“It’s Wednesday. You know what that means.”
DYNAMITE is back on TNT with NEWS YEAR’S SMASH: NIGHT 2 at 8pm EST/7pm CST! Last week was utter chaos by the end of the evening as Anderson and Gallows crashed the party to help AEW World Champion Kenny Omega assault Jon Moxley after he retained the title over Rey Fenix! And as if that wasn’t shocking enough, the AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks actually sided with that trio in opposition to the AEW roster that tried to help Mox! The band seems back together, their club reunited, and that is not good news for anyone outside their clique.
In addition, Darby Allin and Brian Cage had their TNT Championship weigh-in with Sting and Team Taz at the ready, plus Cody Rhodes and Matt Sydal had a tremendous battle with Coach Snoop Dogg not only at ringside, but also flying through the air at Serpentico’s expense. PAC was assaulted by Eddie Kingston and his family, Hikaru Shida retained her AEW Women’s World Title over Abadon, and Wardlow topped Jake Hager in an Inner Circle battle!
This week we continue our celebration of 2021 with a TNT Champions bout, The Elite in action after last week’s tumultuous conclusion, Kingston and PAC, the NWA World Women’s Title up for grabs, Thunder Rosa finally getting Britt Baker in the ring, with plenty more on tap, and it all kicks off at 8pm EST/7pm CST on TNT!
TNT TITLE MATCH…
Darby Allin (c) vs. (#4) FTW Champion Brian Cage (w/ Taz)
As illustrated in the “ROAD TO…” video embedded above, the history of Darby Allin, Brian Cage, and Team Taz as a whole, runs deep. From Taz’s failed initial attempts to recruit Darby to his side, to the Casino Ladder Match that saw Cage debut with “The Human Suplex Machine” at his side, to the aftermath of Allin’s TNT Title victory at FULL GEAR 2020; at every possible opportunity, Team Taz has been there to make Darby’s life as miserable as possible.
Brian Cage has dropped Darby through ladders, tossed him around in a body bag filled with thumbtacks, tossed him into a car, and used the numbers of Team Taz to assault Allin. Point of fact, “The Machine” even holds a pinfall victory on the champ from a November 18th tag team battle that also included Cody Rhodes and Ricky Starks.
Taz, Cage, Starks, and their latest acquisition Powerhouse Hobbs, have thrown everything they can at Darby Allin and while they have hurt him, even put him on the shelf temporarily, Team Taz has not broken the indomitable will of the TNT Champion.
The arrival of Sting onto the AEW scene has also affected this situation as the legendary combatant as aligned himself with Darby against the onslaught, each man coming to the aid of the other on several occasions when Team Taz has attempted to unleash their fury.
This week though it will not be a situation where Team Taz tries to jump the champ because, for the first time in All Elite Wrestling, Darby Allin and Brian Cage will lock horns one-on-one and the TNT Title will be on the line! It’s the first defense for Allin since capturing the title from Cody Rhodes on November 7th, and the second time Brian Cage has challenged for an AEW championship, having unsuccessfully faced Jon Moxley for the World Title back in July.
The physical differences between the two men are clear as crystal, evidenced by the weigh-in last week, but that is only part of the game, a very pertinent one, but only part of it. The heart, drive, determination, and will of a competitor are also huge parts of the equation, the parts which Allin has shown throughout his career that he carries in abundance.
Will it be enough to overcome the drastic size and strength advantage Cage carries into this bout? Will there be a Stinger in the house to counteract the presence of Team Taz? Tune in Wednesday for NEW YEAR’S BASH: NIGHT 2 to see if a new TNT Champion is crowned!
World Champion Kenny Omega & World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks in action
At the close of last Wednesday’s DYNAMITE, the wrestling world was left with mouths agape after witnessing AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks, and IMPACT Wrestling World Tag Team Champions The Good Brothers reunite in the center of an AEW ring, with former World Champion Jon Moxley (and quite a few men from the locker room) laid out around their feet.
