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Ortiz’s X

All Elite Wrestling is back on Dec. 30 with their newest PPV — Worlds End! This year-ending show comes our way from Long Island at 8pm ET.

Including a free streaming pre-show which starts one hour earlier, the event will feature six title matches — one of which is the finals of AEW’s inaugural Continental Classic tournament, and another a no DQ grudge match between two legends. We’ll also get the latest stop on Sting’s retirement tour, and more.

It’s a lot to process. But our motley crew is back to make predictions about the matches coming our way Saturday night from Uniondale, New York’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and muse about all things AEW along the way.

Let's get to it.


MJF (c) vs. Samoa Joe for the AEW World championship

Sean Rueter: Much as I love him, World champ doesn’t feel like the right role for Joe at this point in his career. And MJF’s past month (and Bryan Danielson’s past five months) prove AEW can smoke & mirrors their way around injuries. As for the overarching storyline... The Devil promised to help Joe soften up Max, not ensure he takes the title. The current champ has bigger matches ahead against whoever’s under the mask (and others, like Swerve). Pick: MJF

Geno Mrosko: Probably makes sense to do the change here story wise but business wise it doesn’t feel right. Pick: MJF

Claire Elizabeth: Absolutely the only reason to keep the title on MJF is to keep it warm for Shane Strickland, and I think Swerve’s unfinished business with Jon Moxley is going to carry him just a little too far to be worth the powder of keeping the belt on an injured champ. Besides, Joe’s in league with Satan, how can he lose? Pick: Samoa Joe

Cain A. Knight: Samoa Joe made a deal with The Devil, and it’s gonna bite him in the ass here against the local hero. Pick: MJF

Manolo H. Pizzazz: The universe is aligning for MJF’s world to end as champion. The injury toll may be too much to bear for Maxwell to stay atop the mountain. The story signals point to him losing everything beloved. Pick: Samoa Joe

Marcus Benjamin: Without sounding like a broken record, MJF is banged up and needs a break. No better way to give him said break (before he breaks) than letting Samoa Joe take the title off his waist. Plus, Swerve gets that belt soon and I’d rather see him defeat Joe than the scumbag. Sue me. Pick: Samoa Joe

Kyle Decker: Tough one. It feels like it should be Joe - with the reveal of the Devil creating that feud for MJF and the word of his injuries. At the same time, I think they’re reluctant to take the title off MJF in general. That said, it reads too much like he should lose the title here, both for the story and for him to heal up. Pick: Samoa Joe

Eddie Kingston vs. Jon Moxley in the finals of the Continental Classic, for the AEW Triple Crown championship

Sean Rueter: He hasn’t been walking the King’s Road his entire career to not become AEW’s first Triple Crown champ. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Geno Mrosko: I would just much rather see this particular outcome, to be honest. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Claire Elizabeth: If Eddie Kingston doesn’t win this match professional wrestling is broken. The whole triple crown thing is his idea, forged in the fires of the King’s Road, and as much as I love Mox, Eddie is the beating heart and soul of professional wrestling and had ought to be the guy to carry the crown. And just like he held the Chikara Grand Championship for nine hundred-odd days, it oughta be a long one. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Cain A. Knight: The whole story here says Eddie should win, but Moxley can’t be ruled out because he is always a reliable guy to strap a title to in AEW. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Manolo H. Pizzazz: For as good as an underdog story Kingston can provide, Moxley winning the triple crown would be better for AEW’s goal to establish the legacy of this tournament. Pick: Jon Moxley

Marcus Benjamin: It all comes down to this: Two friends going one-on-one for a championship. Story writes itself. I think Moxley does the favors for his boy here. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Kyle Decker: Picking against Moxley always seems like a shaky bet in AEW. However, I think they go all in on the Kingston comeback. Not knowing what the plan with these three titles become one is muddying my pick though. Do they have Moxley work ROH shows and the New Japan obligations this title comes with? I dunno. He certainly could but I saw they keep it with Eddie. Pick: Eddie Kingston

