Between DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, every week the action in All Elite Wrestling gets hotter and hotter, and the stakes keep climbing! The arrivals of Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, and Ruby Soho have shaken things up from top to bottom, and everyone on the AEW roster is looking to be the next contender in line!
This week on DYNAMITE, coming at you LIVE on TNT from The Prudential Center (Buy Tickets) in Newark, NJ, the roof may blow off the joint as Adam Cole makes his AEW in-ring debut against a familiar face in “The Elite Hunter” Frankie Kazarian! On top of that, Darby Allin and Sting will answer the challenge of Tully Blanchard and Shawn Spears while Leyla Hirsch aims to conquer Jade Cargill after she eliminated “Legit” from the Casino Battle Royale at ALL OUT 2021. PLUS, after briefly getting The LeBell Lock on Kenny Omega last week before The Elite pounced, Bryan Danielson will address the AEW World Champion, and rounding it all out, CM Punk will join the broadcast team as a special guest for the night!
It all begins LIVE at 8pm EST/7pm CST on TNT, or for our International audience, head over to AEWPlus.com to catch the red-hot action! And, of course, the best destination to prepare for the greatest wrestling on Earth is the official AEW YouTube channel for the latest editions of DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, ROAD TO specials, and highlights from DYNAMITE/RAMPAGE! It is essential for the full Elite Experience, so be sure to subscribe to not miss out!
ELITE VS. ELITE HUNTER…
Adam Cole vs. “The Elite Hunter” Frankie Kazarian
At ALL OUT 2021, Adam Cole made a surprising arrival on the scene to rejoin his Elite brethren in All Elite Wrestling. Just like with other The Elite members, Cole was also a former member of The Bullet Club from 2016 until 2017, and retained close ties to The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega despite competing in different promotions. Thus it was of little surprise that upon arriving in AEW he chose to align himself once more with his old friends to “complete the elite” as their latest t-shirt (Buy Here) release declares.
But one thing that comes with this realignment, and taking on The Elite moniker once again, is also taking on the enemies they have accumulated over the last nine months. One of those foes, and possibly the staunchest thorn in The Elite’s side, is the man dubbed “The Elite Hunter”, former AEW World Tag Team Champion, and briefly a BC member himself, Frankie Kazarian!
Kaz and Cole are no strangers to one another, not just because of Frankie’s brief Club membership, but also because that brief tenure, or ruse may be more accurate, resulted in Frankie helping to cost Adam the championship he held at the time. The two men would compete in several tag team and trios matches, both before and after that incident, but this Wednesday night on DYNAMITE will be their first one-on-one encounter!
It is The Elite versus The Elite Hunter and it goes down LIVE on TNT! Adam Cole is coming back to his old stomping grounds, to the state where some of the very first matches took place, and he is doing so reunited with his Elite family! But with this AEW in-ring debut, Adam Cole’s story time is over, and with a battle with one of AEW’s most prolific fighters in Kazarian begins. With 79 bouts under his belt, Frankie holds a strong 2021 records at 26-4, with just two singles losses, and is not going to rest until The Elite is destroyed forever. This is Kaz’s chance to play spoiler for Cole’s much anticipated in-ring debut, and drive a nail into the coffin of The Elite!
Darby Allin (w/ Sting) vs. Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard)
Many moons ago, the 2019 FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN to be precise, Shawn Spears was the first man to hand Darby Allin a loss in All Elite Wrestling. It may have been as part of a six-man tag, but a loss is a loss, and after such an amazing debut against Cody Rhodes a few weeks prior, it certainly stung Darby to eat the deciding pinfall.
November 13th of that year would give Darby an opportunity to even the score as he and Spears took part in a three way match with Peter Avalon, but the arrival of Spears’ rival at the time, Joey Janela, took “The Chairman” out of the equation, leaving “The Librarian” to taste defeat at Allin’s hands.
Their third in-ring meeting came on April 1st of 2020, just prior to the TNT Title Tournament in which they were both participants. In a tag team preview of first round matches, Darby was paired with Cody against Spears and Sammy Guevara, and just as in their six-man tag nearly a year prior, Shawn would top Darby to win it for his team.
Now while that history may all favor The Pinnacle member, it isn’t the world in which these two men are competing today. Darby rose up from those battles to climb the ranks, eventually dethrone Rhodes as TNT Champion during his second run, and go on to become both the longest reigning and most successful man to hold that title with nine defenses over 186 days.
Spears has not had that kind of championship success, in fact he has yet to challenge for any of the titles in All Elite Wrestling, but he has established himself as a force. With Tully Blanchard at his side, Spears has won 15 of his last 17 singles matches, and as members of The Pinnacle, he and Wardlow have looked dominant as a tag team in their five wins. “The Chairman” has shown himself more than willing to get his hands dirty, to get violent, and swing that signature steel seat whenever necessary.
These vicious traits, the lessons taught by Tully, are going to serve him well in this first-time singles bout with Darby Allin. And the litany of issues, the decades of history that exist between Tully Blanchard and “The Icon” Sting, have clearly played a factor in this bout even going down in the first place. Tully, at his heart, is a manipulator, and the legend has certainly manipulated this situation from the moment he opened his mouth last week on DYNAMITE. Spears has the world to gain from a victory in this bout, far more than Darby does in the big picture, and Tully has made sure the former TNT Champion and his mentor are a bit on their heels walking into The Prudential Center.
Jade Cargill (w/ “Smart” Mark Sterling) vs. “Legit” Leyla Hirsch
Since the September 1st rankings were released, Jade Cargill has occupied the number five spot, inching herself closer to an AEW Women’s World Title match with every win she scores. Going into ALL OUT 2021, Cargill assumed an alliance between herself and Nyla Rose might be the ticket to getting the title opportunity that came with winning the Women’s Casino Battle Royale, and Jade may have been right if she had eyes in the back of her head. One of the most prolific eliminators in the chaos, Cargill tossed three other women in three minutes but found herself removed from the championship equation by “The Native Beast”, a clear violation of their supposed agreement. While that is an issue Cargill will surely want to address, this week on DYNAMITE she must contend with one of those three women she eliminated: “Legit” Leyla Hirsch.
As seen in the clip embedded above, Cargill pressed Hirsch over her head and threw her to the outside of the ring, right on top of several other eliminated competitors. It was an impressive feat by Jade, no doubt, but on Wednesday night the situation is not the same and that moment won’t be so easy to repeat. This time the interaction between Jade and Leyla will take place one-on-one inside the squared circle, and while the size advantage clearly leans towards the former, the latter is a powerhouse in her own right.
On top of Hirsch’s own power, and impressive amateur credentials, with her four year wrestle-versary coming at the end of September, Leyla has a distinct experience advantage over Jade Cargill. Her amazing performances and athletic prowess notwithstanding, Cargill is still a rookie with less than seven months of ring time in her boots. While it’s an impressive feat to dispatch her opponents so fast, Jade’s last eight matches combined have barely added up to ten minutes. She hasn’t been in the deeper waters since a near-eight minute battle with Red Velvet back in April while Hirsch, just a few weeks ago, went 13 minutes with Kamille over the NWA Women’s World Title and has both finished foes with ruthless efficiency as well as delved into longer frays.
Perhaps that is the key to conquering the advantages Jade brings into the confrontation; Leyla either needs to finish the fight with rapid efficiency courtesy of that nasty armbar she employs, or drag Jade into those deep waters and territory which the blue chip athlete has never experienced as a pro wrestler. This is one of the sternest tests Jade has experienced in her rookie year, but one in which she must excel if her hopes of a future title match are to remain a possibility. Still, in Hirsch, Jade faces an opponent who has won 13 of her last 14 matches, with that one loss coming at the hands of Nyla Rose coincidentally, and who is hungry for the spot in those rankings that will likely come her way should she best Cargill. There is also the fact that, much like Adam Cole, Hirsch is coming back to the state where she cut her teeth wrestling in towns like Blackwood, Vorhees, Asbury Park, and Rahway, to gain the experiences that eventually got her to All Elite Wrestling.
