On a recent episode of AEW Unrestricted, Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone interviewed Darby Allin to talk about Allin's career in skateboarding and filmmaking. They also talked about Allin's WWE tryout that he passed on. He explains why he passed on it.
"Back then, they messaged me and asked me if I was interested in coming down," Allin stated. "At the time, I was like, I'm not trying to sound like I'm too good for it, but I was already like you either want me or you don't. I'm not going to try out for this because you already know what I can do based off the company I was wrestling for. They work so close with WWE, and I was already wrestling all of their wrestlers like Chris Hero or Velveteen Dream. You already know what I can do.
"The people I see get tryouts, it's such a joke. It doesn't mean anything anymore. I'm not going to sit here and be this clown. Then I thought about it. I was like f--k, I don't even want to go there anymore. That's when I started talking to Cody more and more, and I told them like look, I see the writing on the wall. I ain't gonna play this game where I go there and be a cruiserweight, 205 Live person. I ain't playing that game because then my body of work, my art [and] my promos never see the light of day.
"That's where I was like, I'm not playing these games with these people. There's thousands of people there and you forget they even exist half the time. I'm not gonna be locked in the Performance Center. So I was like, I'm not doing this. I made that very clear to Cody, and the rest is history."
The three also discussed Allin's affinity for high-risk stunts in both skateboarding and in wrestling. Allin expresses his frustration over promoters in the indies telling him what to do and what kinds of stunts they wanted him to do.
"A lot of times I feel like I got pigeon-holed. To degree it's my own damn fault because I started wrestling in a year or so, and I moved out of Seattle," Allin admitted. "In about a year and a half, two years, I moved out of Seattle to start wrestling all over the indies, so I was kind of learning as I was going. I didn't even know how to put a match together to be honest.
"I was just going out there, and I knew, to separate myself, I'd have to do some crazy crazy stuff. So that's what I ended up doing, but that's why I was so strict on myself with living in the car because as I was living in the car, I was training every day in a ring because I never wanted to be comfortable with being the crash test dummy. Obviously, I like doing crazy stuff given my history of skateboarding.
"The thing is it's fun, but there's a difference from it being fun and you wanting to do it to being that you have to do it, and I never want to have to do anything. You go into the independents and sometimes you get to the building, they'll tell you, 'oh, yeah, by the way, like we have this idea for you to jump off this balcony tonight,' and I'm like whoa, like if I wanted to that's one thing. But if you tell me to do it like go f--k yourself. I'm not playing your games."
Allin also expressed his frustration over risking his body in match only for that match to not be seen by people right away. He says that his relationship with the independent scene was a love-hate one.
"Then as much as I was getting beat up on the indies and then you would like check your social media like half of these matches that you do, they don't get released until another year and a half or something," Allin stated. "I was like, what's the deal like just release it for free on YouTube and get more eyes. You're not going to be a millionaire having your little indie show get $9-10 monthly subscription. No one gives a f--k. So it's like just release it for the wrestlers like help them out so people can see their body of working, see the light of day. I was sick of waiting for matches to get released. I was getting pissed off because I felt like what's the point of killing myself if it's going to be released next year. I don't see the point in that. It was a love-hate relationship with a lot of independents."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.