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Ricky Starks recalls WWE contacting him immediately after his AEW debut

All Elite Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling

Ricky Starks made an appearance on The Chris Van Vliet Show to discuss a wide range of topics.

During the chat, he recalled how WWE contacted him immediately after his AEW debut. Before he made his promotional debut, Starks had been working for the NWA.

Starks was able to get out of his deal with the NWA and made his AEW in-ring debut on the June 11th episode of Dynamite earlier this year when he challenged Cody Rhodes for the TNT Title.

Although he lost the title match, he impressed AEW President Tony Khan so much that he signed the prospect to a full-time deal right away. It turns out that Starks could’ve gone to WWE instead of signing with All Elite Wrestling.

WWE does have a history of signing talent just to keep them away from AEW and other promotions.

Starks said, "The funny thing is, the day that I wrestled Cody I got a phone call from WWE saying 'Hey, we've been watching you and we wanted to bring you in'. I said 'Oh really? oh ok. Interesting. Of all days'. And so I entertained that conversation because I was curious but I think I knew already which decision I was going to make. And I had a very dear, great friend tell me once: you should look at the people who want to invest in you and not know anything about you as opposed to the people who only wanted you when they saw someone else having interest. So that put things in perspective and I don't hold any ill will towards WWE but I really think they dropped the ball majorly on that. I'll never know why and I guess I don't care now."

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Other highlights from the interview:

His thoughts on being compared to The Rock:

"I should have been cast in that new biopic show that he has coming out. I'm not too sad or mad about the comparisons, right? I mean that's cool to have that but I know at the end of the day who I pattern myself after if you even want to call it that. And I already know how my lineage is going to be moving forward. The comparisons won't last my entire life. They just won't. So if that's the starter for how people see me right now and the intrigue is still there then I'm fine with that."

What he needs to take his career to the next level:

"I think the next step would be a championship title. Here's my opinion: I don't necessarily need a title. I can be just as great without it. I could probably go my entire career without ever having a title. But obviously having the title adds a certain spice to things and that only enhances the flavor of the entire meal, right? So I think having that only takes me up another step."

How close does he think he was to getting hired by WWE after his tryout in 2017?

"I don't think I was close at all and I'll never understand why. I love wrestling. I've never played any sports, I never did anything, I only watched wrestling. And I have immersed myself and become obsessed with it and I love it to death. So when I did the tryout in 2017 and I was told and saw the reaction when I killed it in the promo class and I was keeping up with everybody when we were doing the workouts and even Matt Bloom was saying how good of a job I did, I realized that they didn't want a wrestler. They wanted someone who wasn't passionate about it that they could probably make into it. And I still don't get why and that was a time period where I kind of went crazy; I died my hair and I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. So I don't know why that happened and I thought every time that I went to WWE I was like 'This is going to be it. This is how I get in' and it wasn't and that's fine. I'm ok with that."