The TNT Championship was supposed to mean something when it was first introduced at Double or Nothing in 2020. And early on in its inception, the belt was reminisced of the old Intercontinental Championship being the workhorse belt of the company. The championship was being defended every week on TV with an open challenge as new opponents from other companies showed to challenge the champion. Fans were excited to see who was going to challenge for the title next.
But with the latest title change and Cody Rhodes winning the title for the third time, it feels the TNT Championship has lost some of its lustre. For those that missed it on the Christmas Day edition of AEW Rampage Holiday Bash, Cody Rhodes defeated Sammy Guevera to win the TNT Championship. But why now did Cody need to win the title again? Because his father Dusty was part of the Christmas Day tradition of the NWA. Or it is because Cody is the face of TNT and AEW is moving to TBS so they wanted to have a bigger name carry the title.
None of it makes sense. This is a WWE move as they like the veteran to bury the young star. In this case, Cody buries Sammy. Not to say Cody is not deserving, but if AEW wanted to pull the trigger on a title change, make an up-and-coming star beat Sammy Guevara. Like an Ethan Page or Scorpio Sky. Or go back to when Jay Lethal debuted, have him win the title. Not a guy like Cody, who continues to get title shot after title shot as Dan Lambert puts it because he is Tony Kahn’s friend and an Executive Vice President.
Because we know where this is headed with Cody going up against Sky or Page for the title and if he drops it right away, this will make even less sense for him to win it. We know Cody is teasing turning heel and this will get him even more heat, but it just did not feel right. Cody has put over Malakai Black and Andrade, but why couldn’t he put over Sammy. Guevera is a great wrestler and deserves to be champion, but if this was the case all along, then Cody should have been the one to beat Miro, not Guevara. The title literally just changed hands before Full Gear.
If you look at the history of the title since its creation, every title change has made sense except the latest one. And it feels like the title is being diminished as Cody continues to win. It should be named the Cody Rhodes title, not the TNT Championship. If you want the title to mean something have longer title reigns. This is the workhorse or mid-card belt.
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We know Cody can’t challenge for the AEW World Title, but still, he can be doing so much more outside of the title scenes. The roster is full of guys the company just brought in that could have taken the title off of Guevara. Not to mention the rivalry between Guevara, Page and Sky would have been the ultimate payoff if one of those two men had taken the title off of Sammy.
AEW has done so much right after the disaster that was the Exploding Barbed Wire Match between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley. This move will make people think of WWE and that is not what they want. AEW has been the opposite of WWE, which makes it so good. But AEW does not need a guy to win the TNT Title three times in less than two years of inception of the title.
While Cody will bring back the open challenge, let the young stars have their time with the title having the open challenge and having great matches. There are so many guys on the roster that can have great feuds why does it have to be Cody to be the one to have the spotlight.