Would you like to see a Wardlow WWE run?
AEW’s biggest rising star Wardlow has been on fire in AEW recently. He is the new number one contender to Sammy Guevara’s TNT Champion, and recently turned on his MJF and helped CM Punk win in their match at AEW Revolution.
However, Wardlow recently revealed that a WWE tryout almost made him quit wrestling and retire from the sport completely.
In an interview with Chris Van Vilet on the Insight Podcast, it was revealed that Wardlow WWE tryout went really well for the AEW star, but the result of it almost made him give up on wrestling entirely.
Since his WWE trial a few years ago, he has carried on and gone from strength to strength. He was one of the early signings to AEW after AEW Dynamite began, and was quickly squared with the loud mouthed villain Maxwell Jacob Freidman (MJF) as the monster heel who completely crushed all his opponents.
“Mr Mayhem” Wardlow revealed in the interview that he almost retired after his WWE tryout, despite it going very well for the former IWC Heavyweight Champion.
“I aced that tryout out, I mean, with flying colors and they didn’t want me.” Wardlow told Chris Van Vilet.
“So for the first time in my life, I went, ‘oh, well maybe this isn’t going to happen’. Fortunately, I stuck with it, and I was determined to make it happen one way or another.”
“I thank God every day that AEW came about. But yeah man, being denied, that was a unique experience and a unique feeling. But it put me where I needed to be, and I’m happy for it.”
Despite being exactly what Vince McMahon would want, Wardlow was rejected by WWE despite having “aced” his tryout in NXT. Vince is famous for preferring large, more muscular wrestlers with less experience that he can mould in his own image, rather than a experienced indie wrestler who they have to fix their bad habits and change the way they are.
NXT 2.0 would have been ideal for Wardlow in WWE. He had very little experience before signing for AEW. He could have been a top star in NXT in the vein of Bron Breakker, if he had been accepted by the staff at NXT before his tryout.
However, not getting a Wardlow WWE run in NXT may have been the best thing for both Wardlow and the fans. Without getting rejected he never would have had the experience to grow in AEW and have the legends to learn from like Sting, Mark Henry and Paul Wight (The Big Show), as well as new AEW signing and former NXT trainer William Regal.
Wardlow has become one of the most popular wrestlers in recent months, wrecking jobbers weekly with his symphony of powerbombs with Shawn Spears in tow.
He looks set to face off with his long-time employer MJF in the coming months. Wardlow refused to help MJF during his dog collar match with CM Punk at AEW Revolution, before handing Punk the Dynamite Diamond Ring as a weapon and watched as he pinned MJF to win the match.