Leading up to his match with then-TNT Champion Cody Rhodes at Full Gear, Darby Allin made a habit out of sitting alone high in the stands of the Daily's Place Amphitheater during episodes of AEW Dynamite. Allin's silent perch, combined his trademark face paint, led to some comparisons to former WCW legend Sting and the gradual build to his match with Hollywood Hogan at the 1997 Starrcade event. There was even some speculation that "The Icon" might appear at Full Gear to endorse or assist Allin, but it never transpired. Instead, Allin won the TNT Championship outright, finally picking up a victory over Rhodes that had eluded him for over a year.
Allin addressed those comparisons in an interview with TV Insider this week, saying that while he appreciates being compared to a legend like Sting it was never his intention to copy his persona.
"My face paint just comes from my real life," Allin said. "That's not really a character thing I try to rip off of anybody. I've always just liked the dark stuff. I've always been a fan of the gothic aesthetic. Just weird stuff. I'm flattered by [the comparison], it's cool, but it's definitely not what I'm thinking about while I'm doing it."
In a separate interview with ComicBook, Allin talked about his plans for his TNT Championship reign. He stressed that while he's willing to take on all challengers, he doesn't want the random open challenge matches Rhodes made prevalent during his first TNT Championship reign.
"I'd be down. Anybody wants to step up I'm down," Allin said. "If we do it differently then that's fine [too]. But if anything, I really want to fight people when there's a story going into it. I don't like a bunch of one-off matches every time I want something that has some meaning and backbone to it. So Ricky [Starks], Brian [Cage], step up."
Cage wound up pinning Allin in the main event of this week's AEW Dynamite, undoubtedly making him next in line for Allin's Championship. The show then went off the air with Will Hobbs shockingly turning heel and joining Cage and Starks as members of Team Taz.