In the past, a frequent observation/criticism of AEW was their reliance on factions & stables. With The Elite, Inner Circle, The Pinnacle, Best Friends, Team Taz, Nightmare Family, Death Triangle, Hardy Family Office, The Factory, and probably a few others I’m forgetting, Tony Khan was booking for as many groups as Attitude Era WCW & WWF had combined.
He still is. It’s a way to maximize screen time for AEW’s growing roster, and to pair established stars with younger or lesser known talent. They have de-emphasized or rotated several factions to the background in the last year, though. And two that are led by prominent veterans seem to be headed for trouble... at least based on events from the Jan. 19 Dynamite.
Members of Inner Circle have done their own thing before when they aren’t feuding with another group like The Pinnacle or American Top Team. But the issues between Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston may be leading to a permanent rift. The Mad King has his old LAX partners Santana & Ortiz questioning if Le Champion has really ever had their best interests at heart.
That’s leading to a trios match next Wednesday where it will be worth seeing if Jericho does have PnP’s backs. Kingston is sidelined with a fractured orbital bone, leaving Inner Circle to sort his out themselves as they face Daniel Garcia & 2point0 next Wednesday at Beach Break.
Meanwhile, Andrade El Idolo’s been looking to make an acquisition since he joined AEW. Continually thwarted in his efforts to purchase the little boy who works for Sting, he’s turned his attention to the Hardy Family Office. And noted carny Matt Hardy was happy to make a deal. They announced the merger last night. It’s hard to tell from this picture, but in the video that aired on TBS Butcher, Blade & Bunny didn’t seem happy...
Are Inner Circle and the A-HFO headed for trouble? And is that a sign of a new approach to AEW storytelling? The answer to the second question is probably no, as even if these groups break-up or take a smaller role on the show, angles like the drama surrounding Adam Cole’s allegiances are just getting warmed up.
But we’ll see. Let us know what you think, and check out some highlights from last night’s Dynamite below. As usual, AEW doles out YouTube videos slowly. But we’ve compiled what they’ve released as of this morning in a playlist, and tried to catch you up with the rest of the episode via Twitter clips below that.
- Jon Moxley is Back!
- Cody Rhodes Held Nothing Back!
- MUST SEE: Sting Proves Yet Again Why He’s the Icon in the Main Event
What a showing by the #KingsOfTheBlackThrone - @malakaiblxck @brodyxking! Completely dismantling the #VarsityBlonds @FlyinBrianJr @griffgarrison1!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 20, 2022
Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on @TBSNetwork right NOW! pic.twitter.com/9WyRwdKlHh
#LanceArcher (@LanceHoyt) returned last week and came back with a vicious vengeance eyeing #AEW World Champion @theAdamPage! #MurderhawkMonster, #DanLambert & @JakeSnakeDDT send a message on #AEWDynamite - Tune in NOW to @TBSNetwork! pic.twitter.com/xGEb1CclcC— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 20, 2022
After a few bad matches, #BestFriends @trentylocks & @azucarRoc issue a challenge to battle #YoungBucks this FRIDAY on #AEWRampage at 10/9c on @tntdrama!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 20, 2022
Tune in to #AEWDynamite NOW LIVE on @tbsnetwork! pic.twitter.com/BKD0ce7mtW
The old man has the microphone again.#DanLambert tells us all what he really thinks, but @LanceHoyt shows his intentions through his actions!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 20, 2022
Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on @TBSNetwork right NOW! pic.twitter.com/Yi3gl4MKtb
Apparently we don't have to look any further, @officialEGO will face @JonMoxley THIS FRIDAY on #AEWRampage at 10/9c LIVE on @tntdrama!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 20, 2022
Tune in to #AEWDynamite NOW on @tbsnetwork pic.twitter.com/EOpmbJamph