AEW World Championship

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AEW World Championship
The AEW World Championship belt (2019–2022); the current version introduced in 2024 features the same design, but with customizable side plates.
Details
PromotionAll Elite Wrestling
Date establishedMay 25, 2019
Current champion(s)Swerve Strickland
Date wonApril 21, 2024
Statistics
First champion(s)Chris Jericho
Most reignsJon Moxley
(3 reigns)
Longest reignMJF
(406 days)
Shortest reignCM Punk
(2nd reign, 3 days)
Oldest championChris Jericho
(48 years, 295 days)
Youngest championMJF
(26 years, 249 days)
Heaviest championSamoa Joe
(310 lb (140 kg))
Lightest champion"Hangman" Adam Page (215 lb (98 kg))

The AEW World Championship is a men's professional wrestling world championship created and promoted by the American promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Unveiled on May 25, 2019, it is the promotion's top championship and is presented as being AEW's most prestigious title. Chris Jericho was the inaugural champion. The current champion is Swerve Strickland, who is in his first reign. He won the title by defeating Samoa Joe at Dynasty on April 21, 2024.

History

[edit]
Inaugural champion Chris Jericho

On January 1, 2019, the American professional wrestling promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW) was founded and its inaugural event and pay-per-view (PPV), Double or Nothing, was scheduled for May 25.[1][2][3] The unveiling of the promotion's men's world championship was first teased on AEW's YouTube channel on May 22, where actor and comedian Jack Whitehall humorously attempted to reveal the title belt but struggled to get the championship out of its bag. During that same video, Whitehall revealed that the winner of Double or Nothing's Buy In pre-show battle royal, called the Casino Battle Royale, would face the winner of the PPV's main event at a future date to determine the inaugural AEW World Champion.[4] AEW president Tony Khan confirmed that since the promotion would not have weight divisions, the AEW World Championship was not a "heavyweight championship".[5] However, on occasion, the promotion, as well as AEW wrestlers and commentators, have referred to it as the "world heavyweight championship".[6]

At Double or Nothing, the pre-show Casino Battle Royale was won by "Hangman" Adam Page,[7] while Chris Jericho defeated Kenny Omega in the PPV's main event, setting up the inaugural championship match. During the event, pro-wrestling veteran Bret Hart unveiled the AEW World Championship belt.[8] Shortly after Double or Nothing, the inaugural championship match was scheduled for AEW's next major PPV, All Out, on August 31.[9] At All Out, Jericho defeated Page in the main event to become the inaugural AEW World Champion.[10] The following day, it was reported by Tallahassee Police that the physical championship belt was stolen from Jericho's limousine while he was traveling;[11] it was recovered on September 4.[12]

Interim champion Jon Moxley (left) and lineal champion CM Punk (right) on the August 17, 2022, episode of Dynamite, a week before their match to determine the undisputed AEW World Champion

On the June 3, 2022, episode of Rampage, reigning champion CM Punk, who had won the title just days prior at Double or Nothing, announced that he was injured and required surgery. He initially wanted to relinquish the title; however, AEW president Tony Khan decided that an interim champion would be crowned until Punk's return, after which, Punk would face the interim champion to determine the undisputed champion. To determine the interim champion, AEW set up the AEW Interim World Championship Eliminator Series that would culminate in a match at AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door on June 26, a co-promoted event between AEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW).[13][14] The first two matches took place on the June 8 episode of Dynamite. A Casino Battle Royale opened the show, which Kyle O'Reilly won. O'Reilly then faced the number one ranked singles competitor Jon Moxley in the main event of the episode, which Moxley won.[15] The third match took place on June 12 at NJPW's Dominion 6.12 in Osaka-jo Hall between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Hirooki Goto, which Tanahashi won; Tanahashi was originally scheduled to face Punk at Forbidden Door for the title before Punk's injury.[16][17] At Forbidden Door, Moxley defeated Tanahashi to become the interim AEW World Champion.[18] Punk made his return in early August and was defeated by Moxley on the August 24 episode of Dynamite in a match to determine the undisputed champion.[19]