Toni Storm (c) vs. Riho for the AEW Women’s World championship

Sean Rueter: There’s no question about the outcome here, so instead I’ll predict that they give in and turn Timeless Toni face after this. Pick: Toni Storm

Geno Mrosko: Riho is great but few compare to the Timeless one right now. Pick: Toni Storm

Claire Elizabeth: It sucks given that she was the first champion and all but I have trouble regarding Riho as anything but filler and water-treading for the title scene. She’s dry white toast, and as much as I have my boggles with the Timeless Toni deal (not least that I don’t think she’s even worn a single crinoline since picking the gimmick up), she’s a fine champion. Pick: Toni Storm

Cain A. Knight: I’m always impressed with how Riho can disappear for months at a time and still get over so quickly upon returning. That being said, Toni’s chin/tits/shoe trifecta will be too much for Riho to handle. Pick: Toni Storm

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Riho doesn’t have the stature to star in film. Pick: Toni Storm

Marcus Benjamin: Toni is too hot and too timeless right now. Plus, Oscar season is right around the corner so there’s no way they take this belt off of her until at least after that. Pick: Toni Storm

Kyle Decker: Definitely not time to take this title off Timeless Toni. Pick: Timeless Toni Storm

Christian Cage (c) vs. Adam Copeland in No Disqualification match for the TNT title

Sean Rueter: fka Edge isn’t winning until they’re locked inside some kind of structure. Pick: Christian Cage

Geno Mrosko: They’re going an hour, aren’t they? Pick: Adam Copeland

Claire Elizabeth: As great as Christian’s work has been, you gotta throw the Rated-R Superstar a bone, even if you flip the title right back in a few weeks. Pick: Adam Copeland

Cain A. Knight: The Rated R Superstar must have some friends waiting in the shadows who will help neutralize Nick Wayne, Killswitch, and the Matriarch. If not, then Copeland is a dummy for choosing a No Disqualification match when the numbers are so clearly against him. Pick: Adam Copeland

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Normally, I’d side with the good guy winning this story, however, Copeland hasn’t exactly been the good guy in his actions. It’s that Christian is so despicable that Copeland looks heroic in comparison. Christian will find a way to win. Pick: Christian Cage

Marcus Benjamin: The babyface has to go over here and get his first AEW championship. It’s time for the Rated R legacy in AEW. Pick: Adam Copeland

Kyle Decker: Given Christian won the first bout, I’d say Edge wins the second. Pick: Adam Copeland

Sting, Darby Allin, Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara vs. Ricky Starks, Big Bill, Powerhouse Hobbs & Kyle Fletcher

Sean Rueter: Yeah, Sting’s not losing before March. Pick: Sting, Darby Allin, Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara vs. Ricky Starks

Geno Mrosko: There is quite literally only one possible outcome here and not even Tony Khan can screw that up. Pick: Sting & Darby Allin & Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara

Claire Elizabeth: It’s Sting’s last atomicos ever, probably! And it’s filler! Hooray! Pick: Darby Allin, Le Sex Gods, & Sting

Cain A. Knight: Sting isn’t taking his first AEW loss in an 8-man tag match where he’s not even a focal part of the story. Pick: Sting, Chris Jericho, Darby Allin & Sammy Guevara

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Sting isn’t losing before his retirement match. Pick: It’s Sting!

