Who should win the first ever AEW Owen Hart Cup Tournament?

AEW Owen Hart Cup
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It was announced earlier this month that an agreement was reached between All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and the Owen Hart Foundation to, among other things, present an annual tournament in honor of the late great Owen Hart in an attempt to keep his memory alive in as many ways as possible. This was a groundbreaking announcement for the wrestling world as the very well-documented dislike from Martha Hart, Owen’s widow, towards WWE has left fans without seeing or hearing about the “King of Harts” in wrestling television for over 20 years now.

This tournament will be a perfect fit for AEW as it will be the first of its kind in company history and as the company goes through its hottest period yet it will also be the perfect way to honor such a big legend of the business. While at the end of the day it may not matter who wins the tournament, as the true objective is to keep Owen Hart’s life and career in mind, it will still be a giant rub for whoever ends up winning which is why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best candidates for the trophy.

Brian Pillman Jr.

As per usual, we’ll start our list off with probably the most obvious possible winner, as the son of the former member of the highly acclaimed Hart Foundation is the only member of the AEW roster with a remote familiar connection to Owen Hart which makes him an immediate front runner for the crown. And it is not only his long-time family connection with the Hart’s but also the current wave of momentum Pillman is riding as a result of his ongoing feud with MJF which has allowed him to be a much more prominent feature for AEW as of late.

This comes as no surprise to long-time fans who have known exactly what the child of the ‘Loose Cannon’ is capable of when given a chance to properly showcase his in-ring ability. A final advantage for Pillman is his young age and how fresh he still is to major TV audiences which is exactly the type of homegrown talent AEW would be interested in pushing with such a brand new and prestigious concept like this tournament.

Adam Cole

One of the most recent acquisitions from AEW, Adam Cole made his debut and reunited with The Elite at All Out just a month ago. While he has already become one of the most popular members on the All Elite roster, he still doesn’t have a clear direction and this may be just it. To most fans, Cole has nothing to prove following a brilliant four-year run in NXT that saw Cole participate in match of the year after match of the year, solidifying himself as one of the very best in the world. As far as his career in AEW goes, he still needs his first big victory in order to put the whole roster on notice.

When it comes to who you would want winning a tournament with huge implications such as this one, there are few better people for the job than Cole. He is one of the best in the world both in the ring and on the microphone, with 13 years of experience yet still being only 32. Cole is exactly the type of wrestler AEW should be interested in building itself around for the short, medium, and long term future.

What we’re saying is Adam Cole is already a proven superstar and probably even one of the best wrestlers in the world. Now that we get to see him in a brand new environment surrounded by all-time great wrestlers, winning an old-school, high-profile tournament like this looks like the perfect way to set Cole aside from the rest of the roster and most importantly, The Elite.

Jungle Boy

Jungle Boy AEW Owen Hart Cup
Credit: AEW

Continuing the narrative mentioned in the previous Brian Pillman Jr. bit, AEW is probably looking at putting an achievement such as being the first winner of the Owen Hart Cup on someone young, popular and if possible, both homegrown and a babyface.

That perfectly describes Jungle Boy.

When looking at Jungle Boy, you see one of the most exciting, young, and over guys in a roster full of young, exciting, and over wrestlers. That’s exactly what makes Jungle Boy special — how much he stands out thanks to his agility and connection to the crowd. One particular advantage Jungle Boy has in his long list of advantages for this specific tournament is the fact of how over he is while being a babyface as AEW would probably lean more towards a babyface wrestler to carry the Owen Hart legacy.

You may not yet be convinced of Jungle Boy being the right man to win this historic first-ever tournament, but to be honest, after his breakout year the Jurassic Express member has proven he can hang in the big matches against the top opponents while performing at the highest possible physical level. At the very least, that should put him in the conversation for winning the upcoming tournament.

Hangman Page

Everybody’s favorite cowboy has been missing from AEW TV ever since he was attacked by The Elite on Dynamite about two months ago. Hangman Page will be looking to make a big impact when he eventually comes back. As it was just mentioned, being a young and over-babyface wrestler on the AEW roster will probably maximize your chances to win the first-ever Owen Hart Cup tournament.

One of the biggest strengths in Hangman’s journey through AEW is how intensely his story has played out and how it has been constantly evolving from losing his chance of becoming the first AEW World Champion to him leaving The Elite and even his heartwarming alliance with the Dark Order. It is exactly this focus on his character development over the last few years that makes him a perfect candidate to win the tournament. It put some prestige on the Cup by putting it on one of the biggest stars in the company right out of the gate and adding to his story as well.

Finally, a tournament victory such as this one could also be the catalyst for Hangman to return to the AEW World Championship picture and finally get that Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page match that would surely blow the roof off of any arena.

Ethan Page

We’ve already sung Ethan Page’s praises in previous articles and for good reason. He is one of the most exciting talents on the AEW roster and this tournament could be an opportunity tailor-made for the former two-time IMPACT tag team champion. Why “All Ego” is perfect for this opportunity is because of how versatile he can be in the ring as having an incredible physique, shocking athleticism, and great in-ring psychology thanks to his 15 years of experience.

When we say he’s versatile, we’re talking about his Page’s ability to work a powerhouse style which allows for smaller wrestlers to showcase their aestheticism, as was the case against Darby Allin. He’s also shown that he is athletic enough to bump and move accordingly against bigger opponents.

To close out our case for Page, he not only is one of the wrestlers with the most potential on the AEW roster but he is also the only one on this list who also conveniently was born in Canada, the signature home country of Owen Hart.

More from LWOS Pro Wrestling

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.  You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube. AEW Rampage airs on TNT at 10 PM EST every Friday night.