Wardlow didn't want to be Batista originally, he wanted to be Jeff Hardy.
Although the 'War-Dog' has drawn multiple comparisons, both in story and size, to Batista, Wardlow has revealed that he used to be a backyard wrestler and that he had different goals in wrestling. In a new interview with The Wrestling Classic, Wardlow talked about looking up to Jeff Hardy in high school and how he originally planned to be the next version of the 'Charismatic Enigma'.
“I don’t really comprehend how I look. I understand I’m 6’3, I’m 265 [pounds] and I look like a Viking comic book character. I feel like people judge me on that, and I think a lot of people, especially in the world of wrestling assume that [I’m] some dude that didn’t make it as an actor, didn’t make it as a professional athlete, didn’t make it as a bodybuilder, whatever he was trying to pursue so he just giving this a shot. Nope, I’m just like every 5’5, 160 pound backyarder because I was a 5’5, 160 pound backyarder. I was a runt, bro." Wardlow said. "I anticipated being the next Jeff Hardy, that was my initial goal in wrestling. So I spent years doing swantons and teaching my body to flip and twist and corkscrew. I was like ‘Oh yeah, I'm gonna sell my ass off and I’m gonna do really cool stuff.’ And then I blow up during my Junior and Senior year [in high school]. Your body, muscle memory, your body still remembers that stuff. So I spent all of these years teaching myself high-flying stuff and then blew up physically. So I’m capable of doing things guys my size shouldn’t be capable of.”
Wardlow has frequently used the Swanton Bomb throughout his time in AEW, but only because Hardy gave him permission to use it. To learn more, click here.
Before Hardy popped up in All Elite Wrestling, Wardlow was clamoring for him to come to the promotion. Click here to learn more.
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