The Acclaimed’s AEW in-ring debut was about to not happen.
Max Caster and Anthony Bowens, collectively known as The Acclaimed in All Elite Wrestling, are currently in the midst of an on-screen schedule with Austin and Colten Gunn. On the 8/16 episode of AEW Dynamite, Colten and Austin attacked their father Billy and The Acclaimed made the save.
Before this edition of Dynamite, Max Caster spoke to PWInsider for an interview to promote his upcoming Wrestling Open appearance. Caster opened up about his friendship with Bowens and reflected on their early days as a tag team in AEW.
Caster said that was about not to happen because Bowens had an offer on the table from another company. Bowens has said in the past that WWE wanted to bring him in. Max added that Anthony was hesitant because if their debut didn’t work out and Tony Khan decided not to use them anymore, that other deal could be pulled as well.
It was really scary at first. And that was really the first day that we kind of bonded because Anthony had a deal on the table with another company. He told this story. But Tony wanted us to go out and have a game on his show, on Dark. And Anthony was really nervous that if he did that, and let’s say we bumped into it at that point, Tony didn’t like it, he’d get that other deal. And he was going back and forth all day. And we’re about not to go out because he can’t commit to this game and I look at him and say, ‘It’s going to be fine. OK, let’s do this game. It’s going to be awesome. You know we’re both great, we can’t ruin this. Let’s go ahead and prove to everyone why you deserve this deal with AEW. And then he said, “Okay, I’ll do it.” So he went there. Both of us, no AEW contract in hand, and we made this match, and it’s a solid match. And obviously we didn’t know each other in the ring yet, but it was good enough, more than good enough to win us some contracts. Then when we came back, in front of Tony, he looked at someone in the office and said, yeah, those guys are good. And we went straight to the office, got a few contracts, and that was it. Other than that it’s just becoming friends and being forced to become business partners and checking our egos at the door where, you know, I know what Anthony is good at, I know what I’m good at and we can somehow fill in the gaps with each other to make The Acclaimed whole instead of two separate parts coming together and trying to work together every week.
When it came to Caster’s raps on TV, he reiterated that he had complete freedom with what he wanted to say, but he was aware there were some things he couldn’t say. He mentioned his lines about Vince McMahon leaving WWE and said it was good to say it, but rapping about the allegations against McMahon is banned because of those on the other side of this situation.
Well, there are a lot of things related to it. Honestly, with management, I have the right to say what I want, and I know what I can’t say. Sometimes people contact me and say, “Hey, maybe don’t mention this, don’t mention that, it’s a legal situation. Alright, I understand that. But otherwise, I could say what I want, I could reference whoever I want, that’s how I do it. So with Vince McMahon, right, we have to talk about the facts – he’s retired, right? So I could say that, but if I start talking about what he’s accused of doing or anything like that with people you would call a victim, then it gets in bad taste. So you know, now that I’ve learned to control myself, Anthony is here to control me too. And if you know, it’s all really, really risky, I’ll probably ask, but that hasn’t happened in so long. So that’s cool. All I do is say things that people wouldn’t expect me to say. But I have to make sure it’s factual and it’s an unbiased opinion, rather than, you know, categorizing me or labeling me as whatever, having an opinion on anything. It’s just saying things to get people to come for the surprises. He said Donald Trump this week, he said Joe Biden this week, it’s really fun. It’s a really fun part of my job.
The Acclaimed defeated Colten and Austin in a Dumpster match on the August 3 Dynamite.
Caster regularly wrestles for the aforementioned “Wrestling Open” show and makes another $10,000 challenge to the program.