Darby Allin was a guest on a recent episode of AEW Unrestricted. Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone went through Allin’s career. Allin talked about a match with Pentagon Jr. that he felt was big for his indie career.
“I heard from a friend that Cody was asking to deal with me. I had a match with Pentagon Jr. at Northeast Wrestling on one of their more bigger shows,” Allin noted. “That was actually, I feel like, one of the first matches where I kind of held my own so to speak and wasn’t really so much just out there doing a stunt only. I put a lot into that match, and I was training for that particular match probably for a good two months just with a friend where I’m like, alright, you’re going to do all of Pentagon’s moves to me, and I’m going to try to find all these reversals out of them. I really put a lot of thought that match because those opportunities don’t come often, to have big matches like that.”
Allin said that Cody Rhodes caught wind of the match, and they were in contact talking about Allin’s ambitions for AEW. Allin believes that wanted to prove a point with his signing by making Allin’s debut match against himself.
“Cody ended up seeing that match, and then he was asking some people about me,” Allin revealed. “I met Cody a long time ago, but when he first met me, I was just the crash test dummy. It’s like oh there’s the Darby guy. All he would say is hey, please don’t die tonight. That’s like the only conversation I’ve ever had with them. It ended up working out with this Pentagon match. I remember that was kind of a game changer for sure.
“I kept messaging Cody and telling him my goals and what I want out of everything. I knew AEW was the place for me because if I fail, it’s kind of my own fault here because I’ve gotten so much creative freedom. If people don’t like it, then so hey man, you got to take a step back, and your s–t’s not working. Here I knew I was going to have a fair chance. Talked to Cody and got the ball rolling.
“I think he wanted to prove a point with people with me. That’s why my first match here was against Cody. It was good. I really thought what I wanted out of it, I got out of it, but going into it, there was a lot of ‘alright man, you gotta show these people because first impressions are everything. That’s why I like that match. I went like a hundred miles kind of like I do every match. That match I knew I had to get a lot out of it because if I’m in that ring with Cody for example and I s–t the bed, everybody’s going to be like, ‘yo this you put faith in this guy to wrestle you? Come on get out of here.'”
Schiavone brought up Allin’s match against Chris Jericho and how Jericho was the one that told him to bring a skateboard into the ring. Allin credited that match for validating his hard work and putting him up there in main event status.
“That was a big step. That was huge, because that was week three of TV, for the whole company and especially Chris Jericho because he obviously has a lot to say on who he’s going to want to wrestle,” Allin noted. “It’s not just going to be like ‘yo, we’re gonna have you wrestle some random person.’ He’s going to be like if it’s the main event on Dynamite, he’s got to sign up for it too. So the thing is, for them to have a commitment in me week three to be in that spot on national television, was huge. That was validation for hard work, and it definitely helped because it put me in that stratosphere of I can actually hang with these main event guys, and actually, I don’t look out a place in the main event because I think I did more than enough to show my show toughness that night especially with that hands behind the back spots.
“I’d say probably either my debut or wrestling Jericho,” Allin said. “Those because like I said, it’s validation that they had faith to be like here you want to talk this game about wanting this opportunity. You got this opportunity, show us what you got, and I always like that.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.