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AEW Dynamite Preview (April 8, 2020): The TNT Championship Tournament Begins Tonight


Tonight (April 8) All Elite Wrestling comes our way pre-taped from a closed set. Last week the TNT tournament bracket was announced, Omega & Trent had a barn burner, Britt Baker found a new, creative use for her shoes and Chris Jericho was forced to release the hounds!

Advertised for tonight:

  • TNT Tournament quarter final match between Cody & Shawn Spears
  • Hikaru Shida versus Britt Baker
  • Omega & Nakazawa versus The Best Friends
  • Brodie Lee in action
  • Chris Jericho on commentary

Here are five questions about AEW tonight:

1) Who will move on in the tournament?

AEW has tapped their next month of shows, including the majority of the tournament, up until their scheduled PPV. While it is unlikely that the may PPV will still happen considering the state of the world, the tournament lends a sense of normalcy to the program and gives the show a much needed focus.

Cody and Spears have a violent history, which earned Spears the nickname, The Chairman. While that nickname has become little more than lame entrance gimmick, this is an opportunity for Spears to re-establish himself as a legitimate competitor...even if he probably won’t win.

Cody is the obvious choice to win - he is Cody Rhodes after all - but with the presence of Lance Archer looming will he be able to focus?

The way I see it either Archer gets involved somehow and distracts Cody or Archer and Cody are headed to the finals of this whole tournament. Tonight we see which direction they are going in.

2) Are we getting an honest to goodness feud in the women’s division?

Hikaru Shida is the #1 ranked female competitor in AEW which sets her up as the natural choice to face the champion the next time there is a championship bout (whenever that is). She is an excellent wrestler and in many ways deserves that ranking, but another championship match with no story line or feud for the women sounds exhausting and, frankly, insulting.

Britt on the other hand hasn’t been wrestling much, but she has done a lot in the past couple months to flesh out her character (honestly, the fact that they ever made Britt a face is still astounding to me...) and to set her up as the locker room bad guy. In her mind, she is the number one ranked female competitor. Period. And while wrestling hasn’t been her main focus, whenever she does wrestle she wins. Brutally.

Putting Shida and Britt in a feud to battle it out for supremacy makes sense. They are natural opposites and seem to be 2 of 4 women on the roster who are actively wrestling right now. While it may not technically be a number one contender match, it’s clear that whoever comes out on top in this feud - which will hopefully last a while - will have enough clout to challenge the champion.

3) Will Brodie Lee continue his McMahon mocking?

Brodie Lee doesn’t like the way you sneeze or yawn or your table manners. Every time Brodie Lee is annoyed by something his followers do he has a little freak out. Inevitably, that freak out reminds many in the audience of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a petty power move, but Brodie Lee is playing a dangerous game. On one hand the references are helping to establish his character emulating one of the greatest wrestling villains of all time (both in the ring and out) in a short amount of time, but on the other hand he runs the risk of turning solely into a parody and not establishing himself as a competitor and as a leader.

It’s a fine line to walk and Brodie better be careful!

4) Will the pre-taped productions continue?

AEW pre-taped segments have both been phenomenal and an excellent use of screen time considering their inability to tape live. It simultaneously gives the show a professional feel and moves the story of the characters along in an economical and exciting way.

Between the Lance Archer murder compound and the Dark Order “meetings” we’ve learned a lot about two new AEW competitors - both with minimal match times.

Last week we had an incredible back update from Jericho’s hot tub leading to many, many giffable moments.

Will we get a response from the Hardy Compound tonight? And more importantly, what is Vanguard-1 doing with that T-Shirt?

5) Will we hear from any of the champions?

In an attempt to get the crowd excited for the upcoming championship bout, Moxley and Hager were featured in a fight hype video, but did not make an appearance on the show. Kenny Omega wrestled Trent, but notably his counterpart was missing. Nyla Rose is presumably alive, but we haven’t heard anything from her.

It’s fine if they aren’t wrestling right now. Honestly, none of them should be wrestling, but there are ways to check in with the champions without having them wrestle. They did it with Moxley. Basically what I am saying is can we please check on Nyla?!

Tune into AEW on TNT at 8 ET tonight to see if we get any answers to these questions!

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