Archive for the ‘AEW’ Category

AEW Executive Vice President Kenny Omega recently spoke with Sportskeeda and had some interesting comments on the “Wednesday Night War” talk between AEW and WWE NXT.

Omega said if pro wrestling was just one big promotion, the NXT talents would be working the dark matches to his main events. He said there is no comparison between the two companies as AEW has real stars and not just developmental talents.

“You can call it a war if you want, it’s just like… to me it’s like we’re in a completely different kind of business,” Omega said. “What they’re doing is different than what we’re doing and it’s hard to say you’re going to war with people that I call my friends, and yet we are going to war, and yet when I sit back and look at the grand picture, it’s like I’m going to war with dudes that if we were on the same show together, the same show and the same promotion… let’s pretend there were no wars, let’s pretend there were no promotions, let’s pretend there’s just one promotion. If these guys were on the same show as me, they’d be in the dark match. They’d be in the opening match for my main event match.

“You’re going to call that a war? You’re going to call that competition? Go ahead. Maybe it’s fun for you to do, that’s cool, but we’re different planets and you’re going to see that right away when you see 10,000+ arenas sold out, you’re gonna see smiles on fans’ faces, and you’re gonna see real stars, not developmental talent, but real stars appearing on your television sets every week.”

AEW’s “Dynamite” show will premiere on Wednesday, October 2 from 8-10pm ET on TNT. NXT made their Wednesday night live premiere on the USA Network last night.

The current AEW World Champion, Chris Jericho, was a recent guest on the Mature Audiences Mayhem podcast. During the discussion, Jericho opened up about his match against Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 33 and the original plans that WWE had for the feud.

“Probably the best story [at WrestleMania] was Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens,” Jericho said. “We were best friends, and all the dastardly stuff we were doing until he turned on me at ‘The Festival of Friendship.’ Then, we had this big WrestleMania match – the confrontation. Originally, that was going to be the main event for the world title. Kevin Owens was the champion and I was going to beat him in the main event of WrestleMania as a babyface.

“Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar had a match, Brock really liked it and wanted to have a rematch. He put Goldberg over and they had a rematch, but only if he won the title from Bill Goldberg. That was Brock’s idea so they changed it. Vince said that it’s going to be me versus Kevin Owens for the world title at WrestleMania and you are going to win the title, f–k yeah! Next week, he doesn’t tell me, but I hear that it’s changed to Brock Lesnar versus Bill Goldberg for the title.”

Jericho saw the match being placed on a lower position on the WrestleMania card as an insult, saying how he would have actually preferred to be the 1st match of the night instead of the 2nd. His frustration would eventually lead to an exit from WWE, a resurgence in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and the rumblings of what is now become AEW. 

“And not only did they take us out of the main event – and, once again, just because I was told I have no right to it and things change all the time, I’m a big boy, I can handle it. But to take us from the main event slot and then move us to the 2nd match on the card on a card that has 12 matches on it? I was like, that’s a f–king insult!” Jericho exclaimed. “And I didn’t realize it at the time, but afterward, I guess about 3-4 weeks later, I was like, wait a second, we were 2nd on the card? It wasn’t even 1st. The first match on the show at a WrestleManiais a very important match, maybe event second only to the main event. But to put us on second is an insult and it doesn’t even matter now what I did.

“We had the best storyline of the year but it doesn’t matter, it’s still not going to get me higher on the card to be second on the card at WrestleMania,” Jericho continued. “I need to leave; that is how you know. When the time comes when you are put in that spot as an insularity guy? Then I went through this whole thing when I went on tour with Fozzy and had the Tokyo Dome match against Kenny Omega. This whole new world of creativity opened up and this whole new star power for Chris Jericho, and we drew a lot of money for New Japan at that Dome show. And that was how the road to AEW started.”

Jericho thinks of himself as a bridge for the general audience of pro wrestling to become interested in what AEW has to offer. Tuning in to see him as the company’s world champion will ultimately give exposure to the new stars that AEW is presenting on TNT.

“And now with AEW, I’m not the face of the company but I’m definitely the bridge. What I mean by that is that I am the one who brings people in who don’t know what AEWis,” Jericho explained. “If you are a wrestling fan, you know who Chris Jericho is. You might not know who Kenny Omega is or The Young Bucks or those other guys, but Chris Jericho is there. I know him. I know his history. I’ve been watching him for so many years so I will check out the show. If you check out the show, you can see me, and you can then see all of these other guys, and then you’re hooked. That is what happened with New Japan. They came to see me and they left being Will Ospreay fans, Kenny Omega fans, Young Bucks fans, Okada fans, etc. I think that is why it was smart for Tony Khan to get me on his show, because there’s not a lot of other people that could have done that.”

AEW has announced that their 8th TNT episode will air live from Indianapolis, Indiana.

The November 20 AEW TNT episode has been announced for the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indianapolis State Fair. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 12 noon ET via Ticketmaster and AEWTix.com.

