AEW Dynamite Preview (10/9/2019)
Last week, I couldn’t do live recaps for AEW Dynamite or the competing NXT episode. This is because I was in DC watching AEW live! Being at a show like that live is always a special occurrence. So it’s natural I think more highly of the show than some. It was an unforgettable occasion being there for the inaugural episode of AEW Dynamite, something I’ll be able to say for the rest of my days. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed by what I saw.
Many have said, and rightfully so, that NXT had the better show in terms of ring action and even big surprises. And I can give them that, but something to note is that NXT more or less put on a Takeover card last week, the kind of show they can’t really do very often without running out of big matches. Whereas AEW put on the kind of show they can do every week, letting people see what AEW Dynamite will regularly be like and build to the future, rather than devoting all resources to a singular blow-out show.
Not to say there was anything wrong with the thought of loading the hell out of that particular NXT episode. It made sense. But considering how big Dynamite beat them in the ratings in spite of NXT having every possible advantage, it’s easy to wonder if it was worth it. The more patient, long-term strategy tends to win out over hot shotting in the end, from my perspective. It’s just rare that the higher ups in pro wrestling take that view.
The merit of this will be tested this week.
The first battle was a decisive one, and this week AEW undoubtedly will have the bigger card on paper. NXT’s limited commercial advantage is probably out as well. But did NXT impress enough to steal away viewers this week anyway? Now that the world knows Tommasso Ciampa is back and Finn Balor has returned to the black-and-gold, will the promise of seeing their new journeys draw more fans?
The war has just begun, that much is true…
With all that said, let’s get to previewing the two shows, starting with AEW Dynamite!
The Young Bucks vs. Private Party (AEW World Tag Team Championship Tournament Round 1)
I love tag team wrestling. It’s been so horribly neglected in the mainstream for so long, in spite of it’s potential. So the emphasis on it was an easy way for AEW to win my heart. I also love tournaments so you can imagine my excitement for this. And they’re kicking this one with quite the match.
Private Party, for those who still haven’t gotten the chance to see them yet, are pretty special. They might as well be called the Younger Bucks, because stylistically they take after them a lot. More or less taken under the wing of Matt and Nick Jackson these days, this will be a fantastic opportunity for them to show the world what they’re all about. Expect nothing short of a nonstop highlight reel.
It’s fair to say it’d be a huge upset if the Young Bucks were knocked out of the this tournament in the first round. And indeed I wouldn’t expect that in the slightest. This has been stated to be the opener of Week 2. And just as Sammy Guevara’s stock rose immensely from his match with Cody in this same spot last week, Private Party don’t need to win this to come out of it with a far higher profile than before. AEW wants very badly to make fresh stars. But they’ve shown an awareness that pushing people too fast can backfire.
So Bucks will win this, but look for Private Party to become major players in this hot tag division in the coming months.
Riho & Britt Baker vs. Bea Priestley & Emi Sakura
There’s no denying that Riho and Nyla Rose stole the show last week. It was such a compelling thing to see live. The belief grew and grew until the little girl finally pulled it off and took the title. It’s likely Riho can have matches like that with anyone, particularly other powerhouses like how Bea Priestley is being pushed.
This is relevant not just for this match, but for what comes next. We know that next week, Riho will be having her first title defense. With no official eliminator announced, it will be up to this match to set it up. While in theory Britt and Riho could win, setting Baker up to challenge, that’s unlikely for me. It’s also possible Emi gets the win to setup a big joshi battle. And while that’d be really good and I could see it happening, for me, this is Bea Priestley’s match.
I suspect she’ll either get a nefarious win over her budding rival Britt, or pin the champ outright. Either one would give her sufficient credibility to challenge for the title next week. Bea isn’t exactly a Kong or a Nyla, but she will certainly tower over Riho (she has 50 pounds and six inches on her) and be made to look like a huge threat. She’s also very talented so it seems like a fine idea to me.
Darby Allin vs. Jimmy Havoc (AEW World Championship No. 1 Contender’s Match)
Last week we saw a lot of leniency from officials, to some mixed results. Though I’d say personally, any DQs occurring would’ve upset me substantially more. Either way, that’s gonna be put to the test here. These are, unequivocally, two remarkably hardcore wrestlers. And if nothing else they’ll be sure to take heavy risks in this one, as the stakes are high.
Jimmy Havoc is coming off a big win at All Out, the victor of the Cracker Barrel Clash triple threat. Darby is quickly emerging as a Jeff Hardy-mixed-with-Raven kind of talent, and becoming popular fast. Going the distance with Cody really gave him a lot of credibility. These two will square in what I expect will be a physical, daredevil war, even if weapons don’t come into play.
But while Jimmy got an impressive win last time, realistically there’s only one winner here. Darby Allin takes this enroute to challenging Chris Jericho in Philadelphia next week. While it’d be insane to think he’ll take that title, all that really matters is that you’re convinced it’ll happen at some point during the match. Pull that off and Darby’s stock shall rise even further over the next couple of weeks.
Jon Moxley vs. Shawn Spears
My chosen banner match for this edition of AEW Dynamite, this is a pretty significant one. Spears is being built as a threat and Moxley is of course one of the hottest stars in wrestling today. This should be an entertaining, electric brawl. But the winner, on paper, should be apparent…
However, considering how Moxley cost the Elite last week, it’s not impossible we see a retaliatory run-in from Omega screw him over here. With Spears’ character, it’d be fitting if he was the sneaky benefactor to such a thing. And he is still looking for a marquee win after his loss to Cody at All Out.
I dunno if I’m really predicting that, but it’s a possibility. Kenny could well just wait until after the match to strike, or perhaps he’ll be out selling last week’s assault rather than show up at all. He did get put head-first through a glass table after all!
Hangman Page & Dustin Rhodes vs. Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara
After what happened to Dustin last week, I’m amazed to see him competing here honestly. I’m sure he’ll be selling the back, which is an issue when you’re wrestling a man with a famous Boston Crab incarnation. For Hangman, he’s looking to make up for not being there to make the save.
Jericho’s new stable, which will probably have a name by the time we get to this match, is an intriguing mix of talents to say the least. What connects them is hard to say, but a top heel stable needs some establishing. So I certainly figure Jericho and Sammy to win this one, and they’ll have a litany of help to make it happen. Actually wouldn’t be shocked to see Sammy pick up the pin this time around either.
Gotta love the mix of young and old here. Two stars who’ve been around for decades teaming with 20-somethings. Just neat to me.
That wraps up this preview of AEW Dynamite Week 2!
Incidentally, I appreciate this initiative to let us know the whole cards of these episodes. I’m fairly certain I just covered every match that will be taking place tonight. Just makes the whole show feel more important, highlights the planning that went into it.
You can expect a live recap of the action from me later tonight! You can also see my preview of the competition, NXT, right here.