One of the biggest shows of the year is set to take place this Sunday, when AEW travels to Las Vegas to put on AEW Double or Nothing 2022. It is the fourth edition of the show, with the 2019 event being the first AEW show in history.
At Double or Nothing, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus put their AEW Tag Team Championships on the line as they take on two of AEW’s biggest and best tag teams. They have to face off with not just Team Taz (Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs) but also the duo of Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee.
The odds are stacked against the prehistoric duo, but losing the title could be the best thing for the son of Luke Perry. Jungle Boy is an AEW original and one man who has be earmarked as the future of the company.
By losing the tag team championships, Jungle Boy will set himself up for a singles run in AEW that could take him farther than he ever dream of before…
Jungle Boy in AEW
With the expectation that Jurassic Express will drop the tag team titles at Double or Nothing, the question has to be asked of “what is next for Jungle Boy?”.
The first part seems obvious – a feud with Christian Cage. The former world champion debuted at AEW Revolution last year and joined the duo’s group almost immediately. He won the Impact World Championship along the way but has remained by their side throughout their victories and defeats.
However, tensions have been brewing. Jungle Boy and Christian Cage have had simmering tensions over the past few months, acting cold toward each other in defeat and not seeing eye to eye in backstage segments.
It started jokingly but has seemed to develop into something more, at least on the side of Christian Cage. He looks certain to turn heel soon, maybe even costing Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus their championships at the pay per view. It’s been a long time coming and would be a long overdue storyline for the formerly retired star to sink his teeth into.
Jungle Boy has come on leaps and bounds, especially on the microphone, since partnering up with Christian. However, it is time from the two to part with a bang and have a match to make Jungle Boy a singles star.
While matches with Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes gave fans a taste of what Jungle Boy could be, Christian Cage has all the tools to turn his perception from being a future star to an AEW main event-level talent.
Jungle Boy as AEW Champion?
Now, even when he does defeat Christian Cage, it may still be slightly premature to thrust him into the AEW Championship picture.
Jungle Boy has fought top stars before but he is still not ready to carry a main event programme. He cannot be put into the CM Punk/Adam Page role quite yet, but could be an upper midcard singles star like Adam Cole or Orange Cassidy going forward.
His microphone skills have gotten a lot better over the years. He is not a master on the stick like Eddie Kingston or CM Punk but he is serviceable on a promo, although he is largely untested in front of a live crowd.
A feud with Eddie Kingston could help improve him in that regard. Thrusting into a situation where he is trading barbs with the best in the world would be a sink or swim moment for the 24 year old. He still has years to develop his own style on the mic but he will only do that by battling on the mic with some of the best in the business.
With how beloved Kingston is, it may be a bad start for his AEW singles run. If even CM Punk got booed against Eddie Kingston, Jungle Boy will definitely get at best mixed reactions and at worst outright boos for one of the first times in his career.
A rematch of the Jungle Boy vs MJF feud would be a great addition to AEW programming, but I think at this moment in time neither men could really take the loss. MJF is looking at back-to-back PPV losses (against CM Punk and Wardlow) and needs a big win to help him get back on track.
Jungle Boy too needs some big wins to rise up the ranks. An early criticism of the star was that he never picked up any victories in the start of his career, and those has only really been quashed since winning the AEW Tag Team Championships.
He wont immediately go into the AEW Championship picture because there are already so many established stars ahead of him. Presuming CM Punk defeats Adam Page at Double or Nothing, he will have no shortage of challengers looking to take his AEW Championship.
Before Jungle Boy is AEW’s top contender, the likes of Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Adam Cole and MJF will all want their shot at the AEW Championship. While a short feud with Jungle Boy would do wonders for him, it might not be the best thing for CM Punk or AEW at this time.
It will be a couple of years before he is a top star in AEW. Jungle Boy’s AEW Championship journey needs to start with self improvement. Once he can command the crowd on the mic, find his voice in wrestling and craft a compelling character the fans can latch onto there is no limit to Jungle Boy’s potential.
Jungle Boys is AEW’s future champion but he has a lot to do before he gets that far.
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