Wardlow talking about his love for eating chicken, his journey to AEW, the cage match against Cody Rhodes, his match with Hangman Page, what happened at his WWE tryout, how he ended up on the Pittsburgh independent scene, DC comics, his love for Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect, his corner knee strike and why he doesn’t have many friends.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
Wardlow talked about wrestling Cody Rhodes: “It was a very unique experience. It’s weird. That whole evening and match is a blackout. It’s hard to even recall. I don’t remember the entrance. The only thing that I really remember is when I was standing in the ring and Cody and I were squaring off when the bell rang. That’s the only thing I can vividly remember. You could not have put any more pressure on me. I mean, my first match ever on live TV, in his hometown, the first ever cage match in the main event against Cody Rhodes. But, I will say I most definitely felt for a long time that I was ready for that. I was comfortable being in that position and I knew I could perform under pressure and I perform better under pressure. But, man, most definitely the best night of my life.
On bringing his mom to this match: “As much of a dream that it is mine, it’s as much hers. She wanted this as much as I did. She wanted this for me as much as I did. I saw a lot of happy tears flowing that day which is always a good thing.”
Wardlow described his tryout with WWE: “I know people know that I did have a tryout and I smoked that tryout. I was literally the only dude there in a suit. It was mind blowing. Dudes were there in shorts and T-Shirts. That’s because they are not recruiting wrestlers. They are recruiting ex-NFL athletes or college wrestlers, people that have never watched wrestling and don’t care about wrestling. The comments these people were making made me sick to my stomach that they were there getting an opportunity. Of course, my roommate said, ‘man I’ve never even watched wrestling. I don’t even like it’ and I was like, ‘get out of my room. Why are you here?’ It was his second tryout. These people are getting multiple tryouts. So I smoked that tryout. I thought I had this in the bag, so much so that I sold my motorcycle. I sold my house. I literally got rid of everything because I was like, I’m going to put everything into moving to Florida. When the email came in that I was not, I actually had to pull over on the side of the road. I couldn’t believe it. Then I started training personally with Kurt Angle when he was getting ready to make his comeback for his final couple of matches. Me and Kurt clicked in the ring really well. Him and I talked a lot and he expressed that he had a conversation with a certain somebody there about bringing me in. He told me it’s not a matter of it, it’s a matter of when. When the opportunity came with AEW and I heard what the plans were and I heard the vision and the passion behind it, I knew there was nothing for me to wait for. This is what it is and I’m very happy I didn’t say no and wait and wait and wait. God knows I could still be waiting at this point. I am most definitely where I am supposed to be.”
Wardlow said he doesn’t have a lot of friends: “It helps me in many ways. I have zero distractions when I’m home. When I get home, it’s right back to dieting and training. There is no question of, do I go hang out with this person? Do I go to this party? Do I go to this club? I know exactly what I am doing, all day, every day. Lots of eating. Lots of training. Lots of recovery.”