Eddie Kingston: Truth is King of the Liars
You know, the professional wrestling business has a lie it likes to tell, among the many. That lie is that there’s an intelligent design for everything. The men and women they choose to be stars become the stars. Bookers hand pick their future champion and that’s just the way things work.
They also like to tell the lie of the brass ring. That you can be nothing and just reach for that brass ring of opportunity and become the next great superstar.
Both are lies.
But that’s what this business is about. Which lie can you make real?
Eddie Kingston throughout his career has often portrayed the role of the liar, the cheater, the scoundel. Despite this, Kingston’s true reputation is built on his honesty. On his passion for the wrestling business, a passion that often takes more than it gives. It beat him down, it broke him apart, it left him to the sidelines to watch as people chased the lie. Chasing the lie of being chosen. Chasing the lie of the brass ring. Eddie instead chased the fleeting adrenaline rush of being a professional wrestler in front of anyone that let him fight in front of them.
Eddie Kingston: King of Survivors
And then one day? Opportunity came. Not in a brass ring. But in a call out.
There was no brass ring to grab. There was no hand picked opportunity. Eddie Kingston took a shot in the dark because not much mattered anymore. The wrestling business was being taken away from him through a global pandemic, with no real idea of when it would return. The indies, the only place he could always go back to, was shrinking. In his own words, he was selling his wrestling gear to pay for his mortgage. Eddie didn’t call out Cody Rhodes because there was a guaranteed opportunity. He did it because what else was there to do?
And yet, he found himself in the same boots he worked armouries in, now stomping a mud hole in the Prince of Pro Wrestling.
Kingston, almost accidentally, laid out a perfect situation for the All Elite Wrestling TNT champion. Cody Rhodes had been fighting a lot of younger wrestlers still trying to make a name for themselves. On Twitter, there was a campaign for independent star Warhorse to get the shot (he would the week later), but here was grizzled veteran Eddie Kingston opening the show to wrestle for the championship. Cody now had an opportunity to prove he could get down and dirty, he could get hardcore, he could hit hard and get hit back. Kingston served a purpose for Cody Rhodes.
Eddie Kingston: King of the Territories
Kingston, wearing Toshiaki Kawada yellow, proved why he’s a veteran to the game. He worked a match where despite being the aggressor and the heel, built an excuse for his loss, and came off very much like a sympathetic warrior losing a battle he couldn’t afford to lose. Despite Kawada being better known for his kicks (we don’t call it a Kawada kick for nothing), Kawada’s gift in pro wrestling was his ability to sell. Kingston hobbled away, and cut a post show promo that didn’t sound like a man who would soon become the number one heel in all of AEW. He spoke truth in his worked loss.
The old school contingent of pro wrestling often forgets that the things that worked back in the day worked because it was back in the day. But they are right to learn from the past. The problem is they get distracted by the types who make it obvious that they are throwbacks. Eddie Kingston doesn’t make it obvious, but he’s as throwback as they come. He’s the territorial heel of the 70s and 80s that gave babyfaces the key to unlock a gate and fill every seat. He is Archie “The Stomper” Gouldie in Calgary. He is “Dirty” Dick Slater in Mid-South. He is “Number One” Paul Jones in Florida. Eddie Kingston isn’t there to make you feel good about your favourite pro wrestler. He’s there to make you worry he’s going to take what you think he doesn’t deserve.
But make no mistake. This isn’t a business about what a person deserves. This is a business about what you can take from the wrestling business the most before it takes everything away from you. And that’s what wrestling had almost done to Kingston. And now in All Elite Wrestling, he’s taking this opportunity better than anyone has done in 2020. The only wrestler in the world right now who can argue to have taken opportunity as well as Kingston is Minoru Suzuki in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Truth is King of the Liars
It was just July that Eddie Kingston entered AEW not as a signed wrestler but a free agent on the indies. Since then, he was the second last man in a battle royal he wasn’t properly eliminated at the All Out pay per view. He wrestled Jon Moxley for the AEW World championship on Dynamite for his second title shot in the company in only three months, only to lose by referee’s decision. And this Saturday, he faces Moxley again for the same championship, this time (likely) in the main event of the Full Gear pay per view.
Every step of the way, Eddie has made an impact on every show he has been on. Whether it’s Dynamite, Dark, or a pay per view, Eddie Kingston is showing people who never saw him why he is everything he says and possibly more. While most focus on his golden tongue, his work in the ring is all about making his opponent look like they just fought a war and left a piece of themselves behind.
He walked into PAC’s role with the Lucha Bros. and recruited Butcher and Blade to immediately form the most dangerous faction in AEW, supplanting the Inner Circle due to Chris Jericho having orange juice matches with Orange Cassidy and dancing with MJF instead of going after the World title. And he formed it with a wink, leaving viewers to wonder if this is part of a master plan for himself.
But everything Eddie says in a world of lies, the world of professional wrestling, is injected with truth. He wasn’t insulting Jon Moxley for going to WWE, he was insulting him for not taking Eddie with him. He could have got back into the ring in the battle royal after being eliminated when he never went over the top and demanding the match be restarted, but instead he used that knowledge to leverage a World title shot when Lance Archer couldn’t make it. He passed out in his match with Moxley but he never tapped, allowing him to say he never lost and turned it into a second title shot, this time on pay per view, and this time with an I Quit stipulation.
From the pandemic, to his AEW debut, to a title shot battle royal, to a title shot, all in the span of four months, Eddie Kingston exposes the lie of the intelligent design by designing his own path. He exposes the lie of the brass ring by taking what wasn’t there to reach for. Truth, for Eddie Kingston, is the king of liars. He has made both lies real. No longer on the sidelines as just a good talker. No longer selling gear to pay a mortgage. Eddie Kingston is King, and on Saturday? He can call himself Champion.