Why Bully Ray References WWE's Vince McMahon While Assessing AEW's Eddie Kingston

Eddie Kingston's long-awaited triumph over fierce rival Claudio Castagnoli was one of the highlights of "AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam" on Wednesday night, with the tough-as-nails New Yorker claiming the ROH World Title in front of his adoring home fans. After a hotly-contested and hard-hitting opening bout, Kingston would nail a Kawada-style powerbomb to earn a three-count, sending the Arthur Ashe Stadium audience into raptures and chants of "you deserve it" ringing throughout the venue in Queens. 


However, on the fallout episode of "Busted Open", tag team legend Bully Ray claimed the response from the crowd was misguided and explained Vince McMahon's philosophy on performers 'earning' big moments and as opposed to 'deserving' them. 

"Nobody deserves a damn thing in pro wrestling – but I'll be damned if Eddie Kingston has not earned the opportunity," he said. 

"Eddie has earned the opportunity, and the word 'opportunity' is a Vince McMahon word. There's no guarantees anywhere... what there is, is opportunities and the opportunity for you to earn a spot on the card to get yourself over. Eddie has been through lots of ups and downs in this business – probably more than most."

At 41 years of age, Kingston has taken the long road to the top — a fact that Bully Ray praised — and will now fly the flag for both the ROH and NJPW Strong brands as their champion. While his body has undoubtedly taken a beating over his lengthy tenure on the independent scene, The Mad King has become a beloved figure since making his AEW debut against Cody Rhodes in the midst of the pandemic four years ago, and has since gone on to have critically-acclaimed rivalries with the likes of CM Punk and Chris Jericho. 


If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Busted Open" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.