AEW has plans to introduce a third singles accolade very shortly. After a series of pay per views and one-off events, the weekly AEW Dynamite show premiered on TNT 6 weeks ago and has enjoyed considerable success, gaining the best premiere numbers on the network for 5 years and routinely beating out WWE's NXT on the USA network, which airs in exactly the same time slot. AEW is currently preparing for its first major event since going weekly, Full Gear, which will include Cody vs. Chris Jericho, Riho vs. Emi Sakura and Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega, to name a few card highlights.
There are currently a total of 3 championships within the AEW promotion. The men's title is held by Chris Jericho, who saw off competition from Adam Page to become the company's first title-holder. The AEW women's championship was won by Japanese star Riho, and a tournament was held over several weeks to decide the first tag-team title holders, with SCU's Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky coming out on top. Most wrestling promotions, however, have a "mid-card title" as well as their main trio of belts for men, women and tag teams. Examples include WWE's Intercontinental and U.S. championships, both of which give a focus for members of the roster who aren't in the main event picture.
Speaking on a media conference call ahead of AEW's Full Gear, Cody (who also holds an EVP position with the company) was asked about the possibility of a third singles championship to give the younger talent something to compete for. While Cody expressed disdain for the term "mid-card," he also strongly hinted that a new title of some kind was imminent. Cody states:
“I think it’s very possible in the next month or so there will be a prize of some sorts for the guys rising through the ranks, ‘cause that is important to wrestling and there’s so many great ones out there...but I never would consider it a mid-card title and that’s why it’s been slow”
In many ways, a third singles belt in AEW was likely always just a matter of time. Only a limited number of wrestlers can compete for the "main" belt in a single program, and having a secondary title can give the rest of the division focus and direction. A so-called mid-card title can also help boost the careers of talent still working their way to the top of the company, bringing more meaning to their matches and ramping up the stakes of their storylines. As Cody himself alluded to elsewhere in the interview, secondary belts also have the potential to light a fire under younger stars to try and make their title the main feature of the show.
However, Cody's reasoning for AEW taking its time with introducing a third singles belt also makes a lot of sense and is perhaps indicative of the company's desire to do things properly and build from the ground up. Both the women's and the tag titles are very fresh, having only been in existence for a few weeks. Introducing multiple belts in a short space of time can cheapen their stature, and Cody was keen to drive home how much AEW want to strengthen each of their titles and invest time in their development.
It's interesting that Cody wasn't specific about the new title being a regular belt, however. AEW is blazing its own path in the wrestling industry and as a very new company, adding a third belt so soon might be considered hasty. There are, of course, other treasures to fight for in the professional wrestling world, and so AEW might find a less conventional way of bringing a new gong to its collection.
AEW: Full Gear takes place on November 9th.