Theoretically, Hook and Danhausen are on opposite ends of the AEW spectrum.
One is a second-generation wrestler who played lacrosse at the D-1 level in college and, after months of training as a contracted talent, made his in-ring debut positioned as an unbeatable star right from the jump. Hook was given a near-weekly segment on Rampage, plowed through opponent after opponent after opponent from QT Marshall to Bear Bronson, Serpentico, and Fuego Del Sol, and, with his father Taz on commentary, was made to feel like an eventual contender for the World Championship a few years down the line.
With two words, “Send Hook,” CM Punk made a cult figure the likes of which AEW hasn't seen to this point in the promotion's history, and to Tony Khan's credit, he's rolled with the idea of making the “Cold-hearted Handsome Devil” an ascending force.
And as for Danhausen? Well, his path to weekly television took a much longer and more winding road.
Initially wrestling under the name Donovan Danhausen, wrestling's “Very Nice, Very Evil”-est performer toiled away on the Indies without much success before debuting the makeup that would eventually make him an international star. Though it took some time to settle into his current persona, as the original Danhausen was more satanic serial killer than Conan O'Brien-meets-HIM from the Powerpuff Girls, once the man behind the makeup settled on his current persona, it strapped a rocket to his back pointed directly at wrestling stardom.
Danhausen tagged with everyone from Effy to Orange Cassidy on the Indies, and after “winning” a one-year contract with the old Ring of Honor for the calendar year of 2021, his unique brand of comedic mischief captured the hearts and wallets of fans looking to get in on the ground floor of the next big thing – or to have him make dozens of Cameos for Jim Cornette.
Should a pairing of Hook and Danhausen work? No, probably not, but in the weirdest twist of fate, the salty and sweet pairing has become the hottest duo on AEW Rampage – and maybe AEW period – and that, friends, probably isn't going to change any time soon.
Hook and Danhausen are the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of AEW.
After debuting in AEW in one of the weirdest ways imaginable, hiding under the ring for a rubber match bout between Adam Cole and Orange Cassidy at Beach Break in Cincinnati, Ohio, Danhausen's schtick was pretty cut and dry: He cursed people. He didn't wrestle, he didn't throw punches, or hit hurricanranas; he stood in the ring, pointed at a fellow performer, and announced that they were, in fact, cursed, usually before something bad happened to them from a third party.
It was simple, the pop was massive every single time Tony Khan played the card, and fans in attendance at live events began to rep Danhausen merch, facepaint, and signs at an even higher clip than they did before.
But then, Danhausen was hit with his first real challenge as a member of the AEW roster: Hook. After working his cursing magic on the likes of Q.T. Marshall, and Mark Sterling, Danhausen tried to curse Hook, but, in true Hook fashion, he no-sold it and walked right passed his fellow rostermate.
This, understandably, left a bad taste in Mr. Hausen's mouth. He wanted to curse Taz's baby boy and wanted to do it badly, and yet, every time Danhausen tried to get it done, Hook wasn't having it. This storyline went on for weeks and became more and more captivating to fans with each passing episode of Rampage before it finally happened: Danhausen gave Hook a birthday present, a bag of chips, and the “Cold-hearted Handsome Devil” had his “The Grinch” moment. When Danhausen was booked for his first AEW match, an effective squash loss to Nese in the latter's hometown of Long Island, New York, Hook came out of the back and ran off Mark Sterling and his client.
Hookhausen, friends, was formed.
From there, the duo were booked for their first match as a tag team, taking on Nese and Sterling at the Double or Nothing pre-show, and, after taking care of business via a hot tag, Hook allowed his partner, Danhausen, to get the pin and the longest-term storyline on Rampage right now reached both its logical conclusion, and the start of its second chapter – a regular Otis and Mandy for the Hot Topic crowd, if you will. Now fully embracing their odd-couple tag team, Danhausen and Hook have purchased matching ATVs and have become the hottest tag team ticket on AEW's second weekly show, especially since “Swerve in our Glory” potentially broke up during the Casino Battle Royal.
So what, you may ask, is the takeaway from chapter one of the Hookhausen saga? Well, that even now, in the social media age, long-term storytelling on weekly television works and can produce incredibly compelling storylines without the need for championship gold; especially when the wrestlers in question are two of the most popular performers in the promotion.