On an AEW roster chock-full of star power, Darby Allin has set himself apart from the pack and established himself as one of the fastest-rising stars in pro wrestling.
The 28-year-old is a former TNT champion in AEW, and he is coming off a widely praised match against MJF at AEW Full Gear last weekend.
Along with MJF, Jungle Boy and Sammy Guevara, Allin is considered one of the young pillars of AEW.
Allin took part in an AMA session with Bleacher Report on Friday, discussing his rivalry with MJF, his partnership with Sting, his admiration for CM Punk, his desire to wrestle Bryan Danielson and much more.
The following is the transcript from the AMA session.
@Tylerarnieri Great match on Saturday! What started your passion for pro wrestling and who would you consider your biggest influence in the industry?
You can get such an adrenaline rush over doing crazy stuff. There's nothing like pro wrestling. As far as a guy that inspired me, maybe you could say Mick Foley. He's not super jacked and by appearance alone, he's more relatable.
@PunkRockPirate Where did your dare-devil style inside and outside the ring come from ?
I can't even remember. It was from the dawn of time. When I was 3 years old, I shoved car keys through my lip and had this gnarly scar. I can't remember exactly when, but that daredevil interest for me was always there.
@Trevor10 How do you plan on getting back at MJF in the future?
A lights-out match. I would love to get in there because I played his game. I was beating him in his game, but it’s kind of hard to cheat in a lights-out match.
@JGill1220 What is it like to have Sting as a mentor? Was he someone you looked up to coming into the industry?
He's amazing as a mentor. He's the most humble guy. We sit there all day and just talk. As for being someone I look up to, I was too young when he was killing it at the top of his game, but the older I get the more I'm able to appreciate him.
@Unkown99 Do you think it's maybe time to split up with Sting?
That's not in the cards yet, ever. It's different when there's two young guys trying to prove to each other they're better, but Sting has done everything twice. He has no ego. There is no reason he'd want to split up.
@RDavis1974 Who would you like to wrestle next?
When we go to Seattle, Bryan Danielson. The fact that he has no ego with us: he can wrestle on Rampage. He can wrestle on Dynamite. He can wrestle on Dark. There's no ego. He's not like the type that's 'I only wrestle on pay-per-views.' It's like, 'No, I'm going to wrestle every single weekend.' I want someone that's hungry like that to wrestle against myself. It's fun, man.
@GovernorChungus What influenced you in making your own vignettes? Do you have free rein to produce the videos you make?
A life of filmmaking. Before wrestling, I went to film school and dropped out. Yes, I have 100 percent creative freedom. I film it with my personal guy and turn it in. There's no direction. I'm really able to have the freedom to turn in what I want. It was so fun flipping a car the other week.
@Not_JonGruden Who did you look up to in the world of sports (as a kid)?
I would say just skaters. Tony Hawk, guys like that. I don’t get nervous or excited when I meet wrestlers, but whenever I meet skateboarders I tend to get starstruck. Tony Hawk and Travis Pastrana, guys like that really inspired me.
@Kahla222 What was the hardest thing to overcome when training to become a wrestler, mentally and physically?
Mentally, it's just sticking to the course of staying true to yourself. In wrestling, you can be anybody you want to be. I never wanted to be anything outside of myself. Sticking to your guns when people are telling you to change is tricky. Physically, I don't know. I can take an ass-kicking. It was more of a mental challenge than a physical one for me as I was developing.
@Abdulrahim1 What type of influence has CM Punk brought to you if any?
I just like the way he carries himself. I like the way he doesn't talk to a lot of people because I don't either. I like letting little people into your personal space. It's very important.
@CurlyBull70 How do you feel about newbies like Bryan Danielson and Jay Lethal coming in and getting title shots almost instantly?
I feel great about it. It should make you want to step up and improve your game. If you're not willing to step up, your game isn't on point then.
@Manny11mp Other than wrestling, what other sports do you enjoy? Are there any particular teams you follow?
I don't watch any other sports besides skateboarding.
@ColeTooTurnt Who are some of your favorite bands? Does music have any influence on your wrestling style?
Music has a lot of influence. DIY and not taking crap from anybody really is the whole ethos of music I listen to. Bands like Craft and a bunch of old anarcho-punk bands from the '70s are my favorite. They just talk about having no authority but yourself and that means a lot to me.
@MikeyKozMinksi How do I prove the doubters wrong that think I'm not good enough to achieve my dream and wrestle for AEW?
Just do it. To make this work, I didn't want a 9-to-5. I didn't want anything to stop me from being too busy. I said I would do whatever it takes and if it's too much for you, then you weren't meant for it in the first place.
@ErikaMiller If you could wrestle anyone from the past or present, who would it be?
@ASnyder501 What's the craziest stunt you've done, in wrestling or outside of it?
Outside of wrestling is when I jumped off a sculpture from the Space Needle in Seattle and I landed on my back and had internal bleeding. It was a good time.
@A20Gtx If you weren't a wrestler, what do you think you would be doing?