Swerve Strickland vs Will Ospreay is a big time AEW match

Swerve versus Ospreay will move units for AEW Forbidden Door in June.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling - G1 CLIMAX 33
New Japan Pro-Wrestling - G1 CLIMAX 33 / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

The May 29 edition of AEW Dynamite featured a big main event. The Casino Gauntlet put a title match on the line at Forbidden Door. Several top AEW and international stars took part with none other than Will Ospreay coming out on top. This sets the stage for Swerve Strickland to defend his AEW World Championship against Ospreay as the main event for that big card in June. It will be a real interesting test for the creative direction of AEW’s current booking trend.

There’s an interesting narrative developing around Strickland’s title run. Being the first Black performer to hold that title puts his reign under a microscope, with many fans hoping for the best but not holding their breath at the same time. Up to this point, Strickland’s title run has felt like the third most important story within the AEW product. Creating this match immediately puts him center stage for what is one of the biggest shows of the year, regardless of promotion.

Ospreay is the perfect dance partner for that moment. He and Strickland have history together and call each other friends. This match was destined to happen in AEW. Ospreay was already hot coming into AEW, but he’s reached a new level of fan response. In many ways, he and Strickland are neck-and-neck for who gets the loudest reaction. Many predict it is just a matter of time until he holds the AEW Championship for himself. The question is when does that happen?

Early bets are that Strickland will win at Forbidden Door. In a Daily DDT poll, 63 percent of respondents predict that Strickland will win. This makes sense, but it would be a major issue if Tony Khan booked Strickland to have such a short and uneventful run as champion. Ospreay can take a loss and it does not hurt his status at all in the company’s pecking order. Yes, he was just crowned the AEW International Champion and it is a bit odd that the title isn’t being defended on an international show.

One last point to bring up is the reports that Khan is booking shows on a more week-to-week basis, rather than the long-term booking that made AEW such a success early in its run. Does this mean that the outcome of Strickland versus Ospreay is already set in stone, or is there space for it to change? That will be the question to watch in the coming weeks.

Swerve Strickland versus Will Ospreay is a major match for one of AEW’s biggest shows of the year. There’s no telling who will come out as champion, but the implications will be massive for the company and the response from fans. A true test of AEW’s booking direction.