The Reign of Terror is now well and truly underway. And The Salt of the Earth has already completed his first successfully defence of Triple B in typically nefarious fashion, besting Ricky Starks with a boot to the nads at Winter is Coming.
So, coming out of such a despicable way of getting the job done in said first Big Burberry Belt defence, the question of precisely who will be able to topple The Devil Himself is likely at the forefront of many an All Elite fan's mind.
For the most part, AEW have done a pretty effective job of building performers up on their roster into a position where they could realistically take home the big one later down the line. However, at this current moment in time, it's safe to state that there aren't actually any real clear frontrunners for the wrestler destined to overthrow Maxwell Jacob Friedman at some point in the coming months/years.
That's not to say that there aren't a few outstanding performers currently plying their trade in The Land of All Elite who couldn't eventually rise to the challenge of leading the company in the wake of MJF's conquering, mind. So, here are those potential-filled hosses, perennially over anti-heroes, and other talented possible World Champions AEW should start strengthening in preparation for Maxwell's eventual fall.
For a moment there, the concept of Wardlow vs. MJF over the AEW World Championship would have been enough to main event just about any AEW PPV on the calendar.
During the pair's gripping feud heading into Double or Nothing 2022, both the War Dog and Salt of the Earth had audiences utterly gripped, with the likes of MJF forcing his one-time bodyguard to jump through various physical hoops in order to get his hands on Friedman at the PPV sitting as some of the finest moments wrestling had to offer this year.
But since MJF's controversial no-showing of a Fan Fest Meet & Greet during Double or Nothing weekend, and his subsequent headline-stealing pipebomb, Wardlow has never really been the same.
Largely overshadowed by his former employer's antics, the compelling powerhouse was never really given the chance to follow through on his undoubted momentum post-squashing of Maxwell. And not even a run with the TNT Championship could keep the powerbomb symphony machine feeling special throughout the second half of 2022.
Thankfully, MJF and Wardlow have a readymade storyline just waiting to go whenever TK feels the time is right to pull the trigger on Wardlow as World Champion. But it'd likely do that inevitable programme a whole world of good if the AEW President reminded fans why they fell in love with the dominant babyface beforehand.
In other words, less attempts to make "Wardlow's World" a thing, and more superhuman feats of athleticism and overcoming of ridiculous odds going forwards, please.