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AEW Dynamite preview (Sept. 20, 2023): MJF is going to choke out Samoa Joe

AEW Dynamite

Dynamite airs tonight (Sept. 20) with a live “Grand Slam” show from Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City. This is the third episode of Dynamite during the four week build towards WrestleDream, which takes place on October 1.

MJF is going to choke out Samoa Joe

Grand Slam is one of the most important episodes of Dynamite each year. The main event of this year’s card is AEW World Champion MJF vs. Samoa Joe. Joe earned this title match by winning a recent tournament with a victory over Roderick Strong in the final round.

The conflict between MJF and Samoa began earlier this month at All Out, when Joe shoved MJF out of his way while making his ring entrance. This led to a heated exchange of words on Dynamite where Joe dismissed MJF as a little kid before targeting his already-injured neck.

The problem for Joe is that MJF is no kid, and his words carry a lot of weight. The champ responded to Joe’s actions by promising to choke him out tonight:

“September 20th, Grand Slam, you better pray to god you don’t win this tournament, Joe. ‘Cause let me make you a promise that is crystal clear. If you wrestle me, I am going to choke you out. I repeat, if you wrestle me, I promise on my life, I am going to choke you out!”

MJF used Steiner Math to support his claim, but AEW fans didn’t need to see the numbers to know that MJF gave away the ending to tonight’s title fight. MJF has already done this sort of thing in the past, declaring that he would beat Darby Allin with a headlock takeover and then doing exactly that. So when MJF swears on his life that he will win tonight by choking out Samoa, I fully believe him.

One of the lingering questions about this main event is how Adam Cole and Roderick Strong will play into the finish, if at all. AEW has another PPV coming up in less than two weeks and needs to set up another MJF title match ASAP. So even if there is good reason to believe that MJF vs. Joe is ending with the promised choke out, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the post-match angle and what’s coming next for Better Than You Bay Bay.

The rest of tonight’s lineup

AEW Women’s World Champion Saraya defends the belt tonight against fellow Outcast member Toni Storm. This is Saraya’s first title defense since winning the belt at All In. Is it possible that AEW’s decision to put the belt on Saraya was 100% motivated by her home country hero status at All In, so now it’s already time to take the belt off of her? It feels like Toni has a lot of momentum given her new gimmick and popular Tits Out! catchphrase.

AEW International Champion Jon Moxley puts the belt on the line against Rey Fenix. It could very well be a great match, but there is little doubt about the outcome, primarily because Rey doesn’t ever beat upper card wrestlers in singles matches. In fact, Moxley already defeated Fenix in a singles match on Dynamite less than one month ago.

Chris Jericho vs. Sammy Guevara is also booked for Grand Slam. These guys plan to repeatedly punch each other in the face for 15 minutes and then shake hands and hug after the match is over, regardless of the outcome, so they can continue their pursuit of tag team gold. It might not be that simple, though, because Guevara is looking to prove that he should no longer be in Jericho’s shadow.

ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli and NJPW Openweight Champion Eddie Kingston are going at it tonight in a title versus title match where the winner takes home all the gold. Kingston is the hometown hero and his family will be in the audience, so this might finally be his big moment to take down Claudio and end their longtime feud.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Grand Slam continues later this week on Rampage with Sting & Darby Allin vs. Christian Cage & TNT Champion Luchasaurus, Mogul Embassy vs. Hangman Page & Young Bucks for the ROH world six-man titles, Daddy Ass & The Acclaimed vs. Dark Order for the AEW world trios titles, and Orange Cassidy teaming up with FTW Champion HOOK and TBS Champion Kris Statlander to take on Daddy Magic, Anna Jay, and Angelo Parker. We should get some promos or videos tonight hyping up some or all of these matches.

- It sounds like Don Callis plans to rip out Kenny Omega’s heart by having Konosuke Takeshita murder Kota Ibushi. What steps will Omega take to thwart Don’s plan?

- What’s next for Britt Baker after recently failing to win both the AEW women’s world championship and the TBS championship? It feels like there are a billion belts to pursue in AEW, so perhaps Britt will try her luck with ROH Women’s World Champion Athena. If not, she still has some issues to sort out with Hikaru Shida.

- Last year’s Grand Slam event featured the surprise debut of Saraya. Does Tony Khan have any similar surprises in store for tonight?

- Is there any update on Jack Perry’s status in AEW after he was suspended at All In following a backstage incident with the now-fired CM Punk?

- Where the f*** is Wardlow?

What will you be looking for on Dynamite?

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