When Cody Rhodes became the first AEW TNT Champion there was a lot of talk about opportunity. The current two-time titleholder had a string of open challenges over the summer that featured a great range between upcoming AEW talent and some of the best independent talents that professional wrestling has to offer.
In fact, both Ricky Starks and Eddie Kingston leveraged the opportunities they gained in their matches with Cody on AEW Dynamite into full-time contracts. After Mr. Brodie Lee became the TNT Champion, the theme of the championship changed, but the title found itself back around the waist of the American Nightmare.
Instead of the open challenges that we got earlier on in the year, the company is repeating the match with Orange Cassidy. Meanwhile, the title defense against Darby Allin at Full Gear has already been announced.
After Full Gear, the TNT title needs to get back to what it was originally envisioned to be. A championship that allowed excellent talent that isn't currently getting their fair shake a shot to rise to prominence with All Elite Wrestling.
While it would be easy to look to independent wrestlers for new challenges, there are plenty of men on the AEW roster, new and old alike, that deserve their shot at gold right now.
Let's look at five men currently on the AEW roster that should be future contenders for Rhodes' TNT Championship.
#5. The Dark Horse of AEW's Dark Order, John Silver
When the Dark Order initially debuted for AEW, it didn't go over well. The crowd really didn't take to the group at all and dismissed them rather quickly as an act that the fanbase really didn't care about.
Fast forward to today and the Dark Order is thriving on AEW programming. Their leader, "The Exalted One" Mr. Brodie Lee, the original duo in Evil Uno and Stu Grayson, and the first female member of the group, Anna Jay, have become fixtures in their respective divisions.
However, there is an unsung hero of that group; someone who has allowed his charisma and personality to shine through every time a camera is on him. Whether it's on Dynamite, Dark, or Being the Elite, John Silver has become a star for AEW in 2020.
If there were large crowds at AEW shows right now, one could only imagine the type of response Silver would get each time he showed up in front of thousands on hand every week. For now, we just need to judge by his reactions from a small number of fans in attendance and social media.
Getting a TNT title shot would be a great way to acknowledge that all of Silver's hard work this year hasn't gone unnoticed. Win or lose, a great match with the champion can make someone in this company. Silver deserves this chance and it would be great to see it happen sooner rather than later.