Tonight is the night dreams come true!
The inaugural AEW Wrestle Dream 2023 premium live event in Antonio Inoki’s honor goes down tonight from the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, WA. with a jam-packed lineup full of high-profile matches.
On tap for tonight’s show is FTR vs. Aussie Open for the AEW Tag Titles, Eddie Kingston vs. Katsuyori Shibata for the ROH & NJPW STRONG Openweight Titles, MJF vs. The Righteous for the ROH Tag Titles, Kris Statlander vs. Julia Hart for the TBS Women’s Title, Christian Cage vs. Darby Allin for the TNT Title in a 2 Out Of 3 Falls match, as well as Bryan Danielson vs. Zack Sabre Jr. in a dream match.
Also scheduled is The Young Bucks vs. The Gunns vs. Lucha Bros vs. Orange Cassidy & Hook in an AEW Tag Title Eliminator, Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho & Kota Ibushi vs. Konosuke Takeshita, Sammy Guevara & Will Ospreay, Hangman Page vs. Swerve Strickland, Wheeler Yuta vs. Ricky Starks, Luchasaurus vs. Nick Wayne, Claudio Castagnoli vs. Josh Barnett, as well as Shane Taylor, Lee Moriarty, Diamante & Mercedes Martinez vs. Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima, Billie Starkz & Athena.
Featured below are complete AEW Wrestle Dream results from Sunday, October 1, 2023. The following report was written by PWMania.com reporter Matt Boone (@MattBoone0709) as the show aired live from 6:30pm EST. / 12am EST. on pay-per-view.
AEW WRESTLE DREAM RESULTS (10/1/2023)
The “Zero Hour” pre-show is now officially off-and-running on AEW’s YouTube channel and other digital and social media outlets, as well as the YouTube player embedded below.
Renee Paquette, RJ City and Stokely Hathaway welcome us inside the Climate Pledge Arena from the entrance ramp. The trio introduce themselves and then inform fans how they can purchase tonight’s show across the globe.
Now the trio run down the scheduled lineup for the “Zero Hour” pre-show, as multiple matches will take place on this, the official pre-show for tonight’s inaugural AEW Wrestle Dream 2023 premium live event. Then they run down the lineup for the PLE.
A video package looking at Bryan Danielson’s announcement regarding him wrapping his career up within the next year airs. Afterwards, we return to the pre-show co-hosts, who give their thoughts on the technical wrestling fans dream match tonight between Danielson and Zack Sabre Jr.
We see a pre-show package for the Ricky Starks vs. Wheeler Yuta match scheduled for tonight’s PLE. We then shoot live backstage where Starks is interviewed arriving to the arena. Starks calls Yuta a high school marching band wannabe who is the whipping boy of the Blackpool Combat Club. He boasts being a star and vows he will tap dance all over Yuta’s face.
Paquette and Co. give their thoughts on that bout and then they move on to the AEW Tag Team Championship showdown between FTR and Aussie Open. The video package telling the story leading up to this match airs now. The talk then shifts to the four-way tag-team title eliminator scheduled for tonight. The video package for this one airs next.
The pre-show co-hosts give their thoughts on the bout. Stokely doesn’t want to talk about anything HOOK-related. We see a live shot of The Young Bucks arriving to the arena with their bags. RJ City points out Orange Cassidy and HOOK are the only non-brother duo in this one. Stokely picks The Lucha Bros to win. RJ City picks The Gunns. Next they talk about the MJF vs. Righteous handicap ROH Tag-Team Title bout.
After that, they bring up the TBS Women’s Championship showdown between Julia Hart of The House of Black and Kris Statlander. The video package for this one airs. Paquette mentions Julia Hart is riding a 28 match win-streak heading into tonight’s match. They give their thoughts on the bout and then we hear the crowd roaring in the background as Jim Ross makes his way to the commentary position.
From there, we move on to the video package for the Trios showdown pitting Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi against The Don Callis Family trio of Will Ospreay, Konosuke Takeshita and Sammy Guevara. After that, we see the video package telling the story leading up to tonight’s Hangman Page vs. Swerve Strickland showdown. We then shift to the Eddie Kingston vs. Katsuyori Shibata package.
Lexy Nair is shown live backstage with the ROH World and NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion Eddie Kingston talks about respecting Shibata. He looks forward to honoring Antonio Inoki with his match tonight. Stokely Hathaway approaches “The Mad King” and he tells him not to touch him. Stokely tells Kingston he’s got something to say about his ROH World Championship. He says he’ll tell him on Wednesday. Wait, what if Shibata wins tonight?
There seems to be some technical issues after that, as the screen goes to black for a good 10-20 seconds before we return in the middle of a video package with AEW, ROH and NJPW stars talking about the late Japanese icon, Antonio Inoki, who is the inspiration for tonight’s AEW Wrestle Dream PLE. Very cool package.
In the Climate Pledge Arena live now, Excalibur sends us into the ring where AEW and ROH President Tony Khan is standing in a suit with a red velvet-style towel /scarf around his neck, ala the late, great Antonio Inoki. Khan talks about Inoki and then introduces NJPW talent and students of Inoki, including Rocky Romero, Katsuyori Shibata.
