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AEW Dynamite preview (Nov. 22, 2023): The Continental Classic will dominate AEW TV for the rest of the year

AEW Collision

Dynamite airs tonight (Nov. 22) with a live show from WinTrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. This is the first episode of Dynamite during the six week build towards Worlds End, which takes place on December 30.

The Continental Classic will dominate AEW TV for the rest of the year

AEW’s Continental Classic officially begins tonight. This 12-man round-robin tournament will in all likelihood dominate Dynamite, Collision, and Rampage programming for the remainder of the year. If the 12-man field is divided into two separate round-robin brackets, that results in about 30 total tournament matches (roughly 6 matches per week) before we get to the Worlds End final on December 30.

With so many matches required to complete the tournament, AEW needs to carefully select which 12 wrestlers will participate. So far we know four of the 12 wrestlers involved - Bryan Danielson, Andrade El Idolo, Mark Briscoe, and Eddie Kingston. The remaining eight competitors will be revealed this afternoon, well before Dynamite begins. Unlike most of AEW’s single elimination tournaments, spots in the Continental Classic shouldn’t be wasted on pretenders like Shawn Spears, for example, so it will be very interesting to see who else makes the cut.

The tournament rules we currently know about consist of the following: a wrestler scores three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss. No interference is allowed and nobody can be ringside during the matches, which means CJ Perry will not be there to help Andrade win, for example. AEW has yet to state an official time limit for the tournament matches, which will presumably be an important factor in any potential draws that occur.

The prize at stake is that the tournament winner becomes the unified New Japan Strong Openweight champion, Ring of Honor World champion, and AEW Continental champion.

The Continental Classic is an exciting new idea (inspired by the NJPW G1 Climax) that AEW is trying for the first time, and we’ll get our first taste of it tonight. That first bite better taste good, because this tournament is going to be a main focus of AEW TV for the rest of 2023.

The rest of tonight’s lineup

Aside from the start of the Continental Classic, the only other thing currently advertised for Dynamite is that TNT Champion Christian Cage will “rechristen” Nick Wayne and Luchasaurus. The Patriarchy is coming off a loss at Full Gear to the super babyface squad of Adam Copeland, Sting, and Darby Allin, and Christian isn’t wasting any time making adjustments. I bet we’ll see the “Rated R Superstar” make an appearance to interrupt this segment.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- AEW World Champion MJF owes Samoa Joe another title shot after he accepted his help to retain the ROH world tag team belts at Full Gear. Will MJF vs. Joe be made official for Worlds End? Or will Wardlow try to butt in first?

- After taking out AEW World Trios Champions Daddy Ass & The Acclaimed a couple weeks ago, who will The Devil’s next victim(s) be? Now that Jay White is out of the picture, will MJF make it a bigger priority to figure out the identity of the person hiding beneath his devil mask?

- Before we get to Worlds End, the Winter is Coming episode of Dynamite is three weeks away (Dec. 13) and is typically one of AEW’s most important TV shows of the year. We should start getting some title matches booked for that show ASAP. Is that where new AEW Women’s World Champion “Timeless” Toni Storm will make her first title defense?

- Kris Statlander’s long run as TBS champion came to an end at Full Gear when Julia Hart stole the pin fall on Skye Blue. Considering that Statlander was not pinned or submitted to lose her belt, it figures that she deserves a one-on-one title match against Hart very soon.

- AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy found a way to beat Jon Moxley at Full Gear. Is this the end of their feud, or is one more championship match coming our way?

- Ricky Starks and Big Bill outlasted FTR, LFI, and House of Black in a 4-way ladder match to retain the AEW world tag team titles at Full Gear. With those three teams out of the way, the next shot should go to Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho, who earned a title match by defeating the Young Bucks at Full Gear.

- It looked like AEW was building towards an FTW championship match between HOOK and Wheeler Yuta, but I’m not so sure about that anymore after Yuta was defeated by Buddy Matthews last week on Collision.

- Swerve Strickland and Hangman Page stole the show at Full Gear in one of the most violent wrestling matches you’ll ever see. How will Hangman respond after failing to defeat the guy who invaded his family’s home?

- Have Daddy Magic and Saraya come up with a plan yet to ensure that Ruby Soho and Angelo Parker don’t fall in love?

- What is Paul Wight’s status after he was slammed onto a car by Powerhouse Hobbs last week?

- Sting made his AEW debut three years ago at Winter is Coming 2020. What big plan will AEW come up with for him for the 2023 iteration as his retirement tour continues?

- Is Jack Perry still suspended? If not, where the f*** is he?

What will you be looking for on Dynamite?

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