During the COVID 19 Pandemic, AEW has used over 70 non-signed talents in a televised role, giving different people paydays and tryouts during this trying time. More notably, it’s been superstars such as IWTV Champion WARHORSE, CM Punk’s former Straight Edge disciple Serena Deeb or former Lucha Underground standout Ivelisse. They’ve signed a number of these talents, such as former NWA Television Champion Ricky Starks, former WWE United States Champion Miro (formerly known as Alexander Rusev) and Eddie Kingston. Yet, one of the common mainstays not signed to a deal is Will Hobbs. One of the most mobile big guys in wrestling, even the most ardent and avid of wrestling fans may not have been familiarized with his prior work, but the kid for Palo Alto, California is the real deal. At 6’1, 240 pounds he has a tremendous physique (dude legit looks like he’d be the best defensive tackle the NFL has seen since Warren Sapp retired) armed with unmatched athleticism and the most explosive spinebuster since Arn Anderson.
He’s not just working random matches, either. Even though he’s been primarily featured on Dark, it has been with talents such as “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy, Darby Allin and Ricky Starks. Earlier this month, he made his pay-per-view debut at All Out in the Casino Battle Royal, a match featuring many prominent workers such as Billy Gunn, Matt Sydal, Brian Cage, Lance Archer, Eddie Kingston, SCU, The Lucha Bros, among others. He finished final four.
Under the moniker Will Rood, he contested his first match in APW in 2009. In 2016, he took on his current ring persona. He has since had outstanding matches with a number of popular independent stars, such as Chris Dickinson, Trey Miguel (now of Impact), AJ Gray and Alexander Hammerstone. Once he got to Dark, he began to receive a much larger following, working for the second biggest wrestling promotion in the United States.
However, it was the 7/21 episode of Dark (including below) that Will Hobbs began to open some eyes. Not only did he have a tremendous match with “Absolute” Ricky Starks, but Excalibur told the story of why Will Hobbs is a current professional wrestler: because his brother took a bullet for him. Excalibuer said the following:
“He and his brother grew up wrestling fans, they hoped to one day be a manager/wrestler duo. But Will Hobbs brother literally took a bullet for him and it cost him his life so Hobbs now sees Pro Wrestling as a way to honor his brother and honor his brother’s memory.”
You can see the match in the video below, at 28:30:
Following a match with Darby Allin on AEW Dynamite (which airs every Wednesday at 8 EST on TNT), Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Obsever noted that while he hasn’t inked a contract with All Elite Wrestling, the executives do have their eye on him heavily, which would explain why he’s been on TNT and on pay per view already.
Regardless as to whether or not a deal is imminent, Will Hobbs has an absolutely inspiration story that I’d love to hear him publicly speak about in more detail soon (and if he doesn’t, it’s completely understandable). Hobbs is a very impressive athlete with a lot of skill. He’s become one of my favorite wrestlers within the last few months.
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