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Samoa Joe has no shortage of challengers for his new belt, but HOOK goes first


Samoa Joe has made it crystal clear that he’ll take on all comers as AEW World champion. He didn’t show up dressed for a fight at Jan. 10’s Homecoming episode of Dynamite. He was there to show off his redesigned belt (black strap! customized side plates!) — and to lay out a new protocol for men with designs on challenging him for his new belt.

Members of the AEW roster should no longer come out to “whine” in promos, or make their “little ho ass comments” on their social media. Instead, they just need to bring their record and reputation to the championship council. If they (whoever they are, Joe didn’t specify) approve, you can walk down the ramp and get stomped out by Joe.

It didn’t take long for people to ignore the new protocol though. Building off their showdown from the end of last Wednesday’s show (and the Anxious Millennial Cowboy’s episode-opening win this week), Swerve Strickland and Hangman Page both came out to talk up how much they accomplished in 2023, and to state their intention to win the World title in 2024.

Then, it was someone who got some unwanted pub from his boss yesterday. HOOK made a verbal challenge on Collision, and in Jacksonville, Florida he made it right to Joe’s face. The FTW champ told the World one he had one week...

...and the “championship council” must have liked the Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil’s record and reputation, because a short time later it was confirmed that Tony Khan booked the match for Jan. 17.

He had the numbers handy after all.

Ready for Joe vs. HOOK, then Hangman, then Swerve, then...?

Get complete results and coverage of everything on tonight’s Homecoming edition of Dynamite here.

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