Inoki’s grandchildren are introduced and he thanks them for the gift of Inoki’s scarf. He then welcomes us to the first-ever AEW Wrestle Dream PLE. Khan gives flowers to the aforementioned people in the ring as the fans applaud in a sign of respect. Khan promises a great night of wrestling. He says tonight is all about Antonio Inoki. “Let’s hear it one more time for the Inoki family! Let’s have a great Wrestle Dream!” He then does Inoki’s “Ichi Ni San Da!” chant.
Shane Taylor, Lee Moriarty, Diamante & Mercedes Martinez vs. Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima, Billie Starkz & Athena
We see the video intro for tonight’s show and then we head back inside the arena where the team of Shane Taylor, Lee Moriarty, Diamante and Mercedes Martinez make their way out and head to the ring. Jim Ross is welcomed on commentary by Excalibur and the gang and then the Shane Taylor Promotions team settles in the ring.
After they settle inside the squared circle, the theme for their opposition hits and out comes the Keith Lee-led group consisting of Satoshi Kohina, Billie Starkz and Athena.
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with our first of multiple “Zero Hour” pre-show matches. Starkz gets worked over in the corner early on by Martinez and Diamante, who tag in and out frequently. As the action continues, we see “The Fallen Goddess” Athena and Starkz fire up on offense and hit a pair of dives at the same time to Martinez and Diamante on the floor at ringside. The crowd popped big for that one.
Keith Lee and Shane Taylor each tag in and the crowd reacts to that big in and of itself. Lee jumps into the early offensive lead, taking it to Taylor. Taylor stuns Lee briefly. Lee hoists Moriarty up but Taylor blasts him with a cheap shot. From there, Taylor and his team work over Lee, who is isolated in their corner of the ring.
Kojima and Moriarty tag in for their respective teams next, and the crowd roars as the Japanese veteran works over Moriarty with rapid-fire shots in the corner of the ring. Moments later we see Lee and Kojima hit a big spot to finish this one off. Good opener.
Winners: Keith Lee, Satoshi Kojima, Billie Starkz & Athena
Josh Barnett vs. Claudio Castagnoli
After a quick break, we return inside the arena and former UFC Heavyweight Champion and MMA legend Josh Barnett makes his way out to the ring. He settles inside the ring and his music dies down.
From there, “Wild Thing” plays and out comes Claudio Castagnoli accompanied by Jon Moxley. The two make their way through the crowd for our next match of the evening here on the “Zero Hour” pre-show. Mox joins the gang on special guest commentary as the bell sounds to get this one off-and-running.
The two begin grappling almost immediately coming out of the gate. Barnett gets the better of things, controlling the Blackpool Combat Club member before hoisting him up and launching him. Back on the mat, Claudio is on top now, but Barnett rolls for a kneebar from the bottom, MMA-style.
Mox gets worked up on special guest commentary, yelling out instructions to Castagnoli as he elbows the crap out of Barnett. Barnett grabs a leg of Claudio and again drops down to the mat looking for a kneebar. Claudio gets back to his feet and starts lighting up Barnett with European uppercuts in the corner until he slumps down to the mat.
Barnett gets mount on Claudio on the ground as Mox yells for Claudio not to give Barnett his back. Claudio ends up getting Barnett’s ankles and he proceeds to hit the giant swing on him before dropping down into a straight ankle lock / kneebar of his own. Castagnoli hits a neutralizer and then locks Barnett in an odd submission, which he transitions into a pin attempt for the three count.
After the match, Barnett gets on the mic and tells Claudio he has heard a lot about him from training partners and friends about how tough he is. He says they were all correct. Barnett tells Claudio that Antonio Inoki would be a fan of his if he were alive today. With that said, he says Claudio owes him more time, and one day he will be back. He tells Claudio he has a long way to go but he’s proud of where he’s at. Claudio tells Barnett any time, any place.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli
Luchasaurus vs. Nick Wayne
Following a quick break, we return inside the arena where the theme for Luchasaurus hits and out comes the big monster heel. He settles in the ring to a chorus of boos. His theme dies down and he awaits the arrival of his opposition.
Now the theme for Nick Wayne hits and the youngster makes his way to the ring for our next pre-show match here on AEW Wrestle Dream “Zero Hour.” The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one.
Straight out of the gate we se Luchasaurus manhandling and Donkey Kong’ing Wayne all over the place. He brings him in the corner and chops the living crap out of him. He hoists him up and plants him into the mat with a big side slam. Nick Wayne’s mom is shown looking on from the front row.
Wayne starts to fire up on offense, blasting the big man with kicks as the fans in Seattle rally behind the rookie prospect. Luchasaurus knocks him silly and cuts his offensive momentum short. He takes back over as the crowd energy dies down. He chokeslams Wayne over the ropes and onto the hard part of the ring apron. He crashes and burns right in front of his mom.
Luchasaurus slams Wayne face-first into the steel barricade literally inches away from his mom. Wayne’s mom starts screaming at Luchasaurus as he continues to maul her son in front of her. Back in the ring, Wayne comes to life again as he connects with a moonsault for a close near fall attempt.
Nick Wayne looks for his Wayne’s World finisher but Luchasaurus avoids it and blasts the smaller Wayne with a big shot to the back of his head. He covers him and scores the pin fall victory. We see Wayne’s mother looking emotional seeing her son laid out in the ring.
