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AEW Dynamite preview (Dec. 27, 2023): It’s not looking good for Swerve Strickland

AEW Dynamite

Dynamite airs tonight (Dec. 27) with a live show from Addition Financial Center in Orlando, Florida. This is the final episode of Dynamite during the six week build towards Worlds End, which takes place on Saturday (Dec. 30).

It’s not looking good for Swerve Strickland

Tonight’s New Year’s Smash episode of Dynamite features the semifinal round of the Continental Classic tournament. After tonight’s tournament matches are over, we will know which two men are heading to Worlds End on Saturday to fight for the Triple Crown (NJPW Strong Openweight, Ring of Honor World & new AEW Continental titles).

The Gold League Final is actually a triple threat match that includes Jon Moxley, Swerve Strickland, and Jay White. A good argument can be made for any of these men to win this match, so AEW has done well with creating intrigue over the outcome.

Swerve Strickland is the hot star who is quickly moving towards the main event scene in AEW after defeating Hangman Page in an incredible Texas death match at Full Gear. Unlike Moxley and White, though, there’s a big cloud hanging over Swerve’s head, and that’s the presence of a very pissed off Keith Lee. On the last episode of Collision, Keith promised that he will be at Dynamite tonight, and his only mission is to tear down Swerve’s house. This is all because Keith never got his revenge on Swerve for turning on him and injuring him with a cinder block one year ago.

Up to this point the Continental Classic has forbidden any ringside interference, but even if those rules remain in effect for the triple threat, Keith can still get his hands on Swerve backstage earlier in the show. The bottom line is that I wouldn’t want to be Swerve right now with both Keith Lee and Hangman Page determined to make his life a living hell.

Jon Moxley would normally be the favorite to win this match, but Jay White may have injured Moxley’s lower body at the end of last week’s episode. Mox will be at a disadvantage if he is stilll feeling the effects of that cheap attack. It’s also worth noting that Moxley (and Bryan Danielson) is scheduled to wrestle in Japan next Thursday (Jan. 4) at Wrestle Kingdom 18. Is it possible that Moxley’s upcoming travel for Japan will affect his availability for Worlds End this Saturday? The winner of this match needs to be able to compete on Saturday’s show in Long Island, New York.

With Swerve being targeted by Lee and Moxley potentially wrestling hurt, that could certainly open the door for Jay White to walk out of the Gold League Final as the winner.

One last thing to keep in mind here is that these three men are all major players in AEW, but two of them will suddenly have nothing to do at Worlds End after they lose this match. Mox and White don’t really have any other backup match lined up for Worlds End if they lose tonight, but Swerve does have an obvious match with Keith Lee waiting for him at Worlds End if he is eliminated from the Continental Classic. That might be one more reason to bet against Strickland.

The rest of tonight’s lineup

The Continental Classic’s Blue League Final also takes place tonight in the form of Bryan Danielson vs. Eddie Kingston. Bryan is extremely confident coming into the fight because he says Eddie is a bum who has never beaten him. Will the Mad King prove him wrong tonight, or will this be Eddie’s final match holding ROH and NJPW gold?

Samoa Joe & AEW World Champion MJF are scheduled to defend the ROH world tag team titles tonight against RETRIBUTION The Devil’s Masked Henchmen. This match was advertised earlier this month on Dynamite, but it never happened because MJF was attacked backstage by The Devil’s goons. Will MJF and Joe learn from their mistake to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself tonight? If the match actually happens and the masked goons win, will we find out their identities afterwards? Finally, how will this match and/or angle add maximum heat to the AEW world championship match at Worlds End between MJF and Joe?

Renee Paquette will interview Mariah May tonight, where May will presumably discuss when we can expect to see her AEW in-ring debut. But will AEW Women’s World Champion “Timeless” Toni Storm interrupt the interview and steal her spotlight? Will Riho show up and get in the last laugh on May and Storm ahead of her title match with Storm at Worlds End?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy has been working with a bunch of low card wrestlers lately and doesn’t have a clear diretion for Worlds End. Who will Tony Khan come up with at the last second to book Cassidy in a match against at the PPV? There are suddenly a lot of former WWE wrestlers on the free agent market...

- Now that Kenny Omega is out with diverticulitis, it sounds like Chris Jericho plans to find a new tag team partner to challenge AEW World Tag Team Champions Ricky Starks and Big Bill. Will Jericho find his new partner in time for Worlds End, or will the Don Callis Family interrupt Jericho’s plans and distract him from chasing championship gold?

- TNT Champion Christian Cage now has the matriarch Shayna Wayne standing by his side heading into his title defense against Adam Copeland in a No Disqualification match at Wolds End. How will Copeland respond to Cage and Wayne on tonight’s go-home show?

- FTW Champion HOOK vs. ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta is booked for Worlds End. Will Claudio Castagnoli help Wheeler ambush HOOK tonight to soften him up ahead of their big match?

- AEW World Trios Champions Daddy Ass & The Acclaimed retained their belts on Collision against Top Flight and Action Andretti. It looked like Max Caster held the tights on the winning pin fall, potentially opening the door for a rematch.

- Will Roderick Strong, The Kingdom, Wardlow, or Adam Cole make an appearance tonight to get involved in MJF and Samoa Joe’s business with The Devil?

- There is no episode of Collision this week due to Worlds End on Saturday night, so we may see a few Collision wrestlers like FTR, House of Black, Abadon, and TBS Champion Julia Hart show up tonight to further their respective feuds before the PPV.

- Saraya told Angelo Parker that he’s a piece of shit, but she pretends to like him during her conversations with Ruby Soho. I guess Ruby doesn’t watch the show.

- Will we hear anything from Sting before the calendar changes to 2024?

- Is Jay Lethal going to turn a new leaf and ditch Jeff Jarrett’s crew after losing every single match in the Continental Classic?

- Stokely Hathaway may need a new approach tonight if his goal is to convince Kris Statlander to turn her back on Willow Nightingale, Orange Cassidy, and that bitch ass Danhausen.

- It sounds like Jack Perry is no longer suspended by AEW, so where the f*** is he?

What will you be looking for on Dynamite?

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