In September 2019, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) Executive Vice President and wrestler Cody teased the idea that the promotion would eventually debut a television championship, but their focus at that time was on their other championships. In February 2020, wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer directly asked Cody on the possibility of the promotion adding a secondary championship. Although he did not confirm or deny it, Cody did not rule out the possibility of a secondary or "mid-card" title debuting in 2020. The following month on March 30 on AEW's YouTube series The Road to Dynamite, a secondary championship was announced. AEW play-by-play commentator and senior producer Tony Schiavone revealed that there would be an eight-man, single-elimination tournament to crown the first-ever TNT Champion. The first half of the bracket will be announced on the March 31 episode of Dark, with the second half revealed on the following night's episode of Dynamite. The tournament will begin on the April 8 episode of Dynamite and continue over the next few weeks, with the finals to take place at Double or Nothing on May 23.
The championship is named after the TNT television network, which aired AEW's flagship program, Dynamite. In the press release about the TNT Championship, AEW President and CEO Tony Khan stated: "it's only fitting that the champion and the title belt will carry the logo of the globally-respected TNT brand, and that they'll represent not only AEW but also the great quality programming, massive reach, and storied history in the wrestling business that are all associated with TNT."
The first half of the TNT Championship Tournament bracket was announced on the March 31 episode of Dark, with the second half revealed on the following night's Dynamite. The tournament began on the April 8 episode of Dynamite.
(April 8, 15, 22, 2020)
(April 29, 2020)
Double or Nothing
May 23, 2020
The original championship belt featured six plates on a red leather strap. The center plate prominently featured the TNT network logo at the center. Above the TNT logo was AEW's logo, while below the TNT logo was a red banner that said "CHAMPION". The two inner side plates featured "Tara on Techwood", 1050 Techwood Drive in Atlanta, the building that was the original home of TNT. The two outer side plates featured AEW's logo, while a third smaller side plate on the far right side also featured AEW's logo. When the original belt was unveiled at Double or Nothing on May 23, it had no plating at all as production of the belt had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it was also revealed that the final version would have gold plating and be unveiled at a later date. The original belt was produced by Ron Edwardsen of Red Leather, who also made the AEW World Tag Team Championship belts. He further said that there would also be nickel plating in addition to gold on the final version of the original TNT Championship as well as a "relief TNT logo". The completed version of the original belt was shown on AEW's Twitter just a few hours before the August 12 episode of Dynamite where the finished design was debuted for Cody's match against Scorpio Sky, where Cody retained.
Following the death of the championship's second title holder Mr. Brodie Lee in December 2020, AEW retired the championship belt design that had been used up to that point to honor Lee. A new belt design will be unveiled at a later date and given to the current champion.
|Current AEW Championships|
Women's World Championship
World Tag Team Championship