Wardlow has become a top name in AEW, first as MJF’s muscle and now as part of The Inner Circle.
Things could have been very different for Wardlow though, had he been offered a WWE.
On a recent AEW Unrestricted, he spoke of his certainty of heading to WWE and that he sold his possessions in anticipation.
I smoked that tryout. I’m like, “I have this in the bag,” so much so I literally sold my motorcycle, sold my house, literally got rid of everything because I’m like, “I’m going to put everything into moving into Florida.”
So when the email came in that I was not, I remember I actually had to pull over on the side of the road because I just couldn’t believe it.
Wardlow may have put all his eggs in one basket after that tryout, but there was good reason for him to be confident that he stood out.
He recalled that he was one of very few actual wrestlers there, and was making more of an effort to impress than many.
I was literally the only dude there in a suit. It was mind-blowing. Dudes are there in shorts and t-shirts. That’s because they’re not recruiting wrestlers. They’re recruiting ex-NFL athletes or college wrestlers, people that have never watched wrestling, 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, he’s like, “Man, I’ve never even watched wrestling. I don’t even like it.” I’m just like, “Get out of my room. Why are you here?” And that was his second tryout. These people are getting multiple chances.
That wasn’t the last discussions Wardlow had about heading to WWE.
Kurt Angle gave him the nod that there was interest, but when the AEW opportunity came up he was quick to take it.
I started training personally with Kurt Angle when he was getting ready to make his comeback for his final couple of matches. And me and Kurt clicked in the ring really well, and him and I talked a lot. And he expressed that he had a conversation with a certain somebody there about bringing me in, and he’s like, “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”
Lord knows I am not the most patient person at all. That’s always been a battle. So 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 it. This is what it is, and I’m very happy I didn’t say no and wait and wait and wait.
Wardlow at least seems settled in AEW, and is looking likely to work with Jake Hager if The Inner Circle disbands given the staredowns they’ve had recently.