Wardlow has become one of the most recognizable faces in AEW, thanks to the consistency with which he has been booked in the promotion. The Big Man receives a huge ovation every time he arrives to the ring. It turns out that he had an unexpected influence.

Wardlow recently sat down with The Wrestling Classic podcast to talk about his backyard wrestling days. The AEW star said his original goal was to be the next Jeff Hardy.

“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. 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 is set to square off against Scorpio Sky in Street Fight for the AEW TNT Championship this week on Dynamite. Fans who can’t watch the show live, stay tuned to Ringside News for full coverage.

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Tags: Jeff Hardy
Manik Aftab

Manik Aftab is a news writer at Ringside News. He has been an avid fan of professional wrestling since 2000. His earliest memories of pro wrestling involved The Rock taking on The McMahon-Helmsley faction in 2000. Outside of his writing responsibilities, Manik is a fan of fiction, thrillers, comics, manga and anime. He’s an occasional journalist and likes to spend his free time watching movies and reading stuff about politics, science, medicine, etc. Manik also enjoys jogs in the park and workouts in the gym.  Manik is also a big of rock bands including Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, Metallica, Drowning Pool, Breaking Point, and Skillet. His current favorite wrestler is Kazuchika Okada and his favorite wrestler of all time is The Rock.

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