The news is official, Eddie Kingston is All Elite, and there are three reasons why he should be the one to dethrone Jon Moxley for the AEW World Title.
It took them a whole week, but AEW has finally seen the truth and made the right call by signing Eddie Kingston. It was a no-brainer, but surely it took some time to finalize the paperwork and they allowed the buzz for “#SignEddieKingston” to continue.
While Kingston’s debut in AEW came against current TNT Champion Cody, that’s not the title he should be going for now that “The Mad King” is officially All Elite. Instead, AEW needs to put the 38-year-old veteran, who has been wrestling since he was 20, on the fast track to the AEW World Championship.
Kingston is undeniably one of the best in the business. His unique character and the feeling of realism he brings to the game are almost unmatched. Considering his age, AEW shouldn’t be biding their time with this new acquisition.
He needs to go straight to the top, where Moxley has held the title for over 150 days and counting. Moxley is even closing in on the 182-day benchmark set by inaugural champion Chris Jericho.
While this week’s edition of AEW Dynamite indicated MJF may be the one to go after Moxley, putting the title on MJF so soon may not be the right call just yet. This is especially true as AEW is still having to run without a full crowd. MJF’s eventual title win would garner deafening heat that only an in-person crowd can bring.
On top of that, MJF is only 24-years-old, and he could wait two or three years and still likely be the youngest AEW World Champion in history. There’s no reason to rush that when they’ve got a name like Eddie Kingston, whose career is in a much different place, and is the perfect pick to dethrone Moxley for three very important reasons.
1. He’s not a former WWE Champion
Let’s just tackle the obvious here. Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley haven’t been bad champions by any means. Having industry legend Jericho as the first AEW World Champion brought an instantaneous legitimacy to the title.
Of course, the importance and impact of Le Champion’s reign had run its course, and there seemed no better pick to be the next champion than Moxley. Back in February, Moxley was easily one of the most over figures in all of professional wrestling.
AEW fans had clamored for the man once known as The Lunatic Fringe, pining for the “Paradigm Shift” that was promised by Moxley the very first night he showed up in AEW. Moxley also came ready-made with serious history between himself and Jericho.
The opportunity to bring that rivalry back and close it out the right way, rather than the way it had been handled in WWE, was another thing fans wanted. Of course, the one flaw in choosing Moxley as the next in line was that yet another former WWE Champion was at the top of AEW.
Kingston doesn’t check those boxes. He’s a true journeyman of the independent scene, with notable stints over the last two decades in Chikara, CZW, IWA Mid-South, Ring of Honor, TNA/Impact Wrestling, and NWA just to name a few.
AEW needs a champion they can call their own, and while Kingston was a well established star prior to coming to AEW, he’s never had that top-guy vote of confidence from a company like AEW. Impact Wrestling and ROH are the closest to being on AEW’s level, and Kingston never once held a championship with either of them.
2. Eddie Kingston is magic on the microphone
When Jericho was crowned AEW World Champion, he brought with him both a tenured legacy and an undeniable charisma. Jericho has continued to be a mainstay in this industry not only because of his in-ring acumen, but because of his mic skills and willingness to reinvent himself.
It’s one of the things that makes everyone Jericho goes up against push themselves to be something better. As for Moxley, he’d had his microphone skills caged for much of his tenure in WWE.
While we certainly saw glimpses of what the man then known as Dean Ambrose was capable on the microphone, they were only fragments of his skills. It wasn’t until he arrived in AEW that Moxley was truly unleashed, and he quickly reminded everyone exactly how good he was.
Ironically, one of the things that makes Moxley great on the microphone is an attribute that Kingston shares, albeit in a very different way. Both men have an almost intangible ability to make everything they’re saying feel believable and real.
They can lure you in with their words, causing those watching live or at home to become more and more invested with every word. While Moxley and Kingston have both had tough times earlier in their lives, Moxley also had the benefit of being well-paid by the biggest company in the industry for eight long years.
During that time, Eddie Kingston continued to scratch and claw. Kingston had to grind, and the reality of his life brings a grit and edge to his already astronomically good microphone skills that will make verbal spars between Kingston and Moxley, or any other opponent for future AEW World Champion, absolutely must-see.
3. Eddie Kingston is the fresh change AEW desperately needs
Look, I’m not going to say for one second Moxley hasn’t worked his ass off as AEW World Champion. He’s given everything he has to the title, and has done his best to knock things out of the park even when handed less-than-inspiring competition like Jake Hager.
Unfortunately, the ongoing global pandemic has put a damper on Moxley’s reign as AEW World Champion in a way no one could’ve predicted. Moxley was thriving because of how over he was with the crowd, and having to transition to these nearly crowd-free events with a handful of talent as an audience hasn’t worked in his favor.
As such, AEW needs a change. With two former WWE Champions as their only top guys, and the industry in as unique and unpredictable a state as ever right now, AEW needs something fresh. They should look no further than Eddie Kingston.
As discussed above, Kingston’s mic skills are nearly unmatched. On top of that, because of the attention he demands and the way he can keep people hanging on every word, that intangible is relatively unaffected by the current state of AEW’s crowds.
Moxley has defended the title against three very different opponents in Brian Cage, Mr. Brodie Lee, and Hager. Two of those three had significant tenures in WWE, with Lee capturing the Intercontinental title and Hager holding the World Heavyweight Championship.
Cage could’ve been an interesting choice, as his biggest accolade is being a one-time Impact Wrestling World Champion. However, Kingston is an altogether different entity. He’s not just a fresh face for AEW as a whole, but he would be a much different champion or even challenger than this company has seen so far.
AEW seems to understand what they’ve got, or else they wouldn’t have been so keen to sign Eddie Kingston just one week after his appearance on AEW Dynamite. If they’re smart, they’ll realize the next step is making “The Mad King” the one to dethrone Moxley and become the AEW World Champion.