It was only a matter of time before Samoa Joe turned on Wardlow. Now that he has, AEW has an opportunity to make some new stars & build the TNT title.
As soon as Samoa Joe and Wardlow connected on AEW television, it was only a matter of time before the veteran turned on the up-and-comer. That occurred on the November 9 episode of Wednesday Night Dynamite, with The Samoan Submission Machine drilling Wardog in the back of the head with the ROH TV Championship. It was somewhat surprising since it looked like Wardlow and Powerhouse Hobbs were primed for a feud, but that’s part of what made the heel turn so effective. The face is now standing alone against two of the hardest hitters AEW has to offer, and it’s a massive opportunity for the company to make two stars and build up a title.
A glance across the aisle to WWE shows how quickly championships can be revitalized. In July, the United States and Intercontinental titles were relatively small deals. After just a few months of frequently being featured on television (and respected), they regained prestige. The TNT Championship is supposed to be AEW’s version of those secondary titles and needs to be treated as such. A lengthy, hard-hitting program between Wardlow and Joe can reclaim some of the shine that’s been lost since all of ROH’s titles have been shoehorned onto AEW shows.
Putting Samoa Joe Over On Wardlow Would Be A Huge Mistake
While this ought to be a fantastic feud leading up to a presumed match Full Gear, Samoa Joe winning would be a disaster for All Elite Wrestling. The 43-year-old Joe has been a champion in multiple companies, and if professional wrestling had a unified Hall Of Fame, he’d make it in on the first ballot. This is why he doesn’t need to beat Wardlow for the TNT Championship whenever the two finally come to blows in the ring. AEW only has a few wrestlers who can do what Wardlow does. He has an old-school pro wrestling look, is solid on the mic, and seems to understand his role in the business. There are few homegrown talents more critical to Tony Khan’s wrestling company than Wardlow, which makes this such a vital feud for him.
It’ll be a challenge, but AEW also needs to find a way to prevent Hobbs from getting lost in the noise. We’ve seen the company struggle with this booking before. Daniel Garcia playing second fiddle in his program to Chris Jericho and Bryan Danielson immediately comes to mind. Powerhouse Vs. Wardlow had the potential to be a star-making feud before Joe turned heel and got involved. Now it could be the most important program on Friday Night Rampage while also putting Hobbs and Wardlow front and center in the minds of AEW fans in the coming weeks and months. It’s an ample opportunity for the company and for Wardlow and Hobbs to elevate. Khan has to figure out a way to keep things interesting en route to a clean win for anyone involved besides Joe. Not because he isn’t good, but because Wardlow and Hobbs need the AEW spotlight more.
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