If you a familiar with the AEW product, then you are surely familiar with the TNT championship. It was not too long ago that we all watched Mike freaking Tyson present the title to the Inaugural and only title holder so far, Cody.
Since then, Cody has committed to defending the championship every week in an Open Challenge Format. Challengers have included Lance Archer, Jake Hager, and Sonny Kiss. It's not exactly the AEW World Championship, but its certainly a title the company holds in high regard so far.
By the way- WARHORSE will compete for the title tonight on AEW Dynamite.
PS- Not saying that I called it, but hey- I called it
Plenty of people are rooting for WARHORSE tonight (and you should be too). However, in the instance that the title will stay on Cody as it has since its inception, let's take a look at some wrestlers who might be considered as the one to uncrown the current TNT Champion.
When AEW announced its arrival, one of the biggest draws touted was the acquisition of Kenny Omega. Kenny was on top of the wrestling world during his time in NJPW. So, naturally, people were very very excited to watch him in the new promotion.
Since then, though, it's been.... a bit disappointing. Perhaps I'm speaking for myself but the Kenny I see today just doesn't ring the same bell as before. He is the Executive Vice President of the company, so I am sure his mind has been elsewhere. However, I don’t think we have seen the best of Omega in an AEW ring yet. I’m not saying he has had very bad matches, but he hasn’t had any great ones either.
The Cleaner has to turn a corner.
Some say that he has been teasing a heel turn as of late. So maybe he’s already considering a title run. If big-match Kenny returns, he needs to be in the World title picture. Maybe, though, he goes after Cody’s strap first to make a much-needed statement.
So- would Kenny do the unthinkable, turn on his business partner and friend, and strip him of the title? If so, It could prove to be an interesting turn for both the title and the character.
Instead of gushing over the character like I did last week, I’ll spare you. Just hear me out:
MJF is a star and ready for a title in AEW.
If Cody decides to focus elsewhere, it makes a lot of sense to give MJF the rub.
If you absolutely hate this idea, I can do you one better. Just imagine MJF with gold strapped around his waist. An unstoppable heel with the gold to back up his mouth.
MJF could use the belt to bolster his credentials or use it as a stepping stone for better things. Give him a strap already.
I am going to admit it. I don’t love this idea.
Not because I don’t love Lionheart. I personally consider him one of the best to ever do it and based on his resume, I’m not sure how anyone could argue that point. The guy has done it all. There is one title in the game he hasn’t held though, and Cody has it.
The reason I don’t love the idea is Chris doesn’t NEED the TNT championship. For all the reasons mentioned above, him holding this belt would simply be another small notch on an already incredibly impressive career.
One angle I could see happening though is the power struggle that's been brewing in AEW for some time. Amongst the factions, the two that are fighting to be considered the best are The Elite and Inner Circle. Of course, Jericho has been screaming that he is the best. Perhaps he leans completely into this story and battles Cody for bragging rights- and the belt.
Again, I’m not sure this is the best choice for the next TNT Champion. But you just KNOW Jericho would love to shove another title reign in everyone's face.
Plus, the belt was created in conjunction with the television network (hence the name of it, did you figure that one out yet?) So its purpose is to help generate ratings.
The Ayatollah of Rock-and-Rolla is the biggest draw on the show. Debate me.
You have forgotten about Pac, haven’t you?
Pac was once King of the Cruiserweights in WWE, and since his release has kind of just become king of being a badass wrestler, to be honest. He is excellent on the mic but his in-ring work speaks for itself.
He’s a powerful high flyer and one of the most exciting talents to watch in today’s wrestling. Despite his shorter stature, he can convincingly compete against anyone that may stand in his way. Especially Cody.
We haven’t seen him actively wrestle in quite some time which is leading to some speculation on his status. The last time we saw him in action onAEW TV back in March, and then a brief promo appearance in May. The common thought among fans is just that he is taking time off due to the COVID19 pandemic, which is completely understandable.
But, is the “The Man That Gravity (and wrestling fans for a short time) Forgot” ready to come back with a bang? It's almost certain. Cody needs to fear getting caught sleeping under the turnbuckle soon.
I know this is a cop-out of an answer for a piece titled "5 Stars Who"... but its actually my favorite theory. Hear me out:
AEW has been on a tear of signing new competitors to its roster. For example, most recently Eddie Kingston answered the open challenge and the two delivered one hell of a match. Eddie didn’t walk away with the belt, but that's not to say someone else couldn’t.
A great way for AEW to not only debut a new superstar but strap a rocket to them would be the TNT Championship open challenge. Imagine the pain and anger on Cody’s face when the very idea of his title defense strategy proves to be its downfall.
So, who could it be? Of course, because it could be a surprise, we don’t know. This idea would require some serious planning as AEW would have to have serious interest in a new-comer AND keep it under wraps. Still, the wrestling business landscape is changing. The new age of pro wrestling allows stars to go into business for themselves, and not dedicating their career to a promotionally tied-down contract (as long as they are not with WWE). Someone who is not currently on the roster that may pop up in the AEW ring is impossible to predict. It could be an indy guy needing a big push, or someone you might have seen on another show just recently Plus, of course, It would ruin the surprise and shock value completely if we knew.
So- who do YOU think?
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