AEW has a history of making quite the statement as far as huge surprises are concerned. Just take a look at this past fall, specifically All Out, at which not only did Bryan Danielson debut but Adam Cole and Ruby Soho as well.
That was quite the event and just a few weeks prior to that AEW fans enjoyed the debut of the legendary CM Punk!
The company was highly criticized at the time, specifically by Eric Bischoff, for giving too much in the surprise department. Bischoff stated that they’d never be able to keep that up in the long run. First because they’d over pack their roster and second because they would never be able to just keep bringing on talent after talent…financially it would lead to ruin, no doubt.
The company was also heavily criticized for bringing on too much ex-WWE talent.
Well, many debuts have been peppered out over the months since All Out but there are still a lot of names that are up in the air and a lot of fans are growing frustrated at not seeing specific wrestlers debuting for the company…namely CSRO, aka Claudio Castagnoli…or Cesaro in WWE.
He seemingly received a bum rap back in WWE despite being an epic worker for the company and doing nothing at all wrong during his tenure there, and he made the decision to step away from the company when his contract expired. But that’s already been a few months ago and still there’s no sign of him in AEW.
Now don’t get me wrong…there are still debuts occurring, and epic ones at that…specifically Athena’s debut—the former Ember Moon of WWE. She more than deserves to shine on a platform where her talent as a pro wrestler can be showcased and not only her epic class and beauty…something she should most definitely be granted on AEW’s Women’s Roster.
But there are still a lot of names and their respective debuts that would make sense in AEW that haven’t happened yet, like the aforementioned CSRO. But what about Windham Rotunda, aka Bray Wyatt? What about Johnny Gargano? What about his wife Candice LeRae? What about Braun Strowman? What about Dakota Kai? These are for me no-brainers…individuals who deserve a spot at the only other top North-American promotion around.
Khan also has ROH to deal with… a roster to fill up and hopefully a weekly episodic television program for that brand. That’s slow in coming as well.
Also, he still hasn’t addressed the Canadian TV situation…AEW is still hard to watch for some Canadians who cannot get access to American network stations like TNT and TBS, despite the expensive television providers they subscribe to. Especially Rampage is hard to watch as TSN, Canada’s main sports network, doesn’t show it on the 5 channels they currently have.
ROH Classics are still airing on the Fight Network in Canada, but is a deal coming for an episodic TV program for that brand? Will the Fight Network still be its home in the future? We still don’t know. We don’t have any answers yet to any of these questions, which is also quite frustrating.
Now the upcoming Forbidden Door event is huge and a lot goes into that, but at the same time, it seems like things are lagging a tad unfortunately. The Will Ospreay debut was a huge one, but the question there is after Forbidden Door is in the can, what then? What will come of all these storylines? These superstars form Japan?
They say that it is in the third year of any enterprise that they either reach the zenith of early success or they plummet to the earth in a blaze of glory…or perhaps even ingloriously at that.
Can AEW go back to delivering the type of surprises they were handing out almost on a weekly basis in the fall, or are they trying to establish a slower pace moving forward, giving the fans small doses of excitement in terms of debuts?
Tony Khan made the following statement on Twitter recently:
Tony Khan seems sensitive to criticisms online. He has a history of addressing them, fighting them head on at times and if he sees validity in some of those criticisms, he adapts too. He’s not afraid to do that. In the end that shows that he isn’t as arrogant as other promoters in the industry and can admit to mistakes, which at times can be good.
He also has a roster that has been with him from the get-go…and he most definitely needs to cultivate that roster and allow it to shine, but a balance of adding people we want to see form other companies would be ideal, especially seeing that he has delivered on that front, and some would say over delivered on that front in the recent year.
Ace Austin Joins the Bullet Club at event in Tokyo
The Bullet Club is in its soon to be 10th year (on May 3rd of next year that is), and since 2013 it has been the place for wrestlers to dominate in NJPW. All former members did extremely well within that promotion and others.
Members include Cody Rhodes, AJ Styles, Kenny Omega, Finn Bálor, Luke Gallows, Carl Anderson, Jay White, and most recently, Juice Robinson and even Ace Austin, who joined just a few days ago.
It was at the finals of the NJPW Best of the Super Juniors held in Tokyo, Japan on June 3rd that Ace Austin joined the Bullet Club. He helped El Phantasmo get the win during his own match (he, Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale were facing the United Empire), securing his allegiance with the now legendary faction.
In truth this can only mean good things for the already impressive Ace Austin, who has been making quite the name for himself in the industry over the years. He is a 3-time X-Division Champion and the current one at that for Impact Wrestling. This can only catapult him further to that top tier spot of the industry he so deserves to reach.
Looking forward to what he and the Bullet Club do next.