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Swerve/Hangman III doesn’t produce a winner, and Samoa Joe is not happy

AEW kicked off a loaded Dynamite on Feb. 7 with the trilogy fight between Swerve Strickland and Hangman Page. Strickland won each of the previous two matches, but with plenty of outside help. For this one, he told his manager/lackey Prince Nana he didn’t want any interference — he wanted to prove he could put down the Cowboy on his own.

It’s an interesting time for that decision, as the stakes have never been higher. The winner of tonight’s bout would earn a shot at World champ Samoa Joe at Revolution in less than a month.

The Phoenix crowd was loud, and while they weren’t anti-Hangman, they made it clear this was Swerve’s House. It’s a reaction that’s been building over the past few months, as fans have gotten behind The Mogul despite his recent history of home invasions and whatnot.

Neither man did anything overtly heel-ish in the first half of the match. We did get some great nearfalls, like after Strickland hit Page’s Buckshot Lariat finisher followed by his own Swerve Stomp.

Perhaps it was frustration over not being able to put his rival away led to Swerve getting some tables from under the ring and setting one up at ringside. That gave Hangman time to recover, and hit one of the sickest Buckshots I can recall (great sell by Strickland, too).

Page snapped after that kickout, trying for a countout and taking Nana out with a chair. Strickland recovered to hit another Stomp, but his ankle buckled on the landing. Hangman snapped it in an attempt to capitalize, but it didn’t prevent Swerve from putting Page through the table with another of his moves, Deadeye.

Back in the ring, Page evaded another stomp, but couldn’t escape another JML Driver. But before referee Paul Turner could count three, we hit the time limit.

Strickland pleaded for five more minutes, but in his most evil act of the night, Hangman said no. He claimed that meant Swerve couldn’t challenge Joe for the title without beating him, but Tony Khan (via Tony Schiavone) foiled that plan. It’ll be a Triple Threat at Revolution.

Renee Paquette got a reaction from Joe backstage, and the World champion was not happy that he’ll be able to lose his belt without factoring into the finish on Mar. 3 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Triple Threat is the fourth match booked for Revolution:

• Sting & Darby Allin vs. TBA in Sting’s last match

• Samoa Joe (c) vs. Hangman Page vs. Swerve Strickland for the AEW World championship

• Timeless Toni Storm (c) vs. Deonna Purrazzo for the AEW Women’s World title

• Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Roderick Strong for the AEW International championship

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

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