AEW Pulls a Rising Star From Its Roster

Wardlow was officially removed from AEW's official roster on Thursday, further playing into the storyline between "Mr. Mayhem" and MJF. For those who haven't been following along, Wardlow was first introduced to AEW as Friedman's hired muscle and was technically only ever under contract with him, not with the promotion itself. The big man finally had enough of Friedman and betrayed him at Revolution, which wound up costing Max his Dog Collar match against CM Punk. Wardlow then asked to be released from his deal with Max, only for Friedman and Shawn Spears to cost him his shot at the TNT Championship and brutally attack him with steel chairs. 

Max then explained this week that he's not going to break his deal with Wardlow, and instead will have him simply stay home for years until he becomes irrelevant to the fans who have started getting behind him. Friedman poked fun at Wardlow again by pointing out his removal from the roster.

The move is obviously part of the storyline and does not mean Wardlow is suddenly a free agent, but it might result in him being off TV for a while. Prior to his TNT title match, he spoke with Bleav in Pro Wrestling about the comparisons he gets to Batista

"It just makes me smile," Wardlow said. "You know, I, being a junior in high school, I just started growing. I'm 170 pounds and I'm like, 'alright, I'm finally starting to grow some muscle.' But you look at somebody like Batista and you're like, 'I can never. I'm going to try to get as close to that as possible, but like, what are the realistic odds?' So I worked my butt off to get to as close to a Dave Batista level as possible.

"To go on Twitter and, you know, see side-by-side pictures and comparisons, and people comparing me to him is, it's just such a cool feeling," he continued. "You know, Dave is somebody who I haven't met and would love to meet him to thank him, because he's still somebody to this day that motivates me, you know? He's still doing big things in life and he still motivates me and pushes me to this day without him knowing it."

He later added — "You look at Batista, he started as Deacon Batista wearing that same suit, silent. I started with the suit. Silent. Then he turned into Evolution. I had been in the Pinnacle. Him and Triple H, me and Max. These things, that's just crazy. You can't write this stuff. It's crazy how life has worked out."