ALL ELITE WRESTLING DYNAMITE PREVIEW 1/26: Beach Break Edition; CM Punk and Britt Baker Address, Inner Circle vs. 2point0 and Garcia, Velvet vs. Hirsh, Cody vs. Sammy in Ladder Match for TNT Championship, Lights Out for Cole vs. Cassidy

BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling

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

ALL ELITE WRESTLING DYNAMITE PRIMER
JANUARY 26, 2022
CLEVELAND, OH. AT THE WOLSTEIN CENTER
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

  • Jon Moxley returned to AEW television after a two-month stint in alcohol rehabilitation and gave sort of a “state of Moxley” address. Of course, there had to be douchebag in the crowd who yelled something hurtful as Mox was about to start talking. There’s always gotta be one, right?
  • MJF “docked” Wardlow’s pay for losing to CM Punk in the previous edition of Dyamite.
  • Adam Cole & his girlfriend Dr. Britt Baker (AEW Women’s Champion) defeated Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander.
  • CM Punk defeated Shawn Spears in about half the time it takes one to go to the can.
  • Billy Gunn’s son Austin & Colton attacked Christian in a backstage segment. This was after Christian told Billy he could never get a big win when it mattered, and the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
  • Cody cut a VERY LONG promo. Is he still talking?
  • House of Black (Brodie King & Malakai Black) defeated the Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman, Jr. & Griff Garrison).
  • Lance Archer (w/Dan Lambert and Jake “The Snake” Roberts) defeated Frankie Kazarian.
  • Serena Deeb defeated Sky Blue.
  • Sting & Darby Allin defeated The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens).

Arena

AEW makes its return to the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, OH for tonight’s episode of Dynamite and recording of Rampage. They are calling it the Beach Break edition (in Cleveland in January, mind you), which will be the second such edition of the program. Their “home” (so to speak) of Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. housed last year’s edition on February 21, 2021.

As of this past Friday’s edition of Rampage we know of four matches and two talking segments for the show. Here’s the Road to Cleveland:

CM Punk Addresses the Crowd

CM Punk, who’s never at a loss for words, will address the crowd according to AEW. Things have been heating up between himself and MJF, with the latest chapter taking place last week when Punk defeated “The Chairman” Shawn Spears in what turned out to be a squash match with MJF on commentary. After the match, MJF came to the ring and when it looked like they would go at it, Punk grabbed his scarf and MJF scurried like a … what would JR say … scalded dog.

Later in the show, TNT Champion Cody Rhodes returned to television and addressed the crowd. In his VERY long promo, he referenced Punk’s pipe bomb promo from WWE Raw in June of 2011 in which he talked about leaving with the WWE Championship and defending it in New Japan Pro Wrestling or Ring of Honor. For all intents and purposes Cody said that Punk laid out the blueprint for going through the “forbidden door,” but he built it and did it. After Cody left the WWE in 2016, he spent time in Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and New Japan and shuttled between Ring of Honor and New Japan because of their working agreement.

Frank’s Analysis: I can see why Cody is getting booed now. It makes total sense. He’s very convoluted when he speaks and like Wade Keller said in his report last week, the “insider” stuff belongs in TNA circa 2005 when it was done on a regular basis. As a sidebar, I tried TNA many times and never got into it because I felt like all I heard from wrestlers was “WWE screwed me and they can kiss my ass,” but they never did anything noteworthy. Anyway, that promo made me wonder if we’re heading towards a CM Punk-Cody feud. Perhaps after Punk finishes up with MJF (Revolution?), they pivot to Punk-Cody. I would be very into that, because Punk would put Cody in his place and I feel like Cody would be forced to “tone it down” and talk I don’t know, more like a human being?

AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker Addresses the Crowd
Lights Out Match: Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy

Let’s talk about these items together as they are likely related.

Also addressing the crowd tonight will be Dr. Britt Baker. Last week, she teamed with her boyfriend Adam Cole and defeated Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander. In the closing sequence of the match, Cassidy inadvertently knocked Baker off the apron and onto the table that was set up by Baker and Cole earlier in the match. Cole hit a low blow and the Boom on Cassidy for the win. Baker last defended her championship successfully against Riho on Battle of the Belts on January 8. Prior to that match, she interrupted Ruby Soho from being interviewed following her loss in the TBS Championship finals to Jade Cargill on January 5.

Later, an enraged Cole said he had beaten Cassidy in a singles match and a mixed tag match and questioned what more he needs to do. He then challenged Cassidy to a no-DQ Lights Out match. Ironically, the last match of the sort was between Baker and Thunder Rosa on the St. Patrick’s Day Slam edition of Dynamite last year.

I don’t what this tweet is all about, but there was an exchange between retired WWE wrestler Paige and Baker:

https://twitter.com/realbrittbaker/status/1486071870256553988?s=21

Frank’s Analysis: I don’t want to read too much into this exchange, but would Paige show up in AEW? I don’t think I’m the only one whom has seen Paige express disfavor towards WWE after some of the issues wrestlers has with their Twitch accounts. It’s something to watch. That said, I’m assuming Baker is setting up her next challenger. Would they go to Ruby? I don’t see Ruby beating her, which is fine, but that would be another big loss. I’d try to keep her on the winning side. Rosa is tied up with Mercedes Martinez, so maybe they revisit Statlander as a challenger? There are options, so we’ll see. As far as the Lights Out match itself, it should be straightforward and an end to the feud. I’ve been down on it, but the more I think about it it’s fine. Not everyone can contend for the title at the same time, so you must find ways of keeping everyone occupied, especially Cole. Cassidy is over enough for it to be entertaining, but not cross the line of being goofy.

Trios Match: (Inner Circle) Chris Jericho and Santana & Ortiz vs. 2point0 (Jeff Parker & Matt Lee) and Daniel Garcia

Chris Jericho teams with his Inner Circle partners Santana & Ortiz to take on 2point0 and Daniel Garcia in a Trios match. Since the Inner Circle was named “Faction of the Year” for 2021, things have been breaking down for them when Eddie Kingston said Santana & Ortiz were likely not tag team champions because of their association with Jericho. Kingston was affiliated with them previously in Impact Wrestling when Santana & Ortiz were LAX. Last week, as he did during the previous week, Jericho said Kingston can “GFY” (we know what that means). Santana & Ortiz didn’t like that, because of their relationship with Kingston, and said he may be right. They questioned if Jericho truly has their backs, which he said he does.

https://twitter.com/santana_proud/status/1485766315738644481?s=21

Frank’s Analysis: I’ve been salivating for Santana & Ortiz to get into a better spot. I’m interested in the dynamics moving forward if they do break up the Inner Circle. I would LOVE an association of Kingston and Santana & Ortiz. LOVE IT. Are they faces or heels? If they’re faces and they break off from the Inner Circle is Jericho the heel? I don’t really care because the issues seem genuine between all parties. They don’t have to define heels and faces for me. Look how great it worked between Kingston and Punk.

Red Velvet vs. “Legit” Leyla Hirsh

Red Velvet goes one-on-one with “Legit” Leyla Hirsh. Hirsh has had her issues with Kris Statlander as of late, and with Red Velvet by association. Recently, they lost a Trios match on Rampage to Penelope Ford, The Bunny, and Nyla Rose. Several weeks prior to that, Statlander beat Hirsh in a one-on-one match. When Statlander extended her hand in sportsmanship (sportswoman ship?), Hirsh swatted it away.

https://twitter.com/domfabfav/status/1485781068963799045?s=21

Frank’s Analysis: The women’s division needs some depth. I like seeing this match get featured on Dynamite as opposed to Dark or Dark Elevation. I don’t see anything other than Hirsh getting the win.

TNT Championship Unification Ladder Match: Cody Rhodes (TNT Champion) vs. Sammy Guevara (Interim TNT Champion)

Cody Rhodes faces Sammy Guevara to unify the TNT and Interim TNT Championships in a ladder match. In a sense, this is like Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels facing each other at WrestleMania 10 for the undisputed Intercontinental Championship. Cody defeated Sammy for the title on the Christmas edition of Rampage. He was to defend it against Sammy at Battle of the Belts on January 8, but Cody was not medically cleared to wrestle. His brother Dustin wrestled Sammy instead, and the match was for the “Interim Championship.” Sammy won and became the first Interim TNT Champion. He has since successfully defended the title against Daniel Garcia.

Last week, Cody cut a very long promo as I alluded to earlier. Here it is if you missed it:

Amongst other things, he talked about any title not being a “world” title considered secondary. He disagreed of course and said the only reason people considered them secondary is because there’s too. After he said that Tony Khan “sent him a contract in the mail” and “maybe it’s not the contract he wanted,” he challenged Sammy to a ladder match to unify the TNT and Interim Championships while climbing the ladder.

Frank’s Analysis: The promo has been unpacked and dissected on many podcasts and reports here. I don’t have anything groundbreaking to add other than I wish Cody would understand why he’s being booed and just, dial it back. I know when I watch wrestling I don’t want to have to think so much. I just want to enjoy wrestlers cutting promos, talking about upcoming matches, and making me get into their characters. It’s not that hard. You can pull the curtain from time to time, but the curtain being up is what makes pro wrestling great. I don’t want to hear about your contract or not wanting to turn heel, or anything like that. I don’t watch movies or TV shows and expect the characters to explain everything that’s going to happen.

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

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