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Darby Allin & Jungle Boy weigh in on ‘Four Pillars of AEW’ label

On Sunday (May 28), Darby Allin & Jungle Boy Jack Perry will get in the ring with Sammy Guevara & Maxwell Jacob Friedman for a 4Way with MJF’s AEW World title on the line.

It’s not just any 4Way, though. It’s a 4Way with the young men AEW labeled its “Four Young Pillars” back in 2021, after Friedman used the term on Dynamite.

“We’re on the precipice of something truly spectacular. This company keeps building more and more momentum, and whether I care to admit it or not, there are a handful of young men who’ve been here from the beginning that will keep pushing this company forward for the next couple of decades.

“Four men to be exact – four pillars – Jungle Boy; beat him. Sammy Guevara; beat him. Darby Allin; whatever, and then you got the strongest pillar, the pillar who had the first match at All In, the pillar who participated in the first-ever match for this company, the youngest athlete to main event an AEW PPV – the pillar who is better than you and you know it.”

As things often can be on a Tony Khan-booked show, it’s a reference to something else from wrestling history. In this case, All Japan Pro Wrestling’s “Four Pillars of Heaven”: Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Toshiaki Kawada, and Akira Taue. But whether you knew that or not, AEW did it’s best to make sure that when you think of their pillars, you think of MJF, Allin, Guevara & Perry (and sometimes Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D., but that’s another story).

During the course of their current program, Darby & Jungle Boy have been asked what they think about being a pillar. Given it’s something Max coined, it’s not surprising neither loved it.

At least initially for Perry, as he told Paste Magazine he’s come around on it:

“At first, it really didn’t mean a lot to me, I think the whole thing was kind of propaganda by MJF, realistically. It was a way to position himself as the best of the four pillars. And I think that’s why he came up with the phrase.

“But I do think he was onto something. And then I think, when you look at the four of us, we’re all super different in a lot of ways. But we’re all young, hungry guys, who really try and push what we’re doing every time we’re out there. And I think, you know, in the beginning it wasn’t even a thing, but I never thought ‘I want to be a ‘pillar’ of this company.’ I just wanted to go out there and have the very best matches that I could have, every single time. And I think those three guys are very similar in that respect. And we do it in different ways.

“But I think that’s a very kind of common goal that we’ve all had from the beginning. And I guess it’s yeah, it’s nice to see people recognize that, you know, just the group of us and what we’re kind of trying to do and help push the company forward and grow with it and whatnot.”

Allin meanwhile told Fightful he likes their current World title program, but he still doesn’t think the name should only apply to the four of them:

“I don’t know. I never liked that term, pillars. Never liked it, never liked it. I think it sounds like a cute catchphrase Max came up with. To me, pillars, it feels like we’re above people when we call ourselves pillars and I honestly feel like whoever is ride or die with this company is a pillar in my eyes. So it takes more than just four guys and you got a guy like MJF, how can you really call yourself a pillar when you don’t even know if you want to be here in 2024?

“So, like I said, man. Instead of making a shirt with four dudes on it, put the whole roster. Put everybody. Cause we’re all pillars, man. We’re all gonna grow this company. It’s so new. I don’t like calling myself a pillar. But I do like the fact that we are four homegrown talents getting in that spotlight. That’s awesome. But a pillar? No.”

Both make good points. From a fan perspective, it’s catchy — but it’s a lot to live up to. At times during their Double or Nothing feud, they haven’t quite been up to it. They’re four young men who will definitely be valuable pieces of AEW or whatever company they go to in their careers, but with the likely exception of MJF — the jury is still out on on whether they’re foundational pieces.

They may yet mature into ones, though. They can take a big step in doing so this weekend in Vegas. We’ll see if they do. Until then, you can weigh in on the “Four Pillars” label in the comments below.

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