The AEW in-ring debut of The Acclaimed was close to not happening.
Max Caster and Anthony Bowens, collectively known as The Acclaimed in All Elite Wrestling are currently in the midst of an on-screen program with Austin and Colten Gunn. On the 8/16 episode of AEW Dynamite, Colten and Austin attacked their father Billy and The Acclaimed made the save.
Prior to that edition of Dynamite, Max Caster spoke to PWInsider for an interview to promote his next appearance on Wrestling Open. Caster spoke about his friendship with Bowens and looked back on their tag team debut in AEW.
Caster said it was close to not happening because Bowens had an offer on the table from another company. Bowens has stated in the past that WWE wanted to bring him in. Max added that Anthony was hesitant because if their tag debut did not work out and Tony Khan decided not to utilize them any further, that other deal might be pulled as well.
It was really scary at first. And it was really the first day that we kind of bonded because Anthony had a deal on the table from another company. He’s told this story. But Tony wanted us to go out and wrestle a match on his show, on Dark. And Anthony was really nervous that if he did that, and let’s say we fell on our face in that moment, Tony didn’t like it, he would get that other deal pulled. And he was going back and forth all day. And we’re about to not go out because he can’t commit to doing this match and I look at him and say, ‘It’s going to be fine. Okay, let’s go do this match. It’s going to be great. You know we’re both great, can’t screw this up. Let’s go out there and prove to everyone why you do deserve this deal with AEW.’ And in that moment, he said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’ So he went out there. Both of us, no contract in hand from AEW, and we did that match, and it’s a solid match. And obviously we didn’t know each other in the ring yet, but it was good enough, more than good enough to earn us some contracts. Then when we walked back, past Tony, he looks at someone in the office and says, yeah, these guys are good. And we walked right to the office, get a couple of contracts, and that was it. Other than that, it’s just becoming friends, being forced to become business partners, and checking our egos at the door to where, you know, I know what Anthony’s good at, I know what I’m good at and we can kind of fill the gaps with each other to make The Acclaimed one whole instead of two separate parts coming together and trying to work together every single week.
When it comes to Caster’s raps on TV, he reiterated that he has free range with what he wants to say but he’s aware that there are some things he cannot say. He mentioned his lines about Vince McMahon retiring from his duties at WWE and said that is okay to say, but rapping about the allegations against McMahon is off-limits because of those on the other side of that situation.
Well, there’s a lot that goes into it. Honestly, with management, I’m allowed to say whatever I want, and I know what I can’t say. Sometimes people reach out to me and say, ‘Hey, maybe don’t mention this, don’t mention that, it’s a legal situation.’ Okay, I understand that. But otherwise, I could say what I want, I could reference who I want, it’s just how I do it. So with Vince McMahon, right, we have to speak the facts – he did retire, right? So I could say that, but if I start talking about what he’s accused of doing or anything like that with people who you would call victim, then it becomes in poor taste. So you know, now I’ve learned to check myself, Anthony is here to check me too. And if you know, anything is really, really dicey, I’ll probably ask, but that hasn’t happened in so, so long. So it’s cool. All I do is say the things that people wouldn’t expect me to say. But I have to make sure that it is factual and it is straight down the middle unbiased opinion, rather than, you know, putting myself in a category or labeling myself as anything, having a view on anything. It’s just saying the things to get the people to pop for the surprises. He said Donald Trump this week, he said Joe Biden this week, it’s really fun. It’s a real fun aspect of my job.
The Acclaimed bested Colten and Austin in a Dumpster match on the August 3rd Dynamite.
Caster regularly wrestles for the aforementioned ‘Wrestling Open’ show and is doing another $10,000 challenge on the program.