Spoiler reports from a taping of AEW’s Rampage in Chicago on Wednesday, June 21 indicated that the segment involving The Acclaimed and QTV was loudly booed and likely edited so that TV viewers could understand what was going on.
Everything they did works fine. As it aired on TNT last night (June 23), the Wintrust Arena crowd clearly didn’t want to hear QTV’s Harley Cameron talk, nor did they want to hear her rap. We can debate whether it’s “good heat,” “shake off the heat,” or even “misogynistic heat,” but the scene brings out the main points.
Max Custer, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn feud with QT Marshall’s crew, and that crew now includes John Morrison of WWE/Impact/MLW/AAA/Lucha Underground fame. However long he’s been in AEW this time around, he’s going to Johnny TV.
Is the takeaway not key to the story but so great this part? A joke about Cameron hitting on Bowens led to a cheery, supportive “He’s gay” cheer from the AEW fans.
American wrestling fans aren’t all bad.
In addition to the crowd, a lot of the credit for a moment like this goes to people like Bowens for being in the space, advocating for LGBTQ people and their causes, and not wanting to allow their sexuality or identity to be used for laughs or the kinds of queer panic angles that wrestling has been known for in the past. We also have to tip our hats to allies like CM Punk, Kenny Omega, and the many others who work in almost every promotion. We’ll also be giving props to several of those promotions, including AEW, WWE, and Impact who seem to be moving ahead with their marketing plans for Pride Month despite what happened to companies like Target this month.
While fun, it’s not the focal point of the strip. So… what do you think of Johnny TV?