clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

BOLD predictions for AEW in 2022: Shaquille O’Neal will win the TNT title from Cody Rhodes

With a new year on tap for AEW, that means it is time to have fun with bold predictions. The bolder, the better.

Shaq as TNT champ

One thing I really hope we see in AEW for 2022 is the return of Shaquille O’Neal to the ring. He put on an outstanding show last year in tag team action with Jade Cargill against Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet. That bout is in the running as my personal Match of the Year.

How can Shaq top that? A rematch with Cody for the TNT Championship would do the trick. Cody has shown that he knows how to work the giant style to make Shaq look like a million bucks. I believe they could make magic together in round two. If the goal is to produce headlines, then Shaq winning the TNT title would make news across the globe. It is also helpful that Shaq is employed by TNT as an NBA analyst. Synergy!

I admit that I haven’t thought all the way through for who should defeat Shaq to bring the belt back to AEW. Making Cody a four-time winner before anybody else gets a second run seems a bit much. Maybe Darby Allin is the man for the job. He’s good at getting tossed around in convincing fashion, and the Coffin Drop through a table would be an effective way to pin Shaq.

Someone unexpected to dethrone Hangman

Hangman Page has a long list of credible title contenders for the AEW World Championship. If he gets past Bryan Danielson in the Dynamite debut on TBS for January 5, the cowboy will be looking at CM Punk, MJF, Adam Cole, Jon Moxley, and possibly Kenny Omega as marque bouts carrying him through several months of PPV events. Any one of those men could win the title as legitimate top guys. If Hangman is to have an extended reign, which he deserves, then he’ll be knocking them off one by one. I think someone new will pop up with enough momentum to be the man by the time Hangman finished with the previously mentioned folks.

As for who? That’s where I’m stumped. Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, Malakai Black, Andrade or someone not even on the roster right now could emerge. At least Hangman should be able to keep this sweet ride when his time is finally up.

On the topic of someone unexpected...

Ryback becomes All Elite

Welcome the Big Guy to AEW. The company currently lacks in the larger-than-life muscleman department. Brian Cage is the #1 body guy on the roster, but he has disappeared off TV for quite awhile. That’s where Ryback can fill the void. Plus, Ryback versus CM Punk in 2022 would do huge numbers.

Ryback has been healing his body and breaking down scar tissue. His return to professional wrestling may be close to make him All Elite.

Young Bucks earn gold again

The Jackson brothers are too high-profile to be kept out of the AEW tag title scene for the entire year. Being that they had a huge hand in creating the company, it’s only a matter of when they win the belts again and not if.

Pillman wins Rookie of the Year

You may be wondering how Brian Pillman Jr. can win Rookie of the Year when he’s already in AEW for 2021. Well, Pillman is a man that does not abide by standard measures of time. The man won Rookie of the Year twice in MLW.

Pillman is taking preparations up a notch. He’ll add another rookie award to the trophy case with his 2022 campaign.

What are you bold predictions for AEW in 2022?