AEW Trios Championships
The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn (C) vs. TMDK
Now we return inside the arena after another quick time out, as the TMDK (The Mighty Don’t Kneel) team of Mikey Nicholls, Shane Haste and Bad Dude Tito settle in the ring. Their music dies down and they await the arrival of their opposition.
The theme for The Acclaimed hits and out comes Max Caster doing his freestyle rap gimmick as he and Anthony Bowens and “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn head to the ring for their scheduled AEW Trios Championship defense. Bowens finishes with his “Scissor me, Daddy Ass!” line and their entrance wraps up.
From there, the bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with the final pre-show match here at AEW Wrestle Dream: Zero Hour. Caster kicks things off for his team as a loud “Oh, scissor me, daddy!” chant breaks out. Caster and Big Man Tito lock-up and Tito gets the early jump on The Acclaimed member.
Gunn tags in for his side, while Haste comes in for TMDK. Gunn runs him over with a shoulder tackle and then continues to beat him down, toying with him at times to play to the crowd. TMDK starts to take over after that and we see the team hitting several multiple-man high spots for close near fall attempts.
Gunn helps his team fire up. Bowens hits the Arrival after Gunn hits a Fame-Asser. Caster heads to the top-rope and connects with a Mic Drop for the pin fall victory. With the win, The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn retain the AEW Trios Championships.
Winners and STILL AEW Trios Champions: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn
ROH World Tag-Team Championship
MJF (C) vs. The Righteous
The cold open video package for AEW Wrestle Dream 2023 airs and then we shoot back live inside the Climate Pledge Arena where Excalibur welcomes us to the show. “The Dapper Yapper” Justin Roberts is then introduced in the ring.
He handles the ring introductions for the challengers, The Righteous duo of Vincent and Dutch. The two head to the ring to a non-reaction from the fans in Seattle. Some boos pick up as they make their way down to the ring for this opening championship handicap contest.
MJF’s theme hits and the crowd roars as the AEW World Champion and one-half of the ROH World Tag-Team Champions makes his way out with a microphone in-hand. He asks for his music to be cut. The fans chant “MJF! MJF!” He says he’s p*ssed off. He says there’s rumors going around that he attacked Jay White, a.k.a. tofu. The fans chant “Tofu!”
Friedman says someone snuck into his dressing room and stole his mask. He says to make matters worse, Adam Cole is not here tonight. The fans chant “Adam Cole! Adam Cole!” He says it’s okay because he’s gonna make sure when he comes back, the ROH World Tag-Team Championships will be waiting for him.
He then tells Dutch that he’s gonna pick him up and hit him with a bodyslam. The fans chant “Bodyslam! Bodyslam!” He then tells Vincent he’s going to tie his dreads in a neat little bow and shove it straight up Dutch’s fat ass. He closes out his ring walk promo, his theme picks back up and he continues his walk to the ring.
The fans chant “MJF! MJF!” as he settles in the ring and his theme dies down. The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. MJF and Dutch kick things off. He yells to the fans, “Who wants to see a bodyslam?!” The fans loudly chant “Bodyslam! Bodyslam!” again. MJF pretends to show sportsmanship and then pokes Dutch in the eyes.The fans chant “MJF! MJF!” as he settles in the ring and his theme dies down. The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one.
MJF and Dutch kick things off. He yells to the fans, “Who wants to see a bodyslam?!” The fans loudly chant “Bodyslam! Bodyslam!” again. MJF pretends to show sportsmanship and then pokes Dutch in the eyes. He grabs Vincent and yells to the fans that he’s gonna shove his head in Dutch’s ass. Dutch and Vincent end up taking over from there and begin a prolonged beatdown of MJF.
Friedman gets a hope spot at one point and scrambles to his corner where he goes for the tag out of habit, only to realize Cole is not there. He milks the moment and then Dutch takes back over control on offense. Vincent gets a chair but then MJF grabs him, as Taz says, by his “yam-bag jones,” which, of course, stops him dead in his tracks.
MJF goes for a roll-up but Vincent kicks out and The Righteous take back over. MJF fires up for a comeback and the fans chant “Bodyslam!” as he goes to work on Vincent. He hits a bodyslam and then, as promised, shoves Vincent’s head into Dutch’s ass. He hits a kangaroo kick on both and then a heatseeker suplex for the win with a pin with his feet on the ropes. Entertaining, fun opener.
Winner and STILL ROH World Tag-Team Champion: MJF
ROH World & NJPW STRONG Openweight Championships
Eddie Kingston (C) vs. Katsuyori Shibata
The pre-match package for our next bout of the evening, which features the ROH World and NJPW STRONG Openweight Champions both on-the-line. When the video package wraps up, we return back in the arena.
We hear the ROH ring announcer handle the pre-match ring introductions. Out first comes the ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata. He heads to the ring as Excalibur schools everyone watching on Shibata’s ties to Antonio Inoki, the man who inspired tonight’s special event.
Now the familiar sounds of Eddie Kingston’s theme hits and the Seattle crowd roars. “The Mad King” heads to the ring to defend both his ROH World Championship and NJPW STRONG Openweight Championship against the Japanese veteran.
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. We see the two show mutual respect and then begin getting after it. The two trade hard shots back-and-forth in the center of the ring as the crowd reacts.
Each guy gets a turn in the offensive driver’s seat and then we see Kingston finish things off with a northern lights bomb and a big power bomb into a pin attempt for the 1-2-3.
With the victory, Kingston retains both his ROH World Championship and the NJPW STRONG Openweight Championship. The two show each other a ton of respect after the match again. Kingston leaves and then Shibata gets the ring to himself as his theme plays again and the fans show him love.
Winner and STILL ROH World & NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion: Eddie Kingston
TBS Women’s Championship
Kris Statlander (C) vs. Julia Hart
The pre-match video package for our next match of the evening, which is another title contest, airs now. We see the events leading up to tonight’s showdown between Kris Statlander and Julia Hart for the TBS Women’s Championship.
After the video wraps up, we return inside the Climate Pledge Arena where Julia Hart’s theme hits. Out comes the women’s contender who is undefeated in her last 28 matches heading into this title opportunity. She settles in the ring alongside Brody King of The House of Black.
Kris Statlander’s theme hits next and the reigning and defending TBS Women’s Champion emerges to a nice pop from the Seattle crowd. She heads down to the ring for her latest title defense. Taz leaves the commentary section and Tony Schiavone replaces him for this match.
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. Julia grounds Kris early on and ground and pounds the hell out of her. She bashes the back of her head into the mat repeatedly. We see Kris starts to fight back into the lead. She hits a blue thunder bomb. She goes for the Sunday Night Special but Julia avoids it.
Brody King gets in Kris’ face and distracts her. Kris turns around and Julia tries to mist her but Kris sees it coming and avoids it. She looks to finish Julia off, but Julia hangs on. She climbs up to the top-rope after Kris. She launches Kris off the ropes and hangs upside down in the tree of woe after.
She hits a big moonsault off the top and goes for the cover, but Kris gets her foot on the ropes. Julia locks in her Heartless submission attempt as fans chant “This is Awesome!” She cranks back and Kris somehow counters and stands up still in the hold. She hits a tombstone pile driver and holds onto her. She stands back up and connects with her Sunday Night Fever for the win.
Winner and STILL TBS Women’s Champion: Kris Statlander
AEW Tag-Team Championship Eliminator
Orange Cassidy & HOOK vs. The Lucha Bros vs. The Gunns vs. The Young Bucks
It’s time for what on paper is one of the clear-cut match of the night candidates, as the pre-match video package airs telling the story leading up to the four-way tag-team title eliminator pitting The Young Bucks vs. The Gunns vs. The Lucha Bros vs. Orange Cassidy & HOOK.
The video package wraps up and then we return inside the arena where The Gunns make their dramatic, elaborate ring entrance. Out next are The Lucha Bros. We then hear HOOK’s theme and the FTW Champion comes out and stops. Orange Cassidy’s theme hits and the newfound friends make their way to the ring together.
Nick and Matt Jackson make their ring entrance last. The Young Bucks duo head to the ring for our next match of the evening, as it’s time to find out who will be challenging the winners of tonight’s FTR vs. Aussie Open showdown for the AEW World Tag-Team Championship.
Nick Jackson and Rey Fenix kick things off for their respective teams as the bell sounds to get this match officially off-and-running. After some early back-and-forth exchanges from these two, we see Cassidy and Gunn end up in the ring as the legal men. The other Gunn gets tagged in and we see The Gunns try and voluntarily pin each other for the cheap win, but it’s stopped.
HOOK, Cassidy and the Bucks all end up in the ring together. HOOK ends up suplexing everyone in sight. The Gunns end up ganging up on HOOK and beating him down. Penta El Zero Miedo hit the ring as the commentators point out that Fenix has been down and out of the picture for a while.
Cassidy hits an Orange Punch and HOOK follows up with Red Rum. Nick Jackson blind tags in and hits a top-rope spot to try and steal the pin, only for it to be broken up before the count of three. Penta El Zero Miedo hits the ring and looks for Fear Factor on Cassidy. Cassidy counters and attempts Beach Break but Penta avoids it.
Penta hits a sling blade and another move at the same time as Nick comes off the top-rope. We see a super kick party from Penta and the Bucks. Nick and Matt connect with a BTE Trigger on Penta and they pick up the three count. With the win, The Young Bucks earn a future shot at the AEW World Tag-Team Championship.
Winners and NEW No. 1 Contenders to AEW World Tag-Team Championship: The Young Bucks
Hangman Page vs. Swerve Strickland
The elaborate pre-match video package airs to tell the story leading up to tonight’s highly-anticipated showdown between “Hangman” Adam Page of The Elite and Shane “Swerve” Strickland of The Mogul Embassy.
After the package wraps up, Hangman Page’s theme hits and the crowd pops as the purveyor of “Cowboy sh*t” makes his way out and heads to the ring for our next match of the evening. He settles inside and his theme dies down.
Now the entrance tune for Swerve Strickland hits and the commentators build him up like he’s a hometown mega-star in Seattle. He comes out to a decent pop, but nothing crazy. He does a good job of soaking up the moment and milking it for hometown love. He gets on the mic and does the “Who’s house?” cat-call with the fans over-and-over again.
