Posts Tagged ‘AEW World Champion’

While he and Jon Moxley may no longer be running the roads alongside one another, Seth Rollins has revealed how he still does his best to keep up with his former Shield buddy.

During a recent interview with BT Sport’s Ariel Helwani (via SEScoops), the Visionary detailed how he still tries to check in with Mox when he can.

“I don’t talk to him as much, obviously. We have opposite schedules and different stuff, but our baby girls are close to the same age. And he’s not much of a texter, like he’s an in-person cat. He’s not much of a texter or a phone guy, he’s an in-person dude. So, if there’s ever a chance, when we were in Cincinnati last time I was there I popped in the house to say ‘Hi’ and all that, checked in on him. I do that periodically just to see how he’s doing and stuff, but I’m close with Renee [Paquette], so we are always exchanging baby pictures and what is new with the kids.”

On how Moxley is doing in AEW, Rollins had nothing but praise for the current AEW World Champion.

“Yeah, never any animosity. He’s great, he’s at the top of his game doing his thing over in AEW. So, nothing but the best. I’ve never, between the three of us [Rollins, Moxley, Roman Reigns], and I can’t speak for any of them, but they were closer than I was with either of those guys as friends off camera. So I assume that they are still chill. I’ve never heard anything to the contrary, but yeah, I’ve always had a great relationship with those guys.”

It’s fast approaching ten years since the Shield made their explosive WWE debut, with the trio arriving to assist CM Punk in retaining the WWE Championship at Survivor Series 2012.

In the years since, all three of the Shield have gone on to hold the biggest prizes in WWE, and obviously Dean Ambrose has reinvented himself in AEW under his old Jon Moxley moniker since departing the market leader in April 2019.

Prior to letting his WWE deal expire, Mox had become hugely frustrated with the direction his character was taking – with those final months seeing Ambrose become a heel who complained about fans’ body odour, before one final, ham-fisted Shield reunion was put together once it became clear the Lunatic Fringe was exiting the company.

All Elite Wrestling crowned a new World Heavyweight Champion at “All Out” in Chicago, with CM Punk becoming the second two-time champion in company history after defeating Jon Moxley in the show’s main event. However, the title was not the most talked about thing coming out of the pay-per-view, nor was the long-awaited return of MJF after the match.

All anyone is talking about is what Punk had to say during the “AEW All Out” post-show media scrum, where he verbally attacked “Hangman” Page, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and Scott Colton aka Colt Cabana. Punk detailed his level of disdain for something The Elite allegedly said during an episode of “Being The Elite,” suggesting the reason he’s been getting such mixed reactions is because of their constant campaign to defend Cabana on their show.

“If you’re an EVP, you don’t try to middle your top babyface, trying to get your niche audience that’s on the internet to hate him for some made-up bullshit rumor,” Punk said. “Really pisses me off, stepping on your own dick trying to make money, sell tickets and fill arenas and these stupid guys think they are in Reseda [reference to PWG].”

Not only did Punk bury the group for comments they made in the past toward him, but “The Best in the World” also heavily criticized Page for comments he made during an interview he had at GalaxyCon, in which he stated that he doesn’t “take advice.”

“We have a locker room full of pretty brilliant minds, Jerry Lynn, Dean Malenko, Mark Henry,” Punk said. “When I came back [from the foot injury] and cut my second promo here, I thought it was pretty decent. Blurred the lines a little bit, crazy Phil, he’s going into business for himself, and really I was just defending myself. You mix that in with attacking Moxley and you mention Kingston being the second-best Kingston which is a pretty great line.

“Our locker room, for all the wisdom and brilliance it has, isn’t worth shit when you have an empty-headed idiot who’s never done anything in the business and does public interviews and says, ‘Nah, I don’t really take advice.’ Who the fuck do you think you are? Yanno? That’s stupid. I’m on a team with Barry Bonds, Mark Maguire, and Sammy Sosa and I don’t need to work on my swing, I’m not going to listen to these guys when they tell me how to swing a baseball. Fucking go fuck yourself. That’s how I feel about it. I dare you to say that to Terry Funk’s face. Fucking grow up.”

