Now that they aren’t tied together, AEW must work to rebuild both Wardlow and the TNT Championship.
Dropping a championship can have a positive impact on a wrestler’s career, and that is the exact position Wardlow finds himself in today. After losing the belt to Luchasaurus due to shenanigans thanks to Christian Cage, Wardlow’s third run with the belt has come to an end. After looking at how the combination of his three reigns went, perhaps it’s time to recognize that both he and that championship could be in a much better position without being tied together.
Let’s start with Wardlow first. One year ago, Wardlow had defeated MJF at Double or Nothing 2022 and was white hot. Much has changed since then. Yes, he’s held the TNT Championship twice since then, but those two reigns equal only 62 days and only two successful title defenses across them both. Fans are thoroughly behind Wardlow, but that hasn’t translated into consistently strong booking for the big man. Some may even point to the idea that the stop-and-start nature of Wardlow’s booking also hindered that of Powerhouse Hobbs, who held the belt for just 42 days after picking it up from Wardlow.
Without the belt, he should be quickly rebuilt for one match that needs to happen. MJF is the perfect champion AEW needs at this time and he has a series of foils he should overcome to strengthen his reign. One such should be Wardlow. Call back to everything that occurred in 2022 and the way Wardlow absolutely smashed MJF on his way out the door. Bringing that back to the forefront and getting MJF his victory back would be the right move, and along the way, Wardlow can be rebuilt through consistent victories outside of the TNT Championship picture.
But where would the title go without him? Cage is doing some of the best work of his career and this story with Luchasaurus will be interesting to watch. At some point, Cage and Luchasaurus will battle for rightful ownership, but what happens between now and then? Cage will continue to build himself as one of the best heels in the business and he should be the one to come out with the championship. That creates the path to build someone with his name. For example, returning fan favorites like Andrade or Scorpio Sky.
There was once a time when both Wardlow and the TNT Championship were over with fans. That momentum waned and it was unfortunately at a time when he and the title were tied together. Now that the situation has changed, it is time to rebuild both important aspects of the AEW roster.