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. Fan support for Swerve starts to grow with loud chants and cheers, but Hangman is getting a ton of love as well. The two lock-up and begin getting after it with some basic back-and-forth offense.
As the action continues with Hangman in the offensive driver’s seat, we hear some loud “Hangman sucks!” chants. Swerve fights back and the crowd pops. Hangman cuts his comeback short and takes over and the fans loudly boo. Hangman acknowledges the heel heat and begins playing into it, taunting the fans in between beating down Swerve.
Strickland gets in some offense that brings the crowd back to life, but then Hangman shuts him down and takes back over. The fans break out in a “F*ck you Hangman!” chant. We see Hangman hit a big dive through the ropes onto Swerve on the floor. Back in the ring, he heads to the top with Swerve and connects with an insane high spot for a close near fall attempt.
Swerve comes to life and takes over once again, as the back-and-forth offensive changes continue, which the commentators point out and stress on the broadcast. Swerve hits a big spot for a close near fall. He goes to work on Hangman as the fans rally behind him. He hits a nice back-breaker and heads to the top. Swerve hits a big stop off the top for a huge pop.
We see Swerve call for and connect with his House Call running kick to the back of Hangman’s dome. He goes for the cover, but somehow Hangman hangs on and kicks out before the count of three. Hangman looks for Dead Eye on the hard part of the ring apron, but Swerve avoids it and sends Page into the metal of the turnbuckle in the corner. Page then hits a Dead Eye on the steel steps as fans boo.
Now we see Swerve snap the arm of Hangman, which looked to break. The commentators point out Hangman will have trouble hitting the Buckshot Lariat. Doctors come to check on Page but Swerve keeps fighting. He hits a double stomp off the top onto Hangman on the hard part of the apron. He heads to the top-rope and hits a 450 onto the arm of Hangman. He goes for the cover but Hangman kicks out.
Swerve goes for another top-rope double stomp but Hangman moves. Hangman then connects with a Buckshot Lariat but he hurts his arm so he can’t go for the cover. He eventually does but Prince Nana puts Swerve’s boot on the ropes before the count of three.
The ref ejects Nana but he doesn’t leave. As he’s arguing with the ref, Hangman goes for another Buckshot Lariat but Swerve sneaks and hits him with a foreign object. He goes for the cover but Hangman still kicks out. Swerve hits back-to-back House Call kicks and then a JML Driver for the win. The crowd explodes. Amazing match.
Winner: Swerve Strickland
Ricky Starks vs. Wheeler Yuta
NBA legend Shawn Kemp from Slam Dunk Contest fame, a longtime Seattle Supersonics player, is shown in the front row. After that, we shoot to the pre-match video package for Ricky Starks vs. Wheeler Yuta, which is up next.
When we return in the arena, Jim Ross has replaced Tony Schiavone on the call for this match, joining Excalibur and Nigel McGuinness. Also on special guest commentary for the second time tonight is Blackpool Combat Club leader Jon Moxley. He takes a seat as Wheeler Yuta of the BCC heads to the ring.
Yuta settles inside the squared circle and his music dies down. Now we hear the familiar sounds of the theme song for “Absolute” Ricky Starks. The rising star in AEW makes his way to the ring and joins Yuta for our next one-on-one showdown here at Wrestle Dream.
The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one. We hear Moxley talking about the history between Starks and Yuta, and Starks’ criticism of Yuta’s role in the BCC. He jokes that Yuta is their whipping boy, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Starks controls Yuta early on but Yuta fires up and takes over, controlling the arm of “Absolute” Ricky.
Starks slaps Yuta, which angers Mox. “Make him pay for that sh*t!” he yells from the commentary desk. Excalibur makes a joke about him needing to contribute to the dreaded “Swear Jar” for his s-bomb. Starks blasts Yuta with repeated forearms and then hits an old-school Stunning Steve Austin stun-gun move over the top-rope to the throat of the BCC soldier.
The action continues with Starks in the offensive lead and we see Big Bill make his way out from the back. Mox makes mention that it’s okay as long as he doesn’t get involved. Other than catching Starks as he is knocked off the apron, he doesn’t. Starks hits his Ro-Sham-Bo finisher for the pin fall victory. Mox gives him credit on special guest commentary for the impressive win.
Winner: Ricky Starks
Technical Wrestling Dream Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Now it’s time to make some dreams come true, as it’s time for our technical wrestling dream match between “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson of the Blackpool Combat Club and Zack Sabre Jr.
The pre-match video package wraps up and we return in the arena, where Jim Ross and Jon Moxley are still on commentary alongside Excalibur and Nigel McGuinness for this highly-anticipated showdown.
The NJPW World Television Champion Zack Sabre Jr. makes his way out first to a decent crowd reaction. ZSJ heads to the ring and settles inside, where his theme music dies down and he awaits the arrival of the hometown favorite.
From there, we hear the familiar sounds of the entrance theme song for Bryan Danielson. Out comes “The American Dragon” announced as the pride and joy of Aberdeen, WA. He makes his way to the ring to a huge hometown pop while, like Swerve earlier tonight, wearing Seattle Seahawks colors for his ring attire.
Danielson settles in the ring and he and ZSJ stare each other down as the crowd reacts. The commentators fill us in on ZSJ winning best technical wrestler for six years in a row, only for Bryan Danielson to end up taking the win the following year. The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with this one.
