Ricky Starks Discusses Leaving NWA And AEW Debut

AEW star Ricky Starks made his debut for the company in June of 2020, answering an open challenge from Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship. Prior to that, Starks was contracted with Billy Corgan's NWA, and even served as that company's Television Champion. During a recent appearance on "Casual Conversations With The Classic," Starks spoke about the process of moving on from the NWA and debuting for the company that would soon become his new home.

"I left NWA. There was an option to renew the contract ... and I said, 'Nah, I'm good,'" Starks said. "The reason I did that is because I'm the type of person that, if I think I've got the most out of something, and there's a ceiling that I'm about to hit, I just will take a gamble on myself, and I'll just bounce." Starks revealed that he was not under contract anywhere, and was just making money off of his merch, when he received the message from AEW to come in for the open challenge against Rhodes.

"The wild thing is I had visions of this," Starks continued. The AEW star shared that he envisioned Rhodes laying out the challenge, followed by a promo package featuring himself, and then finally he would then come out and have a match against the TNT Champion. That's exactly how things went down upon his debut, even though Starks wasn't initially slated to have a promo package.

Throughout his time in AEW, Starks has feuded against the likes of Darby Allin, former Team Taz partners Brian Cage and Will Hobbs, and most recently AEW World Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Following last week's "AEW Dynamite," the 11-year veteran is now set to face off against Chris Jericho on the January 4 edition of "Dynamite" in Seattle, Washington.