AEW Community Outreach Team in South Florida with Capt. Shawn Dean, Mark Henry, Red Velvet

·5 min read

Giving back, helping others is so important.

All Elite Wrestling understands that and is taking the next step in the process of building a successful company.

In July, AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes made a special announcement via Twitter.

“Very privileged to announce -- w/the blessing of @TonyKhan -- our new Community Outreach team & department! We have a mission to do something positive in EVERY community we visit - contact us here to help identify the best charities/partners:”

Rhodes knows how community outreach can impact the lives of many. While working with WWE, he participated in several programs geared toward that effort, including meeting his No.1 fan, Elijah Mainville, aka Drax Shadow.

When AEW visited South Florida for two shows on consecutive nights (Oct. 15 and 16) in Miami at the James L. Knight Center, the AEW Community Outreach Team reached out to the Jason Taylor Foundation via AEW backstage interviewer Alex Marvez.

Marvez was a beat writer in South Florida, covering the Miami Dolphins, when he met Dolphins star defensive end/outside linebacker Jason Taylor.

Through his star power, Taylor started the Jason Taylor Foundation in 2004 to help the youth in the South Florida community.

The Jason Taylor Foundation supports and creates programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s youth in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life.

One of those programs established in 2007, the Jason Taylor Foundation After School Reading Room, through the direction of Kevin “Pop” Sawyer, is part of that service.

AEW’s Mark Henry, Capt. Shawn Dean and Red Velvet traveled to New Renaissance Middle School in (South Florida) Miramar where that reading program is housed. They met Jason Taylor Foundation Executive Director Seth Levit at the front of the school, and he ushered them into the media center.

Henry, Dean and Velvet then took their seats and spoke to the students, relaying their inspiring life journeys of struggle, determination, passion and success.

The also answered questions and took photos with them.

Velvet, 29, who grew up nearby in Miami, trained in professional wrestling at FEW in Miami under the direction of wrestler, trainer, producer JB Cool. Growing up, she attended Henry M. Flagler Elementary School and Kinloch Middle School in Miami and is a graduate of South Miami High School.

She is also a certified dancer 10-plus years. She studied/trained in dance at New World School of the Arts at Miami-Dade College — Wolfson Campus. She became the youngest member of the New Century Dance Company at age 18 and then was a dancer for Rollying With The Finest Entertainment.

Now she’s stirring it up in AEW, signing with the company in March.

Read more at:


Dean, 35, a Chicago native, served in the U.S. Navy and graduated with a degree in criminal justice from Chicago State University. He played college football and then arena football. He trained in pro wrestling in Atlanta, Georgia at WWA4 under the direction of A.R. Fox and later at the Power Factory/Nightmare Factory under the direction of Glacier and AEW’s QT Marshall and Cody Rhodes.

Dean also signed with AEW in March.


AEW Dark, a weekly program on AEW YouTube, features indie wrestlers against AEW talent. Dean and Velvet began their AEW journey on AEW Dark as indie wrestlers.

Henry, 50, who resides in Austin, Texas, is a WWE Hall of Famer. Prior to pro wrestling/sports entertainment, he was an American powerlifter, Olympic weightlifter and strongman competitor. He joined AEW in May as a commentator, coach, scout, community outreach member. He also co-hosts the Busted Open podcast on Sirius XM.

Henry is a big kid at heart.

New Renaissance Middle School Principal Janet Giancarli welcomed the AEW guests.

One student asked Henry if he was Mark Henry from WWE. Another student did not believe Henry when Henry noted he beat Randy Orton. “CAP,” claimed the unbelieving student, as The World’s Strongest Man smiled. The student opened his lap top to check.

Mark Henry defeated Randy Orton at WWE Night of Champions in 2011 to secure his first World Heavyweight Championship title.

Yes, it’s true. No CAP.

Henry, Dean and Velvet enjoyed their time with the kids.






AEW programming

“AEW Dynamite” (with Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone) is 8 p.m. Wednesdays on TNT.

“AEW Rampage” (with Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Ricky Starks) is 10 p.m. Fridays on TNT.

“AEW Dark: Elevation” (with Tony Schiavone, Eddie Kingston, Mark Henry and Paul Wight) is 7 p.m. Mondays on AEW YouTube.

“AEW Dark” (with Excalibur, Ricky Starks and Taz) is 7 p.m. Tuesdays on AEW YouTube.








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