On this week’s Rampage, the second of AEW’s two Grand Slam shows in New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium, hip hop and culinary television star Action Bronson will make his pro wrestling debut. He’ll team with HOOK, who enters to Bronson’s song “The Chairman’s Intent”, to take on Jericho Appreciation Society’s Daddy Magic Matt Menard & Cool Hand Ang Parker.
The angle was set-up when AB got in the ring after HOOK defeated Parker on the All Out pre-show, with the match being made official with a pre-tape promo that aired on AEW TV last week.
Bronson explained to The MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani how it came together. He’s been a fan of the business since he was a kid growing up in Queens, but he never thought it would happen. The nine or ten weeks ago:
“They had the idea first for me to walk him [HOOK] down the ring, and then I started training a little bit and they saw my athleticism and my prowess. [I train] in Long Island at the same place MJF did... it’s called Create-A-Pro. I like to give them a plug because they showed me a lot of love... it’s a great space. It is a school, it’s more — it’s like a dojo [run by AEW producer] Pat Buck. And Taz got everything hooked up through there, and just started fucking around, you know, teaching me shit.”
Helwani brought up how many MMA fighters he’s interviewed that have tried or moved over to pro wrestling, and how they’ve all commented on how it’s harder than it looks. Bronson knows, and that’s why there’s one thing he says we won’t see him do on Friday’s broadcast (the match is being taped Wednesday):
“Taking a bump is not — I just fucking practice offense. Fuck that. I don’t fall... I have in the contract, I don’t fall. Fuck that... but nah, taking bumps is serious. It’s not an easy thing.“
He’s into the rest of what he’s been learning though:
“I’ve worked out and I’ve trained in different styles of training before and this is definitely one of the toughest. I love [running the ropes]. It’s intense, it makes me feel good. It makes me feel strong, but you have to hit them right. There’s no doubt about it, you have to be taught these things. There’s right ways and there’s wrong ways.”
Action’s weight loss over the past couple years is the stuff of legend (he’s dropped over 100 pounds), but he’s still a big guy. That doesn’t mean he can’t do a hurricanrana. Don’t expect to see one though:
“I can do lots of things that I’m not going to pull out of the bag. Just know that there’s an arsenal of over 1,000 moves. Straight up. I have more than him [Dean Malenko].”
Is this is the proverbial one shot deal for Bronson? He told Helwani he’s really enjoying his time in pro wrestling, and hopes to do more after Friday.
Will we want to see more from HOOK’s big meaty partner? We’ll let you know after we see his debut. In the meantime, you can watch AB and AH chat about MMA, baseball, hashish and more on The MMA Hour right here.