On last night’s (July 8) episode of Dynamite, Taz’s earth-shattering announcement turned out to be an underwhelming revival of the FTW championship. Nearly 24 hours later, I’m still scratching my head over it.
My favorite wrestling promotion ever is the original ECW, so I’m very familiar with the FTW title. But I imagine there are plenty of current wrestling fans who don’t know what the hell this belt is, and that’s already strike one against the idea. It’s a relatively unimportant belt from the number three promotion in the USA from the 90’s. It’s just not that big of a deal.
I understand the general concept behind the title. The ECW World heavyweight champion, Shane Douglas, was out for months in 1998 due to injury, so Taz created this title and defended it during that time, calling himself the real world champion. Besides helping ECW out of an injury jam, it was a good storyline vehicle for pissing off Shane Douglas, who was incredulous on commentary every time there was a match for this unrecognized title.
Similarly, AEW world champion Jon Moxley has missed a few episodes of Dynamite due to Renee Young’s COVID-19 infection, so the AEW world championship cannot be defended during this time. That’s why Taz brought back the FTW title and handed it to Cage. But Moxley is advertised to return next week (July 15) on Dynamite for an AEW world championship match against Cage. Once Moxley returns and fights Cage, the FTW title is useless around Cage’s waist.
If Cage loses to Moxley at Fight for the Fallen, it will quickly show that the FTW title means nothing. Taz was an unstoppable ass kicker in ECW who rarely lost from 1996 through 1999, so even when Shane Douglas returned, the FTW championship still had value, because Taz was an established badass. But Cage has barely accomplished anything in AEW. He’s just a dude who walked in, won a ladder match, and was handed a title. If he loses to Moxley next week, it will emphasize that this man doesn’t deserve to hold a championship right now.
If Cage wins at Fight for the Fallen, well then he’s the AEW world champion, and he doesn’t need the FTW title.
If Moxley was going to be out for months and AEW didn’t want to vacate his world title, the return of the FTW championship would make a lot more sense. But as it stands now, I think it’s going to be obsolete in a week. It’s almost like they have to book a screwy non-finish between Moxley and Cage in order for the FTW title to remain relevant to the storyline after Fight for the Fallen.
But that’s all assuming Moxley vs. Cage actually happens at Fight for the Fallen. Maybe AEW is hedging their bets just in case Moxley is unavailable next week? Or maybe they know something about his status that we don’t?
I’m not sure what’s going on here, Cagesiders. Do you see a scenario where Moxley returns next week and the FTW championship is still relevant in the storyline beyond his match with Brian Cage?