Thank you AEW! Thank you Tony Khan! The Blackpool Combat Club formed roughly one year ago and ever since then… they’ve underperformed. Now hear me out, I am NOT saying that they have been bad, that they haven’t entertained, that they haven’t had good matches, I’m saying that they have UNDER-performed. I was expecting more.
Let’s look at the group. Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta. Plus let’s not forget they were being managed by THE William Regal up until he left AEW at the end of 2022. We’re talking four highly respected names in the business, no offense Yuta, you may be there one day yourself, but not quite yet. I expected a stable with this star power and wrestling ability to be dominating and “running roughshod” (as the expression goes) over the competition. This was the stable I was expecting to give WWE and The Bloodline some competition.
In 2022 we mainly saw the BCC feud with JAS (the Jericho Appreciation Society). Can you name another significant feud they had? Can you name another significant match they’ve had, as a unit?
So what happened? That’s a good question. Here are some thoughts that come to mind…
- They were positioned as babyfaces. You can’t go around beating the crap out of your opponents if you’re a babyface. But here’s the deal… the fans are going to root for the BCC no matter what. Yes, they may get some boo’s along the way when they’re leaving the favorites like Jack Perry and Darby Allin bleeding and bloodied in the ring, in the locker room, in the parking lot, etc, but the heat they’ll get will be worth it.
- Blame it on injuries, call it necessity, but Moxley’s time with the AEW Heavyweight title and in the title picture (specifically during 2022, not his reign before). That’s not to say you can’t have someone in a stable holding a single’s title, but when Mox had the belt it seemed we saw him more on his own than with the rest of the Club.
- William Regal left AEW. Khan (the big kahuna of AEW) respected Regal’s wishes to return to WWE and did not pick up the option on his contract. Credit to Khan, classy move. But the Blackpool Combat Club is not the BLACKPOOL Combat Club without Regal, he’s a missing component. Mox and Danielson can carry the Club on the mic and cutting promos, so it’s not like you needed Regal to be a vocal mouthpiece. But his presence, his roaming the ring, him “giving the order to seek and destroy” would’ve be an added layer to building a feared group.
So what should AEW do now? Recent episodes of Wednesday Dynamite have shown a Club with more anger, more hate, more aggression. They’ve left the Dark Order, The Young Bucks, Hangman Adam Page, and Kenny Omega lying at their feet. There’s momentum now, it’s time to capitalize on it. So how do we do that? Here are some thoughts…
- Less bleeding for Moxley and Danielson. No, this is not an “AEW has too much blood in their matches” speech. I’m not saying they can’t bleed at all. But it’s time for them to start being on the GIVING end of the majority of the bloodshed.
- Give them a manager. We’re starting to see potential signs of Don Callis coming over to take Regal’s place and be the manager. I say forget Callis. I say, “What about Christian?” Christian is a HEAT MAGNET and could be used to get physical in the ring too. (Yes, Callis can throw a punch, take a bump, and draw heat, but I don’t believe Callis moves the needle as much as perhaps Christian could.)
- Forget a manager, how about a 5th member? How about giving them Wardlow? How about giving them ‘The Limitless’ Keith Lee? Imagine either of these behemoth monsters as the muscle of the group… who stops them then?
- Change the name. I know, I know… some of you readers are insulted by the mere mention of changing the name. But again, you lost the BLACKPOOL element of the Club when Regal left. You’re starting a new chapter here, a new timeline, start with a new name.
The Blackpool Combat Club has the potential to be the best faction that AEW has had in it’s relatively short life, if booked correctly… and if given a new name! Just kidding. (Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the new name pitch.)
Let me say the names again… Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta. This is a unique pairing of talent and personalities. There is much left to be done with this group. We’re on our way, the signs are pointing that way, let’s see what happens next.
[Featured Image Source: AEW.com]