Two more wrestlers who might have a claim as breakout performers of the year are The Acclaimed. Anthony Bowens and Max Caster have been AEW stalwarts since signing with the company in 2020, but over the course of 2022, the duo have risen to new heights.
After a slow start to the year, including an injury to Bowens, the team would start to pick up steam around July. They formed a brief alliance with The Gunn Club and their father, Billy Gunn, who had clear chemistry with the Acclaimed. That alliance wouldn’t last, and The Acclaimed soon began to feud against the Gunn Club, also known as the “Ass Boys,” with Billy having trouble deciding which team to support. He would eventually side with The Acclaimed, and the “Scissor Me, Daddy Ass” celebration would catch on with fans like wildfire.
From there, the popularity of the Acclaimed skyrocketed. At All Out in September, the team faced off against AEW World Tag Team champions Swerve in Our Glory. Though they lost the match, fans made it clear that The Acclaimed were their champions, and a rematch was booked for “AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam.” That night, Caster and Bowens defeated Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland to become the new AEW World Tag Team Champions. The duo are now set for a rematch against Lee and Strickland at Full Gear this upcoming weekend, but win or lose, 2022 has inarguably been the year of the scissor.