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Has anyone beaten the champ in one of AEW’s Title Eliminator matches?

Feb. 8’s AEW Dynamite was subtitled, “Championship Fight Night”. The last two matches of the night were for titles, but as Tony Schiavone reminded/informed us, the first two had “championship implications”.

That’s because Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Konosuke Takeshita and Jamie Hayter vs. The Bunny were what AEW calls Championship Eliminator Matches (not to be confused with AEW’s occasional Championship Eliminator Tournaments, although I guess the finals of those are also a kind of Championship Eliminator Match since the winner gets a title shot and the loser does not... but I digress). In the form we got last night, they’re an official way to do the “beat the champ, get a title shot” matches we’ve seen — and complained about — from multiple feds.

Both MJF and Hayter won, so Takeshita and Bunny will not be getting shots at their respective World championships. Which made me wonder if the non-champ had ever won an Eliminator Match against a champ. I couldn’t turn up an instance of that happening using my proprietary research techniques (cough * Google, Wikipedia, and Cagematch * cough), but figured one of you fine folks would smarten me up if I’m forgetting something.

Not sure what to think if I’m correct no one’s earned a shot by beating a champ. On the one hand, champions shouldn’t be losing non-title matches on TV — especially one who wrestles sparingly like Friedman. On the other hand, these bouts can suffer from a lack of suspense about the outcome. We knew both of last night’s were building blocks in larger stories, and the MJF/Takeshita match was part of a whole chapter that played out last night in the World championship picture.

It’s bound to happen. At some point in the future, some hopeful is going to pull of an upset. I mean, I couldn’t remember anyone failing to run a gauntlet on AEW television heading into last night, and that damn Chris Jericho made sure Ricky Starks lost the Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet in El Paso.

All of which you can see parts of in the highlights from the Feb. 8 Dynamite below. We’ve put all the YouTube videos AEW has released as of this morning in a playlist, and since they don’t release everything that way at the same time, we’ve got Twitter clips of the other big moments and matches below that.

  • Takeshita Takes AEW World Champion MJF to The Limit
  • Did Top Flight & AR Fox Capture the World Trios Title from the Elite?
  • The Gunns Steal the AEW World Tag Team Championship from The Acclaimed

For complete results and the live blog for Dynamite click here. To read a complete recap & review of all the night’s events click here.

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