Last night’s Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view was the first time an ROH event was completely spawned by Tony Khan, including the creative build-up, booking decisions, location, aesthetic presentation, and so on. Tony was also front and center at the post-media scrum once the show concluded, and when asked about any updates on CM Punk, he offered what knowledge he had on the situation.

“So, he’s doing well. He’s not behind in his recovery … Going into the [San Diego Comic-Con] Panel, he’s doing well and on track, and we look forward to a great unification match when he’s back, whoever the Interim champion is.”

For fans hoping that Punk is back by AEW All Out during Labor Day weekend in Chicago, Tony isn’t shutting that idea down completely.

“I can’t rule [labor day] out but I also can’t promise because I don’t want to say anything when it comes to somebody’s recovery from a real, serious injury,” Tony explained.

Punk underwent surgery at the beginning of June for an unspecified injury to his lower leg region, which was apparently the “only option” to ensure it healed properly. During the San Diego Comic-Con panel this weekend, he went into a more thorough description of his injury and, as Tony mentioned, assured people that he’s on track to recover in the timeframe given by doctors.

The AEW World Champion gave an emotional address to fans on “Rampage,” explaining at the time that “a couple of things” were broken on his body, but his heart was the biggest one. The company would then go on to crown an Interim AEW Champion while Punk is sidelined with injury, with the intention to have the two clash to determine an Undisputed AEW World Champion upon Punk’s return. At the moment, Jon Moxley is the Interim AEW World Champion after winning it against Hiroshi Tanahashi at NJPW x AEW Forbidden Door. However, that may no longer be the case after his Championship defense against RUSH scheduled for this Wednesday on AEW “Dynamite.”

The war of words between Tony Khan and Eric Bischoff may never stop.

AEW boss Khan responded to Bisch’s comments about CM Punk being “the biggest financial flop in the history of wrestling” during the post-Double Or Nothing 2022 media scrum. Rather predictably, Tony had a fiery response of his own.

Khan called Eric’s words “the most bullshit opinion I’ve ever heard”. He then quickly followed that up by adding, “That’s fucking bullshit”.

Explaining, Tony said that Bischoff’s assessment was wrong because “no one wrestler has ever come in and made a bigger plus delta financial difference in the history of [his] company” than Punk. The AEW chief then pointed to big ratings for Punk’s debut on Rampage and the metrics for every pay-per-view he has appeared on to date.

According to Khan, Punk has broken All Elite pay-per-view number records consecutively since his first showing at All Out last September.

Bischoff has been critical of Punk since the ex-WWE man debuted in AEW – Eric has questioned just how valuable Punk is to All Elite’s bottom line. Tony Khan says he’s very valuable, and didn’t hold back when replying to Bisch’s comments.

As noted, WWE Hall of Famer Kane (Glenn Jacobs) received a lot of social media backlash Sunday for his controversial take on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Speaking on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent actions, Kane would remind “the radical Left” that weakness is not a virtue.

“If you on the Left and are shocked by Putin’s aggression, wake up, Sunshine,” Kane wrote. “Historically in the real world, might makes right. Weakness (which is really what the Left is all about) is not a virtue. It’s a fatal character flaw. (And, no, the US should still not get involved).”

Kane added, “I highly doubt Putin cares a whit about toxic masculinity, the Cancel Culture Mutawa, or any of the other things the radical Left stands for.”

AEW World Champion Hangman Page has ripped Kane’s take on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As seen below, Page would respond to Kane’s tweet with a video montage of The Big Red Machine taking “10 Ruthless Chairshots To The Head.” Page would also share links to UNICEF’s “Support Children of Ukraine” and “Ukraine Crisis Relief” fundraisers.

Some of the biggest names in All Elite Wrestling may still be working on contracts that expire on 31 December 2021.

