AEW‘s special Title Tuesday Dynamite kicked off with a bout that had TNT title implications. Bryan Danielson squared off against Swerve Strickland, with the victor set to challenge Christian Cage for the TNT title at Saturday’s Collision.
Swerve, hailing from the same city as Bryan, initially took the lead, managing to land Danielson on his back on the apron. Strickland continued the assault targeting Bryan’s midsection.
However, the momentum shifted when Bryan countered Swerve’s 450 attempt with his knees. But this shift was temporary, as a powerful Swerve Stomp swung the momentum back in Strickland’s favor.
Bryan, not one to be outdone, quickly caught Swerve’s leg during a stomp and started showcasing his expertise in submission moves.
As the two continued their intense exchange of moves, Prince Nana predictably intervened.
Acting as a distraction, Swerve’s manager positioned himself on the apron, slyly handing his crown to Strickland. Recognizing the crown, which had cost him a match at WrestleDream, Hangman Page rushed in, wrenching it away from Swerve.
While Bryan attempted a roll-up that Swerve narrowly escaped, he couldn’t avoid Bryan’s Busaikuy Knee. With that move, Bryan secured his spot as the #1 contender for the TNT title.
Given the packed schedule, there’s no slated promo segment between Cage and Danielson, which might be a blessing for Bryan, considering the personal loss he experienced in 2014.