There is no question that 2020 has been a strange year for professional wrestling. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed the way companies have presented their product. AEW has been no exception.
At Full Gear, AEW Champion Jon Moxley defended his championship against Eddie Kingston. After "The Murderhawk" Lance Archer got the virus, a six-man tag that was scheduled for an edition on AEW Dynamite was canceled, and Tony Khan pivoted with a match between Moxley and Kingston instead.
It was so well-received, AEW continued the feud all the way to the pay-per-view. It's just another example of how the coronavirus can alter companies' long-term plans, for better or for worse.
Jon Moxley talks about AEW rolling with the punches during the COVID pandemic
On Saturday night at the AEW Full Gear media scrum, Moxley spoke about how difficult it is to tell long-term stories right now, with the current state of the world...
"Well I'm the World Champ around here and it's not my job to get frustrated. It's my job to take every opportunity and make it as best I can and tell stories. And I think, you know, me and Tony have a good relationship and everybody here does, it's a team effort.
"Since the beginning of all this crap you know I was stuck at home for a while or whatever and they were filming in Atlanta and it was all weird and we didn't know if we were going to do this pay per view. But he was like we've gotta do the pay per view and he was explaining to me the situation and the direness of the situation. From the get-go no pressure whatsoever, like dude if you want to come that would be great but with the pandemic, whatever. And I was like, I'm with you...I'm 100% with you. I'm ride or die with you man...let's do this.
"Because it's vital to the industry that AEW be a success, for the whole industry. For the good things that have all come from it across the board. But as far as the storylines, you just gotta pivot. You gotta realize in 2020, and for hopefully not into next year or however long this thing is around. The day of the show, no matter what show it is, everything could change.
"Someone could get sick on the day or pop for COVID or whatever or somebody was in contact with someone. You can't literally bubble wrap yourself. You know you might find out that sh*t I was in contact and now I'm off the show...that can happen. The whole card today could have changed on a dime and I think fans are sympathetic to that and understand, everybody would rather people be safe."
Moxley would go on to say that no matter what happens right now in AEW, if one person goes down temporarily there are plenty of other people on the roster ready to step up.
"You just gotta roll with the punches and Eddie is a guy who took an opportunity and stepped in and we have so many guys in AEW who are ready to step in at a moment's notice and take opportunity. I got all these great wrestlers to wrestle, so it's easy for me. If I didn't get to work with this guy, this other guy presents a whole new set of challenges and new opportunity for a different story."
It's certainly been a challenging year for the industry as a whole, but All Elite Wrestling continues to put its best foot forward, adapting to the situations the pandemic has put them in.