clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
AEW on TV’s X

All Elite Wrestling is back on Oct. 1 with a brand new PPV — WrestleDream, a show dedicated to the memory of Antonio Inoki, coming our way from Seattle!

Including a free streaming pre-show which starts one hour earlier, the event will feature six title bouts — one of which is a two-on-one affair and another a two-out-of-three falls match. There’s also a lot of talk about surprise appearances & debuts, and a gang of masked attackers roaming around!

It’s a lot to process. But our motley crew is back to make predictions about the matches coming our way Sunday night from Climate Pledge Arena, and muse about all things AEW along the way.

Let's get to it.


Bryan Danielson vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.

Sean Rueter: If Okada didn’t beat a one-armed version of him in Chicago, ZSJ isn’t going to get the job done in Seattle. I will mark the f out for whatever happens, though. Pick: Bryan Danielson

Geno Mrosko: A dream match for a giving man. Pick: Zack Sabre, Jr.

Claire Elizabeth: I win. It’s me. I’m the winner. I’ve been pining after this match for almost ten years now, and it’s happening. Holy hell. Anyway! Zack Sabre, Jr. might be the best technical wrestler in the world, but Bryan Danielson is the best wrestler in the world, period. Sorry ZSJ, it ain’t your night. Pick: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson

Cain A. Knight: I remember when Sabre lost to Bryan’s replacement back at Forbidden Door 2022, so the actual man himself should be heavily favored. Pick: Bryan Danielson

Manolo H. Pizzazz: The home hero won’t be suffering singles defeat this soon into his last hurrah. Pick: Bryan Danielson

Marcus Benjamin: I don’t see Bryan losing this match in Seattle. And like Cain said, Zack didn’t get it done at Forbidden Door, it’s not happening here to the real deal. Pick: Bryan Danielson

Kyle Decker: I think for sure Okada would beat Danielson at Forbidden Door. If he can lose to Bryan, anyone in New Japan can. Pick: Bryan Danielson

Hangman Page vs. Swerve Strickland

Sean Rueter: The black cloud is no longer hovering over my guy’s head, but all his guys are elsewhere while Mogul Embassy can focus all its attention on this one right here. Pick: Swerve Strickland

Geno Mrosko: He just won a title. No jobs! Pick: Hangman Page

Claire Elizabeth: This has been really compelling but Shane Strickland needs to win here to really establish himself, whereas a loss for Hangman just lights more fire in his belly, so the math is simple. Pick: Shane “Swerve” Strickland

Cain A. Knight: The Hangman just won some ROH six-man gold, so he can do the job in this singles match in Swerve’s hometown. Pick: Swerve Strickland

Manolo H. Pizzazz: A loss hurts Swerve in this case, but a loss for the cowboy would be much more grave. It could put him back to square one in his crisis with confidence, a story we’ve seen before. Nobody wants to watch that again. Pick: Hangman Page

Marcus Benjamin: AEW has something in Swerve and it’s time they truly recognize it. With everything with Punk and Jade, they need new stars and can’t rely on the same faces to be the top cats anymore. That includes Hangman. Swerve finally revealed his aspirations for the big belt, so let him fly and see what happens. Let him ride solo starting tonight. Pick: Swerve Strickland

Kyle Decker: I really like this feud a bunch and it’s the only match with real heat to it. I was initially going to pick Hangman because they clearly have him higher in their pecking order than Swerve. But man, Swerve really needs to win a program and Hangman discussing Swerve in the same sentence as the world title had me thinking. Pick: Swerve Strickland

FTR (c) vs. Aussie Open for the AEW Tag Team championship

Sean Rueter: Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher are good, but are they “fixtures of the tag title scene in two brands” good? Tony Khan seems to think so. Enough to strap em up here? Fortune favors the bold, TK. Pick: Aussie Open

Geno Mrosko: Haven’t done nearly enough to think a change is coming. Pick: FTR

Claire Elizabeth: Yeah I like Aussie Open (but I could really use having their Kill the Ideal music back from the UK indies) but they’re not winning the tag titles here tonight. Pick: FTR

Cain A. Knight: I think Aussie Open has a non-zero chance to win this match, but it’s closer to zero percent than 100 percent. Pick: FTR

