Long before working with CM Punk and Serena Deeb in AEW, a young Anthony Bowens could be seen in a WWE crowd supporting the Straight Edge Society.
The Straight Edge Society began in 2009 when CM Punk transformed the mentally disabled Festus into Luke Gallows, an articulate and focused man who claimed that being hooked on pain medication led to his previous condition. Later on, the group added Serena Deeb, who had her head shaved as part of her initiation. The group was devoted to the straight edge lifestyle, meaning they abstained from drugs and alcohol.
On the January 1, 2010 episode of SmackDown, CM Punk cut a promo asking the crowd if they’d made any New Year’s Resolutions, particularly the resolution to stop drinking. Punk claimed that the purpose of a New Year’s Resolution was to make people better, and that he had no need for such things, because he was already better than anyone in the audience.
One fan on social media noticed that a crowd shot during the segment showed a young Anthony Bowens in attendance for the episode in East Rutherford, NJ, and Bowens confirmed that it was him in the footage.
“A young Bowens supported the SES @CMPunk”
— Anthony Bowens (@Bowens_Official) May 23, 2022
The fan also pointed out that a young Biff Busick, formerly known as NXT’s Oney Lorcan, also appeared on the episode as a local competitor named the Carolina Panther. He was defeated in short order by the Great Khali.
Idk tbh Biff wrestled on that same episode too pic.twitter.com/4UzmrZNSfT
— BOB (@bobcalamardo01) May 23, 2022
Prior to his return on the 11th, Anthony Bowens last competed alongside Max Caster on the March 9th broadcast of Dynamite, unsuccessfully challenging The Jurassic Express for the AEW World Tag Team Championships. In Bowens’ absence, Caster continued appearing as a singles star on AEW programming.
There’s currently no timetable for Anthony Bowens’ return to AEW programming. He joins Darius Martin, Kenny Omega, and Jake Atlas, among others, as current AEW stars who are serving time on the injured shelf.