Christian Cage retained the TNT Champion by defeating Darby Allin in a 2 out of 3 falls match at AEW WrestleDream 2023 PPV event.
The match started with Darby countering all of Christian’s moves, allowing Darby to gain control early on. Darby then secured the first pinfall with a rollout pin using Christian’s turtleneck to bamboozle him to get the pinfall.
The second round turned into a nightmare for Darby as Christian dominated, throwing Darby around the ring. The defining moment of the round occurred when Christian smashed Darby into the steel steps three times, resulting in a countdown loss for Darby.
Following the brutal attack on Darby, doctors arrived with a stretcher to attend to him because he had collapsed. However, Christian had different intentions and delivered a splash onto Darby while he was on the stretcher.
Christian escalated the brutality by removing the ring cover. He then brought Darby into the ring, but Darby made a comeback by executing a Scorpion DDT and following it up with a Coffin Drop. Despite Darby’s efforts, Christian kicked out of the pinfall.
Christian continued the assault by delivering a Killswitch to Darby, but to everyone’s surprise, Darby managed to kick out again. However, a shocking turn of events occurred when Nick Wayne entered the ring and betrayed Darby by hitting him with the TNT title belt. This betrayal allowed Christian to secure the second pinfall and ultimately win the match.
The rivalry between Christian and Darby has been highly anticipated, with Darby facing him in tag team match before this and losing to Luchasaurus for TNT Championship at AEW All Out 2023 PPV event. Christian officially clinched the TNT Champion title on the September 23 episode of Collision by overcoming Darby and Luchasaurus in a triple-threat match.
Darby managed to secure a victory over Christian in a non-title match during the August 19 episode of AEW Collision.