So, if you haven’t heard because you’ve been locked in a pocket dimension, there’s going to be an interim AEW World Champion while CM Punk is getting surgery. The process of this selection will be simple! The winner of a Battle Royale on Wednesday will then go on to face Jon Moxley in Dynamite’s main event, and the winner of that… will then have to face the winner of a Dominion match between Hirooki Goto and Hiroshi Tanahashi. This match will occur at Forbidden Door, and the winner of this convoluted bracket will be our interim champion until the Pepsi Man returns to us from his injury.
But, the question is, who should be AEW Interim Champion? I am sure that there is a logical answer to this that will do a combination of a variety of things: Provide entertaining matches, maintain the prestige of the title, and keep stories in the main event scene going. And sure, I believe those are all important. But I am also a selfish person. So, who are my picks for who should be AEW Champion? I am limiting myself to just AEW wrestlers in this list, for my sanity’s sake. Without further ado, let’s get into my Top 5.
Free this man from the weird Andrade Family Office. Let Black Mask run things in AEW for a while for that sweet sweet corporate synergy. This man needs to win something for once in this company, and I’m all for Andrade getting a few months walking around on top. This also means we get more Jose the Assistant content, and I’m always for that.
4. Malakai Black
Spooky Girl Summer. The House of Black is ready for this. Malakai Black has a faction ready to see himself to the top. He has enforcers for challengers to run through in a gauntlet to get to him. Now that Death Triangle’s feud is done, it’s time for the House to win it all.
It’s always the correct choice to put a belt on the Redeemer. It is never a bad option. Miro’s return last week was perfect, and his promo promised violence on the “pagans, the cowboys, the bastards, the punks.” Well, okay, Punk is off the table presently, but everyone else? That top monster heel quality has been missing from AEW, and Miro’s blend of inspired promos and terrifying match work would make him perfect to put gold back on. Let him win a championship and fight God.
2. John Moxley
JEEEEEYOOOOHHHHN MOXLEY. I don’t want to get into whether Moxley “needs” another title reign. That’s irrelevant to me. Forbidden Door is three days before Blood and Guts 2, where the Jericho Appreciation Society is going to go to war again against Eddie, Mox, and Frenemies. The only way I can see you topping the chaotic glory of Anarchy at the Arena is Moxley entering in with the belt on his shoulder. A few months of Jon Moxley with the title and an eventual unification feud with Punk? Give it to me.
let the reign of terror begin. Maxwell Jacob Friedman, the most polarizing figure on AEW’s roster, and the only wrestler in his infamous “Four Pillars” promo that has yet to hold a belt. Forget the Summer of Punk, let’s have the summer of Max. In the fall of last year, I was cooling my heels on MJF, but something changed after the New Year. His promos took another level, his storytelling took on another dimension that made his last two feuds things that are going to be talked about for years. Give the renegade who wants to leave the company its top title, to the man who’s not even on the roster anymore.
Injuries putting so many wrestlers out at the same time certainly complicates matters, but I think one of the strengths that AEW has made is the strength of their main event scene. There are literally a half-dozen other names you could give me a case for and I would shrug and say “Sure, why not?” for a small interim reign. For my money, I think that Moxley will get the interim title, as a culmination of his years-long hunt for Tanahashi. But, with such a wild situation, isn’t it fun to speculate?