante & Darius Martin)
Last Friday night, The Elite made their first defense of the AEW World Trios Championship since defeating Death Triangle in Escalera De La Muerte II back in Los Angeles. It was a hard-fought battle against Ethan Page, Matt Hardy, and Isiah Kassidy, but after fifteen minutes those Wayward Sons were successful in retaining their titles.
Having had their initial championship reign cut off before they could even step in-front of fans with the titles, making it past that first defense was a milestone in itself, but now the work will continue this Wednesday night when The Elite face the three men who won the $300K Three Kings Battle Royale: AR Fox and Top Flight!
This will mark the units second bid for the World Trios Championship, having unsuccessfully challenged Death Triangle back on November 16th, and just their third match as a trio, standing with a 1-1 record to go along with the Three Kings Casino Royale victory that came about by eliminating The Blackpool Combat Club. So the experience edge is clearly within the auspices of The Elite locker room, not just in terms of AEW, but in the professional wrestling world at large given their nearly 60 trios matches together since the first back on January 5, 2015.
That being said, Top Flight has already upset The Young Bucks once this year, beating them in a tag team bout just a week after The Elite won the World Trios Titles from Death Triangle, so Dante and Darius Martin have proven it can be done, now they just need to repeat the feat in trios fashion with AR Fox at their side! If this trio can pull it off, it would be the biggest upset in AEW for 2023, as well as the biggest win in the careers of Top Flight or AR Fox, and that’s saying a lot considering the accomplishments of Fox’s distinguished independent career.
And what would that loss mean for The Elite after riding so high last Friday night on RAMPAGE? What would it mean to see their second reign with these titles come to an end nearly as abrupt as their first? Fans will find out which way this battle swings live on TBS come this Wednesday night.
AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster)(c)
The Gunns (Austin & Colten)
The relationship between The Acclaimed and The Gunn family has been going on for well over a year, starting as unit in victory against The Dark Order in January 2022, and actually bringing about four victories for the quartet of Bowens, Caster, Austin, and Colten. But still, regardless of success experienced together, there was absolutely jealousy from The Gunn (or Ass Boy if you prefer) side of things, and it stuck Billy Gunn smack in the middle of things. He tried to stick by his kids, but they stuck a knife in Billy’s back for his efforts to choose family, although Austin and Colten’s decision ultimately saw them tossed in the trash by The Acclaimed in the culmination of their Dumpster Match, a page pulled straight from Billy’s history book.
Billy, christened “Daddy Ass” by The Acclaimed, has stood by Anthony Bowens and Max Caster’s side ever since, championing them as they pursued the AEW World Tag Team Championship then-held by Swerve in Our Glory, even lending a hand (although nearly losing his own) during the course of that championship rivalry. He’s been there to step up if an injury befell The Acclaimed, he’s been there to celebrate their triumphs and tragedies, and all of it has only stoked the flames of jealousy that burn white-hot within Austin and Colten Gunn.
They see The Acclaimed as getting the attention from their father they claim they never received in their youth, and as a direct result of Billy’s own wrestling career. They see the attention Bowens and Caster have been given by “Daddy Ass” as what they should’ve been given since coming into All Elite Wrestling, apparently blind to the fact that as a Trio, The Gunn Club is still the most successful trio the company has seen to date. The father and son trio were 24-1 before Austin and Colten severed their family ties, ten more wins than the next closest trios (Death Triangle and The Elite tied at 14), and Billy had great tag team success with both his sons.
So perhaps the jealousy isn’t in Billy’s relationship with The Acclaimed, but rather in Max and Anthony’s successes, in their ability to capture AEW World Tag Team Championship gold, and in how the fans have embraced the scissor. Perhaps it’s resentment in being labeled “Ass Boys” by Danhausen, and then having The Acclaimed run with that ball, even while they were teaming up together. But beyond The Acclaimed, The Gunns didn’t exactly operate aboveboard with FTR either…
As for the match itself, The Gunns haven’t been in action since they beat FTR back on December 21st, while The Acclaimed have gone through a pair of matches with Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett, including a No Holds Barred fight at BATTLE OF THE BELTS V, as well as that dominating victory last Wednesday night. The Gunns might be rested and healed from any nagging issues, but The Acclaimed are in prime fighting shape heading into this seventh championship defense.
So in this situation, after everything his biological sons have said the last few weeks, and after everything he’s been through with his adopted ones, where is Billy Gunn’s head at? It can’t feel great to have his kids call out his parenting on worldwide television, but it also can’t feel great to see Austin and Colten grow up to become such entitled man-babies. Once the bell rings, does Billy Gunn’s support fall with the family-by-blood or the family-by-choice?
THE GARCIA-GUEVARA GAUNTLET…
Ricky Starks vs. The J.A.S
Two weeks ago, the winning streak Ricky Starks and Action Andretti had been experiencing against The J.A.S. came to an end when the two men lost, albeit in underhanded fashion, in a tag team bout against Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara.
This week, the rivalry continues when “Absolute” enters into the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet in hopes of getting his hands on “Le Champion” once again! All Ricky Starks has to do is defeat “Cool Hand” Angelo Parker…then “Daddy Magic” Matt Menard…then either Sammy Guevara or Daniel Garcia…but he won’t know which one until the moment is upon him. That’s three matches in one night, back-to-back-to-back, and against three of AEW’s finest. They may be affiliated with The J.A.S., and present as some of the scummiest individuals in the locker room as a result, but that doesn’t change the fact that all four men are premier athletes, and that Starks won’t know who his third foe is advance.
It’s going to be a rough night for “Absolute” Ricky Starks in El Paso, but one thing that Ricky has proven time and again here in All Elite Wrestling is that he’s up for the fight, and willing to take on any obstacle placed in his path. Will Starks see his wish to fight Chris Jericho once more come to fruition, or will the machinations of The J.A.S. squash that dream this Wednesday night?
It’s Championship Fight Night this Wednesday on DYNAMITE for AEW’s debut in El Paso, TX at the County Coliseum! Doors are at 4pm MT, matches starting at 5pm, and on tap are two World Championship matches, two Eliminator matches, the last stop on Danielson’s quest for a World Championship match at REVOLUTION 2023, and a Gauntlet for Ricky Starks!
The show gets started at 8pm ET/7pm CT live on TBS, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences! As for the best way to get prepared for the action, visit the official AEW YouTube channel for recent highlights from DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the most recent editions of AEW DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, and ROAD TO!
https://www.youtube.com/embed/2ymQBgkcI8kArticle source: allelitewrestling.com
Post Your Comments...