Should Eddie Kingston Win The AEW World Championship?

Eddie Kingston has history with Claudio Castagnoli
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Professional wrestling at its heart can be as simple as two wrestlers squaring off and having a match. However, the best professional wrestling is when there is a story to follow that match, providing moments and memories you remember from it forever. Anyone can have a match. Not everyone can tell a great story and that’s okay. But it is those who do that get the furthest in the sport. That’s where Eddie Kingston comes in. A man who has scratched and clawed to get where he is today. A man who has exemplified what a professional wrestler is at its core. Everything that makes Kingston great is real. He doesn’t have the generic physique with muscles popping out of his muscles like many stars of wrestling. Kingston doesn’t have the athleticism to do things like a Ricochet or Will Ospreay. Nor does he have the technical precision of Bryan Danielson or Bret Hart. But what he has is the believability to go into each and every match as if it is his last. Over the past year alone, Kingston has gone from despised heel who was essentially in the role of Matt Hardy in the Hardy Family Office to one of the most beloved babyfaces in AEW. How did he flip the switch like that? Because he was real.

And that’s why he is in the spot that he is to begin with. We’ve all read The Players’ Tribune article that he wrote. It’s not difficult to understand why Eddie Kingston loves professional wrestling. If you are reading this, you likely have the same feelings as he does. Wrestling has reached the point where they don’t always want the “larger than life” characters anymore. That’s what some companies don’t understand despite having a “Stone Cold” example of why no one wants that anymore. Sure, there is more realness to everything in wrestling compared to the 1980s, but there isn’t anyone like “The Mad King.” After being nearly two years removed from his planned retirement, we sit here now in a reality where the best story that the hottest promotion in the world can tell is that of Eddie Kingston reaching the mountain top. But do they see that? Let’s hope they do because one way or another, Kingston’s road leads to (at least) one more AEW World Championship match.

‘Ayo, The World is Cold’: Eddie Kingston’s Understanding of the Reality Around Us

Eddie Kingston
All Photos Credit: AEW

When you listen to what Eddie Kingston has to say, you never walk away from it instantly thinking he’s wrong. Instead, you sit there asking yourself if maybe, just maybe he was right. There’s a factor to what he says that so few have had in wrestling history and it’s the understanding of the world we live in. Anyone can toss in real-world references into their promos to get a cheap pop but it is deeper than that. Using the reality that fans and people deal with every day is easy for Kingston because he has been there. There’s the true story that he was retiring from wrestling because he was broke and needed money. Kingston wasn’t going to go to WWE, even in their independent wrestling-focused era. That was never going to happen and he never really wanted it to. The closest we ever got to that was when WWE aired EVOLVE on their network for its 10th Anniversary celebration. Mainstream fans got their taste of what Kingston brought to the table in that one appearance and at the time, it felt like the only taste.

As we have seen in his feuds with CM Punk and Bryan Danielson alone, Kingston knows who he is and it is no secret. Punk went at Kingston where it hurts but “The Mad King” went right back with no problem. Same with Danielson, who dared to call Kingston “lazy” and challenged him by getting into his head. There’s reality used in pro wrestling every match you watch, every show that happens. But when the segment or match involves Kingston, there is nothing “more real” on the card. It’s raw, emotional, and downright captivating. It’s why the fans have sided with him over anyone and everyone. His match specifically with Punk ignored the traditional lock-ups and instead went down the old school route of making it personal. That feeling of making it personal doesn’t mean Canadian Destroyers and Poisonranas out of nowhere. It was all about the story that Kingston and Punk told. It meant gritty combat where nothing was pretty. Everything was ugly but made it that much better.

Doesn’t matter if they are the sexier name, the established main eventer, or the living legend. Kingston is the man of the people and that makes the story that much more believable and simply better.

A Connection to Fans that is Natural

August 20, 2021. CM Punk makes his grand return to professional wrestling with one of the greatest reactions in the history of the business at AEW Rampage: The First Dance. 

November 5, 2021. CM Punk is booed in favor of Eddie Kingston, who he is going toe-to-toe with in the middle of the ring in a war of words. 

There were few cities or crowds that were going to boo CM Punk. We have seen it twice now. One of those times was in Long Island, NY – the home of Punk’s target at the time in MJF. But the first time? In St. Louis, MO, where Punk’s words about Kingston led to boos that even surprised “The Straight Edge Savior.” That was the moment that solidified one thing – the people love Eddie Kingston.

There’s a natural connection between himself and the fans that have followed multiple underdogs in wrestling especially. CM Punk and Bryan Danielson, two men that have feuded with Kingston already, had that natural connection in their past. At the age of 40 years old, Kingston is on the run of his life. He’s currently in a feud with good guy Chris Jericho and getting all the support of the fans. That comes off his war of words and fisticuffs against Punk, one that should be remembered in Kingston’s career as he moves forward in AEW. It is also following a run between himself and friend Jon Moxley, where Kingston was willing to take almost a backseat as Moxley’s backup. All of this feels as if it’s going somewhere. It’s a connection that wasn’t made out of a main event push or a specific moment. It’s a story that has echoed Kingston’s career. Nothing was guaranteed but he has earned every ounce of the respect and love of fans. Can that be what leads him to the improbable moment that was unimaginable two years ago? As the days go by, it feels more and more like the answer is yes.

Should Eddie Kingston win the AEW World Championship?

There is a substantial difference between “can” and “should.” Can Eddie Kingston win the AEW World Championship? Of course, he can. But should he win the AEW World Championship? That’s the reason behind all of this.

“The Mad King” has the following, the support, and what it takes to be recognized as a world champion. He’s got the journey and story to back up a run, even if it isn’t a historically long one. AEW has a lot of names they are building towards the future with an AEW World Championship reign featured in their destiny. When Kingston made his debut against Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship by opening the open challenge, there’s little chance that him winning any title in AEW was possible. Now nearly two years later, it almost feels like it would be a crime to not give him that story and moment. Kingston has put in the work, has the connection with the fans, and can be someone who wins the world championship. He challenged for the AEW World Championship at Full Gear, main eventing against Jon Moxley in an “I Quit” Match. It wasn’t a spot too big for him. It was one that he fit. One that made it feel like he could be world champion someday.

The thought process here is that he should get one more shot at the AEW World Championship. No matter what, there should be one more AEW World Championship match that involves Eddie Kingston challenging. His first challenge saw him go in as the hateable heel that no one wanted to see win. The next time he gets a shot, he will go in as the man that everyone wants to see win. It’s an obvious story to tell and with the right opponent, it is likely to be one of the biggest AEW matches of all time when it does happen. 

Professional wrestling is about matches and moments. Matches are rewatched forever while moments are remembered forever. Eddie Kingston winning the AEW World Championship would classify under both. Craft it together with the right defending champion, the underdog babyface in Kingston as the challenger, and the culmination of years of clawing and grinding where Kingston wins the AEW World Championship. It feels perfect. It feels authentic. It feels very Eddie Kingston.

Yes, “The Mad King” should win the AEW World Championship. It’s the type of title win that makes AEW the promotion that it is.

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 TBS 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.