There is plenty of history among these five men, across multiple wrestling promotions, and particularly in the world of Japanese professional wrestling. The club in which they all held membership proved one of the most dominant groups in the wrestling world during their tenures, and it continues to roll on to this day.
The Elite was birthed from that club several years ago and in its life has proven one of the most important units in the modern wrestling landscape. Now, while several other wrestlers have carried the moniker over the years, it is Omega and the brothers Jackson who are the foundation of The Elite, and on Wednesday night, they will be in action together for the first time since August!
While Alex Marvez wasn’t able to pull out any names from Omega or IMPACT EVP Don Callis as to just who The Elite would be in competition against this week, whomever it ends up being should tread cautiously. Just in AEW, this trio has won five of their six matches together, saying nothing of their reigns as Six Man Tag Champions together in multiple companies, and their general successes as a trio.
One has to wonder now, just what does The Elite have in store for All Elite Wrestling this week during NEW YEAR’S SMASH: NIGHT TWO?
NWA WORLD WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
Serena Deeb (c) vs. Tay Conti (w/ Anna Jay)
Coming into this fight on a five match win streak following her DARK victory over Marti Daniels, Tay Conti is set to use her multi-faceted game to secure championship gold. As detailed in the “ROAD TO…” video, Conti is well practiced in multiple forms of combat across her lifetime, in addition to her three years of experience as a professional wrestler. She has adopted elements of her jiu-jitsu and judo background into her pro wrestling style, and created a unique synergy of all those elements. Despite her young age, Tay Conti has a level of combat experience, including the 2016 Brazilian Olympic Trials, that few (if any) women on the AEW roster can match. That makes her a definite threat for one Serena Deeb, despite the defending champions’ decisive experience advantage.
Deeb, coming into this as reigning champion since October 27th and with a victory of her own on Tuesday’s DARK over Tesha Price, has been at this for nearly fifteen years, competing around the world, and capturing championships. She spent several years helping to train some of the greatest female competitors occupying wrestling rings today, but in 2020 chose to focus once more on herself, it has paid dividends.
She defeated Thunder Rosa for the NWA World Women’s Title, has successfully defended that historic championship on three instances right here in AEW, and overall been victorious in six of her eight matches since returning to active competition. Serena represents a level of experience and competition that Conti has not faced since coming to All Elite Wrestling, one of the best when it comes to pure wrestling, and also someone who helped Tay Conti learn the ropes in the earliest days of her career.
The X factor in this championship bout is, of course, Anna Jay and The Dark Order. While not technically a member of that…group, Conti and Anna are unquestionably the best of friends, and as such Tay could be considered a surrogate member of The Dark Order. Anna Jay herself has stated that if she has Conti’s back then that means the group itself has her back as well; it’s a potential game changer if The Dark Order elects to insert themselves into this match.
So will Tay Conti make the most of the biggest opportunity of her wrestling career to become the 40th champion? Or will Deeb’s reign continue into the new year?
INNER CIRCLE RESOLUTIONS…
Last week on DYNAMITE, the two hosses of The Inner Circle went to battle in a must-see fight that ended with Wardlow topping Jake Hager. Before they left the ring, the two men, with the rest of The Inner Circle around them, did show mutual respect but a loss is a loss, and it certainly left Hager less than cheery.
MJF is probably the last person anyone had on their list when thinking of who would endeavor to improve Hager’s mood, and yet here we are, Max coming in for the second time to share an emotional moment with one of his fellow IC members. It was a nice shared moment, and it looks like we all will get to share another of those moments with the entirety of The Inner Circle this week on DYNAMITE!
It is NEW YEARS BASH after all, and what is a new year without new resolutions! This week, as part of AEW’s celebration of 2021, The Inner Circle will share with the world their own goals for the new year.
Will it be championship pursuits and the domination of All Elite Wrestling? Will it be replacing the whole commentary team with Inner Circle? Another Vegas trip? New members? What is on tap for Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, MJF, Ortiz, Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Wardlow as they move forward in 2021?
