If it isn’t clear by now then the “AEW Invades NYCC” panel certainly made it so: we’re living in the age of AEW. The wrestling company has just celebrated its 2-year anniversary, are averaging more than a million viewers for their Dynamite Wednesday show, and have announced that same show’s move from TNT to TBS complete with a new TBS championship reserved for female wrestlers. No doubt about it now. AEW is here to stay.
The NYCC panel wasted hosted by wrestling commentator and legend Tony Schiavone and featured Thunder Rosa, Darby Allin, Adam Cole (bay bay!), and Orange Cassidy. They talked about dream matches, the opening of the forbidden door (openly working with other companies and sharing titles—which isn’t new or unique to AEW but still exciting), and their new PPV event titled Full Gear.
And then there was Orange Cassidy’s responses to everything, a masterclass in kayfabe.
Before Cassidy, though, it was great to hear Thunder Rosa appreciating being at the convention as a guest rather than as a fan, which was what she went as at a San Diego Comic Con show some years past. She stated that being up on stage at NYCC made her “realize I’m becoming a superstar.” Of course, fans in attendance took the opportunity to chant “Thunder Rosa/DMD” as many are hoping Rosa gets a shot at the women’s tile.
Whether this will happen or not will depend on how the woman’s tournament for the new TBS championship turns out. Rumors are swirling around Thunder Rosa being that title’s holder, which might mean that a potential match against women’s champ Britt “DMD” Baker could be a ways off.
Adam Cole got quite the response from fans despite being a heel and currently feuding with the crowd-pleasing Jungle Boy, a wrestler Cole acknowledged as one of the best he’s faced in terms of in-ring chemistry. Before anyone had a chance to ask a questions, Cassidy cut in a dryly asked “So when did you start doing the bay bay thing?” It was the start of something special. The answer, by the way, is 2019.
Schiavone took the opportunity to speak on Cassidy’s star power and how he’s the wrestler most kids dress up as in shows. He asked Cassidy where his name came from. Cassidy responded: “My parents gave it to me.” And that was it. The crowd erupted. No one could contain this man. And it went on as the panel progressed.
Allin had an interesting perspective on his work as he was asked how he prepares his body for the punishment it receives on a weekly basis. “Nothing’s gotten me more ready for wrestling than skateboarding,” Darby responded, while being reminded by Tony of the time he jumped from a balcony to elbow drop someone in a ring when fighting in the indies. On the indies, curiously enough, Allin said “I don’t miss them one bit.”
Cole pushed back a bit on that, stating that the indies were “the life blood of wrestling” and that the talent coming out of those promotions is ready to do amazing things for the sport. The sentiment was echoed by Thunder Rosa.
Cassidy was reminded by Schiavone that he once went to sleep in the middle of a match during one of his indie bouts. When asked why, Cassidy said “I was tired.” He also said “I also wrestled in a ring surrounded by mimosas against Chris Jericho. And I won.” Oh, and his response to the question of whether he missed the indies now that he was in AEW was a resounding “Nope.”
As fan questions rolled up, one was particularly exciting, sucking the air out of the room. The fan asked when was AEW going to challenge the WWE’s stake at NYC with its own Madison Square Garden show. Schiavone couldn’t respond one way or another, but he did state that the company’s thinking big and that we should be ready for anything and everything.
On that note, Schiavone announced AEW’s upcoming PPV event Full Gear, which will take place in Minneapolis this upcoming November. Schiavone added that the company New York show, Grand Slam, gave everyone an unbelievable boost in confidence and that it showed that fans are ready for more wrestling. “These have been the best two years of my life,” he added, while also making it a point to shoot down the notion they’re at war with the WWE. “We already did the Monday Night Wars. Now we prosper as a sport when everyone’s doing well.”
Will Madison Square Garden be the next target for AEW? Are more wrestlers on the way to becoming All Elite? The panel succeeded in hyping up a bright and electrifying future in the cards for the company, one with bigger surprises, matches, and stakes. Of course, it’s all being made possible by the fact AEW has planted its feet firmly in the ground, dug in, and ushered in a legitimately new era of wrestling.
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