Anthony Bowens – ‘The Acclaimed Owe The Fans Everything’


Anthony Bowens has penned an article for The Player’s Tribune centering on The Acclaimed’s rise to babyface status in AEW, the importance of their “Scissor Me” catchphrase, the inclusivity of their fanbase, and more.

You can check out some highlights from Bowens’ article below:


On the group’s evolution into babyfaces: “What you guys have let me and Max and Billy be a part of in the Acclaimed … this ride you’ve gone on with us over the last year … it means everything to me. It’s funny, because when the Acclaimed first started, we were insane levels of hated. Not just as Wrestling Bad Guys. I’m talking, like, mobs of people in AEW’s Twitter mentions when we’d have a segment, begging them to get us off their TV. We just rolled with it, though. It’s a good example honestly of me becoming comfortable in my own skin. Like if I’d seen some of those tweets in the beginning of my career, it would have rattled the hell out of me. But I had a much better sense now of who I was as a person — and who Max and I were trying to be as performers. So I leaned into it. I was brainstorming one day and I thought, We’re playing delusional assholes. What would these guys think about all the hate they get?? Oh, right: they’d be FLATTERED. And they’d think it means that everyone secretly loves them. A few minutes later, we had our catchphrase. Everyone loves the Acclaimed.”

On their catchphrase: “The irony of our catchphrase, of course, is that there ended up being no irony to it at all. Once the COVID era was over and we were wrestling in front of live crowds again, we started to get these unbelievable reactions. It’s like it was somehow gradual and sudden: People went from hating us, to “hating” us, to respecting us, to loving us. Max’s raps became a big deal. Scissoring caught on. We found our third member with Daddy Ass. We lost a heartbreaker in Chicago, but stole the show. Then we won the rematch (and the belts!) in New York. From there we were off and running. A year later — as AEW trios champs — we still are.”

On the group’s inclusivity: “When I scream EVERYONE LOVES THE ACCLAIMED now, though, what I’m most proud of isn’t the LOVES part — it’s the EVERYONE part. It’s how every night we do this, we’re walking out there, we’re being outrageous and debaucherous and f*cking ridiculous, we’re having the best time, the most fun … and EVERYONE is invited. Everyone. That’s what the Acclaimed is truly about to me at the end of the day. So I wanted to put a few words down and say that. Thanks for giving us a chance / sticking with us through the pandemic / going crazy for Max’s bars / scissoring until your fingers bleed / singing “OHHHHHH SCISSOR ME DADDYYYY” / buying foam fingers / hating Billy’s sons so much that he decided he’d rather spend time with us. Thanks for letting a queer Black kid from New Jersey live out his wrestling dream. Thanks for coming to this party just as you are. We’re glad you’re here.”

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