Marcus Benjamin: I’m picking Sting every match until he retires. Pick: Sting and the boys

Kyle Decker: Sting doesn’t lose on AEW PPVs. Revolution will be a tougher pick depending the matchup, but not this one. Pick: Sting, Darby Allin, Chris Jericho, & Sammy Guevara

Julia Hart (c) vs. Abadon for the TBS championship

Sean Rueter: Good on the living dead lady for getting a PPV match, but... Pick: Julia Hart

Geno Mrosko: There’s just no reason to make a change here. Pick: Julia Hart

Claire Elizabeth: Sweet dark lady Satan bless Abadon but they’re gonna end the night looking up at the lights. Pick: Julia Hart

Cain A. Knight: Abadon is clearly just a filler opponent for the new champ to beat. Pick: Julia Hart

Manolo H. Pizzazz: I’m curious about the effects of black mist on a zombie. Pick: Julia Hart

Marcus Benjamin: Abadon is an interesting challenger but she’s not taking the belt from Julia. Pick: Julia Hart

Kyle Decker: There’s nothing to tell me that Abadon is winning here, especially with Thunder Rosa lurking. Pick: Julia Hart

Swerve Strickland vs. Keith Lee

Sean Rueter: One guy’s on a heck of a run. The other seemed to have been forgotten until Tony Khan decided it was finally the time to book this match. I’ll go with the first guy. Pick: Swerve Strickland

Geno Mrosko: They took a bit too long to get here but it’s clear who should win. Pick: Swerve Strickland

Claire Elizabeth: Swerve. It’s gotta be Swerve. I love Keith Lee, but Swerve is THE next guy in AEW and a definitive win over his former tag partner is a fine way to spend a pay-per-view before he gets back after Jon Moxley again on his way to the world title. Pick: Shane “Swerve” Strickland

Cain A. Knight: Keith Lee wants his revenge, but the bigger priority in AEW right now should be to maintain Swerve’s status as one of the hottest stars on the roster. Pick: Swerve Strickland

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Lee winning would be a limitless dump on all the momentum Swerve has gained the past few months. Pick: Swerve Strickland

Marcus Benjamin: Why are we doing this now? Should’ve did it about a year ago. Either way, that it’s happening now means Keith takes the L while they continue grooming Swerve for his big moment. Pick: Swerve Strickland

Kyle Decker: Finally doing this match, eh? Feels a bit late. Despite not winning the Gold bracket of the Classic, he didn’t take the pin in the finals and he’s still the guy. Pick: Swerve Strickland

Miro vs. Andrade El Ídolo

Sean Rueter: Even if he’s leaving soon, there’s still time for this to be a multi-PPV program building to a Macho/Elizabeth-type moment for The Redeemer and his hot, flexible wife. CJ Perry’s client wins this one, and she won’t know how to feel about that. Pick: Andrade El Ídolo

Geno Mrosko: I will not pick against The Redeemer. Pick: Miro

Claire Elizabeth: Did y’all see that Miro promo? Dude’s effin’ scary, if I pick against him he might come to my house to do some Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back type stuff, I ain’t messing around. Pick: Miro

Cain A. Knight: Andrade had a great showing in the Continental Classic. But now that CJ Perry can theoretically be ringside for his matches again, it’s just a matter of time until she double crosses him and aligns with her husband. Pick: Miro

Manolo H. Pizzazz: CJ Perry knows how to soothe the savage Miro. She’ll figure out a hot and flexible way to set her client up for success. Plus, I think there is more to explore in this feud than one-and-done destruction. Pick: Andrade

Marcus Benjamin: I refuse to pick against Miro. I don’t want that static. Pick: Miro

Kyle Decker: The exciting battle of who wants to go back to WWE more. Feels like Andrade would be the guy who would leave first, making him less likely to win here. Pick: Miro

Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, Mark Briscoe, & Daniel Garcia vs. Brody King, Jay White, Jay Lethal, & RUSH

Sean Rueter: For no other reason than that the faces are definitely winning the other last minute eight-man on tonight’s card. Pick: Brody King, Jay White, Jay Lethal, & RUSH

Geno Mrosko: Two 8-man tags on one show is certainly a choice. Pick: Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli & Daniel Garcia & Mark Briscoe

