I unboxed AEW’s Revolution 2022 crate. Here’s what’s inside

The All Elite Crate for January is here. Let’s see what’s inside.

When All Elite Wrestling (AEW) burst onto the scene in 2019, some critics derisively referred to it as a “t-shirt promotion” thanks to its affiliation with Pro Wrestling Tees. In the two-plus years since it’s proven it’s much, much more than that.

The t-shirts are still pretty cool, though.

AEW’s shop has a bunch of them, rangy from traditionally tacky wrestling styles I’d be concerned to wear in public to some legitimately good-looking designs. And while I’m not normally a wrestling t-shirt guy or an unboxing video person, I jumped at the opportunity to subscribe to the company’s All Elite Crate in the name of content (and getting some pro wrestling swag I can later write off in my taxes). Behold, the first All Elite Crate of 2022:

Check out the video above to see the swag AEW sent to subscribers this January. Or, if you’d rather just see the whole spread without having to listen to me talk (reasonable!), here’s what came in the crate:

A bunch of cool stuff, and also a Cody pin! Neat. The next package ships in April, which will also be right around the time it starts getting warm enough to roll outside in a t-shirt once more. Will I have the self-confidence to wear a Malakai Black shirt in public come spring, hoping no one actually asks about it? Stay tuned to find out.

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Watch CM Punk’s long-awaited return to the ring to a wild AEW Rampage crowd

“I’m back.”

After seven long years of waiting, CM Punk is back!

Wrestling fans finally have gotten everything they have asked for and more, as on Friday night during AEW Rampage in Chicago, Punk made his return to the ring in glorious, emotional fashion. It’s been over seven years since Punk and WWE split quite unceremoniously, but now the 42-year-old is back in the ring, and with his former company’s biggest competitor to boot.

Even before AEW Rampage got underway, fans in Chicago were already anticipating Punk’s return with cheers and chants. Once the opening notes of “Cult of Personality” — Punk’s entrance song — rang out through the arena, however, fans went absolutely NUTS.

Just listen to this crowd!

What a reaction from the fans! Then from Punk himself too as he takes in the awe-inspiring moment on stage. I’m not a wrestling fan in the slightest but I know a cool sports moment when I see it.

Oh, and Punk’s official press release signifying his return is all kinds of awesome too.

“I’m back” indeed!

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Urban Meyer makes funny cameo at Chris Jericho’s AEW match, so fans made Tim Tebow jokes

LOL.

I will start this off by fully admitting I do not watch professional wrestling, so my knowledge of how a Chris Jericho and MJF AEW match ended up with Urban Meyer and Charlie Strong at the Jacksonville Jaguars’ TIAA Bank Field.

What I do know is the head coach and assistant coach of the Jags were in an office when the pair of wrestlers came in and watched them demolish each other. Strong gave Jericho some footballs to peg his opponent with and Meyer politely handed over a laptop to smack MJF with. It was kind of wild and weird and altogether amusing.

It’s worth noting that Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s son Tony is an owner/president/CEO of AEW, which might explain the appearance.

Naturally, there were Tim Tebow jokes:

There was also this moment that follow, and again … Tebow jokes (WARNING: NSFW langauge ahead!)

LOL. Too good.

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Wrestling legend Sting, now 61, makes shocking debut with AEW

Sting is back.

We last saw pro wrestling icon Sting inside a wrestling ring as an active competitor in 2015, before he eventually retired and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

On Wednesday night’s special episode of AEW Dynamite, the now 61-year-old made a shocking return to wrestling, marking his first appearance on TNT in nearly 20 years, since the end of WCW. Sting interrupted a tag match and walked to the ring with his signature baseball bat as the limited audience in Jacksonville lost it. After staring down Arn Anderson, Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin, Sting exited. Commentator Jim Ross later revealed that Sting had signed a multi-year deal with AEW, and would speak for the first time next week on Dynamite.

AEW fans couldn’t believe it.

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The 6 AEW stars who ruled in 2020

In a little over one year, All Elite Wrestling’s roster of game-changing stars has gone from outcast to The Cast . It has been a whirlwind path that has struck a chord with fans since 2019, providing a “something for everyone” experience through …

In a little over one year, All Elite Wrestling’s roster of game-changing stars has gone from outcast to The Cast.

It has been a whirlwind path that has struck a chord with fans since 2019, providing a “something for everyone” experience through great storytelling and edge-of-your-seat entertainment—which makes the overall AEW promotion so unique.

What’s ahead? To borrow a term from the collaboration between AEW and Director X… it’s “Boundless.”

