Montez Ford Ready for Next Step, Selling on Gunns as AEW Tag Champs, More Quick Takes

Graham GSM Matthews @ @WrestleRant Featured Columnist IV February 13, 2023

Montez Ford Ready for Next Step, Selling on Gunns as AEW Tag Champs, More Quick Takes

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    Montez Ford is Elimination Chamber-bound following his win over Elias last week on Raw.
    Montez Ford is Elimination Chamber-bound following his win over Elias last week on Raw. Credit:

    The stocks of several WWE Superstars are rising at just the right time with WrestleMania 39 around the corner.

    Montez Ford punched his ticket to Elimination Chamber with his win over Elias last Monday on Raw. While it's unlikely he'll emerge from the event as the new United States champion, a strong showing can go a long worth in proving his worth as a soon-to-be breakout star.

    All Elite Wrestling is also attempting to make new names as seen at the conclusion of last Wednesday's Dynamite when The Gunns defeated The Acclaimed to steal the AEW World Tag Team Championship.

    Perhaps their reign will ultimately exceed expectations, but in such a stacked division, it's a questionable call to put the belts on a team that is far inferior than the others and not remotely ready for such a spotlight.

    This installment of Quick Takes will tackle why it was the wrong call to crown The Gunns the champs, if Baron Corbin has officially reached damaged goods territory, WWE's weak attempt to revitalize Madcap Moss, and more.

Montez Ford Primed for Breakout Showing at Elimination Chamber

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    WWE fans have long envisioned Montez Ford as a future world champion, and it looks like we're inching closer to that becoming a reality.

    The Street Profits have dominated the tag team ranks on Raw, SmackDown and NXT for the last five-plus years. They've done virtually all they can do as a tandem and have feuded with most of WWE's top teams, both past and present.

    A definitive split with one turning on the other is not necessary. They're over enough as a duo that it would be silly for WWE have them part ways right now, though there's nothing wrong with them pursuing singles success while still together.

    Ford will be provided with that overdue opportunity at Elimination Chamber on Saturday when he vies for the U.S. title inside the demonic structure. It would be premature to put the title on him at this stage, but it would be wise to use the contest as a vehicle to show the world what he's capable of on his own.

    Having him last until the end would do wonders and leave the audience wanting to see him with the star-spangled prize around his waist eventually.

    Elimination Chamber should be the launching pad for bigger and better things for Ford.

Is AEW Women's World Championship at Risk of Being Overshadowed?

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    Jamie Hayter has been the best thing going in the AEW women's division for many months, but her title run hasn't felt like the focal point of the division whatsoever as of late.

    All of the attention has instead been devoted to Saraya and Toni Storm turning heel and making enemies out of everyone else. If the idea is to put the AEW's female newcomers against its originals, it hasn't been executed well so far.

    Saraya and Storm are lacking something in their new roles, but the bigger issue is that they haven't seemed too concerned with taking the title from Hayter. Storm lost the belt to Hayter at Full Gear in November, and there has been no mention of a rematch since.

    Hayter's recent singles matches with The Bunny, Emi Sakura and Hikaru Shida have been solid, but she has no clear direction or rival at the moment. Her ongoing alliance with Britt Baker also serves no purpose at this point.

    With Revolution coming up on March 5, AEW must do more to establish a championship program worthy of the championship stage for Hayter as opposed to making the title an afterthought in a feud that hasn't been fully fleshed out yet.

WWE's Latest Attempt to Push Madcap Moss Is Too Little, Too Late

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    Madcap Moss becoming the new No. 1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship on Friday's SmackDown came from out of nowhere for most viewers and understandably so.

    In theory, the 33-year-old is a perfectly logical filler opponent for Gunther ahead of WrestleMania 39. The two should have a quality contest, and perhaps Moss will turn heads with his performance.

    That said, he is one of the weakest possible opponents for The Ring General right now and is far from a threat to the title.

    His last televised win came at Clash at the Castle in September in a six-man tag team match on the Kickoff show. Otherwise, he has been firmly established as a stepping stone in SmackDown's midcard scene with nothing remotely interesting about his character.

    He had momentum following his feud with Happy Corbin last spring, but the change in WWE's creative direction under Triple H in the summer caused him to get lost in the shuffle. Fans currently have no reason to care about him or his chase for the championship.

    More time should have been spent building Moss back up so this upcoming match against Gunther could have been more meaningful.

Can Baron Corbin Still Be Salvaged with Yet Another Reboot?

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    After only four months, the alliance between Baron Corbin and JBL came to an abrupt end last Monday on Raw. This followed weeks of Corbin losing and JBL finally calling it quits.

    On paper, they had the potential to be a much more successful unit. JBL being a perennial heat magnet and Corbin having never been paired with a manager before made for a unique dynamic.

    Unfortunately, the experiment failed due to the act not being much different than what the 38-year-old was doing previously as Happy Corbin, or even King Corbin prior to that. The 2017 men's Money in the Bank winner needs a much more drastic character change to avoid being written off as damaged goods permanently.

    A return to his roots as The Lone Wolf–or something similar–could be the answer.

    Corbin was at his best early on in his main roster run when he was portrayed in a more serious light. His short-lived stint as a broke Baron Corbin was also entertaining and ended too soon, but something like that again would only work if he had someone such as Cameron Grimes to play off of as a partner or rival.

    Either way, he's too talented to be continually wasted in roles that don't suit him. Another reboot is imperative, but whatever he does next must be drastically different than what he's been saddled with in recent years.

The Gunns Are Wrong Choice to Lead Loaded AEW Tag Team Division

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    AEW has featured its fair share of upsets in recent months, but The Gunns unseating The Acclaimed as its world tag team champions on Dynamite was surprising for the wrong reasons.

    In fairness, The Gunns have been gradually built up over the last two months. They beat FTR in their last televised match in December and were positioned as being on the same level as The Acclaimed in the weeks preceding their championship clash.

    With Max Caster and Anthony Bowens still at the peak of their popularity, it wasn't the right time for them to take the titles. Additionally, it's asinine to position them as the top team in a division filled with tandems that are more befitting of that spot instead.

    The flat finish to Dynamite was indicative of this.

    The only endgame that makes sense is FTR returning to avenge their loss to The Gunns and winning the belts back. Even if so, it would make just as much sense to keep The Acclaimed as champions and have them lose to FTR upon their return.

    AEW's willingness to push new blood should be commended, and there's a chance this will work out for the better, but the early consensus among fans is that this was a misguided booking decision.

    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant , and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.