We are two weeks into 2024 and there’s already a lot to talk about in professional wrestling. From surprise debuts to new signings and other topics, there’s a lot to talk about. One point is predicting who will seize the next 12 months and have a breakout year. Looking at AEW’s roster there are several individuals poised to make a push, but there’s one that jumps to the top of the queue. Daniel Garcia is the man to watch as many expect him to have a big year that builds his place in the industry.
Of course, it is easy to pick Garcia to do something great in wrestling. The man is already a fan favorite and his track record is already marked with success. But there’s still a level of breakthrough that he hasn’t hit in AEW. Since making his debut with the company in September 2020 and officially signing in October 2021, fans have continued to push for him to have his moment as a singles star. That moment hasn’t come. 2024 should be the time when that changes.
Garcia has picked up some big wins in recent years. Konosuke Takeshita, Wheeler Yuta, Mike Bailey, and Alex Shelley have all dropped bouts to Garcia. But it is the July 27 victory over Bryan Danielson that stands out. That was the moment that everyone expected would be the launching point for Garcia. But it wasn’t. Instead, he was sucked back into the Chris Jericho vortex and hasn’t really found his way out.
That was until the AEW Continental Classic. Garcia’s story arc of losing nearly every match only built his allure with the fans. His support was at its peak when he faced off against Brody King, even though both men “didn’t have anything left to fight for.” Garcia was already over with the fans and now that momentum is just growing. It’s time for AEW to do something with it.
As the promotion looks to return to a focus on professional wrestling, this is the perfect opening to elevate Garcia as the face of just that - professional wrestling. There are few, if any, on the roster that can do it as well as him. There’s a reason why the company quickly signed him at such a young age. He checks all the boxes for what a future star in this industry looks like, so AEW has to put him in the position to be just that.
That move should involve the AEW International Championship. Orange Cassidy is someone who was in a similar position heading into 2023. That year was a breakout year for Cassidy. Such a strong one that he will earn consideration as the top performer in the company. AEW built him as a strong champion that turned back contender after contender each week. It’s time to see Garcia go on that same type of run.
Imagine him holding that championship and facing the likes of PAC, Rush, Takeshita, Powerhouse Hobbs, or even a Drew McIntyre could depart from WWE this year. Not only would Garcia excel in that role, but the fans would be behind him every step of the way. AEW isn’t devoid of talent to build around for the future, but think about what the company would have in another piece of his level.
Fans want to see Daniel Garcia get a singles push that is worthy of his abilities. 2024 is the year to make it happen and watch him go on a run that further establishes him as a talent to build around for the future.