On a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone sat down with Anthony Bowens of The Acclaimed. Bowens has been in pro wrestling for over seven years, and he talked about which coaches in AEW that he has enjoyed learning from.
“Honestly, all them because I’m learning something different from a different perspective every time we have a match,” Bowens said. “They weren’t coaches, but I’ve learned a lot sitting down with FTR and doing tape study because, coming into AEW, I was just a singles wrestler. I hadn’t tagged since maybe my first or second year of my career.
“Everything else has just been focused on being a solo star then coming into one of the deepest and the best tag team division in the world. I was a bit overwhelmed in the sense of trying to figure out, one, how do I keep up with these guys? And two, not to get too specific, but there’s different psychology in terms of tag team wrestling.
“There’s other elements and layers that you have to learn and you have to figure out, and I figured one of the best tag teams to do that with, to learn from, is FTR. I try to pick up something new each week that I can implement and focus on until it kind of becomes muscle memory, and I got to thank FTR. I got to thank a lot of coaches, Jerry Lynn, [Colt] Cabana is always very helpful. I love working with Billy Gunn,, Christopher Daniels, everybody, honestly.”
Bowens and Acclaimed tag team partner Max Caster were both signed in Nov. of last year, and Tony Khan had talked about the pressure WWE put on him to sign the two of them due to their interest in them. Bowens revealed his reaction when Khan went up to them about becoming a tag team.
“First of all, excitement, because one of the things that I didn’t have coming in was an established, TV ready character,” Bowens noted. “I had everything else, but I was just trying to figure out what I can dive into character wise, and having a name and having somewhat of a vision was, I guess, helpful for me in the sense that I get to create and mold something into the way I would see fit.
“And honestly, we didn’t have a direct direction. We just knew that, hey, you guys gonna be called The Acclaimed. It’s gonna be this tag team, you can be Max Caster. I think the original vision of it was Caster’s this acclaimed rapper and I am this critically acclaimed sports entertainer because I do more than just pro wrestling.
“I’m a YouTuber, I’m a fitness model, I’m a commercial actor, I host things, I do a little bit of everything. So we were trying to go that route, but the entrances tend to obviously focus more on the insults and the rap. So it’s not too much of a development on my end, in terms who I am, and I’m still really excited to start establishing that on AEW television, but that’s kind of what the basics are and the crux of what The Acclaimed is, or what we’re aiming for.”
Later in the podcast, Bowens answered questions from fans. One fan asked Bowens is dream tag team match.
“That is a really tough one. There’s so many,” Bowens admitted. “Honestly, bring me back to The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. Get me into Charlotte and just have me in that territory just rocking and rolling with it, no pun intended, every single night, selling out buildings. I think that’d be super fun and complimentary to our style.
Bowens had also mentioned on the podcast the many AEW talents that he hopes to work with in the future including Cody Rhodes and Hook. Bowens named his favorite AEW roster member and one that he would consider his “ultimate challenge” in AEW.
“Kenny Omega, because I think once I really started getting into the crux of diving deeper into psychology of pro wrestling outside of just the norm, I was watching a lot of his stuff in New Japan and just absolutely being astonished at the stuff that he was able to do with [Kazuchika] Okada, and [Tetsuya] Naito, and all these other people,” Bowens said. “And I think he’s gonna eventually be what I would consider my ultimate challenge at AEW. I would love to have an opportunity, at some point, just to have some time and just go with him.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.