Although 2020 has done its best to curtail the momentum, the high-octane star power and wrestling displays have been too great for even the newest fans tuning in to overlook. 

Director X, who spoke with FTW about the upcoming, one-of-a-kind AEW series called “Boundless: A History of a Revolution” described it best: “The stuff these guys do in the ring—it’s insane! You turn into a little kid again when you’re actually at one of the matches.”

The feeling has been a mutual admiration for AEW, and one we found to be about as spot-on accurate as some of the incredible leaps from the top ropes.  It checks all the boxes you’d hope for in a professional wrestling promotion—or really, longed for in a professional wrestling promotion.

To beat the three count: It rules.

And while the entire lineup deserves a victory lap around Daily’s Place, few can claim supremacy in 2020—in the ring and beyond—like these six talents can…

Jon Moxley

(courtesy of AEW)

It seems like Moxley’s AEW unveiling at “All or Nothing” back in May of 2019 was only yesterday—which is a strong testament to how polarizing he is and why he continually gets the nod as one of the biggest stars in all of wrestling.

In 2020 however, Moxley’s rule is based on a simple fact that’s hard to ignore: you might get close, but a submission is nearly impossible. He’s currently undefeated, and for 250-plus days and counting, been the AEW World Champion.

He’s been at a constant tug-of-war with the other wrestlers, too, overcoming possible setups (ahem: The Inner Circle) on his way to championship glory. Combine all of it and there hasn’t been a moment when Moxley is anywhere near an AEW competition that hasn’t been must-see TV.

Like this one that even involved a fan!

 

‘Freshly Squeezed’ Orange Cassidy

(courtesy of AEW)

While Orange Cassidy might not carry the hardware or overall record in 2020 like a few other wrestlers, his persona is one of the main reasons why AEW is so fun to watch. He’s not the most prominent, strongest figure or clad in spandex and high-laced leather boots. He’s just…cool. And that’s why he’s been one of our favorites in 2020.

In fact, that type of honor isn’t a one-way agreement; the laid-back style and denim with shades have been a substantial fan-favorite.

But don’t be fooled by the Ryan Gosling-esque breeziness; Cassidy’s tormenting “Kicks of Doom” can quickly turn into a textbook definition of a beatdown—something that Chris Jericho learned back in June.

 

Hikaru Shida

(courtesy of AEW)

She holds the AEW Women’s World Championship (160-plus days and counting) and is one of the most-dominating stars in the entire AEW lineup. Shida spins style and beauty with all-out terror and athleticism like few can achieve, and it’s been like a mini-series inside the series.

She’s undoubtedly a star.

Beyond the records and breath-stealing knees to her opponent’s chest, though, she hits on a larger scale—a perfect fit that highlights an overall mission AEW works so hard to promote.

Shida’s taking a lot of the narrative that we’ve been accustomed to seeing in professional wrestling—or any male-dominated sport, for that matter—and proving, if you really want it, the dream is there for the taking (or, in the case of the clip below, striking!). 

 

Nyla Rose

(Director X and Nyla Rose, Photo Credit: Harv Glazer)

Nyla Rose was one of the wrestlers who came to the forefront of the “Boundless” series—that’s her pictured above with Director X from the set—which only adds to her impressive 2020. Although she lost the title to Shida this past May, her original championship belt grab in February was still one of the top performances of the year (you can check it out in the video below), and displayed why she’s such a fun wrestler to watch.

Rose, who is the first openly transgender woman ever in professional wrestling, has a personality and on-camera presence that are uncanny, and provides so much to the AEW promotion—in so many areas that we could probably do another five rankings that just focus on her.

 

FTR

(courtesy of AEW)

Spike piledrivers, anyone?

Some of the more jaw-dropping moments during “AEW Dynamite” and the special events come from the tag-team matchups’ athletic marveling. High-flying, powerful, it’s combative art on a canvas ring that garners fan chatter well after the winners are decided.

And at the top of the list is Dax Harwood and Cash Wheel—aka, FTR.

The pair’s brief time on AEW (since last May) has only escalated their reputation as a dual-force in professional wrestling, and it’s not surprising they have held the AEW World Tag Team Champions honor. 

Of course, AEW fans might argue that the current champs—The Young Bucks—should get more shine in this instance, which is a fair point.

After watching both, however, we sided with FTR.  

For the new fans, well…we’d suggest watching AEW Dynamite Wednesdays 8/7c on TNT, so you can decide for yourself!

