AEW's Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs on Team Taz's Future, Hook and Their Love of Marvel

AEW stars Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs recently stopped by ComicBook's Nashville office ahead of the Feb. 16 episode of AEW Dynamite. The two Team Taz members will both compete in the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match at the Revolution pay-per-view on March 6, with the winner earning a future shot at Sammy Guevara's TNT Championship. The pair discussed the future of the Team Taz faction, the recent release of the "Who We Are Vol. 1" album, the viral sensation that is Hook and their love of Marvel and Star Wars. 

Check out highlights from the interview with the pair below, and stay tuned for live AEW coverage up through the Revolution pay-per-view!  The event will take place inside the University of Central Florida's Addition Financial University in Orlando, Florida. 

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(Photo: AEW)

We just got the Dr. Strange Multiverse of Madness trailer and it looks like we're getting Patrick Stewart back at Professor X. Who's somebody from the past Marvel movies that you want to see show up in this movie?

Starks: Gambit.

Hobbs: I was just about to say Gambit.

Starks: Get outta here, shut up! (laughs)

Hobbs: I wish I had more Rogue in my life.

Starks: I think Blade, Wesley Snipes, should come back. The originator of this whole franchise. Without him, we wouldn't even be having no Marvel or [DC] "Blade" is a great movie. It was like "The Matrix" mixed with vampires. I loved it.

What do you think of Mahershala Ali taking over that role?

Starks: I think that's a great casting call. I can see it already. And he's a wonderful actor as well.

Are you guys going to watch The Batman next month?

Starks: Maybe not, no, I'll be honest with you, because I don't care for that little vampire boy [Robert Pattinson].

Hobbs: I'm not a big Bruce Wayne fan. He doesn't have any powers. 

Starks: The best Batman is Batman (1989).

Hobbs: Michael Keaton, yes. But I do love Batman: The Animated Series

Watching anything lately?

Starks: I've been getting a lot into "Star Wars" and the Marvel universe. It's a lot, so I watch the movies with my Wikipedia page to follow along the charts to make sure I'm putting these things together. And honestly, I'm getting there.

AEW is dropping the Who We Are, Vol. One album and it has songs focussed on both of you. What can people expect from it?

Hobbs: Everyone can expect that, from our songs, and everyone's song on the album, that each wrestler got to actually put their own personal input. So it's life stories, things that inspired them. So we all got to put our own personal touch. ... I dove straight into how I grew up. My grandparents, my brother, some of the rough upbringings that I went through. So all that is touched in my song, "Powerhouse."

Starks: There's a lot [in mine], especially coming from New Orleans with [Hurricane] Katrina and moving and getting my start in wrestling. I think every song on there has a really nice personal touch that you ultimately don't really get from these types of albums, so it's cool that we were included in the process on it, because otherwise we would have a song and it's like, "This is for you." "Oh, okay."

Ricky, you recently went viral with your match against Jay Lethal, hitting that Roshambo straight out of a Lethal Injection. Jay has been around forever, so did you look at that and go, "I know the perfect way to counter this."

Starks: Absolutely. I'm not even kidding. I was cutting onions in my kitchen when I had this epiphany and I was like, "I could easily do that. And no one would expect it. He wouldn't expect it either." And so I think a lot of people look at me and don't expect me to be as strong as I am or as quick as I am, but yeah, man, that was a great moment. Especially to get the victory too. And I beat somebody like Jay Lethal, so it was cool. It was really cool. I didn't realize it went viral. I guess it did, 'cause my mom texted me about it. She was like, "This is cool. What is this?"

What's next for the FTW Title? 

Starks: Well, honestly for me, personally, I want to make sure that this title exceeds anything that the prior champion (Brian Cage) was able to accomplish. And even more than that, I think it's worth... if I'm the champion right now, I wanna make sure that whatever happens down the road, the legacy was actually improved upon. We had people like Taz and Sabu that had it. So there's a legacy to it that should be honored in that sense. And ultimately that's what I wanna do. I wanna make sure that it's honored. Regardless of whatever opinion somebody may have about it, it's gotta be honored, because that is a sacred title. I promise you, I have the original title from 1998. And that has been kept in condition like that, so to have a piece of history like that from ECW, that's great.

There's a lot of talk on AEW TV lately about the "Four Pillars" of AEW — MJF, Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin and Jungle Boy — but it feels like you two were left out of that equation. Why do you think that is?

Hobbs: We like to, Ricky and I, we rewrite things. So I personally feel, when he and I came into AEW it was during the pandemic era. We got signed about a month apart from each other. I feel that there's doubters out there and I feel every time he steps in the ring and I step in the ring, we change things up, we open everyone's eyes. Things will change.

Starks: To me, the whole pillar talk is hilarious in a sense, because it's so self-indulgent. It's nothing that was bestowed upon them. That was just something that came from them. So I usually don't think about it in that regard. Like, "I'm not included in this." Who cares? Because to me I'm gonna be much bigger than whatever the pillar is. I'm gonna be much bigger than wrestling, in a sense. And so I find it so funny. The conversation is so hilarious because nine times out of 10, "Well, don't forget this and this and this." And yeah, don't forget, y'all. Don't forget. So I don't mind it too much. I don't really try to keep it as a chip on my shoulder, but it is hilarious. I see Jungle Boy's jumping up on the couch in interviews or Sammy just stepping up on the ledge of something and just his tongue out.

What's Hook like when the cameras aren't rolling? He doesn't say a word on TV.

Hobbs: [He's] the same guy as you see on TV

Starks: The same guy, there's no difference I remember when he first started with us back in Jacksonville. A lot of people didn't get him. A lot of people did not understand him or like couldn't figure out what [he] was about. And I'll never forget being like, "Hey if you wanna wear a hood on TV, you should do it. Just try it, just do it." And his dad [Taz] was like, "No, he's gotta show his face." [I said] "No just let him do it. Let's see what happens." So it's cool to see that it take off the way it has. And obviously we are very proud to see how far he's come. Especially from when he first started to where it is now. The Team Taz group has been through a lot, quite a bit. And where we're at right now is not where we want to be, but it's way better than where we were. So I'm glad and I'm proud to see where he's at. And he's awesome.

Hobbs: I think everyone thinks there's some dysfunction in our group. We all have our own path, but when things get cracking, we all merge back together.

AEW Dynamite airs at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday nights on TBS and AEW Rampage airs at 10 p.m. ET on Friday nights on TNT