Former WWE guys can get a bad reputation in AEW from wrestlers like MJF and Scorpio Sky, but the Blackpool Fighting Club resists this as an island of mismatched toys that never fit into The Other Company’s mold. In addition to Wheeler YUTA, the band consists entirely of performers who have performed in WWE to one degree or another. It’s not where they’ve all spent their entire careers, but it’s certainly where they’ve ended up on the radar of more casual wrestling fans.
John Moxley was influential because he worked at The Shield, Brian Danielson, like Moxley, is a former world champion for the company, while Claudio Castagnoli was never given a chance to take the ball and run with it. These people are united by William Regal, who spoke in detail about the fact that he never managed to realize his potential in WWE.
This makes Blackpool Combat Club even more attractive. Especially for the AEW audience, which mainly consists of former WWE fans who were looking for a different, more professional wrestling-oriented product with All Elite Wrestling. While WWE is well versed in sports entertainment, AEW has always tried to keep a closer eye on the tracks that the likes of NJPW and ROH have rooted out over the past few years in North America. Special attention is paid to long-term storytelling, and the audience is treated like adults who can remember what happened on television two weeks ago, without being reminded three times by commentators, followed by a video package and another reminder.
There is no denying that the Blackpool Fighting Club owes much of its star power to WWE, since it was there that these people largely gained fame. However, this should not mean that they carry with them any stigma of an ex-boyfriend from WWE. These are performers who have been largely chewed up and spit out by a sports entertainment machine in Stamford, Connecticut. Moxley spoke at length about how unhappy he was with the creativity he was given while working at the company, and he almost immediately began looking for violent matches that made him famous in an independent circle before joining WWE.
Danielson’s rise to WWE champion was caused only by the fact that fans literally took over the show with shouts of “yes”. WWE resisted it as much as it could, but in the end, he couldn’t be denied a WrestleMania moment. However, the American Dragon is not made of the same fabric as other WWE sports artists, and once he was even fired from the company for strangling someone with his own tie. And then there’s the new member, Claudio Castagnoli, who was largely underused by WWE during his 11-year stint there. From 2013 to 2016, he won the Wrestling News Observer award in the category “Most Underrated Wrestler”. Now that he’s at AEW, he has the presence and fame needed to become an AEW world champion someday. Add to this William Regal, a member of the royal family of wrestlers, as a manager, and the Blackpool Fighting Club became the home of AEW for former WWE wrestlers who left this company to change their careers in AEW.