AEW President Tony Khan says two of his breakout stars were both coveted by WWE before they became All Elite and Khan put them together as The Acclaimed.
Anthony Bowens and ‘Platinum’ Max Caster were both singles wrestlers that had come through Brian Myers and Pat Bucks Create-A-Pro Wrestling School. Initially coming in for matches in AEW individually, Tony Khan took the opportunity to put them together and form The Acclaimed.
A breakout act of 2021, fans getting back to shows in ever-increasing numbers are hooked by Caster’s raps on the way to the ring, and both men showing great skills inside the squared circle when they finally get there.
Speaking to Mike Johnson of PWInsider, Tony Khan touched on some of the success stories in AEW and says that he wasn’t the only one interested in signing Caster and Bowens.
“There’s a lot of big success stories in AEW. Red Velvet and Will Hobbs and a number of other wrestlers, including a team that I put together, The Acclaimed. The Acclaimed were singles wrestlers. They both went to the same school, Create A Pro, but they’d never teamed. And I saw them both on Dark and they were, frankly, the WWE put a little pressure on me with both of them. I think they were both people the WWE wanted, and I really wanted to use both of them.”
“And then I thought about it and I had this thought about The Acclaimed and I brought them together. And there’s a lot of teams that have gotten, I think, the benefit of Dark and Elevation as platforms that are kind of teams that I’ve kind of put together. The same, The Acclaimed got the amazing reaction at Double or Nothing. Particularly in the beginning of the Battle Royale when Max rapped. Anthony is an actor, such a versatile wrestler. Max Caster and Anthony Bowens a tremendous pair and they’ve gotten to develop and they really became an act and got over on Dark and Elevation with the fans and then got integrated into the regular programming on Dynamite. I wanted to keep using them and keep featuring them in special ways. And they’ve really delivered time after time.”
Khan added that he was proud of what both men have achieved in such a short time and puts some of that success down to AEW having their own additional content on YouTube in the form of AEW Dark and AEW Dark: Elevation.
“So I’m really proud of what The Acclaimed have done and that again came from Dark and Elevation. It’s a developmental system in many ways for us,” he said. “And it also gives us a chance for the stars to get some reps in and work with the young talent. But it’s not our bread and butter platform, frankly.”
Anthony Bowens recently spoke about how he feels his partnership with Platinum Max in AEW has been a “Godsend.”