Aron Stevens appears to be wrapping up his in-ring career.

Stevens, formerly known as Damien Sandow, took to Instagram to announce that his “swan song” will come against former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Trevor Murdoch at the upcoming NWA Alwayz Ready event.

“This match against Trevor Murdoch at Alwayz Ready, my swan song as it were, not only marks the finale of an unparalleled wrestling career but the dawn of a new age,” Stevens wrote. “When I first left wrestling, the business experienced one of the biggest lulls in its history. Since returning, my presence has not only proven a blessing to fans everywhere but the entire industry has been better off because I was a part of it. After June 11th I will keep the wrestling fans, all staff, the competitors, and the entire industry in my thoughts and prayers going forward as they all proceed without me. Thank you.”

It was a typically in-character announcement for Stevens, who is best known as Damien Sandow, the snobbish intellectual heel he played on WWE television from 2012 to 2014, and who eventually became a fan favorite as “Damien Mizdow,” the Miz’ stunt double. But Stevens’ wrestling career dates back to 2001, when he debuted as Aaron Stevens for Chaotic Wrestling in his home state of Massachusetts. After a couple of years on the New England independent scene, Stevens arrived in WWE developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling, which eventually got him to “WWE SmackDown” under the name Idol Stevens in 2006. But it wasn’t until years later, after Stevens had been released from WWE and re-hired as part of another developmental roster, Florida Championship Wrestling, that he came up with the character of Damien Sandow, “the intellectual savior of the masses.”

Sandow’s heel work was well-received and critically acclaimed, but WWE never seemed to know what to do with him. His tag team with Cody Rhodes didn’t go anywhere, and he became the first wrestler to win the Money in the Bank briefcase, but lose the guaranteed championship match it provided. In 2014, having lost most of his momentum, he started doing impersonations, an act that eventually led to the Mizdow character and Stevens’ only championship run in WWE, when he and the Miz would claim the WWE Tag Team titles from Goldust and Stardust at Survivor Series 2014. Mizdow was extraordinarily popular, and his Wrestlemania 31 face turn was greeted with thunderous cheers, but even this newfound success would prove fleeting — Stevens went back to doing impersonations following the conclusion of his storyline with the Miz and was released from WWE in 2016.

Stevens would go on to compete in Impact Wrestling as Aron Rex, after which he spent two and a half years away from the industry. In 2019, he finally returned as Aron Stevens in the National Wrestling Alliance, where became a staple of “NWA Powerrr” and held both the NWA National Championship and the NWA Tag Team Champioship alongside JR Kratos. Alwayz Ready will mark Stevens’ fifth singles match against Trevor Murdoch (himself a former WWE Tag Team Champion) who ended Stevens’ National Championship reign in 2020.

NWA Alwayz Ready takes place on Saturday, June 11, and can be seen on FITE TV. If it is Stevens’ last match, it will mark the end of a wrestling career that lasted 21 years, almost to the day.

 

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