AEW's Anthony Bowens recalls scary first meeting with Billy Gunn

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AEW's Anthony Bowens was scared of Billy GunnAEW/Lane Walbert

AEW’s Anthony Bowens has recalled his scary first meeting with Billy Gunn, the man he’d go on to refer to as Daddy Ass.

Gunn is now a member of The Acclaimed, alongside Bowens and his tag team partner Max Caster, but before AEW even existed Bowens and Gunn met when the former had a tryout with WWE.

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy about their first meeting, Bowens said: "Back in 2015 I had a tryout at the other company and he was one of the coaches at the Performance Center.

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All Elite Wrestling (AEW)

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"I was petrified of him because we did a drill where you have to land your back, they blow a whistle, you get up, and you square off and face off and then you go back down.

"I think I was doing it a little bit incorrectly and I remember laying down on the ground, looking up and seeing this large man with his face tomato red getting angrier and angrier by the second the more I did it wrong.

"I was so scared of him."

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Bowens signed with AEW in late 2020 and by early 2022 he and Caster were in a storyline with Gunn's sons Austin and Colton, which would eventually see Gunn side with The Acclaimed over his two children.

"Coming to AEW I was even more scared of him because I was hoping he didn't remember," Bowens continued.

"So it's kind of funny that he's actually a big teddy bear and he would eventually become my 'father'."

Bowens also has fond memories of watching Gunn in WWE while he was growing up during the Attitude Era.

"I loved Billy, I loved the New Age Outlaws. He was one of my favourites," Bowens said.

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"He was actually my Figure Fed champion at one point. So it's very cool that I've been able to turn that into being Trios Champions with him and to having a hit catchphrase with him, something that lasts a lifetime.

"He says all the time that when he does meet-and-greets, no one's really doing the 'suck it' with him anymore, it's usually that they want to scissor with him and that's really cool.

"It's so cool to have him as a mentor, as an on-screen father and, most importantly to me, as a friend."

Catch AEW Dynamite live every Thursday at 1am in the UK, Rampage every Saturday at 3am, and Collision every Sunday at 1am on TrillerTV with an AEW Plus subscription. US customers can also watch Dynamite on TBS and Rampage and Collision on TNT, and in the UK, AEW repeats air on ITV4.

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