Dark Order’s Evil Uno and Stu Grayson were on the latest episode of Talk Is Jericho where they and Chris Jericho discussed the beginning of Dark Order in AEW. Before joining AEW, Uno and Grayson were the Super Smash Brothers on the indies, and they discussed the process behind changing their name when signing with AEW.
“Super Smash Brothers is actually a copywritten name. It’s the name of a video game owned by Nintendo,” Uno noted. “We were always we were always kind of toeing the line, assuming that one day, as the Smash Brothers, Nintendo will come knocking at the door and tell us to change it.
“Also, the last few years before becoming becoming Dark Order, we changed it to just SSB,” Grayson added. “We tried to avoid problems.
“When we signed our contracts, we knew we couldn’t be called the Smash Brothers, and so we had a discussion with Tony [Khan] about what names we should be called,” Uno recalled. “And from the long list of things, the one we all universally liked the most was Dark Order. It was very simple and straight to the point at the time, and then just the character stuff, we were kind of doing the the cult, minions stuff on the independents.
“I had been running a school and all my students would wear masks and walk me to the ring, and I would sit on them, and I would use them as weapons and they would take 90% of the bumps for me. When we came here, we had told them that that’s what we were actively doing now, and we kind of tweaked it for television by making it more Scientology based and making it more about recruitment and so on.”
Before having members of the roster in their group, Dark Order was comprised of Uno and Grayson along with their “Creepers” who were often local talent brought in. Jericho noted that the mistakes of the Creepers reflected badly on Uno and Grayson, and Uno responded.
“Yeah because whatever they did was attached directly to us, and Dean [Malenko] is the the person who had kind of opened my eyes about two or three TVs in,” Uno revealed. “He’s like, ‘You really need to take care and make 100% certain of everything people do because whatever they do, it doesn’t matter if it reflects bad on them. They’re not coming back. You’re the ones sticking around. Honestly, the first few months, those mistakes really put a dent. It really hurt us, as far as image and stuff. ”
Grayson recalled giving instructions and talking things out with the talent beforehand. He discussed the issues they would come across.
“We would talk to them over and over again, like how to make the human throne, what to do,” Grayson said. “We would ask them, ‘Hey, are you trained?’ Yes. ‘How long have you been wrestling?’ This amount of time. ‘Can you throw a punch and a kick?’ Yes. No, then choke. I suppose most of them were not being fully honest because once they were in the ring, it could be stress, it could be just about anything really, or you’re on live TV, but what they said they could do was not the reality.
“We would see them punch the floor, walk around and trip, and I was like, ‘Jesus Christ, I should have asked, can you walk properly?’ But some of them were too nervous to say, Oh, I’m really green’ because they wouldn’t want to be cut it. They wanted a chance to be on TV, and I understand that, but you’ve got to be honest because if one of them would have said, ‘Oh, I’m really nervous. I’m really green.’ Hey, don’t worry. We’ll put you in the back. You don’t have to do much. We just need people. We need numbers. We’ll make it work, but some of them were not completely honest.”
The most infamous blunder for Dark Order was a main event segment on the final Dynamite of 2019 where a Creeper missed badly on their punches on Dustin Rhodes. Uno revealed what they thought after the segment.
“We thought we were done after that to be honest,” Uno admitted. “I mean, even on the lead up, we were a little nervous because originally, that wasn’t what was planned. We didn’t know we were going to end the last Dynamite of the year on this big beat down on all the faces. And so when we came in that day, they told us that was the plan, and we were really nervous because at that point, we weren’t really a hot act.
“We were really growing at the at that point, and we thought, okay, well, if we’re given a couple more weeks to kind of build this up, this could work. We never considered ourselves a main event angle at that point in time. We tried recruiting Marko [Stunt], and we tried recruiting Christopher Daniels. We had no interactions with the top, and we had no real surprise at that point. Our original plan, and this was on our pitch, I was like, ‘Let us have the losers on your shows, the people that you’re already showing that are losing.’ So that’s why we were getting Alex [Reynolds] and John [Silver] because they had lost in a minute on the first two shows of Dynamite.
“I said, ‘If you give them to us, then we can guarantee people that know what they’re doing, and then on top of that, they can have matches that are longer than a minute and show who they are and it would help us. But we had no great reveal other than that we were only slowly building. So we weren’t very happy with the segment happening to begin with, and then on top of that, when it was all said and done, we knew the reaction was kind of flat. We knew as soon as we came to the back, your phones blowing up. They picked up on all the side stuff instantly. Most of the local guys just didn’t seem to understand that the camera is on at all time. You don’t know what they’re going to cut to.”
Grayson also revealed the original plan for the segment. Uno then talked about the aftermath.
“Another part of that segment that was bad is that everything we had told them to do, they didn’t,” Grayson stated. “Because the main idea was that, every single time a babyface would come in, he would bump the Creepers, the masked guys, as if they were nothing because they were pretty much nothing. And then I would come in and get the star down. Then they would pile on him.
“The next one comes in. I see him bump people around and bam, I put him down. And then every single time Kenny [Omega] would come out or Cody, I never even reached them. They were just swarmed, and by the time, I was in there, there were swarmed by 10 Creepers. These guy were just beating the living piss out of Kenny and Cody, and I was like, what are you doing? Why are you hurting the stars? That was my job. I could not believe it.
“We thought we were done because we were supposed to have a follow up to that, which was on the first show of January, and they had cut us entirely from it,” Uno revealed. “And then they cut us from the next couple of weeks too. We’ve had a lot of uncertainty throughout the year of AEW, and that was one of those moments where I was like, well, we’re done. I don’t think we can come back, but to Tony’s credit, he thought of The Exalted One hook right away.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.