During the All Out post-event media scrum on September 5, CM Punk, who had just won his second AEW World Championship at the event, got into a legitimate physical altercation backstage with AEW executive vice presidents The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson), following berating comments he had made about them and others during the scrum. As a result, AEW president Tony Khan suspended all involved.[20] On the September 7 episode of Dynamite, Khan announced that both the World Championship and Trios Championship, held by The Elite, were vacated. Khan then announced that there would be a tournament to crown a new AEW World Champion. The AEW Grand Slam Tournament of Champions began that same episode and continued across episodes of Dynamite and Rampage until its conclusion at Dynamite: Grand Slam on September 21. Tournament competitors included Bryan Danielson, "Hangman" Adam Page, Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin, Chris Jericho, and Jon Moxley.[21] In the tournament final at Grand Slam, Moxley defeated Danielson to win the championship for a record third time.[22]

"Real World Championship"

[edit]
Two-time champion CM Punk with the unofficial "Real World Championship"

CM Punk returned to AEW for the debut episode of Collision on June 17, 2023. During his promo, he held a red bag he described as containing "something he never lost".[23] The following month, Punk unveiled the contents of the bag to be the AEW World Championship belt that he had won at the 2022 All Out. He subsequently referred to himself as the "real world's champion" as he was never defeated for the title, and then spray painted a black X on the center plate (the X being a symbol Punk had used throughout his career in reference to his straight edge lifestyle).[24] While the "Real World Championship" was not officially recognized by AEW, Punk defended the title on AEW programming.[25][26][27] However, following a legitimate backstage incident that occurred at All In on August 27, Punk's contract was terminated and the "Real World Championship" was subsequently dropped.[28]

Belt design

[edit]

The standard AEW World Championship belt has five plates on a black leather strap, and the plates are silver and gold. The large center plate prominently has a relief AEW logo at the center, with a diamond outline behind the logo. Above the logo is a banner that reads "WORLD", while below the logo is another banner that reads "CHAMPION". At the end of each of these banners are parts of the globe. Below the lower banner is a nameplate to display the reigning champion's name. Filigree fills in the rest of the plate. The two inner side plates are tall and narrow. Originally, the inner side plates had AEW's logo at the center while above and below this logo were two halves of the globe. The two outer side plates were similar to the inner ones but slightly smaller. The belt design was inspired by the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Championship belt, and AEW wanted their design to be significantly similar to that belt. It was created by well-known professional wrestling championship belt maker Dave Millican.[29]

After Samoa Joe won the championship at Worlds End on December 30, 2023, he ditched MJF's custom belt and brought back the standard championship belt at Dynamite: Homecoming on January 10, 2024, but with a slight change to the inner side plates; the other plates were unchanged. The inner side plates were updated with a removable center section that can be customized with the reigning champion's logo (similar to WWE's championship belts); the default side plates consist of globes and AEW's logo sits above and below the removable section.[30]

Custom designs

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The custom "Big Burberry Belt" used by MJF during his reign from November 2022 to December 2023.

On the November 30, 2022, episode of Dynamite, reigning champion MJF, who had won the title at Full Gear on November 19, discarded the standard AEW World Championship belt, calling it trash, and unveiled his own custom version, which he dubbed the "Big Burberry Belt", or Triple-B for short. It featured the exact same design as the standard belt; however, the leather strap was brown and fashioned in Burberry's trademark check pattern to match MJF's signature Burberry scarf.[31][32]

On December 29, 2023, after the Clemson Tigers football team of Clemson University won the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, AEW president Tony Khan presented the team's head coach, Dabo Swinney, with a custom AEW World Championship belt. It features the same design as the standard belt, but the inner side plates features the Tigers logo at the center with an inscription of the event, date, and location above and below the team's logo.[33]

