AEW’s Anthony Bowens wants to be more than ‘a skinny kid’

AEW's Anthony Bowens wants to be more than ‘a skinny kid'

Anthony Bowens, dressed in neon spandex, has become known for screaming city’s names at the top of his lungs at AEW shows.

Along with partner Max Caster, the pair make up The Acclaimed, one of the most popular tag teams in Tony Khan’s upstart wrestling promotion. Caster raps, hitting snarky comments about everything from their opponents to student loans. Bowens, who concedes he can neither rap nor dance, serves as a hype man.

“The actual wrestling part, when people are chopping you and punching you in the face, that’s not the most fun,” the 31-year-old New Jersey native told the Daily News.

“But in general, yeah, it is probably the most fun I’ve ever had in professional wrestling. Because you know, it’s the greatest job in the world. Like, who else gets to go out on national television every single week, say whatever we want to say, have 10,000 people in an arena absolutely going crazy?”

Raised in Nutley, Bowens grew up playing baseball, all the way to Seton Hall University and then Montclair University. When that ended, he fell backward into wrestling when a silly video he made with friends gained traction online.

Now, The Acclaimed draws some of the loudest cheers in each city they stop.

Bowens loves the cheers, but as one of just a few publicly gay male athletes, he also holds tight the responsibility.

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“I’m privileged in the sense that sometimes people might look at me and not have any idea, while others … may get a lot more hate than I do. And I understand that, but I went through a lot. And I understand how that feels to be judged, to have hate thrown at you,” he said.

“I know that there’s a lot of other athletes out there and just people in general who are going through the same thing that I am, so if I can kind of be a beacon of hope that you can beat all that nonsense and ignore the hate and that it all gets better, I would love to be a shining light for that.”

Bowens acknowledges that’s a heavy mission. But he’s more than that, too.

“I’m a skinny kid from Nutley, N.J., who if you saw me in high school, you really wouldn’t think that I would grow up to be a global international, larger-than-life superstar. It’s insane. So I’m kind of representing anybody that has a dream that maybe people told them ‘no, that’s impossible,’ because of who they are,” he told The News.

“No matter who you are, if you have the work ethic, if you have the passion, if you have the drive, if you’re relentless, this can get done.”

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