Q&A with ‘The Butcher & The Blade’ as AEW Dynamite comes Upstate

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Courtesy of All Elite Wrestling

(WSYR-TV) — All Elite Wrestling, arguably the hottest wrestling company in the world right now, is coming to Rochester Wednesday night for their show “AEW Dynamite.” 

The Butcher and The Blade, a tag team with the company since 2019, hails from Buffalo, New York. They sat down with me to chat about the buzz around AEW, how they’ve changed up their game since arriving to AEW and what they plan to do to honor the late great Brody Lee (Jon Huber) when they are in his hometown of Rochester for Dynamite. 

First off, ‘The Butcher and The Blade’ is a name that sticks out. How did you decide which name was first on the marquee?  

The Butcher: I think it was literally just the fact that it rolled off the tongue better.   

But there was no ego where Blade you were like “I have to have my name first”. 

The Blade: ‘Blade and the Butcher’ just doesn’t roll off the tongue as much as ‘The Butcher and The Blade,’ right. 

The Butcher: The concept for the name was taken from “White Men Can’t Jump.” They go against ‘The Duck’ and ‘The King’ or whatever their name is. And that is literally how I came up with ‘The’ (before the name). That whole movie culminates with those two (Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson) going against these ‘end bosses.’ The whole concept for the tag team that we’re the ‘end bosses.’ 

The Blade: We always (refer to ourselves) as heavies in like 90s movies. (The Butcher) always uses the example of the dude in ‘Roadhouse.’ Who had a knife in his boots, a shell necklace, and rips dude’s throats out. They never explain any of it. (Laughs)

The Butcher: They legit never explain the fact that this guy is wearing a native, bone necklace. They’re never like, “We’ve got this indigenous dude and he is a bada**.” It’s just like, here is this slick haired pretty looking due who can throw a sick wheel-house kick with something that has a knife in it. And that’s what we are. (Laughs)

The Blade: And, at least in 90s movies, it was always dudes losing their hair and that works out great for us. (Laughs) 

Two things I did not expect, “White Men Can’t Jump” and “Roadhouse” references.  

There is huge buzz around AEW these days… 

The Butcher: Can I interject? It’s wrestling overall. It’s all of wrestling. It’s not just AEW, everything is exploding. I think that (AEW) is the catalyst for this explosion. It’s the only major federation that has allowed (wrestlers) to go other places and show what we do. The best part is not dominating in a sense of taking over. It’s a person saying “Hey, come be with us. We want to be with you.” And I think that is the explosion.  

Is that because it’s a company that is essentially created by other wrestlers? 

The Blade: Yes, to answer your question. And there are times where AEW just gives the fans what they want.  

Wrestling as a whole is on this high, but if wrestling as a whole is the ball, AEW is the bell of it. How exciting is it to be part of this organization right now when you guys are the talk of the wrestling world? 

The Blade: It’s a lot to be grateful for. It can be easily forgotten that we are in such a good spot right now. Especially with our story. This is my first full-time wrestling job. This is his first wrestling job and the fact that we have these jobs in the top company changing things right now is a really good time for us.  

How much does having this influx of talent and buzz change things for you guys? It’s hard to believe, but you guys have been with the company for almost two years and AEW has almost done a 180 in terms of its visibility and perception. I imagine it’s harder to get booked when you’re competing with the CM Punks, Bryan Danielsons, and Stings of the world.  

The Blade: I think it’s great. Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, Punk, all these guys came in, and it’s just more reason for us to work harder. Their career path has nothing to do with my career path.  

The Butcher: In AEW it’s iron sharpens iron. If you’re the guy that’s like, “Oh, man. I can’t believe they just brought Bryan Danielson in.” You’re like, “What?!” Why wouldn’t they? That is only going to make us work harder. If those dudes are in here, I’m hitting the gym every single day. I’m doing cardio every day. And I’m not sulking about it. I’m saying, “I want to be in the main event with them.” If there was ever was an opportunity for Bryan Danielson and CM Punk vs. The Butcher and The Blade… all day long. I’m training for that. 

With the buzz comes shows like Grand Slam for both AEW Dynamite and Rampage. You guys had an 8-man tag match at Arthur Ashe Stadium in NYC. What was that show like? 

The Blade: It was the largest show I’ve ever wrestled in front of. It was over 21,000 people. We got really lucky with (our partners) Private Party being from NYC, and to hear the crowd for those guys – I honestly felt honored.  

What are you guys expecting for AEW Dynamite in Rochester when you two are in your backyard, so to speak? 

The Butcher: I literally have no idea what to expect. 

Do you care? Do you want to be booed even though you are in your hometown? 

The Blade: I like that kind of stuff. We’re typically bad guys but for this night, we’re close to our hometown, so there is a mix (of cheers). I like all that stuff. I always say, wrestling fans, they paid their money, they can cheer for whoever they want. It adds a fun aspect to it.  

The Butcher: I’ve been trying to do this thing where I don’t hear the crowd until I go out there. I was injured for like four months. (The Blade) got to witness crowds (when AEW started letting fans back in). So, since it’s been back, I’ve been trying to stay away from the crowd as much as possible. In New York, I couldn’t hear the crowd until we were (next to the stage) and we walked out – and it was insane. I don’t want to give myself an expectation in case we come out and there’s nothing. No sound. I’m just staying optimistic and saying it’s going to be awesome. And the match is going to be great. If we get booed, if we get cheered, it’s going to be really cool to be in front of, quite possibly, half of our hometown.  

Wrestling fans know Rochester is the hometown of Brodie Lee. He was actually supposed to debut at the originally scheduled Rochester-show before the pandemic happened. He has since passed. Is there anything you can tell us about how you all might honor him? 

The Blade: Knowing Tony Khan, the founder, co-owner, and CEO of AEW, then yes.  

The Butcher: It’s going to be huge. I’m still riding high from the tribute show. That tribute show is one of my favorite matches I’ve ever had, because of the severity of what it meant and what it was. And I think this match tomorrow is going to be there too. No one has really talked about it, but everyone is going to go extra hard because that arena is filled with him. He’s going to be part of every single person in that place.  

AEW Dynamite will be at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester and airing live on TNT Wednesday night at 8 p.m. If you would like to see this full interview, including The Butcher & The Blade’s thoughts on Tony Khan, working with Matt Hardy and boneless wings, watch the ‘Pass the Salt’ Podcast here

Below is a preview of the podcast: 

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