We are one week away from AEW Grand Slam, and it’s time to take it home. As we have had for the Dynamite and Collision previously, Wild Thing plays through the arena as Jon Moxley walks out for an International Title Defense. Tonight, he’s on to the Bs, defending against Big Bill, who is accompanied by Ricky Starks. Moxley tried to overpower, as he had in his last two defenses, but that wasn’t going to work against Big Bill. Instead, he has to chop the big man down, if he gets the opportunity. That opportunity still hasn’t arose at this point, however, as Big Bill starts out dominating. If Mox wants to make a comeback, he’s gonna have to scratch, claw, and back rake his way to a win. Using that last option, he finally turned the tides, hitting a superplex, but the respite was short lived, as Bill hit a monstrous boss man slam. After fighting back and forth, a lariat from Moxley finally provided a true opening. 

They’d both trade shots, but Starks interfering would take Moxley out, causing Danielson to run out and even things. This distraction, however, would allow Big Bill to hit multiple major moves, ending off with a chokeslam that nearly won it. It was his ego that cost him, however, as going for another chokeslam would be his undoing. Moxley would lock in an armbar, and, despite some resistance, Big Bill would be forced to tap out, giving Moxley the win and his third successful title defense.

Next, we heard from Roderick Strong & The Kingdom. He’s made clear he’ll beat Samos Joe this time, despite Adam Cole’s pleas for him to bow out, due to his neck health. Following this, it was time to see the newest masterpiece of Don Callis. Callis once again reiterated that “WE” just beat Kenny Omega twice in one week. Konosuke Takeshita is The Alpha after achieving that feat (unlike Jericho, who is a fake alpha, in Don’s opinion). Don has never quite understood empathy, but he does know how to make other people hurt. Don makes clear who the next target is, as it is Kenny’s heart, Kota Ibushi. They plan on demolishing him, while Kenny is stuck at home, forced to watch. 

BCC are interviewed, and we learn of an upcoming match on Collision, consisting of Danielson & Castagnoli against Starks & Big Bill. Moxley and Claudio are also talking about their upcoming title matches when both challengers come up. Guards are holding back one of them, but its not who you expect. Rey Fenix is still livid at Moxley, while Eddie has finally found a peace that allows him to simply stare down Claudio, before taunting him and leaving. After this, Hook is being interviewed by Renee, when Orange Cassidy walks up. He’s still glum over not being able to wrestle, and no longer being champion. Hook congratulates him on a great reign, they fist bump, and Orange reiterates that he is still so tired. 

Toni Storm is out first for this four way contenders match, also consisting of Hikaru Shida, Nyla Rose, and Britt Baker. Toni quickly exits, as she was basking in her own glory for too long and forgot to take off her robe. These kinds of matches quickly breaks down into the best kind of chaos, and this one was no different. The true dynamic of the match is how often Toni is fully on her game, as, when she is, she’s one of the best, but, when she isn’t, she’s susceptible to losing. She got back on her game after a flurry of offense, however, and got the roll up on Britt Baker. Could this match next week break down the Outcasts? Saraya is interviewed next, and explains how Toni has lost everything, from her friends to her championship to her mind. She’ll lose one more thing at Grand Slam: the match, if Saraya has anything to say about it. 

Le Sex Gods are out next, to try and work out any issues they can before their match at Grand Slam. To start off, they have a video package to play, with happy music included, to show us all the good times, and how they’ve developed along the path to get here. Jericho talks honestly about how he found Guevara on the undercard of an NWA show, and how he told Tony Khan that he needed him in AEW, to develop him into the man he is today. He really seems to be speaking from the heart. Sammy speaks honestly too, and simply makes clear how thankful he is for Jericho, but he also makes clear that he can’t continue to be in his shadow, so he has to beat him next week. Jericho tells him that he understands that, and that next week is the best opportunity he has to do so. He tells Sammy that he needs to be the best Sammy Guevara to do it, but he doesn’t think he has it yet. This gets on Sammy’s nerves, as this is always the problem. Sammy makes it clear: He’ll beat him, they’ll shake hands, and then they’ll win the tag titles. Jericho makes it clear as well, telling Sammy he’s gonna put him through hell, and he hopes Sammy does the same, for which he obliges. This match has far more hype than it did before this show, that’s for sure.

We got a medical update, and we learn MJF couldn’t be here this week due to the pain, but he made clear to Roddy Strong and Samoa Joe how he feels about both of them. He plans to wipe the floor with whoever manages to win this. The numbers don’t lie, Joe, and they spell disaster for you, at Grand Slam. 

Up Next is Brian Cage vs Hangman Page III, Hangman’s first singles match in… well, its been awhile. Simply put, these two men go at it with move after move, the most notable of which being Hangman’s 619, before Swerve would distract him, and Cage would hit a super deadlift German suplex. This would give Cage the advantage for awhile. So many strikes thrown back and forth, a beautiful moonsault, amazing reversals, and one Deadeye later, Hangman got the win. Easily my favorite match of the night. I’ve missed singles Hangman, and am happy to have him back. Swerve makes his intentions known, as he wants their match in his home, at WrestleDream. Cage takes advantage of Hangman being distracted, and attacks him, with Nana joining in. The Young Bucks make themselves known, super kicking both combatants (right after doing Nana’s dance, of course). The battle lines have been drawn.

Daniel Garcia is being interviewed by Renee, and is pissed that he isn’t being given the focus as he continues to overachieve, instead being asked about Jericho and Sammy. Don Callis couldn’t agree more, and wants him in his family. Garcia responds exactly how he knows to, with his wildly viral dance, something Callis believes could make them both a lot of money. Darby Allin & Nick Wayne are in action against Cool Hand Anj & Daddy Magic, accompanied by Jake Hager and Anna Jay. Christian Cage and Luchasaurus walk out almost immediately after the match starts, and Christian makes it clear that Nick Wayne needs a true mentor. Speaking of young Nick, the former 2.0 keep him down for quite some time, before he finally makes the tag to Darby. He goes on a tear, but his back issues are still an issue. With the help of Nick, however, they managed to get the win, much to the ire of the self proclaimed TNT Champ. Christian makes his intentions clear: he wants Darby and Sting, one more time, with the teammate of his choice, to prove he can beat them, this time at Grand Slam. 

After a video package hyping it up, we are on to our main event. The finals of the tourney, Samoa Joe vs Roderick Strong. Joe starts off dominant, and Roddy is on the back foot, trying to find an opening while protecting his neck. The only opening he finds comes from running for some time, but Joe quickly takes back control. After some more time, Roddy finally finds himself on a roll, even scoring a two count, but he just can’t hold onto a lead, with Joe always taking back the reigns of the match. As Roddy makes another comeback, you wouldn’t be at fault for thinking him the hero, if you hadn’t seen everything that lead into this. That is, until The Kingdom interfered, helping Roddy take back control when Joe was about to win. Sadly, it was all for naught, as Joe was just too much to overcome, and Roddy was forced to tap out to the Coquina Clutch. Joe immediately calls out Max, saying he plans to best MJF in his own backyard. He plans to take everything from him… EVERYTHING. What could this mean?

Roddy looked like he may have recovered from the neck injury, until he saw Adam, and collapsed, clutching at his neck, before passing out. He had to be loaded onto a stretcher, as Cole watched on, worrying about his friend, and being accosted by The Kingdom. Samoa Joe appears once again, making clear that everything includes Adam Cole. Joe has returned to the top, and it could spell disaster for MJF, next week! Great show, and I suspect next week will be leagues above that, with the killer card it has. Could Samoa Joe be our world champion?

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