Sean Maluta doesn't want his time in AEW to end the same way it did in WWE.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, Maluta detailed the first look he got from WWE in 2011, saying that William Regal has been a pivotal figure in his career. According to him, the decision to put him in the inaugural Cruiserweight Classic came six months before the event when he showed up at the Royal Rumble. Maluta knew that this opportunity would change his career because he had never had this type of platform before. He said the following:
"After going to the WWE as an extra for years and trying out, I never had any kind of in-ring work until the Cruiserweight Classic. So, in a sense, it was a build-up to that and I think after the Classic I did earn a lot of trust and a lot of respect from that. I’ve always been a guy that kinda has to show up and prove himself through his work to get the respect. Once I finally did start working, everything kinda changed for me."
Maluta lost in the first round of the tournament to Kota Ibushi, but still believes the magic of that initial Classic is unrivaled. Here is what he said:
"As far as the Cruiserweight Classic goes, that’s something that’s still talked about today to me. I believe that the vibe that that tournament created was something that was unmatched. I know 205 Live spawned off of that, but to me, the magic of the Classic has been unmatched. Like I said, from the Classic on, I built myself up with these matches and I just felt like the trust factor just kept getting higher."
WWE would continue bringing Maluta back, but his status never rose above that of enhancement talent. Now making appearances with AEW, his aspirations are big and doesn't plan on getting stuck in the same position again, saying:
"That’s kind of my role today of AEW. I’m starting out as an enhancement again and I don’t plan on finishing that way just like I did at WWE, though. I got big goals and I got big aspirations to really show what I can do. Because I feel like, for a few years there, there really wasn’t a chance for me to do that even though I got really, really cool moments out of that."
Maluta made his AEW debut on August 27, 2020, losing in a match to Lance Archer. He would return on the October 14th Anniversary show, teaming with Lee Johnson against Miro and Kip Sabian.
In the time since, Maluta has made eight additional appearances on AEW programming, mostly on Dark, with his last match coming on January 20, 2021, losing to Danny Limelight.
In World Xtreme Wrestling, Sean Maluta is a decorated performer, having held the Heavyweight (3-times), Cruiserweight (3-times), Tag Team (2-times), and Television (1-time) Champion. You can see our full interview with him above.