AEW News

Backstage Reaction To Satnam Singh’s Controversial AEW Dynamite Debut

AEW Dynamite

A new report details the reaction of those backstage in AEW to the much-maligned debut of Satnam Singh on AEW Dynamite.

The April 13th episode of AEW Dynamite was headlined by the clash between Minoru Suzuki and Samoa Joe. For a little over 11 minutes, the two men left nothing on the table as they battled over the Ring of Honor World Television Championship. In the end it was Samoa Joe who earned the win, drilling Suzuki to the mat with the Muscle Buster. Although, the action wasn’t over.

After promising Joe a big surprise, Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt mocked the new champion before the lights went out. When they came back on, Joe was attacked by a debuting Satnam Singh. The giant Indian former NBA star laid waste to veteran in front of a stunned crowd. The moment was later criticized by many fans across social media.

According to a report earlier today from Fightful Select, the debut was done intentionally to cash in on the recent Discovery-Warnermedia merger as a big angle for Eurosport. Discovery owns Eurosport, who are AEW’s Indian TV partner.

Fightful Select has now provided more information about talent’s reaction to the debut after speaking to multiple members of the roster. The report notes that while none of the talent they spoke to thought the debut was well-executed, there were some that saw it as a good business decision for the reasons listed previously.

The report continues, saying that many talent believe the circumstances around the debut are what harmed it:

“Several members of the roster reacted to the reception from most fans and echoed that sentiment, with multiple indicating that it was a matter of circumstance that made it fall flat from the positioning on the show to the ‘lights off, lights on’ appearance of Satnam Singh. One wrestler said that doing a lights out for an unknown talent isn’t optimal, and thinks it should have been done another way.”

However, the report also states that there is some optimism among the talent that Fightful spoke to regarding the positive direction of the business decision to help the company in the Indian market. While no one thought the execution was done as well as it should have been, one roster member indicated that if helping to grow the market in India will in turn help them in terms of raising their salary, then they’re willing to take a bad debut.

Fightful also spoke with multiple talent who’ve trained with Satnam Singh since he signed a developmental deal with AEW in September of 2021. One person said that Singh has been training daily for eight months, and that he might surprise people with some of the tricks he has up his sleeve. Everyone that spoke with Fightful said that Indian star has a good attitude and is willing to learn, and that he’s been working very hard.

Satnam Singh signed with AEW in September 2021 before being trained at the Nightmare Factory. Singh holds the distinction of being the first-ever NBA-drafted player to come from India.

The 7’3″ giant was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks back in 2015 and played for their affiliate, the Texas Legends. In 2016, Singh was the star of a Netflix documentary, ‘One in a Billion’ which followed his journey from a rural farming village in India to being drafted by the NBA.

At the time of his signing, AEW President Tony Khan described the move as an “exciting addition to our roster.”