AEW just crowned its first world champion, but the belt itself went on an unexpected journey.
The AEW World Championship is a gorgeous creation – who could blame someone for stealing it? Chris Jericho, AEW, and lawmakers could blame them, but it’s easy to suspect the thief wasn’t concerned at the time.
Looking like a perfect hybrid between the Zuffa-era UFC and NJPW championship belts, the AEW World Title was recently contested for at the All Out pay-per-view. Chris Jericho would emerge victorious, defeating “Hangman” Adam Page after a brutal match that saw both men have their moments.
Jericho would hoist the belt over his head then gloat with it at the post-show. However, shortly thereafter, the prize would wind up missing and a massive search would ensue. This was no wrestling storyline, though some initially thought it was. As with anything and everything in the world of pro wrestling, there is always concern about whether it was a work or not.
However, Jericho filed a police report. This was a serious incident, and the loss of the gold apparently took place while Jericho dined at a Longhorn Steakhouse. After he arrived at the Millionaire Club Airport Terminal, he placed the belt inside a limo he’d rented. After he was driven to the restaurant for dinner, the limo driver returned to the airport.
There was apparently a mix-up of luggage, and Jericho noticed the belt was missing when he was picked back up.
It’s a rough situation, especially for such a young promotion. However, AEW has a great knack for making lemonade from the lemons life hands it. They saved a match at the pay-per-view after their biggest new signee was pulled from it, and the fill-in tore the house down with his new opponent. Likewise, they’ve used their newness to keep fans guessing and make each event feel like a special show where anything can happen.
But, of course, there’s the internet – where snarky comments are often expected. However, someone like Jericho would probably be upset if people didn’t take jabs at him. Because that would mean he wouldn’t get to roast them right back, as only he can.
Jericho got a comment on Twitter from Arby’s, saying some “Judas” stole the belt (referencing Jericho’s AEW persona and theme) then noting they had plenty of cardboard to make him another one. Jericho shot back, refusing the offer and telling them to save the cardboard for their sandwiches. That’s what they get for trying to out-heel one of the best heels in the business.
Jericho even cut a promo about the situation, relaxing in a hot tub – still clad in his hat, sunglasses, and scarf. As he sipped champagne, he talked about wanting his belt back, and once again proved he can spin anything to work for his character.
Thanks to Florida police, he won’t have to worry about doing that much longer. The belt was recovered and returned to its rightful owner. We have to think Hangman Page will be trying to get it soon, though.