Darby Allin finally captured the TNT Championship from longtime thorn in the side, Cody Rhodes, at AEW Full Gear. It was an incredible moment for the young star, whose popularity has skyrocketed since AEW’s debut last year, culminating a year of near-misses when challenging AEW’s head-honcho with a massive victory for the TNT Championship.
Shortly after the new champ was given the nod of respect from Cody, he was assaulted by Team Tazz members, Brian Cage and Ricky Starks, seemingly setting up the conclusion to their mini-feud that has simmered in recent weeks. With the two likely stepping up to challenge the diminutive champion over the next few weeks, and presuming that Darby walks away with the win there, we look forward to who else could challenge Allin for the TNT Championship as we see out 2020.
We run down 5 potential opponents, but make sure you drop your own dream matches for Darby Allin down in the comments below.
PAC broke his silence on the go-home episode of AEW Dynamite, reminding the world that ‘The Bastard’ is still very much a threat to all those on the AEW roster. Seeing as travel restrictions between the UK and the US are slowly being lifted, especially for those with work commitments, I imagine we’ll see PAC return to action sooner rather than later.
Prior to his abrupt departure, PAC was building his stable alongside the Lucha Brothers, as part of the Death Triangle. This had a lot of hype behind it, but without PAC at the helm, the two luchadors were sent Eddie Kingston’s way for his rise to championship competition. Here’s hoping that the same fate awaited PAC, one that he can reclaim when he eventually returns to television.
PAC could immediately set his sights on the TNT title, justifiably so after picking up some very impressive wins over the past year. Not only would he be a credible contender, but the potential for a great match between a sadistic PAC and a never-say-die Darby Allin would be gold.
2. Orange Cassidy
Before Cody Rhodes moved onto feuding with Darby Allin, he managed to have a series of excellent title matches against Orange Cassidy. Cassidy is arguably one of the hottest stars in pro wrestling today, bringing a unique style of wrestling to the squared circle and proving a lot of doubters wrong in matches against established veterans like Chris Jericho and the aforementioned former TNT Champion.
With Cassidy’s title shots having stained finishes, with interference from The Dark Order bringing his chances at becoming TNT Champion to a halt, there’s more than enough reason for ‘Freshly Squeezed’ to return for another pop at the gold.
Darby Allin vs. Orange Cassidy may not be everyone’s first choice for a main event, but if anyone deserves to headline an episode of Dynamite after the hard work they’ve put into building their careers in AEW, it’s these two guys.
I will never get tired of seeing that image.
Miro’s debut in AEW has been a bit of a footnote in recent weeks, feuding with The Best Friends over a broken arcade machine hasn’t really been the ‘big storyline’ that everyone expected the artist formerly known as Rusev to jump into. Regardless, Miro holds a presence that few others do, possibly because of the buzz surrounding him since being released by WWE.
Miro could easily jump into title competition against someone like Darby Allin. As a performer, Miro tends to work better with smaller stars, a guy like Darby could be the perfect opponent to bump around like a maniac and make Miro look like a total beast. Whether Miro should be the one to bring Darby’s reign to a sudden end is up for debate, but it’s time AEW start making the most of that untapped potential.
4. Lance Archer
AEW seem to be struggling with Lance Archer, every time they build the ‘Murderhawk Monster’ up to a level where he can win a championship, they completely drop him. His encounter with Jon Moxley was an exciting affair, but since taking the L, he’s barely been featured. It’s time for Archer to actually culminate on the mystique surrounding him, and that could be with a big title win over Darby Allin.
In terms of aesthetic, a match between the towering monster and the smaller, angst-ridden goth could be exactly the sort of alternative that wrestling fans have been begging for. Hopefully this won’t happen for a little while, to allow Darby to enjoy the spoils of being one of the top performers on the brand, but if anyone deserves to nab the TNT Championship after suffering for the last few months, it’s Archer.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman (and Wardlow) is now a fully-fledged member of the Inner Circle. After picking up a monumental win over Chris Jericho at Full Gear, MJF is more than ready to be crowned a champion in AEW. All Elite Wrestling have done a great job at building Friedman as one of their top heels, with big pay-per-view matches against Cody Rhodes and Jon Moxley to cement his place in the top ranks.
MJF could be the first to bring back a modicum of success to the Inner Circle, who admittedly haven’t had the best run as of late. Whether this be to stick it to ‘Le Champion’ a little further, or to start working his way back up the card towards a AEW Championship match, a TNT title win could be huge in terms of storyline and character progression.
Plus, when we think of home-grown talent, there are no better two examples than MJF and Darby Allin.
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