The men’s division in AEW will have yet another title to contest for from week to week, month to month, and it was unveiled as the All-Atlantic title just last week on Dynamite. This of course is exciting news and apart from a few criticisms online, the newly created title will offer so much to a roster rich with talented individuals for sure, adding yet another layer to the already rich product.
The company has its issues; there’s no doubt about that…kinks that it’s working through, but this is a great and positive step in the right direction. And let’s please remember that the company is only still in its third year.
Tony Khan recently went into why he decided to bring the title onto the scene, making the following statements while speaking with comicbook.com. Here’s some of what he had to say:
“It’s a heavy emphasis on international competition, but the US can get involved in the competition. And I think it’s a great way to spotlight a lot of the international wrestlers in AEW, and the international presence that AEW’s developed over the years now with our shows on in 130 countries around the world and great ratings in so many huge international markets…
Including every week finishing as the number one wrestling company in the UK and our ratings there continue to rise. So for the international fans and for the international wrestlers on the roster, I felt like it would create more opportunities. But I also don’t think this title or these opportunities are exclusive to the international wrestlers. But it’s a big benefit of the term…”via Tony Khan talking to comicbook.com /cultaholic.com (Transcription)
A tournament started just last week to see who would be in the Four-Way match set for Forbidden Door on June 26th. Pac qualified last week. As for the rest of the qualifiers we still have yet to see Miro who is set to take on Ethan Page and Malakai Black who is set to face Penta Oscuro.
An NJPW competitor will also be in the Four-Way at Forbidden Door; just who that competitor will be will be seen after a four-man single elimination tournament takes place; it is set to transpire on June 20th – 21st.
In that match are: Tomoaki Honma, Robbie Eagles Tomohiro Ishii and Clark Connors. The winner will be added to the Four-Way at FD.
The belt has reminded some of WWE’s Intercontinental title, but that title has been so watered down over the years, it hardly represents what it used to represent in the past. The title wasn’t even contested at WrestleMania this year, and neither was the US Championship, which is sad in its own right, as there have been many epic champions that have held the once-honorable title in the past.
Now Gunther is the newly crowned Intercontinental Champion and for once it seems to have been awarded to someone that will get the TV time needed and deserved by an Intercontinental Champion.
Ricochet and others before him were and are great wrestlers, but obviously they weren’t allotted the proper TV time and/or feuds and storylines, whereas Gunther should up the ante, or rather be allowed to do what recent champions were not allowed to do by WWE management/WWE Creative.
To be clear…Ricochet is an epic wrestler that I wish was granted more opportunities. He was a great Intercontinental Champion and in recent years, Big E, Apollo Crews, Sami Zayn and others were extraordinary champions. What I’m saying here is WWE dropped the ball in not giving recent champs their due respect until now.
I wish only that they all would have gotten what Gunther is now getting. But alas that is what we’ve been given…yet another example of us having to digest what is being shoveled onto our plates by WWE.
But there were good years, which for me ended when John Cena had to move on, starting for himself a very impressive career in Hollywood, and one that he deserves. Things seem a bit better as of late, especially with the re-introduction of Cody Rhodes into the WWE fold, but it was a long time in coming folks.
But the time I’m referencing here, were of course the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras of WWE…good times indeed, and the nineties in particular when another title was inaugurated…the forever lost European Championship.
In fact it is that title that came to mind when AEW’s All-Atlantic Championship was announced last week. It was the worldwide inclusion that made me think of that old title, and it is that as well that has been missing from the aforementioned Intercontinental Championship—that worldwide inclusion. AEW has tapped into that international aspect of the whole thing as the European Championship once did. It was contested for the first time in Germany, and the very first champion was none other than the British Bulldog…contested in a final match between he and the late, great Owen Hart.
Specifically, the title was created on February 26th, 1997 and was contested in Berlin, Germany. The match between Owen Hart and the British Bulldog was extraordinary…a true clinic of professional wrestling and a true testament to the legendary Hart pro wrestling style…both men were trained by Stu Hard in the iconic and historic Hart Family Dungeon in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The title was retired in July of 2002 when Rob Van Dam, then IC Champ, beat Jeff Hardy, then European Champion, in a match to unify the two titles.
Better times indeed, but perhaps now with this AEW title, those days are at hand once again. Very excited to see who becomes the inaugural All-Atlantic Champion, as I’m sure you are as well, dear readers.