Darby Allin clashed with protege Nick Wayne in the main event of tonight’s AEW Dynamite, with the winner set to advance to the next round of the AEW Grand Slam World Title Eliminator Tournament. Allin was victorious in the bout, moving on to face Roderick Strong in the semi-finals of the tournament this Saturday at AEW Collision.
The winner of the ongoing tournament will go on to challenge MJF for the AEW World Championship at AEW Grand Slam on September 20 – just two weeks from tonight. In addition to Allin and Strong, the tournament includes Samoa Joe, who has already had a pair of heated confrontations with MJF, as well as Jeff Hardy, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Jay Lethal.
The two competitors were evenly matched to start the bout, and continued to show mutual respect to one another as the fight went on. Allin even grabbed the microphone at one point, telling Wayne to hit him harder, as if he really wanted to win. Though Wayne began gaining some momentum, Allin eventually found himself in a position to land his finisher, the Coffin Drop, on Wayne. Allin declined, however, going straight for the pin attempt, which Wayne kicked out of. After some back-and-forth on the mat, Allin was able to win by locking Wayne in a submission and raining down stomps on his head.
Though they’ve remained allies, there has been some tension between Allin and Wayne in recent weeks. After a devastating assault at the hands of Swerve Strickland and AR Fox one week, Allin forgave Fox almost instantly after Strickland kicked Fox out of the Mogul Embassy. Understandably, this level of forgiveness didn’t sit right with Wayne, despite the history between Allin and Fox. Christian Cage, who sat in on commentary for tonight’s match, seems to have had his eye on Wayne. Sunday at AEW All Out, Allin failed to defeat Cage’s ally, Luchasaurus, for the TNT Championship. With Allin scoring a victory over his young friend tonight, the next few weeks could see some further developments in the relationship between the two competitors.