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‘AEW: All Access’ Docuseries Set to Debut in March on TBS

Photo:TBS

As announced Wednesday night on AEW: Dynamite by Tony Khan and Adam Cole, TBS is set to launch a new unscripted series in March entitled AEW: All Access.

The new docuseries will delve into the behind the scenes lives and challenges of All Elite Wrestling’s biggest stars and movers and shakers including: Adam Cole, Dr. Britt Baker, Sammy Guevara, Tay Conti, The Young Bucks, Saraya, Wardlow, Eddie Kingston, plus a look at AEW CEO, GM, and Head of Creative, Tony Khan.

Each episode will follow the talent week-to-week as they seek to remain at the top of the company. The new show will also delve into the lead up to major AEW pay-per-views.

In a statement, Tony Khan shared: “We’re always looking for new ways to engage with fans and give them unique access to our incredible talent.  With the new ‘AEW: All Access’ series, they’ll have a chance to peek behind the curtain and into the lives of their favorite wrestlers like never before. To show the human side of some of these larger-than-life figures will give fans a rare perspective about who these wrestlers are when the cameras aren’t typically on.”

Jason Sarlanis, president of Turner Networks, ID, & HLN, linear and streaming expressed:“AEW has such an amazingly loyal and dedicated fan base that brings in more than 4 million viewers to TBS every Wednesday night. With ‘All Access,’ we are bringing that incredible audience a whole new way to experience the wrestling universe they love. We have a powerful partnership with Tony Khan and AEW. With this new series we are expanding the franchise in a way that invites viewers inside the world of wrestling like never before.”

“All Access” is actually not be the first AEW unscripted series to air on the Turner Networks. Previously, Rhodes to the Top featuring former AEW talent and executives Cody and Brandi Rhodes aired on TNT for one season in 2021.

The new series is produced by Shed Media in association with AEW and Activist Artists Management.

What do you think of AEW’s next foray into docudrama territory? Comment below.

AEW

AEW Double or Nothing 2024: MJF Returns, Mercedes Moné & Will Ospreay New Champs, ‘Anarchy in the Arena’ Wildest Match Yet

Sunday night’s May 26th, AEW Double or Nothing, brought the once upstart wrestling organization back to its roots five years ago where it all started. The 6 hour pay-per-view was back at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas where it all started.

This year, AEW DoN was pretty spectacular, bringing with it the highly-anticipated return of MJF, two title changes, a blood-soaked cage match, and the grand finale of the three main events, this year’s “Anarchy in the Arena” between Team Elite vs. Team AEW, and this one, my friends, was the craziest, most risk-taking of them all!  Let’s take a look at some of the highlights below.

WILL OSPREAY WINS HIS FIRST AEW TITLE

Things got cooking early when the Aerial Assassin, and perhaps the greatest wrestler in the world, Will Ospreay went one-one-one or five-on-one with interference by the “Undisputed Kingdom” for the International Championship currently held by Roderick Strong. Supposedly, a member of the Don Callis family, when Callis came over to ringside to tell Ospreay to finish off and take advantage of an injured Strong, Will had a conflict of conscience which almost cost him the match. Eventually, he put away Strong and became the AEW’s new International Champion.

Photo: AEW

MJF RETURNS

Next, Adam Cole, who has not been on TV of late, and still recovering from ankle surgery, made his way to the ring. As Cole was in the ring, the lights went down and a video package was shown of MJF’s imminent return. Cole was freaking out. Then, MJF’s music hit, and out came the man himself! After Cole begs him to hug it out, Maxwell give him a low blow and then proceeds to grab the mic and deliver another epic promo.  This time, the former champ made it clear that the vulnerable person we saw during his run with Cole as bff’s is gone and the old and more focused version is back. MJF says he is now driven again by “Hate, hate, hate!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWD1ocnG6pA

The big question finally was 100% answered – MJF is signed to AEW: “I don’t need a New Japan or a Vince McMahon to make MJF because MJF made MJF,” he spewed. Pulling up his pant leg to reveal the back of his calf muscle, MJF showed the camera and the crowd he has AEW tattoo’d there, and he’s “not f–king leaving.”

It should be noted that later in the show, Juice Robinson also appeared for the first time in months. Looks like he is back in action with the “Bang Bang Gang” of Jay White and the Gunns.

Photo: AEW

C-E-O C-E-O

It has been a long drawn out several months since Mercedes Mone made her debut in AEW.  Since then, she hasn’t wrestled a single match but that all changed at ‘Double or Nothing’ when she finally took on her nemesis, Willow Nightingale for the TBS Championship.

The women put on a great match and Mercedes still has all the moves that made her a superstar in the WWE as Sasha Banks.  However, the real story coming out of the ppv is what went down in the final moments of the match and its aftermath.

