Speaking on Talk Is Jericho, AEW star Will Hobbs has revealed why he said no to an offer from WWE before he had signed with AEW.
On his latest episode, Chris Jericho’s guest Will Hobbs reveals all about his WWE tryout, how it came about, the difficulty of the tryout itself and subsequently where his relationship with WWE went from there.
I went for one of those [3-day trials], I got an email saying “we’d like to invite you out for a trial” after I had done a couple of Dark matches for AEW.
Did the try-outs, man, cardio drills, I thought I was going in in the best shape, I dropped down from 253lb to 222 trying to get my cardio up, and I was like, getting blown up!
In my class [at the tryout] I had Eddie Kingston and Big Swole – ever since we’d stayed in contact.
Those three days are just blown up, I remember getting cramps, and I kid you not I bought so much drink trying to rehydrate, I was hurting.
Speaking about his interactions with WWE personnel at the company during the tryout, Hobbs reveals that it was William Regal who helped him and the others during day 3 of tryouts – Promo School. During which he tells Jericho that he used his real life backstory as his promo, actually bringing himself to tears during his minute promo.
The last day we ended up doing promos, William Regal was helping us with those, he came up to me and said he liked my promo – in which I used my real life situation.
A lot of people make up wrestling promos and I was told that day, you want to get emotion out of people. Nobody knew my story, there was probably like 60 of us at this tryout and I cried during it, the whole minute that I had. The whole ‘Will Power’ thing is not a gimmick.
Even though all he received was positive feedback, Will explained that 2 months passed before he heard anything back from the WWE. Unfortunately it wasn’t an offer, only an open invite for Hobbs to be an extra from time to time should the WWE roll through his city.
Then, I get an email like, 2 months later, saying “we don’t have anything for you right now, but when we come to town we can bring you in as an extra”. At the time, it was like, damn, I put so much time into training.
After that, I did maybe 5, 6 extra stuff with them when they came to town and nothing came of it. I had good little tryout matches before the shows.
After a few bits of extra work for the WWE, Hobbs cottoned on to the WWE, believing that they were stringing him along – a trait he’d learnt to identify through his grandparents. A defining moment for Hobbs was after his match against Darby Allin on an episode of AEW Dynamite when out of the blue WWE came calling – to which Hobbs said, “It just pissed me off”.
I was getting all this great feedback, and nothing. I get out there every time and they liked it. I got game from my grandparents, and when someone’s trying to pull one over on you, and I knew I was getting BS’d.
After I did my match with Darby on Saturday Night Dynamite, I then get an email saying “hey, we’re interested, we’ve been thinking about you” and it just pissed me off!
As a man, for someone to bulls**t you, for me personally, it pisses me off – just tell me the truth.
Jericho and Hobbs would then go on to explain that it was clear WWE had seen Hobbs on AEW TV and wanted to take him away from AEW. Jericho saying “It’s so blatant, it’s so obvious. How stupid do you have to be to go for that?”.
Will then told Jericho that Tony Khan came up to him after the Darby match and was like “I want to offer you a deal”, which later on was ironed out and accepted. But it was the WWE offer that came in first, Jericho asking “So you said no to them [WWE] before you signed with AEW?” Hobbs confirming, explaining that he’s “kind of good with going with my gut”.
You can catch ‘Powerhouse Hobbs’ on AEW, he is currently a part of Team Taz who at AEW Revolution will be going up against Sting and Darby Allin in a Street Fight.