wrestling / Columns

Csonka: Who is The Next AEW World Champion?

March 7, 2020 | Posted by Larry Csonka

As we all know, 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. One of the biggest decisions was to be crowning the first champion. At all Out, they had two choices, the youngster Hangman Page, or the hall of famer in waiting, Chris Jericho. Jericho was the safe bet and certainly ended up being the right choice, and when he won Le Champion was born. Page just wasn’t over enough and with the TNT debut about to happen, they went with the proven hand. Jericho delivered in the role, and recently lost to Jon Moxley at Revolution. Moxley is the voice of the fans, and has changed so much, Dean Ambrose feels like a bad cosplay nightmare. But with his win, there doesn’t seem to be a clear contender for him, so with that in mind, who will beat Moxley to be come the third ever AEW world champion? I have some suspects…

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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 you can easily build a redemption story around him with the fan’s support rallying him back to the title he failed to win the first time. You’d be a fool not to consider Page.

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Kenny Omega: Next we have Kenny Omega, currently the tag team partner and co-tag team champion with Hangman Page. 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, many alongside Page. Omega is great, he will be champion some day and he has an established & violent history with Moxley. Omega makes a strong cane to not only be a contender, but also potentially the one to unseat Moxley.

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Pac: I love Pac, I love the bastard persona, I love the new triangle de la muerte stable with the lucha lads, and he comes off like a star every time he’s on the screen. I’m not going to shit all over WWE here, but the fact that cruiserweight and mighty mouse were all the company ever really saw in him is sad, and that’s why he bounced. 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 and much like Omega, he has an established history with Moxley. Pac also makes a strong case to not only be a contender, but also potentially the one to unseat Moxley, especially now that he has backup.

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Le Champion Chris Jericho: Le Champion may have lost the championship, but he’s still a champion in our hearts and if Dynamite taught us anything, Le Champion is not done with Moxley and he wants his gold back and if you don’t agree with him, shut your ass. No one can take away the fact that Jericho was the first ever AEW champion (as well as youngest until that cheater Moxley beat him), and his 182 day run helped get AEW off to a good start and gave them a stabilizing force with name value. With the Inner Circle going from fun loving and good looking lads to assassins, you cannot rule out Jericho scoring a rematch and possibly stealing the championship back.

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MJF: Prior to signing with AEW, MJF gained a lot of praise on the indie scene for his work as a heel, which transitioned to his signing with MLW where he got his first real TV exposure and as the leader of the Dynasty, and produced some tremendously entertaining TV. While working indies, his skills caught Cody’s eye to the point that they signed him away from MLW, and Cody made him a personal project as the see him as a future star and main evnter for the company. That led to the on screen pairing, friendship, betrayal and MJF beating Cody at Revolution; they are, pardon the pun, all in on MJF. MJF as the young, up and coming heel will likely get a shot sooner rather than later, and while he may have a great chance to win it, I think when he gets his chance that Cody will return the favor and screw him out of the title, leading to another match between the former friends. But right now, he’s a viable candidate.

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Cody: Finally, we come to Cody. 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, and while stipulations are like retirements in wrestling, Cody has been adamant that they are not breaking that stipulation. But it’s wrestling, and anything is possible but I’d love to believe that AEW will stick with it.


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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 96. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka & Steve Cook talk the latest news (More NXT Japan Speculation, Dark Side of The Ring Returns, More), review this week’s AEW vs. NXT TV, & preview WWE Elimination Chamber. The show is approximately 90-minutes long.

* Intro
* News Roundup (More NXT Japan Speculation, Dark Side of The Ring Returns, More): 2:00
* AEW Dynamite (3.04.20) Review: 22:00
* NXT (3.04.20) Review: 48:45
* The Head to Head Comparison: 1:03:25
* WWE Elimination Chamber Preview: 1:07:55

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