As a bit of of preview for what’s to come Wednesday, Jade and Leyla even got into it on DARK! There’s a lot to prove for both women in this battle at The Prudential Center; who will come out on top?
DANIELSON AND OMEGA…
It has been over a dozen years since the lone one-on-one meeting between Bryan Danielson and AEW World Champion Kenny Omega took place in Reseda, CA. It would also be the last time the two men would meet inside the squared circle as opponents, and a bout most assumed we would never experience again.
Then ALL OUT 2021 happened, the world went topsy-turvy, and suddenly both Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole were standing inside an AEW ring! One, as discussed above, stood by the side of his Elite brethren while the other stood in opposition to that cabal, with Jurassic Express and Christian Cage at his side. “The American Dragon” had been reborn in All Elite Wrestling, and his sights were clearly set on “The Cleaner”.
That night at The NOW Arena, Bryan and his newfound allies cleaned house of The Elite to the raucous support of all in attendance that night, and those watching on pay-per-view around the world. As seen in the video clip above, a similar scenario played out on DYNAMITE with Bryan managing to secure his LeBell Lock on Omega for a brief moment before The Elite hit the ring to save the World Champ. Frankie Kazarian, Cage, and JurEx arrived to assist their ally, sending the rats scurrying, and seeming to illustrate once more that Kenny Omega had no desire to be inside that ring with Danielson.
This week on DYNAMITE, live from The Prudential Center, we will hear from Bryan Danielson as he addresses AEW World Champion Kenny Omega! “The American Dragon” is locked in on “The Cleaner”, and isn’t going to stop his pursuit until he gets Omega inside the squared circle!
THE SUZUKI INCIDENT…
One week ago, former AEW World Champion Jon Moxley bested the head of SUZUKI-GUN, Minoru Suzuki, in a one-on-one match that left both men battered and bruised, but Mox celebrating with his hometown crowd. Loss notwithstanding, Suzuki and his SUZUKI-GUN partner Lance Archer took umbrage with what they dubbed “preferential hometown treatment” for Jon, and what many have labeled “The Suzuki Incident”. Between the pair of bouts Jon has had with Minoru, and the fights with Archer over both the AEW World Title and the IWGP US Title, Mox is quite familiar with each of these men at this point, but SUZUKI-GUN apparently has a new challenge for “The Death Rider” to be issued this Wednesday night in New Jersey! What do these two sadistic grapplers have in mind for the former champ? Tune in to DYNAMITE on TNT starting at 8pm EST to find out!
But in addition to that perceived disrespect in the SUZUKI-GUN camp, Jon Moxley will also unite with Eddie Kingston to address some issues of disrespect himself. Several weeks ago, 2point0 of Matt Lee and Jeff Parker, well they decided that jumping King and Mox at the very beginning of DYNAMITE would be an intelligent decision, so now, this Wednesday night, the braggadocious duo will answer for those crimes when they meet those two representations of violence incarnate. Will 2point0 survive to regret the choice they made to assault the former World Champ and The Mad King?
DAN LAMBERT & THE M.O.T.Y…
Dan Lambert from American Top Team has been running his mouth for weeks, degrading and deriding AEW at every turn, and questioning the worthiness of the entire locker room to even be called professional wrestlers. Along with this ongoing diatribe, Lambert has not only brought along some of his ATT members like Junior Dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski, but also picked up The Men Of The Year, Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page, to accompany his cause. One particular man whom they’ve made an enemy of is former IWGP Us Champion “The Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer, and there are no doubt plenty of others who have heard Lambert’s words and found them rather insulting, to say the least, so who will step up to the challenge made by American Top Team founder?
AEW DYNAMITE comes at you from The Prudential Center (Buy Tickets) in Newark, NJ, and airs LIVE at 8pm EST/7pm CST on TNT, or at AEWPlus.com for our International fans! To get yourself ready for the explosive AEW action, be sure to visit the official YouTube channel and subscribe so as not to miss every episode of DARK: ELEVATION, AEW DARK, ROAD TO specials, highlights from DYNAMITE/RAMPAGE, and all the other top shelf content!