5 replacements for AEW’s four pillars

Should Britt Baker (left) be considered one of AEW's four pillars?
Should Britt Baker (left) be considered one of AEW's four pillars?
Muhammad Farhan

AEW's "Four Pillars" is a concept that gained a lot of steam in 2021 after MJF cut a significant promo that proclaimed the company's future. He mentioned himself alongside Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara, and Jungle Boy as the "Four Pillars."

It is not without merit, as these young stars have been with the company since the beginning and have quickly won championships and support from the fans.

Even the promotion's EVP Cody Rhodes admitted that though he loved the idea, he hated how the concept came about, given that it was MJF's suggestion and not necessarily the company's plan from the beginning.

While the four young stars deserve the accolade, there should be other wrestlers given equal standing. Many young wrestlers are equally filled with potential.

In some cases, they have even surpassed the current four pillars and achieved success on their terms. Here are five replacements who could rival the company's current four pillars.

#5. AEW Women's champion Britt Baker

CM Punk first mentioned that Britt Baker had replaced MJF as one of the four pillars on an episode of Dynamite last year. While it can be seen as just a sly dig at his rival, The Good Doctor's credentials are truly impressive.

She was the first female signing for the company back in 2019. She is now the reigning Women's World Champion who has established herself to be the undisputed top star of her division. After Punk's 'suggestion,' Baker also demanded to be included in the t-shirt.

The company duly obliged and soon released a T-shirt that showed Baker symbolically replacing MJF. As a world champion, it can be argued that she has surpassed all other four pillars when it comes to accomplishments.

#4. AEW star Dante Martin

AEW roster is filled with under 30 and full of potential. Dante Martin is one such wrestler who is making a name for himself in the promotion.

He and his brother Darius Martin first debuted as part of the tag team Top Flight and quickly won over fans with their exciting set of high-flying maneuvers. In 2021, Dante Martin was forced to go into singles competition due to Darius' unfortunate injury.

It turned out to be a silver lining as it allowed Dante to excel as a singles competitor. His high-flying performances against The Elite and Kenny Omega led fans to believe Dante is the next big thing. He even faced MJF in the final of the Dynamite Diamond Ring 2021.

While the 'four pillars' member ultimately won, all eyes were on Dante, who delivered an impressive performance. The young star is on his way to becoming a top star of the company.

#3. FTW Champion Ricky Starks

Ricky Starks debuted when he responded to Cody Rhodes' open challenge for the TNT Championship. Since then, he has become a permanent fixture in Dynamite and is the current face of Team Taz as the FTW champion. He should be positioned as a future star with his natural charisma and in-ring skills.

Starks calls himself a homegrown talent as he received unprecedented fame and acknowledgement during his tenure with the company. Check out his statement below:

"I do consider myself AEW homegrown... The point of it is that in AEW I have had my most success, I've had my most growth, I've had boundless opportunities to do what I want to do ultimately. And you could argue that I was popular from NWA but I don't think I was, I don't think everyone knew who I was as compared to AEW," said Ricky Starks.

Regardless of the debate, Ricky feels like he can be a future champion and play a significant role in the next decade. While he has had to bid his time for opportunities, Stark's talent and abilities will ensure he stays in the conversation to be another pillar for the company.

#2. TBS Champion Jade Cargill

AEW made a surprise move when it chose Jade Cargill to become the first-ever TBS Champion. The 29-year old star defeated Ruby Soho in the first Dynamite in 2022.

It shows the confidence that the company has in Cargill. Despite the relative inexperience, it was great to see the rising star achieve her first title.

Cargill has the natural star power, physique, and attitude of a champion. If she can improve her wrestling abilities, it won't be long before she challenges Baker as the face of the women's division.

#1. AEW World Champion 'Hangman' Adam Page

Hangman Page was one of the company's first few signings, and his connection to the audience is second to none. Most people tend to forget that he is barely into his 30s with a long wrestling career ahead of him.

In an interview on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette, Page didn't believe there was a plan from day one when the company started for him to become champion.

"I wouldn't even talk about, at least with my journey to the World Championship as like some grand scheme that was hatched on day one or something like that because it never was, at least to me, it was never that way. When AEW started, I was just a guy that was losing all the Bullet Club multi-man matches. I don't want to say I was a nobody, but I certainly wasn't like the main event guy who was suddenly going to be main eventing the first ever title match in AEW," Hangman Page said.

Page is still early into his run as the world champion at this point. Having defeated Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson cleanly, it will be exciting to see him take on new challenges in the future. With time, Hangman should hopefully be regarded as not just a pillar but a cornerstone of the company.

Edited by Angana Roy
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