AEW’s Most Compelling Mic Workers Right Now
With Full Gear 2022 just around the corner, it certainly feels like a lot of stories are just about wrapped up. Many high notes have been hit: anticipated returns, bittersweet departures, and outbursts all around. At the helm of it all are the trusted mic workers, responsible for making us feel with a handful of words what only pro wrestlers experience.
And a handful of people have done it best and consistently enough, to say that they are among AEW’s 5 most compelling speakers right now.
Eddie Kingston: (Yes, it would be funnier if Chris Jericho was in this spot.)
For what it’s worth, Eddie Kingston is the most compelling talker when he lets loose. He just hasn’t been given that many chances this year, for some reason.
(5) Chris Jericho
Few people have been more reliable in carrying out entire segments worth of promos than Chris Jericho. In 2022, Jericho showed this best when new chapters in a feud would be written. There was the formation of Jericho Appreciation Society, the saga with Bryan Danielson for Daniel Garcia’s allegiance, and most recently his vow to destroy ROH while being ROH World Champion.
Leaning more explicitly into his sports entertainment promo style has helped. But a lot of this current material is roughly the same Inner Circle promos from 2021. The victory laps, the class meetings, the promos that lead up to the class meetings, etc. All this lands The Ocho at cinco.
(4) Jade Cargill
Jade Cargill’s presence is unmatched by any other wrestler in AEW. She comes across as naturally charismatic, and her superstar-athlete look easily oozes crossover appeal.
A huge part of it is that she knows not to overstay her welcome on the mic. Whether she’s leading the mic solo, bouncing off of mouthpieces like “Smart” Mark Sterling and Stokely Hathaway, or even sharing the screen with “OG baddie” Trina; Cargill commands every spotlight.
The scary part is that Cargill had her debut match in 2021. This is Jade Cargill on Year 2.
(3) The Acclaimed
Yes, The Acclaimed (and “Daddy Ass”) spit 5 lines of poetry every week. But they have steadily become the most anticipated and popular tag team on the roster. This is a roster with FTR holding 3 World title belts.
With the scissor couple now fixtures in the World Tag Team title scene, more and more teams have been forcing non-rhyming responses from the duo. As Max Caster and Anthony Bowens branch out to more kinds of collaborative promos, the scissoring will only get hotter.
Spread your fingers wide. The Acclaimed have arrived.
(2) Jon Moxley
No other wrestler has stepped up more in 2022 than AEW’s Swiss-Army knife, Jon Moxley.
Need someone to hold a faltering main event scene together on short notice? Need someone to remind the roster and the fans what it means to be a champion in AEW? Sorry Claudio, sorry Hook. But we’re sending the mechanic, Jon Moxley.
And when you keep the show together, you get away with some things. You can call out the fragile and the entitled. You can put people in their place, and you can call yourself the ace, the heart and soul. And the people will rally behind you.
Moxley doesn’t present himself as a top guy. You just pick it up from his chill demeanor that says, “cutting promos on Dynamite and Rampage is easy.” But there is one other top guy who has him beat on the entertainment front.
Right now there is no hotter name or commodity in pro wrestling than MJF. For those who doubted what an indefinite absence would do to his star power. Or what a profanity-laced speech about knowing his worth would do to his consistent jeers. MJF proves every week that he is untouchable now.
This year alone, MJF has had multiple promo of the year contenders. MJF’s tell-all in February, where he revealed CM Punk’s role in his motivations to become a pro wrestler, was equal parts intriguing and uncomfortable. Then, came the infamous tirade in June where he dared “f****** mark” Tony Khan to fire him for not seeing his value. When these are the segments MJF puts out, it’s hard not to see hear his music and perk up.
On interviews outside of AEW television, MJF said he doesn’t wrestle as much because he prides himself on being a special attraction. And if matches didn’t matter half as much as they did, he might be 2022’s wrestler of the year in a heartbeat.
As a 26-year-old outdone only by himself, he’s not just “better than you.” He’s better than when we last see him, too.