AEW superstar and current TNT champion Darby Allin recently spoke to TV Insider ahead of this evening’s Dynamite on TNT, where Allin will team up with Cody Rhodes to battle Team Taz (Brian Cage & Ricky Starks). Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Comparing his Fyter Fest and Full Gear matches against Cody Rhodes:
Cody handpicked me to go against him for my debut. You couldn’t ask for a better debut. I had a lot to prove that night. Coming from the independent scene, a lot of people told me I didn’t belong, that I wouldn’t be a main-event type player. I said hell no to that. I went out swinging against Cody. Then fast forward to our fourth match at Full Gear. In my eyes it was the biggest match because it was for the TNT championship. It was a good feeling to step foot in the ring with him and step out as champion.
On getting to flex his creativity in AEW:
It’s the best feeling to be able to flex my creative wings. For example, my buddy bought a church and painted the whole thing black. I set myself on fire and melted my pants off. That’s going to air [on Dynamite]. I burnt the hell out of my legs. We are constantly doing all this crazy stuff, but it’s nice. I went to film school and dropped out because they wouldn’t let me be me. AEW is letting me be me and coming up with all these crazy videos. I couldn’t ask for more because the videos mean as much to me as the matches.
On his special connection with fans:
I feel good because being myself is paying off. I don’t feel any added pressure. I’m going to keep being myself. I never said I was a role model, but if they want to take me as one I’m down. A lot of kids for example look at me because I’m straight edge. I don’t drink or do drugs. I feel like that’s a cool outlook for kids to see. I remember in fifth grade and people would come to the school as part of D.A.R.E to talk about drugs and alcohol. It would be “Don’t do this or that.” Us kids were like, “Why would we listen to this guy? He doesn’t even seem cool or anything.” So if people want to look at me as inspiration for that, I’m cool with it.
On comparisons to the Crow version of Sting:
My face paint just comes from my real life. That’s not really a character thing I try to rip off of anybody. I’ve always just liked the dark stuff. I’ve always been a fan of the gothic aesthetic. Just weird stuff. I’m flattered by [the comparison], it’s cool, but it’s definitely not what I’m thinking about while I’m doing it.
Working with Tony Hawk and Steve-O:
They just started following me on Instagram. I hit them up. I said, “Yo, this is what I want to do. I want to bring my world into wrestling instead of just wrestling into wrestling.” I was inspired by names like Tony Hawk, Steve-O and Bam Margera. I want to bring that world into wrestling because I feel there are a lot of fans that fell out of love with wrestling. Now they can see all these cool people collaborating and doing stuff. I’m at Bam’s house right now filming stuff. I’m trying to do as much as possible.
Says tonight’s Dynamite tag bout will be PPV quality:
You can expect a main event, pay-per-view quality type match. I have a big chip on my shoulder and want to prove a lot of people wrong. I want to make people say, “This guy is champion? Sick. We get it.” Going forth in this match, having a partner as Cody, he has the same mindset. The main event of Dynamite is a big spot, especially when it’s against Ricky Starks and Brian Cage who we have this long-term feud with. It’s going to be something special. I’m looking forward to tearing the house down.