Manolo H. Pizzazz: The team that beats FTR during this run as the greatest tag team in the history of time should go to a bigger story. Pick: FTR

Marcus Benjamin: This is a nice challenge for FTR but they retain. Pick: FTR

Kyle Decker: The worst part about having two sets of every title is a team like Aussie Open can lose one set of titles and just go ahead and challenge for the others. That’ll need to be something AEW cleans up in general. As for Aussie Open, they’re not having any better luck here. Pick: FTR

MJF (c) vs. The Righteous in a Handicap Match for the ROH Tag titles

Sean Rueter: We’re too early into whatever the masked devil story is to have Max fail in his vow to keep these belts until Adam Cole comes back, right? I’m on the fence about both of these tag title matches, but I already picked a change in one, so... Pick: Maxwell Jacob Friedman

Geno Mrosko: Not sure anyone is going to look good by the end of this. Pick: MJF

Claire Elizabeth: This one is clearly set up to favor shenanigans and/or some wacky nonsense like one of Adam Cole’s other friends (how’s Kyle O’Reilly feeling lately?) stepping in to team with MJF for one night only, keeping the titles warm for Cole for a little while. Pick: Maxwell Jacob Friedman

Cain A. Knight: Is this really the best idea AEW could come up with for its world champion on pay-per-view? Pick: MJF

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Logically, the Righteous should win the handicap match, however, nobody is on the level of the devil. Pick: MJF

Marcus Benjamin: I’m looking forward to the swerve of all swerves. Pick: MJF

Kyle Decker: While it makes sense for MJF to have to part with these titles eventually, I think they’ll work the angle of him fighting his ass off to protect them for his friend (who will eventually screw him). It’s possible a hobbled Cole could even cause some distraction in this match from the outside to help the champ out. Pick: MJF

Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi vs. Konosuke Takeshita, Sammy Guevara & Will Ospreay

Sean Rueter: They established Takeshita by having him beat Kenneth Bai Gawd Omega (twice). Thinking they’ll make a statement here by having Sammy pin the Ocho. Pick: The Don Callis Family

Geno Mrosko: Guevara is here to eat the loss, isn’t he? Pick: Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi

Claire Elizabeth: I tell you what I had a real strong feeling about this one when I was liveblogging Wednesday night but it’s evaporated and I’m really not sure. I kinda think you gotta establish the heel faction a little bit more though? Pick: Don Callis Family

Cain A. Knight: Maybe Sammy Guevara joined the Don Callis family so someone on that side can finally take a pin. Pick: Kota Ibushi, Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega

Manolo H. Pizzazz: The Don Callis curse strikes on Omega once again. Pick: Konosuke Takeshita, Sammy Guevara, & Will Ospreay

Marcus Benjamin: Sammy just joined this group and they need wins for traction. AEW has a ton of factions but not all of them are threats. Let Don Callis & the Fam get some momentum here. Pick: The Don Callis Family

Kyle Decker: Kenny, Jericho, and Ibushi are too strong of a team to take the L here. Will won’t take the pin, but Takeshita or Sammy can without issue. Pick: Jericho, Kenny, & Ibushi

Christian Cage (c) vs. Darby Allin in a Two-out-of-Three Falls match for the TNT championship

Sean Rueter: The Adam Copeland of it all really throws me off. If he’s here for feud with his old friend, Cage doesn’t need a belt for that. Prior to the signs of Edge’s arrival, I figured we’d get a Nick Wayne turn here, but that doesn’t really fit with either an E & C rivalry or reunion. Screw it, I’m going with the hometown guy again. Pick: Darby Allin

Geno Mrosko: Oh man, I don’t know. I don’t really want a change here, though. Heart wins. Pick: Christian Cage

Claire Elizabeth: I don’t think Edge is actually going to get involved so that doesn’t help. It feels weird to have Cage pick the title up in a three-way and immediately lose it, too. But then maybe we have our cake and eat it too with a DQ? Ah, but it’s supposed to be the main event... I dunno. Pick: Christian Cage

Cain A. Knight: Welcome to AEW, Edge. Now whose side are you on? Pick: Darby Allin

Manolo H. Pizzazz: This is being billed as a classic wrestling match, so... Headlock takeover. Pick: Darby Allin

