Tonight (Jan.15) All Elite comes our way from Watsco Center in Miami. On the last episode, Moxley got a new car, Riho remained the women’s champion despite The Nightmare Collective’s best effort, and Cody started to play hardball.
Advertised for tonight:
- Cody and Arn Anderson respond to MJF
- QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes & DDP vs. MJF and The Butcher & The Blade
- #1 contender 4-way tag match featuring Best Friends vs. Omega & Hangman vs. Young Bucks vs. Santana & Ortiz
- Statlander & Shida vs. The Nightmare Collective
- Darby Allin vs. PAC
- Sammy Guevara vs. Jon Moxley
Here are five questions about AEW tonight:
1) How long until that stolen car is ruined?
In a shocking turn of events, Jon Moxley accepted Jericho’s offer to join The Inner Circle. He got a new car, a fun new t-shirt and lots of The Bubbly! Except, of course, he didn’t really accept Jericho’s offer (I mean he’s Jon Moxley. He answers to no one!), but he really did take the car keys so overall, an excellent night for Mox. But if being a wrestling fan has taught me anything it’s that cars are just expensive props waiting to be destroyed by hammers, fire, baseball bats and cement. A Chekov’s automobile if you will.
Tonight, Moxley will face the errand boy of The Inner Circle which means he’ll have to leave his car unprotected...
2) Will we see more surprises from The Nightmare Collective?
The Nightmare collective interrupted the women’s championship match last week causing Kris Statlander to lose focus and ultimately lose the match. It’s safe to say that most people tuning in thought that this was the night that the women’s championship would change hands and were shocked when Riho retained. I, for one, loved this segment and am excited about the possibilities going forward. Was it weird that there wasn’t a DQ considering it was a title match? Yes. Was it kind of a mess? Yes. Did the big Nightmare Collective reveal fall flat? Yes. Did it move several story lines along and introduce new possibilities into a division struggling for something compelling? YES!
Tonight we get to see one possible fallout from that match featuring an in-ring return from Awesome Kong and the AEW debut of Mel against the wronged Statlander and a heroic Shida. Assuming that Brandi and Dr. Luther are ringside we get to finally see The Nightmare Collective operate together as a stable. Will Statlander and Shida be able to take on the Collective or will they need help from the rest of the division? Will Riho even be around to help? Will Britt even care?
3) Who will be SCU’s next championship opponent?
Honestly, all four of the teams competing for the opportunity to challenge SCU would be valid choices for AEW to make. The Bucks are the standard bearers of AEW and would make sense as the face of the tag team division, The Best Friends are crowd favorites and are always entertaining, Santana and Ortiz bringing more gold into the Inner Circle could be an interesting development (heel stables dripping in gold are en vogue right now), and Omega and Hangman are somehow on a winning streak despite their lack of communication skills. All valid, all interesting for different reasons, but I think Omega and Hangman walk out the winners tonight. If they win this match it puts more pressure on Hangman and could lead to two interesting outcomes. If they beat SCU than Hangman proves his worth to The Elite and himself, if they lose it’s more fuel (and by fuel I mean whiskey) on the fire of his impostor syndrome.
4) Is Allin vs PAC the beginning of a feud or just another spotlight match?
Allin is a crowd favorite. He’s unique, dynamic and always delivers a top tier match. It easy to argue that he’s being pushed in AEW if you take into consideration the number of matches he’s had (especially if one considers the number of high caliber opponents he’s had), but, excellent matches aside, he doesn’t really have much to do. He shows up as a punk rock savior here and there, but in terms of an actual feud or story line within AEW? Nada. Additionally, PAC has found himself in a little bit of the same boat. Sure he’s always sort of around to mess with Kenny Omega, but Omega’s focus is elsewhere as he tries to build a functional tag team with Hangman. This match is going to be phenomenal - both men are arguably two of the best wrestlers on the entire AEW roster - but both wrestlers could do with something to do outside of the ring too.
5) How will Cody respond to MJF?
Last week Cody promo-blocked MJF when Arn Anderson refused to let Cody answer MJF’s ridiculous demands without first talking it over with him. In a weird attempt to build more anticipation around this match, Cody’s answer was put on hold for a week (even though he technically had a week to talk it over with Arn, but whatever). Tonight he responds, but what will he say? I think - and I think Arn thinks too - that Cody has all the leverage here. MJF talks a big game, but he delights in the power he is currently holding over Cody and salivates at the prospect of more. If Cody denies MJF it puts MJF in an awkward position - does he stick to his guns or does he bend to the will of Cody?
Tune into AEW on TNT at 8 ET tonight to see if we get any answers to these questions.