AEW TNT Champion Wardlow has once again acknowledged the comparisons to former WWE Champion Batista, and says he was inspired by The Animal and another former WWE Champion turned actor – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Wardlow recently appeared on The Zaslow Show via Audacy’s AM 560 Sports WQAM in Miami, and commented on how he’s been obsessed with the industry for many years. He recalled his first memory of falling in love with WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart, and said The Hitman really got him into the sport.
“I have been obsessed with professional wrestling ever since I could remember,” Wardlow said. “There’s a video of me somewhere, before I could even talk, clanging and banging an old junkyard dog and action figure, using the kitchen table chair as my ring. I caught the bug young. My first memory is falling in love with Bret Hart — he’s the one that really started it for me. I just never looked back. I fell in love and it was game over… I’m really mad because I met him at the beginning of my career. I was too nervous to ask for a picture, and I’ll never forget that.”
Wardlow also commented on going from the indies to a full-time career with AEW.
“I was in the indies for a number of years, and it definitely got to the point where you have moments in your career where you’re like, ’Is this going to work? Am I going to make it?’ Everybody goes through that… When you love it as much as most of us do, you’re just going to keep scratching and clawing until you get there… Honestly, it was kind of the perfect storm. There were a few different people mentioning me in a short period of time…”
Wardlow has talked about receiving comparisons to Batista in the past, and how he was a big fan of The Animal. He commented on how he was inspired by Batista and The Rock.
“I’ve gotten the Batista comparisons, and there’s no greater compliment because I was a huge Batista fan as I’m sure you could’ve guessed,” he said. “Guys that influenced me in my life – Dave Batista, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – guys when they came out on TV would dress nice, and that’s how I’ve always been. I’ve always dressed nice, taking care of myself, I enjoy looking good.”
For those who missed it, you can click here for Wardlow’s bold statement on what his heel turn would do to pro wrestling, and you can click here for his comments on how a match against a top WWE Superstar would be the biggest in wrestling TV history.
Wardlow is set to team with AAA, IWGP & ROH World Tag Team Champions FTR to take on Jay Lethal and The Motor City Machine Guns at Sunday’s AEW All Out pay-per-view.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more. Below is the interview with Wardlow: