DETROIT, MI – It’s Monday morning and All Elite Wrestling star Eddie Kingston is beat up.
The night before he traded chops and strikes with one of the hardest hitters in wrestling while doing battle on one of the biggest wrestling cards of 2022. The strikes were so physical, the bruising on Kingston’s chest could be seen just moments after the exchange, as blood rushed to the surface.
So how does Kingston feel following the grievous battle?
“I’m sore but satisfied. I know I’ve been in a fight. It’s a good feeling,” Kingston says with a bit of a laugh.
Two days after this interview, Kingston and 11 other men will be in another fight as AEW brings the special “Blood & Guts” match to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Wednesday, June 29.
Since AEW launched in 2019 the company has held several events in the Midwest – including multiple pay-per-view shows in the Chicago area – over the course of the past three years. But despite Detroit’s reputation as a great wrestling city and fans clamoring for the company to come to the area, AEW has been unable to make a Michigan debut.
On Wednesday, the company will air the flagship “Dynamite” program live starting at 8 pm EST on TBS, which will feature the “Blood & Guts” match. Following that program, AEW will tape the “Rampage” program that airs Friday on TNT.
Although AEW hasn’t been to Michigan, Kingston has wrestled in the Metro Detroit area several times over the course of his near 20-year career. A native of Yonkers, New York, Kingston says the fans in Detroit remind him of home and it’s one of the reasons he loves wrestling here.
“Detroit are just rabid, rabid fans. They’ll let you know if they’re not happy with something. They’re a hardcore group of people,” Kingston said. “Detroit is a rough, rough place and that’s how they like their wrestling, so I love Detroit.”
Detroit’s reputation is one of the reasons why AEW decided to bring the “Blood & Guts” spectacle to Little Caesars Arena Wednesday night. “Blood & Guts” is different from any other match in wrestling as there are two rings sitting side-by-side and then covered in a steel cage. There are two teams with one member from each starting the match. Those men wrestle for five minutes and then another wrestler enters.
New wrestlers enter every two minutes thereafter until everyone has joined the match. From there the first pinfall or submission wins the match for their team. The matches are typically very violent and only take place on rare occasions.
For Kingston, he thinks a match like this fits him perfectly and he’s anxious to get locked in a cage with wrestling legend Chris Jericho and the rest of his team, whom Kingston has been feuding with for several months.
“You’re not gonna see me come off the top of the cage,” Kingston said. “I’m gonna use the cage as a weapon. I’m going to kick, I’m going to punch, I’m going to bite. I’m going to try and make you quit.
“It’s called ‘Blood & Guts’ for a reason. Is there gonna be blood? Most likely. Is there going to be guts? You know, we’re going to spill our guts out there in front of all y’all. It’s just a violent place (the cage) and Detroit is a violent city, so it’s just perfect.”
Although the match has been announced for weeks, some extra drama has been added as possibly the biggest rival of Kingston’s career was recently added to his team when Claudio Castagnoli – who made his AEW debut Sunday – was announced as the sixth member of the team.
“Of course I didn’t like it. I don’t trust the guy,” Kingston said. “And people who say whatever they want to say about me, that I’m a hothead and I don’t let things go. I just know when I see bad people, I like to call him out on it.”
And while the “Blood & Guts” match will be the most violent portion of the night, Kingston says one of the great things about AEW is there are so many different styles and wrestlers that there’s something and someone for everyone attending or watching the show. Whether that’s high-flying athletes doing death-defying leaps, technical wrestlers who grapple and wear down their opponents or comedy acts like Detroit-area native Danhausen.
“You’re going to get everything you want when you come to an AEW show. You’re going to get all different flavors of ice cream,” Kingston said.
With so many different types of wrestlers on the roster, it can be hard for some to stand out. But not Kingston. He’s been with the company for just under two years and in that time he has quickly risen to become one of the most beloved wrestlers on the show.
Kingston says he doesn’t know why the audience has taken such a liking to him, but he does say the freedom to be himself in AEW has really helped.
“I’m just me and if people cheer, they cheer. If they boo, they boo. As long as they’re reacting, I’m good with it,” Kingston said.
After Wednesday night, Kingston admits he’d like to move on from feuding with Jericho and his crew, but he also says he won’t know if he’s ready to do that until after the brawl.
“It all depends on what happens in that cage on Wednesday…. If I’m satisfied,” Kingston said. “Hopefully I’ll be satisfied when he’s bleeding.”
Tickets for the event are still on sale and start at $29. The show is set to begin at 7 pm at Little Caesars Arena. in Downtown Detroit.