AEW DYNAMITE PREVIEW 6/15: Road Rager special, Hair-Raising (or Cutting) Affair for Jericho, Mox and Tanahashi square off, more

BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

Hiroshi Tanahashi appears on AEW Dynamite
PHOTO CREDIT: Hiroshi Tanahashi Twitter

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

ALL ELITE WRESTLING DYNAMITE (ROAD RAGER EDITION) PREVIEW
JUNE 15, 2022
ST. LOUIS, MO. AT THE CHAIFETZ ARENA
AIRS ON TBS NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT, 7:00 p.m. CDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

AEW Announcers: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross

Last Week

  • Kyle O’Reilly won a Battle Royal to earn the right to face Jon Moxley in the main event for the right to go to Forbidden Door and wrestle for the Interim AEW World Champion. Moxley would go on to defeat O’Reilly, and is scheduled to face Hiroshi Tanahashi, who defeated Hirooki Goto at NJPW Dominion to earn the other spot in the match.
  • A video package showed introducing the All-Atlantic Championship. Pac defeated Buddy Matthews in their match to earn a spot in the four-way match that will take place at Forbidden Door to crown the initial champion.
  • Will Ospreay and his United Empire cohorts (Aaron Henare and Aussie Open’s Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) attacked Trent Beretta and FTR, setting up a match for Rampage.
  • “Hangman” Adam Page defeated NJPW’s David Finlay. After the match he cut a promo talking about not being included in the battle royal to determine a contender for the Interim AEW World Championship. He went on to challenge Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP World Championship at Forbidden Door. Adam Cole interrupted saying that “Switchblade” Jay White may be champion by then (which he is now), and he instead should be the one to get the title match since he is on a roll because of winning the Owen Hart Cup. Cole was right at least about the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Thunder Rosa defeated Marina Shafir to retain the AEW Women’s World Championship.

Arena

AEW returns to the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, MO for this week’s Dynamite and Rampage tapings. A live edition of Rampage emanated from the facility back in November in the run-up to Full Gear. The building opened in 2008, seats a little over 10,000, and is home to the St. Louis Billikens NCAA Division I basketball team.

AEW has loaded this card up with six matches and a face-to-face segment with Forbidden Door implications.

Hair vs. Hair: Chris Jericho vs. Ortiz

In two weeks, AEW will have their second annual Blood and Guts Dynamite special. It will feature the Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard & Angelo Parker of 2point0, and Jake Hager) vs. Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley so far. According to wrestlinginc.com, Santana & Ortiz and Bryan Danielson will join Kingston and Moxley although that hasn’t been officially announced. According to f4wonline.com, Danielson was injured as of June 5 and expected to miss 1-2 weeks. That would enable him to be back in time for Blood and Guts.

When this match was initially proposed a few weeks ago, Jericho rejected it. Later, Ortiz came into the ring and clipped a bit of Jericho’s hair. After that Jericho agreed to the match if he could wrestle Ortiz in a Hair vs. Hair match, which takes place this week.

https://twitter.com/aew/status/1536128715855319040?s=21&t=Phs3cxmyEhizOoA2sj7q9w

Frank’s Analysis: We just know Jericho is going to get clipped, right? The question is who DOESN’T want to see that?

(Originally Advertised) Three-Way Ladder Match for AEW Tag Team Championship: Jurassic Express’s Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (champs) vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. Matt & Jeff Hardy

(I start prepping these reports a few days in advance. The following is what I comprised before Jeff Hardy’s latest arrest for DUI. I’m not deleting my work just because of what happened.)

The AEW Tag Team Championship will be on the line in a Three-Way Ladder match as Jurassic Express will put the titles on the line against former champions The Young Bucks and Matt & Jeff Hardy.

Last week the Bucks made their case for a championship match in a backstage segment, citing that they pinned championship co-holder Jungle Boy on the previous edition of Rampage. In walked the Hardy brothers, and it was a good thing the camera was there to catch it, but nevertheless they made their case to the Bucks saying they beat them at Double or Nothing “clean as a whistle.” In walked Jurassic Express and Christian (this cameraman should get a raise). Christian recommended they have a match that “put them on the map,” the triple threat ladder match.

Jurassic Express have been the champions since January. Christian paired with childhood friend Edge in WWE and took on the Hardys and the Dudleys in a series of ladder and TLC (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs) matches in the early 2000s with the most famous match taking place at WrestleMania 17. The Bucks lost the tag titles to the Lucha Brothers in a Steel Cage match at the 2021 All Out.

Frank’s Analysis: Putting the silly camera work aside, I think I’m a little more down on this match than most. Word is Jeff Hardy doesn’t remember what took place at Double or Nothing. Perhaps that has been debunked I don’t know, but it’s not the point. Should he and Matt be doing these kinds of matches with the mileage on their tires? I understand they’re grown men, but this is the same promotion that didn’t stop the match between Matt and Sammy Guevara at the 2020 All Out when it CLEARLY should have been stopped. I’m sorry, this company has not earned my trust yet. Hopefully safety is at the forefront here.

Updated Match: Hardys Removed, Now Just Bucks vs. Jurassic Express

According to Zack Heydorn’s report regarding Dynamite, The Hardys have been removed because of Jeff Hardy’s arrest for DUI. It will now the Young Bucks challenging Jurassic Express straight up in a ladder match for the AEW Tag Team Championship.

You’ve seen the reports and the statement from AEW here at the Torch, so no need for me to include it or repeat anything.

