AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam – Moxley vs. Danielson Preview

Jon Moxley vs. Bryan Danielson. Two men. One AEW World Champion. Who will take the gold at AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam? We preview the action with a special look.

We’ll see a definitive AEW World Champion tonight inside Arthur Ashe Stadium as part of AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam week. Indeed, it’ll be the climax of what has been a situation where AEW created gold out of a tough situation. The Grand Slam Tournament of Champions has been AEW’s solution to a very real champion-sized problem.

This Tournament of Champions started two weeks ago on Dynamite, when Tony Khan vacated the AEW World Title following the CM Punk/Elite controversy at All Out. As a result, some of AEW’s finest stars vied for a chance to make it to Arthur Ashe Stadium for a shot at the World Title.

What began with six competitors is now down to two of the best wrestlers that AEW has to offer: Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson. We’ll preview the match ahead and compare both Mox and Danielson to see who should be crowned the AEW Champion.

Jon Moxley

Will the “Ace” of AEW make it to the mountaintop once more? (Credit: AEW)

This man needs no introduction. Moxley is a three-time world champion in AEW and has been consistently a reliable presence at the top of the card for over three years. Bursting onto the scene in explosive fashion at Double or Nothing 2019, Moxley has remained an incredibly popular figure with AEW fans.

Moxley’s physicality is complimented by a surprising technical acumen that he’s put to good use. He can finish matches with the Paradigm Shift DDT or his deadly Bulldog Choke submission maneuver. It’s guided Moxley to an 82-12-1 all-time record in AEW to date.

How He Got Here

At All Out, Moxley narrowly lost against CM Punk to decide who’d be the then-undisputed World Champion. The title was vacate after the event due to the real-life controversy that surrounded Punk. Mox earned an automatic bye into the semis and defeated Sammy Guevara to earn his spot in the finals.

The Case for Moxley

If there was anyone perfect to name as the new World Champion, Jon Moxley is that man. The three-time Champ has been a very, reliable hand for AEW when they needed it most. He’s exactly the kind of figure that can provide some needed stability for the title scene.

Of course, there’s been the not-so-subtle teasing of MJF cashing in his Casino chip on Mox. Keeping that in mind, it’d make sense for Mox to win here to have that story remain.

The Case Against

The one argument to be made against Moxley winning is that was he was due for a vacation after All Out. Being World Champ probably means delaying that much-needed vacation.

There’s also the risk of crowning Mox too soon after he had been a champion and losing said title in a matter of a couple of weeks. It’d be an admittedly confusing booking decision to give Moxley another title run within a span of weeks.

Bryan Danielson

Is it the American Dragon’s time to shine? (Credit: AEW)

Bryan Danielson has elevated himself to another level since arriving to AEW last year. Feeling more like the American Dragon of old, Danielson continues to bring his A-game against a wide variety of opponents. From veterans like Chris Jericho to rising stars such as Daniel Garcia, it’s been full gear for Danielson in AEW.

Posting an impressive 30-6-2 overall record in AEW, Danielson remains very formidable. With vicious submission moves like Cattle Mutilation and the LeBell Lock, the American Dragon is technical excellence personified.

How He Got Here

Danielson outlasted “Hangman” Adam Page in another classic encounter between the two to advance to the semi-finals. There, he faced off and won against Chris Jericho, the man he lost to at All Out. Despite the win, it appeared to be a bit one without some cost as Danielson apparently sustained an ankle injury, which could come into play.

The Case for Danielson

Danielson’s story in this tourney has been fighting foes he lost to in his AEW run and winning. A victory over Moxley would complete this mini-story of avenging his losses and create a nice moment. Plus, this match falling on the one-year anniversary of Bryan’s epic war with Kenny Omega would be a nice bookend.

The Case Against

Unlike with Moxley, there isn’t really much to say in terms of having an argument against giving Danielson the title. One might say that his past injury issues – particularly with concussions — is something of a deterrent. That said, it’s not enough of a reason to strongly disqualify Danielson from this big-time win.

Head to Head

Moxley and Danielson have had only one singles match encounter at Revolution 2022 earlier this year. Mox came away with the win in this encounter. The post-match saw William Regal’s arrival and the formation of Blackpool Combat Club.

Who Should Win?

So, who should ideally walk out of Dynamite: Grand Slam as AEW World Champion? While there isn’t really a bad choice between Moxley or Danielson, I’d say that the American Dragon winning is the safest bet to make.

Danielson as World Champ could present some interesting opponents for him — even if the endgame is to be a transitional champ for MJF. It’s a decision that AEW can’t really go wrong with, any way you slice it. A title win worthy of the “Grand Slam” name, if I do say so myself.

Will it be the one they make for tonight? Or will we see Jon Moxley prevail once more? We’ll surely find out this evening at AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam live at 8/7c on TBS.

Marc Quill is the editor of RingCrashers, GateCrashers’ home for all your All Elite Wrestling and indie wrestling needs. He’s also the web novelist behind Skye Emery: Bluebird, which you can read here. You can chat with him about wrestling, comics, and stuff in general on @MarcQuill on Twitter.

By Marc Quill

Writer of things.

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