Dave Meltzer writes in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter that several wrestlers recruited during AEW’s first round of signings inked three-year contracts, though Tony Khan has the option of triggering an additional two years on top. This was the case with The Young Bucks’ recent contract extensions.

Amongst the wrestlers who fall into this category are Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes, ‘Hangman’ Adam Page, and Chris Jericho.

While Meltzer expects that every one of those names will be renewed, he is currently unable to confirm further details beyond the fact that several wrestlers in the original group of signings have, indeed, re-upped.

All of the names listed above occupy positions of prominence within the promotion. Omega and Cody are both pushed to main-event level, combining onscreen work with their roles as Executive Vice President positions, while Brandi balances her Chief Brand Officer duties with sporadic televised appearances. Jericho remains among the most visible wrestlers on Dynamite and Rampage, while Page has been World Champion since defeating Omega at Full Gear 2021.

Since his run as the leader of the Bullet Club began in 2014, Kenny Omega has widely been regarded as one of the best wrestlers on the planet. Fast forward to 2021 and Omega is the AEW Champion and having outstanding matches with Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley outside of WWE.

In 2005, Tyson Smith aka Kenny Omega worked for Deep South Wrestling which at the time was a developmental territory for WWE talent. Omega requested his release the following year after not being called up and he hasn’t been associated with any branch of WWE in any way since. On the latest episode of the Something to Wrestle Podcast, Bruce Prichard, who at the time was with the company in a backstage role and scouting up-and-coming talent, spoke about the first time he ever heard of the name Kenny Omega.

“That day that I was at Starrcast [in 2019] and I said who was that,” Prichard said. “I had no idea who he was.”

Before signing with AEW in 2019, Omega and The Young Bucks met with WWE but didn’t come to a deal, leading to the creation of AEW. Prichard spoke about Deep South Wrestling and what its connection to WWE was at that time.

“It was [on our radar], that was one of our territories, we had training facilities and everything that we had there,” Prichard said. “Unfortunately I didn’t get down there with the kind of frequency that we would’ve liked to of.”

DSW was responsible for getting many talents seen by WWE including Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Team Stampede aka Harry Smith and TJ Wilson. Another name WWE was able to snag from Deep South was “Antonio Banks” who made his in-ring debut for WWE in 2006 as Montel Vontavious Porter. Prichard spoke about the company signing MVP at the time and when he first knew he had star potential.

“I was a fan of MVP the first time that I saw him in Deep South,” Prichard mentioned. “From the very first promo he cut in developmental that I saw, he was a good worker. He was just one of those guys that had a spark about him and I loved his story.”

Kenny Omega believes WWE is getting desperate as AEW continues closing the gap on the market leaders.

Japanese publication Tokyo Sports released a new interview with the AEW World Champion on Sunday (26 September), during which Omega was asked about the wrestling industry’s changing power structure. Kenny responded by saying that there was no longer a massive gap between WWE and AEW, citing WWE’s overreliance on returning legends when calling the promotion “desperate” (h/t Hige Channel for the translation):

“At the start, there was a huge gap between WWE and AEW. (AEW) was just some fledgling promotion after all. But have you realized how the tables have turned? WWE is desperate. They keep bringing back legends every other week. COVID is a terrible thing, and we never wanted it to happen but it is what it is.”

A number of metrics support Kenny’s point on AEW closing the gap. Last week’s Grand Slam in New York City show saw AEW announce a sellout attendance of 20,177, outdrawing WWE’s 10 September show in the same market, which attracted 13,323 attendees. In addition, AEW Dynamite outdid WWE Raw in the key 18-49 demographic for the weeks commencing 13 and 20 September, which was the first time this has happened.

This shows a clear progression from the corresponding weeks in 2020, when AEW was outdone 0.50 vs. 0.34 and 0.50 vs. 0.32 respectively. The gap still exists – but it’s no longer a chasm.

