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Wardlow discusses how Dr. Britt Baker and Glacier helped get him into AEW, looking up to Batista

All Elite Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling

Wardlow appeared on "Insight with Chris Van Vliet" to talk about Batista being an inspiration for him, what he was like in high school, not being signed by the WWE, and how he got the attention of AEW.

Wardlow said Batista was his inspiration to start working out:

“I was a junior in high school in 2005, and in 2005 Dave Bautista was in Evolution in the peak Evolution era (with Triple H, Flair, and Orton.) He was starting to branch out on his own and I was just amazed by him," Wardlow shared.

"I personally think that he has the best physique in the history of professional wrestling. If you are just talking about looks alone, his physique was just astounding to me. I looked at him and I was like, yeah, that’s what I’m going to do," he laughed.

Wardlow discussed how he was tiny in high school, being a Jeff Hardy fan, and how it made him learn high risk moves:

“As a freshman, I was lucky if I was 5 foot 2. As a freshman, I was 5 foot 4 at the most, but that was pushing it. I still had that pre-puberty chubbiness going on," he said.

"Everybody was blowing up except for me, and that was frustrating. Fortunately at the time, I was a huge Jeff Hardy fan, so in my head, I was going to be the little guy. I just started practicing flips and corkscrews. I was on a trampoline every day of my life after school perfecting moonsaults, swantons, everything."

"Then of course, I perfect all of these acrobatic moves, and I blow up after my senior year. But your body doesn’t forget that stuff, so you see me bust out an occasional swanton even today.”

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Wardlow talked about how the WWE passed on him after a tryout:

“I aced the try-out with flying colors and they didn’t want me. For the first time in my life, I went, ‘Oh well, maybe this isn’t going to happen.’ But fortunately I stuck with it, and I was determined to make it happen."

"I thank God everyday that AEW came about. But yeah, being denied was a unique experience and a unique feeling, but it put me where I needed to be, so I'm happy for it.”

Wardlow shared how he got on AEW's radar after being passed by WWE:

“It was one of those perfect storms. It was three people that mentioned my name to Cody Rhodes all within like three weeks," Wardlow said.

"It started with Britt Baker because she and I came up together in IWC in Pittsburgh. She had mentioned my name to Cody and said, ‘Hey, my friend Wardlow is pretty good. You should give him a look.’ Then they had a guy that QT (Marshall) partnered with and came into the seminar, Lloyd, who was Glacier in WCW. He did a seminar in IWC and ended up watching my match. He called Cody the next day and went, ‘Hey, you might want to take a look at this guy.’ I think there was one more guy from Warrior Wrestling that had contacted Cody about me. So it was this perfect storm where so many people said my name."

"It was like, well, okay, let’s give this guy a shot.”

Other topics of conversation during the podcast included his diet and workout regimen, what he has learned from being paired with MJF, his goals for his career, what it was like working with CM Punk and much more.

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to for the transcription. Also, be sure to subscribe to "Insight with Chris Van Vliet" on your mobile device by clicking here if you have an iOS device or here on your Android device.