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AEW Dynamite preview (Feb. 1, 2023): It’s time for a surprise return

AEW Dynamite

Dynamite airs tonight (Feb. 1) with a live show from Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. AEW is less than five weeks away from its next pay-per-view on the calendar, Revolution, which is scheduled for March 5.

The stage is set for Wardlow to return to AEW

Tonight’s main event sees TNT Champion Darby Allin defend the gold against ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe. Allin is practically running on fumes due to his relentless January schedule of title defense after title defense, as well as a trip overseas to wrestle in Japan. Meanwhile, Joe is well rested and ready to go, having wrestled zero matches since he dropped the TNT title to Darby on Jan. 4.

What makes this match so dangerous for Darby, in addition to the fact that he hasn’t taken time for his body to properly recover, is that it’s a No Holds Barred match. Anything goes, which means Samoa Joe can use any method of torture he can think of to inflict as much pain and agony on Darby as he wishes. Samoa is a sadist who will absolutely want to wreck this fool for taking his title last month. He called it the biggest mistake that Darby ever made, and the No Holds Barred stipulation provides him with the right environment to back up those words.

We already saw how vicious Joe can be when he damn near killed Darby in their first match in early December. Even though Darby beat him for the title in January, most of the cards here look like they are lined up in Joe’s favor to end Darby’s run as champ tonight.

However, there’s one clear way that Darby can win tonight, and that’s a surprise run-in from Wardlow. Mr. Mayhem has been off AEW television ever since Joe injured him and cut his hair in December. In other words, Wardlow has unfinished business with Joe, and there’s no better way to pay him back than by screwing him over in this title match and giving him a powerbomb symphony.

Is that how things will play out? If Wardlow isn’t back tonight, is there anything Sting can do to stop Joe from badly hurting Darby? You’ll have to tune in to Dynamite to see what transpires in the third match between Allin and Joe.

The rest of tonight’s lineup

Jon Moxley and Hangman Page are also fighting each other in a rubber match tonight, not too far away from Mox’s hometown in Cincinnati. Moxley concussed Hangman in their first match late last year. Hangman got his win back on Jan. 11 in Los Angeles and knocked Moxley loopy in that one. Mox missed the last couple weeks as a result of that fight, but he’s back tonight. I think Hangman told Renee Paquette (Moxley’s wife) that he intends to knock Jon out again, which is kind of a dick move. The winner of this one is wide open, so it will be very interesting to see what happens.

Jade Cargill defends the TBS title tonight against former Baddie, Red Velvet. The storyline here leaves a lot to be desired, and it doesn’t help matters that Velvet hasn’t won a singles match on Dynamite or Rampage since last April. Even so, Red is confident that she will win this match and prevent Cargill from running her undefeated streak in AEW up to 50 wins.

If Bryan Danielson can keep up his winning ways tonight and next week, he will be rewarded with a 60-minute Iron Man match at Revolution against AEW World Champion MJF. The champ is a coward who wants nothing to do with wrestling Bryan, so he paid Brian Cage a bunch of money to injure Danielson’s arm last week. That means Danielson walks into tonight’s match against Timothy Thatcher as a wounded animal, especially because Thatcher specializes in destroying limbs. The AEW doctor told Bryan not to wrestle tonight, but Danielson is doing so anyway.

Konosuke Takeshita always impresses in the ring but rarely ever wins on Dynamite or Rampage. The latter part of that equation might finally change tonight when he goes one-on-one with Brian Cage. Takeshita disrupted MJF’s plan to break Danielson’s arm last week. It feels like a match between MJF and Takeshita could be on the horizon, assuming Konosuke wins tonight.

AEW World Tag Team Champions The Acclaimed are “in tag team action” tonight. Those are usually code words to indicate they’ll be facing two jobbers or low card guys in a quick squash match. Looking ahead, The Gunns made it clear in Family Therapy that they want to take the belts away from Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. With that in mind, I’d be surprised if The Gunns don’t get involved in The Acclaimed’s business tonight, perhaps forcing Daddy Ass to make a difficult choice.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Kenny Omega has been off TV, reportedly due to visa issues. Will he return tonight so The Elite can formally accept Top Flight and AR Fox’s challenge for the AEW world trios titles?

- Chris Jericho finally got one over on Action Andretti and Ricky Starks in a tag team match last week. How will the babyfaces respond?

- It sounds like Eddie Kingston wants to join the House of Black. Is Malakai Black open to letting him in, or does he think it’s a ruse?

- Jeff Jarrett, Satnam Singh, and Jay Lethal defeated Danhausen and the Best Friends last week on Rampage. Is the next step for Jarrett to challenge Orange Cassidy for the AEW All-Atlantic title?

- Does The Firm want to pick another fight with JungleHOOK after getting their asses kicked last week?

- Dustin Rhodes is in the crosshairs of Swerve Strickland and Mogul Affiliates. I hope Keith Lee is ready to return soon, because Dustin is in a world of trouble otherwise.

- It looks like Adam Cole’s return match will happen at Revolution. Will we get a clue tonight as to who his opponent will be?

- Saraya and Toni Storm are former WWE stars who don’t think much of AEW originals like Britt Baker, AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter, or Willow Nightingale. Which side will Ruby Soho choose? Could ROH Women’s World Champion Athena join up with Saraya in the coming weeks? What does Hikaru Shida think of this situation?

- Where the f*** is Miro?

What will you be looking for on Dynamite?

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