Posts Tagged ‘AEW’

The AEW women’s roster received a major upgrade recently when Madison Rayne, a former TNA Impact Knockouts Champion, joined the company as an in-ring talent and coach.

Rayne was recently interviewed by Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards for the “AEW Unrestricted” podcast, where she talked about how she got started with the company. The former five-time Knockout’s Champion also mentioned some members of the AEW women’s roster that she’d like to wrestle.

“I’ve never been in the ring with Toni Storm. I’ve never been in the ring with Nyla Rose. So, it’s literally like all of these dream scenarios in my head … I would see Anna Jay or Julia Hart walking down the hallway, and I feel like me and Julia could really make magic together.”  

She added, “There’s so much potential to some of these younger athletes. And I feel like, at this point in my career, those are the matches that I want to have. The matches with younger talent who, hopefully, I can help elevate.”

Rayne then went on to discuss the rising stars who’ve stood out to her since joining AEW. “There’s just endless amounts of talent in the locker room. I feel like people haven’t even started to see the depth of Penelope Ford. Wait to see Bunny come back and, you know, she’s another one who once she really taps in and gets the minutes, and the things she can do with those match minutes are just insane.”

Rayne made her official 2022 debut with AEW on the August 5 episode of “Rampage” facing Leila Gray. She also participated in a TBS Championship match against the current champion, Jade Cargill, and faced Serena Deeb on the September 9 episode of “Rampage,” losing by submission.

If there’s one thing you don’t want to do, it’s finding yourself in the crosshairs of one Maxwell Jacob Friedman, MJF. The AEW star may be the “salt of the earth” and the “mensh of the censch”, but that won’t stop him from putting someone down if he feels it’s necessary. Friday, MJF seemed to deem it necessary to go after NWA owner and promoter, and Smashing Pumpkins head honcho, William Patrick “Billy” Corgan.

After Corgan tweeted about how he would be on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”, along with a bizarre, seemingly House of Black style photo, MJF took to Twitter to give his opinion on the matter.

“What a weird little loser,” MJF tweeted.

Unfortunately for Corgan, MJF wasn’t done either. Responding to his own tweet, MJF tagged a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion with a question regarding Corgan.

“Matt Cardona, what’s this [dude’s] deal?” MJF asked.

As of this writing, Cardona hasn’t responded to MJF’s question, while Corgan himself hasn’t responded to MJF’s tweet. It’s also unclear why exactly MJF decided to go after Corgan, although it’s always possible that the top contender for the AEW World Championship just isn’t a fan of Corgan.

MJF was most recently seen onscreen this past Wednesday at “AEW Dynamite” Grand Slam, where he got into a tussle with Wheeler Yuta and at one point even shoved down announcer Tony Schiavone. He was later seen in the crowd watching Jon Moxley defeat Bryan Danielson to win the vacant AEW World Championship, setting the stage for MJF to challenge Moxley for the title in the future.

MJF has no plans of stepping inside a New Japan Pro-Wrestling ring. 

MJF recently made his return to AEW by winning the Casino Ladder Match (under a mask) at the All Out pay-per-view.  In storyline, it was explained that AEW CEO Tony Khan bumped up MJF’s pay without signing him to a contract extension in order to get him to return. MJF told Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” that he took notice of how much top stars from other companies were making in comparison to him. Although there was one company he wasn’t concerned with.

“I’m just saying that I saw what a lot of top guys were making all across the board, except I don’t pay attention to New Japan,” MJF said. “It’s a garbage promotion, dogsht, and the fact that people still talk about it like it’s a thing is hilarious to me, whatever. [Kazuchika] Okada No. 2? Is that what is was with PWI 500? I don’t think I’ve heard that guy’s name since 2014. Who gives a shit?”

MJF made it quite clear that he’s open to speaking with any promotion as long as they open up the checkbook, except for NJPW. He did, however, mention that he’s a fan of Great-O-Khan. MJF’s AEW contract is set to expire in 2022.

Swerve Strickland signed with AEW last March, debuting at the Revolution pay-per-view. Just a few weeks before, Keith Lee would also join the company, and eventually the two would pair up to become the tag team Swerve In Our Glory. They would capture the AEW World Tag Team Championship at “Dynamite” Fyter Fest: Night 1 until being dethroned by The Acclaimed at “Dynamite” Grand Slam. And with a newfound respect for tag team wrestling, Strickland would praise AEW for making it a “regularly featured piece of the puzzle” on the podcast “Under The Ring: Pro Wrestling Conversations.” 

