Darby Allin’s been an undeniable success story for AEW. Fans quickly latched onto pretty much everything about him, especially his daredevil in-ring style. Allin’s partnership with Sting has worked out better than anyone could have imagined. His TNT championship run was a huge success, and he’s successful carved out a place for himself in the product even though he hasn’t been a part of any title scene for a while now.
Considering all that, paying $12,000 to get to wrestle for Tony Khan seems like a wise investment. It’s one Darby didn’t hesitate to make when he heard AEW and then-executive vice president Cody Rhodes were interested in signing him.
That’s what Allin told Dallas Page & Jon Alba on the latest DDP Snake Pit podcast:
“At the time, I was signed with another little promotion, and then the moment I heard that Cody was interested, long story short I paid $12,000 to get out of my contract. I took a loan out and then I remember I used to hit Cody up every day, just blow his phone up.
“I just heard there was this new company starting up and then this is before TV was even talked about. I was like this is crazy. All I heard when they were promoting it was the word ‘creative freedom’ and I was like, ‘That’s where I need to be.’”
Allin was signed to Evolve from 2016-2019, which at the time served as a feeder system for WWE developmental. He doesn’t mention them by name on the pod, but he does talk about the NXT future he avoided:
“At the time, I was kind of being groomed to go to NXT and I saw the writing on the wall. This was back when 205 Live was a thing if you remember 205 Live, and I was like, ‘Hell fucking no, I’m not going there to do that.’
“It was a feeling I had that I had to go [to AEW], I was just so drawn to it.”
Even with the momentum shifts between the two companies of late, it’s hard to say he was wrong to trust that feeling.
Check out the rest of Darcy’s convo with DDP & Alba, where he also discusses convincing Sting to do more than just wrestle in “cinematic matches” and confirms their All Out match will be announced on tomorrow’s Dynamite, here.