Some changes are set to be coming to the AEW television product soon in order to improve performer and fan safety.
Per Fightful Select, a document was sent out within AEW that outlined some of these changes that the company is planning to make.
Multiple people in the company confirmed the document was legitimate, but there are numerous talent who said that they had not seen it as of yet.
The protocols were developed by the AEW medical team, coaches and referees in order to protect talent, staff, crew and fans.
The document noted that, while there is always risk in pro wrestling, they were hoping to minimize that risk without compromising the quality of the performances and creativity of the talent.
Specifically, a document was sent out that outright banned unprotected chair shots to the head, shots to the back of the head, buckle bombs and blind moves backwards into the turnbuckle, fencing responses, seizure sells, spitting, bleeding in the crowd, weapons or projectiles in the crowd, taking drinks or food from guests in the crowd, or physical contact with the crowd, as well as noting that nothing with blood on it should be thrown into the crowd.
These changes will affect the offense of a few wrestlers, but the only moves seemingly banned are buckle bombs and other attacks of the like.
However, there have been numerous cases of wrestlers bleeding in the crowd, as well as MJF being known for physical interactions with fans, and Bryan Danielson for his seizure sells.
On top of the list, there was also a number of spots that was much more broad listed which are still permitted. These moves must be approved by the medical, and the coaches assigned to the match.
It was noted that the list was not comprehensive, and could be adjusted by medical, legal and coaching staff, and that when approved, the moves are to be performed in accordance with safety protocols put in place.
Below is the list verbatim from the document of moves that need to be approved:
– Spots and bumps on the ring apron and outside
– Table/ladder/chair spots in and out of the ring (Only allowed with padding)
– Any 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 hurricarana and vertebreakers
– High-risk dives or top rope moves (450, 630, double moonsaults, SSP, etc.) Intentional bleeding (of any sort, 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 o 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
It’s worth reiterating that the above list of moves are the ones which require approval, while the group mentioned prior are completely prohibited.
The document said that providing the necessary parties with notice in order to plan ‘creative stunts and spots’ is helpful, as that way they can be planned to be done as safely as possible.
Talent have also been encouraged to speak to coaches, talent relations, medical team or legal as soon as possible for things that would require planning.
One talent that spoke to Fightful said that they believe this is a good move, and will help the show be more streamlined, helping to avoid repeat spots and moves in general.
It will also help instill some authority on the coaches in the company, as well as help production prepare for spots.
Most of the talent that has spoken to Fightful have agreed that it was a necessary ‘tightening of the screws’ for the company.
PWInsider has also mentioned that fines will be given out to anyone who doesn’t comply with the new rules.
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