This Saturday night AEW will host a special edition of Dynamite due to their usual Wednesday night timeslot being pre-empted this week due to the NBA playoffs. The Saturday night timeslot also has another twist, it means the second hour of Saturday Night Dynamite will go head-to-head with the first hour of NXT TakeOver XXX airing live on the WWE Network.
A ploy usually used by WWE, it is now AEW’s turn to deploy some counter-programming to one of NXT’s bigger shows of the year. NXT was originally brought to the USA Network to counter-program Dynamite airing on TNT, and more recently NXT pulled “The Great American Bash” out of thin air to counter-program AEW’s two-weeks of Fyter Fest shows.
So what can we expect from AEW this Saturday Night? The show has a more important feel than a regular edition of Dynamite, and with their next pay per view “All Out” just two weeks away, we will no doubt continue to build to one of AEW’s biggest shows of the year. A lot of storylines seem to be peaking so I predict a lot of pay per view matches will be announced on the show.
Cody Rhodes will defend the TNT Championship against Brodie Lee
I am really looking forward to this and it should be good. Cody’s story of defending the TNT title as often as possible has me intrigued. He has smoothly switched back and forth between face and heel depending on his opponent in recent weeks, giving his slow-burn heel turn time to develop at a pace we are not used to due to years of hot-shotting turns out of nowhere. One aspect of his heel turn seems to be his need to have additional back-up during his matches- a tactic normally deployed by heels so they can gain the upper hand behind the referee’s back. Week after week his entourage has grown, from Arn Anderson to Brandi, and now Allie, Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall can normally be expected by the side of the champion. And his entourage was in full effect against Scorpio Sky recently as the courageous challenger stood alone on one side of the ring, while the champion stood opposite him and backed-up by multiple members of his Nightmare Family.
The build to his match with Lee has been short, but so has all of Cody’s defences during in his TNT title run. Other than Jake Hager most of his defences have had little more than a week’s notice. This plays into another developing story for Cody as he is gradually match-by-match being worn down to the point where eventually someone will beat him for the title because of the harsh schedule he has put himself under. If a heel gets the better of him, Cody has the legitimate babyface excuse of being worn-down so much after his conveyor belt of hard-hitting matches got the better of him, but if a babyface beats him he has the opening to fully kick his heel turn into action by jumping the new champion and taking out his frustration on him at losing his title.
As far as in-ring action goes, this should be really good- as most of Cody and Lee’s matches have been. Two great workers given (hopefully) a lot of time to put on a really great match -and who knows, if the stories above get woven into the match in the right way- should keep the audience from being tempted to switch the channel to NXT. Lee has already failed to win AEW gold after losing to Jon Moxley at Double or Nothing for the World Championship, so he will be looking for some sort of revenge on Saturday night.
The Nightmare Sisters (Brandi Rhodes and Allie) will take on Ivelisse and Diamante in the finals of the Women’s Tag Team Cup.
The Deadly Draw has certainly drawn up some interesting combinations, and this Saturday we will see the culmination of the tag team tournament with the Nightmare Sisters taking on the team of Ivelisse and Diamante, with Madusa presenting the winners with the tournament trophy.
Brandi Rhodes and Allie defeated Big Swole and Nicole Savoy in their semi-final match-up, after some interference from Britt Baker, to bring their win streak as a team to six. While Ivelisse and Diamante defeated Anna Jay of The Dark Order and Tay Conti in a really good match in the other semi-final.
The jury has been out on the tournament as a whole, but the semi-finals impressed enough so the final has shaped up to be very interesting, especially given Brandi’s more recent self-centred approach to her ever-increasing popularity.
The Elite (Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks) challenge The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds (Three), John Silver (Four) & Alan Angels (Five)) in a six-man tag team match.
The Elite and Dark Order have clashed many times in recent weeks, in many different formats. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson were unsuccessful in taking Omega & Page’s tag titles, Hangman Page has defeated Five, the Young Bucks have defeated Evil Uno and Grayson, and the Dark Order defeated FTR and the Elite in a monster 12 man tag.
As questions still hover over the unity of Hangman Page and Kenny Omega, this week we will see Omega split from his partner and team with the Bucks against the team of Reynolds, Silver and Angels. On paper, this should look like an easy win for the Elite, but you can guarantee that The Dark Order will not come alone and they will no doubt use their cult-wide numbers advantage to full effect.
And with FTR turning heel last week, don’t be surprised if Wheeler and Harwood get involved in some sort of fashion.
FTR vs Private Party
Speaking of Wheeler and Harwood, FTR will take on Private Party in what should be a good match that should help build FTR towards the tag team titles and help emphasise their heel turn from last week.
Last week during the tag team appreciation night, legendary tag teams the Rock and Roll Express and Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard joined FTR and the Young Bucks in the ring, and a shocking conclusion took place as FTR blind-sided Gibson and Morton and hit them with a spike piledriver.
The build to the match against Private Party has been small, but the story surrounding the heel turn, what happens next for FTR, and the tag team titles will be the main focus here.
The Lucha Bros, The Butcher and The Blade will go again Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy), Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall
In what should be an all-action eight-man tag, the team of Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Rhodes and Marshall have a chance to pick up a well-needed win to keep them alive in the tag team rankings, but it will be no easy feat against their undefeated opponents.
The team of the Lucha Bros, Butcher and Blade are undefeated when teaming together. They have put away The Elite, The Young Bucks and FTR, and more recently SCU and Private Party in eight-man tag action so they will be looking to add another foursome to the list this Saturday Night.
Darby Allin will be in action
Allin seems to be on a collision course with either Ricky Starks or Brian Cage, so either could be his surprise opponent this Saturday night. But don’t be disappointed if it is a less-named opponent for Allin to beat to kick start his momentum heading into All Out.
Allin has quickly become one of AEW’s brightest sparks and more popular competitors, so he should be getting a match at the pay per view, and it seems Starks or Cage are the most likely opponents. Could we see one or the other on Saturday to help build to a PPV match with the other? I guess we will need to wait and see.
Orange Cassidy in-ring interview
A week after the biggest win of his life, Orange Cassidy will give his first-ever AEW in-ring interview. Cassidy pinned Chris Jericho on last week’s Dynamite episode even after interference from Jake Hager, getting a win back after falling to Jericho on night two of Fyter Fest last month. With All Out only two weeks away, could we see the rubber match between Jericho and Cassidy being announced during this in-ring interview? Both hold a win over each other so it would make sense to build to a feud defining third match, with perhaps a stipulation to add some extra intrigue to the outcome?
Either way, when Cassidy gets the mic, as the verbal debate showed, anything is possible.
Catch AEW Saturday Night Dynamite at 6pm EST/ 5pm CST/ 10pm GMT, while NXT Takeover XXX starts one hour later at 7pm EST/ 6pm CST/ 11pm GMT.