Reigns

[edit]
Current champion Swerve Strickland

As of July 22, 2024, there have been 11 reigns between eight champions and one vacancy, as well as one interim champion. Chris Jericho was the inaugural champion. Jon Moxley has the most reigns at three and also served as the interim champion in mid-2022 while reigning lineal champion CM Punk was out with an injury (this is not counted as one of Moxley's three reigns). MJF's singular reign is the longest at 406 days, while Punk's second reign is the shortest at 3 days. Jericho is the oldest champion when he won it at 48 years old, while MJF is the youngest, winning it at 26 years old.

Swerve Strickland is the current champion in his first reign. He won the title by defeating Samoa Joe at Dynasty on April 21, 2024, in St Louis, Missouri.[34]

Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
+ Current reign is changing daily
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days
1 Chris Jericho August 31, 2019 All Out Hoffman Estates, IL 1 182 Defeated "Hangman" Adam Page to become the inaugural champion. [9][35]
2 Jon Moxley February 29, 2020 Revolution Chicago, IL 1 277 [36]
3 Kenny Omega December 2, 2020 Dynamite: Winter Is Coming Jacksonville, FL 1 346 [37]
4 "Hangman" Adam Page November 13, 2021 Full Gear Minneapolis, MN 1 197 This was Page's Casino Poker Chip cash-in match. [38]
5 CM Punk May 29, 2022 Double or Nothing Paradise, NV 1 87 [39]
Jon Moxley (Interim) June 26, 2022 Forbidden Door Chicago, IL 59 Lineal champion CM Punk was originally scheduled to defend the title against Hiroshi Tanahashi at this event, but was pulled due to suffering a foot injury. Moxley defeated Tanahashi in a tournament final to become the interim champion. [16][18]
6 Jon Moxley August 24, 2022 Dynamite Cleveland, OH 2 11 Defeated lineal champion CM Punk to determine the undisputed champion. AEW officially recognizes this as the start of Moxley's second reign. [19]
7 CM Punk September 4, 2022 All Out Hoffman Estates, IL 2 3 [40]
Vacated September 7, 2022 Dynamite Buffalo, NY CM Punk was stripped of the title after being suspended following a legitimate backstage altercation that occurred during the All Out post-event media scrum.[a] [41][24][28]
8 Jon Moxley September 21, 2022 Dynamite: Grand Slam Flushing, Queens, NY 3 59 Defeated Bryan Danielson in a tournament final for the vacant title. [22]
9 MJF November 19, 2022 Full Gear Newark, NJ 1 406 This was MJF's Casino Poker Chip cash-in match. [42]
10 Samoa Joe December 30, 2023 Worlds End Uniondale, NY 1 113 [43]
11 Swerve Strickland April 21, 2024 Dynasty St. Louis, MO 1 92+ [34]

Combined reigns

[edit]
Record three-time champion Jon Moxley; Moxley also served as interim AEW World Champion in mid-2022
One-time, youngest, and longest-reigning champion MJF, who held the title for 406 days.

As of July 22, 2024.

Indicates the current champion
Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined days
1 MJF 1 406
2 Jon Moxley 3[b] 347[c]
3 Kenny Omega 1 346
4 "Hangman" Adam Page 1 197
5 Chris Jericho 1 182
6 Samoa Joe 1 113
7 Swerve Strickland 1 92+
8 CM Punk 2 90

Notes

[edit]
  1. ^ After Punk's return the following year, he was billed as the "Real World Champion"; however, this was storyline not recognized by AEW, and after Punk was released on August 27, 2023, the "Real World Championship" was dropped.
  2. ^ 4 with his interim championship reign.
  3. ^ 406 days with his interim championship reign.

References

[edit]
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  2. ^ Pratt, Emily (January 1, 2019). "The Young Bucks And Cody Officially Announced All Elite Wrestling And Released Some Details". Uproxx. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  3. ^ Fritz, Brian (January 8, 2019). "Shad and Tony Khan comment on launch of All Elite Wrestling". Sportingnews. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  4. ^ All Elite Wrestling (May 22, 2019). Actor & comedian Jack Whitehall reveals Huge AEW World Championship Final Eliminators #AEWDoN. YouTube. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  5. ^ Killam, Mike (May 26, 2019). "Tony Khan On His Wrestling Fandom Fueling AEW, Weight Classes, Women's Wrestling Diversity & More". ProWrestling.com. Retrieved July 29, 2019. Question: Will AEW have weight divisions? Khan: No. I'm not planning on weight divisions. ... I want to have a world championship, and that's going to be the world championship – not the heavyweight [championship].
  6. ^ All Elite Wrestling [@AEW] (July 19, 2023). "In a #TitleTuesday edition of #AEWDynamite, #HangmanAdamPage went to battle with #AEW World Heavyweight Champion @JonMoxley in a hard-fought battle. The match ended due to stoppage after Mox hit Hangman with a King Kong Lariat" (Tweet). Retrieved December 31, 2023 – via Twitter.
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  19. ^ a b Barnett, Jake (August 24, 2022). "8/24 AEW Dynamite results: Barnett's live review of CM Punk vs. Jon Moxley for the unified AEW World Championship, Death Triangle vs. Will Ospreay and Aussie Open in an AEW Trios Title tournament match, Dax Harwood vs. Jay Lethal, Billy Gunn vs. Colten Gunn, Britt Baker vs. KiLynn King, Chris Jericho and Daniel Garcia meeting". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  20. ^ "Report: AEW Members Suspended After 'All Out' Altercation". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
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  22. ^ a b Powell, Jason (September 21, 2022). "9/21 AEW Dynamite results: Powell's live review of Jon Moxley vs. Bryan Danielson for the vacant AEW World Championship, Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee vs. The Acclaimed for the AEW Tag Titles, Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Jericho for the ROH Title, Toni Storm vs. Athena vs. Britt Baker vs. Serena Deeb for the Interim AEW Women's Title, Pac vs. Orange Cassidy for the AEW All-Atlantic Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  23. ^ Barrasso, Justin (June 20, 2023). "CM Punk's Long-Awaited Return Is the Boost AEW Sorely Needed". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  24. ^ a b Defelice, Robert (July 29, 2023). "CM Punk Takes His 'Real' AEW World Championship Out Of The Bag, Spray Paints It With An 'X'". Fightful. Archived from the original on July 30, 2023. Retrieved July 30, 2023.
  25. ^ Knight, Cain A. (August 5, 2023). "CM Punk's real world championship doesn't change hands opposite SummerSlam". Cageside Seats. Archived from the original on August 6, 2023. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  26. ^ Defelice, Robert (August 19, 2023). "CM Punk To Defend 'Real' World Title Against Samoa Joe At AEW All In". Fightful. Archived from the original on August 20, 2023. Retrieved August 19, 2023.
  27. ^ Woodward, Hamish (August 22, 2023). "CM Punk's Real World Championship Defenses, Ranked - Atletifo". Atletifo. Archived from the original on November 4, 2023. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  28. ^ a b Barrasso, Justin (September 2, 2023). "Breaking: CM Punk Finished In AEW". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on September 23, 2023. Retrieved September 2, 2023.
  29. ^ Thompson, Andrew (June 12, 2019). "Cody Rhodes Says AEW World Title Is About Five Pounds Heavier Than The IWGP Heavyweight Title". Fightful. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  30. ^ Crowley, Liam (January 10, 2024). "Samoa Joe Reveals New AEW World Championship Belt on AEW Dynamite". ComicBook.com. Retrieved January 10, 2024.
