AEW star Powerhouse Will Hobbs was on a recent episode of Talk Is Jericho where he talked about his tryout with WWE. He said he lost weight to keep his cardio up for the tryout, and he revealed other AEW stars that were also in his tryout class.
“I got an email saying, ‘We would like to invite you out for a tryout.’ It was after I did a couple dark matches,” Hobbs recalled. “They were in the area. Did the three-day tryout, cardio drills. I thought I was going to be in the best shape. I dropped down from 253 to 222 trying to get my cardio up. In my class, I had Eddie Kingston and I had Big Swole there. Ever since then, we’ve stayed in contact.”
Hobbs recalled cutting a promo on the last day of the tryout. He said William Regal was impressed with his promo where he used his real-life experience of growing up in the hood and overcoming many obstacles in his life.
“The last day, we ended up doing promos. William Regal was leading the promo class, and he came up to me and said he liked my promo because I used my real- life situation,” Hobbs revealed. “A lot of people cut wrestling promos, and I was told then that day, you want to get emotion out of people.
“Nobody knew my story, and there was probably maybe about 60 of us at this tryout. And I cried during the whole minute that I had. The whole thing, Will Power is not a gimmick. That’s me. Everything that I’ve gone through, you got to have willpower. Most people I know couldn’t go through this s**t.”
Hobbs said nothing came from the WWE tryout until his match on Dynamite against Darby Allin. WWE contacted him after that match, which he said pissed him off because of many months prior of inaction. Even while he was unsigned by AEW, he took a chance on himself and said no to WWE and would sign with AEW months later.
“I get an email about two months later saying, ‘We don’t have anything for you right now, but when we come to town, we’ll bring you in for extra dates.’ At the time, it was like damn because I put so much into training, doing this and that and then you just tell me we’re interested, but we don’t have anything for you right now,” Hobbs stated. “Okay, cool, but after that, I probably maybe did 5 – 6 extra stuff with them when they came to town and nothing of it.
“I had good little tryout matches. Scott [Armstrong] was always cool with me, and I’m like, okay, well what’s going to happen? I’m getting all this like great feedback. What can we do. Nothing. I get out there every time. ‘You did good. We like this and that.’ I knew I was getting BS’d. Then when I did my match with Darby [Allin] on the Saturday night Dynamite, I get an email saying, ‘Hey, we’re interested. We’ve been thinking about you,’ and it just pissed me off.
“As a man, for someone to bulls**t you, for me personally, it pisses me off. Just tell me the truth… I’m pretty sure they saw the battle royal I was in, and I didn’t know I was getting signed. I took my chances and said no.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.