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AEW Dynamite Preview: This Jarrett Family Drama Is The Last Thing AEW Needs

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Dynamite airs tonight (January 4) with a live show from the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. AEW is setting the tone for the new year with a new look for its Seattle debut.

This Jarrett Family Drama Is The Last Thing AEW Needs

AEW Dynamite is kicking off the new year with a new look and plenty of Jarrett family drama.

Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal are teaming up tonight to challenge The Acclaimed for the AEW Tag Team Titles. That rivalry heated up after Max Caster’s very personal rap last week brought Karen Jarrett into the story. Fans following social media saw Karen come out, accusing ex-husband Kurt Angle of infidelity and threats, while naming specific women from Kurt’s past. Since then, Jeff has defended his wife and hinted that he might as well shoot Max Caster during the fight for crossing the line in his rap, while Anthony Bowens has warned Jarrett against “taking liberties” in the ring with his partner.

This nonsensical Jarrett family drama is the last thing AEW needs right now. The goal should be to try and establish a new look and identity at the start of the new year, rather than leaning into last year’s locker room drama and rehashing some past TNA garbage into a tag team championship story. AEW is blurring the lines of reality here, and sometimes that can be very effective, but in this case it just smacks of desperation. This is the kind of shit you sign up for when you bring Jeff Jarrett into your wrestling company, so much of the blame for this mess can be laid on AEW President Tony Khan.

Could there be a title change tonight? I wouldn’t rule out AEW starting their new era by putting championship gold around Jarrett’s waist. Khan should have known better than to do this, but then again, everything about Jarrett being in AEW is a reminder that Khan doesn’t seem to know any better.

The rest of tonight’s schedule

Darby Allin challenges Samoa Joe for the TNT championship again tonight. Darby was attacked by Joe last month, but things might be different this time because Allin is the town’s hero. This is the only title Darby cares about in AEW, and I think there’s a good chance we’ll see a title change tonight. Will Wardlow show up and cost Samoa the belt after Joe cut his hair last week?

Bryan Danielson faces Tony Nese tonight. Like Darby, Bryan is also from the state of Washington and will be a crowd favorite. Nese is a low card guy who should be an easy win for Danielson. Bryan has bigger fish to fry in the form of AEW World Champion MJF, who are contractually obligated to appear in Seattle. Given the lack of importance of Bryan’s opponent, there should be more emphasis on whatever angle is brewing between Bryan and MJF in Danielson’s home state tonight.

AEW rounds out its roster of home state wrestlers in competition with a match between Swerve Strickland and AR Fox. There’s a history here that goes back to his Lucha Underground days. Swerve is from the state of Washington and will likely do some very bad things for Fox in order to continue its momentum as part of Mogul Affiliates. Will Strickland’s big, scary-looking tattooed fellow finally get a name? Will Keith Lee show up looking for revenge with cinder blocks?

AEW is also advertising Ricky Starks against Chris Jericho in a singles match. Starks recently rejected an offer to join the Jericho Appreciation Society, and now finds himself fighting alongside Action Andretti against the Jericho gang. Will Andretti be around to watch Ricky’s back after getting a mage’s fireball in the face a few weeks ago?

The sixth and final match listed on the card for tonight is a tag team match. TBS Champion Jade Cargill and Red Velvet against Skye Blue and Kiera Hogan. I don’t know why Cargill and Velvet are teaming up given their history and Velvet apparently turned their backs on The Baddies last week, but I do know that Cargill’s team is the favorite to win due to their undefeated record.

In addition to all of the above in-ring actions, AEW says we’ll be getting a medical update on Hangman Page tonight, and we’ll also hear from Jon Moxley. I imagine these two threads will be intertwined, considering Moxley has challenged Page to a match next week in Los Angeles. Page was advised to stay away from physicality to improve his chances of being cleared, but I think we’re headed for another fight between Mox and the cowboy tonight.

Finally, AEW is teasing some sort of new information about Saraya’s mysterious tag team partner for next week’s Los Angeles show against Britt Baker & AEW Women’s World Champion Jamie Hayter. Many fans are hoping it’s Sasha Banks instead of Toni Storm or Thunder Rosa, so we’ll see if AEW makes Saraya’s partner identity a little more obvious tonight.

Other things to keep an eye on

– Jungle Boy and FTW Champion HOOK is one of the best looking duos you’ll ever meet, assuming they actually have a tag team match soon as part of their feud with Big Bill and Lee Moriarty of The Firm.

AEW All-Atlantic Champion Orange Cassidy will defend his title later this week in battle of the belts against Kip Sabian, but more title matches are needed to complete the card. AEW will use tonight’s show to add some ROH title matches to the mix, such as ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli vs. RUSH? A women’s title fight will also be needed to battle of the belts. We could see Athena back on TV by following her ROH Women’s Championship win in Final battle?

– FTR is not expected to be in the building tonight due to their reservation in Tokyo at Kingdom of Struggle 17. Looks like the Ass Boys are going to take advantage of FTR’s absence by talking some rubbish about Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler.

– Powerhouse Hobbs wants to hurt people, so hopefully we’ll find out soon what target he has in mind.

– At Chris Jericho’s request, Daniel Garcia is reluctantly following that asshole Sammy Guevara. I don’t think this is going to end well for the Jericho Appreciation Society.

– House of Black wants to end Ortiz and Eddie Kingston’s friendship. Will they use a new strategy to get there besides saying cryptic things and hoping their words come true?

– Kenny Omega is in Japan now. The Triangle of Death will meet the Young Bucks tonight and deliver a final message/attack before next week’s ladder match which will conclude their best-of-seven series for the AEW World Tag Team Titles?

– Where the hell is Miro?

What will you be looking for in Dynamite?