By. Abhinav Tirumala
When All Elite Wrestling began on January 1st, 2019, one of its earliest signings was former Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo. Ogogo became AEW’s first developmental project, as he had never trained to be a wrestler before joining the company.
Incredibly, despite a few injury setbacks and a global pandemic in his path, he was ready to make his debut in 2020.
The Guv’nor’s beginnings were positive and it seemed him becoming one of the next big names in AEW was possible. In fact, before AEW’s Double Or Nothing 2020 pay-per-view event, Ogogo was already an integral player in the feud between Cody Rhodes and QT Marshall.
Unfortunately, the feud’s divisive nature, driven by the US vs. UK pro-America angle, would be detrimental to Ogogo’s momentum. Despite being built up, Ogogo lost the match to a vertebreaker, a move Rhodes had not used to finish off opponents since the infant stages of his career. Suddenly, his upward trajectory was much less certain.
Ogogo would then face a long-term injury that kept him out from July 2021 to January 2022. Since his return in January, he has been undefeated on AEW Dark but hasn’t been doing much other than racking up wins over lower-tier opponents.
Someone with that much superstar potential cannot be kept off TV for such a long time.
Anthony Ogogo has everything you need to become a superstar; he has a look, ability, background, and promo skills. Yet somehow, he remains hidden on AEW Dark and Dark Elevation. Despite being an Olympic bronze medalist and having mainstream recognition, he rarely tends to be in the conversation about AEW’s greatest athletes.
However, I believe I can fantasy book Ogogo’s rise and, this time, do it correctly. With a few tweaks to his gimmick, and a new group faction with him, Ogogo’s rise to AEW’s upper echelon can begin. In three significant parts, I’ll detail how I’d book the rise of Anthony Ogogo.
Part I: The Taz Intervention
As Ogogo continually racks up wins on AEW Dark, he defeats yet another competitor and cuts a promo, demanding better competition for himself. On commentary, we hear Taz praise Ogogo for wanting more matches and quips, “I think I could make that happen.”
The following week on AEW Rampage, we see Ogogo ringside by his faction “The Factory” as they lose a trios match against the Best Friends. With a look of disgust on his face, The Guv’nor openly calls out his teammates and their leader Marshall for not getting the job done. He says he’s giving them one last chance to measure up to his standard, or he’ll need to find new representation. Later, we see Ogogo leave the arena in a black and orange limousine, the colors of the Team Taz faction. Taz is notably absent from commentary for this episode of Rampage.
In the following episode of Dynamite, Ogogo demands a three-on-one handicap match against the rest of The Factory. During the match, Ogogo destroys Aaron Solo and QT Marshall with three different moves while hitting his finisher on Nick Comoroto, eventually pinning all three men simultaneously. The result: Taz officially recruits Anthony Ogogo to be his client, proclaiming Team Taz to be officially dead, with all the stable members going in their own directions. He further promises that he is now entirely behind Ogogo because he doesn’t want to see great talent disrespected and misused.
Ogogo could then take the mic and explain that when he was on the shelf for months after his injury against Cody Rhodes, Taz was the one who reached out to him. Taz also allowed Ogogo to use the facilities in the Team Taz dojo to recover and gave him a mentor he could sympathize with, having had a career-ending injury. Taz finally brings up how his son Hook and Ogogo trained under QT Marshall, and seeing Hook’s success after leaving showed him that Ogogo could achieve a lot more if he left the dead weight behind.
By establishing his prior connection to Taz, and why the subtle changes in his presentation occurred, I’ve entirely disconnected Anthony Ogogo’s allegiances to The Factory faction and, with Taz by his side, given him a more legitimate and respected mentor. Once the relationship has been established, we can focus on elevating Ogogo’s standing in AEW and his placement on the card.
Part II: The Rise Up The Card
On the heels of his newfound alliance, Ogogo gets significant wins over established young talent on television. Given the former boxer’s victories occurred on AEW’s developmental programs Dark and Dark: Elevation, he needs wins over established AEW Dynamite and AEW Rampage to reintroduce him to the masses.
His first entrance after teaming with Taz will add two new layers to Ogogo’s presentation. First, his lyrical theme will start to be used, as it conveys an evolution of his character while keeping his British boxing origin. Additionally, his gear will begin to include more black and orange trim, establishing the Taz condition.
To establish Ogogo’s newfound connection, he will start wrestling lower-card wrestlers - perhaps Captain Shawn Dean and Fuego Del Sol - and keep rising up the ranks. Ogogo beats these wrestlers in mere minutes, and in the next two weeks, he wrestles some more established wrestlers.
First, Ogogo wrestles a match against John Silver, a recognized, famous mid-card wrestler in AEW. Then, to add some drama, Ogogo wrestles a more competitive match against Silver but still defeats him. Next, he does the same against another established wrestler in Lee Moriarty, who would, despite a near-fall, also fall victim to the Guv’Nor.
