AEW President Tony Khan recently revealed which fledgling All Elite star reminds him of WCW icon, and Darby Allin mentor, Sting.
In an interview with Busted Open Radio, Tony Khan compared budding fan favourite Wardlow’s push to ‘The Stinger’s early years in the UWF. Long before he was either the surfer dude of the early WCW days or the nWo’s Crow-inspired nemesis (or that unfortunate time he thought he was The Joker in TNA), bodybuilder Steve Borden worked as a henchman for Eddie Gilbert.
For Khan, Wardlow’s start as MJF’s muscle has paid similar dividends with the big man now enjoying major babyface pops from the All Elite faithful:
“I am a big fan of old wrestling, as are all of you on the phone, and I know some of you have to be fans of the UWF… I remember another wrestler who people don’t necessarily think of as somebody who started out kind of a heater. Not exactly the bodyguard, but similar where they were helping out another wrestler, working with them, not necessarily focusing on their own career. And it might not be who you think, but 35 years ago, there was a guy breaking in, and his name’s Sting.”
Wardlow’s gradual move into TNT Title territory, coupled with his colourful feud with Mark Sterling, has made him a newly minted cornerstone of AEW programming. For many fans and pundits, his run on top in AEW appears to be more a question of when rather than if. For Sting, breaking away from Gilbert and rising up the ladder of early WCW set him up as a main event attraction for life. Needless to say, Tony Khan and co. will be hoping for a similar return on their Wardlow investment.
Despite being involved in plenty of despicable heel segments during his time as MJF’s main man, Wardlow has successfully struck a chord with crowds. As a redeemed hero looking to work his way up the competitive ladder, the powerbomb symphony maestro is fast becoming one of the promotion’s most beloved homegrown acts.
Sting, widely regarded as one of the most likeable and consistent babyfaces in US wrestling history, is a high peak for any wrestler to reach. If Wardlow continues to improve and rise up the card, however, it’s certainly not impossible that Tony Khan is proven right about the big man down the line.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.