What Happened To Damien Sandow After Leaving WWE?

Hamish Woodward

Damien Sandow. Mizdow. Macho Mandow. Whichever name you want to call him, you cannot deny that Damien Sandow was one fo the WWE’s most entertaining stars.He had one of the most varied careers in the WWE, although with very little actual success to show for it.

A failed Money in the Bank cash-in and a solitary tag team championship (alongside The Miz of all people) is the only gold he managed to pick up during his years in the WWE.However, he charmed many millions watching at home with his incredible commitment to his gimmick.

Whether it be the “Intellectual Savior of the Unwashed Masses”, imitating The Miz as “Damien Mizdow”, or pretending to Randy Savage as “Macho Mandow”, he always threw himself into his character, something the fans appreciated.

But what happened to Damien Sandow? Why was he released by the WWE, and what happened to him after leaving the company for good.In this article, we’ll explain exactly what happened and see what Sandow himself thinks of the situation.

Why Did WWE Release Damian Sandow?

Macho Mandow and Axelmania - A Waste of a Years Build

Damien Sandow was released by the WWE in 2016, following WWE abandoning his Macho Mandow gimmick. This came after two years of absolutely fantastic work from the former tag team champion, who went from one of the most hated heels in wrestling, to the most beloved baby faces (while not even actually wrestling).

Sandow had been teaming up with Curtis Axel (who was imitating Hulk Hogan as “Axelmania“) in a team called “The Meta Powers”, and were incredibly over with the crowd. Sandow was known as “Macho Mandow” during this time, imitating Randy Savage to compliment Axel’s Hulk Hogan impersonation).

Sadly, Hulk Hogan’s racism scandal caused that gimmick to be dropped and Sandow would be kept off TV for some months. This came just after the biggest run of his career, and was a make-or-break time for the star to see if he could go out on his own, without the help of The Miz to keep him over.

Sandow eventually returned to TV months later, but only won a single match – on Main Event against Heath Slater – from November 2015 to May 2016, when WWE fired him. It was clear that the WWE never truly had faith in his, at least not since they had him lose his Money in the Bank cash in to John Cena.

Since then, he had been treated like a jobber. They gave him the role of being The Miz’s lackey, which he turned into one of the most entertaining gimmicks of all time. Sandow soon became The Miz’s “stunt double” – playing on The Miz’s “Hollywood A-Lister” gimmick at the time – by copying The Miz’s wrestling moves on the outside of the ring, wrestling himself to the delight of the fans.

Damien Sandow was fired from WWE due to budget cut reasons. The company clearly didn’t see him as a star, and did not want to pay his wages when they didn’t believe in him. With the rotation of talent coming from NXT proving a hit, they had no choice but to void his contract and send Damien Sandow packing from the WWE.

It did not come as a surprise. He had been completely removed from WWE TV. Vince McMahon had booked him in any matches of note since Hulk Hogan’s racism scandal. His biggest bout was a tag team match on the Royal Rumble pre-show, where Damien Sandow teamed with Darren Young in a makeshift duo that lost a four-way bout for a chance to appear in the Royal Rumble match.

What Happened To Damien Sandow?

After leaving WWE, Damien Sandow signed to Impact Wrestling and changed his name to Aaron Rex.He joined the company with a much different character than how he left WWE. Sandow claimed he was “held back” by the WWE, stating that they didn’t give him the chance to be himself.

That would all change in TNA, where Sandow (as Aaron Rex) could show the fans the real him finally.Unfortunately, the real him was dull, boring and not a very good wrestler. He did become the first ever Impact Grand Champion, but his reign was a disappointing one.

It was clear Damien Sandow thrived on character work, and needed something to sink his teeth into. While not great with a free reign, if you give him something to work with, he could be brilliant.

After failing as “himself”, he began a Liberacce-type character, which got over huge with the Impact crowd.However, this run only lasted three months before Sandow left the company for good. He left to pursue an acting career, inspired by his work as a character actor in the WWE.

Two years later, he returned to our screens with the NWA. He wrestled as Aaron Stevens for Billy Corgan’s National Wrestling Alliance, joining stars like Ricky Starks, LA Knight and Eddie Kingston in the promotion.

He won the NWA National Championship and tag team championship in his time there, but now works as an on-screen manager and authority figure for the promotion.

Is Damien Sandow Retired?

Macho Mandow and Axelmania - A Waste of a Years Build

Damien Sandow officially retired from wrestling on June 12th 2022, at age 40. The former WWE superstar announced his retirement following his match with Trevor Murdoch at NWA Alwayz Ready.

The show was inspired by Matt Cardona’s catchphrase, and was set to star him as the NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion. Sadly, he suffered an injury before the event, so Damien Sandow wrestled Trevor Murdoch for the NWA Championship instead.

After the match, Sandow grabbed a microphone, and said “You’re Welcome” to the crowd before walking off. He then took to social media, claiming the match was “my swansong”.

He seemed to retire then and there, although he wrestled intermittently in the months following.Damien Sandow’s last match in wrestling was a tag team match at NWA Vs. AAA The World Is A Vampire: Part 1, where he teamed with Natalia Markova in defeat against Arez and La Hiedra.

As of the time of writing, Damien Sandow is retired from pro-wrestling.

Damien Sandow’s Last Match In WWE

Damien Sandow wrestled his last WWE match on May 3rd 2016, on an episode of WWE Main Event.He wrestled Titus O’Neil on the show, with both men being primarily used as jobbers on Raw and Smackdown.

Despite this, Damien Sandow lost his last match, being pinned following a Clash of the Titus, following a short four-minute match.He was released shortly after and as of the time of writing has not reappeared in the WWE.

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