We see the two immediately hit the ground and execute a bunch of submission attempts and reversals. Stuff you’ve never seen before, or have seen very rarely. Incredible stuff. Stuff that probably doesn’t even have names. The two each do Surfboards that look painful as hell.
They continue to counter and reverse out of everything the other does. Really cool stuff. The crowd is loving it. A big turning point in the match sees ZSJ dare Danielson into using his injured right arm for stiff European uppercuts they are trading back-and-forth. Danielson does and further injures the arm.
ZSJ gets Danielson down and viciously stomps on the elbow and arm of the injured side of “The American Dragon.” He proceeds to dominate from there until Danielson gets a nice submission attempt on ZSJ that softens up his knee. He ends up viciously stomping on his knee soon after. Now he finds himself in a comfortable offensive lead.
After some more shifts in offensive momentum, 100 more submission attempts and reversals / counters, as well as Jon Moxley making two more “Swear Jar” contributions for F-bombs and S-bombs, we see Danielson pick up the win with back-to-back Busaiku Knees and the pin.
This was one of the best matches you’ll ever see. If you have any friends that are MMA / UFC fans and you want to try and turn them onto pro wrestling, show them this match. Incredible.
Winner: Bryan Danielson
Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay, Konosuke Takeshita & Sammy Guevara
Catch your breath, because we’re in for another amazing one. On paper, this is the show-stealer. Time to see if it can live up to the expectations. UFC legend and ONE FC fighter Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is shown in the crowd.
Back live after the pre-match video package, we hear the familiar sounds of Fozzy’s “Judas in my Mind” as Chris Jericho makes his way to the ring to the tune of thousands of fans in Seattle singing along with his song.
Kenny Omega’s theme hits next and “The Dapper Yapper” Justin Roberts gives him his cool ring introduction as always. “The Cleaner” settles in the ring alongside Chris Jericho, which Excalibur mentions he never thought he would see.
Kota Ibushi is out next and as the commentators point out, he likely won’t be 100-percent tonight after enduring the beat down in the gym in Tokyo from The Don Callis Family. Ibushi joins his longtime friend Omega and fellow partner Jericho and his theme dies down.
Now it’s time for The Don Callis Family members to make their way out. An ominous drum-roll sound plays and out together, led by Don Callis, comes Will Ospreay, Konosuke Takeshita and Sammy Guevara. The Don Callis Family trio head to the ring to a ton of boos.
Taz joins back in on commentary for this one. He points out the incredibly loud, impossible to miss “F*ck you, Callis!” chant that is echoing throughout the Climate Pledge Arena. The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with our co-main event of the evening.
Kicking things off for their respective teams are Omega and Ospreay. The crowd is red-hot as they stare each other down from opposite sides of the ring. They do an intense lock-up and now these two begin getting after it. Fans loudly chant for Omega. The two control each others arms and reverse. Omega rings Ospreay down to the mat.
Ospreay pops up, frees his arm and sweeps Omega down to the mat. Ospreay tags in Guevara. “The Spanish God” hit the ring and gets the better of Omega on the initial exchange. He over-celebrates and the fans shower him with loud “F*ck you, Sammy!” chants.
“The Cleaner” gets the offensive control over Guevara and then he tags in Jericho. Guevara’s former friend turned bitter rival looks like he’s seen a ghost. Jericho chops the hell out of Guevara. Guevara finds a free moment and quickly tags out. Guevara goes down and hops on Taz’s headset to boast about himself and complain about the referee.
Jericho and Ibushi hit a cool spot and then they drop down and do “Le Golden Sex Gods” poses, instead of the old “Le Sex Gods” pose that Jericho and Guevara would do when they were friends. The fans are going nuts as The Golden Lovers duo of Ibushi and Omega start hitting wild double-team spots on anyone that moves.
Omega pounds the mat to the beat of the Terminator theme song, which the fans of Seattle do with him. He fires up and explodes on offense, hitting big diving spots to the floor. Guevara and Jericho end up in the ring. Guevara hits a spanish fly on Jericho and then leaps off the top-rope for a shooting star press onto a pile of bodies at ringside.
Will Ospreay fires up on offense until Omega takes him out with a snap-drag suplex. Guevara hits the ring with a wild spot that pops the crowd, but they still chant “You still suck!” at him. Everyone else gets a turn in the spotlight in the ring as we get finish-fest 2023 taking place late in the match.
Guevara hits Jericho with his own move and goes for the cover but Jericho kicks out at one and pops up and immediately Hulks up. All of The Don Callis Family gang up on him and beat him right back down. Ibushi takes them out. He and Takeshita trade shots back-and-forth as the crowd roars in the background.
Omega goes for the One-Winged Angel but Ospreay survives. He then hits a crazy turning splash from the ring to the floor. Jericho connects with a Judas Effect on Ospreay. Jericho takes Guevara to the top-rope as the ref is dealing with Ospreay and a potential neck issue. Ospreay milks it and holds onto the ref’s shirt so she can’t make the pin for Jericho, who has Guevara dead to rights.