TAG TEAM COMPETITION…
(#1) FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt w/ Luchasaurus)
Originally set as Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy versus FTR, as you can see above, the temper of Marko Stunt took hold last week on DYNAMITE to force a change in the match-up for this tag team tussle. Even though Dax and Cash hold a victory over Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus back in September, this was clearly a play to further tilt the balance in their favor, and they have certainly proven top guys at pushing buttons. Just look out how spun out they got Adam Page in a very short period of time before taking the World Tag Title from him and Kenny Omega.
So since the former World Tag Team Champions certainly do not perceive Marko Stunt to be a threat, Cash and Dax played the game to amp Stunt up, and now have the easier pairing from where they stand. They aren’t wrong, break it down to the record books and in their limited pairings, Jungle Boy and Marko have only picked up a single victory in their six times teaming, and that one win was on February 4th of 2020. One week later, February 11th, would also mark the last time the two men teamed up in a traditional tag when they lost to Evil Uno and Stu Grayson.
Suffice it to say the balance of experience and success in tag team affairs clearly weighs in favor of FTR, but this Jurassic Express pairing has two things that Cash and Dax do not: something to prove and nothing to lose. FTR, as arrogant as ever coming into this Wednesday, are the heavy favorites to win, of that there is no question, and as former World Champions who haven’t stopped running their mouths since losing the belts, they need to back up all their braggadocio.
Cash and Dax have the most to lose if they are defeated, particularly their number one spot in the rankings if they fall to a team so far removed from the top five, while this JurEx duo, especially Marko, can gain more from a victory here than just the win. It’s respect, it’s validation, it is renewed self-worth after so many have tried to strip it away with their mockery, their disrespect, and their derision.
This is Marko’s moment to seize and Jurassic Express’ to put FTR in check…
A YOUNG BOY…
CHUCK TAYLOR (W/ ORANGE CASSIDY) VS. “THE BEST MAN” MIRO (W/ KIP SABIAN & PENELOPE FORD)
***IF CHUCK LOSES, HE BECOMES MIRO’S YOUNG BOY***
Trent is on the shelf for the foreseeable future, and in his place, Chuck Taylor has stepped up to battle Miro in the former’s first singles match since November (just his fourth overall in AEW). It is a tremendous mountain to climb for Chuckie T, but for the purpose of defending his best friend in absentia, it is a mountain worth ascending.
But for Chuck there is a great deal more at stake than just the honor of Trent or a loss on his record, there is the distinct possibility of finding himself in servitude to Miro. See one of the points of contention between Miro and Trent was the idea of being “a young boy”, essentially a nascent pro wrestler who, while training, assists the veterans. Be it as a ringside attendant, holding the ropes open, driving the car, helping with bags, or taking care of laundry, the purpose of the young boy is to help the seasoned wrestlers while learning at their sides.
Typically in Japan, they can be seen at ringside, adorned in track suits, removing streamers from the ring during entrances, applying ice packs after the matches, and providing some crowd protection when necessary. And when the young boy is finally called upon to have matches, they are usually adorned in basic black boots, black pads, and black trunks until they have earned their colors. It is not as common a practice in the United States, certainly not as visible a one, but that is the sort of fate Miro had in mind for Chuck Taylor once he made this proposition.
It is highly doubtful that what Miro has in mind for Chuck will be quite so benign or benevolent as the above, he certainly has no interest in teaching Taylor anything other than how he likes his steaks cooks and how to do his wash.
This is about humiliation, about adding insult to the injury already delivered to Trent, and subjugating Chuck Taylor to whatever whim crosses Miro’s mind. For Taylor to avoid that fate, even with Orange Cassidy at his side, he has to be wary of both Kip and Penelope at ringside. This malevolent trio is going to pull out all the stops to make Chuck their young boy, and that is a fate no one should have to suffer…
THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW…
Dr. Britt Baker’s Waiting Room: “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes…
This Wednesday night, after airing exclusively on DARK since its debut, Dr. Britt Baker’s WAITING ROOM will make its DYNAMITE premiere with their biggest guest to date! Fresh off the one-two punch of his victory over Matt Sydal on Wednesday, and the hit debut of the GO BIG SHOW on TBS last Thursday, “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes will enter THE WAITING ROOM!
