wrestling / Columns

Csonka: The Next AEW Championship, Trios or TV?

March 11, 2020 | Posted by Larry Csonka
aew Being the Elite Throwback

All Elite Wrestling was born out of the 2018 All In PPV event, and the promotion became a reality in 2019, with the first event being Double or Nothing, the sequel to All In. Things got even bigger when the fledgling company scored a TV deal with TNT, a small but positive deal that after pleasing TNT executives, was extended for several years for more money. In terms of Championships, the company started off very basic with the world Championship (Jericho winning it first) a women’s championship (Riho winning it first) and a tag team Championship (SCU as the first champions), and it has worked well. Now for as much as people claim there are too many championships in wrestling, fans have been asking when AEW will add a new championship to their ranks, and the AEW EVPs have at times teased adding one. But what should it be? A cruiserweight/light heavyweight or middleweight title makes no sense due to the roster being mostly small anyway, and the women’s division isn’t loaded or refined enough at this time to require or deserve another championship. For me, and I am not a big “we need more championships” guy, I think it comes down to two options…

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A TRIOS TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS


Trios/six-man championships are nothing new to wrestling, they are a tradition in lucha, CHIKARA runs the annual King of Trios tournament, WCCW, NWA, & Lucha Underground all had them and NJPW & ROH have them today (although maybe the less said about them, the better), but when I look at the AEW roster, and all of the factions that they currently have, a strong argument can be made to choose a trios championship. Some of the teams, as of this writing, are as follows and it’s a strong lineup, especially considering the quality of tag team wrestling AEW has produced so far…

* The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks): The Elite have along history working together and have produced some stellar matches. On top of the match quality argument, Kenny & the Bucks teaming together could also further the current Page/Omega/Bucks drama and continue to tell some great stories as drunk Hangman becomes more insecure & jaded. It could also push off major title wins for all three, while satisfying fans who want them in top positions.

* The Nightmare Family (Cody, Dustin, & QT Marshall): The Nightmare Family has to be considered, it’d be a great use of Dustin (working with younger guys on TV. Cody is over and can’t challenge for the world title, and QT is a fun, solid hand that always works hard. Dustin & Cody always work well together and don’t have bad matches.

* The Dark Order: The Dark Order, while not a favorite of many, are a featured act that have had issues with many on this list. Uno & Grayson, despite the gimmick not connecting with everyone, are a really good tag team and you could add in Silver, Reynolds, or maybe someone new (the exalted one) to he mix or even use a Freebirds rules gimmick with them to give them an. “unfair advantage) in title matches.

* Death Triangle: While just formed, Death Triangle is a great trios team on paper. Pac has been nothing but great in AEW, the Lucha Bros are a great tag team and used to trios action and they would be a great heel unit to anchor the division, who can also put on stellar matches. I would love Death Triangle matches on the regular.

* Jurassic Express: For as much as Death Triangle would be hated, Jurassic Express would be as equally over as babyfaces. They have gotten over really well, have delivered in fun matches, and while Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy have potential as singles stars, they also need some refinement and staying as a trio for a while and competing for a trios championship would fit the bill nicely.

* SCU: SCU have seemingly been together forever, have seen success in the tag ranks, but their history tells us that they would be a great anchor team for the division who can work with anyone. They always have fun trios matches, are over and when building a trios division, you can’t go wrong with them as one of the anchor teams of the division.

* Best Friends & Orange Cassidy: Best Friends & Orange Cassidy have been a tremendously fun trio, the Best Friends are a great tag team, Orange Cassidy is massively over and the crowd is way into the act. They have quality matches, have the signature spots that always get over and in terms of strong babyfaces, you can’t go wrong with them.

* The Inner Circle (Sammy Guevara, Santana, & Ortiz): While Jericho, Santana, & Ortiz have teamed and been very good in the ring, I’m thinking Sammy Guevara, Santana, & Ortiz for this version. The Inner Circle are quality in the ring, are strong heels and are a featured act on AEW TV. Building a trios division around them doesn’t feel out of the question at all, and with Jericho no longer being AEW champion, gives them some championship power in AEW.

* Stronghearts (CIMA, T-HAWK, & Lindaman):I love the Stronghearts, and feel that they have unfortunately been completely under utilized in AEW so far. They have put in quality performances when used, and to me, feel like a great choice for a workhorse team in a possible trios division, where they could shine.

* MJF, The Butcher, & The Blade: MJF, The Butcher, & The Blade would be another heel addition to the division, as MJF initially hired them to take out Cody in their feud. If MJF isn’t world title bound soon, a trios championship run would fit the bill to give him some gold, and also give him another outlet to feud with Cody while also giving the Butcher, Blade, and Bunny some purpose.

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A TV CHAMPIONSHIP


Much like a trios championship, there is nothing new about a TV title being used. The NWA & WCW had one along with Impact and the NWA has one again. When you look at the AEW roster, there is a ton of talent to use to justify a secondary singles championship. Below, I will share a list of candidates that you could easily build the division around, starting off with a run of established names, viable veterans, and also including young talent that are bring groomed as stars for AEW…

* Dustin Rhodes: At age 50 and coming off of double knee surgery last year, Dustin is not only a an established veteran with name value, but has also shown that he still has a ton of go left in his game. I love seeing Dustin still out there, feeling so much love for wrestling and delivering at a strong level. In a division like this, he can work with the young and up and comers, help them grow and be a good, veteran presence for them as well as a reliable in ring performer.

