CM Punk will face Wardlow on tonight's AEW Dynamite.
Punk has targeted MJF in recent weeks on AEW programming, with MJF ducking him. MJF looked to finally be accepting Punk's challenge on last week's show, but offered up Wardlow instead.
New interim TNT Champion Sammy Guevara will make his first title defense on tonight's show. He will face Daniel Garcia in a match that was set up on last week's Battle of the Belts special.
Team Taz's Powerhouse Hobbs will be in action tonight, taking on Dante Martin. Martin was briefly a member of Team Taz, then quickly turned on them.
The rivalry between Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb will continue on tonight's show, as the two will meet for the fourth time on Dynamite.
AEW GM and president Tony Khan teased a surprise for tonight's show on Twitter today:
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Show Report --
Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, and Bobby Fish came out to start the show. Cole reminded the audience that he is undefeated since coming to AEW -- and the boys are back together. "It's a new era in AEW."
The Young Bucks interrupted, but O'Reilly wasn't having it, saying he didn't need their help or interference. Matt said "This is our company," and that they're the longest-reigning tag champions in AEW history. They want their belts back.
O'Reilly and Fish want the titles too, and no team will stand between them and those titles, including the Bucks. Cole tried to calm everyone down, comparing their accolades to the Best Friends, who subsequently interrupted.
Cole got in Orange's face, but Orange attacked and everyone brawled. Orange got the upper hand, but Cole low-blowed him to even the score. Kris Statlander got in between Cole and Orange, so Britt Baker ran out and curb stomped her. She superkicked Orange and Cole did the same followed by the Boom knee strike.
Baker and Cole kissed to end the segment.
A Wardlow video package aired.
CM Punk defeated Wardlow (w/ MJF)
This was more of an extended angle than a match.
Wardlow flattened Punk with a shoulder tackle early. He continue to overpower the smaller Punk until both men teased their finishers, forcing Punk to roll to the floor leading into a commercial. Wardlow was firmly in control upon return.
After being whipped into the corner, Punk tried to start a comeback with a tornado DDT, but Wardlow just tossed him off. Punk reversed a powerbomb attempt and landed a series of kicks and lariats, but Wardlow wouldn't go down until Punk finally hit a springboard clothesline.
Punk hit his corner knee strike and flipped off MJF, but Wardlow used the distraction to turn it into a powerbomb. Wardlow went for the Powerbomb Symphony and hit one right away, followed by a second, third, and fourth.
Wardlow had the match won, but MJF interrupted the count, saying he wanted Wardlow to do more. Wardlow obliged, but it still wasn't enough for MJF. He made it up to seven powerbombs before MJF demanded that Wardlow powerbomb Punk through the timekeeper's table. Wardlow did so.
The official started the count, but Punk barely made it back into the ring at the count of nine. MJF wanted more powerbombs, but Punk cradled Wardlow for the three count.
– After the match, MJF berated Wardlow for losing and shoved him. Wardlow looked like he was about to snap, but Shawn Spears ran out and cooler heads prevailed.
Taz joined commentary.
Dante Martin defeated Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ Ricky Starks)
Dante broke out on the ramp and attacked Hobbs, who met him halfway. A big running crossbody sent both Dante and Hobbs crashing to the outside, where Hobbs caught a dive and hit a spinebuster on the floor. That led to an extended Hobbs beatdown of Dante.
Hobbs went for the torture rack, but Dante escaped before running straight into a huge tackle from Hobbs. He whipped Dante to the floor, where Starks stomped on him as the beatdown continued through a break.
Dante fired up with an elbow smash and landed a top-rope missile dropkick for two. He followed it up with a springboard tornillo to the floor. Hobbs cut Dante off with a big impact. Starks tried to interfere, but Jay Lethal ran out to cut Starks off. Dante then hit the double springboard moonsault for the win.
Chris Jericho, flanked by the Inner Circle, was interviewed backstage about being named PWI's 2021 Faction of the Year. They promised to dominate the company. He said if 2point0 tries to interfere in the TNT Championship match tonight, they'll send them packing.
Eddie Kingston walked up and said that Santana and Ortiz would be tag team champions without Jericho. Jericho got hot, but Santana got everyone to calm down. Jericho said that if Kingston got involved in the main event, he'd kick his ass.
MJF came out on the ramp all worked up. He said Punk had to be feeling a world of hurt after his fluke victory over "an oaf" tonight. Next week, Punk will take his first L in AEW. It seemed like MJF was about to challenge Punk to a match, but he instead booked Punk vs. Shawn Spears.
The SuperKliq and reDRagon were backstage. Cole said Kris Statlander wasn't safe anymore, and he and Britt Baker challenged Statlander and Orange Cassidy to a mixed tag match.
Hangman Page promo & Lance Archer return
The champ came out to a great reaction. Over the past month, he's spent 90 minutes in the ring with one of the best in the world, and it was all for the AEW World Championship. He said he needs a new challenger.
Dan Lambert interrupted, comparing Page to all the other cowboy wrestlers throughout history. Page told Lambert to get to the point. Lambert complimented Page, saying he didn't take the "Cody Rhodes" route of using backstage politics to get to the top. Page has earned everything, except the cowboy persona he wears. Lambert said to keep the title and the money, but "stop disrespecting the legacies" of the wrestlers that came before.
