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AEW Dynamite preview (Aug. 23, 2023): CM Punk and The Elite might be in the same building again

All Elite Wrestling

Dynamite airs tonight (Aug. 23) with a live show from Gas South Arena in Duluth, Georgia. This is the final episode of Dynamite during the nine week build towards All In, which takes place this Sunday (Aug. 27). Tonight’s episode is dubbed Fyter Fest.

CM Punk and The Elite might be in the same building again

The Elite will be heavily featured on tonight’s episode of Dynamite, which is the go home show for All In.

First, Kenny Omega will team up with the Young Bucks for a trios match against Juice Robinson & The Gunns. Jay White’s absence from this match is a pretty big indicator that the babyfaces are going over.

Second, the Bucks are going to have a face-to-face interview with AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR ahead of their match for the belts at All In. Given Cash Wheeler’s recent arrest, perhaps AEW will make sure this is a pre-taped segment rather than something live fans can disrupt in the middle of the ring. It’s possible that a change is announced for their All In match (because of Wheeler’s arrest), but at this point it seems like the match will go forward as planned.

However, not only is AEW Dynamite airing live tonight, but AEW Collision will also be taped for this weekend. If CM Punk is booked for Collision, that means there’s potential for him to be in the same building with The Elite.

As of right now, the main thing being advertised for Collision is an “All In All Star 8-Man Tag” match. We have no idea which eight wrestlers will be part of that fight, but Punk could certainly be one of them. If that’s the case, there’s no avoiding his presence at the building tonight, and AEW will have to take measures to keep the peace backstage.

CM and The Elite were already in the same building for Forbidden Door in June, and they will all be in London’s Wembley Stadium this weekend. But given last year’s backstage brawl between these men, as well as Punk’s recent verbal shots on Hangman Page at the last Collision taping, perhaps AEW shouldn’t tempt fate and will decide this time it’s for the best to keep CM Punk away from the building.

On the other side of the coin, this is the go home show for All In, and all hands should be on deck. If Punk is backstage for Collision, then an appearance for him on Dynamite is potentially on the table too.

Until Tony Khan finds a better solution for the backstage problems between Punk and The Elite, or until Punk stops unnecessarily stoking the fire with his poor decision-making, this is the awkward situation AEW will always find itself in whenever Punk and The Elite are in the same building together.

The rest of tonight’s lineup

Chris Jericho and Will Ospreay will sign a contract to make their match at All In official. Sammy Guevara better be prepared to run in again just in case Don Callis has another trap planned for Jericho.

Jon Moxley goes one-on-one with Rey Fenix. There’s a chance Fenix will be pulled from the All In card, so there might be an injury angle at the end of this fight. Will we find out who the Blackpool Combat Club’s mystery partners are for this weekend’s Stadium Stampede match in Wembley Stadium?

Jungle Boy Jack Perry intends to retire the FTW championship tonight. What’s the probability that former champ HOOK shows up to stop him?

Aussie Open defend the ROH world tag team titles tonight against The Hardys. If Matt and Jeff Hardy win the belts, they’ll move on to the All-In pre-show to put the gold on the line against MJF and Adam Cole.

Swerve Strickland & AR Fox team up tonight for a match against Darby Allin and Nick Wayne. Considering that Wayne is not part of the Coffin match on PPV this weekend, he’s the most likely fall guy here. Will Joker Sting show up afterwards to do something unpredictable or crazy?

Skye Blue takes on Ruby Soho in a battle of two women who weren’t quite good enough to qualify for the AEW women’s world championship 4-way match at All In.

Renee Paquette is going to conduct separate interviews with best buds Adam Cole and AEW World Champion MJF before they wrestle each other for the gold at All In. Talking is a big part of pro wrestling, of course, but I’d like to point out that this is what AEW specifically advertised for MJF and Cole on the last five episodes of Dynamite leading into All In:

  • July 26: “We’ll hear from MJF & Adam Cole”
  • Aug. 2: “We’ll hear from AEW World Champion MJF”
  • Aug. 9: “We’ll hear from MJF & Adam Cole”
  • Aug. 16: “MJF & Adam Cole talk about the main event of All In”
  • Aug. 23: “Renee Paquette speaks with Adam Cole” & “Renee Paquette speaks with AEW World Champion MJF”

Is this really the best creative idea that Tony Khan could come up with for the main event of AEW’s biggest event of the year?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Where the f*** is Wardlow?

What will you be looking for on Dynamite?

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