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AEW Returns to South Florida

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AEW returned to South Florida with a live broadcast from FLA Live Arena for Wednesday Night Dynamite.

April 26th, 2023

The card was packed with four hours of high-octane action, drama, blood and guts! Widely considered to be the second largest wrestling company in the world, AEW is the alternative for wrestling fans that want something new and fresh, putting on excellent matches for their fans around the globe.

The night’s live broadcast started off with Orange Cassidy vs. Bandido for the AEW International Championship. “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy is one of AEW’s most popular wrestlers due to his lazy, sloth-like persona in the ring, though he has an athletic edge that makes for exciting and quirky offense when fighting worthy opponents (such as wrestling with his hands in his pockets). He also carries his AEW International Championship in a backpack – you can’t get cooler than that! Bandido is one of Mexico’s great imported luchadores, mixing high-flying lucha libre with pure raw strength and fighting his first match in months due to visa issues.

The match had very cool moments, from Bandido hitting a one-armed gorilla press into a frog splash, to the two chopping each other’s chests to the delight of the fans and finally Orange Cassidy hitting Bandido right in the face with a punch (the Orange Punch) into a Beach Break (belly-to-back piledriver). Overall, it was one of the best matches of the night.

Another highlight of the night was Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara, fighting in the Four Pillars Tournament Final (the other two of the Four Pillars being AEW World Champion MJF and “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry, all four being coined the future of the AEW) for a shot at the AEW World Championship, which is set to be defended at AEW’s annual PPV Double or Nothing on May 28th). Darby Allin is best described to have a dark past based on real-life happenings (his uncle dying in a car crash while drunk, with Darby in the passenger seat), with face-paint to go with his high-risk daredevil style of wrestling, to riding a skateboard down to the ring. Sammy Guevara is also a high-flyer, though widely hated by the AEW fanbase for his pure douchebag character, though he is as talented as anyone in the ring. Endless action included Allin hitting a suicide dive that led into a nasty cutter in the air from Guevara, to Guevara doing a Spanish Fly (moonsault slam) leading into a 630 senton, and Allin and Sammy both crashing through a table. To put it lightly, these two tried to kill each other. The match ended in a rare disqualification finish when MJF interfered and hit Darby Allin with a skateboard while Allin was attempting a Coffin Drop (backwards face diving senton). While it should be MJF vs Guevara at Double or Nothing for the World Title, instead it will be MJF and Guevara against Allin and Jungle Boy, and if the latter team wins, it will be a four-way match for the title.

One big surprise that took everyone by storm live at the arena was the debut of Roderick Strong (who was thought to be still signed by AEW’s rival), saving long-time friend Adam Cole (popular wrestler from ROH, WWE for many years) from a beatdown by Chris Jericho (wrestling legend, considered the GOAT) and his Jericho Appreciation Society. Cole and Jericho are in the middle of a very personal feud, and the debut of Strong had without question the biggest reaction from the crowd all night.

Another championship match taking place was TBS Champion Jade Cardgill (longest reigning champion in AEW history and undefeated in the company) taking on recently debuting Taya Valkyrie. The story of the match was that both women have the same finishing wrestling move (a facebuster) and that if Taya used that move in the match, she would be disqualified. When Taya was about to use the move to win the match, she hesitated and led to Jade rolling her up to retain her title. Shoutout to Mark Sterling with his lawyer gimmick to make the match have more stakes.

The main event was Kenny Omega (considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time) and Konosuke Takeshita (Japanese wrestling prodigy) taking on the Butcher and the Blade. The action with intense, from Omega’s V-Trigger (knee strike) to Takeshita’s Blue Thunder Bomb (belly-to-back powerbomb). The Butcher and the Blade served as good opponents for this match, as they served as good bases for taking big wrestling moves and are considered to be some of the hardest hitting wrestlers on the roster. The post match events were also a big story with the Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta, and Claudio Castagnoli) attacking Omega until the Young Bucks (the other two members that form The Elite with Omega) came down to the ring for the save. Takeshita was stuck in the middle between the BCC and The Elite, wanting to stay loyal to The Elite though not wanting to fight the BCC. His failure to commit cost him, with the BCC beating down Takeshita, the BCC going as far as to stab Takeshita in the head with a screwdriver (yes you read that correctly) to end the show.

Founded by Tony Khan (son of Shadid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C.) AEW is a content machine, providing hours of wrestling per week. Before and after the live action, AEW pre taped for ROH (the other wrestling company Tony Khan owns) and for AEW Rampage for TNT on Friday. With almost 5 hours of wrestling action for the night, the fans were a super loud and ready to cheer on their favorites and pop for the big surprises that were waiting for them that night.

Khan himself came out to address the fans a couple of times and to thank them for their support, and you can tell it meant quite a bit to Khan since he said he considers Florida his home. It felt like going to a family gathering where everyone wanted to party. The whole event was fun, you can see the many fans that were passionate all night long, the wrestling was super clean and loud (and mic’d up well for the live experience), and everyone went home happy. Tony Khan is as passionate as anyone for wrestling, and he wanted to put on a hell of a show for the Sunrise crowd, and he did. It is very much worth it to check out AEW when they come to Ft. Lauderdale, highly recommended!

For more information visit: www.allelitewrestling.com

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

  • Photo courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

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