All Elite Wrestling isn’t shy about its old school influences from Cody taking some tactics from his dad’s wheelhouse to the TNT Championship seeming to be a nod to the NWA Television Championship to the presence of legendary figures like Jake Roberts, Tony Schiavone, and Tully Blanchard on their television show. The latest nod to the past occurred on the most recent episode of Dynamite when Blanchard gifted a fingerless black glove to Shawn Spears. Many fans were left wondering about the significance of the glove but it is yet another nod to the past from AEW and it fits with Spears current journey to become “HEARTLESS”
The black glove that has been a part of wrestling history for decades.
Ted DiBiase, Blackjack Mulligan, Barry Windham have all worn this glove – It’s time for @Perfec10n to show how heartless he really is.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) June 4, 2020
Probably the closest link to Blanchard’s past was Barry Windham’s use of the gimmick when he turned heel to join The Four Horsemen in 1988. Windham began wearing the glove and adopted his father’s claw hold finisher. With Blanchard telling Spears in a recent promo that he has to “change something in his heart” giving him the glove that symbolized Windham’s turn to the dark side can be seen as encouragement for Spears to delve into even more evil waters than ever before.
Speaking of Barry Windham’s father, Blackjack Mulligan was renowned for his signature look with his black trunks, black cowboy hat, and of course his fingerless black glove. He was also widely known for his use of the Iron Claw submission which would be passed down to Windham. He too was a high profile heel in his heyday, notice a trend with the black glove yet?
Before he was the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase was a top name in Mid South Wrestling. Following a supposed hand injury, DiBiase faced Junkyard Dog with his hand taped up and covered in a fingerless black glove. A babyface at the time fans thought things were on the up and up with DiBiase’s glove. As it turned out DiBiase was using a loaded glove and used it to get a dirty win over his former friend JYD. Once again we see the black glove used to signify someone embracing the darkness.
While not as synonymous with his look Diesel (AKA Kevin Nash) used a singular fingerless black glove at points in his career. Mostly during his WWE tenure where he had a lengthy reign as WWF Champion. While not associated with a strong heel presence the black glove was once again a part of a successful main event act, which Tully is trying to shape Spears into.
Kane had many different looks throughout his career but the black glove on his right hand, his Chokelamming hand, was almost everpresent. When it comes to the fingerless variant Kane wore this following his unmasking at a time when he let loose and re-found the monster inside of him. Once again the fingerless black glove can be associated with a wrestler fully embracing the darkest side of themself.
It is clear that throughout wrestling history the fingerless black glove has been used predominantly by heels embracing their dark side to achieve success, and even when not used by heels it signified success. Tully Blanchard and AEW giving this nod to the past is a subtlety that may be lost on some viewers but is the king of storytelling that fans can appreciate from the promotion as we look on to see if Shawn Spears can truly live up to the legacy of the fingerless black glove.
Stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and weekly on YouTube.