Lastly, Ogogo faces two established AEW babyfaces in Wheeler Yuta and Orange Cassidy, two of AEW’s most popular wrestlers among crowds and management. Cassidy and Yuta take Ogogo to his limit, but he eventually overcomes both men, with the Cassidy match primarily showcasing the full strength of his abilities. Both contests end with Ogogo knocking out his opponents with the Guv’Nor’s Hammer, a pop-up knockout punch.
Ogogo announces that next week, he and Taz will have an announcement about their plans.
Part III: The All-Atlantic Crusade
With Anthony Ogogo getting more exposure on TV and momentum, the time for him to challenge for the All-Atlantic Title is approaching.
The AEW All-Atlantic Championship features the champion travelling worldwide and defending the belt in multiple promotions, bringing prestige to the AEW brand. Therefore, with his British background and newfound edge under Taz’s tutelage, Ogogo is the perfect choice to be the next challenger for the All-Atlantic Title.
The current champion of the AEW All-Atlantic Championship is PAC, a world champion in multiple promotions. PAC is also the inaugural champion, winning the title at the Forbidden Door pay-per-view event in June 2022 (PAC defeated AEW stars Miro and Malakai Black in a four-way match involving New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Clark Connors).
The multi-company nature of the title also allows Ogogo to add to his repertoire by learning styles from different wrestling promotions and makes him even more of a complete wrestler. Therefore, I believe The Guv’Nor, with Taz by his side, should be the first wrestler to defeat PAC for the All-Atlantic Championship.
It should occur on AEW’s international debut in Toronto, Canada. The reason for choosing Toronto is simple; the title’s global nature is retained with a title change outside the United States. Additionally, a significant moment on AEW’s Canadian debut show leaves those fans with a moment to remember. The Canadian wrestling scene is amongst the most historic in sport; countless superstars originated from Canada, including two of AEW’s biggest stars, Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega.
Additionally, various significant wrestling events occurred in Canada, including WrestleMania VI, WrestleMania X8, and the Montreal Screwjob. Therefore, AEW must imprint its legacy with a significant event on Canadian soil. Anthony Ogogo’s All-Atlantic Title win would be such an event.
In the weeks coming up to AEW’s All Out pay-per-view, AEW announces a gauntlet match to determine PAC’s next challenger for the All-Atlantic Title, which he’ll defend on AEW’s Canadian debut. The gauntlet match will compose half the buy-in at All Out, run for about 25 minutes, and comprise the following wrestlers: Ogogo, young superstars Lee Moriarty and Konosuke Takeshita, Rey Fenix (AEW’s premiere Lucha Libre star), Aaron Solo of the Factory and Shawn Spears (an AEW star from Toronto).
The rules of a gauntlet match are as follows: “Two wrestlers will start in the ring. Every time a pinfall, submission, knockout, or disqualification occurs, a new wrestler will enter the match. This continues until all wrestlers have entered the match, and the last man remaining is declared the winner.”
The best spot in a gauntlet match is being the final entrant. With Ogogo’s undefeated record over the past few months, he has been awarded that prestigious honour.
The gauntlet match begins with Moriarty and Takeshita, and Takeshita wins with his finisher in about 6 minutes. Next, Aaron Solo enters the match and gets demolished by Takeshita, tapping out to a cross-face in only a few minutes. Shawn Spears joins next (getting a huge reaction in his home country), but Takeshita manages to beat him too. However, Takeshita is visibly tired after facing all these wrestlers, leaving only Ogogo for him to conquer. Ogogo enters and simply decimates Takeshita, hitting him with every move in his arsenal, finishing with his Guv’Nor’s Hammer and winning via knockout.
The weeks leading up to the show involve Ogogo and PAC cutting promos and showing training montages, with cut-ins from various personalities commenting on both wrestlers' work ethic. The whole thing would resemble something out of a Rocky movie, fitting Ogogo’s boxing background.
Then, two weeks before the Canadian debut, both men wrestle in squash matches (short matches against weak opponents) to give them even more momentum, and the following week, both wrestlers have a face-to-face. PAC and Ogogo cut the best promos of their lives, with Taz hyping up Ogogo’s legitimate background and superior momentum and PAC covering his worldwide journey in making the All-Atlantic Title prestigious, refusing to let Ogogo ruin his legacy.
The match occurs as the opener in AEW’s first-ever Canadian show from the Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto. PAC and Ogogo wrestle a twenty-minute clinic, with Ogogo’s high-powered strikes being the perfect antithesis for PAC’s speed and aggression. The match’s finish is Anthony Ogogo hitting the Tazmission Suplex (Taz’s finishing move from his wrestling days), followed by the Guv’Nor’s Hammer and pinning PAC clean in the middle of the ring. The announcement echoes throughout the arena “The winner of this match, AND NEW AEW All-Atlantic Champion, The Guv'nor, Anthony Ogogo.”
With all of the drama pro wrestling needs and a journey to victory unlike any other, The Guv’nor could make a new name for himself; the Olympic boxer becomes the AEW’s next top dog.
And just like that, readers is how AEW could make Anthony Ogogo the next British superstar.