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Triple Threat to decide the winner of Continental Classic’s Gold League

Tonight’s (Dec. 20) Holiday Bash episode of AEW Dynamite featured the final three round robin matches in the Continental Classic’s Gold League. Multiple scenarios were in play for the tournament’s semi-finals next Wednesday, which will put the first and second place finishers in each League against each other for a spot in Triple Crown championship match at Dec. 30’s Worlds End PPV.

Action started with Swerve Strickland vs. RUSH. El Toro Blanco needed to win to ensure he was still in the mix for a possible second place tie; a number of scenarios were in play for Strickland, but a win would almost ensure him a spot in the semis.

Swerve’s strategy to rebound from his loss to Jon Moxley last Wednesday involved targeting RUSH’s injured leg. It worked in so much as it kept the Mexican star from hitting his Bull’s Horns finisher. Strickland is banged up from previous tournament action himself too, though. A couple of rough landings didn’t help his shoulder tonight either. But he fought through it — and RUSH defiantly kicking out at one after taking a 450 Splash — to win with a Stomp.

That eliminated RUSH and meant Strickland would definitely remain a factor, depending on the outcome of the main event. But first, long-time friends and rivals Jay Lethal & Mark Briscoe fought for pride... and to see if either men would go winless in the first C2. Both gave their all, but in the end if was Mark who secured the pin with his late brother’s Jay Driller. Fitting for two Ring of Honor veterans, Lethal & Briscoe shook hands after the bell.

So it all came down to Mox vs. Switchblade Jay White. You could tell it was a big deal, because Jim Ross returned to call it!

Moxley quickly tried to sweep the Gold League, trying to choke White out in the first minute. He wasn’t successful, but he did control the action... until a Switchblade chop black took out his left knee. Mox battled on with one good leg, but his roll was slowed when White dropped him knee first on the ring steps, then outsmarted referee Bryce Remsburg to get in an illegal chair shot on it as well.

That almost got the Switchblade a countout win, and led to a series of nearfalls for each man as we approached the 15 minute mark. Just past it, White connected with a Blade Runner to hand Mox his first loss in the tournament. Because each of the men with 12 points has a win over one of the others, that result forces a Triple Threat semi next Wednesday.

Swerve came out for a staredown, and Jay took advantage of the opportunity to clip Mox’s bad knee again, furthering handicapping him heading into next week’s showdown.

Here’s the final standings for this group, and a reminder of where things stand for the other:

Gold League

Jon Moxley (4-1-0): 12 points
Swerve Strickland (4-1-0): 12
Jay White (4-1-0): 12
RUSH (2-3-0): 6*
Mark Briscoe (1-4-0): 3*
Jay Lethal (0-5-0): 0*

Blue League

Andrade El Idolo (3-1-0): 9 points
Bryan Danielson (3-1-0): 9
Brody King (2-2-0): 6
Eddie Kingston (2-2-0): 6
Claudio Castagnoli (2-2-0): 6
Daniel Garcia (0-4-0): 0*

* Eliminated, and will not advance past the round robin stage.

The final Blue League matches take place Saturday (Dec. 23) on Collision:

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

Then the Dec. 27 Dynamite will feature both semi-finals, with the winners going on wrestle for the Triple Crown (NJPW Strong Openweight, Ring of Honor World & new AEW Continental titles) at Worlds End on Dec. 30.

Place your bets!

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