Wardlow wanted to be like The Charismatic Enigma at the start of his career.
Wardlow has made quite the name since splitting from his former boss MJF on AEW. The 265-pound monster has utilized his massive strength and height advantage in matches, making him an intimidating presence on the roster. For many, it’s difficult not to draw comparisons to other muscular wrestlers who have come before. However, Wardlow was initially inspired to be a very different type of wrestler at the start of his career.
In an interview with The Wrestling Classic, Wardlow revealed that he looked up to Jeff Hardy in high school and initially planned on becoming a high flyer just like him. The 265-pound monster said he spent years doing swantons and flips in his backyard.
“I don’t really comprehend how I look. I understand I’m 6’3, I’m 265 [pounds] and I look like a Viking comic book character. I feel like people judge me on that, and I think a lot of people, especially in the world of wrestling assume that [I’m] some dude that didn’t make it as an actor, didn’t make it as a professional athlete, didn’t make it as a bodybuilder, whatever he was trying to pursue so he just giving this a shot. Nope, I’m just like every 5’5, 160 pound backyarder because I was a 5’5, 160 pound backyarder. I was a runt, bro.”
“I anticipated being the next Jeff Hardy, that was my initial goal in wrestling. So I spent years doing swantons and teaching my body to flip and twist and corkscrew. I was like ‘Oh yeah, I’m gonna sell my ass off and I’m gonna do really cool stuff.’ And then I blow up during my Junior and Senior year [in high school]. Your body, muscle memory, your body still remembers that stuff. So I spent all of these years teaching myself high-flying stuff and then blew up physically. So I’m capable of doing things guys my size shouldn’t be capable of.”
Wardlow has used the Swanton Bomb in AEW, but only after asking Hardy for permission. He has his sights set on the TNT Championship held by Scorpio Sky, although there is no word on when he’ll eventually challenge for the title.
H/t – Fightful