There’s always something to complain about in professional wrestling. Especially if you are a part of the always-online “IWC,” where so-called fans make it a point to moan about some of the best moments in the industry. In the face of that, it is important to point out that the AEW Continental Classic has been a rousing success. There are so many ways to break down the positives this round-robin tournament brought to AEW and wrestling in general.
For the last month, the AEW CC has been one of the best aspects across all of wrestling. There are several reasons to look at what this tournament did for everyone involved, and why fans should not only be excited for the final set to go down at AEW Worlds End but the hope for what the next editions can do in the future.
This tournament featured so many Match of the Year candidates within a brief period. Matches such as Eddie Kingston versus Bryan Danielson, Daniel Garcia versus Brody King, and Claudio Castagnoli versus Danielson will stand out in the minds of fans as voting for awards begins in a few weeks. This was a series of matches that reminded fans that AEW thrives when allowing its performers to do what they do best for the people watching in the arena and millions around the world.
Not only were these matches exceptional, but they told a story that elevated everyone involved. All eyes are on Eddie Kingston as he heads into a showdown with Jon Moxley. Will Kingston finally get out of his way and be the “King of the Bums” who gets the job done when it matters the most? But it didn’t stop there. Andrade’s arc continued to add layers to his feud with Miro. Daniel Garcia reached a new level of babyface losing nearly every match just to beat Brody King when it didn’t count for much in the overall outcome. Swerve Strickland’s continued rise as the next big thing for AEW wasn’t hampered because he didn’t make it to the finals. It made fans cheer for him even more. There’s so much from this tournament that can be used to further build stronger names in the roster with 2024 on the horizon.
It will be interesting to see how AEW follows up on this in the future. What names will be involved in the second edition of this tournament? Kenny Omega and MJF perhaps? Or maybe a new signing like Mustafa Ali? One thing is clear though, 2024 must include a women’s edition of the Continental Classic. There’s no reason the women’s division shouldn’t get the same exposure and time in the new year. Imagine what the ladies could do as they continue to call for equitable time compared to their peers. Allow Britt Baker, Thunder Rosa, Serena Deeb, Willow Nightingale, Kris Statlander, Mariah May, Ruby Soho, Emi Sakura, Nyla Rose, Riho, Athena, and Mercedes Martinez to do work in their tournament. AEW and women’s wrestling fans will rejoice.
The positives of professional wrestling should be celebrated. The inaugural AEW Continental Classic featured all the best things about professional wrestling and has helped AEW get a boost of momentum heading into the end of 2023.