AEW needs to stop talking about the gimmicked chairshot
Shawn Spears, the former Tye Dillinger, bloodied Cody Rhodes with a controversial chairshot at AEW Fyter Fest last month.
The blood wasn’t the cause of the controversy; it was that the chairshot was unprotected, in the sense that Rhodes didn’t put his hands up to block it.
With what we know about CTE, yeah, it’s dumb, doing this.
And we’ve known this for a while now. WWE, for instance, banned its performers from delivering chair shots to the head in 2010, and fined Triple H and The Undertaker for an unprotected chairshot that they included in their WrestleMania match in 2011.
Now, all of this having been said, it got us talking about AEW, didn’t it?
And … that was sort of the point, wasn’t it?
I bring that up to bring this up: why did the company so quickly walk it back by telling everybody at the post-event press conference that the chair was “gimmicked,” a point that AEW has since been laboriously been reinforcing in multiple interviews?
In doing so, AEW has taken away all the heat that Spears should be getting for his heel turn, and washed away the sympathy that Rhodes should have had coming his way for having taken the shot in the first place.
Ditto for MJF, who surprisingly came to the defense of Rhodes, hinting at a possible face turn in the process.
That we’ve seen The Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson, stepping out from behind the curtain to address the issue as executive vice presidents of AEW, to address the gimmicked chair, has diminished them as performers.
Look, we all know that wrestling is a work. Without having been told, we would have assumed that the chair was gimmicked in some way.
But we do want to play along.
The post-event presser should have featured Spears foaming at the mouth about some slight from years ago that he’d carried with him and had him wanting to tear Rhodes’ head off.
The Bucks, then, if they were asked about it, considering that they’re set to face Cody and Dustin Rhodes at the AEW Fight for the Fallen this weekend, should have limited their comments to, well, advantage us, heading into this match, considering that Cody just got his bell rung.
Make us wonder to ourselves if Rhodes really did get his bell rung, if Spears really has a beef.
AEW head honcho Tony Khan could have come out and announced a $100,000 fine for Spears, suspended him, could have “fired” him, to add to the intrigue.
This should have played out with Spears being AEW’s “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Instead, the story we get is that this was just a workplace accident, sorry, we won’t do that again.
Huge mis-step for AEW, the way this has played out.
Column by Chris Graham