She finally does break free and goes to make the count, but Guevara kicks out. Jericho blocks a GTH attempt by Guevara. Don Callis comes in with Floyd the bat as the ref is again distracted by Ospreay. Guevara steals the win with a pin over Jericho. The Don Callis Family cheat their way to victory. Great match.
Winners: Will Ospreay, Konosuke Takeshita & Sammy Guevara
AEW World Tag-Team Championship
FTR (C) vs. Aussie Open
The pre-match package for our next co-main event of the evening airs. After it wraps up, we see the Aussie Open duo of Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher emerge and head down to the ring for their big championship opportunity.
After the challengers settle in the ring, the theme for FTR plays and out comes the reigning and defending AEW World Tag-Team Champions, Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, to a big pop. They settle inside the squared circle as well and it’s time for our second-to-last match of the evening.
Harwood and Fletcher kick things off for their respective teams. We see FTR jump into the early offensive lead as the fans are solidly behind them in Seattle. Wheeler ends up tagging in, but Aussie Open takes over control of the offense.
Wheeler ends up isolated in the ring for a while, where he finds himself on the wrong end of a one-sided beat down at the hands of Aussie Open. Davis feeds him to Fletcher for a power-bomb spot, and Fletcher appeared to hurt himself on the landing. Moments later, Wheeler hits a top-rope back suplex and seems to hurt his own arm on the landing.
Dax finally gets the hot tag and comes in like a bat out of hell, taking it to any-and-everything that moves as the crowd roars in the background. Fletcher and Davis double-team Harwood and shift the momentum back in their favor. They hit the Aussie Arrow for a close near fall. Harwood hits a sling-shot power bomb for a close near fall.
The move helps Harwood buy himself some much-needed time to recover, along with Wheeler, who is still down on the apron in his corner. He gets up and Harwood tags him back in. Aussie Open break up a power-plex attempt and then Fletcher hits a nice crescent kick for a close near fall.
Harwood hits a super-plex on Davis off the top-rope. Wheeler leaps off the top in an opposing corner for a splash, and again comes up holding his own arm after the landing. The follow-up pin attempt is broken up and this tag-team title tilt continues.
Aussie Open sandwiches FTR with clotheslines and then fires up and hits a double lariat on Wheeler. They hook the arms and scoop him up, but Harwood blocks their double-team attempt. Wheeler goes for the roll-up, but can’t get the three-count. Aussie Open connect with Shatter Machine on Wheeler. McGuinness is speculating that Davis has a broken wrist.
FTR hits a spiked pile driver on Davis on the hard part of the ring apron. He lands on the floor at ringside and immediately grabs his wrist. Fletcher heads to the top but FTR hits a super shatter machine for the pin fall victory. Another really good match in what is turning into an instant classic show.
Winners and STILL AEW World Tag-Team Champions: FTR
TNT Championship (2 Out Of 3 Falls)
Christian Cage (C) vs. Darby Allin
It’s main event time!
We see the pre-match video package telling the story leading up to this highly-anticipated two-out-of-three falls showdown between bitter rivals Christian Cage and Darby Allin, with the TNT Championship on-the-line.
Christian Cage’s theme song hits and out he comes accompanied by Luchasaurus. He tells his masked monster to head to the back. He heads down to the ring by himself with his TNT Championship wrapped around his waist. He settles in the ring to a ton of boos.
Now the familiar sounds of Darby Allin’s theme hits and out comes the hometown hero to a ton of cheers. He settles on the top of the stage and kisses the ground. He has his skateboard with him and his buddy Nick Wayne, who has his ribs taped up. They hug and Nick Wayne heads to the back.
Darby Allin grabs his skateboard and begins his walk to the ring for our final match of the evening here at the inaugural AEW Wrestle Dream 2023 premium live event here inside the Climate Pledge Arena. He rides his skateboard to the ring and then like The Who with a guitar, begins breaking it before heading into the ring.
The bell sounds and “The Dapper Yapper” Justin Roberts handles the final, formal pre-match ring introductions for the champion and the challenger. The bell sounds and we’re officially off-and-running with our final match of the evening. The crowd is hot for this one, likely expecting a big surprise near the end. Who or what? Hmmm?
Like Bret “The Hitman” Hart with a cheap pair of foam shades in the 1990s, we see Darby give a fan a cool gift before the match, as he hands a little boy with face paint in the front row his skateboard. Back in the ring, Darby and Christian finally begin getting after it here in our championship main event of the evening.
We see the two lock up and Cage backs Allin into a corner. He gives him a clean break. We see Darby is bleeding from his cheek already. Maybe a fingernail got him or something? They lock up again and Darby backs Cage into the corner and gives him a clean break. Darby goes to work on Cage’s arm now and gets the champ down to the mat.
Christian spits in Darby’s face, but Darby arm-drags him down to the mat and keeps things all business, staying focus and controlling his emotions and keeping his offensive control. After some more back-and-forth action, we see Allin pull Christian’s shirt over his head and roll him up for the first fall. Darby goes up 1-0 in this two-out-of-three falls match.
After the first fall, we see Cage with his shirt stuck over his head glaring at the crowd at ringside. He fixes it and then heads over and taunts Nick Wayne’s mom in the front row. Back in the ring, the second fall starts and a vicious Cage immediately jumps into the offensive lead. He begins punishing Darby and looking to try and even things up in this high stakes title tilt.
