Wardlow Talks WWE Tryout, Says “I’m a Wrestler. I’m Not an Entertainer.”

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"Do I create art? Art of war, sure. I'll create a painting with their blood." - Wardlow


Wardlow is the latest guest on the AEW Unrestricted podcast. The ‘muscle’ of Chris Jericho‘s Inner Circle spoke to Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone about his journey to AEW, his tryout with WWE and more.

Wardlow was introduced to AEW as the bodyguard of MJF. The 32-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio’s first match for the company took place on February 19th. The stakes couldn’t be higher, as he faced Cody Rhodes inside a steel cage. Wardlow says he has virtually no memory of that night, despite the effect it had to solidify him as a devastating force inside the ring.

“It’s like that whole evening and match is like a blackout. I don’t remember the entrance. The only thing I really remember is when I was standing in the ring, and Cody and I were squaring off when the bell rang.”

Wardlow’s WWE Tryout

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Prior to joining AEW, Wardlow had a tryout for WWE. He believes he “smoked” the tryout and could not believe how unprofessional and disinterested some of the other participants were.

“I was literally the only dude there in a suit. It was mind blowing. Dudes are there in shorts and t-shirts. That’s because they’re not recruiting wrestlers. They’re recruiting ex-NFL athletes or college wrestlers, people that have never watched wrestling.”

He felt sick to his stomach knowing that some of these guys were getting multiple tryouts with WWE and didn’t even like the sport. Wardlow was so confident WWE would hire him that he sold his house, motorcycle and possessions expecting to move to Florida for training. He was floored when they decided against signing him.

“I’m Not An Entertainer”

Wardlow ultimately signed with All Elite Wrestling and hasn’t looked back. He knows exactly who he is and what he is capable of. He is still hovering in the background of MJF and Chris Jericho, but it’s only a matter of time before he takes center stage.

“Wrestling for me, you know, this is what I do. This is what I know. This is very real to me. When I get out there, I’m competing. I’m an athlete. I’m a wrestler. I’m not an entertainer. I’m not an artist. You know, when I’m out there, am I entertaining? Absolutely. Do I create art? Art of war, sure. I’ll create a painting with their blood.”

You can listen to Wardlow‘s appearance on AEW Unrestricted at Omny.fm or in the player embedded below: