The landscape of professional wrestling has been staring down a monumental change now since the beginning of the year, and that change is about to be fully set in motion by All Elite Wrestling. The upstart AEW promotion has promised to become a solid competitor to WWE, and that journey begins on Wednesday night with AEW Dynamite beginning on TNT. This will mark the return of pro wrestling to the TNT network for the first time since WCW went out of business in March 2001. It’s an exciting time to be an avid pro wrestling fan, and come Wednesday night with the emergence of Dynamite, we’ll know a little bit more of what to expect from the aforementioned change in the landscape.
AEW Dynamite will air weekly every Wednesday evening, beginning on Oct. 2, at 8 p.m. ET with the show boasting a runtime of two hours. It remains to be seen just how sustainable AEW can be as a weekly television presence within the pro wrestling landscape, but there’s no question potentially millions of eyes will be on the premiere episode come Oct. 2.
So let’s now have a look at everything we can expect as AEW Dynamite gets set to take over our television screens and potentially alter the viewing habits of many longtime pro wrestling die-hards.
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AEW Dynamite debut match card
Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs. Chris Jericho & Santana & Ortiz: This is a match with a lot of star power. Omega and Jericho have history, first meeting in a no disqualification grudge match at New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 12 for Omega’s United States championship. Omega got the win in that bout but came up short when they rematched at AEW’s first pay-per-view, Double or Nothing, back in May. That win slotted Jericho into the first ever match for the AEW world championship, which Jericho won by defeating Adam “Hangman” Page in the main event of All Out. Santana & Ortiz made a surprise debut at All Out, attacking The Young Bucks and the Lucha Bros, so it’s no surprise they are getting the call to fill in as Jericho’s partners at the event. It’s a near sure thing the match will deliver high-quality in-ring action.
AEW Women’s Championship — Nyla Rose vs. Riho: Rose and Riho both earned their way to the first ever women’s championship match at the All Out pay-per-view event. Rose got here by winning the 21-woman Casino Battle Royale, last eliminating Britt Baker. Riho defeated Hikaru Shida in a singles match. Focusing on Rose’s status as the first openly transgender wrestler to sign with a major promotion doesn’t do her skills justice, nor does focusing on Riho’s 5-foot-1 stature serve to tell the story of her ability to bring it in a big way.
Adam “Hangman” Page vs. PAC: Page came up short in his bid for the championship against Jericho but proved he can hang with top-level names. That’s no surprise to anyone who has followed his impressive career, but this may actually register as the most important outing of his journey. PAC beat Omega at All Out while filling in for a legitimately injured Moxley, and given AEW’s emphasis on how “wins and losses matter,” a win over Omega and the man who almost became the first AEW champ would seem to position him for a title shot sooner than later.
Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara: Rhodes — along with The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley — is the face of AEW. The man who left WWE and set out to do things on his own terms before leading a landscape-shifting movement. If that seems hyperbolic, it is not. Rhodes leaving WWE did not seem like a particularly needle-moving moment, but he posted “the list” on Twitter, laying out things he wanted to do on the independent scene and checked off the boxes one-by-one. Eventually, he, along with Matt and Nick Jackson, became the driving force behind the massive All In pay-per-view success which snowballed into AEW. Guevara is a special talent. At 26, he’s already been a force on the independents for years. He’s strong, fast and agile with TV good looks and a solid grasp on ring psychology. He’s also, most likely, a victim to Rhodes in this match. This has been confirmed as the first match to take place in the history of Dynamite.
MJF vs. Brandon Cutler: MJF has become part of Cody’s “family” and supported him in the corner during Rhodes’ match with Shawn Spears at All Out. He’s an incredible heel who is able to carry the staple gimmick of a cocky, spoiled punk better than almost anyone in wrestling today. Cutler is a veteran and a feel-good story who was emotionally offered two contracts with AEW (one in-ring, one behind the scenes) on an episode of the “Being the Elite” YouTube series.
What else to expect on AEW Dynamite debut
- Jon Moxley — formerly Dean Ambrose in WWE — is announced to appear at the event. Moxley is currently embroiled in a feud with Omega with a planned match between the two at All Out scrapped when Moxley was dealing with a case of MRSA. That match is now set for the Full Gear PPV on Nov. 9, so you could rightfully expect some development there.
- Potential surprise debuts to draw some buzz. Cody has stated we’ve only seen a part of the AEW roster, which means there are some potentially big names that could surprise fans at any time. We’ve already seen shocking debuts from Moxley and LAX on pay-per-view events, so why not bring in someone to move the needle on the promotion’s TV debut? I hear there’s some Punk from Chicago fans might want to see in an AEW ring — but we’ve speculated our way down that road before. Guess we won’t find out until Oct. 2. There are also reports out of Sports Illustrated that Jake Hager (formerly Jack Swagger in WWE) could appear at the event, though he has downplayed that possibility.