“It’s something that is providing a service that not a lot of other wrestling promotions on television can do in the way that we do it,” he explained. “And I felt that’s what makes our product so special.”

While Strickland stressed that he was not faulting other wrestling operations for their approach to tag team wrestling – “That’s great for them because that’s what worked for them” – he had all the love in the world for AEW doing things differently.

“I feel like the tag team wrestling is one of the big things that pulled audiences from other fan bases to come watch us because we were doing tag team wrestling in such a different way,” said Strickland, noting how, in AEW, audiences will see “two top single stars who are two former AEW World Champions, as tag teams and tag team champions.”

“Kenny Omega and Adam Page set the mark for tag team wrestling in AEW,” he continued. “That’s very different and very unique, and I feel like that’s what drew a lot of people to AEW in the first place.”

Strickland added that Swerve In Our Glory’s match with The Acclaimed at All Out marked the first time that two African-American teams fought for the AEW Tag Team Championship at a pay-per-view event.

“That’s the level of putting tag team wrestling further, in another sense,” he said, remarking how that match offered “different variations and different unique ways to present tag team wrestling to our audience, who’s always been watching and following us for that.”

Bryan Danielson has widely been regarded as one of the greatest in-ring performers in the history of professional wrestling, having held almost every major title in all the promotions he’s worked for. The key word in that statement is “almost,” as Danielson has yet to hold the AEW World Championship, losing his first match for the belt against “Hangman” Page.

Although he’s currently in the semi-finals of the AEW World Championship Tournament with a chance to hold the company’s top title, Danielson doesn’t care about being the top guy in AEW and said so during an interview with Sports Illustrated.

“I don’t worry about being the best,” Danielson said. “I try to be the best wrestler I can be, and I try to fulfill the vision of what I would like wrestling to be. This is a joy. I gauge matches on whether I enjoyed them, whether I was in the moment or felt how much fun it was to wrestle in front of thousands of people. A day or two later, that’s when I watch the match and pick it apart and see where I need to improve—but also to be proud of what I did well.

“The idea of being the best, it’s so subjective. To me, that’s focusing on the wrong thing. Wrestling is a mirror to improve yourself. It allows you to get better at public speaking, for example. William Regal talks about a quarter-turn in a headlock. That little tweak makes the headlock infinitely better. I think I could work a 15-minute match exclusively using a hammerlock. That’s a mental challenge, the kind that makes me go deeper with every single thing I do. I love being a lifelong learner, and that makes me enjoy this even more.”

Saraya, formerly known as Paige in WWE, is All Elite after a shocking debut at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam on Wednesday night.

The Anti-Diva made her AEW bow after the conclusion of four-way match for the Interim AEW Women’s World Championship, saving Toni Storm and Athena from a beatdown at the hands of Dr. Britt Baker DMD, Jamie Hayter, and Serena Deeb.

Saraya’s WWE contract expired in July, ending her 11-year tenure with the company. A former NXT Women’s Champion and two-time Divas Champion, Saraya’s in-ring career was cut short by neck injuries, including a final blow that came at a December 2017 house show, which was her last match to date. After that, she served in multiple on-camera roles, including SmackDown GM, manager of the Kabuki Warriors, and a contributor for WWE Backstage.

Her debut at Grand Slam sent fans into a frenzy at the surprise appearance and immediately thrust her right into the thick of things, seemingly aligned with Storm and Athena against Baker and her cronies.

It’s unclear whether Saraya will get back into the ring to wrestle – she did not do anything physical Wednesday – or if she will serve in a different on-air capacity, but her appearance was a true feel-good moment for a company that needed news like this after a bunch of bad personnel publicity recently.

Jon Moxley Is the new AEW World Heavyweight Champion.

The two-time titleholder made it three thanks to victory over Bryan Danielson in the final of the Grand Slam Tournament Of Champions. The match was the main event of the second annual Grand Slam edition of Dynamite from Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York.

The all-Blackpool Combat Club headline attraction passed without involvement of looming contender MJF, who was shown constantly throughout the contest holding onto the giant poker chip that entitles him to a match for the belt any time he wishes. Moxley submitted Bryan in 19:15, getting on top of him with a chokehold having drilled him with a Paradigm Shift on the ramp seconds earlier.

The two embraced after the show went off the air, with Bryan ceremonially wrapping the belt around Moxley’s waist in post-match scenes.