Marcus Benjamin: Christian retains thanks to an extra edge he has over the competition. Pick: Christian Cage

Kyle Decker: It really has felt like Nick Wayne is primed to betray Darby to align with his new dad. This seems like the perfect place to do that. Pick: Christian Cage

Eddie Kingston (c) vs. Katsuyori Shibata for the ROH World & NJPW Strong Openweight titles

Sean Rueter: Shibata wins every time TK lets him wrestle. And I could see Eddie dropping one of these belts soon, but not both at once. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Geno Mrosko: It would be shameful to do a switch here. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Claire Elizabeth: Eddie’s gonna do it, I’m gonna love it, the end. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Cain A. Knight: Tony Khan didn’t put the ROH world championship on Eddie just to have him drop it less than a month later. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Manolo H. Pizzazz: This is another match where the result defies logic. Shibata has the edge in every category competitively, and yet Kingston will somehow earn the win. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Marcus Benjamin: No way. No way does Eddie lose here after just getting that belt and finally getting the recognition he richly deserves. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Kyle Decker: I don’t think Kingston loses those titles so soon after winning the ROH one. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Kris Statlander (c) vs. Julia Hart for the TBS championship

Sean Rueter: She may very well end up being the biggest star to emerge from House of Black, but she’s not winning the belt here. Pick: Kris Statlander

Geno Mrosko: I like Hart a lot but there’s no way. Pick: Kris Statlander

Claire Elizabeth: I wouldn’t mind seeing the hot potato here to cement Julia’s position, but I don’t think it’s actually going to happen. Pick: Kris Statlander

Cain A. Knight: Kris Statlander recently defeated Jade Cargill and Britt Baker, which means Julia Hart is in way over her head. Pick: Kris Statlander

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Mama isn’t afraid of any spooky little girls. Pick: Kris Statlander

Marcus Benjamin: I want to ride with Julia because I think she’s got something. But they built to Kris’ reign for so long that it feels silly undercutting it here. Pick: Kris Statlander

Kyle Decker: It’s Statlander’s match to lose. Pick: Kris Statlander

The Young Bucks vs. Lucha Bros vs. The Gunns vs. Orange Cassidy & HOOK for an AEW Tag title shot

Sean Rueter: Half of two of these teams are in the International title scene right now, and another is about to play supporting roles in the World championship picture. So I’m going with the over duo who don’t have anything else to do. Pick: Orange Cassidy & HOOK

Geno Mrosko: Bang Bang. Pick: The Gunns

Claire Elizabeth: Once again I shall complain about having to liveblog a four-way tag team match. Anyway, Cassidy and HOOK feel like the kind of team you throw together in TEW to fill out a card and then you get the agent note about them having great chemistry and aw dangit now they’re in the title scene, shucks. Pick: HOOK & Orange Cassidy

Cain A. Knight: I don’t think the Young Bucks will go away so quietly after losing to FTR at Wembley Stadium. Pick: Young Bucks

Manolo H. Pizzazz: It’s time for someone fresh to challenge for the AEW tag titles. Pick: Orange Cassidy & Hook

Marcus Benjamin: I always ride with the team that has HOOK Pick: Orange Cassidy & HOOK

Kyle Decker: There are three legit tag teams but I’m out here picking the one that isn’t. After his match at All Out, AEW needs to keep Orange hot and program with FTR will keep him front and center. Pick: Orange Cassidy & HOOK

Ricky Starks vs. Wheeler Yuta

Sean Rueter: His role at the BCC Dojo is to get his ass kicked, and that’s his role here (I did really like Wheeler in the scene setting this up that aired on Dynamite though). Pick: Ricky Starks

Geno Mrosko: They can’t keep having Starks taking losses. Pick: Ricky Starks

Claire Elizabeth: I really, really wanna pick my boy YUTA here but yeah, Starks needs something here. Pick: “Absolute” Ricky Starks

Cain A. Knight: This win is something of a consolation prize for Starks after losing multiple gimmick matches to Bryan Danielson in September. Pick: Ricky Starks

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Starks is the essence of success. Pick: Ricky Starks

Marcus Benjamin: Once again, gotta build up people. Starks deserves a rocket on his back. Pick: Ricky Starks

