What isn't banned in AEW?
The company sometimes feels more like a club for hobbyists than an actual wrestling promotion: a weekly gathering of enthusiasts who appear on television to perform their own interpretation of the art, whether it's demented aerial work, blood-soaked brawling or even a borderline impersonation of their favourite guy growing up. When locked into a programme, and the promotion is focused, there remains nothing like it - but it sometimes doesn't feel like the most professional of outfits.
That's more feature than bug half the time, but as a result of the freewheeling vision underpinning the company and the wonky pacing of its product, Excalibur sounds less like he's selling an upcoming event and more like he's auctioning it off. A spot of discipline across the board wouldn't go amiss because it is a mess at times. The agents seem to talk to one another as often as CM Punk and Colt Cabana most Wednesdays, leading to many repeated spots and finishes.
You can swear, you can blade, you can drop yourself right on the top of your f*cking head, if you so desire.
There don't seem to be too many rules, in terms of its gonzo creative or internal conduct - but there are some things that are absolutely prohibited...
8. The Briscoes
The Briscoes remain a phenomenal tag team all these years later, and in terms of consistency and longevity - and hilarious promos, even if inadvertently so at times - they are one of the greatest acts in the history of the form.
They are so believable as brawlers, and talk in such an uncouth way, that the elegant way in which they build a match to reach awesome dramatic peaks catches a crowd by surprise. They are far cannier workers than the backwoods hick attitude and aesthetic suggests.
So why, in addition to virtually every wrestler on the face of the planet, have they not rocked up in AEW?
Fightful Select reported in March of this year that a "person of influence" within Warner Bros. Discovery doesn't want it to happen due to Jay Briscoe's public history of homophobia; Jay, who immediately apologised for and years later remains regretful of his conduct, tweeted in 2013 that he would "f*cking shoot" anybody who teaches children that there is nothing wrong with same-sex marriage.
This was an unconscionably awful thing to say, but the problem with a strong ethical facade is that it, sadly, it is precisely that: something to fret about when the PR risk is documented. More than one talent contracted to AEW was named as an abuser in the #SpeakingOut movement of 2020, and the promotion has hired a convict.
It's different when they're a mainstream star, isn't it?
They aren't the only wrestling act prohibited from appearing on AEW television...