Matt Lee and Jeff Parker of 2point0 were on a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast with Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone. Before joining AEW, 2point0 were Ever-Rise in WWE, and they talked about what it meant to them to sign with WWE.
“It was great. I would dare to say, especially at the time, it should be everybody’s goal,” Lee said. “AEW wasn’t around at the time.
“It was even more special because for a certain amount of time, guys like us would not get signed by WWE,” Parker noted. “It was legitimately impossible because the edict was if you’re under six foot, we’re not even taking a look at you. That time was just like, it’s not going to happen.
“And then the doors started opening up. Things changed,” Lee stated. “A guy like Sami Zayn or Bryan Danielson really changed.
“That opened the door to like, oh, being an indie wrestler is kind of okay. So getting signed there was was fantastic,” Parker said. “It took a long time. The whole process took the better part of three years. A lot of ups and downs. A lot of yes, but not right now. We’ll be in touch, don’t sign anywhere.
“Once you get there, you realize, oh, you’re just dumped into a system,” Lee explained. “There is no plan. You’ve got to figure out how to show the powers that be, the people in charge, what you bring to the table. It’s a challenge. It’s a real challenge.
“Because unless you’re a chosen one that’s being hired with the intention of being a this or that, you’re just in the deep water, and you got to figure out how to the surface somehow,” Parker added. “Everyone’s just kind of climbing up, but at the same time, someone else is pulling you down a little bit. Not intentionally but it’s just the way it goes. So we had to figure out on our own, hey, how do we make some noise? That’s why we started a YouTube show.”
After they were released by WWE, 2point0 went straight ahead and posted a video on their YouTube channel. They eventually were able to make their AEW debuts, and they recalled the process behind that.
“Getting into AEW started by getting fired from WWE, that was a big first step,” Parker admitted. “That was the first domino that had to fall. That was a very terrifying time because Matt just had a child, so his wife was expecting at the time.
“Yeah, we were maybe seven weeks out when we were let go,” Lee noted. “You got to figure out how am I going to make a living. There’s immigration issues because we’re Canadian. Are we gonna have to move back? We obviously don’t want to move back. I want this kid to be American, give him some options, a little anchor baby.
“We’ve been here for the better part of three years of our lives,” Parker added. “We’ve kind of set down roots. We have our way of life, and you don’t want to necessarily go back home permanently, especially if you have to move back to Canada, as far as wrestling goes, your options are substantially lacking, especially during the pandemic. That was the biggest part of what do we do? How do we figure out that, so the first leg after being fired was trying to figure out that part more so than, well, what are we going to do as far as wrestling goes? That had to be secondary because we couldn’t do anything until that was figured out. Luckily for us, we know a lot of people in AEW.”
“When you’ve been around for a long time, you make a lot of friends,” Lee pointed out. “It’s very important.
“You put in a couple of calls just being like, ‘Hey guys, look, if there’s anything you do for us.’ Some people think, well, if you have a friend, they’ll get you a job,” Parker said. “Doesn’t work like that. At the most, probably get you an opportunity or at least put a good word in. That’s kind of the trajectory that it was. Oh, maybe we’ll get you in for Dark. Yeah, no problem, as long as we can get a foot in the door and try and see if we can work something out. So that was kind of the first progression and then that went to talking, and then we get a call just being like, ‘Oh, well, Tony [Khan] has an idea for you on Dynamite,’ out of nowhere.
“Out of nowhere,” Lee stated. “I get a call from from Chris Harrington, I don’t know if he minds if I say his name, on a Saturday night at 10 p.m., and he goes, ‘So we’re gonna bring you in on Tuesday.’ We’re just like, ‘What? What is happening here?’ We get another call where Jeff ended up speaking to him after that where he says, ‘I think Tony has an idea for you guys for Dynamite,’ and we’re just like, ‘What is happening right now?’ It just happened so fast.
“That’s where it ended up being our debut on Dynamite there at Daily’s Place at Homecoming,” Parker said. “That’s what kind of led up to that one.
“I guess Tony had an idea of the six-man tag,” Lee recalled. “He wanted to use Moxley, Darby and King together as as a trio, and he had that idea so he paired us with Daniel Garcia to get it done, and it just meshed really well. That match could not have gone any better for us.”
2point0 were paired with indie star Daniel Garcia early on. They talked about what it’s been like to work with Garcia and commented on how their chemistry has been.
“Absolutely fantastic,” Parker expressed. “I really couldn’t have asked for anybody better to be paired up with, and it’s always a terrifying thing when you just get thrown together with somebody because chemistry is a big thing.
“You have no idea so we were kind of familiar with him,” Lee noted. “He’s a northeast guy too, from Buffalo and he would wrestle in our area in Montreal. So we were familiar with them. Tony had us do this promo, I guess, to announce the match for Dynamite, and it clicked, and we just fed off each other, and he listened and we listened to his ideas and and it just meshed so well. We could not ask for more.
“We were actually talking to the other day at TV,” Parker recalled. “We’ve been together for a few months, but it kind of feels like year. It feels strange, very fast friends. Love that kid to death. He’s so frickin talented, just wants to learn and wants to get better every single time and what I love about it is this dichotomy of you have us that are really over the top and loud.
“And he brings that ass kicking edge to him, and we both wear red and black,” Lee pointed out. “So what, are we not gonna team?”
2point0 were previously known as 3.0 on the indies, most notably in Chikara. They discussed why they decided to go back to 2point0 after leaving WWE instead of going with 4.0.
“I think it was just one of those deals where it’s just kind of going back to who we were really before getting signed to WWE,” Parker said. “3.0 was such a Chikara thing. That was a Chikara idea. 2.0 was what we were all the way up into it, and at the end of the day, Tony Khan liked 2point0.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.