Omega also spoke on AEW’s working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling, saying that are “no constraints” on what can happen between the two promotions:

“We’re really open. One of the goals the Young Bucks and myself have is that we have an open policy with every promotion out there, and we hope to make the best contents out of it. And we’ve indeed made such a place. And we were able make such a place because, regardless of what anyone else have said, we are confident and are grounded enough to defend our achievements and pride until now. You’ve seen Suzuki Minoru and Kojima Satoshi performing at our regular events with crowds of 10,000~20,000. There’s no constraints behind this. If they have the confidence to come here, I’d love to see them step up to the plate.”

Suzuki became the latest wrestler to step through the Forbidden Door at All Out 2021 (5 September), confronting Jon Moxley. Kojima fell in a match with the former AEW World Champion on that same show.

Having defeated Suzuki and Lance Archer at Grand Slam, Moxley and Eddie Kingston will now benefit from the AEW/NJPW working relationship swinging the other way, rematching with the Suzuki-gun duo at New Japan STRONG’s Showdown tapings in Philadelphia, PA on 17 October.

For the second time in his career, Kenny Omega has taken the top spot on the annual PWI 500.

The current AEW World Champion previously took the #1 spot on this prestigious list back in 2018, with the Best Best Machine landing at #18 last year as Jon Moxley grabbed pole position.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Al Castle broke this news during today’s Busted Open Radio.

For those wondering, this year’s PWI 500 covers the period between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021. In compiling this list, PWI staff take into account, amongst other things, win-loss records, quality of matches, level of opposition, title wins, rivalries, and general in-ring ability.

During this time, Kenny Omega has won the AEW World Championship and the IMPACT Wrestling Title, has continued to hold the AAA Mega Championship, and was still an AEW Tag Team Champ when the assessment period began.

Fleshing out the rest of the top ten of the PWI 500 this year, we’ve got, in order, Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, Kota Ibushi, Jon Moxley, Will Ospreay, Finn Balor, Shingo Takagi and Rich Swann. PWI also took to Twitter to comment how Reigns would’ve been #1 in “just about any other year” but this one.

As of this writing, the rest of the PWI 500, or those included on the PWI Women’s 100 and PWI Tag Team 50, have yet to be revealed.

You can pre-order the upcoming PWI 500 issue here.

With AEW set to debut their second weekly television offering in just a matter of weeks, AEW World Champion Kenny Omega has talked about how he wants this AEW Rampage show to shine more of a spotlight on the company’s women’s roster.

Speaking during an appearance on Wrestling Observer Radio (as per Wrestling News), the Best Bout Machine explained:

“I feel like the content I think we’re lacking in is our women’s division. I would love to see Rampage be home to more women’s wrestling, and I want people to see and appreciate and enjoy some of the talent that we have to offer, and I hope that we can get out and show some of these matches that are perhaps aren’t seen by enough people. We’ve got a lot of great talent on Dark, and people maybe don’t want to watch our YouTube channel. Maybe they just want to watch Dynamite and they wanna see a television product, and I get that. I think the extra hour of Rampage, I feel that rather than just give them more Chris Jericho, more Kenny Omega, more MJF, I’d rather give them all of the extremely talented individuals that maybe you can’t see that week. And especially, for me, I feel that we got incredibly gifted female wrestlers that have been working really hard fighting for a spot. Maybe it’s time for them to get some more.”

One of the main criticisms that some have thrown AEW’s way during the promotion’s relatively short lifespan, is that the women’s division has often been somewhat of an afterthought – particularly during the company’s first few months.

AEW clearly has some talented female stars under its banner, yet the past two weeks of Fyter Fest specials only served up two matches between them; those being Yuka Sakazaki defeating Penelope Ford, and AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker retaining the gold against Nyla Rose.

In addition to Baker, Rose, Sakazaki and Ford, AEW also has the likes of Hikaru Shida, Thunder Rosa, Serena Deeb Leyla Hirsch, Anna Jay, Tay Conti, Kris Statlander, Red Velvet, Abadon, Jade Cargill, Riho, Big Swole and the Bunny that it can call upon – and if Omega gets his way, it looks like some of these will be getting more TV opportunities when AEW Rampage premieres on 13 August.