What does the former two-time TNT Champion have in store for the fans, and for the good doctor, when he arrives? There is always plenty on Rhodes’ plate to address, so be sure to tune in Wednesday night to find out!
PAC (w/ Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) vs. Eddie Kingston (w/ The Blade, The Butcher, & The Bunny)
It’s been a long time coming, something fans have been salivating over since the moment Eddie Kingston brought The Lucha Brothers into his fold along with The Butcher and The Blade. A total manipulator, Kingston wormed his way into not one but two title fights with Jon Moxley, he found a way to pit Penta and Fenix against one another through the World Title Eliminator Tournament, and then in a singles match that turned quite violent.
Eddie was perpetually dismissive to Fenix, almost mockingly calling Penta his “best friend” right in front of Rey, but eventually “The Mad King” had to answer for his manipulations when “The Bastard” PAC finally was able to make his AEW return!
Since that day the reunited Death Triangle of PAC, Penta, and Fenix has been at war with Eddie Kingston, The Blade, and The Butcher, and have even found themselves reluctently allied with Lance Archer in their efforts. PAC has put down both Blade and Butcher in singles matches, but has felt the wrath of the family on numerous occasions, including last week in the aftermath of Fenix’s failed World Title bid.
But come at NEW YEAR’S BASH: NIGHT TWO on Wednesday, Kingston will be out of obstacles to put in PAC’s path and must contend with “The Bastard” face-to-face within the auspices of an actual one-on-one wrestling match. This is not a multi-man tag where he can hide behind others, throwing one of his “family” members under the bus, or a backstage assault to send a message; it is time for “The Mad King” to pay the piper.
Fans knows what Kingston can take as far as punishment, the “I Quit” match with Jon Moxley several months ago is testament to his resilience and guts, and yet he has seemed extremely unwilling to engage PAC. Is there fear in the heart of Eddie when it comes to “The Bastard”, or is this just another of the twisted games Kingston has played since he manipulated his way into an AEW contract after answering Cody’s TNT Title Open Challenge?
Whatever the case may be here, what is certain is that brutality is on the horizon, and when the bell rings to start the bout, violent intentions will be unleashed…
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa
Much like the battle between Kingston and PAC, this fight is another one that has been brewing for almost as long as Thunder Rosa has been competing inside an AEW ring. Making her debut in September opposite Serena Deeb, the then-NWA World Women’s Champion was quite impressive in her outings with Hikaru Shida, Ivelisse, and others, but no matter what, has been looked out by Baker as an interloper.
The good doctor sees Thunder Rosa as an outsider treading on her territory, and has made sure to tell the world her opinion at every turn. As exampled above just a couple weeks ago, the tension between the two women has turned violent repeatedly, both women guilty of getting physical, but it is a situation started by Britt Baker, and continually agitated by the self-proclaimed face of the women’s division.
On Wednesday night, when the two women lock-up, Baker will have her opportunity to back up the disrespectful words she has thrown at Rosa all this time. Britt will have her chance to show Rosa she doesn’t belong in All Elite Wrestling, despite the superb showings she has had these last four months, all while racking up more AEW ring time during that span than Baker. Just as it is Baker’s opportunity to try and exile Rosa, so too is it the opportunity for the former NWA Women’s World Champion to shove the words right back down Britt’s throat, maybe with a few teeth for good measure.
This is liable to be a very physical match-up between two women whose animosity has been building for weeks. For Baker’s sake, she better be focused on this fight and not just her WAITING ROOM debut on DYNAMITE with her guest Cody Rhodes…
Be sure to to catch another action-packed episode of AEW DARK, exclusively on our YouTube channel, before NEW YEAR’S BASH: NIGHT 2 hits the airwaves at 8pm EST/7pm CST Wednesday night on TNT! The flagship of All Elite Wrestling is loaded up with two title contests, some serious grudge matches, The Elite in action, FTR and JurEx, plus plenty more action to quench your wrestling thirst!