AEW Going All In On Reality Bending Feuds With Darby Allin & Brody King
AEW has fully embraced its ability to blur the lines between reality & wrestling. That has shown during the emerging Darby Allin vs Brody King feud.
AEW has continued to embrace a style of storytelling that blurs the lines between reality and wrestling, and the ongoing feud between Darby Allin and Brody King is an example of that. MJF’s pipebomb promo seemed to open up the floodgates for these kinds of worked shoot angles, and it’s unclear just where the line in the sand will be for AEW moving forward.
King and Allin were the last men standing during the Royal Rampage battle royal on July 1, with the winner receiving a shot at Jon Moxley and the AEW Interim World Championship. King managed to win the match by choking Allin out on the ring apron before dropping him to the ground down below. After he came up short against Moxley in the main event of the July 6 episode of Wednesday Night Dynamite, King was confronted by Allin and Sting, which lead to a reality-bending altercation at a shopping mall.
Allin was promoting his Hoodlum clothing line with the skate company Zumiez during a meet and greet at Southcenter Mall in Washington, where he was attacked by Brody. What’s wild about the exchange is that the crowd in attendance morphs into an AEW audience for a moment, booing King as he attacked while cheering Allin on. Darby ended up taking a gnarly powerbomb through an autograph table, before eventually shaking it off and getting back to the signing.
This is just the latest attempt by Tony Khan and AEW to blend reality and wrestling. They obviously aren’t the first wrestling promotion to do so, but when’s the last time WWE has had one of its wrestlers attack another in an environment like this to propel a feud forward? This wasn’t “Stone Cold” Steve Austin finding Booker T at a grocery store. The mall appeared to be a live environment, lacking AEW’s usual security detail and the safety that working in a ring offers. Allin was able to recover and continue the session, but it’s not too difficult to find ways that this exchange could have gone wrong. Who knows what would have happened if a bystander happened to be walking by, unaware that this was a wrestling angle, and decided to intervene on the much smaller Allin’s behalf.
These two men have gone to war inside and outside the ring before, and there’s no doubt that their feud will be an entertaining one on AEW for the next several weeks. With the Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston rivalry long ago spilling into personal territory, Christian Cage shooting on Jeff Hardy’s recent arrest in a promo to Matt Hardy and MJF’s ongoing saga, AEW is more and more frequently going back to the reality well. All Elite will always have one foot planted in reality television. The Young Bucks’ “Being The Elite” YouTube series is borderline must-watch material for AEW fans, and it’s essentially a wrestling reality show. King’s attack on Allin is different, though. It shows that Khan and his brain trust are actively and aggressively looking for ways to push the reality vs wrestling envelope. Hopefully, they don’t go full-on Vince Russo and stray too far from the world of professional wrestling.
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