The return of Taz's FTW Championship took many by surprise, but it was something that AEW had been working on for a few weeks.
On the second night of Fyter Fest on July 8, instead of facing Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship, Brian Cage was awarded the FTW title by Taz. Although Cage will face Moxley at Fight For The Fallen on July 15, Cage will also defend the FTW title against Brian Pillman Jr. on the July 14 edition of AEW Dark.
Speaking to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, AEW President Tony Khan spoke on where the idea to bring back the FTW belt came from. Khan said it was something in the works for weeks and noted that he personally thought it was great that Taz was the one who presented it to Cage and that it was not the first thing the duo did since joining forces in May.
"Well, it was a few weeks ago. Taz told me he had it. And immediately, that's when the idea struck me to do this. Then I asked him to bring it down and get it down here and Taz's son, Tyler, who is a great kid, traveled down with it and came down and got tested, and joined us in the bubble. Tyler brought it and then we had it. Taz presenting it to Brian was a really important part of the presentation. I think Taz and Brian, it was good that it wasn't the first thing they did together, because they really had become associated. Brian was always supposed to debut in that casino ladder match, as soon as we got his diagnosis that he was going to be out until May," Khan said.
"This thing had been planned for a long time for Brian to make the big intro, and make the big splash, and challenge Moxley. Brian and Taz, they've established a rapport on television. When Taz told me he still had the belt, it was a perfect thing to add to the story I thought. And so, a couple weeks ago, when it came up, I really jumped on it. Once I found out he had it, and we were able to use it, I wanted to make it a part of the story. I wouldn't have done it without his blessing. I mean, he's the one who told me he had it. So once he said he still had possession of it, and I checked, and we're cleared to use it, then, at that point, I was like, 'This is, to me, almost like a no brainer. It adds so much to the story, to the presentation of Brian. It's so much credibility, the FTW title.' I grew up watching ECW, as you know, and that belt meant a lot. Even though it's not a recognized championship, when it was defended, or when you saw it, it felt like it was part of the presentation of Taz as one of the top wrestlers in the sport and I think it can be the same thing for Brian Cage. So I was really excited about it, as soon as Taz told me he still had that belt, and then when I realized that we could use it. It was a few weeks ago," Khan said.
Fightful will have live coverage of Fight For The Fallen. You can check out the full interview with Khan at this link.