AEW wasn't the original plan for Colt Cabana.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, the Dark Order member spoke about his relationship with Matt and Nick Jackson, and how them always being on the same page was the impetus for him eventually joining AEW. Before that, however, he shared an anecdote of contrasting their levels of success at independent show merchandise tables.
"If you read the Young Bucks book, they talk very kindly about me and I think back to the situation where I remember how well I was doing with merchandise and how much more I would be doing than other people," Cabana said. "So, in this instance like how much better I’d be doing than the Young Bucks and they would just be like, ‘That’s just crazy that you’re making $900—’ or whatever it was at the merch table. Then fast forward two years and we’re in Australia, and they’re making—I don’t want to give their numbers away—but, more than $900 with a three-hour line around the whole building and running out of t-shirts within an hour. It’s just so mind-blowing. I think the Young Bucks and I have always been on the same page and that’s kind of where it came from."
Not wanting to be a full-time commentator, Cabana gave Ring of Honor two months' notice, intending to go work for NJPW and do smaller independent shows. He did let the Young Bucks know his situation, but never outright asked if AEW had any openings.
"It was at the point where I was done, in my mind, with Ring of Honor, I was starting with New Japan and [Yano]," Cabana began. "I kinda wanted that to be my main thing and then I would just do the independents. I just wasn’t ready to be a full-time commentator like Ring of Honor had me. So, I kinda gave my notice. I never signed a contract with them. It was always a handshake deal. So, I gave them a two-month notice. I said, ‘I’m going to be done in November.’ At that point, I didn’t say anything to WWE. I had no interest in that. But, I did say to the Bucks, ‘Hey, this is where I’m at. I’m not really even asking. I’m letting you know if it’s something you’re interested in, my options are now open. My handshake deal is done.’"
He reiterated, "My plan was to do New Japan and the independents. That was my plan."
Cabana began with AEW in 2019 and eventually signed with the promotion in February 2020. Later that Spring he would embark on a losing streak that would lead him into a partnership with Mr. Brodie Lee and the Dark Order.
You can check out Colt Cabana's new Wrestling Anonymous podcast at this link, which features voice messages from wrestling fans around the world. You can also see Cabana on All Elite Wrestling programming each week -- Dark Elevation, Mondays at 7 PM EST on Youtube, Dark Tuesdays at 7 PM EST on Youtube, and AEW Dynamite, 8 PM EST on Wednesdays on TNT.