Tonight (Jan. 1) All Elite Wrestling kicks-off the year from Dailey’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida. On the last episode, Kris Statlander won the right to challenge Riho for the women’s championship, Cody and Allin defeated the Butcher & The Blade, Jericho invited Moxley to join the Inner Circle and The Dark Order took out half the tag roster.
Advertised for tonight:
- Riho defends her Women’s title in a 4-way against Nyla Rose, Britt Baker & Hikaru Shida
- Darby Allin versus Cody
- MJF announces his stipulations for his PPV match with Cody
- The Elite battle Lucha Bros & PAC
- Dustin Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara
- Trent? vs. Jon Moxley
- Jon Moxley responds to Jericho’s Inner Circle invitation
Here are five questions about AEW tonight:
1) Who will be the AEW women’s champion?
Kris Statlander beat Britt Baker to secure her championship match against Riho on tonight’s episode. Statlander is new, exciting and undefeated in AEW and the choice to have her face Riho to kick-off 2020 was a strong one. Too bad for AEW they didn’t check with her first because she is already booked on a show tonight. Womp Womp. But at least we still have a championship match! Now, instead of facing one challenger for her belt, Riho must defeat Nyla Rose, Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida. Riho has been a lackluster champion and the women’s division needs someone behind the belt who can push the division forward.
Britt (though her matches are wildly inconsistent) is a crowd favorite, as is Shida, but I’m not sure if they have the charisma needed to pull this division from the brink. Nyla is a powerhouse and has charisma to spare, but her booking too has been wildly inconsistent. There is always the possibility that they will keep the title on Riho until Statlander returns. It’s anyone’s championship tonight, let’s just hope whoever wins sets a new tone for the division in 2020.
2) What will MJF’s stipulation be?
Cody already offered him his Rolex, his Louboutins, his car - basically everything short of Brandi & Pharaoh - but MJF wants his dignity too. Cody lost the right to challenge for the AEW championship, but knowing MJF I’m sure he has a diabolical plan up his sleeve to rub salt in that wound. A “if you lose you can’t challenge me again” stip? Perhaps, if you lose you have to become my “bitch” Bella style? Or maybe he’ll just pick an “entrance ramp as a weapon” match to give Cody a matching scar!
3) Is there a phase 2 for The Dark Order’s “initiation”?
The final AEW of 2019 closed out with the Dark Order’s goons attacking the Bucks and SCU in a post-match beat down. After weeks of creeptastic videos we finally have some action from The Dark Order! It would be a mistake to not follow up on their attack in some way considering that they might finally be making an impression on the crowd. There is a six-way tag match tonight. Seems like the perfect opportunity for a little Dark Order action...
4) How creative will Moxley’s “no” be in response to Jericho’s Inner Circle Invitation?
It’s the new year. Moxley should give everyone in the arena a little bit of the bubbly Oprah style and when he tells Jericho where he can stuff his invitation the whole crowd should open their champagne bottles and flood the stadium in celebration. Festive.
5) The AEW rankings reset today. Does it matter?
The AEW rankings are supposed to be a thing that sets the company apart from others, but aside from being fun trivia they haven’t played into story line much and even if they had it doesn’t matter now because they all reset today! It’s a clean idea to reset the rankings at the new year, but considering AEW is just a couple months old it feels premature. Hopefully in 2020 they figure out what exactly the rankings mean, how important they are and a better use of them in weekly TV.
Tune into AEW on TNT at 8 ET tonight to see if we get any answers to these questions.