In a press release today, AEW announced that former United States IWGP Champion and current very tall and awesome man Lance Archer has signed a multi-year contract with them. I’ve been a fan of Archer’s since I saw him at my first live New Japan event and realized he has turned being the fun uncle who never gets tired of playing monster into a career. You know the one. He’s at the family picnic slowly chasing all the kids around the park while they squeal with delight. He’s in the motel pool playing pirate so all the other adults can go to Hoover Dam or something. It’s an ideal energy for a heel wrestler to have, especially when they’re as talented as Lance Archer is. Archer had a fantastic 2019, breaking back into singles competition in the G1 Climax with new hair extensions and a new attitude, and I, for one, can’t wait to see him continue to be at the top of his game in 2020.
With that said, let’s fantasize about some opponents for the American Psycho.
1. Sammy Guevara
I love to see a big strong guy go up against a little flippy brat. It’s one of the great wrestling match-ups! Like seeing a horse try to swat a fly! These two Texans couldn’t be more different, and if Archer’s fabulous 2019 G1 opener with Will Ospreay was any indication, his shocking athleticism and speed make him the perfect big man to go up against a little shithead like Guevara.
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2. Jon Moxley
Granted, this one’s pretty obvious. Mox and Archer’s match at Wrestle Kingdom in January ended up being one of my favorite matches of the weekend. They have fantastic chemistry and both understand how to balance being tough scary guys with being super entertaining. I’d love to see them continue this rivalry all around the world.
3. Orange Cassidy
Archer may be big and tough, but anyone who has seen him wrestle Toru Yano knows he’s very capable of putting on a real treat of a match against a comedy wrestler. Cassidy’s calm coolness would be a delightful foil to Archer’s “everybody dies” thirst for blood.
4. Jeff Cobb
AEW has a few big dudes who would be compelling opponents for a guy like Lance Archer. Wardlow comes to mind, as does Jake Hager and even somebody like Dustin Rhodes. Or wow… Luchasaurus? Wow, I want Luchasaurus too. Still that’s all well and good, but I want to see Jeff Cobb suplex a 7 foot tall guy with bad tattoos and long hair. I just want that. I want that for myself and I want that for America. You could even say that I need that. Just imagine Lance Archer taking a tour of the islands from Cobb—the sweeping arc of the move would look magnificent. Please, AEW, please. I need this or I will die.
5. Darby Allin
“Everybody dies” versus “I’m already half dead” is a rivalry made in Hot Topic breakroom debate heaven. Darby Allin is tiny and insane. Lance Archer is massive and insane. Imagine Lance Archer just smashing Darby Allin through every available surface, throwing him around like an absolute monster. Imagine Darby Allin eating shit and dying over and over and over again, but always getting up and trying to keep going because that’s what Darby Allin is all about. There’s no denying Darby’s star power, but I think a program with somebody like Archer would really maximize the talents of both men and what makes pro wrestling so fun and entertaining.