Get set for the week in WWE and AEW with Opening Bell: quick previews of Raw, SmackDown, Dynamite and Rampage.
Welcome to the Opening Bell, where we round up what’s been announced for WWE (Raw and SmackDown) and AEW (Dynamite and Rampage) programming for the week we’ve just begun.
WWE Raw preview – Monday, November 21, MVP Arena, Albany, NY
Before you dig into your turkey and stuffing or other foods of choice this week, there’s business to take care of on Raw. The women’s WarGames teams are set for Survivor Series, but which side will have the advantage is up for grabs on Monday in Albany.
To settle that important question, Asuka will take on Rhea Ripley. The winner will get a numerical advantage every few minutes during WarGames, so both Team Bianca Belair and Team Damage CTRL will be watching anxiously (and perhaps even intervening) to see who comes out on top.
And that’s all WWE has officially revealed for this week’s show so far. Considering Survivor Series WarGames only has four matches announced and the women’s match still has one participant yet to be revealed, smart money suggests we’ll get some answers on Monday night.
AEW Dynamite preview – Wednesday, November 23, Wintrust Arena, Chicago
AEW is headed back to one of its homes away from home, the Windy City, for the pre-Thanksgiving episode of Dynamite. The biggest thing on the card is determining a No. 1 contender for MJF, who you may have heard is now the AEW World Champion following Full Gear. Ethan Page and Ricky Starks will wrestle for that honor in the final of a tournament that’s been going for a few weeks.
But the show is pretty loaded beyond that. The Elite and Death Triangle tore it down at Full Gear, where it was revealed they’re going to do it again … and again and again, in a best-of-7 series for the AEW World Trios Championship. Match two takes place Wednesday on Dynamite.
Chris Jericho is still The Ocho, but he’ll get a formidable challenge for his ROH World Championship from Tomohiro Ishii of NJPW. And Orange Cassidy, who’s been putting his All-Atlantic Championship on the line regularly, will face perhaps his physically biggest test as champ in the form of Jake Hager (and his purple bucket hat).
A good night of wrestling before turkey? It sounds like it.
AEW Rampage preview – Friday, November 25, Wintrust Arena, Chicago (recorded on November 23)
We still don’t know much about what AEW has planned for Rampage this holiday week, but we do know one thing: It’s not going to be on at 10 p.m. ET like usual.
Nope, Rampage is moving earlier, much earlier, for this pre-taped show from the Chi. It will air at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on TNT. So … just be thankful for some afternoon wrestling, we suppose.
WWE SmackDown preview – Friday, November 25, Amica Mutual Pavilion, Providence, RI
We’re bummed this venue is no longer the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, even though we’re sure the folks at Amica Mutual are lovely. It’s unusual to know much more about the SmackDown card than the Raw card on a Monday, but that’s exactly the case here for this big show on the night before Survivor Series.
The men’s WarGames advantage will be up for grabs in a tag team match between the undisputed champs, The Usos, and the brothers from another mother, Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. It would certainly help the Brawling Brutes and company if they can gain an edge over the Bloodline.
Speaking of the Brutes, another one of their own, Butch, is still alive in the SmackDown World Cup, and will take on Santos Escobar Friday in one semifinal. The other semifinal will also take place in Providence, when Ricochet goes up against Braun Strowman.
Last but certainly not least, Shotzi and Ronda Rousey continue to circle each other ahead of their title match at Survivor Series WarGames. They’ll meet in a tag team match Friday, with Shotzi teaming with Raquel Rodriguez while Rousey calls upon her BFF, Shayna Baszler.
You’ll be all shopped out by Black Friday night anyway, so this is the best possible way to end Thanksgiving week.