How Long Has AEW's Recent Title Upgrade Been in Development?

The AEW All-Atlantic Title has "leveled up." This past Wednesday on AEW Dynamite, AEW President Tony Khan officially rebranded the midcard championship as the AEW International Title. This shift went over well with fans, as many had previously questioned why an "Atlantic" prize featured Pacific-based countries' flags like Japan on its gold plating. Titleholder Orange Cassidy made the last defense of the All-Atlantic iteration of the championship on Wednesday, successfully retaining against Jay Lethal. Cassidy's first defense as AEW International Champion comes next week against Jeff Jarrett.

As evident in Khan's announcement, this rebrand is in conjunction with television partner Warner Brothers Discovery, as it comes in an effort to promote Shazam! Fury of the Gods. According to Fightful Select, this change has been in the works "for quite some time." The new title was made "months ago" and was specifically intended to debut around the release of Shazam 2.

This is just the latest cross-promotional effort between AEW and WBD. The wrestling promotion and entertainment giant have come together to produce IP-branded special episodes of AEW Dynamite, with the annual Game of Thrones-inspired AEW Dynamite: Winter is Coming emerging as the most famous. AEW has also integrated elements of Rick and Morty, Space Jam: A New Legacy, and House of the Dragon into its programming in recent years. AEW is said to be "always excited" at cross-promotional opportunities.

Something big may be in store for next week's AEW Dynamite in Winnipeg. Already announced for that show is a blockbuster three-way trios contest between AEW World Trios Champions House of Black, The Elite, and Jericho Appreciation Society. Winnipeg natives Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho are both involved in that contest. Fightful notes that AEW is looking to "increase the prestige" of the newly-minted AEW International Title, and those efforts will likely begin next week.

AEW Dynamite returns next Wednesday, March 15th.