MJF, Adam Cole, CM Punk: Seven next potential AEW World Champions

AEW

Hangman Adam Page may have only defeated Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship at Full Gear a few weeks ago, but there are already several wrestlers who can stake their claim for a shot at the gold.

With fans excited about what dream matches Page could have as Champion, GiveMeSport looks at six possible opponents for the cowboy, who could even bring his title reign to an end.

Written by Simon Bullock.


CM Punk

CM Punk AEW

Since arriving in AEW in August after a seven-year hiatus, CM Punk has gone on a seven-match win streak and is undefeated.

The Best in the World has picked up some impressive wins over established talent like Darby Allin and Eddie Kingston, as well as going toe-to-toe with some younger wrestlers like Daniel Garcia and Powerhouse Hobbs.

It is inevitable that CM Punk will one day challenge for the World Title, and it will be interesting to see how many more wins he needs to put himself in contention.

For now, Punk is engaged in a rivalry with MJF that has the wrestling world buzzing, but when the time comes for him to step up to the champion, he will add a level of star power to the main event scene that very few others possess.


Adam Cole

Adam Cole AEW

After making his AEW debut at All Out and aligning himself with the Elite, Adam Cole has been on a roll.

He is one of the most popular wrestlers in the company, has a 7-0 record in singles competition, that includes wins over Jungle Boy and Frankie Kazarian, and with Kenny Omega on an indefinite hiatus away from action, now is the time for Cole fill his role and lead the Elite going forward.

If Page is still the champion by the time Cole challenges, then the story between the two is already written. We’ve seen the Dark Order and the Elite face off recently on the Halloween episode of Dynamite in an entertaining eight-man tag team match, and Page and Cole have history together as well, having been part of Bullet Club at the same time.

Cole is ready to be the face of AEW, his time as the longest-reigning NXT Champion in history shows that he can run with the ball when given it, it’s just a matter of when.


MJF

MJF AEW

From day one of AEW, it was clear to see that Maxwell Jacob Friedman was heading to the top. Tony Khan’s promotion is nearly three years old now, and in that time MJF has just got better and better.

With pinfalls over Cody Rhodes and Chris Jericho to his name, MJF is on the cusp of breaking through into becoming a top star and a World Championship win would be enough to make him a household name.

Unlike the names mentioned earlier, MJF has already challenged for the belt and came up short when he faced Jon Moxley at All Out 2020 but has only lost one singles match in the time since and is currently at the top of his run.

The Pinnacle leader and Hangman have never met in an AEW ring before, in any form of competition, so a rivalry between the two would be a fresh and exciting pairing.


Miro

Miro AEW

Miro has been a standout performer in AEW since his transformation into becoming ‘The Redeemer’.

His run with the TNT title brought about some of the best character work we have seen from Miro in his career to date and elevated God’s Favourite Champion to heights he hadn’t reached previously.

A World Championship shot may not be on the horizon now, after his most recent loss to Danielson, but a few more wins to build himself back up and Miro will once again feel like a legitimate contender for the top prize.

For years, fans have wanted to see Miro given a fair chance in the main event and based on his run with the TNT Championship, it won’t be long before he reaches that level.


Malakai Black

Malakai Black AEW

Despite losing his final match in the Cody series, he holds two wins over the American Nightmare, a record no other wrestler can claim to have, which immediately cements Black’s status as one of the promotion’s top guys.

With a near-perfect presentation of his character and top-level in ring ability, a sense of mystery and intrigue surrounds everything Black does in AEW, and that kind of interest is hard to create.

For as much as everyone would love to see the Dutchman challenging for the World Championship, if Black were to lose, then there is the possibility that he wouldn’t feel as special as he does currently and that would be a massive shame.

But when the time is right, he showed in NXT, Black is more than ready to hang with the best.


Andrade El Idolo

Andrade El Idolo AEW

Andrade El Idolo’s arrival in AEW was met with a lot of fanfare and in his first few months in his new company, the Mexican has been facing off against the best.

He holds wins over PAC and Cody Rhodes, in addition to competing in the same matches as the likes of Jon Moxley, the Lucha Brothers and even Adam Page.

Andrade was wrestling in the Casino Ladder Match in October, when Page made his triumphant return after time away to win the match and earn a shot at Omega at Andrade’s expense, so there is already a bit of a story set up there.

Like Miro, it feels like Andrade needs a few more wins before he can be considered as a serious contender for Hangman, but in a few months’ time there is every chance he’ll be able to take the belt from AEW’s favourite cowboy.

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