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Joe vs. HOOK was exactly what it needed to be

Which, among other things, was to build anticipation for Hangman Page & Swerve Strickland jockeying for their own shots at the AEW World champion.

Thanks in part to some tweets by owner, president & booker Tony Khan, and in part to some solid work from the combatants, AEW built some anticipation for the World title match between champion Samoa Joe and challenger HOOK on the Jan. 17 Dynamite.

The outcome was never really in doubt, but there was interest in how Taz’s son would do in the biggest match of his career and in what Joe’s first defense would tell us about his reign.

We only got a little taste of HOOK’s offense before we got a big taste of what Joe aims to do to everyone who steps to the champ. The beatdown commenced after he was slammed into the announce table...

... from there, the story became about how the Cold-Hearted Handsome Devil wouldn’t quit no matter what. He kicked out of all Joe’s signature moves, including at one after a Muscle Buster. That got the crowd on his side for his brief comeback, and the fans in South Carolina stopped cheering for Joe long enough to pop for HOOK T-Bone suplexing him.

Joe fought off a Redrum attempt, countering into a Coquina Clutch that HOOK couldn’t escape. He still wouldn’t stay down after referee Bryce Remsburg called for the bell though. so Joe returned to give him another Muscle Buster. The young man was still defiant after that though, so the champ was ready to teach him more lessons... until an Anxious Millennial Cowboy made the save. While Joe considered that, the cameras panned to another potential challenger in the seats — Swerve Strickland.

Earlier in the night, both Strickland and Hangman Page had individual interviews about their World title plans. Will those converge for a Triple Threat, or will the two rivals have to settle their beef to see who gets first shot at Joe?

We shall see.

Until we do, get complete results and coverage of everything on tonight’s episode of Dynamite here.

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