We Need to Talk about Gunn Club

Oh, how simple life was at the dawn of 2020. Taking politics out of it, but talk of masks usually related to Hallowe’en and the fledgling All Elite Wrestling had just completed its first dozen episodes Dynamite on TNT. Even with the lackluster Elite-Dark Order final angle that closed 2019, optimism seemed to rule the day as the company headed forward to begin the new year with “AEW Homecoming” from, like so many shows that year would be, Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida.

At this point, there was no Elevation on YouTube or Rampage on Fridays. The only supplemental programming was a three or four-match Dark that would be taped both before and after the weekly Wednesday flagship. These matches would all air six days later (the following Tuesday) or, at least, they all did. Until Episode #14 (Episode #13 was a Year in Review Special), that is.

In promotion for the first show of the year, AEW tweeted on the following graphic:

Can you cast your mind back and remember watching this classic match of the pre-pandemic era when Proud-N-Powerful, the former LAX and current members of Inner Circle, took on and obviously lost to the debuting Gunn Club. I say “obviously lost” because, as we all know, Gunn Club is undefeated. To be precise, as Colten likes to remind me on Twitter, Gunn Club (Austin Gunn, Billy Gunn & Colten Gunn) are undefeated as a Trio. But also never forget that Austin & Billy lost as part of an 8-man on an episode of Dark in September 2020.

But back to my question, can you remember this match? No, you can’t. Because it never happened.

Austin & Billy’s opponents that night were changed to Shawn Spears and the debuting (and maskless) Preston Vance who had not yet found his way to Dark Order. So do you remember watching this match> Unless you were at Daily’s Place or have access to a video of it, no you don’t. Because it didn’t air on Dark on Tuesday, January 7. The match was acknowledged the following week when father and sonteamed up again, this time against Shawn Spears and Peter Avalon, notable for its “Ass Boy” call out by the Librarian and future Wingman. And just in case you needed further confirmation, the graphic confirmed that the match the previous week had counted.

There was online speculation at the time about Austin’s contractual status as it related to Ring of Honor but that seemed to fizzle out. Fan photos of the event showed Paul Turner officiated and multiple sources stated that Austin pinned Preston so, aside from estimating the time length (the consensus was ten minutes), we had all the pertinent information we need. So what’s the problem? The issue is that, with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that this was the start of, or least indicative of, the exceptionalism of Gunn Club. When older brother/elder son Colten arrived later in 2020, he won in his debut, and the family unit was complete. For the sake of transparency, Billy Gunn has been listed on the official Roster Page as a Coach as long I can remember, so it’s not like this is hidden nepotism. In fact, despite dozens of his own matches, his own record as a wrestler wasn’t presented until the last few weeks. But Austin wins nearly every match and Colten, to be clear, has simply won again and again and again. Aside from Battle Royal eliminations, he has yet to stare up at the lights.

Consider the following:

It’s this last image that irks me the most. The fact that, until the shift of Chris Jericho's Rock N Wrestling Rager at Sea: Triple Whammy from not being “an official AEW event” to having its four nights and 34 matches all count in the Win-Loss Records, all of Gunn Club’s victories came against groups of opponents who only teamed together that singular time. The exception to this was defeating The Factory on an episode of Dynamite. Then, on the Cruise, they were victorious against Uno, Grayson & Cabana, who were previously undefeated themselves. This win rocketed Gunn Club to the top of the Men’s Trios table, typically sorted by Quality Points.

Colten, I want you to know you were right all along. Gunn Club is the best Trios team in AEW. Needless to say, whomever eventually defeats Gunn Club will be earning quite a few Quality Points of their own. And maybe that’s where this is all leading, the… *whispers* World Trios Championship.

I’ve often heard variations of “it’s all in the follow up” and, patient as I try to be, I’m not convinced this harder edge and more aggressive and outwardly cheating attitude of Gunn Club is going to work long term. I’m not actively rooting against it but I’m not yet fully here for it. Speaking of, tomorrow on Elevation… *Spoiler Warning* Gunn Club defeat The Boys from Jollyville (Nasty Russ & T-Money) and Sean Cooke

The duo actually has another name and I’m slightly offended by it, but I’m more offended by the fact that this win will mark 20 Trios victories in a row. Wins AND losses matter. If you win all the time, what’s the point? The same is true if you lose. This isn’t Goldberg and this isn’t Curt Hawkins. Billy Gunn, as a father and WWE Hall of Famer, do better, for all of us. Otherwise, we might need to talk again.

Anyone with questions or comments is encouraged to respond here or on Twitter @AEWmetrics.

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