AEW has botched its rollout of an interim world champ with CM Punk on the sidelines dealing with a foot injury. Can the botch be fixed tonight on “Dynamite”?
Jon Moxley won the interim AEW title at “Forbidden Door” in June, and has been a fighting champ since, though his list of defenses hasn’t exactly been murderer’s row – Brody King, Konosuke Takeshita, Rush, Mance Warner.
What’s been exposed is an utter lack of top heels in the company, illustrated by tonight’s challenger, Chris Jericho, who, sure, is a former AEW champ, but for the past couple of years has been floating around the periphery in midcard feuds and on commentary.
The AEW website lists Jericho as the #4 title contender, on a list that includes another former champ, “Hangman” Adam Page, currently booked in a trios feud, Jay Lethal, who just lost to TNT champ Wardlow at Battle of the Belts, Powerhouse Hobbs, who until recently was in a tag team with Ricky Starks, and Daniel Garcia, who at least scored a tainted pinfall win over Bryan Danielson last month to justify his spot.
Which is why having a babyface interim champ has been so underwhelming.
AEW is singles babyface-heavy right now, with Moxley, Wardlow, Pac, Page, Danielson, Starks, Miro, Darby Allin, Eddie Kingston, Orange Cassidy and Hook taking up the bulk of the TV time.
Having a heel interim champ would set up a run of meaningful title defenses ahead of the eventual reunification match with Punk.
Jericho could be a great solution for Tony Khan in that respect. His win over Kingston at the end of their recent feud has given him some momentum, and Jericho would be great at using his mic time to get heat for the title match with Punk, along with booking ahead of that match involving his Jericho Appreciation Society that could involve sneak attacks and in-ring beatdowns to make Punk the underdog.
In the meantime, then, Khan needs to focus on building up his heels, to have a line of guys to feed to Punk after his unification win.
This could be where we start to see the return of MJF, of course, for a slow build toward their rubber match.
- Darby Allin vs. Brody King in a Coffin Match
- Rush and Andrade El Idolo vs. The Lucha Brothers in a Tornado Tag Team Match
- Ricky Starks vs. Aaron Solo
- The return of AAA, IWGP & ROH world tag team champions FTR
- TBS champion Jade Cargill defends against Madison Rayne
- Interim AEW world champion Jon Moxley defends against Chris Jericho