* Christopher Daniels: At age 49, Daniels continues to fight father time, still delivering and showing the ability to work with anyone. Much like Dustin, Daniels wouldn’t be the star of this division. But is not only reliable, but is a guy that can work with anyone and also work with the young and up and comers, help them grow and be a good, veteran presence for them as well as a reliable in ring performer while giving them meaningful victories over an established name.

* CIMA: You may not realize, but CIMA is 42, but you wouldn’t think it judging by the way he can still go. He also fills a similar role to Dustin & Daniels as a veteran that can still go, is consistent, and while he may gets some run to a point, will also be a valuable name to work with young stars and help elevate them while also giving adding credibility to the division.

* Cody Rhodes: Cody’s AEW work has been my favorite run of his career, he’s delivered on the mic in the ring and during that time, became one of the most over babyfaces in all of wresting. But the problem with Cody, for as good as and over as he is… is well the stipulation from the Jericho match where MJF screwed him. Cody cannot challenge for the championship, but a TV Title win would allow him to shine as a singles star, and also give him another outlet to continue his feud with MJF, this time with added stakes.

* Hangman Page: Hangman Page failed to win the championship back in August of 2019, and it was the right call. He wasn’t over enough and didn’t have the poise of a main event guy leading a company onto cable TV. Don’t get me wrong, Hangman Page was really talented but the timing was wrong. But a lot has changed since then. Page has improved, he carries himself like a star and most importantly, he is arguably the most over guy in the company right now. Hangman Page has evolved a lot in the last seven to eight months, and if the world title isn’t in his immediate future, a run with a TV title could prove to be s good testing ground for him as he continues his rise.

* Kenny Omega: Coming out of his NJPW run, Omega was considered one of the best wrestlers in the world, and seemed like a lock to be one of the first AEW champions. But Omega didn’t want thrust into the role due to being an EVP, and wanted to tell stories and get others over. Many started to doubt the “best bout machine,” but in 2020 he really rallied with some very Kenny Omega big match performances. If Omega isn’t world title bound, a TV title run, where he could be featured weekly having great matches (and possibly even feuding with Page) once their team ends, would have a ton of potential. Omega in a featured singles role will and should happen at some point, and he’d be tremendous in a division like this.

* Pac: I love Pac, Pac is not only great, but in my opinion he’s been one of the very best singles performers in AEW so far. He has the potential to be champion some day. But with him leading the new triangle de la muerte stable, a world title run may not be in the cards at this time. But him running as a possible TV champion, having great matches on TV while the Lucha bros focus on tag team gold, could play really fell and give them some power as a unified heel force. Pac with singles gold would just feel right.

* MJF: Unless you’re blind, MJF is the chosen one. He gained momentum and popularity on the indies and in MLW, and Cody wanted him, signed him and made him a personal project even putting him over on PPV. MJF has a ton of potential, but I don’t personally find him world title ready just yet. MJF as the young, up and coming heel will likely get a world shot sooner rather than later, but if MJF isn’t world title bound soon, a TV championship run would fit the bill to give him some gold, allow him to grow as an in ring talent, and also give him another outlet to continue his feud with Cody, where he could possibly fuck him over once again.

* Lance Archer: At the age of 43 (now), Lance Archer is coming off of a career best year in NJPW, which included a great G1 run where he got to shine, It’s even more amazing when you consider that he had a severe back injury, surgery and that his career was in question. His 2019 was a joy to watch, and I stated several times that he was the monster that NJPW always wanted Fale to be but never was. The fact that NJPW didn’t lock him into a contract was a HUGE mistake, as it was only a matter of time before someone scooped him up. Archer coming in as a monster and dominating in a TV Title division could be a ton of fun.

* Jungle Boy: Jungle Boy is one of the young up and coming stars of AEW and a guy that they have a lot of hope to become a star. Jurassic Express is a fun trio, they are over, and Jungle Boy did really well when thrown into the fire on national TV with Jericho. He delivered, he has star potential, and while I feel he certainly needs more seasoning overall, something like a TV tile division could be a great place for him to grow.

* Orange Cassidy: I always find it funny when old schoolers shit all over Orange Cassidy and modern wrestling, citing the ‘work smarter not harder,” mentality when Orange Cassidy encapsulates that. The bottom line is that Orange Cassidy is over, he’s fun, he can go and there’s nothing wrong with fun and different things in wrestling. Cassidy would be fun in the division, although you’d have to be careful not to overexpose him.

* Darby Allin: I have been praising Darby Allin since his EVOLVE days, where he went from a crash test dummy to a guy that grew into a good professional wrestler, having tremendous matches with Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, & Zack Sabre Jr. He’s delivered well so far in AEW, he’s gotten over and is a future star for the company that has quickly acclimated to national TV wrestling extremely well. Darby would be a great underdog champion that the crowds would rally behind.

* Sammy Guevara: Much like Darby Allin, Sammy is pegged as a future star for the company that has quickly acclimated to national TV wrestling extremely well. All you need to do is look at his run with the Inner Circle and the fact that Jericho hand picked him and loves working with him in a throwback to his time with Eddie Guerrero in WCW. Sammy looks like a star, works like a star and as one of AEW’s young guns, would shine in a division like this.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 97. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka & Kevin Pantoja breakdown & review the 2020 WWE Elimination Chamber PPV. Steve Cook then joins the show for a retro WCW Greed 2001 review. The show is approximately 120-minutes long.

* Intro
* Kevin discusses his live NXT experience & discussion with Larry of attending live events: 2:05
* WWE Elimination Chamber 2020 Review: 31:30
* Retro WCW Greed 2001 Review: 1:16:38

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– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.