As broken by the Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer, original plans for the 'Exalted One' - the leader of the divisive Dark Order act - called for the AEW debut of Marty Scurll on December 18.
This did not happen; in what could prove to be an inspired, company-saving masterstroke, Ring Of Honor offered Scurll a hugely lucrative deal - WWE main roster money for just 40 dates - and the booking pencil. This scuppered what was itself an inspired plan; Scurll, in Being The Elite canon, was left to rot by his stablemates. They formed AEW, as Scurll was contractually unable to join them, and the concept behind the Dark Order was premised on his revenge. Scurll, the Villain, was to insidiously control the company from beyond and attempt a full takeover once within. It was a great pitch - one made congruous with his motivation - but AEW were outbid.
AEW boast a strong track record of adapting plans gone awry. PAC's absence from Double Or Nothing created the Kenny Omega Vs. Jon Moxley programme, and his eleventh hour return informed its intensified bloodlust.
Is another masterstroke - one desperately needed to rescue an act that is dying on the vine - imminent?