Wardlow drops bombs with a career-best promo as he declares war


AEW Dynamite

The master of the powerbomb symphony hit the high note on Dynamite.

Wardlow made some sweet, sweet music on Wednesday night (Feb. 21). But instead of delivering a powerbomb symphony to some helpless jabroni, The Undisputed Kingdom’s jacked-up juggernaut went acapella with a career-best promo that may have breathed new life into his wrestling persona.

Alone, a “pissed off” Wardlow stalked to the ring on AEW Dynamite and told interviewer Tony Schiavone to bounce or get bounced before unloading all his frustrations in a monologue that may have been his finest yet. A mixture of work and shoot, Wardlow went off on how his career had stalled, going from unlimited upward mobility to taking a gnarly downward spiral.

“I was the next big thing,” said Wardlow. “But, apparently, the rocket that got strapped to my back was put on upside down. Because, ever since, I have been driven into the ground and screwed over and over and over again.”

Indeed, it’s been a rough two years for the homegrown AEW original, who seemed destined for big things after busting out of his role as MJF’s bodyguard. At Double or Nothing in 2022, Wardlow defeated his former storyline boss in such a decisive fashion that it appeared a new star was born.

Unfortunately for Wardlow, a series of events behind the scenes between AEW owner Tony Khan and MJF took the attention away from his Double or Nothing moment. Wardlow’s victory became a complete afterthought days later when MJF, no-selling the effects of the beating he received from his former muscle, roasted Khan in front of the world by calling him a “f***ing mark.”

What followed for Wardlow was a brief feud with “Smart” Mark Sterling and his associates that cooled his jets. However, Wardlow seemed to be back on pace after winning the TNT title in the summer of 2022. But a feud that winter with Samoa Joe left the behemoth emasculated and dethroned. Though he regained the TNT title twice in the following months, Wardlow’s shine had dulled considerably, leading to a nearly four-month absence from television.

But rather than dwell on the negatives, Wardlow highlighted the positives of his run in AEW. He reminded fans how he dismantled the company’s most recent world champions, such as squashing MJF like a bug and putting Samoa Joe to sleep at one point in their rivalry.

Wardlow also touched on former AEW World Champion and current WWE superstar CM Punk.

Last week on Dynamite, AEW and Darby Allin caught flack over a promo that did more to elevate former AEW co-founder and current WWE headliner Cody Rhodes than it did to promote the rising animosity between the Young Bucks, Allin, and Sting as the Stinger prepares for his final match in March.

But Wardlow’s mention of a rival promotion’s star was a brilliant acknowledgment that best served his character. Despite referencing Punk as AEW’s “real world champion,” a nod to Punk’s final storyline with the company, Wardlow emphasized his dominance over the self-proclaimed best in the world during their only match by alluding to Punk’s injury-prone reputation.

“I beat his ass like nobody has in his entire career. His body is still falling apart from me,” said Wardlow.

Because of his superiority over Punk, Joe, and MJF, Wardlow proclaimed himself the uncrowned king of AEW. He said he was done with being fed scraps and would soon feast like royalty before declaring war on the rest of the roster.

Whether this impassioned speech results in a sustained push for Wardlow, one that sees him ascend to AEW’s throne, remains to be seen. But he made the most of his time in the spotlight, seizing the ball that was handed to him. Now, it will be up to AEW management to keep from fumbling.


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