As the new year begins to settle in, it is important to look ahead to what may be in store for AEW in 2023. 2022 proved to arguably be its most challenging year thus far. With controversies, backstage drama, and petty incidents, among other things, 2022 was not a total success, to say the least. However, things seem to finally be calming down, ending the year with good television and reason for optimism.
It’s time to once again look into the crystal ball and see what bold things Tony Khan may have up his sleeve. Without further ado, here are my bold predictions for 2023!
MJF Reigns as AEW World Champion for All of 2023
MJF is without a doubt the best heel in all of pro wrestling. And what better way to make a statement than having MJF hold AEW’s most prized possession for all of 2023. It not only makes sense from a booking standpoint, with possible challengers still trying to build themselves, but it also cements MJF as a worthwhile champion. Having MJF drop the title at say, All Out, would be disappointing, and would come off as a waste of time in building up MJF as the face of the company. 2023 will surely be the year of MJF.
Mercedes Mone Debuts in AEW
In my predictions for WWE article, I mentioned that it wouldn’t be a shocker to see Mone return to WWE. However, it equally wouldn’t surprise me if Mone ditched WWE for good and join AEW in hopes of elevating their subpar (booking wise) women’s division. Especially with the news of Vince McMahon coming back into the fold at WWE and knowing the relationship between McMahon and Mone turning sour, Mone may feel it is no longer worth the drama/stress in WWE. Mone is still in the prime of her career and having her be a major piece in any wrestling promotion is a no-brainer. Tony Khan would love to have “The Boss” in his corner.
Konosuke Takeshita Wins a Championship
Takeshita has continued to surprise the wrestling world with his impressive matches against high caliber opponents, such as Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, and “Hangman” Adam Page. 2022 was a breakout year for the young stud, and 2023 should be no different. Whether it’s the AEW TNT Championship or the AEW All-Atlantic Championship, Takeshita will hopefully have some type of gold around his waist. Takeshita has all the tools to be a major name in the wrestling industry.
Andrade El Idolo is Released From his Contract
It is no secret that Andrade El Idolo is unhappy in AEW, with rumors even swirling that he is purposely looking to get fired. Whether he is trying to or not, it is clear as day that things have not gone as planned for Andrade, ever since he joined the AEW roster. Andrade is a very talented performer (overrated though in some respects) and has the capability of being a positive asset in wrestling. Of course, everyone believes a reunion with WWE is on the table, due to being with Charlotte Flair and with Triple H in charge of creative (for now). But who knows? Maybe he spends some time in Impact or AAA. All I know, is that the relationship between Tony Khan and Andrade is at a crossroads, with seemingly no room for reconciliation.
AEW Unveils the Women Tag Team Championship
Recently, Tony Khan has suggested that AEW may not be done with introducing more titles. Out of all the options, an AEW Women’s Tag Team Championship seems to be the most likely addition. The women’s tag division is also piling up in potential preparation as well. Duos such as Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter, Anna Jay and Tay Melo, Nyla Rose and Marina Shafir (admittedly not a good pair). You could even make tandems such as Leyla Hirsch and Mercedes Martinez, two technical and strong-minded performers, or Abadon and Julia Hart, the two creepy type characters in the women’s division. There is a great deal of potential for women’s tag titles.
ROH: Claudio Castagnoli Turns Heel; Drops Title to Bryan Danielson
Circling to some ROH predictions, both of these men I believe will be involved in the world title scene for AEW’s sister promotion. Both Castagnoli and Danielson are aligned and are known to be great friends in and outside of the ring. However, Castagnoli, currently the ROH World Champion in his second reign, can’t hold the title forever. And what better person and way to drop the title then by turning heel and going against Danielson. It could be a big-time feud and could also put ROH in the limelight without stepping on the toes of AEW’s main product. Sign me up!
Jade Cargill Becomes Double Champion; Remains Undefeated
The current and only reigning TBS Champion has continued to improve in all aspects of wrestling. Her mere presence makes her the star that she has already become. Cargill has continued to build her reputation up dramatically, with her undefeated streak still holding strong. That begs the question… will it end this year? Short answer is no. Now look it wouldn’t be a shock at all if Cargill’s undefeated streak ended, but there are still no viable opponents out there that can realistically beat her. Whoever beats her needs to be a big name. However, that’s not all I expect Cargill to do. Expect Cargill to pull double duty as champion, with her undoubtedly winning the AEW Women’s World Championship this year. Cargill isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and it’s only a matter of time before she takes an even bigger stab at the women’s division.
Miro Leaves AEW
When 2022 began, all signs pointed to a big year for Miro. However, 2022 was a terrible year for Miro, no fault of his own. Creative has had nothing for him, and rumors have begun circulating that he has become frustrated with management. I mean do you blame him? How could you not have something for a talent that became so over with AEW. It seems like things are not getting better either and it is only a matter of time before this standstill turns into an even bigger situation. Look out for Miro being on the move… once again.
CM Punk Makes Amends; Returns to AEW
To be completely honest, I have no idea about this prediction. Nobody knows what is going through the mind of Punk right now. All we’ve heard is that there are numerous wrestlers, such as Chris Jericho and of course The Elite, who don’t want to ever work with Punk again. However, things and opinions can change, as we’ve seen in wrestling for so many years. Who’s to say Punk doesn’t make amends, goes through a complete reset, and comes back to AEW full focused on being the best version of himself, inside and outside of the ring. Yeah, seems heard to believe. But never say never, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Punk throughout his career, his name alone carries significant weight in the industry, one that moves the needle in many ways.
So, there you have it. What bold predictions do you have in mind for AEW in 2023? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment down below!