Wardlow had what was supposed to be a star-making performance at Sunday’s AEW Double or Nothing pay-per-view. After a tense and controversial Saturday night where nobody was quite sure if his opponent would even show up, the Cleveland native squashed MJF and sent him out on a stretcher. Wardlow became free of his storyline contract with Max, and huge things were expected.

On this week’s episode of Dynamite, the storyline veered in an unexpected direction. “Smart” Mark Sterling came out after Wardlow’s match to serve Wardlow with a lawsuit from the arena security union after he spent weeks decimating them in and out of the ring. Dave Meltzer heavily criticized the angle on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio.

“He should be not working with Smart Mark. He needs to be in there with the top guys. It felt like when this thing was over that that big win was… It just felt totally negated. Max was fine. Nothing happened to Max. Max was the big star, even though he destroyed Max.

Wardlow was just some dude winning a squash match on TV and feuding with a frickin’… The manager that Jade Cargill dumped.”

Many fans thought Wardlow should be pushed much harder following his feud with MJF. The buzz and controversy surrounding their Double or Nothing matchup created a lot of hype. Now, Wardlow is involved in an angle with a manager who lost to Danhausen and was recently dumped by another top AEW talent.

Time will tell what AEW cooks up for the storyline. For the time being, it feels a little underwhelming. If Tony Khan pairs Sterling up with a prominent client to do his dirty work, it could get much more interesting.

What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments!

Transcription by Ringside News

Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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