Kip Sabian, Box Head

In the spring of 2021, Kip Sabian got injured and needed surgery, forcing him to put his career on hold.

Then, after months of sitting at home, he decided to get back on TV with a new Michael Myers-type character who would stalk the arenas.

But on the weekend of All Out 2021, when he was to debut his character, he changed his mind:

Instead of a serial killer mask, he’d wear a cardboard box and complain about his push.

I get chills just thinking about it!

Kip says he wore the box to symbolize that he wasn’t famous anymore. I suppose he was channeling Sting in WCW, who haunted the rafters and didn’t say a word for over a year…

…but it was more like if The Gambler had worn a shirt reading, “Lost in the shuffle”.

Kip Sabian would hang around outside arenas and in crowds with a box over his head, saying nothing. And he did this for months.

And months.

And months.

And… you get the idea.

AEW’s announcers were of no help explaining the situation, as they never acknowledged the Box Head seen in the crowd every week.

If you didn’t already follow Kip Sabian on social media…

…you wouldn’t know who was under the box or why.

You might have just assumed he was another fan with a gimmick, like Frank the Clown or the smiley-face shirt guy.

Fans would pose for pictures with the Box Man…

…or take candid shots in the arena…

Kip Sabian Box Head

…with no visible clue as to his identity, other than the words, “Underrated. Over it”.

While I had to delete a whole rant on the term, “underrated”, I will say that “underrated” and “overrated” were the first two words I ever muted on Twitter…

(Most of the rest were for Sean Ross Sapp tweets)

…and if I ever again call something “underrated”, I’ll promise to watch nothing but Tyrus matches for a week.

Now, when a wrestler complains on TV about being underrated, he means he’s booked to lose matches when someone of his talent ought to be booked to win. Of course, he won’t outright say this, because of kayfabe.

And also of course, in kayfabe, if you lose all the time, you’re not underrated, you’re just a bad wrestler.

So was Kip Sabian, who lost most of his matches on Dynamite before his injury, “underrated”? Well, that’s debatable…

…but the fact that he showed up every week for twelve months declaring he was “over it” suggested that he was not, in fact, over it.

As for how many fans Kip Sabian convinced he was underrated, it hopefully wasn’t too many, lest he accidentally become overrated.

But he certainly had a long time to do it.

While Kip was out injured, Tony Khan introduced three new titles, ended AEW’s partnership with Impact Wrestling, hosted a joint pay-per-view with New Japan, and bought Ring of Honor.

Cody Rhodes solved racism, got his own reality show, had a five-star match in AEW, left his own company, competed at WrestleMania, tore his pec, and had another five-star match in WWE.

In just the time Kip Sabian wore the box, CM Punk wrestled his first match in seven years, won the AEW title, got injured, came back from injury, and lost the title to Jon Moxley.

And as for Sammy Guevara…

(whom Kip wrestled before the very first AEW pay-per-view)

…he got engaged, broke up with his fiancée, and married Tay Melo, winning the TNT title three times along the way…

…all while Kip flew completely under the radar (on a weekly basis, presumably at AEW’s expense)

But AEW could pay off Kip Sabian’s slow-burning angle (or at least his plane tickets) with a hot return angle…

…like Kip attacking Pac a week before All Out 2022.

At long last, the announcers acknowledged not just the presence of the Box Man, but his identity, Kip Sabian.

And they were immediately made liars of when Pac unmasked him to reveal…

…some guy. Some guy with tape over his mouth. Had Kip Sabian kidnapped him or something?

The real Kip Sabian then ambushed Pac, setting up a match for the All-Atlantic title.

It was certainly risky to stake Kip Sabian’s comeback on a championship like the All-Atlantic title, which was not only brand new, but arguably unnecessary.

(Not to mention egregiously wrong in its geography)

Luckily, this was a moot point, as Kip lost the match.

Yes, the payoff to Kip Sabian’s year-long reinvention and comeback angle was a loss on a pay-per-view pre-show.

Oh, and now Kip talked to the box. The commentators, who didn’t know why Kip had worn the box in the first place, had no idea what to make of this.

After the loss, Kip Sabian was immediately pushed down the card to AEW’s YouTube shows.

He did, however, pick up a win over local competitor Atiba on a holiday edition of Rampage.

I mention this because it is his only win on TV since before his injury three years ago.

Not only does Kip Sabian’s Wikipedia page not even mention his time in the box, no one has updated it in nearly two years.

And AEW’s YouTube channel never even uploaded his unboxing video, despite the popularity of the genre.

Kip deserves better than that! I guess he really is underrated.

Oh no.

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