I stopped watching wrestling in November of 2013 after the Hell in a Cell PPV made it clear that they weren’t going to give Daniel Bryan an actual push. CM Punk was an afterthought, and I had heard rumors that they were going to give Reigns a mega push. All of this made me not want to watch the product anymore. I also didn’t have tv after that so it would’ve been difficult for me to have kept up with it anyway, I didn’t have a phone, so I couldn’t find a way to stream it. After I got a phone for my birthday that December, I decided to focus on school, as I was doing well as a sophomore in high school, and not get back into wrestling.
There were two times I almost got back into it. The first time was in November of 2016, I had just finished my technical training for the Air Force, a program you’re sent to after basic training, and was stationed in San Antonio, TX. I had good internet in my dorm, and I checked out the newest WWE game that had come out, and I saw that AJ Styles was the WWE World Heavyweight Champion which excited me. However, before I could watch even a minute of content, I couldn’t find any streams. I didn’t have television or cable to be able to watch Raw or Smackdown, and I eventually gave up after searching for links to streams for 30 minutes. The second time was in 2017 after Wrestlemania, I had heard that Matt and Jeff Hardy came back, so I decided to get back into it. Unfortunately, the same thing happened as before, I couldn’t find a place to stream it and didn’t have television or cable. Then, I gave up on it again.
Finally, fast forward to August 20th, 2021, and I was just spending some time with my parents, and my younger sister. I was ignorant to the rumors of CM Punk making his return to pro wrestling. Once 9 pm CST came and went and he made his return, I saw it everywhere on my NFL-themed Twitter account. I immediately looked up the video. I was in shock because I knew that Punk walked away from WWE and he didn’t seem to want to come back to wrestling. I had heard about AEW in 2020 after one of my friends who watches wrestling told me it was a new promotion that had Chris Jericho, Matt Hardy, Cody Rhodes. My friend explained that Dean Ambrose was also part of the company and he goes by Jon Moxley now. After I watched Punk’s return promo, I decided to check out the full show that his debut happened on. I saw John Moxley beat Daniel Garcia and was happy to see him thrive in that match, and I also noticed Jim Ross and Taz were on commentary.
After I watched and enjoyed that Rampage, I decided to watch Dynamite the following Wednesday, and boy was I in for a show. I got an extended taste of AEW and I fell in love.
First, I got my first glimpse of Orange Cassidy. I was blown away by how cool, and entertaining he was. What had me intrigued next was the women’s match of Jamie Hayter vs. Red Velvet. I was shocked by how good it was. After that, we had a Darby, Eddie, and Moxley vs. Cezar Bononi, JD Drake, and Ryan Nemeth match. I was excited to see Darby wrestle. Punk had brought him up and challenged him to a match at All Out. This made me think he must be good since he was the first person Punk wanted to wrestle after being gone for so long. It turned out that he delivered. Moxley did well which made me happy, and I instantly loved Eddie Kingston because of his demeanor. It was also an awesome surprise that Sting was part of AEW as well. Lastly, the Malakai Black and Brock Anderson match stunned me. I was really into Black’s gimmick. I thought it was cool that they had Brock in their company, and that they even have Arn Anderson as his Manager.
Over the next few weeks after that, I started watching WWE again and kept watching AEW. I got a taste of MJF, Jungle Boy, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Team Taz, and etc. in AEW and I became a HOOKER. I still keep up with all of the WWE and AEW shows now, and don’t intend on changing that anytime soon.