Wednesday, January 5, 2022

AEW Dynamite on TBS Preview & Predictions

Right in the middle of one of the busiest wrestling weeks in recent memory we have what might end up the highlight.  It's AEW Dynamite's debut on TBS!

We're about to enter a new era, as Dynamite premieres on its new network, and they've lined up a stacked lineup to kick things off right.  A huge AEW Title rematch, a Tag Title contest, and the finals of the TBS Title tournament, just to name a few.  It should be a helluva premiere.  Let's get to it.


MJF is on a collision course with CM Punk at some point, but lately it seems like he'll have to contend with his buddy Wardlow first.  The monstrous Pinnacle bodyguard has been on a tear lately, polishing off jobbers left and right in short order.  So now it seems to be MJF's turn to do the same.  No word on who the opponent will be, but since this match is billed as "MJF in action," it's safe to assume it'll be another local guy there to get squashed.  The question is whether the MJF-Wardlow or MJF-Punk feuds will be escalated somehow.

Pick: MJF

Malakai Black vs. Brian Pillman Jr.

After Pillman and Griff Garrison's friend Julia Hart was sprayed with the black mist, an outraged Garrison challenged Malakai Black to a match and got dispatched quickly.  Now Pillman is stepping up to the plate and promising a new version of himself.  Whether that means he'll take on an edgier persona or even join Malakai's House of Black (at least one announced member has been teased) remains to be seen.  Black is obviously winning this.

Pick: Malakai Black

TBS Championship Final: Jade Cargill vs. Ruby Soho

Ok, the first of three title matches pits the two tournament finalists against each other in what could, to say the least, be called a clash of styles.  Soho is an accomplished technical veteran while the musclebound Cargill is quite green.  Jade is understandably someone they want to strap a rocket to, but I don't think she's ready to carry a major championship yet, particularly a brand new one.  She obviously has a stellar look and a natural presence, but last week's match with Thunder Rosa proved she doesn't yet have the in-ring goods.  As of now she can only handle a short, one-sided match, and that's not gonna work if she's an AEW titleholder.  I'm not sure I'd have put her in this tournament to begin with - anything less than winning the whole thing would undermine her push, but giving her the championship is going to further expose her limitations.  Unless Ruby can squeeze a really strong match out of her, this is a bit of a no-win situation.  Ruby is probably a better custodian of this title right now, but I think Jade is winning it.  Maybe she'll get a lot better in a hurry.  She'll need to.

Pick: Cargill

AEW Tag Team Championship: Lucha Bros vs. Jurassic Express

This should be fantastic.  Lucha Bros are always amazing, and Jurassic Express are maybe the most likable team on the roster.  I'd love to see Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus take home the gold here but it also seems too soon for Penta and Fenix to drop the straps.  Maybe we'll see Christian turn on JE and take on a partner to feud with them, and then they can work their way up to another shot in the spring.  Either way, this'll be a grand ol' time.

Pick: Luchas retain

AEW World Championship: Hangman Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson

Page-Danielson 1 was nothing short of marvelous - a gritty, dramatic one-hour draw that felt like 40 minutes, and one of the best Broadways I've ever seen.  Their rematch here should be equally great, if not better.  It's still a 60-minute time limit but we'll have a panel of three judges in case it goes the distance again.  No word on who said judges will be, but I'd love to see Bret Hart as one of them; a match like this is right up his alley and he was after all the man who first presented the new AEW Championship belt back in 2019.  Another good pick would be someone who can feud with either Page or Danielson after this match, maybe a returning Jon Moxley, who can start some shit with Bryan, leading to the match they didn't get to have at Full Gear.  Anyway I expect an early Match of the Year candidate that probably goes a good 40-45 minutes and ends with a Buckshot Lariat and the long-awaited win for Page.

Pick: Page retains

Like I said, even during a hugely busy wrestling week I anticipate this show being one of the standouts, and its main event being maybe the match of the week.  It's quite a time to be a wrestling fan when we're getting shows like this for free!

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