Though Lance Archer just recently signed with the AEW, his success was long in the making, as the Archer has won the NWA World Tag Team Championship twice with Kid Kash under Dallas, the G1 Tag League 2011 with Suzuki in New Japan, winning the IWGP Tag Team Championship twice, NWA World Tag Team Championship twice and NOAH'S GHC Tag Team Championship twice. Archer is a man with many phases and accolades under his belt, and AEW is just the newest chapter for the veteran. SI's Madelyn Burke is joined by SI's Justin Barrasso to discuss what Lance Archer will bring to the table as he progresses in AEW.
Read the full transcript below:
Madelyn Burke: Lance Archer has made an immediate impact in AEW coming on to the scene with a splash. Joining me now is SI's Justin Barrasso and Justin, Archer feels like a bit of an overnight success, but how would you describe his career to wrestling fans who might not be as familiar with him?
Justin Barrasso: Definitely an overnight success to us, not to him, though, after putting that work in the last 20 years, whether it was the independent scene in Texas or TNA or a brief run in WWE, that just didn't work. Really, his success has come over the past 10 years in Japan with the Killer Elite Squad, with Davy Boy Smith Jr. and the tag team run, which was really, really well done, really successful, compelling, and captivating. He also, over the last year and a half has been really special as a singles competitor. A really unique wrestling story. Here he is entering his prime at 43, which you wouldn't normally see and you wouldn't see it in the NBA or Major League Baseball, or the NFL. But that is one of the things that makes pro wrestling so special. Lance has really come unto his own. He's an amazing presence and he's added a lot in a short amount of time in AEW.
Madelyn Burke: Now, as his career has evolved, what led to his decision to sign with AEW?
Justin Barrasso: Good question. Tough decision because he was finally growing in New Japan. And they obviously had faith in him putting the IWGP United States championship title on him. He had a marquee match at Wrestle Kingdom. The first night in January this year against Jon Moxley was a Texas deathmatch. I think that he just saw an opportunity here in the United States. He had some good work in TNA. That was over a decade ago but to be part of this revolution that is AEW on TNT Weekly live television. One of the things they're missing is what he brings. They're missing that monstered-type big man. Lance is that guy. He's unique. He's big, but he's different. He can fly, too. He can work in the air. He can work aerial. He can ground and pound; his move sets are creative and innovative. I think Lance is a great fit for AEW and he sees that as well.
Madelyn Burke: Lance, of course, faces Cody Rhodes this Saturday at AEW Double or Nothing PPV. What can fans expect from this matchup?
Justin Barrasso: You have to wonder if it'll be the match of the night. Cody's got a lot to prove just because he's one of the faces, if not the signature face of AEW. For Lance, he's never had this type of spotlight in the United States, especially on Pay-Per-View. I know wrestling is a show, but it doesn't mean the competitors and the performers can't be hungry in their performance. So I think there's a lot to prove here, not only for Cody to continue his place as the face of the promotion but also for Lance to really establish himself as the main event act.
Madelyn Burke: ] I'm sure we're all looking forward to watching Lance reestablish himself stateside. Justin Barrasso, thanks so much for the insight.