Archive for the ‘AEW’ Category

Claudio Castagnoli is All Elite.

During the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view, Claudio Castagnoli (FKA Cesaro in WWE) debuted when he was the mystery opponent against Zack Sabre Jr., who was slated to face Bryan Danielson, tonight. However, on the 6/22 episode of AEW Dynamite, Danielson confirmed that he wasn’t medically cleared to compete but stated that he had a suitable replacement to face Sabre Jr. at tonight’s event.

The match against Sabre Jr. would mark Castagnoli’s first appearance in a non-WWE ring since signing with the company in 2011. Before his decade-long run in WWE, Castagnoli was a star on the independent scene, most notably having runs in Ring Of Honor, PWG, CZW, and Chikara. Castagnoli initially signed with WWE in 2011 where he quickly rose the ranks, going from the company’s development territory FCW and quickly making his main roster debut in April 2012. The former Cesaro would win his first singles title just four months following his SmackDown debut, defeating Santino Marella to win the United States Championship. The ‘Swiss-Superman’ is a seven-time WWE Tag Team Champion, holding the titles with Sheamus (5 times), Shinsuke Nakamura (1 time), and Tyson Kidd (1 time). Castagnoli quietly let his WWE deal expire this past February, ending an 11-year tenure with the company.

Following his WWE departure, Castagnoli was reportedly ‘laying low’ and taking some time off to be with his family before making his in-ring return. It was reported that Castagnoli had a high asking price when being approached by several companies to make an appearance but it appears as if he and AEW President and CEO, Tony Khan reached an agreement.

The inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Champion was crowned tonight at AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door.

In the finals of the tournament, PAC defeated Miro, Malakai Black, and Clark Connors to become the first-ever All-Atlantic champion.

To get to the finals, PAC had to defeat Buddy Matthews.

Malakai Black defeated Penta Oscuro and Miro defeated Ethan Page to get to the finals.

As noted, Clark Connors took the place of NJPW star Tomohiro Ishii. Ishii was pulled out of the match due to a left knee injury and was not medically cleared to compete.

The AEW All-Atlantic Title was introduced on June 8 on “Dynamite.”

New IWGP Tag Team Champions were crowned tonight at AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door.

FTR defeated former IWGP Tag Team Champions The United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) and Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Beretta) to retain their ROH World Tag Team Titles and to become the new IWGP Tag Team Champions.

During the match, Dax Harwood was walked back by the medics after being checked on ringside. He later would return to the ring with his shoulder taped up.

This is the first time that Wheeler and Harwood have held the IWGP Tag Team Titles. FTR have been the ROH Tag Team Champions since they defeated The Briscoes on April 1 at Supercard of Honor XV.

Before losing the IWGP Tag Team Titles tonight, Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb had held them since June 12.

AEW Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa recently spoke with TV Insider about the Forbidden Door, her title reign, and former WWE Superstar Paige.

While speaking about Paige, Rosa said that she has so much experience, and if she came to AEW, everybody would benefit from it.

“She has so much experience,” praised Rosa. “She has been wrestling since a young girl. I met her mother a few years ago at an independent show. She is a wrestler’s wrestler. She would bring something different to the women’s division as a wrestler or even if we needed a general manager. If she came to our door, I think everybody will benefit from it. If anyone comes to wrestle me. I’m open to any challenge. Whoever wants a piece of me, you know where to find me. If not, I’ll send you my number right now.”

WWE decided not to renew Paige’s contract when it expires in July. Paige last competed inside of a WWE ring at a live event on December 27, 2017, where she suffered an injury in a six-woman tag match. Paige would then officially announce her in-ring retirement, on the April 18, 2018 episode of “SmackDown.”

During her in-ring tournament, Paige had assumed several roles for the WWE including being the General Manager of “SmackDown” and the manager of the Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane).

Canadian All Elite Wrestling fans may not have to wait much longer to watch their favorite wrestlers head North of the border.

During an interview with the Toronto Star, AEW President Tony Khan stated that the company will soon have live events in Canada due to their ongoing success on television in the country, on TSN. Khan also spoke extensively about having several Canadian wrestlers on the roster.

When asked about the interview during the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Media Call, Khan revisited his take on AEW in Canada, providing a few provinces and cities he’d like to visit and why.

“I named some cities and, to be honest, I named cities based on some wrestlers that AEW has, stars competing here, where they hail from,” Khan said. “That includes a lot of great wrestlers from around Toronto and Hamilton, and I will get to Alberta here in a second. Delta, British Columbia which is around Vancouver, Kyle O’Reilly is from the Vancouver area. I neglected to mention Montreal, which is a legendary wrestling city and I should’ve said it. It was an omission by me that I did not mean to make, but I was just naming cities off the top of my head on a long day.

“I have to say when it comes to Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton would both be great homes for an AEW event. We’ve worked very closely with Dr. Martha Hart and the Owen Hart Foundation, and it was a real honor to have Dr. Martha Hart, and Oje Hart, and Athena Hart here in AEW, representing Owen Hart’s legacy. I look forward to continuing working with the Owen Hart Foundation. It was a real pleasure to have Dr. Martha Hart working with us.”

The AEW roster has marveled at Bret “The Hitman” Hart, with many talent calling him the greatest wrestler of all time and constantly paying tribute to the WWE Hall of Famer. With such a deep connection to many within the company, Bret’s hometown would ideally be another stop for Khan and AEW in Canada.

“Speaking of Calgary and wrestling, the conversation has to have Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, arguably the greatest pro wrestler of all time and of course he’s from Calgary, and he’s the very first person ever to hold the AEW World Championship belt in his hands out on pay-per-view, on our very first show, Double or Nothing 2019,” Khan said.

“There’s a lot of great wrestlers here in AEW who have a lot of respect for him, and I have a lot of respect for Bret. I think he’s just a tremendous person and I really like him a lot in addition to respecting him as one of the best people to ever lace up the boots and work in pro wrestling. Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart is somebody that’s still very much in the conversation in AEW today, even though he’s not somebody that actively wrestles or competes here. That is a testament to his enduring legacy.”

The AEW Owner also stated why Winnipeg, Manitoba is another Canadian city he’d like to produce a show in, as it’s the hometown of two of the company’s biggest stars.

“It’s one of the first cities you have to mention with AEW, with Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega coming from there and them being two of the great world champions in AEW, and two of the great Canadian stars, and two of the great stars in all the world of wrestling in Jericho and Omega. Jericho has competed extensively in Alberta; we would love to go there. I think that would be a great place for us to go.”

It’s unclear at this time when AEW will be heading to Canada, but during his initial interview with the Toronto Star, Khan did say he’d like the first show to be in Toronto.

In the words of William Regal, AEW’s PAC is “as good as anyone walking the Earth”.

Speaking during the latest episode of his Gentleman Villain podcast (via Wrestling Inc.), his Lordship had plentiful praise for the Death Triangle badass.

As Regal detailed:

“I think he’s as good as anyone walking the Earth. I don’t see anything to do with his height. I know me and him have a lot of the same things as far as music and youth culture stuff, and he just looks like somebody who would smash the granny out of somebody. He’s very assuming and quiet and polite. He looks the part, his face tells a story. I really, really rate him and I think he’s fantastic. I can’t say enough good about him and I can’t say enough good about the way he carries himself as a pro.”

Regal and the Bastard have quite the history together, with the pair having previously worked together in NXT. There, PAC, as Adrian Neville, had a 286-day run as the NXT Champion and showcased himself as one of the best in-ring workers on the planet.

As for what’s next for PAC, the Geordie will compete against Miro, Malakai Black and Clark Connors to become the inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Champion at tonight’s AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door.

In terms of William Regal, it remains to be seen what role he has to play at Forbidden Door. Blackpool Combat Club’s Wheeler Yuta is teaming with Eddie Kingston and Shota Umino to face Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Minoru Suzuki, whilst BCC’s Jon Moxley will battle Hiroshi Tanahashi for the interim AEW World Championship.

Of course, Blackpool Combat Club will also reveal its newest member tonight, with Bryan Danielson announcing that this new recruit will face Zack Sabre Jr. at Forbidden Door before they then go onto be a part of the six-on-six Blood & Guts war on this coming Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite.

In his short time working with AEW, Wheeler Yuta has been part of two different factions in AEW: Best Friends and the Blackpool Combat Club.

During a signing with K & S WrestleFest, Yuta discussed transitioning from the Best Friends faction to the BCC, led by William Regal.

“Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy, like they’re my friends in real life, I’ve known those dudes for years,” Yuta said. “It kind of felt like, ‘Alright, I’m in this big position, like it was still huge for me to do that’. But it was like, ‘This is huge, but it’s with my friends like I’m in my comfort zone’. When [BCC] started to happen it’s like, ‘This is, alright, this is a step up’… it was definitely a big step up. It was like a light switch.”

Yuta started out in AEW as a friend of the Best Friends faction, which included Kris Statlander, Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, and Trent Beretta. Yuta, nor Best Friends, had any success with the alliance, and eventually, Beretta and Yuta had a falling out, resulting in Yuta no longer being associated with Best Friends. The two former stablemates have not had a singles match in AEW to date.

Following his time with Best Friends, Yuta joined the Blackpool Combat Club, a group that consisted of Former WWE and AEW World Champion Jon Moxley and former WWE Champion Bryan Danielson. The group is also led by William Regal, who worked as an in-ring performer from 1986 until 2013, and served as the General Manager for “NXT” from 2014 until his release in January of 2022.

Yuta did not get a free invitation into the group, however, as he first had to go through a match with Danielson on the March 30th edition of “AEW: Dynamite” where Yuta fell short to the American Dragon, losing by referee’s decision after about 10 minutes of hard-hitting back and forth action. Yuta wasn’t done earning the respect of the former world champions there as he took on Moxley a week and two days later on “AEW: Rampage” in a brutal match that saw Yuta bleed.