Below are the current line-ups for the first few AEW on TNT episodes and the Full Gear pay-per-view:

Wednesday, October 2 Premiere Episode
Capital One Arena in Washington, DC
* Jon Moxley appears live
* Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara
* The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jerichoand two mystery partners
* Nyla Rose vs. Riho to crown the first-ever AEWWomen’s Champion

Wednesday, October 9
Agganis Arena in Boston, MA
* Jon Moxley vs. Shawn Spears
* The Young Bucks vs. Private Party in an AEW Tag Team Titles tournament match

Wednesday, October 16
Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA
* First-ever AEW World Title defense, Chris Jericho vs. TBA
* First-ever AEW Women’s World Title defense, Nyla Rose or Riho vs. TBA

Wednesday, October 23
Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, PA
* Jon Moxley will be in action
* Semi-finals of the AEW Tag Team Titles tournament

Wednesday, October 30
Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, WV
* Chris Jericho will be in action
* Jon Moxley will be in action
* The first-ever AEW World Tag Team Champions will be crowned with tournament finals

Wednesday, November 6
Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, NC
* Full Gear go-home show
* TBA

Saturday, November 9 (Full Gear pay-per-view)
Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD
* Cody Rhodes vs. AEW World Champion Chris Jericho
* Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega

Wednesday, November 13
Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN
* Fallout from Full Gear
* TBA

Wednesday, November 20
Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indianapolis State Fair in Indianapolis, IN
* TBA

Wednesday, November 27
Sears Centre Arena near Chicago, IL
* TBA

AEW world champion Chris Jericho took some time to speak with Mature Audiences Mayhem about the impressive roster that the company is promoting as they approach their debut episode on TNT. Jericho specifically mentioned MJF when on the subject of entertaining heels, noting how his personality will one day make for a popular babyface character.

“When you’re a great heel, chances are you are entertaining. Unless you’re a psycho heel, which is very hard to play,” Jericho said. “People kind of know that you are fake unless you can be ultra-violent, like Bruiser Brody. Me in Japan now, I have adapted a Bruiser Brody attitude and just beat the s–t out of these guys. And Bruiser was 6’6, I’m not. But in Japan now, I am one of the bigger guys on the show, so that gets people to think that, once again, this guy is off of his rocker. And whether these guys are performing this high intense, amazing routine, this other guy is just kicking people in the face, punching them in his head. That guy’s crazy, he’s off of his rocker.

“And in this country, MJF is so entertaining,” Jericho continued. “Put him on weekly TV for three months, maybe six, he will be the most popular babyface of the company because he’s a great heel, he’s hilarious. He is so f–king good at what he does, soon enough, the tides will turn. That’s just how it goes unless you’re someone like The Miz. When they tried to make someone like The Miz a babyface, it just doesn’t work because he’s very annoying in real life, and MJF is kind of too but maybe he’ll be able to walk that line.”

Jericho thinks that AEW’s approach to non-scripted promo work will be one thing that sets it apart from all other pro wrestling on TV. He looked back on the unforgettable catch phrases that have organically bloomed on their own, without writers involved.

“I think people are excited because it’s something different. I know this – there’s no scripted promos,” Jericho stated. “There are no writers because that is what wrestling is. That is where it came from! ‘Austin 3:16’ was written by Steve Austin, ‘Y2J’ was written by Chris Jericho, ‘Never Ever Againe’ was written by Chris Jericho. All that stuff came from my head because I am the one who has to deliver it.

“I watch WWE – and listen, I love WWE. I worked there for 19 years. But you can see when people are saying s–t that they don’t buy, and you have to say it because it’s what Vince McMahon wants. And if you don’t say what he wants, you are going to hear about it. And if you don’t do it the next time, you probably won’t get promos anymore.” 

Jericho wants AEW to establish itself as it’s own identity, different from WWE, ROH, and other popular promotions. He mentioned how numerous stars in AEW outright rejected offers from WWE to begin this new company together.

“Most of these people aren’t actors. The best characters are your own personalities turned up to a degree,” Jericho said. “So like I said, in AEW, we don’t have that. And I think people will be refreshed, and I think you are going to either sink or you’re going to swim. We are going to have a general guideline of course, but the old school way of doing things in WWE is not what we do in AEW.

“We have to do things different; we have to be ourselves. We can’t worry about WWE, or ROH, or Impact, or anything else. We have to worry about us. What is on our roster? We don’t care if everyone in WWE is signed on for another 4 years. [That] doesn’t matter, we have guys on our own and guys that are coming to us like an MJF, like a Cody Rhodes, like Kenny Omega, or Hangman Page, all these guys that had the opportunity to go to WWE but decided not to because that’s what they wanted.”

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquezrecently spoke with ESPN following his big pro wrestling debut at AAA’s TripleMania XXVII event in August. He will return to the ring for AAA at their big “Lucha Invades NY” event at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, teaming with Impact World Champion Brian Cage and Psycho Clown vs. Los Mercenarios (Rey EscorpiĆ³n, Texano Jr., Taurus).

Velasquez was asked if a run with AEW or WWE appeals to him, and he said AEW seems to be on the path that he’s more interested in. Cain recently confirmed talks with both promotions, and trained at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando last year.

“I love them both,” Cain said of AEW and WWE. “I think obviously WWE is the powerhouse. They’ve had the biggest stars come from there and it’s the most watched wrestling in the U.S. for sure. I love the backstories and the drama, but their wrestling to me — I like more of the lucha stuff. I like the athleticism, and we do see some in WWE, but as far as wrestling goes, it’s not my favorite organization just as far as the wrestling.

“I think AEW is doing some great stuff. I like the talent that they’ve brought in. They have a mix of lucha, which I think is pretty cool, and something fans are really liking these days. They’re doing a great job in giving the fans what they want as far as the wrestling and I love that they’re doing that. I like them both for what they are, but I love the way AEW is going, the path they are going. I see big things for them in the future. … If I can, I’d love to do something with them.”

Regarding his MMA future, Cain said he’s not done yet. He was asked about the UFC heavyweight division and he said he wants to get back into it.

“I want to get back into it,” he said of the UFC heavyweight division. “I’m doing one more event in October for AAA and after that I can focus on what I want to do as far as the fighting goes. I never really picked an opponent, I don’t really care. I think every guy has his own set of dangers, which I like. Each guy has his own puzzle and you try to figure it out. I’d be happy with fighting anyone. After the obligation is done, and say I don’t have anything else come up wrestling-wise that would steer me away from fighting, then I’m still going to fight. Ultimately, it’s what I love to do as well.”

Cain was also asked what’s the harder training session when you’re starting – pro wrestling or MMA.

“They’re both very similar,” he responded. “I would say MMA is a lot more taxing, depending on what you’re doing. You have to be mentally attentive to do both. As far as the moves and what you’re doing — I would say even more so in wrestling. Your mental aspect of it needs to be sharp. You need to be moving. You need to be reacting to another move. Then you need to take a pause after you do a move and get the crowd into it. It’s a different form of fighting, whereas in MMA you have your offensive moves and your defensive moves. It’s a lot of action. You’re just doing what you’re doing and that’s it. You don’t focus on the crowd at all. You don’t give them anything until you’re done and finished and you’ve won. Then you give them something.”

AEW has announced that their 7th TNT episode will air from the legendary Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday, November 13.

Tickets for the AEW Nashville debut will go on sale Friday, September 13 at 12 noon ET.

This will be the first TNT episode that takes place after the AEW Full Gear pay-per-view on Saturday, November 9.

Below are the current line-ups for the first few AEW on TNT episodes and the Full Gear pay-per-view:

Wednesday, October 2 Premiere Episode
Capital One Arena in Washington, DC
* Jon Moxley appears live
* Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara
* The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho and two mystery partners
* Nyla Rose vs. Riho to crown the first-ever AEWWomen’s Champion

Wednesday, October 9
Agganis Arena in Boston, MA
* Jon Moxley vs. Shawn Spears
* The Young Bucks vs. Private Party in an AEW Tag Team Titles tournament match

Wednesday, October 16
Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA
* First-ever AEW World Title defense, Chris Jericho vs. TBA
* First-ever AEW Women’s World Title defense, Nyla Rose or Riho vs. TBA

Wednesday, October 23
Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, PA
* Jon Moxley will be in action
* Semi-finals of the AEW Tag Team Titles tournament

Wednesday, October 30
Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, WV
* Chris Jericho will be in action
* Jon Moxley will be in action
* The first-ever AEW World Tag Team Champions will be crowned with tournament finals

Wednesday, November 6
Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, NC
* TBA

Saturday, November 9
Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD
* Cody Rhodes vs. AEW World Champion Chris Jericho
* Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega

Wednesday, November 13
Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN
* TBA

Wednesday, November 27
Sears Centre Arena near Chicago, IL
* TBA

AEW Chief Brand Officer Brandi Rhodes spoke with Jonathan Snowden of Bleacher Report and discussed the challenges she faces of being a woman in a typically male dominated pro wrestling industry. Rhodes also noted what particular idea she’s not interested in playing out on TV.

In regards to challenges she’s come up against, Rhodes felt like perspective is always key when developing a proper character.

“There have been for myself at times in wrestling, times when I had to say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I’m not really comfortable with that’ or, ‘That doesn’t work for me,’ Rhodes said. “It’s interesting to see how a lot of people don’t see the other side of the coin. Since they haven’t been there. Someone might suggest your character say something that they’d never say. 

“It doesn’t occur to them that there are people who think differently about something, from another perspective. I think it probably will be helpful to have me there. I’m also someone who is always looking at things from different angles. There’s always two answers. Cody and I run a lot of things by each other. We’re able to help each other see things differently than we would singularly.” 

Rhodes was then asked if there were any ideas ever pitched to her that she wasn’t comfortable with doing. She noted anything that portrays her not being faithful to her husband, Cody Rhodes, is off-limits.

“Ideas that made it seem like I wasn’t particularly faithful to my husband,” Rhodes revealed. “That’s an area I don’t like to go. It’s just not for me. And the fans, they know us. They know Cody and I, and they like our relationship. So, I would never want to kind of scoff in their faces and make it seem like it’s something that it’s not.”

AEW on TNT premieres on Wednesday, October 2 at 8 pm ET.