AEW WrestleDream 2023 Preview

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Tonight’s inaugural AEW WrestleDream pay-per-view honoring the legendary late Antonio Inoki hails from the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. The show features six championship defenses, including Christian Cage’s first title defense of his second TNT Championship reign against the hometown favorite, Darby Allin.

The AEW WrestleDream card is stacked with talent, including a debuting TMDK. One of the most compelling storylines outside of MJF and Adam Cole is Swerve and Hangman Page, the company’s top babyface versus Swerve, a guy with heaps of star power determined to make it to the top — but first, he has to get through Page. Easier said than done of course, especially when Page is out to prove that he hasn’t lost his way since losing the AEW World Championship last May.

Elsewhere, in the only women’s title match on the card, Kris Statlander will defend her title against Julia Hart. Dubbing herself the Defeater of the Undefeated, she wants to prove that she’s the most dominating force in AEW. But Hart hasn’t lost a match since their last encounter on AEW Dark in April of 2022. Will we see a new TBS Champion crowned?

Exactly one year since their last match, FTR and Aussie Open will lock up inside the ring once again. At NJPW Royal Quest II, FTR defended the IWGP Tag Team Championships against Aussie Open. Both teams have held titles all around the world but Aussie Open’s stock and confidence has gone up a lot since their last meeting. Both teams want to prove why they’re the best active tag team in the world, but who will really come out on top when the bell rings?

Cage vs. Allin is an incredibly important match for the younger wrestler and two-time TNT Champion. The last time AEW was in Seattle, Allin beat Samoa Joe for the title. But this time, he’s finally main-eventing a pay-per-view and it’s in his hometown. Will he have the same luck this time or does Cage have a few tricks up his sleeve knowing Allin has the home field advantage?

One of the biggest non-title marquee matches on the card is Bryan Danielson vs. ZSJ — two of the best technical wrestlers in the world locking up for the first time since their meeting in 2008. Obviously a lot has changed for both men and ZSJ has only continued to get better since then, dominating every company who’s ring he steps into. ZSJ has a counter for just about everything, as seen fully on display on last night’s AEW Collision. Danielson, with just four years more in-ring experience than Sabre Jr., does too which makes the meeting that much more enticing. How will either man best the other? Danielson also has the home field advantage but as Sabre Jr. recently said on AEW Rampage: “Bryan, you’ve already retired once in Seattle. Well this time, I’m going to make it final.”

The full AEW WrestleDream card is as follows:

Zero Hour:

  • Luchasaurus vs. Nick Wayne
  • Josh Barnett vs. Claudio Castagnoli
  • AEW World Trios Championship: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn vs. TMDK
  • Shane Taylor, Lee Moriarty, Mercedes Martinez, Diamanté vs. Satoshi Kojima, Keith Lee, Athena, Billie Starkz

Main Card:

  • Bryan Danielson vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
  • Young Bucks vs. Lucha Bros vs. Orange Cassidy and Hook vs. The Gunns
  • TBS Championship: Kris Statlander (c) vs. Julia Hart
  • ROH World & NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Eddie Kingston (c) vs. Katsuyori Shibata
  • TNT Championship (2/3 Falls): Christian Cage (c) vs. Darby Allin
  • Trios Match: Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi vs. Konosuke Takeshita, Sammy Guevara, Will Ospreay
  • Ricky Starks vs. Wheeler Yuta
  • AEW Tag Team Championship: FTR (c) vs. Aussie Open
  • Swerve Strickland vs. Hangman Adam Page
  • ROH World Tag Team Championship: MJF vs. The Righteous

The event kicks off with the pre-show at 7 p.m. ET via YouTube and AEW’s social media. AEW WrestleDream is available on Bleacher Report domestically and FITE internationally. The main show starts at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

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By Haley
Haley joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2019 as a Writer and Editor. Her main fandoms include Criminal Minds, Wrestling, and The Walking Dead. You can find her on Twitter @haleyanne_.
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