Before he showed up on the Oct. 12 Dynamite in Toronto, Shawn Spears hadn’t been seen on AEW television since before Double or Nothing in May. That was when he wrapped up his role in the feud between Wardlow and Maxwell Jacob Friedman, losing the steel cage match that earned the big man his shot at his then-employer MJF.
Since then, we’d heard the good news that Spears and wife Cassie Lee (known as Peyton Royce in her WWE days) are expecting their first child. It wasn’t the only major life event Shawn dealt with while he was away — as the Ontario native explained in an emotional promo after the Oct. 14 Rampage ended with Wardlow & Samoa Joe coming to Spears & FTR’s aid against the debuting Kingdom.
“So I’ve been gone for a long time, and there’s been some speculation as to why: Injuries, different plans, none of that’s true. I don’t know if it’s because I’m in Toronto. I don’t know if it’s because I’m home. I’m a pretty private person, but I feel like I owe you all an explanation.
“Two months ago, I Iost my mom. And she would have been front and center like she has been at every other show if she was here tonight. But that woman is a Perfect 10 in every way, shape, and form.
“Two blessings came out of that. Number one, we had time to say everything we ever wanted to say, to make her feel as loved as she possibly could. Most people don’t have that luxury. The second blessing was that on this Mother’s Day, she was the very first person to know that I was gonna be a father. So the way I see it, there’s a Guardian Angel looking over my soon-to-be beautiful baby boy.
“So I’ve been pulled in a bunch of different directions mentally, and emotionally. But I knew that coming home, each and every one of you would show up. Goddamn, did you ever. From the bottom of my heart, I will never, ever forget this day, and I have you all to thank for that.
“In this ring stands four men that I greatly admire. I admire them all as talents, I admire them all as men. Hey, Dax — if I could be half the father that you are to Finley, then I’m gonna be okay.
“I love you, Canada. Thank you for having us. We will be back.”
Good stuff. The former Tye Dillinger became a bit of a punchline when AEW treated his arrival as a big deal back in 2019, but he’s always been very good at pro wrestling, and demonstrated that once he settled into his role with The Pinnacle. Regardless of any of that, though, life’s sent him on a roller coaster lately, and it’s cool to see him back doing what he loves.
An explanation as to why he and Wardlow are buddies again would still be nice... but for now, we’ll just say welcome back to The Chairman.