Who should be AEW's first World Champion?
With AEW's maiden show Double Or Nothing now in the rearview mirrors, one of the biggest questions we were left with after the show was who will be the first to lift the beautiful championship presented by Bret Hart.
A number of different rivalries and matches were set up at Double Or Nothing - notably Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega - and while it was those two who closed the show, Hangman Adam Page and Chris Jericho were the two wrestlers who earned the right to compete for to be the company's inaugural champion.
The champion of any promotion represents the company and its talent so the decision of who this should be is a significant one. But who is a better fit for the role, Adam Page or Chris Jericho?
The obvious choice is very much Chris Jericho. Jericho is an established star with name value so he will be able to draw a number of the eyes to the product. This could prove incredibly valuable to a company trying to rapidly grow its fanbase and seeking to lean upon someone with a proven track record.
Jericho is also a proven commodity in the ring. While he may be nearing the twilight of his career, Jericho's recent work has proved he can still put up outstanding matches, particularly with AEW's relatively light schedule. Hence, the company can trust that he will put on suitably show-stopping performance if he is given the company's first title reign. These two factors combined are very appealing in that there are a number of names who, paired alongside Jericho's, create matches that will not only sell seats but also impress fans.
However, on the flip side, Jericho as champ does have its drawbacks. Jericho's history is deeply intertwined with WWE's and so perhaps making him champion won't be an appealing an option for a promotion seeking to distance itself from its rival's product.
Hangman Adam Page, on the other hand, has no history with the WWE and is very much AEW's man. He is relatively much younger, talented and doesn't look to be going anywhere soon, so why not make him the face of this fresh new product? His energetic, risk-heavy wrestling style also provides something different to what WWE fans are used to which might aid AEW in winning over new fans.
Obviously, Hangman Page does also have his drawbacks as champion. Primarily he lacks in the two factors where Jericho is most strong. While Page is undoubtedly a star on the rise, he holds next to no name value to the casual wrestling fan and hasn't been the top guy in any major company in the past.
While Page seems a surefire bet to be champion in the future, it seems to make the most sense right now to put the belt on Jericho who will continue to bring eyes to AEW during a critical time as the company seeks to establish itself.