Depending on who you are, the overflow of championship gold in AEW was either praised or skewered before the promotion introduced the Trio’s Title’s Wednesday on Dynamite. While another prize risks diluting all of the AEW titles, Tony Khan had the belts made some time ago, meaning their inclusion in the all elite ranks was inevitable.
But is it a good idea?
An abundance of titles is a good idea to match the championship aspirations of an overflowing AEW roster. However, let’s look at the landscape of the various titles a wrestler can vie for in Khan’s employ.
- AEW World Championship
- AEW Interim World Championship
- AEW Women’s World Championship
- TBS Championship
- TNT Championship
- FTW Championship
- All-Atlantic Championship
- World Tag Team Championship
- Trios World Championship
- ROH World Championship
- ROH TV Championship
- ROH Pure Championship
- ROH Women’s Championship
- ROH World Tag Team Championship
- ROH Six Man Tag Team Championship
Twenty-one physical belts is a lot of hardware.
Despite the upward battle the Trios concept will have to get over as a successful vehicle, it’s also a sign of evolving with the times. WWE has largely conditioned the American audience to believe six-man tag team matches are a hollow spectacle to get more faces on television.
How many times has an opening segment on Raw and SmackDown escalated into pure bedlam over the years, only for the authority figure to book a six-man tag match for the main event? The answer is too many to count.
America is AEW’s home base; however, its worldwide footprint is embedded in the traditions of the genre. While the NWA crowned the first six-man tag team champions in 1955, Lucha Libre is the mecca of Trios bouts as they’re emblematic in Mexico.
Texas-bred World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) also had six-man tag team titles, which was a no-brainer considering we’re talking about Von Erich country. Dusty Rhodes and The Road Warriors personified the NWA titles. Even WCW danced with the concept in 1991 but abandoned the titles nine months later.
AEW is vying to expand its audience, but its DNA is rooted in diehard fandom. A fandom that accesses a variety of pro wrestling content from Mexico, Japan, Europe, and the independents. Six Man or Trios matches are also prevalent in Japan, with promotions both past and present having their own set of championships.
One could say, AEW instituting the championship is long overdue in mainstream pro wrestling. While various stables have appeared in WWE over the years, faction warfare is a fact of life in AEW.
Blackpool Combat Club, The Elite, Dark Order, Team Taz, House of Black, Jericho Appreciation Society, Death Triangle, Undisputed Elite, Best Friends, and more contain most of the company’s top attractions.
If that’s not enough, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s working relationship with AEW opens the door for their factions to compete for the Trios Titles, including CHAOS, Bullet Club, Suzuki-gun, United Empire, and Los Ingobernables de Japón.
AAA, Rev Pro, and Impact Wrestling could also send a trio to AEW for some inter-promotional content. If you include the precedent that a new group or alliance can form at any time in AEW, the Trios Championship could be the concept that differentiates AEW from WWE in a pronounced fashion.
Tony Khan’s past interviews suggest he’s a big fan of Trios matches. If the rumors are to be believed, the return of Kenny Omega will heavily factor into the crowning of the inaugural champions.
The one thing AEW can’t do is allow the titles to become an excuse to pair three random wrestlers together simply because someone has to carry the belts. It happened with the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles long before Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out.
A tournament to crown the first Trios Champions will start in August and culminate at All Out on Sunday, September 4 in Chicago. While the Omega rumors are running wild, there was a tease on Dynamite where The Young Bucks and former stablemate Hangman Page might get the band back together to chase the gold.
I’d say we’re already off to a great start.