Is John Kreese The AEW Women's World Champion's Sensei?

The world of professional wrestling is a weird one, and part of its allure has always been just how weird it's willing to be. A few weeks ago, "Jackass Forever" star Johnny Knoxville entered the prestigious WWE Royal Rumble, and everyone's favorite serial killer-possessed doll, Chucky, has a history of showing up on episodes of "Monday Night Raw" (as do The Muppets). But on the February 16, 2022 episode of "AEW Dynamite," WWE's competitor finally got into the weird and unexpected cameo game when Martin Kove's John Kreese made a random backstage appearance to support the AEW Women's World Champion, Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. (Yes, she's an actual dental professional.) Donning an acid-washed tee with the "Cobra Kai" dojo logo on the front, Baker was giving an impassioned speech to fellow wrestler Mercedes Martinez on the importance of destroying her competitor, the champion's longtime rival Thunder Rosa, when Baker mentioned her sensei, giving the cue for John Kreese to appear from the wings.

The original and vicious sensei of "Cobra Kai," Kreese is responsible for telling Johnny Lawrence to sweep Daniel LaRusso's leg all those years ago, encouraging his reign of terror with the motto "Strike First. Strike Hard. No Mercy." Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. may be the AEW Women's World Champion, but she is by no means a babyface. The heel champion is ruthless and is known to win by any means necessary, which in kayfabe seems to come from her years of training with John Kreese.

The Cobra Kai extended universe just got a little bigger

This isn't the first time Kreese has shown up and claimed to be the good doctor's sensei. During a promo video ahead of the Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. vs. Nyla Rose match for "AEW Dynamite: Fyter Fest," Kreese showed up with a cigar in hand claiming that he helped train Baker before the Cobra Kai dojo opened back up. "I know that she knows that mercy is for the weak, here and on the streets," he said. "Somebody confronts her, they are the enemy, and the enemy doesn't deserve any mercy." The appearance was unexpected and garnered a huge pop, but fans assumed it was just a funny little plug for the upcoming season of "Cobra Kai."

Well, Kreese's return to AEW has established in-universe that he in fact is Baker's sensei, expanding the "Cobra Kai" universe to the world of professional wrestling. In the moments before the Wednesday night fight between Mercedes Martinez and Thunder Rosa, AEW commentators discussed Kreese's appearance backstage, referring to him as Baker's sensei, and acknowledging him as Kreese. This was not a visit by actor Martin Kove (who they did later show in the audience), this was John Kreese, in the flesh, encouraging his champion's stable to do the job and take down the enemy. Martinez ended up losing her bout against Rosa, so Baker paid a visit to Kreese at ringside, only for Baker and her henchwomen, Rebel and Jamie Hayter, to enter the ring and put the hurt on both Rosa and Martinez ... just as sensei ordered. 

Oh, wrestling. You wonderfully stupid and brilliant form of muscle-ballet storytelling.