Kyle Decker: I thought it was possible Ricky would pick a win over Bryan in this series. So I think he can definitely pick one up on the member that is with them to take Ls. Pick: Ricky Starks

The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn (c) vs. Shane Haste, Mikey Nicholls, & Bad Dude Tito

Sean Rueter: It’s not going to be TMDK’s night. Pick: The Acclaimed & Father Tuchus

Geno Mrosko: This Billy Gunn thing don’t fly with me. Daddy Ass forever. Pick: The Acclaimed & Daddy Ass

Claire Elizabeth: 1000% the Acclaimed walk out with the trios titles and the love of everyone. Pick: The Acclaimed & Daddy Ass

Cain A. Knight: I really hope SLAPJACK is the mystery guy under the MJF devil mask, setting up his eventual world title run in AEW. Pick: Daddy Ass & The Acclaimed

Manolo H. Pizzazz: The mighty don’t kneel, but they will scissor. Pick: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn

Marcus Benjamin: C’mon now. Pick: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn

Kyle Decker: Feels like a no brainer. Pick: The Acclaimed & Daddy Ass

Nick Wayne vs. Luchasaurus

Sean Rueter: Can Christian get his dinosaur-man to lay down here as part of his quest to get in Nick’s mom’s pants bring Nick to the dark side? My utter confusion about the main event notwithstanding, I think so. Pick: Nick Wayne

Geno Mrosko: I mean. Pick: Luchasaurus

Claire Elizabeth: Big win for the little man in his home base, let’s go. Pick: Nick Wayne

Cain A. Knight: I don’t think Nick Wayne has won a singles match in AEW. Pick: Luchasaurus

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Not every home hero will have a happy ending on this evening. Pick: Luchasaurus

Marcus Benjamin: The dinosaur squashes. Pick: Luchasaurus

Kyle Decker: It would be pretty devastating for the big guy to take this loss. Pick: Luchasaurus

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Josh Barnett

Sean Rueter: This should, or at least could, be a bigger deal. As it is, I don’t see any reason to beat the guy who’s on AEW television every week. Pick: Claudio Castagnoli

Geno Mrosko: You probably don’t want to beat the man in his debut, right? Pick: Josh Barnett

Claire Elizabeth: Claudio wins here, and then AEW loans him out so he can lose to Barnett in a Bloodsport match the next time they run one of those shows, easy. Pick: Claudio Castagnoli

Cain A. Knight: Booking Josh Barnett’s AEW debut on the pre-show is already sort of telling fans that he’s not a big deal. Pick: Claudio Castagnoli

Manolo H. Pizzazz: The Warmaster will preserve his special attraction status. Pick: Josh Barnett

Marcus Benjamin: Claudio takes the L here in a fun match. Pick: Josh Barnett

Kyle Decker: I guess since Claudio isn’t ROH champ any more, they don’t have a need to protect him in a match like this. Pick: Josh Barnett

Athena, Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima & Billie Starkz vs. Lee Moriarty, Mercedes Martinez, Diamante & Shane Taylor

Sean Rueter: I don’t always prescribe to the “babyfaces win on the pre-show” theory, but it definitely applies here. Pick: Athena, Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima & Billie Starkz

Geno Mrosko: The possibilities are, sigh, limitless. Pick: Athena & Keith Lee & Satoshi Kojima & Billie Starkz

Claire Elizabeth: I like everyone in this match but I am going to invoke my liveblog lady kvetching privilege again because cramming these pre-shows full of matches just makes my stress levels redline from the moment I pick up my keyboard. Anyway yeah babyfaces and preshow tags, you know the deal. Pick: Athena, Billie Starkz, Keith Lee, & Satoshi Kojima

Cain A. Knight: Athena and Keith Lee are the biggest stars in the match, so they are the favorites to win. Pick: Athena, Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima, & Billie Starkz

Manolo H. Pizzazz: The Fallen Goddess will lead her minions to limitless victory and celebrate with bread. Pick: Athena, Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima, & Billie Starkz

Marcus Benjamin: I’m going with any team that has Keith Lee and Athena. Pick: Athena, Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima, & Billie Starkz

Kyle Decker: Let’s get Keith Lee a win here. Pick: Athena, Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima, & Billie Starkz

That's who we've got. Who are you taking, Cagesiders?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats