AEW thrill-seeker Darby Allin insists he’ll make the most of his professional wrestling career – as he doesn’t intend to be around for long.
Still at the relatively tender age of 28, the daredevil athlete is one of All Elite Wrestling’s most entertaining performers.
He’s always prepared to put his body at risk but not only for the sake of entertaining the legions of professional wrestling fans around the world, but also to satisfy his own insatiable appetite for adrenaline.
During any given AEW event, Allin, real name Samuel Ratsch, can be found hurling caution to the wind in stunts that genuinely take the breath away – once leading to veteran announcer Tony Schiavone telling him he “wouldn’t be around long” if he didn’t tailor his in-ring style to be less death-defying.
But the man himself has told The Independent in the first part of an exclusive interview that he has no plans to make any such alterations. Even more curiously, he said that this is less because of a will to remain in the hearts of wrestling fans, and more just because wrestling his way prevents him from being “bored.”
Allin it seems is a rare breed of wrestler. Five years into his career in the industry, it’s far from what he wants to spend forever doing. As such, he comes across almost as non-plussed about the idea of long-term damage curtailing a potential stay of decades in this line of work. After all, after he’s done with wrestling and with so many outside interests, he has plans to move on to his next work of art, leaving spandex well and truly behind him and taking risks wherever he goes.
“I’m an adrenaline junkie,” he said. “Life is very boring if I’m sitting on my couch playing in front of the TV. That style keeps me interested, keeps me on my toes, and it’s so fun. Getting thrown through the air or through a table? It gets me going, it’s a good time.
“I’m sticking with [it], man. Who knows how long I even want to be wrestling? There’s so much in this world that I want to do that I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into one thing. I love art, whether it be film-making, fashion, anything. I don’t want to be this 55-year-old guy wrestling in a high school gym, not because he wants to but because he has to.
“The wheels are spinning in my head on what’s after all of this, so it’s fun.”
If Allin has anything to do with it, he won’t be the last performer to take an almost carefree attitude to their wrestling career. He grows tired of those “small-minded” performers who get into wrestling with an obsession for that and little else.
One shouldn’t confuse it with disrespect however – he clearly has a passion for the profession and those in it – but it is clear that life in the squared-circle far from what will define the reigning AEW TNT Champion.
He went on to say: “The biggest advice I’d give to anyone entering wrestling is to bring your outside world into wrestling because there are so many people [who] only know wrestling, and it gets so boring.
“It’s like ‘tell me who you are and what you’re about’ and they say ‘I grew up loving professional wrestling, it’s all I ever wanted, it’s my dream.’ That is so generic that you don’t bring anything to the table. There’s a whole world out there, and so many are so small-minded in wrestling that it’s not even funny.
“There’s the whole world and I want to explore that world. I don’t want to be in a small bubble with all these people, so I don’t associate with a whole bunch of people, I just like to do my own thing.”
Again, while it seems that wrestling is far from the centre of Allin’s universe, it’s not to say he doesn’t enjoy that part of his life and what it brings him.
Spearheaded by Fulham co-owner Tony Khan among others, All Elite Wrestling is arguably the single biggest rival to Vince McMahon’s WWE empire and have amassed a huge following just a couple of years into their existence.
The freedom Khan gives Allin and the rest of their roster is clearly what keeps the Washington native coming back for more – for now at least. Praising the culture in place, he added: “Look at it on paper, what other place is gonna let me jump of an 80ft bridge and skate with Tony Hawk?! I have creative freedom but there is a lot of trust and understanding that goes into me from Tony Khan’s perspective.
“I guarantee you and guarantee him that I’m going to show up on Wednesday perfectly fine from my week of adventures and I’ve lived up to that promise to now. I’m loving life, living life and it’s a good time.”
Catch Darby Allin and the stars of AEW on AEW Dynamite each week, airing for free in the UK on ITV4, and on pay-per-view for AEW Revolution on March 7. For more details visit allelitewrestling.com
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