Stokely Hathaway and Kris Statlander appeared to distract the referee to give Nightingale time to gather herself together. However, they kept Aubrey Edwards’ attention long enough that when Willow pinned Mercedes with a three-count, the ref was out of place to count it!

That led to Mone’ capturing the title and the swerve of the night. As Nightingale walked up the ramp, Statlander turned heel, clotheslining her “friend” while Hathaway looked on with glee!

GANGREL RETURNS AND HELPS ADAM COPELAND

When Adam Copeland entered the steel cage that was laced with barb wire and other objects in a grudge match against Malakai Black, he came out to the ring in his “Brood” entrance theme. That was the pack he ran with early in his career, and that was the most violent side of his in-ring personas.

After beating each other senseless and bloody, it appeared that House of Black members Buddy Matthews and Brody King were going to join forces with Copeland on the outside of the ring, when both he and Black escaped the cage for a few moments. However, it was swerve on a swerve and the men beat down Copeland instead. To save the day, the lights go dark. Next, out from a carved out section of the ring comes Gangrel, who hasn’t been seen in a years. He comes to the aid of Adam and the two secure the win for the Rated-R Superstar.

Courtesy/AEW

ANARCHY IN THE ARENA

The Elite with Matthew Jackson and Nicholas Jackson (The Young Bucks) along with Kazuchika Okada and Jack Perry vs. FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler), Bryan Danielson and Darby Allin.

The match (if you can call it that) was all over the arena, from the rafters, the concessions stands, the ring ramp, to the parking lot and more. The funniest part is the use of theme music just playing while the guys beat each other up all over the arena. However, Matt Jackson wanted Darby’s music to stop, As EVP’s they demanded the AEW technical team, put on The Young Bucks theme instead. Then, Danielson cut off the Bucks’ theme to play “Final Countdown” until Matt Jackson cut it off citing the over $200,000 in licensing fees this it is going to cost AEW to use it. Hilarious.

Photo: AEW

As the match disintegrated, Jack Perry attacked CEO and AEW GM Tony Khan in the guerilla position backstage, and dragged him out to the stage, only Darby Allin saved Khan by setting Perry on fire with a flame thrower!

Some of the other gnarlier moments occurred when The Young Bucks hogtied and hung up Allin by his feet (for what seemed like an eternity) and then crushed his already broken nose that he suffered from being hit by a bus the other week in real-life! As the match went on, fans were scared for Darby and began chanting “Check on Darby.”  Eventually, Perry pinned Danielson to secure the win and end this classic and outrageous match.

Photo: AEW

In other key matches:

“Timeless” Toni Storm retained her AEW Women’s Championship defeating Serina Deeb

Swerve Strickland retained his AEW World Heavyweight Championship defeating Christian Cage

Orange Cassidy beat Trent Berretta

Chris Jericho beat Hook and Shibata to retain the FTW championship.

Jon Moxley bested Konosuke Takeshita in IWGP Heavyweight championship eliminator

OVERALL GRADE

AEW Double or Nothing 2024 edition gets an A- for keeping it moving through a very long show; that provided something for every type of wrestling fan and delivered in the storylines as well. It also opened the door to new feuds, plus how the major returns will alter the landscape in the months ahead.

What do you think of AEW Double or Nothing 2024? Favorite moment or match? Excited for the in-ring return of MJF? Comment below.

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AEW

AEW Dynasty: Swerve Strickland Becomes AEW World Heavyweight Champion, Jack Perry Returns, Will Ospreay Retires Move After Scary Finish

There is no doubt now, who’s house it is in AEW? It’s “Swerve’s House” after his strong showing on Sunday nights AEW Dynasty pay-per-view. In the main event, Swerve Strickland captured the AEW World Heavyweight Championship defeating Samoa Joe in a career-defining moment.

Strickland becomes the first ever Black AEW World Heavyweight Champion in the organizations history.  And it was not loss on Strickland, who spoke about it in the post-Dynasty media scrum, but also knew the moment was upon him from the moment he was going to make his ring entrance in front of a sold-out crowd in St. Louis and those watching around the world on cable outlets or via Bleacher Report.

Swerve Strickland ring entrance showed that he was dressed to impress, in a mask and black and gold spandex attire. As fans caught on , Swerve was paying tribute to the character of Kilmonger, the antagonist of 2018’s Black Panther film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But that was not all, Prince Nana, Strickland’s manager/sidekick covered Strickland with a robe that belonged to Jimmy Rave. Rave was part of Ring of Honor during the company’s early days and was part of Nana’s stable The Embassy. He has three shots at the ROH title but never won the big prize.

Photo: AEW

AEW Dynasty had three major matches back-to-back to conclude the three hours show.  Strickland in the main event defeating Samoa Joe, and before that The Young Bucks (Matthew and Nicholas Jackson) vs. FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) for the AEW World Tag Team Championships in a brutal ladder match.

