Friday, November 11, 2022

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AEW hoping to keep the drama in the ring at Grand Slam

After weeks of messy in-ring interviews and post-match press conferences, AEW is urgent the reset button in Queens.

The upstart wrestling promotion returns to Arthur Ashe Stadium Wednesday for its second Grand Slam present, that includes rapper Motion Bronson’s debut alongside Hook in opposition to Menard and Parker, a rematch for the AEW World Tag Crew Championship between Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland) and The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster). Different highlights embrace Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Jericho for the Ring of Honor World Championship and Toni Storm’s likelihood to defend her interim AEW Ladies’s World Champion title.

“For The Acclaimed, it’s an enormous match contemplating… Max Caster grew up in Lengthy Island, I grew up in New Jersey,” Bowens, the Nutley native, advised the Every day Information. “New York Metropolis’s like my yard, similar factor for him. So it’s an incredible alternative for us to return in entrance of a house viewers and hopefully take dwelling some gold.”

For 31-year-old Bowens, it’s greater than only a belt. If he and Caster can pull off a win, he could be the primary homosexual AEW champion, successful he stated would “proceed to convey inclusivity to skilled wrestling and visibility.”

“There’s loads of stuff on the road right here and we’re gonna be combating tooth and nail to attempt to get it accomplished.”

However it’s the Match of Champions that has drawn essentially the most curiosity, not simply amongst wrestling followers however for a bigger viewers that has watched a stranger-than-fiction feud unfold, blurring the road between actual and pretend.

After the Labor Day pay-per-view “All Out,” newly minted world champion CM Punk went off on a viral tirade on the post-match press convention, verbally attacking reporters, fellow wrestlers and even AEW proprietor Tony Khan, who was seated subsequent to him. After the cameras have been off, the meltdown continued and, probably turned bodily. Punk, Kenny Omega and the Younger Bucks have been all stripped of their titles for the unscripted chaos.

Rumors flew quick and wild. Khan would solely present a canned assertion, saying he couldn’t say something. He desires to let the match, the place Bryan Danielson will sq. off in opposition to Jon Moxley for the interim world championship title, do the speaking.

“I believe it’s an thrilling fall for AEW,” Khan advised The Information, pointing particularly to the current returns of MJF and Danielson.

“There’s lots at stake however I consider with such a powerful roster that there’s all the time loads of competitors for the championships and the highest spots on the cardboard.”

Amongst these is Jade Cargill, who will face Diamanté within the TBS championship at Grand Slam, airing on tape delay Friday throughout “Rampage.” Whereas girls’s wrestling nonetheless lags far behind males’s, each in AEW and competitor WWE, Khan advised The Information he desires of an all-women’s weekly present; he went so far as to trademark the title “All Elite Ladies” final month. The potential of such a present, although, seemingly will depend on a brand new TV contract for AEW after the present one expires subsequent yr.

“We now have a wholesome locker room the place we assist each other, like we would like us all to go on the market and carry out nice. We would like us all to exit and simply kick some ass, come again and chill out and never have to fret concerning the he-said-she-said issues,” Cargill, a 30-year-old former faculty basketball participant, advised The Information.

“Simply to be a girls’s wrestler, there’s not that many people and there’s not that many people that make it. So whenever you see one other girl that’s made it, it’s sort of like, ‘I see you.’ It’s an incredible feeling… There’s room for everyone.”

Cargill stayed obscure, however her feedback got here in mild of the Punk debacle that seemingly took over the lads’s locker room and spilled out into the ring. The Florida native remains to be comparatively new to wrestling, coaching with Mark Henry and Q.T. Marshall earlier than debuting with AEW in November 2020. Her matches are sometimes quick — “I’m getting paid by the match, not by the hour,” she deadpanned — however she’s received each time. She plans to maintain doing so.

“I’m that b—h. I’m assured. I do know myself,” Cargill advised The Information.

“I’m going to proceed to win and proceed to be undefeated to allow them to proceed to be mad. And no person’s going to face in my approach.”

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