What’s Next for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship?

All-Atlantic Championship
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At the All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) crossover show Forbidden Door, the inaugural All-Atlantic Champion PAC was crowned. He became champion in a four-way match that also featured Miro, Clark Connors, and Malaki Black. Now that PAC is the inaugural champion he has no shortage of competitors in both AEW and NJPW. Let’s take a look at what is next for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship

What’s Next for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship

How We Got Here

The four-way match at Forbidden Door was the culmination of a tournament that took place on both AEW and NJPW programming. On the AEW side PAC defeated Buddy Matthews, Miro defeated Ethan Page, and Malakai Black defeated Penta Oscuro.

On the NJPW side, Clark Connors and Tomohiro Ishii defeated Tomoaki Honma and Yoshinobu Kanemaru respectively to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament. Ishii defeated Connors to qualify for Forbidden Door, but an injury forced him out of the match. Connors stepped up and took his place in the four-way representing NJPW and the NJPW LA Dojo in the match.

Potential Challengers

AEW has no shortage of challengers that could step up to challenge PAC. Although the belt is called the All-Atlantic Championship and is designed to spotlight the international competitors and fans of AEW the belt is not exclusive to the Atlantic region. This leaves the door open for many competitors in AEW to step up and earn a shot at PAC.

The early challengers on the AEW side would likely be Miro and Black. After all, it was Clark Connors that taped out and allowed PAC to win the title. With Black and Miro not being pinned or tapping out in the match, they both have a claim to challenge PAC one on one. We could see a one-on-one match between the two of them to determine who gets the first shot at PAC in a singles championship match.

We could also see the other members of the tournament Matthews, Page, and Penta in the mix in the near future. Matthews is a stablemate of Black in the House of Black which would lead to an interesting story of the two teammates duking it out for a shot at championship gold. Ethan Page is also part of the Men of the Year stable alongside Scorpio Sky, Dan Lambert, and other members of American Top Team. Page wanting to bring his own gold to the team would play out interestingly.

However, if Penta were to go for the gold it would be Penta against his fellow Death Triangle member PAC. Death Triangle feuded with the House of Black which lead to a trios match between the two teams at Double or Nothing 2022. With four members between the two teams being in the inaugural tournament, there is plenty of room to extend the feud between the two teams with the title being in the middle. It also paves the way for an inter-stable feud to play out as the members climb the rankings to earn a shot against PAC.

Other AEW Challengers

Looking at the latest rankings released by AEW on June 22nd names such as Wardlow, Hangman Adam Page, Adam Cole, and Jay Lethal are in the top 5. As mentioned earlier the belt is focused on international wrestlers and fans but it is not exclusive to international wrestlers. All the above-mentioned names are in title contention and would be formidable challengers for PAC.

Wardlow has successfully put MJF in his rear view mirror and Hangman is looking for another shot at a championship following his loss to CM Punk. Meanwhile, Cole like Page, is coming off a loss in a four-way match at Foribben Door for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship and Jay Lethal is looking for his next challenge while also keeping an eye on ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe. All of the names mentioned would give PAC a tough challenge for his newly won All-Atlantic Championship.

Of course, we have to mention the recently debuted Claudio Castagnoli. Although he has his hands full as the newest member of Blackpool Combat Club, there is no doubt Claudio has his eyes set on AEW gold. The All-Atlantic Championship would be a great first AEW championship for Claudio to prusue.

New Japan Pro Wrestling Challengers

As mentioned earlier NJPW was part of the tournament to qualify for the four-way match at Forbidden Door. It is hard to argue that Ishii doesn’t have a claim to a match for the All-Atlantic Championship considering an injury kept him out of the match he qualified for.

We have seen a variety of NJPW wrestlers appear in AEW over the past couple of months including Hiroshi Tanahashi. Although he fell short to Jon Moxley at Forbbiden Door in a match for the interim AEW World Championship, he is still considered “The Ace of NJPW”. If he hangs around AEW a bit more it would be impossible to deny “The Ace” a championship match.

We have also seen members of the United Empire such as Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb appear in AEW during the build-up to Forbidden Door. It looks like the leader of the United Empire Will Ospreay will have his hands full with Katsuyori Shibata in the near future, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the United Empire can’t pursue a championship. Khan and Cobb dropped the IWGP Tag Team Championships to FTR at Forbidden Door which will undoubtedly leave them hungry for another shot at gold.

NJPW Dojo and NJPW Strong

As stated earlier Clark Connors represented the New Japan LA Dojo at Forbidden Door. His fellow Dojo members Alex Coughlin, Kevin Knight, The DKC, and Yuya Uemura competed on the buy-in. All of these wrestlers have been featured as part of NJPW STRONG. If the relationship with NJPW continues all of the mentioned names would be great challengers for the All-Atlantic Championship down the road.

Other mainstays on NJPW Strong include members of Team Filthy. Tom Lawlor, Danny Limelight, Jorel Nelson, Royce Isaacs, and JR Kratos would all love to earn a shot at the All-Atlantic Championship.

What’s Next for the All-Atlantic Championship In Closing

PAC will forever be known as the inaugural All-Atlantic Champion. Hopefully, his reign is long and puts the championship on the map in a strong way. There is also no shortage of challengers in the AEW and NJPW locker rooms ready to step up. What’s next for the championship? Only time will tell.

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. You can rewatch all 2021 NJPW events and plenty more tremendous wrestling content from New Japan Pro-Wrestling on NJPWWorld.com; The King of Sports Streaming.