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  32. ^ Russell, Skylar (November 30, 2022). "MJF Unveils Custom AEW World Championship Belt On 11/30 Dynamite, Turns On William Regal". Fightful. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  33. ^ Thomas, Jeremy (December 29, 2023). "Tony Khan Gives Clemson Custom AEW World Title Following TaxSlayer Bowl Victory". 411Mania. Retrieved January 1, 2024.
  34. ^ a b Powell, Jason (April 21, 2024). "AEW Dynasty results: Powell's live review of Samoa Joe vs. Swerve Strickland for the AEW World Championship, Will Ospreay vs. Bryan Danielson, FTR vs. Young Bucks in a ladder match for the AEW Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  35. ^ Powell, Jason (August 31, 2019). "AEW All Out results: Powell's live review of Chris Jericho vs. Hangman Adam Page to become the first AEW Champion, Pentagon Jr. and Fenix vs. The Young Bucks in a ladder match for the AAA Tag Titles, Cody vs. Shawn Spears, Kenny Omega vs. Pac". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  36. ^ Powell, Jason (February 29, 2020). "AEW Revolution results: Powell's live review of Chris Jericho vs. Jon Moxley for the AEW Championship, Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. The Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Titles, Cody vs. MJF, Nyla Rose vs. Kris Statlander for the AEW Women's Championship, Pac vs. Orange Cassidy". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  37. ^ Barnett, Jake (December 2, 2020). "12/02 AEW Dynamite results: Barnett's live review of Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship, Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal, Chris Jericho vs. Frankie Kazarian, Darby Allin and Cody Rhodes vs. Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks, Britt Baker vs. Leyla Hirsch". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  38. ^ Barnett, Jake (November 13, 2021). "AEW Full Gear results: Barnett's live review of Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page for the AEW World Championship, Bryan Danielson vs. Miro in the eliminator tournament finals, Penta and Rey Fenix vs. FTR for the AEW Tag Titles, CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston, Britt Baker vs. Tay Conti for the AEW Women's Title, Darby Allin vs. MJF". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  39. ^ Powell, Jason (May 29, 2022). "AEW Double Or Nothing results: Powell's live review of Hangman Page vs. CM Punk for the AEW Championship, MJF vs. Wardlow, Thunder Rosa vs. Serena Deeb for the AEW Women's Title, Owen Hart Cup tournament finals, The Hardys vs. The Young Bucks, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus vs. Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland for the AEW Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  40. ^ Powell, Jason (September 4, 2022). "AEW All Out results: Powell's live review of Jon Moxley vs. CM Punk for the AEW World Championship, Toni Storm vs. Britt Baker vs. Jamie Hayter vs. Hikaru Shida for the Interim AEW Women's Title, Chris Jericho vs. Bryan Danielson, Ricky Starks vs. Powerhouse Hobbs, "Jungle Boy" Jack Perry vs. Christian Cage, Casino Ladder Match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
  41. ^ Barnett, Jake (September 8, 2022). "9/7 AEW Dynamite results: Barnett's live review of Tony Khan addressing the status of the AEW World Championship and AEW Trios Titles, MJF's return promo, Wheeler Yuta vs. Daniel Garcia for the ROH Pure Rules Title, Death Triangle vs. Best Friends, Interim AEW Women's Champ Toni Storm vs. Penelope Ford in an eliminator match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
  42. ^ Powell, Jason (November 19, 2022). "AEW Full Gear results: Powell's live review of Jon Moxley vs. MJF for the AEW World Championship, The Acclaimed vs. Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee for the AEW Tag Titles, Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter for the Interim AEW Women's Title, Death Triangle vs. The Elite for the AEW Trios Titles, Saraya vs. Britt Baker". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  43. ^ Powell, Jason (December 30, 2023). "AEW Worlds End results: Powell's live review of MJF vs. Samoa Joe for the AEW World Championship, Eddie Kingston vs. Jon Moxley to become the first AEW Triple Crown Champion". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
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