Frank’s Analysis: If you follow me on Twitter, you know how I feel about the situation. I’ll say two things. Number one, Tony knew what he was getting when he signed Jeff. If he didn’t know, I don’t know what to say. Number two, don’t give me the lines “I hope he gets the help he needs.” or “addiction is such a terrible thing.” Of course, addiction is terrible. The help is out there, and he’s gotten it a million times. It obviously hasn’t helped. I don’t know what else to do or say about this guy.

All-Atlantic Championship Qualifier: “All Ego” Ethan Page vs. Miro

“All Ego” Ethan Page of Men of the Year will take on Miro for the right to advance to the four-way match that will crown the inaugural All-Atlantic Championship. Pac has qualified thus far via defeating Buddy Matthews of the house of Black. Upcoming matches will be Penta Oscuro (Death Triangle) vs. Malakai Black (House of Black) and the winner of two members of the New Japan roster.

According to f4wonline.com, New Japan revealed their plans for the wrestlers to qualify. Tomohiro Ishii will face Yoshinobe Kanemaru and Tomoaki Honma will face Clark Connors on the New Japan Road tour coming up which can be viewed with a subscription to New Japan World. The winners of those matches will face each other with the ultimate winner heading to Forbidden Door.

Miro recently returned from a long stint on the injured list. He was the TNT Champion from May until September of 2021 when he lost to Sammy Guevara. He returned recently to defeat Johnny Elite a few weeks ago on Dynamite. Page recently challenged for the TNT title unsuccessfully. He currently stands by current champion Scorpio Sky in Men of the Year managed by Dan Lambert.

Frank’s Analysis: I’m not going to repeat the criticisms of this title. Enough has been said. My guess is Miro is earmarked for this. I could see Malakai Black as well.

20-On-One (Handicap Match?): Wardlow vs. “Smart” Mark Sterling’s Plaintiffs

Last week on Dynamite, Wardlow revealed his reasoning for not taking part in the battle royal to qualify for the Interim AEW Championship match. He claimed he wanted to beat CM Punk and no one else. Instead, he wanted the TNT Championship, which he claims needs some prestige. Out walked current champion Scorpio Sky with Dan Lambert and Ethan Page. “Smart” Mark Sterling chimed in saying he can see him in court or wrestle 20 security guards.

As of two weeks ago, Sterling told Wardlow he is being sued by the American Arena Security Professionals for his relentless attacks on security guards.

Wardlow won the Face of the Revolution ladder match back at Revolution but came up short in his quest to win the TNT title.

Frank’s Analysis: This feels like bad WWE storytelling. First on his reasoning for not pursuing the title, why not just have Wardlow a) say nothing, or b) say he has unfinished business regarding the TNT Championship? That would have been fine, at least to me. Making bad decisions to not include the top five ranked wrestlers in the battle royal is one thing. Giving bad explanations is worse. Anyway, I was skeptical about Wardlow’s future but willing to see what happened. Doing this is very concerning.

Non-Title Match: IWGP U.S. Champion Will Ospreay (New Japan) vs. ROH & AAA Tag Team Champion Dax Harwood (FTR)

The crossovers continue between New Japan Pro Wrestling and AEW as Will Ospreay of the United Empire goes one-on-one will Dax Harwood of FTR. Ospreay made his first appearance on AEW television last week when he and his United Empire cohorts (Aaron Henare and Aussie Open’s Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) went after Trent Beretta and FTR. This set up a trios match for Rampage, which was won by Beretta & FTR.

Ospreay defeated Sanada at Dominion this past Sunday, one of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s hallmark events to win the vacant IWGP U.S. Championship. It was vacated by Juice Robinson, who was medically unable to compete at Dominion in the originally planned three-way match between he, Ospreay, and Sanada.

Frank’s Analysis: The idea that his AEW in-ring debut was buried into the losing end of a throwaway trios match is a tragedy. How many people know about him to enough to care? Look. I’m happy he’s working AEW television, but I watch New Japan. (Been a little out of the loop with it lately but I still enjoy it and I’m getting back into it. I watched Dominion.). That doesn’t apply to everyone. I just hope everyone appreciates how good Ospreay is, real-life character issues aside.

Toni Storm vs. Dr. Britt Baker

Dr. Britt Baker defeated Toni Storm enroute to the finals of the Owen Hart Foundation tournament, which saw her defeat Ruby Soho. She took exception with Toni trying to “jump the line” in an attempt to become AEW Women’s World Champion. Baker lost the title to Thunder Rosa in a Steel Cage match on the St. Patrick’s Slam edition of Dynamite in March.

Toni made her AEW debut competing in the Owen Hart tournament several months after being granted her release from WWE.

Frank’s Analysis: I think I’m about over Dr. Britt at this point, so they can go ahead and put Toni over in this match.

Non-Wrestling Segment Announced: Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi Face-to-Face

At Forbidden Door, Jon Moxley will face New Japan’s Hiroshi Tanahashi for the Interim AEW World Championship. Last week, Moxley defeated Kyle O’Reilly who won a Battle Royal earlier in the evening for the first to face Moxley who had been anointed as the number one ranked AEW wrestler. Tanahashi defeated Hirooki Goto at New Japan’s Dominion to earn the other spot.

These two facing each has been teased for quite some time if you’ve followed New Japan.

Frank’s Analysis: There’s a lot to unpack that’s already been unpacked on various podcasts here at the Torch. I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t already know. I’ll sat this. For those who don’t know Tanahashi, I think you will enjoy this match come Forbidden Door, if you choose to get the show.

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


CATCH-UP: AEW announces major matches and segments for Dynamite

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