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Continental Classic’s Gold League is set up for a high stakes final week

AEW’s X

AEW’s Continental Classic tournament continued on tonight’s (Dec. 13) Winter is Coming edition of Dynamite. The episode featured three more matches in the Gold League, and one from the Blue League that until now has only been featured on Rampage and Collision.

That bout was first, as Andrade El Ídolo looked to follow-up his big win over Bryan Danielson last Saturday against a man who entered tonight tied with Andrade atop Blue League — Brody King. The Mexican star pulled out all the stops trying to overcome the size and power disparity, and took a ton of punishment throughout a proverbial slobberknocker.

He survived long enough to drive the House of Black member’s head into an exposed turnbuckle, and followed it up with a Hammerlock DDT to secure the win.

There wasn’t much doubt about the first Gold League match of the night, because Jay Lethal’s already mathematically eliminated and RUSH would be too with a loss. So it wasn’t too surprising when El Toro Blanco choked out Lethal to ensure a chance remained that his match with Swerve Strickland next week will matter for him.

Jay White needs to win out to get into the finals, which is one of the reasons he was the favorite to beat Mark Briscoe tonight. Ahead of an emotional match in honor of his late brother this Friday at ROH Final Battle, Briscoe gave Switchblade hell. But he couldn’t pull off the upset, which AEW announcer Excalibur said left left only three men in the mix for the Gold League final. But more on that in a bit.

The main event was a battle of undefeated wrestlers, with sole possession of first place on the line. It also would dictate scenarios for next week’s final round robin matches and the League finals beyond. But not many were thinking of those when Jon Moxley and Swerve Strickland went to war for almost the entire 20 minute time limit.

Both men kicked out of big moves and Swerve escaped a submission, but he couldn’t escape a roll-up counter when Mox had a hold of his belt. Actually he may have escaped, but referee Paul Turner missed the fact one of his shoulders was nowhere near the mat as he counted three.

It gives us a few different scenarios for the final week, but first a look at the updated standings for the Continental Classic:

Gold League

Jon Moxley (4-0-0): 12 points
Swerve Strickland (3-1-0): 9
Jay White (3-1-0): 9
RUSH (2-2-0): 6
Mark Briscoe (0-4-0): 0*
Jay Lethal (0-4-0): 0*

Blue League

Andrade El Idolo (3-0-0): 9 points
Brody King (2-1-0): 6
Bryan Danielson (2-1-0): 6
Eddie Kingston (1-2-0): 3
Claudio Castagnoli (1-2-0): 3
Daniel Garcia (0-3-0): 0

* Will continue, but mathematically eliminated and can not advance past the round robin stage.

Blue League action continues Saturday on Collision:

  • Andrade El Ídolo (9 points) vs. Claudio Castagnoli (3 points)
  • Brody King (6 points) vs. Bryan Danielson (6 points)
  • Eddie Kingston (3 points) vs. Daniel Garcia (0 points)

The final Gold League matches then take place on the Dec. 20 Dynamite:

  • Jon Moxley (12 points) vs. Jay White (9 points)
  • Swerve Strickland (9 points) vs. RUSH (6 points)
  • Jay Lethal (0 points) vs. Mark Briscoe (0 points)

Now about those scenarios...

If Mox wins or draw, he advances to the League finals (tournament semi-finals) the week before Worlds End. Swerve can punch his ticket to the League finals with a win and a Mox win or draw, while Switchblade needs to beat Mox and have RUSH defeat or draw with Strickland to ensure a spot in the League Finals. If Strickland draws, he needs Moxley to beat or draw with White to move on. If Switchblade & Mox draw, White needs Swerve to lose to reach the League Finals.

Even though it was said on Dynamite that RUSH is done, by our math if he beats Swerve and Moxley beats Switchblade we’d have a three-way tie for second with each man holding a tiebreaker over another at 9 points.

Wins by White and Swerve next week would also trigger a tiebreaker scenario, with them on 12 points with Moxley and each man holding a tiebreaker over one of the others. We’ll see how AEW opts to sort those scenarios out if they book themselves into them.

Should be an exciting few weeks!

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