AEW's Wardlow spent over two years as the bodyguard of MJF, with fans eagerly awaiting the moment he turned on his employer.
That moment came in February 2022, when Wardlow finally gave MJF what was coming to him, during his match with CM Punk at Revolution.
AEW then spent the next few months building to a match between MJF and Wardlow at Double or Nothing in May – but in the days before the PPV, MJF became the talk of the pro wrestling world, with reports that he had no-showed a meet and greet and might not even make it to the show.
Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, Wardlow shared how he felt about the night of Double or Nothing, where his match with MJF was undoubtedly overshadowed by what was happening behind the scenes.
"That should be considered one of the best nights of my life and it really wasn't," Wardlow said.
"Everything that was going on with Max at the time and then in my life personally. Just nothing was going right and it's kind of sad that everything built up to this big night and there was so much that ruined it.
"All the crap with Max and everything he was pulling. I mean, I showed up that day not knowing if I was wrestling. There's a lot more I could say about it but I don't want to get angry but yeah, that should have been one of the best nights of my life and obviously the outcome was amazing but I really didn't ever have the opportunity to enjoy it."
Despite capturing the TNT Championship just weeks later, Wardlow admits that he thinks things have been "off" ever since that night in Las Vegas.
"I feel like ever since that night things have kind of been just off and I feel like I'm still trying to get back on track ever since that night and we'll get there.
"But it is what it is, in this in life and in this business, not everything goes perfectly."
At All Out on September 4 Wardlow will team with FTR to take on Jay Lethal and the Motor City Machine Guns. But once All Out is over, Wardlow says he's set on making the most of his run as TNT Champion.
"I told the fans I wanted to bring some respect back to the TNT title," Wardlow said. "I think, just the fact that it's in my possession, the respect level's already up, the fact that Wardlow is the TNT champion makes the TNT Championship important.
"But realistically, I haven't done anything to really say that I've done that. So beating Jay Lethal I think is a huge accomplishment, he's one of the best wrestlers in the world so that feels important, that I feel is is an accomplishment.
"But beyond that I haven't done anything since being TNT champion and I'm ready for some real competition. Like yeah, I'll go in the ring, powerbomb somebody 10 times, put my foot on their chest and pin them," he continued.
"But guess what? I'll go in there and I'll work with whoever thinks they're the hardest worker. You step in the ring with me, I'm not just squash matches, I can perform. So I'm ready to show that."
Catch AEW Dynamite live every Thursday at 1am in the UK and Rampage every Saturday at 3am on FITE with an AEW Plus subscription. US customers can also watch Dynamite on TBS and Rampage on TNT, and in the UK, Dynamite repeats air on ITV4.
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