The new AEW TNT Championship has only been apart of the network’s hot new wrestling program for a short time now, and it’s honestly a joke that it’s even there at all. Let me explain.
AEW started in October of 2019 with three Championship title belts. The AEW World Heavyweight Championship now held by Jon Moxley, The AEW Women’s Championship now held by Hikaru Shida, and the AEW Tag Team Championships now owned by “Hangman” Adam Page and Kenny Omega. Three was a fair number of titles considering the start of a new brand and the lack of superstars on the roster getting TV time. Adding a fourth championship for a two hour broadcast for a single wrestling show just seemed a little odd if you ask me.
There are 70 plus superstars on the AEW roster for one show. This leads to absolute chaos in wrestling. What makes wrestling great is the phenomenal storytelling, and having five titles on a single broadcast means that 70 percent of your show is taken up with title matches. So unless you’re part of the lucky few that get to challenge for a belt, you’re left in a squash match or just left in the back. If AEW had waited until the started a second show on the TNT network, it would’ve made sense to introduce a new championship. There are too many titles on one show right now for any of them to have any sort of real meaning in an already growing brand.
I would also like to point out that having Cody issue open challenges for the TNT Championship every single week isn’t adding any value to that championship. These open challenges feel too forced, in my opinion. It feels like AEW is trying to speed up the prestige of a championship without having the tenure behind it. Back in 2015 in WWE, John Cena won the United States Championship and began having open title challenges every single week on RAW. That’s honestly what this feels like, but with none of the reputation. John Cena was a multi-time world champion with a mid-card title that he was using to boost other superstars as prominent talent, and the United States championship had already been an established title in WWE for over fifteen years at that point. The TNT championship has four months behind it at the time of this blog.
Cody has a reputation as the face of AEW already, he could literally issue an open challenge to anyone each and every week to get new and existing talent over without a championship. Still, the problem with that in wrestling is if a superstar is issuing open challenges with nothing for a challenger, it comes off as a heel move. A heel would issue open challenges as a way to boost their heel status because it’s such an arrogant and egotistical thing to do. They’re basically saying, “I’m the best and can take out anyone, fight me.” However, if you have a championship, now you’re a noble champion that’s defending the gold and giving up and comers a shot. Welcome to the logic of wrestling people.
I would personally like to see the TNT championship succeed. It’ll take a lot of time to convince me it’s a worthwhile title though. The debut of the TNT championship was brought in at AEW’s “Double or Nothing” Pay Per View event and it wasn’t even finished! Yes, the title itself was brought in unfinished on Pay Per View… that’s honestly really embarrassing. This is a multi-million dollar company owned by billionaire Tony Khan, why would the title be unfinished? At least that’s what they claim. So far, it has yet to receive a makeover, and it’s been a few months now. So if that’s the finished design, that’s just awful. There are titles on the independent circuit that look better. The appearance of a championship in wrestling is important even if some say it isn’t.
I am by no means demeaning AEW. AEW has very talented stars and is wildly entertaining. I just don’t want to see them get ahead of themselves. It takes time to establish a brand and at the rate, AEW is going, they’ve got all the time in the world to do great things.