Below you will find my booking bracket for the AEW TNT Championship Tournament.
These have been selected by using wrestlers 2020 singles records. Wrestlers have been omitted if they are embroiled in other championship pictures, Hager and Omega, or if they have not wrestled enough, Luther, Cabana and Brodie Lee.
This leaves Cody, MJF, Havoc, Sabian, PAC, Darby and Janela as having the best records out with those already omitted.
I have also decided to include a wildcard participant in Sammy Guevara to make up the bracket. This would be decided via a 10-man Battle Royale made up of wrestlers who have competed in the most matches in AEW but with poor win/loss records.
Why Does Cody Win?
I am really unsure if this is the right call or not. On the one hand, it feels like Cody winning this championship would diminish his loss to Chris Jericho and the consequences of MJF's actions. However if this championship is packaged properly it could work perfectly.
I would have the TNT Championship be a route to the AEW Championship. If you can defend it 10 times you can trade the belt for a shot at the big one. This would be reinforced by the TNT Championship never main eventing PPVs.
The kicker here would be that this rule would obviously not apply to Cody. Yet he still holds the belt reminding everyone that although he's great and although he's beloved by the fans he cannot win the top prize.
Therefore adding to the possible long term storyline of Cody eventually, in 2-3 years time, winning the AEW Championship.
Other Possible Winners?
MJF is the name that many people will point to after Cody. Imagine the further heat that could be build by MJF defeating Cody yet again this time in the final? Or even worse, interfering in Cody's semi final match to prevent him having to face him in the final? Putting this belt on MJF would put even more of a spotlight on one of their most compelling characters. Does he need it though?
Darby Allin is another fan favourite that many would be delighted to see hold the belt. It would be a great story as well seeing Darby Allin fighting through such a tournament. Imagine if he beat Cody in the final, after their previous encounters? But like MJF, does Darby need such a title and would it benefit him longer term? You could argue it would undermine his current, very compelling, character work.
PAC is a man who has seemed somewhat rudderless in AEW. He joined to much excitement and looked set to go straight into a big feud with Hangman Page. However, this didn't materialise and even a debut victory over Kenny Omega didn't get him back on track. Winning this might just be the tonic. He'd make a great TV-style champ, putting on great matches with the likes of Darby, Jungle Boy and Janela. Not quite on the level of story-tellng as having Cody win it though.
Other big names:
- Kenny Omega: Just too big a star for this. Also his current role is superb.
- Adam Page: Could be a great shout but too hot at the moment for such a spot. Also... See above.
- Brodie Lee: Too soon, needs further distancing from WWE.
- Jake Hager: Feuding with Moxley, wouldn't make sense.
- Chris Jericho: Too soon after AEW Championship. This belt should be more work-rate orientated.