Cage enjoys a comfortable offensive lead and tries getting too cute for his own good, as he stops to taunt Nick Wayne’s mom in the front row again. This time she claps back, throwing a drink on Cage, who turns into a big shot from Darby. Darby hits a Coffin Drop on Cage on the floor.
Back in the ring he looks for another one, but Cage gets his knees up and Darby lands violently on them. Cage then sends Darby flying over the ropes and crashing and burning on the commentary table. The ring steps are moved over in front of the entrance ramp at the bottom of the ramp. Cage and Darby fight on the floor and then up on the ring apron.
Cage hoists Darby up and slams him down right in front of the ring steps on the floor. He picks him back up and Donkey Kong’s him on the steps in violent fashion. He brings Darby back to the ring apron and jumps off with him, body slamming him on the ring steps where Darby lands on all the corners of the steps very hard. The fans loudly chant “Holy sh*t!” as ringside medics rush to check on Darby.
Darby doesn’t move. Cage goes back in the ring. The ref counts to ten. Darby is counted out. Now things are evened up at one a piece going into the third and final fall, assuming there will still be one, as Darby has yet to move. Cage heads out after him but the ref stops him. Cage looks under the ring for something as we see a bunch of replays of the violent slam Darby took on the awkward parts of the steps.
Officials are bringing a stretcher down to the ringside area now. We see a bunch of additional replays as Darby is being put on the stretcher. Meanwhile Cage is pulling up the ring mats and exposing the concrete around the ringside area. He’s also taling the ring padding off the ring itself. He tears it all up and takes all the padding out to expose the boards and wood underneath.
As Darby is put on a stretcher, Cage hits a wild top-rope frog splash onto Darby on the stretcher. The fans chant “Holy sh*t!” and then “You sick f*ck!” at Cage. Cage continues to manhandle Darby, rolling him back into the ring, which is nothing but exposed wood. The commentators are acting like Cage is doing the most dastardly thing in the history of pro wrestling. It’s not far off!
Cage looks for a Killswitch on the exposed boards. He hits it. He goes for the cover, but Darby kicks out. Cage puts him in Sting’s Scorpion Death Lock to add insult to injury. Darby makes it to the ropes and the hold is broken up. Darby fights back and hits a Scorpion Death Drop. He heads to the top-rope and connects with a Coffin Drop. He goes for the cover but Cage somehow kicks out.
Now we see the two on the top-rope. Christian hits a sunset flip power bomb off the top-rope. He then spears the referee inside-out. Darby goes to pick Cage up but Cage blasts him with a low blow. He grabs his TNT title and heads into the ring with it. He looks over at Nick Wayne’s mom and taunts her. Nick Wayne shows up beside his mom. Cage heads out of the ring. Nick Wayne heads in the ring.
Nick Wayne has a weapon and he and Darby look at each other. Darby points at Christian. Nick yells about his mom and dad and everything Cage has said and done to him. He then pulls a shocking heel turn by turning and blasting Darby with the weapon. Cage crawls over and puts his arm around Wayne. Wayne’s mom is shown looking shocked in the crowd. Cage drags the ref over and covers Darby for the 1-2-3. Awesome stuff.
Winner and STILL TNT Champion: Christian Cage
Adam Copeland Makes His Arrival To AEW!
After the match, Cage and Nick Wayne celebrate together in the ring with the TNT Championship as Darby remains laid out and Nick’s mom continues to look shocked in the crowd. Cage’s theme dies down. Nick then slaps Darby as Cage holds him. He starts firing away at him with punches. Cage and Wayne put the boots to him as the fans boo.
The crowd erupts in the background and the camera pans over to show “The Icon” Sting making his way down to the ring. He starts beating down Nick Wayne and then Christian Cage. He has them both down and then sees Luchasaurus on the ring apron. He heads over to him but Sting ends up getting beat down by all three of the heels.
Christian Cage grabs two steel chairs and heads back into the ring. He gets ready to do a con-chair-to. Out of nowhere we see video footage of someone getting in a car and rip-roaring through town. They step out of the car and the lights in the building go out. They come back on and we hear, “You think you know him!” The same theme Edge used in WWE plays and out comes Adam Copeland as the crowd goes bonkers.
Edge soaks in the moment, looking at the crowd as they go ape-sh*t ballistic. He makes his way to the ring and the loud “Holy sh*t!” chants spread like wildfire throughout the Climate Pledge Arena. Edge stares down Christian Cage and extends his hand to ask for the chair. Cage hands it to him. Edge takes the chair as Nick Wayne rolls Sting’s head over onto the chair on the mat. Cage looks around at the crowd and lifts the chair up.
He turns and blasts Nick with it. He hits Cage with it. He hits the ropes and blasts Luchasaurus with a spear. “The Rated-R Superstar is in AEW” says Taz. “Adam Copeland has arrived!” says Excalibur. The “On this day” Edge/WWE theme plays again to put an exclamation point on Adam Copeland’s arrival in AEW. “Your move, Christian Cage!” says Excalibur as he stares Copeland down in the ring from the entrance way.
Darby and Sting are shown recovering in the background as Copeland keeps his eyes locked on Christian. That’s how the first-ever AEW Wrestle Dream 2023 premium live event goes off the air. Thanks for joining us!