Eddie Kingston shocked the wrestling world as he arrived on AEW Dynamite to challenge Cody for the TNT Championship. The Mad King’s performance was enough to earn himself a full-time contract with AEW, the culmination of his 18 years of grinding through Independent wrestling.
From Chikara to CZW to PWG to Ring of Honor, Kingston has been everywhere and has done everything, but now he has the chance to showcase his talents on national television. If you aren’t familiar with the work of the Mad King, you should check out these five matches to familiarise yourself before he runs roughshod on AEW with his new gang.
Eddie Kingston vs Walter – Progress Unified World Championship – Progress Chapter 91
Eddie Kingston and Walter managed to put on the slugfest you would expect from two of the best brawlers in the word whilst adding excellent storyline elements to the match. Commentary put Kingston over by saying that he is one of the few men that can possibly match Walter for the power in his chops and that is explored throughout the match.
Kingston would continually light up Walter with chops whilst ducking and dodging to avoid any from the Ring General. One of the highlights of the match came as Kingston ducked a chop from Walter, making the progress champion chop the ring post. But as Walter eventually lands his first chop of the match Kingston sells it expertly as he looks to retort with a chop of his own but collapses to his knees in pain, really putting over the power of Walter’s chops.
Kingston continually looks to chop Walter down, hitting him with three Backfist’s To The Future, his long-time finisher, but can only get a two. Walter dominates Kingston into the finish, hitting him with a huge powerbomb before locking in the Gojira Clutch to retain the Progress Unified Championship. This showed the Mad King’s ability to put over bigger men and it would be great to see him have a similar match with the monsters of AEW such as Lance Archer, Brian Cage and former Chikara rival Brodie Lee.
Eddie Kingston vs Cody – TNT Championship – AEW Dynamite
The Mad King’s debut on AEW Dynamite was an electrifying match and was enough to convince Tony Khan to give him a contract. As Cody came out for his TNT Championship open challenge, fans had no idea that they would then be greeted by an incredible promo from Kingston, talking about the struggles that he has been through. The match helped to legitimise the reign of Cody as TNT Champion, showing that he can brawl with one of the best and most sadistic brawlers in the game.
Kingston forced the American Nightmare to fight in his style, with the two brawling around the ring and lighting each other up with strikes. But Cody continually worked the left leg of the Mad King, attacking his previously surgically repaired left knee as he worked towards the Figure Four. Kingston powerbombed Cody onto a pile of thumb tacs in the ring, but he would eventually be defeated with the Figure Four.
The Mad King showed that he can hang with one of the best wrestlers in AEW and left many wondering the quality of match he could have with the likes of Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho.
Eddie Kingston vs Sara Del Rey – Chikara Grand Championship – The Great Escape
Eddie Kingston put his Chikara Grand Championship on line at the Great Escape against the soon to be departing Sara Del Rey. The match pits the kicks of Del Rey against the brawling abilities of Kingston, with the underdog Del Rey looking to claim the Grand Championship. This is one of the most drama filled matches from Kingston, with a number of incredibly close near falls that had the crowd on edge throughout.
Del Rey continually looks for kicks to the left leg of Kingston, trying to cut the bigger man down and reduce his striking abilities. Kingston sells the offence of Del Rey perfectly, even allowing her to hit him with an incredible piledriver for two. Del Rey thinks she’s won the match, blocking Kingston’s signature Backfist To The Future before hitting one of her own and cannonball, but Kingston gets his hand on the rope.
Kingston eventually retains, finally hitting the backfist before hitting a sliding forearm to the back of her head to retain. The Mad King gives a rare show of respect to Del Rey, laying the championship down in front of Del Rey before bowing to her as she soaked in the adulation. Del Rey would leave Chikara the next week before going on to become the first female trainer in NXT.
Eddie Kingston vs Chris Hero – Loser Leaves CZW – Out With The Old, In With The New
Eddie Kingston’s greatest rivalry came in the shape of his matches with Chris Hero in CZW, culminating in their loser leaves CZW match at Out with the old, in with the new. This is the purest form of a brawling match, with a lot more strikes being hit than manoeuvres, with the first of the match coming eight minutes into the match.
The hatred between the two men is highlighted at the beginning of the match, with the ring full of security guards to keep the two men apart. The match is not filled to the brim with moments and highlights, but it is a seemingly endless brawl that you can’t take your eyes off. The first pinfall attempt of the match doesn’t come for 21 minutes, with the two men more desperate to hurt each other than win the match.
Hero comes close to victory with a top rope double foot stomp to the back of Kingston, followed by a senton for a two, immediately transitioning into a cross face, but Kingston gets his foot to the ropes. Kingston eventually wins the match with a clothesline into the Backfist To The Future, forcing Hero out of the company who would not return for three years.
When you think of Eddie Kingston, this is the sort of match that instantly comes to mind. The match was the culmination of their multi-year and multi-promotion feud.