Welcome back to another round of Quick Takes—a post that indulges in the topics that aren’t worth dedicating a full article to, but are still on my mind.
Each week, I try to cram in as many smaller talking points as I can via a speedier process, and I invite you to chime in with your own thoughts about these topics and anything else by keeping the discussion going in the comments below! Drop some more talking points in there for everyone to chat it up about, too!
Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s topics.
RIP Brodie Lee
First and foremost, as I was writing this up, terrible news broke. Jonathan Huber, better known as Mr. Brodie Lee in AEW or Luke Harper in WWE, has passed away.
For a multitude of reasons, this is just awful. You can spit out the usual talking points: he was so young, he still had so much more to offer, he seemed like he was such a nice guy, what a horrible time of the year for this to happen (as if there’s ever a good time)…etc.
The wrestling business has lost a lot of people recently, but we had been spared a younger talent’s passing for a bit of a stretch. Then, something like this happens and it just reminds you of how each day not including a report like this is a blessing.
This came out of nowhere. There wasn’t some public “battle with ____” coverage going on. All of this seemed to be behind the scenes, for the most part. Maybe that’s why it’s so shocking and adds some extra sting to it. Not that it would have been any better knowing what was happening in advance, to be fair.
This is just flat out horrible news to hear for his family, friends, fans, the business and everything in general. He was very, very talented (grossly underutilized) and none of this should happen to anyone.
Like everyone else, I’m naturally curious how this will be addressed. Is AEW going to run a tribute show? What will happen to Dark Order? So on and so forth. But now is not the time to worry about creative. There are other matters of life in general that are much more important and will always take priority over the ring.
RIP Brodie Lee.
AEW Dark / AEW Elevation / A Second Show
AEW has spoken numerous times about having a “second show” despite the fact that they already do have one in AEW Dark. Yes, it’s on YouTube, so that doesn’t count quite the same as Dynamite on TNT, but when Dark is longer than Dynamite, it calls into question what qualifiers you’re using for whether something is a show or not.
This past week, AEW trademarked “AEW Dark” (they didn’t have that before?) and “AEW Elevation”. As such, it seemed this was an indicator the second (technically third) show would be AEW Elevation and it would focus on the younger rookies and more inexperienced talent as a sort of NXT for All Elite Wrestling.
Other talks have said that’s not true, though. So we’re currently at a standstill where AEW has these trademarks, has a 2.5 or even longer episode of TV each week that airs on top of Dynamite but isn’t considered a second show, and wants to not only split that up, but create another show to focus on young talent…and none of that is “the second show”???
Here’s what I’m thinking is happening and how there may be some confusion going on.
Once AEW starts touring, they won’t be able to record 15 matches for Dark anymore. They’ll go back to doing one or two before Dynamite and one or two afterward. The show will be roughly 30 minutes or so on YouTube and will feature talent that is on the B-level, like Angelico vs Frankie Kazarian or Powerhouse Hobbs against Kip Sabian—people who are names, but aren’t the top-tier talent that will find a way on Dynamite nearly every week (like Cody Rhodes, Jon Moxley, etc). It may be cut in two parts or it could air all in one shot.
Then, AEW Elevation will focus on people like Top Flight, Red Velvet, Griff Garrison and others who are in that less-seasoned bracket and need a place to get more reps in. This, I think, will be the second show, despite how some things say otherwise.
If that’s not the case, then I’m utterly confused. I don’t get how AEW can have 2 hours of Dynamite, anywhere close to Dark the way it is now (even if it’s split in half), whatever Elevation would be and then another whole second TNT show on top of that. That’s overkill on a WWE level and AEW should be trying to avoid that.
WWE Collective Trademark = Bivens Enterprises?
WWE has tried to file a trademark for “The Collective” for whatever reason. Maybe it’s just to spite the indie feds. I don’t think that’s necessarily true, though. I think WWE has a plan in mind for the name and didn’t bother realizing there was already GCW’s use of the phrase before.
Assuming it’s not just an attempt to dig at the competition, what could it be for? It seems like it would apply more to a faction than anything else like a television show, merchandising or anything of that nature.
I’m pointing fingers at Malcolm Bivens. He had started “Bivens Enterprises” and only recruited Indus Sher. Then, a few weeks later, they were gone and have been MIA the majority of this pandemic.
Recently, though, he resurfaced and has recruited Tyler Rust to his cause. I think this is the start of forming a new stable where Bivens Enterprises isn’t the name they go with, but they were hoping to use The Collective. Whoever else joins is beside the point. I think it was literally going to be just “Bivens has a group of people around him and they call themselves The Collective” as I can’t picture anything else on Raw, SmackDown, NXT, NXT UK or 205 Live forming into a stable other than his recruitment.
I don’t think WWE will be able to trademark this all the way through. As such, I expect the name to change. We may never know for sure what it was going to be used for. But I’ll put my flag down now that if Bivens forms a full-on faction and they call themselves anything but Bivens Enterprises—especially if their name gets trademarked soon—that will be an indicator this was what it was all about.