AEW star William Regal was recently betrayed and attacked by MJF on AEW Dynamite, ending their short relationship after he himself turned on Blackpool Combat Club member Jon Moxley at AEW Full Gear 2022. Regal cost Moxley the AEW Championship and handed it to MJF, starting a brief relationship between the pair that would last only two weeks.
However, in the meantime he has heaped praise on one former WWE star who worked under Regal. William Regal spent years working as WWE’s Director of Talent Development and Head of Global Recruiting and had a hand in talent from NXT all the way up to the main roster. This included all the talent that ran through NXT and he personally took care of multiple talents throughout his near 20 year career in the WWE. He is rumoured to be returning to WWE once his AEW contract is done, now that Triple H is the new head of creative within the company.
Sandow signed his first WWE contract in 2003, working as Aaron “The Idol” Stevens. He was released three years later, but signed another developmental deal in 2010. This is where he would develop the Damian Sandow gimmick, which found him moderate success but should have given him so much more.
Sandow won the WWE Tag Team Championships alongside The Miz but his crowning glory was his Money in the Bank ladder match victory in 2013. It should have catapulted him into the main event scene and earned him a world championship title, but alas it was not to be. He became the first man to fail a surprise Money in the Bank cash in, losing to John Cena in a shock match on Smackdown.
He became incredibly popular as Damien Mizdow, the lackey to The Miz who performed as his “stunt double” – mimicking his actions outside the ring as The Miz wrestled inside. It was a hilarious gimmick and something never seen before and made him one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster. WWE failed to capitalise on this and he was released a year later with little fanfare.
William Regal was certainly one man who thought a lot of Damien Sandow. He called him “absolutely magic and special in everything he was given”, claiming that he was “brilliant” at pulling off comedy in wrestling – something that is incredibly to do right and at a consistent level.
During the latest episode of his “Gentleman Villain” podcast. William Regal had this to say about the former WWE star.
“I do believe Damien Sandow was… he was far better than his career ended up being, Damien Sandow was absolutely magic and special in everything he was given. If anything, that’s why I liked him so much, he was like me. Is he going to be the top guy like Seth Rollins, Jon Moxley, and Roman Reigns? Maybe not. Is he going to be a perfect player on your show, do anything, and make anything work? Yes.”
“I don’t like to say certain things but that was… I always thought that he would have a job in wrestling, at a high level, forever,” Regal said. “When I say ‘high level,’ I mean in a top company, because he could do anything and blend in with anybody. He can pull off good comedy, and I like to consider myself one of those. he was just brilliant at it, the others have gone on to do well. The guys you mentioned became The Shield and look what’s happened to them. They were all great and I think the world of all of them. They were all great to be around at that point in time. In FCW, there were always polite, respectful, asked the right questions, and did the right things. Damien Sandow was just the one that got away.”
Damien Sandow last wrestled in the NWA, after a failed spell with TNA following his WWE release. He briefly retired from wrestling to pursue his dreams of becoming an actor, but returned to the squared circle in 2019 under the name Aaron Stevens.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.