Lots Of AEW Stars Are On WWE’s ‘banned Image List’ For ThunderDome (heelbynature.com)

Sean Rueter

Yesterday afternoon, The Young Bucks tweeted out this:

That should Matt & Nick Jackson’s pictures on a couple of photocopied sheets someone has labeled “banned image list”, hung next to what looks like some production people managing the fans streaming into WWE’s ThunderDome set-up at Amway Center in Orlando.

Some internet research takes you to The Bucks’ source – this article from Heel By Nature (thanks for watermarking). The site got a hold of an earlier edition of this behind-the-scenes video from the 2020 Sportel Awards, where WWE won in the “Virtual Fan Experience” category.

In Heel By Nature’s version, there are a couple shots which catch these “banned image” sheets hanging around the studio. Which makes total sense, after things like a person in a KKK hood, what looked like footage of an execution & a photo of Chris Benoit showed up in the venue, and on television broadcasts, during the early days of ThunderDome.

On the less offensive side of things, AEW’s Kenny Omega made an appearance during SmackDown. Whether it was really him or not, Omega tweeted about it, giving WWE’s Wednesday competitor free publicity – and the kind of “gotcha” win that’s celebrated on the internet.

It’s the same kind of win The Bucks are claiming now by tweeting out the screen capture, so… damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Still, the list is smart considering WWE’s long history and global partners. And you can tell from Heel By Nature’s crowdsourced identification of the banned faces and logos, being on the AEW roster is just one to make the list (not to be confused with This List):

  • AEW
  • IMPACT Wrestling
  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling
  • Enzo Amore
  • Kenny Omega
  • Jon Moxley
  • MJF
  • Tony Khan
  • Cody Rhodes
  • Brandi Rhodes
  • Marty Scurll
  • The Young Bucks
  • Chris Benoit
  • CM Punk
  • Jim Cornette
  • Alberto El Patron
  • Ryback
  • Ashley Massaro
  • “Superstar” Billy Graham
  • Vickie Guerrero
  • Flag of Hong Kong
  • Flag of Taiwan
  • Flag of Tibet

We’ll see how this gets referenced on Dynamite this week.