Samoa Joe and Roderick Strong faced off in the main event of the Sept. 13 Dynamite. It was the finals of the Grand Slam World Title Eliminator Tournament, and the winner would earn a shot at Maxwell Jacob Friedman & his Big Burberry Belt next Wednesday at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York.
The champ has beef with both. Strong has been driven mad by MJF’s friendship with his pal Adam Cole. Joe disrespected Max when he was a WWE NXT extra years ago, and he’s never really stopped. Friedman even channeled a classic promo on Joe to trash talk him... before he was even officially booked for the match.
Roddy & Joe have issues with each other, too. In particular, Joe inflicted the neck injury Strong is still
milking nursing. Luckily, he had his support system The Kingdom with him to help deal with both his bad neck and Joe.
Roderick Strong is on the #MarchToMax.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 14, 2023
Standing in his way, the man who hurt his neck, Samoa Joe!
Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS!@RoderickStrong | @MattTaven | @RealMikeBennett pic.twitter.com/DSMVcM1MaA
Matt Taven and Mike Bennett weren’t a factor early, as Joe had Strong in trouble until the match went to a commercial break. Roddy fought back, and some well-timed Kingdom interference looked like it might get him the upperhand. But the Samoan Submission Machine was not to be denied. The Coquina Clutch ended this one well before the end of Dynamite’s allotted two hours.
It gave Joe time to vow to take EVERYTHING from MJF on Sept. 20, and for a lot of drama to play out between Cole and Bennett & Taven when Strong played up his neck injury to get sympathy from Adam.
It didn’t appear to be the plan, but that created an opening for Joe to take something from Max before Grand Slam. With Friedman at home nursing his own neck injury, the #1 contender snuck behind the champ’s brochacho and choked him out.
It gives us this updated card from Dynamite Grand Slam:
• MJF (c) vs. Samoa Joe for the AEW World championship
• Jon Moxley (c) vs. Rey Fenix for the AEW International title
• Ring of Honor World champ Claudio Castagnoli vs. NJPW Strong Openweight champ Eddie Kingston in a Title for Title match
• Saraya (c) vs. Toni Storm for the AEW Women’s World title
• Chris Jericho vs. Sammy Guevara
Christian Cage challenged Darby Allin & Nick Wayne to tag match against Luchasaurus & himself, but that wasn’t included in Excalibur’s rundown for next Wednesday and may be on tap for Rampage Grand Slam.
Let us know what you think about next week’s line-up, and get complete results and coverage of everything on tonight’s episode of Dynamite here.