AEW: The Dan Lambert gimmick isn’t generating the right type of heat

All Elite Wrestling
All Elite Wrestling /

One of the strengths that AEW has shown in the last two years is its willingness to adjust based on the feedback from fans. There are examples where the promotion has made shifts for the positive, and some where they have been slower to improve in areas where fans have asked. Dan Lambert’s involvement with AEW falls into that space where a contingent of viewers groan whenever the leader of ATT shows up on camera. There is a space where MMA and professional wrestling can crossover, but the angle with Lambert, Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky, and others just is not it.

The moment Lambert began speaking about “wokeness” and “millennials” this angle jumped all the sharks in the ocean. It was clear that he was going for a Bobby Heenan-like character, but to what end? Page and Sky certainly did not need him as a mouthpiece as both individuals can hold their own on the microphone. In fact, both individuals should be involved in something more meaningful as the AEW roster continues to blossom. Instead, they are wrapped up in this angle with American Top Team versus Chris Jericho and Jake Hager.

Now, there is a space where the outcome of this angle could have a larger benefit. That occurs if Jorge Masvidal and Paige VanZant are lured into the AEW ring for an extended venture. Both Masvidal and VanZant have strong followings from their MMA-careers and they could garner some attention from mainstream sports outlets. Masvidal’s inclusion on AEW Rampage and the response seen across multiple media outlets shows that he draws attention. If that is an end game that Dan Lambert’s involvement brings, then there is some positive to bring out of this angle.

But getting there has been a drag to experience. Fans are crying out to AEW to see more of its roster, especially the women and wrestlers of color that are consistently on Dark and Dark Elevation. The time that Lambert has seen on television could be used to develop individuals with more long-term value within the promotion.

It is great that Dan Lambert is a fan of professional wrestling and the competitors training at American Top Team enjoy the space as well. But his involvement in AEW is one of the few instances where the content is not working, especially as there is more value across the rest of the roster. The focal point should be on Sky and Page, but at the end of the day, AEW can make an adjustment as they have done in the past.