When AEW announced the christening of a new title belt, the All-Atlantic Championship, on Wednesday, June 8th's edition of Dynamite, it left more questions than answered.
The way the belt was introduced was clunky, with a surprisingly swift two-round tournament set to start mere moments later in the broadcast to decide the eventual winner at Forbidden Door, and even the rules of the belt were rather vague. Could only international talents compete for the belt? Are wrestlers billed from the US but born elsewhere – or vice versa – still eligible to challenge for the title? And what about the very name? Despite being featured on the physical belt, countries like China and Japan do not actually touch the Atlantic Ocean.
Needless to say, more than a few fans were looking for clarification on how this title will work moving forward, and, to his credit, AEW's head booker, Tony Khan, actually provided some clarity in an interview with Connor Casey of Comicbooks.com. Unfortunately, the clarification isn't all that clarifying.
It's a heavy emphasis on international competition, but the US can get involved in the competition. And I think it's a great way to spotlight a lot of the international wrestlers in AEW, and the international presence that AEW's developed over the years now with our shows on in 130 countries around the world and great ratings in so many huge international markets, including every week finishing as the number one wrestling company in the UK and our ratings there continue to rise.
Hmm… interesting. So the belt is meant to highlight international talent but isn't solely available to international talent. Isn't that kind of how every belt works? Like, two of the first five AEW World Champions were from Canada, and both the TNT Championship and Woman's World Championship have been held by international talent too.
Who knows, maybe this belt will prove an incredible success, and fans will applaud its addition for years to come, but for now, it feels like yet another belt added to a promotion that already has five titles of their own plus five more from Ring of Honor.