On a recent episode of AEW Unrestricted, QT Marshall of The Factory came to talk about his career and journey to AEW. Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone complimented Marshall’s work behind the scenes to the point of almost not sleeping, and Marshall responded.
“I appreciate it,” Marshall expressed. “Well, the thing is, our boss, he likes to hang out and be up very late. Every now and then I’ll go to sleep. I’ll say, ‘Hey, just text me the stuff, and I’ll put it on the paper the next morning,’ but then, the other day, he texted me, I guess we both forgot something.
“He wrote, ‘Well, I was doing it by myself.’ So I was like, okay, point noted. I won’t be leaving you by yourself anymore, and this loop was the hard loop. I said, alright, if I can get through these four days, I can handle anything. We did it. We made it. Those long loops, that was the end of an era.
“Things like a taped Dynamite can take four hours compared to a live two-hour show because they give Tony [Khan] the option to go back and check and make sure he loves everything, and he’s a perfectionist. It’s his product, his name on the line, and I get it, but I’m just sitting there like, oh man, I swear that was good. And if it’s not good, you know what, that’s the wrestlers’ fault. It’s not your fault Tony.”
Marshall continued as he talked about his original goal in wrestling compared to where he is now.
“Well, I used to think, man, if Vince McMahon and Triple H found out how this was really happening, they would laugh, and then I realized, you know what, I’m pretty good at this though, so f**k them,” Marshall said in jest. “Then I thought about it for a while and I thought how honored I was, honestly, to be given the responsibility and trusted with that responsibility to pass along those details of what’s supposed to happen on the shows. It’s pretty cool.
“A couple years ago, when I opened up my training facility, I really thought that that was going to be it. I was just gonna train wrestlers and kind of run our own little rinky dink shows, and that would be the end of it. And now, that idea has turned into a dream job of helping run a complete opposite of a rinky dink show, one of the number one television shows. It’s pretty crazy how it all works out.”
Marshall spent months in a tag team with Dustin Rhodes. He discussed what he learned from Rhodes during that time.
“Dustin and I have very different philosophies on wrestling when it comes to selfishness,” Marshall described. “Because I’ve never been at his level, I don’t understand the whole idea of keeping your character strong, and I also don’t care. We used to argue all the time.
“He’d be like, ‘Hey man, these are enhancement matches. You just got to go out there and do stuff,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, but I was the enhancement talent three months ago. That’s kind of insulting to our audience,’ and he’s like, ‘Ah, don’t worry about it.’ When we would call the matches, I would tell the enhancement talent, ‘Hey, don’t say what you’re going to do,’ and then I would say, we’ll do this, and then they’ll cut me off, and then I’ll make a hot tag and that’s it.
“And then Dustin would be like, okay, and then all of a sudden, I’d be in there. He’d be screaming from the apron. ‘What are you doing? Tag out!’ I just started laughing. I learned a lot about that, and then also, just how to have fun again because I see at his age and all the years he’s had in this business and he’s just having a great time. And I think once I started to relax and have a fun time out there, I think it really started to show, and it really shows in the work.”
Marshall’s biggest moment in AEW came in the Bunkhouse Brawl match against The Butcher and The Blade. Marshall addressed critics who were not happy with the feud being dropped abruptly, and he revealed how much of a physical toll the ladder spot took on him.
“That was a storyline that started. It was supposed to be a little fun, and then I had gotten taken away from TV due to COVID and all this other stuff, and then they got taken away and it was just a whole bunch of stuff,” Marshall recalled. “So we kind of just dropped the storyline, which I know fans are very upset about, but here’s the thing, I hate some of the fans, and the reason why is because they’re like, ‘Why did you guys just drop that storyline?’ Well, mother-fers, you’re the ones that didn’t like the storyline because you said that both of us were married in real life so screw you guys. We’re trying to put on a TV show.
“So because of that, it put too much pressure. Then Tony was like, ‘Hey, I got this idea. What if you guys did this bunkhouse match?’ And I’m like, okay, so then I’m Dark a week before. We ended up going out there. They attacked me and all this stuff, and then we attacked them. And it was just supposed to be violent, and it was supposed to be fun. I remember thinking, okay, this is a Dustin style match. So I’m gonna conform, I’m gonna wear the jeans. I’m gonna wear the cowboy boots. What can I do though that can really, hopefully get in the people’s memories forever?
“And then I remember just walking around and seeing that ladder thinking, oh, I’m going to jump off this ladder, not realizing how much it was going to hurt. I didn’t wrestle after that until the new year, and that was the one where I should have told Doc Sampson, but I didn’t. I was just able to maneuver my way into not working a whole bunch of times because I could barely walk.
“So that was a lot of fun, and it was a big moment for me in my career. I always say we didn’t capitalize on the moment, but that’s because I physically couldn’t, but I didn’t want anyone to know either because I’m very old school in that mindset of if you’re hurt, you can’t wrestle, and if you can’t wrestle, I mean, we still make money because we have the greatest job in the world, but I don’t want to be that guy that’s not wrestling all the time when when I know I can.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.