According to a recent report from Fightful Select, significant changes may be on the horizon for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in terms of in-ring product and safety measures. The company has reportedly circulated a document outlining these proposed changes, although not all talent have seen it yet.
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The document, which is said to have been confirmed as legitimate by multiple individuals within the company, focuses on minimizing risk without compromising the quality of performances and creative abilities of the talent. It includes protocols developed by the AEW medical team, coaches, and referees to ensure the safety of performers, staff, crew, and fans.
Among the specific changes mentioned in the document are the outright banning of certain moves and actions. These include unprotected chair shots to the head, shots to the back of the head, buckle bombs, blind moves into the turnbuckle, fencing responses (unnatural arm positions following a concussion), seizure sells, spitting, bleeding in the crowd, using weapons or projectiles in the crowd, taking drinks or food from fans, and physical contact with the crowd. It is emphasized that nothing with blood should be thrown into the crowd.
While these changes primarily affect the offensive moves of some wrestlers, buckle bombs and similar attacks seem to be the only ones explicitly disallowed. However, instances of bleeding wrestlers in the crowd and physical interactions with fans, such as those involving MJF and Bryan Danielson, have been observed.
The document also includes a broader list of spots and moves that are still permitted but require approval from medical and the assigned coaches for the match. It is important to note that the list is not exhaustive and may be subject to adjustment by medical, legal, and coaching staff. Approved moves must be performed in accordance with the established safety protocols.
Here is a verbatim list from the document of moves that necessitate coach approval:
- Spots and bumps on the ring apron and outside
- Table/ladder/chair spots in and out of the ring (Only allowed with padding)
- Elevated spots outside of the barricades (dives and ladder spots on stage, around the arena, and other places outside of the ring)
- All piledriver/tombstone variations, including sit-down drivers, inverted/poison hurricanrana, and vertebreakers
- High-risk dives or top rope moves (450, 630, double moonsaults, SSP, etc.)
- Intentional bleeding (of any kind, not just blading)
- Throwing people into/through/over ring steps, commentary table, bell table, or guardrails/barricades
- Weapon usage: chairs, pipes, kendo sticks, hammers, ring bells, bats, chains, etc.
- Title belts
- Thumbtacks, skewers, barbed wire, and other sharp/puncturing objects
- Powders, aerosol sprays, or liquids
- Throwing any weapons or objects (chairs, etc.)
- Choking/strangling with hands or a weapon or hanging spots
- Injury spots or angles, whether or not medical is involved/called to the ring
- Any physicality in the crowd or crowd brawling
- Any physicality involving referees, managers, extras, celebrities, or special guests
Photo Credit: AEW