Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

So… What Exactly is the Long-Term Plan for the AEW Championship…?

Hello AW Universe,

Since AEW’s All Out PPV way back on 31 August, where Chris Jericho defeated “Hangman” Adam Page in the main event for the AEW World Championship to win the title and become the company’s inaugural champion.

But since then, Jericho’s rivalries have been a bit erratic. Now, this seems to be a symptom of AEW’s general booking strategy of getting all their “dream matchups” together quickly, and giving the rub to some of the less-established stars by pairing them with the top talent on roster in either tag matches (see: Cody and QT Marshall) or quick one-offs (see: Darby Allin and Jon Moxley).

But specifically for Jericho– and most specifically for the AEW Championship– there have been some interesting booking decisions that have resulted in some great matches, but the direction has been… questionable, at best. Jericho’s very first victory in AEW was over Kenny Omega– a rerun of their lauded match at Wrestle Kingdom 12— at Double or Nothing back in May, earning the opportunity to wrestle the winner of the Casino Battle Royale from early in the night– “Hangman” Adam Page– for the inaugural AEW World Championship at All Out in August.

Jericho would, of course, go over Hangman, winning the Championship– then infamously losing it at a Longhorn Steakhouse during his victory dinner– and ushered in Wednesday Night Dynamite as the company’s first World Champion.

His first title defense would then be against Darby Allin on the 16 October edition of Dynamite, then against Cody at Full Gear, then Scorpio Sky on the 27 November edition of Dynamite to now facing “Jungle(boy)” Jack Perry on the 18 December  Dynamite before setting his sights on Jon Moxley– or, perhaps more accurately it’s the inverse– for his next title defence.

I get the whole approach is here; it’s like I said before, putting relatively unknown wrestlers like Allin and Sky in the ring with the champion gives them a certain rub. But… has it? By straying away from a consistent rival for Jericho’s title– other than a very short program with Cody– and giving one-off opportunities to the less-known wrestlers to boost their stock in the eyes of fans, it seems not a whole lot has been accomplished. So Darby Allin got a World title shot, what has happened to him since? He came out in a bodybag and had an alright match with Moxley– who in turn became the #1 contender– only to now be teaming up with Cody? Scorpio Sky got his opportunity, and after it he’s… well, basically right back to where he was before it, being tag team champion with Frankie Kazarian.

The point is that, to me, it’s been unclear as to what the purpose of all this has been.

Is this next match with Moxley just going to be another one-off, giving AEW fans another “dream match” only to sweep it away, tack another win on Jericho’s record, and move on to give the “rub” to another up-and-comer? Or is it finally going to entrench Jericho in a real feud, with someone who can be viewed as his equal and will push him to a different level? One has to hope so, because the roster is thin, and the champion can only bounce from one rising star to the next until the reverse has happened to what the initial intent was, and they’re completely buried.