The AEW All-Atlantic Championship introduced this past week, during the June 8th edition of AEW Dynamite, came completely out of left field. In name, the Championship seems to represent a sort of unity between modern and old-school. The name derives from the ‘All’ from the company’s namesake, All Elite Wrestling and ‘Atlantic’, as a reference to one of wrestling’s most recognized territories from said era, Mid-Atlantic Wrestling. This is further exemplified by the championship sporting various flags from countries that do not touch the Atlantic ocean. With this recent news, the case can be made that “The Bastard” PAC should be the inaugural All-Atlantic Champion.
PAC Should Be Inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Champion
The new title was introduced during a vignette that showcased a tournament bracket, culminating at the crossover event between AEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Forbidden Door, in a 4-way match involving the winners out of a field of 8. It was then revealed that the very first match of the tournament was already promoted for that broadcast’s Dynamite: Buddy Matthews vs PAC, which the latter won.
The rest of the matches showed off the rest of the participants. None of them are from the U.S., instead, specifically announcing all participants being from other countries. Canada’s Ethan Page vs Bulgaria’s Miro, being one of the matches, is set for this week’s Dynamite. Holland’s Malakai Black vs Mexico’s Penta Oscuro and a match between two New Japan representatives will select the other 3 participants for the Forbidden Door title match.
Why is This Championship Being Introduced?
AEW already features the TNT Championship as a mid-card title for the men. It also highlights the Ring of Honor World Television Championship in the same way. While the ROH World Championship is off TV, one could’ve assumed it could have been used in a similar capacity to WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship from 2011 to 2013, a world title that was not quite the main title. Instead, we got this, even in spite of all the trios title rumors that have been looming for so long.
One can only assume that this title is being introduced with the idea that all the ROH titles will eventually stand exclusively in the relaunched Ring Of Honor once said TV deal is announced; if announced. With such a large male roster, the need for a second mid-card prize seems reasonable if one removes the ROH titles from the equation. One can only hope it is presented closer to New Japan’s take on the Intercontinental title, rather than WWE’s own take, a title capable of rivaling the main championship in presentation.
Who could be the first AEW All-Atlantic Champion? Judging from the announced field of participants, all seem like pretty viable candidates that can greatly benefit from winning it. However, Miro is the only one that is currently a singles wrestler with no ties to any team or faction. PAC, Penta Oscuro, Malakai Black, and Ethan Page, all are a part of either the tag team and/or trios divisions of AEW.
Making the Case for PAC as All-Atlantic Champion
Even so, while Miro sounds like a safe bet, his TNT Championship run being a highlight of that title’s existence, there is a personal feeling that the winner just qualified this past week: PAC. Signing with AEW on January 8, 2019, he was one of the first major signings for the company. At first, politics involving Dragon Gate slowed down how he could be used. But once Dynamite premiered on TNT, he and Kenny Omega were quick to become one of the first highlights of the television program with their 3-match series, 2 of which took place on Dynamite. However, not long after, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and PAC found himself stuck in his native Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. This greatly derailed him when he was finally able to return to AEW in November 2020. However, he would only be able to stay around for small, sporadic time periods, as travel restrictions still held him back. It wouldn’t be until the summer of 2021 that he was finally able to return at full capacity.
PAC is by far the longest-tenured wrestler in the field of contenders for the new All-Atlantic Championship and probably the one who had the hardest time due to the pandemic in the last few years. He’s the only one that, ironically enough, still resides fully on the other side of the Atlantic. Since AEW’s inception, the man has always flirted with being a main event-level wrestler in the company, even challenging for the AEW World Championship at Double Or Nothing 2021. Feuds with Kenny Omega, Eddie Kingston, and Hangman Page have seen him close to the top, but he has not held a championship of any kind since holding Dragon Gate’s Enter The Dream Gate title in 2019. Moreover, we haven’t been able to see a substantial reign from him, since his run in the WWE as Cruiserweight Champion, the very reign that saw his stock as a wrestler soar as well as give birth to this “Bastard” character we see today.
PAC as All-Atlantic Champion – In Closing
PAC as the inaugural All-Atlantic Champion can be a great way to establish the title, in the hands of a top-level star. Then again, one can say that about any of the wrestlers announced. However, it can also be a great way to reward the man for his long tenure with the company. He may finally be given the ball he can run with it, the same way that it was expected of him when AEW formed and announced him as one of their first signees.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on AEW Rampage spoilers 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.