Many have been waiting for a while for this to have been made official, this writer included. It was in July of 2021 that I wrote a piece for another publication, seeing promise in this young man and seeing a positive in it for AEW as well, especially since he had also achieved fame in the reality TV realm of pop culture.
Reality TV is the new Hollywood and really that’s been the case since stars like Kim K and Paris H decided to bare all and do the old dirty mambo on film and have the footage mysteriously leaked.
Now, today’s reality stars don’t necessarily stoop so low—not all of them anyways. The Jersey Shore clan has been a little more methodical about the process of being a reality star and let’s be honest, overall, they’re not at all annoying collectively, as the reality stars of the aforementioned past quite obviously were—the cast of Jersey Shore, quite likeable, relatable and endearing; their business acumen is also something to be respected.
In the case of Clayton, he is not quite simply a reality TV star. He has worked in the industry of pro wrestling for quite some time and has worked hard at it. He is connected to the Jersey Shore by JWoww, or Jennifer Lynn Farley, a longtime cast member and den mother to the cast. They are engaged and are featured on the show.
Zack’s wrestling has also been featured on the show many times, as have appearances he’s made at AEW—the MTV cameras following close behind. He has made numerous appearances for the company in recent years and finally it has been made official…Zack Clayton is indeed All Elite.
Most recently, Clayton challenged for the FTW Championship which is currently held by Hook. He of course did not win that match, but his many performances for the company helped nab him a spot on the roster, and an official spot at that.
It was during Tuesday’s AEW Dark that a vignette was shown and he had a message for the fan base, the rest of the roster and absolutely any one of the suddenly self crowned tough guys in the company.
The promo was smart and calls to mind the recent controversies that have surrounded AEW in recent months, which is a good angle for a heel, which he has been since we’ve seen him in AEW pretty much, and this can mean possible feuds with absolutely anyone on the roster.
The fans should be very eager for anyone to step up and see how he handles it, which I think will be something to see.
As I’ve written before, Clayton checks all the boxes a professional wrestler should. He’s got the looks, the technique, the physicality and he has the conviction to deliver a promo perfectly.
I say it’s about time that AEW has signed him, and these days they certainly need stars like him to help elevate the division and help the company move on from recent controversies. Stars like Clayton can definitely help in that regard.
Hopeful opponents for him: I see him battling the likes of Wardlow, Ricky Starks, MJF, and I think he’s a perfect fit for Stokely Hathaway’s, The Firm faction…maybe even teaming with Ethan Page down the line?
Whatever they do moving forward, he’s definitely played his cards right and has made a strong impression. Moving forward, that impression will be cemented into the hearts and minds of AEW and pro wrestling fans in general everywhere. You can check out Zack Clayton’s official website, here: zack-clayton.com.