Ricky Starks Clarifies His AEW Status: "Things Are Not In My Control."

Starks has been absent from AEW programming for the past couple of months.

Ricky Starks has not been seen on AEW programming since March. The Absolute One was in the middle of a tag team program alongside Big Bill, a run that surged the pairing to a reign with the AEW World Tag Team Championships, but their momentum came to a screeching halt after losing the gold to Sting and Darby Allin ahead of AEW Revolution. Prior to linking up with Big Bill, Starks was being positioned as a singles centerpiece of AEW Collision when AEW was enacting a soft brand split between its Saturday show and AEW Dynamite. Starks was a foil to top babyface CM Punk and was even set to headline AEW All Out 2023 before Punk was fired.

Ricky Starks Clarifies AEW Status

(Photo: AEW)

Starks current AEW absence has sparked injury rumors, but he has clarified that he has been healthy since his last match.

"I'm not hurt," Starks told WhatCulture. "Even that night [of my most recent match on March 30th], I specifically stated, 'Hey, I'm not hurt.' I was just being cautious about it because, at the moment, I didn't know what was happening, especially with this side of my body. I wasn't hurt. I was never put on an injury list or anything like that."

This situation has left Starks frustrated, as his AEW absence appears to boil down to a lack of storyline plans for him.

"I have no answers. People ask me all the time, 'Well, why aren't you…?' I don't know. I have no clue. That isn't up to me," Starks continued. "It does suck, obviously, to not be on TV, but the support in people online and people sending me messages is very, very sweet and endearing, and very encouraging, from that standpoint."

Starks has no shortage of fans across the wrestling world, including those within the industry. The 2023 Owen Hart Cup Tournament winner's friendship with WWE Champion Cody Rhodes has long been documented, going back to Summer 2020 when Rhodes wrestled Starks in his AEW debut match. Starks was spotted at WWE WrestleMania 40 showing support for Rhodes in his crowning moment against Roman Reigns. All of these factors have sparked speculation that Starks could be WWE bound by the time his AEW contract expires.

"It's just a very interesting time, I feel like," Starks said of his current AEW predicament. "I wish that I was on Dynamite. I wish I was on Dynasty. I wish I was on these things. I think at a certain point, just for my own sanity, I can't go too crazy about it because the proof is in my work and my effort that I've constantly given. I've constantly given 1000 percent effort. At a certain point, it's not in my control. I think that's the biggest lesson I have. Things are just not in my control, but the things that are, I try the hardest."