AEW finally confirmed the Owen Hart Foundation Cup bracket after weeks of riveting qualifying matches. We've had fantastic bouts between Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, Kyle O'Reilly and Jungle Boy, and Rey Fenix and Dante Martin. We're now down to our final eight competitors.
The last participant, the Joker, is kept a mystery. This Joker will be revealed before the quarter-final match against Samoa Joe. Who do you think will be the Joker in The Owen Hart Cup? We've boiled down our five most likely AEW stars that could join the tournament as surprise entrants.
#5. Powerhouse Hobbs
The current tournament lineup features several excellent wrestlers, but no one represents Team Taz. It's a shame as Ricky Stars & Powerhouse Hobbs have gotten over with AEW fans thanks to their charisma and in-ring talent.
We'd love to see Hobbs go toe-to-toe with Samoa Joe. The young heavyweight has improved leaps and bounds since joining AEW. He could learn a lot from being in the ring with the Samoan Submission Machine. As a shining example of the AEW's future, Hobbs could also benefit from getting a signature victory over the ROH TV Champion to help build his momentum.
#4. Former AEW World Champion Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho has done it all in the wrestling business: record-breaking reigns as WWE Intercontinental Champion, multiple world title runs, and performances worldwide. He's wrestled for WWE, WCW, ECW, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and now applies his craft at AEW.
In his 30-year career, Le Champion has wrestled practically everyone in the business but has never had an official match with his long-time hero, Owen Hart. Unfortunately, both Canadian wrestlers plied their trade in different companies in the 90s. Hart, unfortunately, passed away in May 1999, a few months before Y2J debuted in WWE.
Jericho is a huge Owen Hart fan and wants to become just like him. Jericho even indicated that he'd leave WCW to face Owen Hart in WWE in 1999. On his 'Saturday Night Special' live chat in July 2020, Jericho said:
"If you asked me when I left WCW to go to WWE, what my top 10 reasons were for leaving, probably number 10 or 9, not the main reason but one of the reasons was that I hopefully get a chance to wrestle Owen Hart and that never happened." (H/T: Republic World)
It was no surprise to hear that the Demo God helped broker a deal between Tony Khan and Martha Hart, the wife of the late Owen Hart, to hold this tournament in his honor. But what's surprising is that Jericho isn't competing in the event. Perhaps AEW wants to allow other wrestlers to get accolades. Still, it'd be fitting if the Jericho Appreciation Society leader wins the inaugural tournament after appearing as the Joker.
#3. Bryan Danielson
Why not choose a Joker who was Samoa Joe's long-time rival? One of the biggest names on the AEW roster is Bryan Danielson, who became an ROH legend long before he set foot in WWE.
The Samoan Submission Machine and The American Dragon crossed paths in ROH before their stellar runs in IMPACT and WWE. Joe was in the middle of a nearly two-year run as ROH World Champion when he faced Danielson in a 40-minute classic. They also squared off in WWE, showing off their great chemistry.
With the two wrestlers in the same company, Joe and Danielson can put on a hard-hitting match in the Owen Hart Cup as grizzled veterans.
#2. Former TNT Champion Miro
Former TNT Champion Miro hasn't been seen since dropping his title to Sammy Guevara and losing to Bryan Danielson at Full Gear 2021.
It's a shame as he was one of the best things about AEW last year. God's Favorite Champion was dominant throughout his TNT title run and showcased his personality and charisma in that role.
Miro could immediately make an impact if he returns as the Joker. Imagine how powerful the staredown would be between Miro and Joe. We've got goosebumps thinking about it.
#1. Former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega
When AEW announced a Joker was entering the Owen Hart Cup Tournament, fans immediately speculated on who he could be. The only way to make the payoff worthwhile is if a returning star were to be put in the spot.
Of course, the biggest AEW star we haven't seen in a while would be former World Champion Kenny Omega. The Belt Collector ruled AEW for most of 2021 before finally dropping the title to Hangman Page to conclude an epic long-term rivalry.
The leader of The Elite has since taken time off to undergo surgeries and heal a few nagging injuries. Adam Cole assumed a leadership position in the stable in his absence, adding Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish to the mix and forming the Undisputed Elite.
It'd be interesting to see Omega enter the fray. He could face O'Reilly as soon as the semi-finals. Suppose Cole defeats the wrestlers on his side of the bracket. In that case, the two Elite leaders could feasibly meet in the tournament's finals, thereby kickstarting the Civil War storyline fans have been anticipating.
A former Champion wants to return and challenge Roman Reigns. Any guesses who? Find out right here.