Sometimes it’s hard being Best Friends.
Especially when one of the best friends is unable to come out and play.
That’s been the case with All Elite Wrestling’s Trent Beretta, who is rehabbing after surgery on his neck while his tag team partner Chuck Taylor lives in Northern Liberties and is on the road every week when the promotion holds events.
“Of course it’s been hard (not wrestling),” Beretta said. “I think I had surgery the day of the taping of the final Dynamite before going on the road. I had surgery immediately after, it makes me so excited to be in front of fans.”
“It’s hard not having him around, but I do have Orange Cassidy, who is a good friend,” Taylor said. “Orange Cassidy is still on the road, we’re married like me and Trent used to be. We ride together, most of our things are together. He’s in Philly, too. I’ve been lucky with that. I have so many friends in AEW.”
This week, Taylor and all of the stars of AEW will be coming to Philly when Dynamite, the weekly show on TNT, will tape its show at the Liacouras Center on Temple University’s campus.
The last time AEW was in Philly was in 2019 on the third Dynamite.
Taylor and Beretta wrestled in the first match of the show that night. They’ve been a huge part of the outfit since it debuted, and once Beretta returns from his injury, they’ll be back wrestling together.
And when he returns, Best Friends will have a bunch of new stars that weren’t there when he had his surgery.
CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole and Ruby Soho will be in Philly, along with all of the stars who have been with AEW since its inception, including Chris Jericho, Matt Hardy and hall of fame ring announcer Jim Ross.
It’s a different world, and Best Friends are looking forward to the challenges that are ahead.
“It’s crazy to me, it still feels like the same promotion with all my friends doing something on the grand scale, but we added so many people,” Taylor said. “It’s growing so fast. So much buzz, You remember even back then (when the promotion started in 2019) it was hard to get on TV back then, Now there’s like 500 dudes. It’s growing so fast.”
Almost as quick as its fan base.
AEW has been growing in every way possible. The ratings for the weekly shows on TNT, Dynamite on Wednesday at 8 p.m., and Rampage on Friday at 10 p.m. have been skyrocketing. And recently AEW sold out Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. It’s an entirely different atmosphere than when it was forced to take place every week in front of no fans.
“(The fans are) hotter than they were before,” Tyler said. “It’s city to city, but Punk and Danielson and Cole, the fans are hot when we tape everything, and they’re still hot after a five-hour show. Everyone is so excited. Morale is up. Wrestling is fun again.”
Best Friends have been having fun the entire time, though. In fact, most tag teams in the promotion are happy because of the emphasis owner Tony Khan has put on the tag team scene, along with help from tag team specialists, the Young Bucks, who are executive vice presidents with the company.
“I think for sure from the beginning Matt and Nick Jackson told everyone, they’re EVP’s, tag team wrestling is a big part of the show,” Taylor said. “On a national show. It’s a big part of why Trent and I decided to sign. Make tag team wrestling fun. It’s so stacked. It really is. Especially considering the whole 2000, WWE abused tag team wrestling and made it a lesser thing.”
One of the most memorable matches in the short history of AEW was when Best Friends wrestled in a Parking Lot Fight against Santana and Ortiz, a tag team known as Proud & Powerful.
After they won, Best Friends celebrated by getting in Beretta’s mom’s car, which fans around the world loved.
“My mom is a huge part of my story because when I was 15, I was too young to drive, my mom would drive me to wrestling practice,” Beretta said. “People knew she was part of our story. I think if we brought her out every week, fans might not like it, but they loved it.”
“We didn’t know it was such a special match, I knew it was good, but I didn’t really know until Tony Khan came running up to us behind the curtain, he sprinted through the crowd,” Taylor said. “Your mom drove us off, we drive 30 feet away, and a little man came screaming down because he was happy, I’ll never forget it.”
They believe Wednesday night will be another memorable night in Philly.
You never know what surprises are in store for the two-year anniversary show at Temple, but with great wrestling in front of rabid fans, it can only be fun.
“I can actually see Temple from my rooftop, I’ve lived in Philly for 10 years now, the Northeast always loves wrestling,” Taylor said. “I love Philly. Fans are definitely passionate, I started in 2006 with Chikara and CZW at the ECW Arena, and the fans are like any other Philly sports fans, they’re rough and hard to get to like you, but once they love you, they love you. They’ve always been great to me, some of the best fans.
“He’s a Philly guy, he’s always saying, ‘jawn,’ ” Beretta said. “I love Philly, they loved us in Ring of Honor. When we were there, I didn’t expect it, but they loved us. We love wrestling there.”
For tickets to the show or for AEW merchandise, visit allelitewrestling.com.