Tony Khan announced Wednesday on Dynamite that AEW has “leveled up” the All-Atlantic Championship, and it’s now the AEW International Championship. Orange Cassidy will make the title’s inaugural defense against Jeff Jarrett next week on Dynamite when AEW debuts in Winnipeg.
Nine months ago, the All-Atlantic Championship was created to represent AEW fans in the United Kingdom. AEW touts they are the #1 wrestling promotion in the UK via their presence on television.
Plus, the British Isles are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. In a nutshell, it was AEW’s way of creating a UK Title without calling it the UK Title.
However, the physical belt had a geographical error. Japan, which resides in the pacific ocean, is one of six countries represented on the title’s main center plate.
The current design of the title will remain intact. Simply the wording is changed from All Atlantic to International.
The title’s short history saw Pac defeat Clark Conners, Miro, and Malakai Black last June at Forbidden Door to become the first All-Atlantic Champion. Pac defended the title seven times before losing it to current champion Orange Cassidy.
Look, I don’t usually do what I’m about to do as positivity is my game. However, it’s time to channel the dark side. (In my best Mario voice) Here we go!
Every wrestling promotion has creative problems, but the on-screen issues in AEW are a special kind of frustrating.
Most of the mainstream promotions have a silver lining that is easy to see when an idea doesn’t hit. AEW’s creative faux pas are often so cringe-inducing that it’s difficult to chalk them up to a simple mistake.
On the name alone, International tops All-Atlantic. One limits the scope of representation and prestige, while the spans the globe with no limits.
Substance, however, is a different story.
What does Tony Khan exactly mean by “leveling up” the championship? Will rebranding increase the prestige of the now International belt?
Is it still the bronze medal in AEW’s championship pedigree, or has it jumped ahead of the TNT Title and on equal footing with the World Title?
Khan’s rebrand announcement didn’t do AEW any favors among its staunch critics. The awkward briefing was a confusing promotional tie-in for the upcoming film Shazam: Fury of the Gods.
It also didn’t help that another advertised “big announcement” from Khan had a minuscule effect on the show overall.
Between the lackluster content of big reveals and their troubled delivery, it’s evident that Khan is not good on camera and should have someone else speak on his behalf.
It doesn’t need to be a commissioner-type character. It can be a spokesperson who has no air authority. Someone who is designated to announce new developments for the promotion.
Renee Paquette, anyone?
Once upon a time, WCW simultaneously had an International World Heavyweight Title and a World Heavyweight Title. The company eventually merged the two championships when they realized THEY MEAN THE SAME FREAKING THING!!!
A new name will not raise the stock of a fledgling title that many feel was unnecessary from the jump. Hopefully, Jeff Jarrett will win the title next week, causing a toxic volcanic eruption on social media that I will indeed watch with popcorn in hand.