This week All Elite Wrestling comes our way from a closed set in Jacksonville, Florida. Last week, Sonny Kissed showed out, Jon Moxley defeated Brian Cage to retain the AEW world championship, Nyla Rose joined forces with Vicki Guerrero, The Elite tried to seduce FTR, Chris Jericho got juiced, and Darby Allin re-emerged from the darkness.
Advertised for tonight:
- Young Bucks versus The Butcher & The Blade - Falls Count Anywhere
- Cody’s TNT Championship Open Challenge
- Word from the AEW champion Jon Moxley
- Inner Circle versus Jurassic Express
- Taz & Cage address their loss to Jon Moxley
- Ivelisse Velez versus Diamante
- Hangman Page versus Five with Mr. Brodie Lee
- Kenny Omega in singles action
- MJF in singles action
Here are five questions about AEW tonight:
1) Can The Young Bucks get The Butcher & The Blade off their backs?
The Butcher & The Blade have been antagonizing The Young Bucks for weeks now. It’s clear that they view The Bucks as a necessary stepping stone to solidify their place among the top tier tag teams in AEW.
The Young Bucks, on the other hand, may be the default face of the tag division, but they haven’t had the best track record when it comes to winning matches that will earn them title shots and they have yet to hold gold.
Tonight both teams will literally put their bodies and blood on the line in a Falls Count Anywhere match. If The Butcher & the Blade win, they move one step closer to being able to challenge for the tag titles and to make the AEW audience take them and their hipster mustaches seriously. If The Young Bucks win it’s not only an ego boost (see FTR we ARE good!), but it repositions them in the division as a team that is not a thing of the past but one where their best days are still to come.
Butcher & Blade v. @youngbucks Falls Count Anywhere tomorrow night will be one of the wildest matches in #AEWDynamite history! Butcher & Blade won at Fyter Fest but @youngbucks proved at Stadium Stampede how great they are in this anything goes environment! Tomorrow night on TNT! pic.twitter.com/Yi6Dv8v11o— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) July 21, 2020
2) Who is the “top indie talent” that’s set to face Cody for the TNT Championship?
This is exactly the type of thing the TNT Championship was made for! It’s fantastic that Cody has turned this new belt into a platform to highlight their in house mid card talent and a gateway entrance opportunity for new, independent talent. But do I have any idea who this person will be? Nope.
In today’s wrestling climate it’s hard to suss out what the term “top indie talent” means since so many of the top guys were snatched up by AEW and NXT within the last two years leaving the independent scene woefully devoid of “top talent.”
There are several former Lucha Underground wrestlers that could be interesting (Marty the Moth, for example) and some indie talent that has grown in popularity on social media (Dan Hausen, WARHORSE and RJ City come to mind), but I’m not so sure they are considered “top tier.”
Whoever it is, we can expect an exciting showcase of abilities from them, even if we all know that Cody is walking out with the belt at the end of the match no questions.
3) Is Taz building a stable of his own?
Last week Taz threw in the towel for his client, Brian Cage, during their AEW championship match against Jon Moxley. Cage was, obviously, not very happy about this outcome. So unhappy that he continued to attack Moxley even after he officially lost the match. Unfortunately for him, Darby Allin is all healed and came (once again) to the aid of his neerdowell brother in arms.
Now Cage has unfinished business with Moxley and Allin - two opponents that are notoriously hard to take down. Taz is no fool, though. If he is going to find a way for his client to once again face Moxley for the championship, they are going to need a little backup. Cue Ricky Starks.
Last night on Dark, Ricky Starks helped Cage in yet another post match beat down and officially seemed joined forces with Taz (who put him over on commentary earlier in the episode) and The Machine.
The question now is what is the end game here for Taz? Is he bringing Starks in solely as back up for Cage or is he looking to flesh out his ranks? Is Stark just the beginning?
4) What’s going on with Kenny Omega?
This man is always on the edge of a mental breakdown isn’t he? I guess that’s what happens when your friends are always fighting and it’s up to you to make sure every one gets a long. That, on top of the pressure to continuously top yourself in the ring when you’ve already had what are considered some of the best wrestling matches in the world. Not to mention the fact that he got beer poured on his head and his tag partner seemingly could care less about him. It’s a lot to take for one man!
Kenny’s been a good guy in AEW since the beginning, but it seems like he’s fed up and is done taking shit. Sure, he said he was beating up Jurassic Express after the bell rung because he was protecting his friends, but the crazed look in his eye said, “I’m doing this for ME!”
All five of the other members of The Elite are schedule to wrestle tonight. Will he get involved in their matches in order to “help out”? Or will he solely focus on his opponent - taking out all his feelings on some poor unsuspecting jobber? Maybe it’s a reverse Popeye situation and now that he’s got the beer scrubbed off he’s back to normal, but something tells me we are headed straight into Kenny Omega heel turn territory.
5) Is AEW looking to make Ivelisse a big player in their women’s division?
Last week in a backstage interview the AEW Women’s Champion, Hikaru Shida, was asked if she was ready to face Nyla again considering four out of the five top women’s wrestlers in AEW are unable to complete. Unsurprisingly, her answer was yes. She then went on to say that it’s not just the fact that she’s ready for Nyla, she’s ready for any challenger in AEW or elsewhere.
“In this division we don’t have many female wrestlers so any can be the challenger. If you think you are strong enough, tough enough and you think you have enough passion, show me. I am waiting.”
This seems like the perfect set up to not only find a way to schedule a rematch for Hikaru and Nyla (under new management), but a chance for AEW to expand their women’s division and bring in some heavy hitters from the independent scene. Ivelisse is a well known and beloved wrestler from her time on Lucha Underground and on the indie scene. Many fans will already know her and they wouldn’t have to do a ton of leg work to catapult her into a title match with Shida. It’s something they have been doing lately in the men’s division, specifically with the TNT championship, and it’s a strategy that would greatly benefit an fledgling and disorganized women’s division.
Tune into AEW on TNT at 8 EST tonight to see if we get any answers to these questions!