Eddie Kingston made good on the AEW TNT Title open challenge on July 22, earning a contract with AEW following his appearance.
Eddie stepped up to Cody in the open challenge, and though he didn't win, he earned himself a regular spot on TNT.
Appearing on Talk is Jericho, Kingston detailed the process behind the open challenge and earning a contract.
"I said, 'for shits and giggles, let me call out Cody' because was doing the open challenge. I went off and just said, 'it's an open challenge, but you're facing signed talent that aren't going to hurt you.' I'm friends with the Bucks and Kenny, so I thought I would throw a little dig, just for fun, nothing serious. 'Oh, by the way, the guys you run the company with, like me better than you.' People believed it. Retweets, hashtags, then I got a phone call from QT Marshall, 'you wanna wrestle Cody?' 'Yeah, why not.' I took it as another booking because I didn't see it as, 'they are going to be wow'd by me and sign me.' I'll go in there, do my best, and then go home," he said.
Kingston joked that an appearance on AEW would allow him to "jack up his price" on the Independent scene.
In the open challenge, Kingston was not treated like some nobody off the street as he was given promo time and work a match that was suited to his "grinding" style, allowing him to be showcased more. The match even included a thumbtack spot, which was Cody's idea.
"I give Cody credit, he was so giving. He didn't have to do what he did. He could have gone on there and been like, 'you like to talk shit, we're going three minutes and I'm beating you.' Okay, that would have been my job," he said. "The promo was his idea. He hit me up and was like, 'what music and graphics do you want?' 'Why? I'm not signed.' 'You're coming out to cut a promo.' I went to him and said, 'don't take offense to anything I say. Whatever I say to myself is a shoot, because I have to get in that mindset, what I saw about you is a work.' People get sensitive when I say stuff, it's a work."
Fans called for Kingston to be signed after the match with #SignEddieKingston trending following the bout. Kingston was not signed immediately after, though him earning an AEW contract may have been helped by WWE giving him a call after his Dynamite appearance.
"Christopher Daniels calls me up and says, 'Hey, we want to bring you back.' 'Yeah, sure.' Just a booking, I'm thinking. I get a call from the competition, I talk to the competition," he recalled. "To them, they were trying to get me to coach for years. I said, 'I can't collect a paycheck if I didn't earn it.' I was going to go in there, coach, be bitter and angry about coaching, not getting a shot. (I would) coach these guys who love wrestling now because they are at the Performance Center, but not on the road getting paid in hot dogs and soda. I would have been so bitter and angry and detrimental to those kids. Now, they were talking about other things besides coaching. I had to weigh my options. I told people the competition hit me up. Christopher Daniels goes, 'here's a contract.'"
And the rest is history.
Kingston has been a featured star on AEW television in recent weeks, aligning himself with the Lucha Bros and The Butcher & The Blade ahead of the Casino Battle Royale at AEW All Out.
Fightful will have live coverage of AEW All Out beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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