Moxley became the first ever three-time Champion in AEW history, having previously defeated Chris Jericho in 2020 and CM Punk last month for the strap. He was also entrusted with holding the gold on an interim basis this summer following Punk’s first injury-related absence. His first contender of this reign will be decided by a battle royal set to take place on this Friday’s Grand Slam edition of Rampage.

Chris Jericho is your new Ring of Honor World Champion, defeating Claudio Castagnoli for the title at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam Wednesday night.

Jericho captured the title with the help of a low blow, followed by a Judas Effect, ending Castagnoli’s two-month reign. The announcers rightly sold it as a dark cloud being cast on the ROH title, considering a self-avowed sports entertainer cheated to win a championship that symbolizes honorable competition.

Castagnoli seemed to be getting the upper hand when Jericho resorted to grabbing Floyd, his bat, and then capitalized when the referee’s view was obstructed.

Afterward, the Wizard celebrated with the rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society, although ROH Pure Champion Daniel Garcia looked less than thrilled to congratulate Jericho after taking a shortcut. That could be the next wrinkle in the tenuous relationship between the two stablemates.

Claudio won the ROH title, his first world championship, in July at Death Before Dishonor, defeating Jonathan Gresham. For Jericho, this is his eighth world championship, including six WWE world titles and the AEW World Championship.

Everybody loves The Acclaimed.

Max Caster and Anthony Bowens are the brand new AEW Tag-Team Champions. The popular duo dethroned Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland on Wednesday’s special ‘Grand Slam’ edition of Dynamite – some fans believed The Acclaimed should’ve won the belts back at All Out, but all’s well that ends well.

‘Swerve In Their Glory’ held the belts for a total of 70 days after winning them from The Young Bucks back at ‘Fyter Fest’ in July. That three-way bout also involved then-Team Taz members Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks.

Hopefully, this is the start of something special for The Acclaimed. They’ve managed to rise up through the ranks and go from slightly-grating heel unit to genuinely over babyface sensations. AEW’s fanbase was ready to see the titles switch hands on Wednesday night, and Tony Khan didn’t disappoint.

It remains to be seen what All Elite will do with Lee and Swerve now they’ve dropped the straps. They always felt like a thrown-together tag anyway, so major singles runs could be coming for both. Meanwhile, Caster and Bowens should hold the belts with distinction.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman has landed himself a big-money contract renewal with All Elite Wrestling.

The 26-year-old, who returned to the Tony Khan-helmed promotion at All Out 2022 (4 September), has claimed that he is now earning “a stupid, absurd amount of money” per his new terms. As a result, MJF now believes that the bell is in his court when it comes to his wrestling future.

MJF made these comments during an appearance The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. An interesting move, given that it was an unapproved appearance on this very show that accelerated the disintegration of the AEW/MJF relationship in the first place, leading, ultimately, to him taking three months off between June and September.

Said Friedman of his previous MMA Hour appearance (h/t Figure Four Online/The Wrestling Observer):

“Did PR get a little upset that I didn’t clear it with them? Yes. Does PR now have absolutely no choice but to just salivate at the fact that MJF is leaving his house to do an interview in regards to Arthur Ashe? Yes, because things have changed a little bit… The ball’s in my court, pal, that’s what’s changed. What does that mean? Let’s talk now. I’m one of the biggest ratings, not just in AEW but in all of professional wrestling minute for minute. If you don’t believe me, hit up Brandon Thurston, he’s a great guy, puts up a lot of great information.”

MJF has continued referring to “the great bidding war of 2024” since returning to AEW, suggesting that his contract, which was originally reported to expire in January 2024, has not been extended despite the new terms. On this subject, MJF claimed that money remains his ultimate motivator:

“I go where the money is at, whoever is going to offer me the most amount of money is where I’m gong to go, that could be anywhere. Hell, if there’s some financial backer out there that wants to start his own wrestling company and use me as the figurehead, that’s where I’ll go. It’s that simple, that’s all I care about is money.”

Friedman then refused to confirm or deny if a plane ticket out of Las Vegas, Nevada had been bought in his name during Double Or Nothing weekend, which was a hot-button topic in May. That’s when he dropped the “stupid, absurd amount of money” quote:

“I cannot confirm or deny there being a plane ticket. What I will say is this, I’m a businessman, I do what I have to do in order to ensure that what I need gets done. It got done, I’m back, I’m making a stupid, absurd amount of money now and I didn’t have to sign a contract extension.”

MJF won AEW’s latest Casino Ladder Match at All Out, banking himself a future World Championship shot.