On the July 22nd airing of Collision, a seemingly poignant moment transpired as AEW star Billy Gunn dramatically signaled his retirement. Gunn, in a theatrical display, removed his boots and left them center-stage in the wrestling ring.
This followed a loss he suffered alongside The Acclaimed against House of Black for the coveted AEW World Trios Championship. The subsequent weeks saw The Acclaimed members Max Caster and Anthony Bowens visibly grieved over the loss of their partner, 'Daddy Ass.'
Gunn's exit had a palpable effect, with numerous television interview segments dedicated to honoring his immense contributions to the team and the wrestling world at large.
Gunn's Stunning Return
Yet, the wrestling community was in for a shock.
Gunn's retirement seemed a ruse. He marked his triumphant return on August 23rd during the Dynamite episode. Realigning with The Acclaimed, Gunn threw down the gauntlet with a title challenge directed at House of Black for the AEW All In event.
This challenge culminated in victory as Gunn, Caster, and Bowens overcame House of Black, marking their inaugural reign as AEW World Trios Champions. The dedication with which Gunn sold his "retirement" act didn't go unnoticed.
Road Dogg, Gunn's former tag team partner and a WWE Hall of Famer, was full of admiration. Speaking on the podcast, "Oh You Didn’t Know," Road Dogg drew a unique parallel, comparing Gunn's deep commitment to his character to the renowned "method acting" techniques of multi-Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis.
Elaborating on his comparison, Road Dogg stated, “Billy's approach is sheer genius. He had us all convinced. His commitment level is reminiscent of how Daniel Day-Lewis immerses himself into his roles. That same intensity was evident when Billy took off his boots in the ring, signaling a fake retirement.
It’s a testament to his unwavering dedication. And seeing him return, don the very same boots, and clinch a title? That's Billy for you. A master of his craft." As the wrestling world continues to buzz, it’s evident that Billy Gunn's impact, both inside and outside the ring, is indelible.