Now, about that spike piledriver…

All Elite Wrestling: From underdogs to boundless stars in the vision of Director X

Most people probably wouldn’t associate art imitating life with professional wrestling, but maybe that’s because they never heard of All Elite Wrestling. Or Director X. The two have joined creative forces, collaborating on a campaign that goes …

Most people probably wouldn’t associate art imitating life with professional wrestling, but maybe that’s because they never heard of All Elite Wrestling. Or Director X. The two have joined creative forces, collaborating on a campaign that goes beyond the high-flying leaps and body slams and into a rare corner of the sport: the strong character behind the strong character.

And now, from that corner, AEW’s “Underdog Story” is ready for introductions.

The series, which will air on TNT, highlights some of AEW’s biggest stars, the larger-than-life personalities who have the energy to pop through the television screen.

However, what each wrestler reveals is not a string of soundbites, but instead an athlete’s journey that focuses on overcoming struggles and stereotypes, and how each found a welcomed spot within the AEW promotion

To get an insightful peek at the production—including why this campaign works for even the most casual of fans—FTW spoke to the man who was behind the lens, Director X.

Here’s what we learned…

The perfect match

Director X and Colt Cabana (Photo Credit: Harv Glazer)

“As wrestlers, not only do we love and appreciate the physicality, but also the opportunity to explore our creativity. The shoot itself let us take something minimal about ourselves, while Director X showcased it as larger than life.” — Colt Cabana

“I know what it’s like to be doubted,” Director X began during our phone call. “I think a lot of people can relate to that. Where you have a dream, but you’re not the ideal. Or, for whatever reason, they’re just looking at you like ‘you can’t do this.'”

X, who has worked with big names in music and entertainment, recently launched a production company called FELA, which aims to “tell cultural stories authentically while being a voice for the unheard and underrepresented.”

That type of mission matched with AEW’s and progressed from a campaign concept, into an actual production.

The “boundless” vision

Director X and Nyla Rose (Photo Credit: Harv Glazer)

“Having a beautiful woman be this destructive force wreaking havoc on a car is a bit taboo in a way. I just loved the overall vibe and, of course, loved the opportunity to smash up a gorgeous car.” — Nyla Rose

Of course, the director’s abilities are only a piece of the puzzle. For the concept to echo the groundbreaking surge that AEW has managed in such a short time, a lot of the proverbial heavy lifting would need to come from the wrestler’s stories, and more so, their personalities.

And, as Director X explained, none of them failed to deliver.

“It’s not just, every day going and exercising, it’s not just, every day going and training,” he noted. “A lot of them have this confidence that they will reach their goal—if they set their minds to it, they’ll make it.”

AEW’s no stranger to an underdog story

Director X and Young Bucks (Photo Credit Harv Glazer)

“A lot of us feel boundless any time we get into the ring, and we want the fans to feel boundless watching. Anything and everything is possible with All Elite Wrestling!” — Nick Jackson, Young Bucks

Founded by Tony Khan in 2019, with his father Shahid as the principal investor, AEW set out to provide an alternative to mainstream wrestling (which hasn’t always been the simplest of tasks).

One year later, the wrestling promotion has continued to grow, bringing in world-class talent in both women’s and men’s wrestling, while developing supportive messaging—a unique stance that celebrates athletes and fans, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or ethnicity.

And for the naysayers who don’t believe in a wrestling show presented by wrestlers? The answer, as Director X noticed, is personified in the talent.

“There’s a bunch of things that we’re like ‘OK. Anyone can do that’…but wrestling? Well, I don’t know.’ There’s a standard that’s going on. And these guys proved that, no, there’s not. They can be just as great, and be just as successful, and just as loved. And actually, even more impressive.”

The impact outside of the ring

Director X, Brandi and Cody (Photo Credit: Harv Glazer)

“Not just me, even the crew—we were coming away from some of these interviews, and we were all inspired. We were walking away like ‘Yo! I’m kind of hyped-up to hear everyone talk about the mindset that you have to have to play this game, to be in this world.'” — Director X

The inspiration from a show today, a new fan tomorrow. When AEW, Director X and each inspiring athlete collaborated to bring these “boundless” stories to the forefront, it set up a distinctive type of sports entertainment that can be highly impactful.

Whether you are a diehard or a new fan, it’s easy to pull for someone you can relate to, which is something X reflected on as we ended our conversation.

“[Underdog Story] is a true, honest-to-god manifestation of believing in yourself and not listening to what the world says. It’s following a passion and a thing you love.”

