The matchmakers at AEW have apparently determined that the rivalry between Best Friends and Miro and Kip Sabian is just like the late, great comedian Jimmy Walker.
AEW Full Gear went full bore on Saturday but if you perused the wagering odds at Bet365 Canada, you wouldn’t have found a betting line on a tag team bout featuring one of the hottest current storylines at AEW. That’s because this tag team feud wasn’t on the card as part of the promotion’s latest pay-per-view.
Miro joined the AEW in September. He was immediately paired with the popular Sabian and the two began their tag-team feud with Best Friends.
While it’s apparent that AEW plans to develop Miro into one of the promotion’s top drawing cards, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the reason why he wasn’t part of their big pay-per-view from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Fla. was because AEW is intending to keep the Miro/Kip Sabian vs Best Friends storyline exclusively as part of its Wednesday AEW Dynamite television program.
Miro’s Big Arrival
Full Gear was the first pay-per-view since Miro joined the AEW in mid-September. His arrival was anything but subtle. Miro was introduced into the promotion during an episode of Dynamite via an announcement that he’d be serving as best man at Sabian’s upcoming wedding to Penelope Ford.
A week later, the two were paired against Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss in a tag-team bout. Revealing an even more chiseled physique than usual, Miro caught Kiss in his signature finishing move, known as the Accolade, and Kiss was forced to tap out.
AEW has signed Miro to a multi-year contract. He is wrestling with the handle as “The Best Man.”
“They came up with the idea with Kip and the best man and I think the best man is so suiting because of everything that I do and I thought it was a great schtick,” Miro told comicbook.com. “And it’s not just a schtick, it actually fits my personality and that’s why it was a no-brainer. Yes, let’s just do that.”
He believes his new nickname to be appropriate. “It’s not a gimmick,” Miro said. “I am the best. I am the best all-around player in professional wrestling.”
Leaving WWE After A Decade
Miro, 35, a Bulgarian whose actual name is Miroslav Barnyashev, wrestled with the WWE for 10 years from 2010 until this April. A three-time United States champion, he was among 19 wrestlers released by the WWE as part of a cost-cutting move caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He fought in the WWE as Rusev, a Russian-based character who was very politically-themed. Rusev was billed as being a hero of the Russian Federation. He’s best remembered for arriving at ringside for his Wrestlemania 31 bout against John Cena aboard a tank.
Parting was not sweet sorrow for Miro as he left WWE.
“Ten years in the same house under the same glass ceiling, with the imaginary brass ring,” Rusev said during his first AEW Dynamite appearance. “Well you can take that brass ring and shove it.”
As the crowd chanted his name, Miro continued to address the audience.
“That’s right,” he said. “My name is Miro, and elite recognizes elite. Elite recognizes the best.”
He’s also certain that his time with AEW will offer opportunities to him that weren’t readily available during Miro’s days with the WWE.
“Everything in my life has led me to this moment,” Barnyashev told Sports Illustrated. “The chains are off. There isn’t anyone yelling at me, saying, ‘Don’t do this. Don’t sell shirts. Don’t smile. Don’t wave to people.’
“All the doors that were closed are now open. My fan base knows I’m good. They’ve seen me perform at the highest level. And that’s why I am where I am, my fan base. There would never have been a Rusev Day or Miro in AEW without the fans. Nothing is going to stop me from achieving my dream, and I’m going to take the fans with me when I do it.
“AEW is beautiful. I can create something you’ve never seen before anywhere else in the world. Everyone will find out why the ‘Best Man’ is all elite.”