Courtesy/AEW

In the deciding moment of the match after Harwood goes to climb up the ladder to reach  for the titles, a masked man runs in and knocks over the ladder. It’s revealed to be none other than the previously suspended, Jack Perry (son of the late 90210 star, Luke Perry). Perry throws up the Elite symbol as security escorts him away. Nicholas Jackson looks pleased by the interference and uses it to take advantage and climb the ladder to get control of the title belts and The Young Bucks become the new AEW tag champs, once again.

The most highly-anticipated match of the night was between two of the greatest wrestlers to ever do it – Bryan Danielson and Will Ospreay and after more than a half-hour of back and forth with high flying moves, technical precision and punches and kicks, Ospreay was able to get the pin, but unfortunately in the last few minutes of the match, Danielson went down after Ospreay delivered the Storm Driver ’91 move. Next, the referee called for medical to check out Danielson, while Will was unaware of that and continued to finish the match.

Photo: AEW

At the post-Dynasty media scrum, an upset Ospreay began by addressing reporters and sharing, “I’m super glad that everybody enjoyed the match. A little bit of a dampener on how it’s all kind of the dust has settled now. I’ve reviewed the footage myself. Seeing Bryan got hurt on the Storm Driver, and I didn’t see the referee call for the doctor and I didn’t see it. So I want to apologize on that.So even though like 90% of the time that moves been absolutely fine, seeing the damage that it’s kind of done, I’m going to retire using the Storm Driver ’91. I don’t think it’s right for me to continue using it after seeing what it did to Bryan, someone that I’ve got huge amounts of respect for, this was kind of my dream match. This is something I’ve wanted since I was a kid. Although I’m happy when everyone enjoyed the match, I’m kind of disappointed in myself. So once again, I apologize to Bryan probably apologize to AEW medics, I apologize to Tony (Khan, CEO/GM AEW).

In one of the best matches in the card, and in the opening bout, for the AEW Continental Championship Match, “Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada defeated “The Bastard” PAC to retain his title. Meanwhile, Willow Nightingale became the Women’s TBS Champion defeating Julia Hart, only to have Mercedes Mone come to the ring to challenge Willow at Double or Nothing in Vegas at the end of May.

So, what do you think of Swerve Strickland becoming AEW World Champ? Jack Perry’s return? Will Ospreay’s match-up with Bryan Danielson and its ending? Let us know in the comment section below.

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AEW

Mercedes Mone’, Formerly WWE’s Sasha Banks, Makes Her Highly-Anticipated AEW Debut

AEW Big Business in Boston, brought it with it the “CEO” on Wednesday night’s ‘AEW Dynamite’ on TBS.  Now, we are not talking about AEW chief, Tony Khan, we are talking about the WWE’s former Sasha Banks, and one of the top female wrestling star’s in the word, Mercedes Mone’.

Mone’, who in real-life is known as Mercedes Varnado, made he debut in front of her hometown crowd in Boston, and appeared at the opening of last night’s episode with new theme music to boot. While chants rang out for the “CEO”, Mercedes took it all in and was moved to tears.

Addressing the crowd and the TV cameras, she expressed, “Thanks for having my back these past two years.“ Mone’ then added, “You want to know why I’m here? Because I need to be here. I want to be here.”

Photo: deviantart.com/Youtube

Varnado has held gold  several times throughout her career including as: NXT Women’s Champion, WWE RAW Women’s Champion five times over, WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion on three different occasions. The biggest match in her career was when she and Bianca Belair headlined WrestleMania 37 and as the first two African-American women to do so.

As the story goes, back in May of 2022, then as Sasha Banks, Varnado walked out of the WWE during Monday Night Raw along with her tag team partner, Trinity Fatu (who goes by Naomi). At the time, the duo were the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions at the time, and then were suspended indefinitely.

Later, Mercedes under her new wrestling name Mone’, appeared in a January 2023 New Japan Pro-Wrestling pay per view, Wrestle Kingdom 17.  In May of last year, she sustained an ankle injury in a match with now AEW’s Willow Nightingale.

It had been speculated for well over a year that when Mercedes returned to wrestling, she would join AEW, while her former tag partner, Naomi has now returned to the WWE as of January of this year.

Watch Mercedes debut entrance from last night’s AEW Big Business below.

Now let us know, are you happy to see her back on U.S. TV and in the ring? How do you think her run will be in AEW? Will she eventually return back to the WWE?  She teased it during a recent interview with the Kicks Rocks Wrestling Podcast saying, “I know I’m going to be back there [in WWE] one day, okay? So it’s not over.”  However, in an updated version of the episode those remarked have been edited out.

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