It’s been a long road to superstardom for AEW’s “Absolute” Ricky Starks. After finally getting his shot at the big time, Ricky broke his neck in the spring of 2021. His recovery has been nothing short of miraculous. Things could’ve been even worse had it not been for additional testing, as Tony Khan wanted Starks to wrestle after his injury.

Starks, in a conversation with Instinct Culture, talked about how AEW is taking their time and being careful with his injury. He said that he’s been cleared since July, but appreciates the further time off to continue to heal. He also discussed the influx of new talent and whether the AEW OG’s have been accepting.

“So don’t get it twisted, the people that were here originally built all of this. Just like any type of building piece, we had that, then we had them come in, then we have the young guys that are moving up now being the stars they were being built up for. It’s just so many cool parts. I think it’s cool to have someone like Punk, Bryan, and Adam Cole because iron sharpens iron and we cannot get better if we just wrestle the same 50 guys that we did the past ten years. So, I am a fan of it. I am really excited for it. The more the merrier as long as they come to work, and wanna help out and not be selfish.”

It’s clear that AEW believes in using these new, established names to work with their younger stars. CM Punk made an instant star out of Powerhouse Hobbs, for instance, in a huge match with a massive crowd at AEW Rampage: Grand Slam.

While it remains to be seen if the goodwill built between AEW and their fan base can continue, it is quite apparent that there is harmony in the locker room. Even legendary backstage curmudgeon CM Punk says that so far, it’s drama-free.

AEW will go head to head with a main-roster WWE show for the very first time this Friday night. The Buy-In, which will be broadcast on YouTube for free (and commercial free!) will air from 9-10PM Eastern and features Bryan Danielson vs Minoru Suzuki against the second hour of SmackDown, which airs on FS1 this week. Rampage starts at 10PM on TNT, and will face direct competition from a half-hour overrun in which SmackDown will presumably feature Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks.

Do you think AEW can maintain this level of locker room harmony? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the quote

Michael Perry

Journeyman human. Stints with 247Sports, F4WOnline, and RingsideNews. Taking bumps and paying my dues. Pittsburgh loyalist.

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