Following the match against Moxley, Danielson, Regal, and Moxley welcomed Yuta into the BCC as Yuta spelled BCC on his chest with his own blood.

Miro has revealed precisely why he initially signed an unusual deal upon becoming All Elite back in September 2020.

Coming during a recent interview with Fightful Select, AEW’s resident Redeemer shed some more light on his previously reported unusually short deal with Tony Khan’s promotion. Confirming this shorter deal to have very much been legit, the former TNT Champion would also add that he was happy to give TK a discount due to the overall circumstances brought on by the pandemic at the time of his arrival.

Going further, the one-time WWE star would reveal that Khan originally invested in the “Twitch guy”, whereas now AEW are getting “The Redeemer”, with his initially short contract term being put in place so he could prove himself and eventually earn an even bigger deal when the time came to renew.

On that subject, Miro would note how contract talks with Khan and his company were very good and that the All Elite machine were keen to nail him down to a long-term deal. This lines up with reports of the dominant performer penning a contract with the company in March that would see him extend his AEW stay for a further four years, with this latest deal ending in 2026.

God’s Favourite Champion will next be seen colliding with PAC, Malakai Black, and Clark Connors (a replacement for the injured Tomohiro Ishii) on Sunday’s Forbidden Door card as all four wrestlers look to become the inaugural All-Atlantic Champion.

News of additional AEW stars suffering from injuries is happening almost daily ever since AEW World Champion CM Punk was sidelined from a broken foot earlier this month.

The latest person added to the list? One of AEW’s “Four Pillars”, Jungle Boy. According to a new report from “F4Wonline“, the former AEW World Tag Team Champion is taking time away to recover from an undisclosed injury. This may have contributed to the creative decision to take the tag team titles off of Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus and transition them to the winners of the tag team ladder match on the June 15 “Dynamite”, The Young Bucks.

In the past week, injuries were confirmed for top AEW star Bryan Danielson, one of Jade Cargill’s Baddies – Red VelvetThe Bunny, and even NJPW star Tomohiro Ishii who was scheduled to wrestle at the cross-promotional Forbidden Door Pay-Per-View this weekend. You can add them to the list that includes Kyle O’Reilly, Darius Martin of Top Flight, Anthony Bowens, and several others that are on the shelf recovering.

In an effort to add a new Baddie to their ranks, Stokely Hathaway announced that The Baddies would use Twitter to find potential candidates in the wake of Red Velvet’s absence. It was advised they use the hashtag #BaddieSearch on Twitter, explain why they should be a Baddie in 140 characters or less, and keep their photos PG.

Bryan Danielson’s situation is perhaps the most intriguing at this point because he was originally supposed to face Zack Sabre Jr. at Forbidden Door this Sunday. However, due to his injury, he announced on “Dynamite” that he would hand-pick a replacement to go against Sabre Jr. at the PPV. The same individual will then join Blackpool Combat Club, Eddie Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz in a blood & guts match against The Jericho Appreciation Society on this Wednesday’s “Dynamite”.

With AEW being struck by the injury bug in recent weeks and months, Tony Khan has now confirmed that Kyle O’Reilly is another name currently out of action.

Speaking on the latest episode of AEW Restricted (via Wrestling Inc.), the AEW President detailed how the Canadian is dealing with a very real injury right now.

“Kyle O’Reilly had been on fire. That’s a real-life, legitimate injury and Kyle O’Reilly is out. Not sure how long, but, you know, it’s a big loss and we were not expecting that.”

Khan didn’t give any further details on the nature of the injury or a timeframe for KOR’s in-ring return, but this is yet another member of the AEW roster who is now out of action.

Of course, last night’s AEW Dynamite saw Bryan Danielson rule himself out of this weekend’s AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door PPV and next Wednesday’s Blood & Guts war, with the American Dragon having been on the shelf since Double or Nothing due to an undisclosed issue.

Elsewhere, AEW World Champion CM Punk is out with a broken foot, Kenny Omega is a long-time absentee, and names like Lee Johnson, The Bunny, Sky Blue and Darius Martin are also injured right now. On top of that, Adam Cole – who is set to compete at Forbidden Door in a four-way bout for the IWGP World Heavyweight Title – was said to be “banged up” in recent weeks, Matt Hardy reportedly tweaked his knee last weekend at AAA Triplemania XXX: Tijuana, and Jeff Hardy was recently suspended after his latest DUI arrest. Additionally, there’s obviously been a lack of MJF for the past several weeks.

In terms of Kyle O’Reilly, he last competed on the 8 June Dynamite, where he won a battle royal before later losing a barnburner of a main event against Jon Moxley – with Mox advancing to the interim AEW World Title match at Forbidden Door as a result of that victory.

While he hasn’t wrestled since then, O’Reilly has still been a regular part of AEW programming despite whatever injury issue he’s dealing with right now.