Arn Anderson and Jim Ross recently spoke about why they think AEW star and reigning TNT Champion Wardlow is, to steal a Paul Heyman line, the “next big thing” of AEW.
Wardlow first debuted in AEW back in 2019 early on in AEW’s life. When he debuted, he aligned himself with Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF), who was feuding with Cody Rhodes at the time. Wardlow took on a bodyguard and enforcer role for MJF during his feuds. However, like all wrestling partnerships, it eventually came to an end.
MJF and Wardlow started battling for Wardlow’s independence. The former enforcer came out on top after beating MJF at AEW Double or Nothing 2022 and officially became a part of the AEW roster in the process.
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Since becoming independent Wardlow has been extremely dominant. He is the AEW TNT champion and has held the championship three times. However, he may have just become even more dangerous. Recently the Four Horsemen’s enforcer Arn Anderson has taken Wardlow under his wing.
On a recent episode of ARN, WWE Hall of Famer Anderson talked about how much potential he sees in Wardlow and how the locker room is scared of that potential. Anderson stated the following:
“That guy’s got so much potential, so much talent. He’s such a class act. He’s focused. He carries himself like a professional. He does everything right. He’s just been getting some bad advice from day one, bad guidance. In this business, when that locker room sees a guy that’s got unlimited potential, the claws come out. … They try to shut him down before he ever gets rolling in all kinds of political ways and physical ways.”H/T To Wrestling Inc. For Transcription
FROM ONE ENFORCER TO ANOTHER
Since joining up with Anderson, Wardlow has been able to recapture his TNT Championship. No doubt Anderson is giving him advice on how to be a badass and use his size and power to conquer AEW.
Anderson has experience mentoring young wrestlers as he mentored his son, Brock, to moderate success. Brock started using some of his dad’s moves, which made his Arn Anderson one of the Four Horsemen’s core members throughout the 1980s and 90s.
Even though Anderson is mentoring the TNT Champion he won’t be sharing all of his secrets. Anderson spoke at length about how he doesn’t think the reigning TNT Champ will be using his moves and doesn’t need to. Anderson continued:
“I don’t think so. Now, Brock, I may give some shortcuts to some things. I may help fill his tool belt up with some of my stuff, but I think Wardlow is a totally different cat. And I’m just looking forward to asking him, ‘Hey, what can you do that I haven’t seen? What have you thought about doing that no one’s thought about?’ I want to get in his head. I want to pick his brain, see if he’s creative.”H/T Wrestling Inc.
Wardlow is one of the few big men on the AEW roster. He carries himself and looks much bigger than his 6’3” billed height suggests. Even though he is still early on in his career, the potential he has shown has been immense. Many AEW wrestlers wouldn’t or didn’t do well in WWE. However, Wardlow is often regarded as one of the wrestlers who would fit perfectly in WWE.
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Anderson isn’t the only wrestling legend who thinks Wardlow has a ton of potential in wrestling. WWE Hall of Famer and AEW broadcaster Jim Ross discussed how he thinks the champion and the former AEW TNT Champion, Powerhouse Hobbs, are the future faces of AEW on his Grilling JR podcast. Ross stated:
“Wardlow would come to my mind quite frankly, and quickly, I think Wardlow is good. I think that Willy Hobbs has got a great upside and future; he’s got a great look, a wonderful attitude. I think both those guys have the chance to be the big foundation pieces. They’re both very good; they’re both young, big, strong, athletic, and I really enjoy working with both those guys.”H/T To Wrestling Inc.
THE FUTURE OF AEW COULD LIE WITH WARDLOW AND HOBBS
Both Hobbs and Wardlow are in their 30s which is the prime for wrestlers. They both have a great look and seem to get what it means to be a wrestler. As they progress and gain more experience, more of the rough edges they may have will fade away. It is only a matter of time before either man picks up an AEW World Championship run. Hopefully soon because I would like to see how they handle that top spot.
What do you think of Wardlow? What about Hobbs? Do you think they are the future faces of AEW? What do you think of Anderson aligning himself with Wardlow? Has the partnership helped or hurt Wardlow? Let us know if you think they are ready for a world title run or if they need a little more time.
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SOURCE: Wrestling Inc., ARN, Wrestling Inc., Grilling JR, Wrestling Inc.