Tune in to watch AEW Dynamite Wednesdays 8/7c on TNT

All Elite Wrestling: From underdogs to boundless stars in the vision of Director X

Most people probably wouldn’t associate art imitating life with professional wrestling, but maybe that’s because they never heard of All Elite Wrestling. Or Director X. The two have joined creative forces, collaborating on a campaign that goes …

Most people probably wouldn’t associate art imitating life with professional wrestling, but maybe that’s because they never heard of All Elite Wrestling. Or Director X. The two have joined creative forces, collaborating on a campaign that goes beyond the high-flying leaps and body slams and into a rare corner of the sport: the strong character behind the strong character.

And now, from that corner, AEW’s “Underdog Story” is ready for introductions.

The series, which will air on TNT, highlights some of AEW’s biggest stars, the larger-than-life personalities who have the energy to pop through the television screen.

However, what each wrestler reveals is not a string of soundbites, but instead an athlete’s journey that focuses on overcoming struggles and stereotypes, and how each found a welcomed spot within the AEW promotion

To get an insightful peek at the production—including why this campaign works for even the most casual of fans—List Wire spoke to the man who was behind the lens, Director X.

Here’s what we learned…

The perfect match

Director X and Colt Cabana (Photo Credit: Harv Glazer)

“As wrestlers, not only do we love and appreciate the physicality, but also the opportunity to explore our creativity. The shoot itself let us take something minimal about ourselves, while Director X showcased it as larger than life.” — Colt Cabana

“I know what it’s like to be doubted,” Director X began during our phone call. “I think a lot of people can relate to that. Where you have a dream, but you’re not the ideal. Or, for whatever reason, they’re just looking at you like ‘you can’t do this.'”

X, who has worked with big names in music and entertainment, recently launched a production company called FELA, which aims to “tell cultural stories authentically while being a voice for the unheard and underrepresented.”

That type of mission matched with AEW’s and progressed from a campaign concept, into an actual production.

The “boundless” vision

Director X and Nyla Rose (Photo Credit: Harv Glazer)

“Having a beautiful woman be this destructive force wreaking havoc on a car is a bit taboo in a way. I just loved the overall vibe and, of course, loved the opportunity to smash up a gorgeous car.” — Nyla Rose

Of course, the director’s abilities are only a piece of the puzzle. For the concept to echo the groundbreaking surge that AEW has managed in such a short time, a lot of the proverbial heavy lifting would need to come from the wrestler’s stories, and more so, their personalities.

And, as Director X explained, none of them failed to deliver.

“It’s not just, every day going and exercising, it’s not just, every day going and training,” he noted. “A lot of them have this confidence that they will reach their goal—if they set their minds to it, they’ll make it.”

AEW’s no stranger to an underdog story

Director X and Young Bucks (Photo Credit Harv Glazer)

“A lot of us feel boundless any time we get into the ring, and we want the fans to feel boundless watching. Anything and everything is possible with All Elite Wrestling!” — Nick Jackson, Young Bucks

Founded by Tony Khan in 2019, with his father Shahid as the principal investor, AEW set out to provide an alternative to mainstream wrestling (which hasn’t always been the simplest of tasks).

One year later, the wrestling promotion has continued to grow, bringing in world-class talent in both women’s and men’s wrestling, while developing supportive messaging—a unique stance that celebrates athletes and fans, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or ethnicity.

And for the naysayers who don’t believe in a wrestling show presented by wrestlers? The answer, as Director X noticed, is personified in the talent.

“There’s a bunch of things that we’re like ‘OK. Anyone can do that’…but wrestling? Well, I don’t know.’ There’s a standard that’s going on. And these guys proved that, no, there’s not. They can be just as great, and be just as successful, and just as loved. And actually, even more impressive.”

The impact outside of the ring

Director X, Brandi and Cody (Photo Credit: Harv Glazer)

“Not just me, even the crew—we were coming away from some of these interviews, and we were all inspired. We were walking away like ‘Yo! I’m kind of hyped-up to hear everyone talk about the mindset that you have to have to play this game, to be in this world.'” — Director X

The inspiration from a show today, a new fan tomorrow. When AEW, Director X and each inspiring athlete collaborated to bring these “boundless” stories to the forefront, it set up a distinctive type of sports entertainment that can be highly impactful.

Whether you are a diehard or a new fan, it’s easy to pull for someone you can relate to, which is something X reflected on as we ended our conversation.

“[Underdog Story] is a true, honest-to-god manifestation of believing in yourself and not listening to what the world says. It’s following a passion and a thing you love.”

Tune in to watch AEW Dynamite Wednesdays 8/7c on TNT