Darby Allin main evented his first AEW Pay Per View at WrestleDream 2023, in one of the biggest matches of his career. TNT Champion Christian Cage put his championship on the line – with former Champion Luchasaurus in tow – against two-time champion Darby Allin in the end of the show that paid tribute to Antonio Inoki.
The match was a two-out-of-three falls match. Christian Cage chose the stipulation to try and expose Darby Allin. He figured that Allin was a hardcore-wrestling spot monkey, who could not hang with a legend like Christian when it came to a pure wrestling match.
Obviously, this was incorrect. Darby Allin came right out of the gate by dominating Cage with a headlock, keeping him grounding and out-wrestling Cage. Cage eventually got out of it and began to beat down Darby, using less-than-legal means to take control of the match.
Darby Allin quickly won the first fall of the match in the opening minutes. Pulling Christian Cage’s turtleneck over his head, he rolled up the TNT Champion to take the lead in the match. Christian soon took control of the match, until Nick Wayne’s mother, sitting at ringside, threw her drink over him as he tried to get her to kiss him on the cheek.
Allin came close to winning, but Cage sent him crashing into the announce table as the crowd roared with boos. A Falcon Arrow off the apron onto the floor, one onto the steps and then a bodyslam from the apron onto the steps completely took Darby Allin out of the match. He was counted out of the match, and Christian Cage won the second fall via countout.
As the EMT’s wheeled Darby Allin off on a stretcher, Christian Cage pulled the canvas off the ring, exposing the solid wood below. He hit a top-rope frogsplash onto Allin while on the stretcher, and hit a Killswitch onto the wood. While Nick Wayne helped Allin fight back, he actually hit Allin with the TNT Championship, helping Christian Cage win the WrestleDream main event and retain his title.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.