The King of Stats previews the 2023 AEW Continental Classic – Gold League by Wayne Little

G’day one and all and welcome to PWDownUnder’s preview of the 2023 AEW Continental Classic, I am your host The King of Stats, the man breaking down the numbers to predict who will win the inaugural tournament and become the first ever Triple Crown Champion. In today’s article we will be looking at the Gold League bracket which kicked the tournament off on this week’s episode of Dynamite (all data was taken from before the episode aired) and in the coming days we will take a look at the Blue League bracket.

To help predict the winner of the bracket I took a look at the follow criteria:

  1. Career win/loss record:- A look back at how well the wrestler has performed their entire career.
  2. Career singles record – This is a singles tournament after all, so this takes a look at how they have performed in 1on1 matches only.
  3. AEW record – This is an AEW tournament so this takes a look at how well they have performed within the company
  4. 2023 record – Each wrestler’s current record, how well each wrestler is performing in recent memory.
  5. Individual record against fellow competitors – Singles records against the fellow participants

I ranked each of these criteria allocating 6 points for best down to 1 worst thus giving each wrestler a possible score of 30. This gave them their ranking on this list. So without further ado let’s take a look at the 6 wrestlers competing in the Gold League of the Continental Classic, from least favourite to win down to the overall favourite.

Underdog – Swerve Strickland – 9 points

Career: 331-402-5 (44.9%)

Singles:207-241-4 (45.8%)

AEW: 38-22-0 (52.0%)

2023: 17-15-0 (53.1%)

Individual: Jay White 0-1-0

Fresh off a major win against Hangman Adam Page in one of the most brutal Texas Death Matches ever witnessed at Full Gear, momentum is definitely on Swerve’s side. Unfortunately when looking at his overall records compared to his opponents Strickland is definitely diving into the deep end here. One thing in his favour though is that having only faced one of his opponents in singles action before means that he has the element of surprise with no one knowing what to expect from him when across the ring. The rules of the tournament are not in Swerve’s favour though as Prince Nana will not be able to be at ringside to offer his help so can he overcome his inexperience on his own and make the Continental Classic “Swerve’s House”?

Longshot – Jay Lethal – 15 points

Career: 676-569-29 (53.5%0

Singles: 425-257-27 (59.9%)

AEW: 38-20-0 (57.5%)

2023: 20-18-2 (50.0%)

Individual: Mark Briscoe 5-1-1

Jay White 1-1-0

Jon Moxley 0-1-1

Rush 0-1-0

If anyone is going to be hurt by the “no outside interference rule” then it has to be Jay Lethal as nowadays he can’t get by any of his henchmen in The Lethal Connection without any of his group interfering. As a two-time ROH World Champion Lethal has shown though he knows how to get things done when the need arises and as the most experienced wrestler in this bracket he would definitely have a few tricks up his sleeve that he has learnt over his lengthy career and the large amount of opponents he has had over his 22 year career.

Outside Chance – Rush – 16 points

Career: 831-668-16 (54.9%)

Singles:425-257-27 (59.9%)

AEW: 15-18-1 (44.1%)

2023: 15-10-3 (53.6%

Individual: Jay Lethal 1-0-0

Jon Moxley 0-1-0

Rush  could very well be our surprise packet for the Gold League bracket but considering he is also a 2 time ROH World Champion as well maybe it shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Though in AEW terms Rush is the only competitor yet to find himself having much of a chance at the major matches. This very well could be his chance at living up to his potential.. Without his fellow members of La Faccion Ingobernable at his side Rush will need to stand on his own and prove himself as their leader but if anyone can do it it is the white bull himself.

TOKYO, JAPAN – JUNE 03: Jay White enters the ring during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling – Best Of The Super Jr. 29 at Nippon Budokan on June 03, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

Minor Chance – Jay White – 18 points

Career: 292-381-3 (42.6%)

Singles: 121-89-1 (57.3%)

AEW: 20-5-0 (80.0%)

2023: 19-12-0 (61.3%)

Individual: Mark Brisco 1-0-0

Jon Moxley 1-0-0

Swerve Strickland 1-0-0

Jay Lethal 1-1-0

While he may have the least experience in terms of years in the squared circle of anyone in this bracket, the Switchblade has made those years count. A former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, a title that is nothing to sneeze at, White has the potential to go all the way in this tournament. While his latest endeavour in AEW, trying to become the AEW Champion, failed at Full Gear White has been in great form since officially joining the company back in April. The one thing not in White’s favour though is the fact that Bullet Club Gold will not be allowed at ringside so it is yet to be seen how he will cope without the Bang Bang Gang there to watch his back. Considering though he has beaten all 4 of the wrestlers in this bracket he has faced before in singles action shows that White knows just what he needs to do to win and could very well already hold room in the heads of his opponents here.

Major Chance – Mark Briscoe – 20 points

Career: 496-361-36 (56.2%)

Singles: 67-65-8 (47.9%)

AEW: 9-1-0 (90.0%)

2023: 17-2-0 (89.5%)

Individual: Jay Lethal 1-5-1

Jay White 0-1-0

While it may come as a shock seeing Brriscoe this close to the top of the list when you look at how big a year he is having he has more momentum than anyone else coming into this. Having only lost 2 matches this year Briscoe is in the best form of any of the 6 participants in this bracket. The major drawback for Briscoe of course is though that he is best known for being a Tag Team wrestler but this is a singles tournament so he won’t have anyone to tag in when the going gets tough. This however could be the opportunity he has been looking for to stake his claim as a singles competitor and honour the memory of his late brother Jay, winning this tournament just a few weeks shy of the one year anniversary of his untimely death.

Favourite – Jon Moxley – 27 points

Career: 1160-723-53 (69.9%)

Singles: 604-338-36 (63.3%)

AEW: 127-24-1 (83.6%)

2023: 41-12-1 (75.9%)

Individual: Rush 1-0-0

Jay Lethal 1-0-0

Jay White 0-1-0

Of course the 3-time AEW World Champion Jon Moxley has to be the favourite of the Gold Bracket to leave victorious. Moxley has been dominant in his time in AEW, losing only 24 of his 152 matches for the company. Scoring nearly perfect points here Moxley is definitely the man to beat. While the Blackpool Combat Club can not be at his side Moxley has proven time and time again he does not need them by his side and he is quite capable of getting the job done on his own. Still he is not unbeatable and it will be interesting if anyone could step up and take him down just like Orange Cassidy did at Full Gear

Well there you have it, our breakdown of the Gold League bracket of the 2023 AEW Continental Classic is complete. While the numbers point to Jon Moxley taking this out easily, anything can happen in the world of Professional Wrestling and all it takes is one of these more than capable wrestlers to step up to the plate and it is anybody’s game. I will be back in the next few days to preview the Blue League bracket so until then remember THE STATS NEVER LIE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *