Backstage Update On AEW Commentary Teams

When fans tuned into AEWxNJPW: Forbidden Door last Sunday and "AEW Dynamite" this Wednesday, they noticed there was a change when it came to the AEW announcing team. Sunday's pay-per-view saw Excalibur, New Japan's Kevin Kelly, and Taz manning the booth for the duration of the event, with Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross joining them for select matches. "Dynamite" on Wednesday was similar, with Excalibur, Taz, and Schiavone calling the first hour before Ross and William Regal joined them for the main event in hour two.

The experimentation will not end with those two shows, however. In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer noted that there would be a different team calling "AEW Rampage" tonight as well, with Ross, Excalibur, and Schiavone, the typical "AEW Dynamite" announce team, manning the booth from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST.

"Rampage" generally features Excalibur and Taz at the announcer's desk, with AEW stars Chris Jericho and Ricky Starks frequently contributing to the booth. Starks will be unable to commentate tonight due to his participation in the Royal Rampage match, while Jericho is only a few days removed from a grueling Blood & Guts match, which he and the Jericho Appreciation Society lost to AEW Interim World Champion Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, Santana, Ortiz, and Claudio Castagnoli.

According to Meltzer, it's unclear whether these changes to the AEW announce team this week are meant to be permanent, were done due to the unique circumstances of the shows, or simply represent the promotion testing out new ideas.  Ross recently signed an extension with AEW that will keep him with the company till 2024, his 50th year in the wrestling business.

As noted, tonight's "Rampage" episode will feature the first-ever Royal Rampage match, a two-ring, twenty-man battle royal with the winner receiving a shot against Moxley for the Interim World Title. Also announced for the show are AEW World Tag Team Champions the Young Bucks going up against Hiroki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI, and Toni Storm going one-on-one with Nyla Rose.