When he had his Double or Nothing 2021 match against Cody Rhodes, most people in the United States had no clue who Anthony Ogogo was.
For the general public, they learned he was an ex-boxer who moved over to wrestling and was trying to make it as a rookie in AEW. He seemed to have something but he seemed like he could be just another up-and-comer in All Elite Wrestling.
However, in the United Kingdom he was a superstar. One of the most well known boxers not named Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury, Anthony Ogogo’s AEW signing was big news.
He was an Olympic medallist in London 2012 and at one time was on the same level as former World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua.
His signing was reported by all major news outlets as a huge deal, with even rumours of WWE interest in the Olympic Bronze Medallist. He was a huge name in boxing before his career was cut short due to him going blind in his left eye.
He was an early signing to AEW and was one of the first graduates from the prestigious Nightmare Factory.
He was trained by the likes of Cody Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall, the latter of which he joined forces with in the heelish faction called “The Factory”.
He was a commentator on AEW Dark whilst he honed his skills in the ring and made a huge splash when he was entangled in a feud with one of AEW’s top stars – Cody Rhodes.
Anthony Ogogo vs Cody Rhodes was an intriguing feud which ultimately went very poorly.
Fans were excited to see this new wrestler take on an old favourite, but the overt American Nationalism of Cody Rhodes brought the feud crashing down. Fans didn’t want to cheer Cody Rhodes, who insulted Ogogo for his nationality before claiming he ended racism.
The match at Double or Nothing 2021 was poor, and it showed Ogogo was not ready for the big time. An injury soon after took him out of action, but now he is back and Anthony Ogogo in AEW is set to be a big player for AEW in the future.
However, it could have gone very different for Anthony Ogogo, who was offered big money by WWE to jump over to the promotion at the start of his career.
Anthony Ogogo Rejected WWE
Anthony Ogogo signed for AEW in 2019 and was one of the first recruits signed without any wrestling experience. He was a project for the future and somebody to be moulded into a star in All Elite Wrestling for the next 5 or 10 years.
He was signed by AEW after quitting boxing. He left due to blindness in his left eye, ending a career he had worked his entire life for.
He felt disheartened about not achieving his boxing dreams but accepted wrestling as a “bonus career”, and intends to take the bull by the horns by making the most of his opportunity.
“What did I get out of my boxing career? I’m blind in my left eye. I didn’t achieve the things I wanted to achieve. I’m getting a bonus career, I didn’t think I was ever going to be a wrestler. I thought I was going to be a boxer. This is a bonus for me.”
His retirement from boxing, while tragic, could be a turning point for Anthony Ogogo. He could become a big star in AEW, which would never have been possible otherwise.
The fact Tony Khan had his first feud as a rookie be against Cody Rhodes shows just how much he values Ogogo and how high he sees his potential.
It was Tony Khan and his “vision” that convinced the Olympian to sign for AEW. Not following in the footsteps of Kurt Angle and Gable Steveson and signing for WWE, Anthony Ogogo chose AEW instead and rejected Triple H’s offer of a stint in NXT.
“WWE offered me more money than AEW. I didn’t join them because I believe in Tony Khan’s vision. I believe in Cody Rhodes vision. I believe in AEW’s vision. I love being a part of AEW. I love how the team give a f— about their wrestlers. They care about the people rather than the money.”
“The other place, they seem to care about money first and people if at all. We care about the people first because they know that a happy workplace creates good stuff. So I’m very proud to be in AEW.”
Anthony Ogogo’s AEW journey has just begun and he still has many years left to achieve his true potential.
At 33 years old, he should just be coming into his prime as a wrestler and will want to look to wrestlers like DDP, who started wrestling in his 30s, as inspiration for how to model his career.
Anthony Ogogo looks set to return to AEW at All In 2, the first AEW PPV to take place in the United Kingdom.