On a recent episode of Talk Is Jericho, Dark Order’s Evil Uno and Stu Grayson were on to talk about how they got into AEW. They talked about how they knew the Young Bucks from working with them at PWG and when ROH went to Canada. They discussed speaking to the Young Bucks about AEW before it was officially announced.
“At the time, I don’t think they knew they were going anywhere, but they were really trying to get us into Ring of Honor, and Ring of Honor was kind of holding our contracts over their heads because they were trying to re-sign The Bucks. And they didn’t want to sign us unless the Bucks re-signed, and so we were kind of a negotiation tool,” Uno revealed. “For about eight – nine months that’s what it was, and then by the end of it, they came back around to Toronto again.
“We wrestled there again, and I guess Nick and Matt had known at that point, they were going to do something else and they told us, ‘Hey, if you get offered anything, just let us know because we’re gonna offer you something soon. We can’t tell you what it is but just know it is coming around.’ We’re like, ‘Okay, sure, whatever,’ and literally three days later, Ring of Honor offered us a contract for three years. And so we messaged Nick and Matt, and they’re like, ‘Okay, well, this is what’s going on. This is what our offer is. You’d have to wait probably five months before you do anything though. Is that okay?’ We’re like, of course, I’ve waited eight years.”
Chris Jericho then asked if they ever received any offers from WWE throughout their careers.
“Surprisingly enough, the only tryout offer I got was once I was offered a contract here,” Uno noted. “I never seeked for it either. In my first, I’d say nine years, I just thought it was an impossible feat because I wasn’t ginormous. I’m a little masked guy who’s a video game character, and I’m from Canada. So in my mind, I was like, that’s not even my goal because I had instilled in my brain as a kid that I’m a kid and I can’t get there.
“Funny enough for me, when I started was in 2004 – 2005,” Grayson added. “What I was watching the most was TNA because that was the golden years of the X-Division with guys like AJ [Styles] and Christopher Daniels, and I look at them and I was like, ‘Oh, those guys are my size. I could do this. That’s the place for me.’ So WWE was never even an option for me either. I didn’t really think about it.”
Uno and Grayson both come from the province of Quebec. They discussed their interactions with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn when starting out their careers.
“I think they started about a year and a half before I did, but almost as soon as I started, I had befriended Sami Zayn pretty fast because as soon as I started training, I started jumping to every independent show, and started helping, and starting making relationships and just meeting people,” Uno recalled. “And he was at all the shows too because we had figured out if you wrestle everywhere, at some point, someone will go to more.
“And then, Kevin, at the time where I started, had just left [Jacques] Rougeau’s school or was just branching out from Rougeau’s school because at the time, Rougeau wouldn’t let anyone wrestle for anyone other than him. Kevin was that one exception. So him and PCO were doing the rounds of all the Quebec independents, and my fourth match was against Kevin.
“That’s the very first wrestling experience of my life,” Grayson revealed. “I walked into the CPW show, and it’s Player Uno vs. Kevin Owens. It’s the first time I ever watched wrestling in my whole life, and in that match, the things they did, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I want to do this'”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.