AEW Pro Wrestling

AEW Dynamite Preview: Will Cody Rhodes Get the Hometown Pop?

One of the most interesting stories in wrestling right now, is whether Cody Rhodes is a face or a heel. Rhodes himself, would want you to cheer him on, but for the last few months, he’s been met with a mixed reaction in the best cases, and a ton of boos in the worst. This week on Dynamite, it’ll take place from his home state of Georgia, and if he gets booed here, it might be time to re-think the character. Cody will be in action, and we have four other matches announced for the show. Bryan Danielson will take on his next challenger from the Dark Order, two undefeated tag teams go head-to-head, CM Punk takes on a top prospect, and we have the final match up of the TBS quarter-finals.

Cody Rhodes vs Andrade El Idolo – Atlanta Street Fight

Cody Rhodes has been in a tough spot the last couple of months. Some of the fans have started to turn on Rhodes, but Cody continues to push on through, and continue being a babyface. He’s tried cutting heartfelt promos, team up with super popular faces, and now he has a key matchup in his home state of Georgia. If there is a time for the crowd to be behind him, it would be now.

I think the problem, is the line between faces and heels is not as solid as it once was. Take a look at the last two guys he’s been feuding with for example. Malakai Black is meant to be a heel, but he’s got a great character story going on. Sure, Malakai acts heelish, but he so cool about it, fans are cheering him on. And his opponent tonight, Andrade El Idolo, came out a few weeks ago by first taking a shot and the fans, and somehow had them laughing at Cody before the segment was done. Even though Andrade is a heel, the fans want to see him succeed because of how much he was held back in his previous promotion.

At this point, I honestly think that a portion of the AEW audience would boo Rhodes even if he was put in a program with MJF, which is saying something because no one gets more heat than that guy. Last week’s Dynamite saw Rhodes hit a new low, when he threw his weight belt  into the crowd, only to have it thrown back in the ring. I think it might be time for Cody to maybe think about a heel turn, but for the time being, at least give the win to Andrade tonight, because that would be a huge win for him.

Ruby Soho vs Kris Statlander – TBS Tournament Quarter-Finals

So far, I think that the TBS tournament has been great. The matches themselves have been very good, and more importantly, it seems that while the winners advance, the losers tend to have a direction of where the character is headed next. Hikaru Shida was eliminated with the help of Serena Deeb, and the miscommunication between Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker saw Hayter eliminated. AEW have been doing a really good job using this tournament to not only hype of the winners as big deals, but also create storylines for the losing wrestlers as well. 

On this week’s Dynamite, we have the final quarter-final match up, and it’s a good one. Kris Statlander comes into this one on a three match winning streak, but it’s been over two months since her last AEW singles match. Meanwhile, Ruby Soho is on a six match winning streak of her own, and five of the six were singles matches. 

This is a tougher one to call then I first expected. In the previous matches, there were little hints as to who was going to win. In this case, we have Statlander and Soho, who are both faces, and the heel Nyla Rose waiting in the semi-finals. So both matches ups make sense. Statlander has a win over Nyla a couple weeks ago, albeit in a tag match, but a wins a win. And Soho on the other hand, is my original pick to make the finals, because I believe AEW want to make Jade Cargill the inaugural TBS champion, while looking as strong as possible. So I’m going to stick with my gut, a go with Ruby Soho in this match, 

Bryan Danielson vs Alan “5” Angels

Bryan Danielson has said he’s going to “kick the heads in” of every member of the Dark Order until he gets his shot at Hangman Page. So far, Danielson has kept his word. He already has wins over Evil Uno, and Colt Cabana, and now sets his sights on Alan Angels. Angels in no slouch in the ring, as he’s pushed former champion Kenny Omega a couple of times in previous matches. And I wonder if we’ll be getting the same thing here, or Danielson will just dominate, but in any case, I think the clear winner here is Bryan Danielson.

I like the story that AEW is telling here, but I want to see Hangman in action soon. Even if it is just a squash match or something that’s over in a few minutes, just to see the champion keep his momentum going.

The two other matches that have been announced, is Darby Allin and Sting taking on the Gunn Club. A lot has been made recently about the Gunn Club’s undefeated streak, but we’ll see if it could survive the Stinger. And CM Punk takes on the very impressive Lee Moriarty.

All this and so much more can be seen on TNT (TSN in Canada) every Wednesday night at 8PM EST.

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Here is the latest episode of the Chtib and Zhang show, where the boys are taking a look at the most surprising teams so far this NHL season.

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