The segment was about to end, but Lance Archer returned from injury. He got in Lambert's face, but suddenly attacked Page and beat him down, hitting Blackout through a chair.
Arn Anderson was backstage with his son Brock and Lee Johnson. He said he was proud of those two, but Tully Blanchard and FTR interrupted and tried to recruit Brock. They challenged Brock and Lee to a match next week.
A video package recapped Jade Cargill winning the TBS Championship.
Serena Deeb defeated Hikaru Shida
Deeb chopped out Shida's leg during the latter's entrance. She tried to attack with Shida's kendo stick, but Shida kicked it out of the way. Instead, Deeb dropped Shida's knee over the steel steps. The match started and Deeb immediately started targeting Shida's leg. She went for the Serenity Lock and Shida submitted in about three minutes.
– After the match, Deeb cleared out the official and doctor and repeatedly smacked Shida's knee with the kendo stick.
Jurassic Express and Christian Cage were backstage. They wished Rey Fénix well and outlined an open challenge to any top five tag team. John Silver and Alex Reynolds of the Dark Order arrived and challenged them to a match on Rampage.
Matt Hardy cut a promo on Penta, saying he would "Delete!" him and send him to the hospital to be with his brother.
Penta El Zero Miedo (w/ Alex Abrahantes) defeated Matt Hardy (w/ Private Party)
They dueled with "Cero Miedo!" and "DELETE!" chants. Penta did his glove schtick. They traded big strikes ahead of commercial. Once back, Penta hit sling blades and kind of hit a backbreaker for two. Hardy came back with a DDT for two.
They jockeyed for position on the top rope where Penta was able to hit a stomp on a hanging Hardy for two. Hardy hit a Side Effect on the apron for yet another two count. Penta escaped the Twist of Fate and hit an enziguiri before avoiding a moonsault. He then hit the Fear Factor for the win.
– After the match, Penta addressed Malakai Black in Spanish, saying he'd show Penta some respect. The lights went out and Black appeared, attacking Abrahantes. Black downed Penta with a high kick and went after Penta's mask, but the Varsity Blonds ran out and all beat him down. Julia Hart got them to stop.
The lights went out again, and Brody King appeared in the ring, dispatching everyone. Black and King are the current PWG tag champions, referred to as the Kings of the Black Throne.
Kris Statlander, Red Velvet, and Leyla Hirsch were backstage with Tony Schiavone. Hirsch wanted Statlander to focus on their upcoming trios match before Velvet talked her down.
Caster called out Darby Allin and Sting in his pre-match rap. The Acclaimed are the top-ranked tag team.
The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) defeated Bear Country (Bear Bronson & Bear Boulder)
Bear Country overpowered The Acclaimed right away. Bowens gave himself some space with a thrust kick and Caster took advantage with a diving crossbody to take control during the break. Upon return, Bronson reached Boulder for the hot tag.
Boulder fought off both Acclaimed on his own and set up for the Bear Bomb. Caster avoided it and rolled up Bronson for two. He then hit the Mic Drop for the win.
– After the match, Sting made his entrance. Darby Allin attacked Caster from behind as Sting took out Bowens with the bat. Sting hit the Scorpio Death Drop to end the segment.
A PAC video promo played. He sold that he was blind now, but his "vision has never been so clear."
AEW Rampage (1/14) lineup:
- Adam Cole vs. Trent Berretta
- Kris Statlander, Red Velvet, & Leyla Hirsch vs. Nyla Rose, Penelope Ford, & The Bunny
- Shawn Spears vs. Andrew Everett
- AEW World Tag Team Championships: Jurassic Express (c) vs. Dark Order (John Silver & Alex Reynolds)
AEW Dynamite (1/19) lineup:
- Intergender: Adam Cole & Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. vs. Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander
- CM Punk vs. Shawn Spears
- Serena Deeb vs. Skye Blue
- TNT Champion Cody Rhodes returns
- Sting & Darby Allin vs. The Acclaimed
Matt Hardy was frustrated backstage. Andrade El Idolo walked up and told him to focus, offering to negotiate a deal.
David Crockett was here to present the interim TNT Championship to the winner.
Eddie Kingston also came down to ringside.
Interim TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara (w/ Chris Jericho) (c) defeated Daniel Garcia
They went after each other right away. Garcia dropped Guevara with a right hand and hit a big kick, so Guevara returned fire. They traded slaps before Guevara sent Garcia to the floor and landed a great-looking flip dive. Back in the ring, Garcia caught Guevara with a backbreaker to take control ahead of commercial.
Once back, a cradle allowed Guevara to even the odds with a pump kick. Garcia blocked the GTH and applied a Scorpion Deathlock and wrenched it in deep, but Guevara escaped. After another exchange, Garcia locked on a sleeper hold and used a backbreaker to deepen it. He then hit a straight piledriver for a near fall.
2point0 arrived and attacked Jericho on the outside. Guevara went for the GTH and eventually hit it after distraction attempts from 2point0. The impact was enough for Guevara to retain.
– Crockett presented the championship to Guevara, but 2point0 attacked. Both Jericho and Kingston made the save, but some miscommunication led to them exchanging words as the show went off the air.