AEW: Darby Allin’s first challengers for the TNT title

SCU, tag team comprised of Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky, make their entrance (photo courtesy of AEW)
SCU, tag team comprised of Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky, make their entrance (photo courtesy of AEW) /

Darby Allin picked up his first AEW singles title at Full Gear. Now the focus is on the individuals that he should face first as he prepares to be a fighting champion.

AEW Full Gear saw what should be considered a coronation of sorts. Coming into Saturday’s PPV, Darby Allin was unsuccessful in three prior attempts to defeat Cody Rhodes. This time, the TNT championship was on the line. Allin pulled out the victory and has his first AEW title around his waist. The attention turns to the future and what is next for him. These are three individuals who stand out as the top men whom Allin should have to face in a bid to remain champion.

Everyone who watched Full Gear knows who is at least first in line for Allin. Ricky Starks attacked the new champion. Long with Brian Cage they left him laying before the celebration could even begin. Starks and Allin have recent history and play off each other very well. This is a solid mid-card feud that can be used to build up both men effectively. It is hard to see a situation where Starks will go over and take the title, but this feud would keep him relevant while giving Allin a solid name to defeat in his first title reign in All Elite Wrestling.

Do not look now, but Shawn Spears has been on a quiet run as of late. He has not lost a singles match dating back to June. The inclusion of Tully Blanchard in his corner helps him become more of a threat, rather than just being the “good hand” as he was described by his former in-story friend, Rhodes. Right now, he is in the middle of a semi-angle with Scorpio Sky, which has not been fully fleshed out yet. AEW has done a solid job building him in these last few months. After what was a shaky start for Spears since his move to AEW, being one of the first WWE names to make the leap. Spears would be a solid name to drop into a feud with Allin in his quest to defend the TNT title.

Then, there is Sky as well. Sky has been one competitor that fans want to see better featured. He has had shots at both the AEW and TNT titles – failing in each bid. Sky, like Allin, is one of the individuals on the AEW roster that mainstream wrestling fans may not be too familiar with but has the potential to be a breakout star among many. There has been flashes of him being leveraged in that way, but the trigger has not ever been fully pulled. He and Allin would have exceptional matches, but again it is hard to see a decision being made to take the title off Allin any time soon.

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AEW does a great job protecting the value of their titles. Cody’s run with the TNT belt has helped him elevate that belt and its move to Darby Allin hit at the right time. The fun aspect of having a new champion is that everyone can anticipate who he or she will face next. Ricky Starks, Shawn Spears, and Scorpio Sky are in a perfect position to be the next men up to challenge for the TNT championship.