ALL ELITE WRESTLING DYNAMITE PREVIEW 1/12: Guevara vs. Starks, Shida vs. Deeb, Wardlow vs. Punk, Hobbs vs. Martin

BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

ALL ELITE WRESTLING DYNAMITE PRIMER
JANUARY 12, 2022
RALEIGH, N.C. AT THE PNC ARENA
AIRS ON TBS NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST, 7:00 p.m. CST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross

Match Results and Key Segments from Last Week

  • “Hangman” Adam Page defeated Bryan Danielson to retain the AEW World Championship.
  • “Captain” Shawn Dean defeated MJF via disqualification when CM Punk purposely attacked Dean.
  • Wardlow defeated Antonio Zambrano.
  • Jade Cargill defeated Ruby Soho in the finals of the TBS Championship tournament.
  • Malakai Black defeated Brian Pillman, Jr.
  • Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) defeated the Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero & Rey Fenix) to win the AEW World Tag Team Championship.

Arena

AEW makes its debut in the PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. for tonight’s episode of Dynamite and taping of Rampage. The venue opened in 1999 and is home to the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. It has played host to many WWE events including a September episode of Raw. The 2000 edition of SummerSlam emanated from here as well, an event that saw current AEW wresters Chris Jericho and Christian participate. In fact, on that night Christian took part in the first TLC match for the WWF Tag Team Championship involving himself and Edge, the Hardys, and the Dudleys.

That was then and this is now. Four matches are known for tonight, check out Tony Schiavone in the control center:

Interim TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara (champ) vs. Daniel Garcia

By now I assume everyone is up to speed on the TNT Championship situation. For those that are not, to quickly recap, Cody Rhodes was set to defend the title against Sammy Guevara at Battle of the Belts. He and his wife Brandi went into quarantine due to family members testing positive for COVID-19, therefore he was unable to be at Battle of the Belts. His brother Dustin took his place, and wrestled Sammy for the “Interim” TNT Championship. Sammy won and is the champion.

Following the match, Daniel Garcia came out and got in Sammy’s face, akin to two high school kids. They brawled and were pulled apart. Later, Sammy told Tony Schiavone he would take on Garcia at Dynamite for the title.

Frank’s Analysis: I’m so mixed on this whole thing that I don’t know where to start. First, Dustin is a legend. God bless that man for still being able to go at the young age of 52. I understood putting the TNT title back on Cody, but they cut off Sammy. It’s not that Sammy had this stellar reign, but the man doesn’t decide his opponents, right? Isn’t that on the company? Anyway, this should be a good match. At some point they will circle back to Sammy vs. Cody.

Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb

Serena Deeb is not done with former AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida as they go one-on-one tonight. Last week during Dynamite, Deeb had a sit-down interview with Jim Ross where he asked about her issue with Shida. She said she was the “professor of professional wrestling” and “has a PhD in this shit.” She demanded Tony Khan make the match with Shida where she would take out “17 years of anger and frustration on her ass to the point you won’t be walking out on your own.”

Deeb spoiled Shida getting her 50th win in AEW, but she ultimately got her win in the TBS Championship tournament where she eliminated Deeb. Shida then defeated Deeb at Winter is coming back on December 15, 2021. Deeb means business in 2022:

Frank’s Analysis: I don’t think they’re doing this only to have Deeb lose this match. There must be plans for her in 2022, and why not. To quote a famous WWE wrestler, she’s that damn good. Is Deeb lined up to be the one to defeat Britt Baker? I still think it’s Thunder Rosa, but don’t count out Deeb.

Dante Martin vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (Team Taz)

The feud between Dante Martin and Team Taz resumes tonight when Dante Martin takes on Powerhouse Hobbs. This was set up on Rampage when Ricky Starks, on commentary, warned that he would defeat Matt Sydal at Battle of the Belts to retain his FTW Championship. He pointed out that it took Dante three times to defeat Sydal, whereas it would only take him once. He then told Dante to focus on Hobbs as they would have a match on Dynamite.

Dante joined team Team Taz briefly in late 2021 until the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale when he eliminated Starks. Taz has been upset with his “legal team,” trying to get to the bottom of what happened that allowed Dante to thwart Team Taz.

Frank’s Analysis: I’m still wondering how this all plays out when Darius Martin comes back. Does Top Flight reunite? Does Darius join Team Taz. This is a fun somewhat long-term story that hopefully has a decent payoff. How they handle this match will be interesting to watch, given there are two guys “on the rise.”

CM Punk vs. Wardlow

The journey to a potential match with CM Punk and MJF continues as Punk goes one-on-one with Wardlow tonight.

Things got heated, as they usually do, between Punk and MJF last week after MJF lost to “Captain” Shawn Dean via DQ when Punk attacked Dean. MJF said that without him, Punk is nothing. He said he gave him an edge and put a chip on his shoulder and made him relevant. In addition, he said he wasn’t the savior these people were looking for, but he himself is that savior. He delivered the ultimate insult when he pointed out Punk is offended when he brings up Roddy Piper, because Piper was at least good enough to main event a WrestleMania. One of Punk’s issues with WWE was that he didn’t get a chance to main event a ‘Mania despite being the longest running world champion in the “modern era.”

The insults would continue from MJF when he said if he wasn’t respected maybe he’d leave and main event a WrestleMania too. Punk said to go ahead and be his guest. Go main event night four of a buy-one-get-one free special and get released faster than he can last in the sack. MJF later said Punk would face Wardlow next week.

Frank’s Analysis: Are we about to have the “five labors of Punk” the way we had with Chris Jericho last year? I’m not really into repeating stories so close together, but it looks like MJF is going to make Punk jump through hoops to get to a match with him, which I guess takes place at Revolution. That said, it should be good with Wardlow who has been doing nothing but squashes recently. This could also be to feed the potential breakup of Wardlow and MJF, which is interestingly taking place simultaneously with the feud with MJF and Punk. There’s a lot to unpack watching all of this but it’s fun.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!

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