ALL ELITE ASSESSMENT: Looking at each of AEW’s championships and determining which ones should stay and which ones should go

By Dan Allanson, PWTorch contributor

Toni Storm


We need to talk about titles.

The Apr.17 episode of AEW Dynamite opened with Jon Moxley soaking in the adulation of the live audience with his newly won IWGP Heavyweight Championship in hand. In years past, this moment would have stood out and vbeen something for wrestling historians and fans alike to discuss for decades to come. The segment, though, did not reach beyond an admiration for Moxley and a rallying cry after a divisive period for the company. Why? Because AEW had long ago passed beyond the point of parody in relation to its cavalcade of titles. It was difficult to shake the feeling that the IWGP Title was just another trinket in a long line of gold paraded by dozens of wrestlers on AEW television.

Therefore, this week’s All Elite Assessment will take a closer look at the merits of each AEW title and seek to readdress the balance…

AEW Heavyweight Championship

Current title holder: “Swerve” Strickland

Let’s start with an easy one. A successful wrestling promotion is often defined by its champion. Be it Ric Flair in the NWA, Hulk Hogan in the WWF, Goldberg in WCW, or Roman Reigns in WWE, the champion should set the standard for the company as a whole. The AEW Heavyweight Title should be the company’s premier achievement but has seemingly been lost in the shuffle as of late. Its status has previously been protected with lengthy title reigns but has also suffered due to injuries, abdications, and poor booking.

From Dynasty onwards, the heavyweight title should be treated as the centerpiece of the promotion. Each AEW roster member should acknowledge that their journey ends with capturing that title and the wins accumulated along the way should contribute to that end goal. Commentators should posit that the title is the most important thing in the AEW universe, talk about the champion often and relate the match in progress to the path towards that title.

Verdict: Obviously keep the title, but boost it with greater attention.

AEW Women’s Championship

Current title holder: Toni Storm

Much like the men’s heavyweight title, the female version is an easy choice to keep but not without some caveats. Like the Strickland-held title, the women’s equivalent has been defined down as a prop to accompany the divisions most entertaining character. The title is rarely mentioned in Toni Storm’s admittedly amusing promos and is rarely coveted by the remainder of the roster.

Why not define the title as integral to Storm’s delusion? A status symbol in her already fragile ego? If fans believe her façade is likely to crumble without it, it would give more meaning to her title defenses.

Verdict: Feature the roster more significantly across the weekly television and boost the title with a Dynamite main event when warranted.

AEW Tag Team Championship

Current title holders: The Young Bucks

On AEW’s inception, one of the company’s cornerstones was announced as a strong tag team division led by The Young Bucks. Although the division’s initial run backed up that claim, the AEW tag team scene has since fallen from the early highs it experienced. Injuries to upcoming teams such as Top Flight and Private Party haven’t helped, but the alarming lack of credible teams (demonstrated by the recent tournament) has left the division a shadow of its former self.

Verdict: Clearly keep the titles intact but the tremendous title decider at Dynasty and the Jackson Brothers back atop the division must be used as a spark.

TNT Championship

Current title holder: Adam Copeland

In a company bulging with titles, I do think there is still a place for the TNT Title. Much like the WWF’s Intercontinental Championship in the late-’80s and early-’90s, the TNT Title has recently been defined as a working champions title. The Cope Open concept has helped differentiate the belt and added meaning to its place on weekly television.

To further boost the TNT Title, why not make it Collision-exclusive? This could also help with the stagnating ratings as it makes the Saturday night show as go-to destination for the title holder and matches.

Verdict: Keep the title but make it Collision-exclusive.

TBS Championship

Current title holder: Willow Nightingale

Akin to the TNT Title, the TBS Title should also be seen as an important milestone. Why not feature the TBS Title exclusively on Dynamite? The TBS Title could be seen as a goal for hungry acts with something to prove. AEW has a tremendously youthful female roster. Make the TBS Title the destination for prospects such as Skye Blue, Anna Jay, Billie Starkz, Kiera Hogan, Leyla Hirsch, Mariah May, and Queen Aminata.

Verdict: Keep the title but make it Dynamite-exclusive.

Continental Championship

Current title holder: Kazuchika Okada

Sigh. In a company full of championships, the Continental Title was the most recent and thus most unnecessary. The Continental Classic was a successful concept which helped further several stories. It did not need to championship belt at the end of it. Its creation has only added confusion moving forward. Will the title holder be entered into the second iteration of the tournament? If so, will the title be defended in each match or is it the prize for the winner thus punishing the title holder? The idea of the title is a mess.

Why not have EVP’s The Young Bucks flex their booking muscles and deem the title a path to the heavyweight crown? Okada could announce himself as the best in the world due to him being champion and use the title as a trade for a heavyweight title shot at the upcoming Double or Nothing or Forbidden Door PPVs. Much like WWE’s Money in the Bank concept, the Continental Classic winner could use their victory as a shot at the World Heavyweight Title moving forward with Okada’s trade setting the precedent.

Verdict: Trade the title for a AEW World Heavyweight Title shot on PPV and dissolve the physical belt.

International Championship

Current title holder: Roderick Strong

The International Title is another which has been ill-defined over its short tenure. Formerly known as the All -Atlantic Championship, it began seemingly as a goal for AEW’s large non-American contingent with a crowing four-way featuring Miro, Pac, Malakai Black, and Tomohiro Ishii. Since then, though, the title has fallen into secondary status at best and meaningless Rampage time filling at worst.

Verdict: With the title lacking any real definition or direction, it may be time to dissolve the belt quietly.

FTW Championship

Current title holder: Chris Jericho

The unsanctioned and unrecognized FTW Title is frequently sanctioned and recognized on AEW television and PPV. A nostalgia title initially brought into the company by Taz as part of his heel stable, the title has since been held primarily by Hook. It may seem sacrilegious to some, but the title is again unnecessary.

With a heel Chris Jericho as current champion, now would be the perfect time for Jericho himself to dissolve the title in the ultimate heel move. In a callback to the famous WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event angle with Mr. Perfect, Jericho could take a hammer to the physical belt and deem its existence over.

Verdict: Dissolve the title, but parlay its destruction into heel heat for Jericho.

AEW Trios Championship

Current title holders: Bullet Club Gold

In another case of titles being created to occupy a stacked roster, the Trios titles started off hot with The Elite and Death Triangle trading wins. This rivalry culminated in a fantastic best of seven series, but the division has since lost all direction and meaning. Indeed, prior to the Dynasty pre-show, the championship had not been defended since January.

Verdict: With the AEW and ROH championships now combined, the titles should be dissolved with potential contenders transferring to the tag team division.


The time has come for All Elite to stop creating titles as a storyline crutch, to replicate times past, or as a short term ratings ploy. It’s clear AEW need to streamline their championships.

Agree / Disagree? Let me know via my new Twitter feed @AllEliteAssess.

RECOMMENDED NEXT: AEW DYNASTY HITS & MISSES (4/21): Danielson vs. Ospreay, Storm vs. Rosa, Julia vs. Willow, Hook vs. Jericho, Pac vs. Okada, FTR vs. Bucks, Pre-show, Overall Event

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: GCW “Breaking GCW 2024” results (4/21): Vetter’s review of Blake Christian vs. Effy for the GCW Championship, Nick Gage vs. Jimmy Lloyd, Fuego Del Sol vs. Joey Janela

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