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AEW's 5 biggest missed opportunities in 2020

ANALYST
Modified 22 Dec 2020
Top 5 / Top 10
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#4 Most of the handling of the AEW TNT Championship

Cody was prominent in the presentation of the TNT Championship.
Cody was prominent in the presentation of the TNT Championship.

AEW introduced its secondary title in the spring of 2020, called the TNT Championship. A tournament was held to crown the first Champion, and after Lance Archer debuted to target Cody Rhodes, it wasn't hard to see the storyline of how the finals would play out. After dispatching of Colt Cabana and Dustin Rhodes, Archer would meet Cody in the finals. The American Nightmare would defeat Archer, and the Murderhawk Monster would have to go back to picking off lower-hanging fruit from the roster.

Cody's name and the fact that he was an EVP in AEW meant that he didn't really need to win the title. But since he essentially omitted himself from ever being able to challenge for the AEW Championship, it was a no-brainer that he would win other titles in AEW.

Rhodes held the title for 91 days before losing it to Brodie Lee. Essentially, he needed time off to film the Go Big Show for TBS, so the title switch occurred. While it would have been great to solidify Lee and The Dark Order as legitimate heels, Lee would only hold the title for 46 days. He dropped the belt back to Rhodes in a Dog Collar match.

Rhodes said that the TNT Champion was both the face of the company and ace of AEW, so it does make sense that he would hold that title.

If that wasn't frustrating enough, Cody would then lose the belt to Darby Allin at Full Gear, only 31 days after regaining the title. For a Championship to have a little more prestige, it needed longer reigns.

Another issue with the TNT title was that instead of defending it against actual members of the AEW roster, Rhodes defended it against unsigned independent stars. It's great to give independent stars some work and spotlight during the pandemic, but what about the rest of the roster that actually had to have winning records to even be considered for a title shot? It just seemed like things could have been handled much better, and it was a huge missed opportunity to both establish a prestigious new belt and new talent.

Sure, Allin is now Champion and is one of the stars of AEW's future, but the road to get there had several unneeded forks in it.

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Published 22 Dec 2020, 16:06 IST
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