During the most recent episode of Talk Is Jericho, guest Will Hobbs has detailed the moment he was told he was going to be All Elite.
Hobbs journey into AEW started back when he was a kid, watching wrestling shows in California with his grandparents. Making his way through the Independent circuit, he wrestled for Booker T at his ‘Reality of Wrestling‘ school, Rikishi’s ‘KnokX Pro‘ and Ezekiel Jackson’s ‘Bryckhouse Pro Wrestling‘.
Initially, Hobbs thought that the interest from AEW (via a text from QT Marshall) was a rib, and didn’t respond immediately. Asking how he thinks AEW had heard of him, Hobbs believes that his promotor at the time Markus Mack had put in a good word with Cody Rhodes.
I ended up getting a text, from QT, and I thought someone was ribbing me. I was like ok, I looked at it, put my phone down, answered it a couple hours later. It said Hey it’s QT Marshall from AEW, are you able to get to the Jacksonville area, I said no but I’ll find a way to get out there.
Markus Mack he actually is the promotor on All Pro Wrestling, and I believe he reached out to Cody and I believe Cody remembered me from a couple of shows he did in the Bay Area.
The timing couldn’t have been more of a blessing for Will, as he reveals to Jericho that at the time he had just been laid off work due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. With a family in mind, Hobbs jumped at the opportunity.
We were getting by at the time, me and my family, I had just got laid off working at Facebook & Instagram, I worked helping with the facilities department starting work at 3-4 in the morning to make sure everything was set up, in place, any tickets coming in I’d take care of all the people in there. I got laid off due to the pandemic, and my daughter was just born, 2 months old at the time [QT got in touch].
I got two other kids and I was like “I gotta make this happen”.
After a few AEW Dark matches, Hobbs went on to appear in a Battle Royale match at AEW All Out, then on to singles competition against Darby Allin on a Saturday Night Dynamite. Still not officially signed, Jericho asks when that moment was and how it came about.
So I did the All Out Battle Royale. That day meant a lot to me, it was the anniversary of my brother passing. So did that, wasn’t signed yet, I got an elimination whilst I was in there. I was so nervous, and MJF comes up to me like “Hey, you’re here for a f**king reason”.
The following week I did a match with Darby Allin on the Saturday Night Dynamite, that was cool, Tony [Khan] came up to me and was like “I want to offer you a deal”.
He’s talking to me, and I’m like, shaking a little bit, trying to play it cool. I’m like “ok, we’ll talk”. I got on the phone, called everybody at home and, you know, it was amazing. It was a ‘tier zero’ deal, but it was, you know, still a deal. I never had anybody give me a contract, which was awesome.
I ended up getting a ‘tier one’ deal, right after I did the thing where I came out and saved Mox. That was awesome.
Then I saw on Twitter, it said “Will Hobbs is All Elite” I was just like at home, opened up the door, and I cried. Like man, sat down and cried, thought about all the people who said I couldn’t do it. All the teachers who said I’d be dead by 19. It’s, an amazing feeling.
The life lessons of “Big Momma” & “Big Poppa” [his grandparents], and the fuel that was lit to succeed in the business by the unfortunate passing of his brother have all pushed Hobbs towards this moment.