Claire Elizabeth: What on earth is this match? Did somebody pick Collision up and shake it and this is what fell out? Real TEW “oh crap I have one match left on the card who am I not using” vibes and OH I just realized it’s all the Continental Classic leftovers okay fine sure that makes sense New Japan-style I gotcha Tony anyway one team has the greatest of all time, one of the most valued technician/power guys today, one of the most underrated-as-a-singles tag team guys ever, and “Red Death” Daniel “Pop ‘n Lock” Garcia himself on it c’mon no chance. Pick: Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, Daniel Garcia, & Mark Briscoe

Cain A. Knight: I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony Khan originally planned to get these guys on the card by adding another 20-man Battle Royal to Worlds End, but was then talked into settling for another 8-man tag team match instead. Regardless, Danielson isn’t heading into Wrestle Kingdom’s match with Okada on a losing note. Pick: Bryan Danielson, Daniel Garcia, Mark Briscoe & Claudio Castagnoli

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Danielson’s team winning would be the predictable outcome, because the American Dragon is the biggest star in the match. I think this is where AEW flips the table for an unexpected result to keep the show spicy, especially for a match that has zero ramifications to anyone’s progress. King, White, Lethal, and Rush are too conniving individually. Imagine what they strategize together. Pick: Brody King, Jay White, Jay Lethal, & Rush

Marcus Benjamin: I’m not picking against Bryan’s team. Pick: Bryan Danielson, Daniel Garcia, Mark Briscoe & Claudio Castagnoli

HOOK (c) vs. Wheeler Yuta in an FTW Rules match for the FTW championship

Sean Rueter: There’s a germ of a story here, but it’s not big enough to justify Taz’s son dropping dad’s belt. Pick: HOOK

Geno Mrosko: HOOK forever. Pick: HOOK

Claire Elizabeth: Once again I lodge a vote in protest of making me watch pre-show matches but I’m gonna say YUTA shows a little killer instinct and takes HOOK out. Pick: Wheeler YUTA

Cain A. Knight: What exactly are FTW rules? Pick: HOOK

Manolo H. Pizzazz: For Hookers. Pick: Hook

Marcus Benjamin: If they could crack Wheeler’s persona and give him an actual character, this might be more interesting. I like him better in the ring than HOOK, but HOOK has something Yuta doesn’t. And I’m not talking about the belt. Pick: HOOK

Kyle Decker: Man, Yuta is good in the ring and all, but I don’t feel him as a character at all. Pick: HOOK

20 man battle royal for an anytime, anywhere TNT title shot

Sean Rueter: Since it will tie into the championship story regardless of which Conquistador wins the belt later on in the show... Pick: Luchasaurus Killswitch

Geno Mrosko: Hmm. Pick: Johnny TV

Claire Elizabeth: I have no idea who is in this but I gotta go with my boy AR Fox rock and roll let’s find out! Pick: AR Fox

Cain A. Knight: AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy needs something to do on this show, so it might as well be him. Pick: Orange Cassidy

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Thinking of a name big enough to create excitement but likely to lose to Christian Cage or Adam Copeland. Pick: Pentagon Jr.

Marcus Benjamin: Because I know Kyle will pick him, I’m riding with my guy here. Pick: The Blade

Kyle Decker: There’s only one man who should win this battle royal. A man who stands head and shoulders above the rest. Pick: The Blade

Kris Statlander vs. Willow Nightingale

[Editor’s note: As it was added late, we’re light on predictions for this match]

Sean Rueter: Not only will I predict the winner, but I will predict that something will unintentionally occur that allows her to win while planting another seed in Stat’s head about their friendship. Pick: Willow Nightingale

Geno Mrosko: The start of something new. Pick: Willow Nightingale

Cain A. Knight: Stokely wants Statlander to turn heel, and the best way to continue teasing it might happen is for her to lose this friendly match against Willow. Pick: Willow Nightingale

Kyle Decker: Honestly forgot she’s not TBS champ any more, but still don’t think she’s losing on the pre-show. Pick: Kris Statlander

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

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