Swerve Strickland To Make Third AEW World Championship Defense On Wednesday's Dynamite

Swerve Strickland's first defense of the AEW World Championship came on the April 27 episode of "AEW Collision," when he took on Claudio Castagnoli in the main event six days after winning the title at the Dynasty pay-per-view. His second defense came on May 26, when he successfully fended off Christian Cage and the rest of The Patriarchy at Double or Nothing 2024. This Wednesday on "AEW Dynamite," Strickland will defend his title for the third time, when he takes on Undisputed Kingdom member and former International Champion Roderick Strong.


The match was made on Saturday's episode of "Collision," after Strong defeated upstart outsider Lio Rush in the show's opening contest. Spotted by cameras backstage alongside The Kingdom after the win, Strong found himself face-to-face with AEW CEO Tony Khan and new Interim EVP Christopher Daniels. Strong complained to Khan about barely missing out on participating in the Casino Gauntlet match to determine Strickland's next challenger on "Dynamite," then appealed to Khan's recent kayfabe neck injury at the hands of the Young Bucks, saying Khan was "Neck Strong." Khan ultimately agreed to Strong's proposal and agreed to book a world title match between Strong and Strickland for this coming Wednesday, effectively jumping Strong ahead of the man who won the Casino Gauntlet (and took Strong's International title at Double or Nothing), Will Ospreay. Assuming the match goes on last on "Dynamite," it will be just the second broadcast main event of Strickland's world title reign.


Strong and Strickland have only met in the ring three times before (per Cagematch) and only one of those matches was televised, a Strong victory on the October 9, 2019 episode of "WWE NXT," back when Strickland's ring name was Isaiah "Swerve" Scott and AEW was exactly a month away from the very first Full Gear PPV (ironically, Rush had defeated Drew Gulak earlier that night to win the NXT Cruiserweight Championship). Their other two matches both took place at 2019 "NXT" live events; Strickland has never beaten Strong, but it's been more than four years since their last encounter.