Eddie Kingston became the ROH World Champion on AEW Dynamite and he dedicated his big win to a former champion.
The opening match at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam from New York City was a grudge match that also happened to be a unique Title vs. Title match. It was Claudio Castagnoli defending the ROH World Championship against Eddie Kingston, who was putting the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship on the line.
With a hometown crowd that was fully behind him, Kingston put up an incredible fight as he kicked out of everything Claudio dished out including uppercuts and a Ricola Bomb sitout powerbomb. Kingston ended up getting the win after hitting a spinning back first along with his own Powerbomb for the pinfall win. That win put an end to Claudio’s 284-day reign as champion.
After the match, Claudio and Eddie shook hands to put an end to their long rivalry. Claudio handed Kingston the ROH World Title while the New York City native celebrated with his two championships.
Eddie Kingston dedicated ROH World Championship win to Xavier
This was the first time that Eddie Kingston has won the ROH World Title in his 21-year career as a pro wrestler. Kingston started wrestling for Ring of Honor in 2006.
After the victory, AEW cameras caught up to Kingston backstage where he talked about defeating Claudio. Also, Kingston said he dedicated the victory to his late friend Xavier, who was the second-ever ROH World Champion. Xavier passed away at the age of 42 in August 2020.
“I’m in pain. That stage hurts. Claudio hurts every time he hits you. I don’t like him as a human being. But I shook his hand because let’s be honest, he was a great Ring of Honor Champion, and I’ve always said he was a great wrestler. I just don’t like him as a person, and that’s not gonna change. But I can definitely show him that I’ve grown. I’ve grown up. Back in the day, I wouldn’t have shook his hand. I would have spit in his face, and then I would have gloated. But bro, I grew up man. I’ll give him his due and his respect.
“I’m proud, I’m happy. When I get back to the hotel, I’m not gonna be proud and happy because now I know I gotta defend this championship and this championship. It’s gonna be hard, but I like it. Without struggle, there is no progress. I feel too weird if there is no struggle. But this is dedicated to Xavier, the second-ever Ring of Honor World Champion. Rest in peace, bud.”
“Thank you for everything you’ve done for this business. Thank you for being good to me in the locker room. But this one’s for you, dog. This one’s for you because people should remember who you are. X marks the spot, baby. Love you, X. Rest in peace. I’m good, man. I just wanna go see my parents. We good? New York in this mother.”
As Kingston said, he now has two titles to defend as the ROH World Champion and the NJPW Strong Openweight Champion. Congratulations to Eddie Kingston on his big championship victory.