Today, All Elite Wrestling announced a new stipulation to the AEW World Championship match between Chris Jericho and Cody at Full Gear: A panel of three judges will be present to decide the winner should the match go to a 60 minute draw. Here’s how that works, according to the company:
In the event there is no winner at the end of the 60-minute time limit, a panel of three esteemed judges, who will be seated at ringside, must vote for a winner. In the event there is not a unanimous choice, the majority decision will be the winner. This will ensure that a draw will not be the outcome of this World Championship title match.
It may not look like much on the surface, but the announcement is a tip of the hat to an old WCW gimmick ensuring that a Ric Flair title match would have a victor. Championship matches frequently went to time limit draws, which, beyond humblebragging about how good of a sex-haver he was, is why Flair called himself a 60-minute man.
In ye olden days, panels were usually made up of retired wrestlers, company officials, and quasi-celebrities feebly promoting a television show. When you consider that wrestling is a legitimate sport like RuPaul’s Drag Race and Forged in Fire, this makes total sense. If you can’t trust a kid from The Wonder Years‘ extensive wrestling expertise in determining which of two pieces of winded, bruised meat should walk away with the richest prize in the industry, who can you trust?
While the notion of Jericho and Cody wrestling for a whole-ass hour is unlikely on paper, it’ll be interesting to see who AEW has making scorecards at ringside. If they’re looking to build a feud out of it, the way WCW did when guest judge Terry Funk wrecked Ric Flair for insinuating that starring in Road House didn’t make him a contender for the World Title, hell yeah. If it’s not, we can look forward to Jameela Jamil and the Impractical Jokers deciding the title’s fate, which is probably what we deserve.