This week All Elite Wrestling comes our way from a closed set in Jacksonville, Florida. Last week, The Young Bucks went buck wild, The Role Model announced her comeback, Eddie Kingston surprised and delighted, Adam Page beat a number, and Jericho fought a dinosaur.
Advertised for tonight:
- Hangman Page & Kenny Omega versus The Dark Order for the tag team championships
- WARHORSE versus Cody for the TNT championships
- Jon Moxley & Darby Allin versus Brian Cage & Ricky Starks
- Inner Circle versus Jurassic Express, Best Friends & Orange Cassidy
- Hikaru Shida versus Diamante
- MJF’s “State of the Industry”
Here are five questions about AEW tonight:
1) What Kenny Omega will we be seeing tonight?
Kenny Omega & Hangman Page’s relationship has never been a stable one. Sure, they keep inexplicably winning their championship matches making them, at least on paper, a functional tag team, but out of the ring they couldn’t be more different. Much to Omega’s seeming chagrin.
It’s a tenuous dynamic. Hangman likes to win and drink. Omega like to win and be friends with everyone.
Of course, that is pre-mini melt down Omega, I’m talking about here. Two weeks ago, Kenny went off the deep end a little and not only continued to beat on his opponents after the conclusion of the match, but he did it with a maniacal grin covered in beer. Out of character (at least in AEW), to say the least.
We didn’t see him at all last week (even though he was scheduled for a match) and I’m curious to see what his state of mind will be. Will this new madness finally be the downfall of their continued tag team reign? I mean, we all thought Hangman would be the one to turn on Omega, but maybe we got it wrong the whole time! Especially, if Omega is mad at Hangman for picking a fight with The Dark Order without his input. Or will this new side to Kenny finally bridge the personality gap between himself and his tag partner, making them truly unstoppable?
Regardless, the champs are going to have to bring their A game tonight if they plan on keeping the gold, as The Dark Order has been on a winning streak as of late...perhaps their plans to convince Omega to #JoinDarkOrder are coming to fruition.
2) Who will be the next challenger to the women’s championship?
The women’s division is FINALLY starting to heat up. We have a champion who is not only not afraid to fight anyone, but someone who the writers don’t feel they have to keep off TV for some ungodly reason. It’s not quite a championship open challenge, but Hikaru Shida has made it known that if you want a match with her, all you need to do is ask. No hiding. No excuses.
Diamante, Shida’s challenger this week, is a part of the “second wave” of women’s talent that AEW has recently brought in. Now, their women’s division has always been pretty stacked, but it seemed like they didn’t know what to do with the talent they had. This recent influx of talent, however, seems to have given them some much needed focus, or at the very least more women that the writers feel comfortable allowing to lose consistently.
Perhaps that was the problem before. They had a lot of talent, but didn’t want to bury their big names. Now, with wrestlers like Diamante - wrestlers who are very good additions to the roster, but don’t carry a big name (yet) - they seem to be more willing to book more low stakes matches.
I highly doubt Diamante will win, but if she does then perhaps we’ll get a new number 1 contender to the championship. What is more likely, and honestly preferable, is that with Shida in the ring it will leave her next championship challenger with an open attack of opportunity. Whether that be a post show promo or a mid match attack remains to be seen.
Shida made it known that she wants any and all challengers and tonight, I bet she gets more than she bargained for.
3) What is the “state of wrestling” according to MJF?
It doesn’t take much imagination to guess the kinds of things MJF is going to say.
“Wrestling is too full of snowflakes and weaklings. Wrestling needs real men like me (and I guess, Wardlow). I’ve never been pinned and I’ve never been submitted. I’m a real wrestler!” Etc. Etc. Etc.
Additionally, it looks like MJF’s little speech is targeted at “failings” of one man in particular. The person who he thinks is responsible for the “state of wrestling.”
I’m right there with you rich.— Maxwell Jacob Friedman™️ (@The_MJF) July 28, 2020
It’s all because of one mans inability to lead.
We deserve better. https://t.co/AXxtL91Mlt
Putting aside the much needed, long awaited reckoning that the wrestling industry actually needs, let’s live in the fantasy world of MJF for a moment.
Who is the mystery man MJF is referring to? Who is the one man that MJF would focus his ire on to the point that he feels he needs to call them out on live TV? (As if MJF needs a reason to cut a promo).
All the smart money is on Cody. MJF and Cody have a long storied history in AEW and while the chips didn’t land in Cody’s favor the last time they battled, they certainly didn’t exactly land in MJF’s favor either.
Sure, MJF has his fancy ring (that everyone has conveniently forgotten it seems...seriously is this a lifetime appointment?), but he doesn’t have the respect or clout he thinks he deserves. Meanwhile, Cody has gone on to wrestle in endless main events and now holds the TNT championship. In MJF’s mind, the loser got the spoils.
Restarting their rivalry tonight on Dynamite would benefit both competitors. MJF has been spinning his wheels for a while and while it’s always fun to listen to him
whine cut a promo he needs a a focal point.
Cody has been doing excellent work with the TNT championship open challenge, but there is little chance he will be losing the title to one of those competitors. If he wrestled MJF for the title there is at least the possibility that he would lose the title. After all, MJF seems to be his white whale.
4) Will WARHORSE live up to the hype?
Internet indie darling, WARHORSE, is the next in line for the TNT challenge. Now, WARHORSE is a bit of a wild card. And by “a bit” I mean a HUGE wild card.
I think it’s safe to say that lots of wrestling fans are aware of the loudmouth wrestler and his...unique style of promo and yell based tweets, but I’m not exactly sure how many people are actually familiar with his wrestling style.
Tonight will be WARHORSE’s opportunity to not only debut in AEW, but to officially debut for many of his twitter followers.
Let’s hope his in-ring wrestling is parallel to his incredible character work!
5) How will Orange Cassidy ruin Jericho’s night?
Jericho and his fancy jackets are not safe around Orange Cassidy. Neither is Jericho’s sanity if we’re being honest. There is something about the silent citric wrestler that gets completely under Jericho’s skin.
Add Orange Cassidy + Luchasauras, another one of Jericho’s favorites to hate, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a Jericho meltdown. Plus, Sammy Guevara is back to add a little more chaos to this already chaotic 5-on-5, and let’s be real, it’s not as if any of these wrestlers are what we would call stable.
This match is a hodge-podge of “we don’t exactly know what to do with all these very popular wrestlers and we have to have Jericho on weekly TV” feelings, but it should be very fun.
Expect mammoth level shenanigans.
Tune into AEW on TNT at 8 EST tonight to see if we get any answers to these questions!