AEW's first-ever Owen Hart Memorial Tournament is fully underway, with some great action already taking place in the qualifying matches.
The event has been a feather in the cap for AEW and owner Tony Khan, who have (once again) shown that they want to honor old school excellence with their new school talent. The purpose of the tourney is to pay tribute to Owen and his family, and thus far, All Elite Wrestling has done a fantastic job of delivering on that promise.
In deference to the traditions of the Hart family, there's been plenty of outstanding grappling and technical wrestling in the early going. FTR wrestled each other in a qualifying match that was basically a love letter to the shoot-style taught by the family's patriarch, Stu Hart.
It's been a great experience for the fans, Owen's family and the world of professional wrestling in general.
With all the great names on the men's ledger in AEW's Owen Hart Tournament, there's only one question: Who should be the inaugural winner?
The easiest answer for this one is Adam Cole. The guy who's all about the boom is the one who should hoist the Cup at Double or Nothing.
Make no mistake, there's plenty of great talent left in this tournament. Jeff Hardy advanced against Darby Allin. Samoa Joe, Rey Fenix and Kyle O'Reilly are also left among the field.
There's also the matter of the Joker Card, which some have speculated could be Claudio Castagnoli (formerly Cesaro) or possibly an IMPACT or New Japan star. While this would add great value to the tournament, it's unlikely that someone would win the whole thing by basically just walking in the door.
That's why Cole remains the most intriguing competitor in this bracket. He's insanely over with the crowd, and he's a credible performer inside the ring. He's destined to be an AEW World Champion someday, and one of the steps in that direction could be by making history in this event.
This scenario will line everything up perfectly for Cole going forward. He can then branch off to his inevitable feud with the returning Kenny Omega and possibly then focus on going for the big title. This entire tournament serves as a dual goal: praising Owen Hart and working with his foundation, as well as elevating whoever the winner in the ring eventually is.
Cole has been waiting for the proper springboard in AEW, the moment when he truly steps up to the level of a franchise player. It's as if he's on the cusp, and needs a little push to fully establish himself in the stratosphere of guys like Omega, CM Punk and Bryan Danielson.
This is the event and the time is now. Easily, the wrestler who should emerge as the winner of the first-ever Owen Hart Memorial Cup is Adam Cole... Bay-Bay!
Who do you think will win the Owen Hart Memorial Tournament? Which wrestler SHOULD win? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
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