Cody Captures Inaugural AEW TNT Championship
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, May 24, 2020
After weeks of having to deal with the mind games of Lance Archer and Jake “The Snake” Roberts and a grueling matchup on Saturday night, Cody etched his name in the history books by becoming the inaugural AEW TNT Champion.
The match began with Archer hitting Cody with his finishing maneuver, the Black Out, right out the gate, forcing Cody to roll out the ring, which was a big part of the storytelling in this match. If Cody was not viewed as the underdog already, he was now.
Archer then began to impose his will and put his power on full display; he did not seem to be affected by any of Cody’s offense and when it looked like Cody had been building some momentum, Archer quickly put an end to that. A memorable spot that took place in this match was Archer throwing Cody over the turnbuckle by the barricade at ringside, with the camera angle from the ring capturing a menacing look in Archer’s eyes. In terms of character development, that one camera angle was excellent as it showed how dangerous Archer is and the lengths he will go to in order to win the match and become champion.
“Iron” Mike Tyson also played a big part in this match; he was on hand to introduce the title and present it to the winner of the match. Although he intended to be a spectator, “The Baddest Man on the Planet” got involved after Roberts and Arn Anderson had been removed from ringside. Roberts then returned to the stage with the snake in the bag, which prompted Tyson to get out of his seat, take his shirt off, and square up in a stance that struck fear in many of his past opponents. Roberts immediately left and returned to the backstage area - clearly the correct decision.
The momentum then began to shift in Cody’s favour and led to him getting the win after countering Archer’s Black Out and hitting his finishing maneuver, the Cross Rhodes, twice and pinned him to become the first-ever AEW TNT Champion.
It will be interesting to see what direction AEW go in as it pertains to Cody and the TNT championship. Archer had been brought in and looked like a top heel but had now just lost his first big PPV matchup, so an immediate rematch may not be in the works.
Perhaps the company will have MJF, who defeated Jungle Boy earlier in the night, as the first challenger since both he and Cody have history with one another and Archer could then cost Cody the title, leading to a match at All Out. Another possibility could be Archer getting a rematch however, this time they can have him win in dominant fashion to show that Cody’s win was just luck.
Regardless of what AEW do with the TNT Championship going forward, the title is an excellent opportunity for members of the roster to establish themselves and compete in meaningful matchups, while also moving up the ranks in AEW.
Photo Credit: AEW (allelitewrestling.com, @AEWrestling on Twitter)