Darby Allin is ready to roll the dice and put it all on the line in the main event of All Elite Wrestling’s Double or Nothing on May 28 in Las Vegas. The daredevil in paint, along with Sammy Guevara and Jungle Boy, challenge AEW champion MJF for the gold.
It’s a Sin City showdown billed as a “Four Pillars” match as it involves top young stars who have helped build the foundation of the company, which was founded in 2019. Allin sees this as an opportunity for “homegrown” performers to shine on the grand stage.
Ahead of the show, the 30-year-old opens up about his aspirations to reach new heights by climbing figurative and actual mountains inside and outside the ring.
How do you feel about all the pillar talk leading up to this match?
Darby Allin: I like the thought of it being all homegrown guys, but to consider us four to be the pillars, I don’t like that. It sounds like we’re arrogant and above everyone. I’ve never liked the word pillar. I honestly feel whoever was with the company from day one, not even just day one, but someone who has been a ride or die, they are pillars in my eyes. There are so many people who have been there and don’t get the recognition of being a pillar. We all built this company. It’s just a cute little thing MJF came up with, and I don’t like the thought of it. I do like the thought of main eventing with four homegrown guys. It’s amazing when we can all get out there and remind people of what we are capable of. AEW is giving us the ball, to me that is what I’m excited about.
Do you feel added pressure in this match with that thinking in mind?
No, but I’m more laser focused than I ever have been. I know what I’m capable of. There was a time I didn’t know if I was able or deserving of being in the main event. Now I’m like, “Put the whole company on my back. Let’s go.” I don’t have to wonder if we can deliver. Absolutely we can. We are going to deliver. You put four guys out there with a point to prove, there is no way we can fail.
This comes ahead of a big June that includes the release of AEW’s first video game and AEW’s new TNT flagship Saturday show Collision. What kind of impact will these additional two hours on cable in primetime make?
I’m pretty stoked because it gives people more time to be seen. There is only so much of our roster that can be seen on a two-hour show on Wednesday or a one-hour show on Friday. And if there was a hard roster split between shows, it would be amazing because we can really focus on more guys and give guys more opportunities. That is all you can ask for when you have a loaded roster ready to perform.
Speaking of shows, what kind of update can you give on your TV pilot?
The thing is once Warner and Discovery merged, they weren’t going to take on new projects at the time. We filmed the pilot. The lady who was in charge of reality television was like, “This is the best pilot we have ever seen.” We did so much crazy stuff on that pilot. That is actually when I jumped over my house with a Jeep. Everything is on hold with that project, which I’m taking as a sign to focus on my other goals in life I have like directing my first full-length movie and also climbing Mount Everest. I’m trying to check off some boxes.
Have you begun training for that summit?
I got this machine, LiveO2. It has this big air intake that plugs into the wall. You literally ride the stationary bike, then you flip a switch and work to get to the red zone, where it’s supposed to recreate how it feels on Mount Everest…I’ve bought this thing called Plunge, which is like an ice bath you don’t need ice for. It stays 39 degrees. I’ve been doing that almost every day. I’ve been working with a coach who has summited Mount Everest a couple of times. He has put me in touch with world-class teams. I’m going 100 percent into this thing with my training. It’s a big thing to do it right. I want to get a documentary team to come with me and document the whole thing. Next April and May we’re looking toward.
You’ve become pretty tight with Tony Hawk. How has that been?
Tony is a guy I look up to because he is so humble. He has done everything there is to do in the skate world. To be around people like that is inspiring to me. I see a lot of people, where once they get some recognition or fame, they become egotistical and unbearable to be around. I never wanted to be a guy to get a big head. To see a guy like Tony giving back to the community and building all those skate parks. Everything he does for skateboarding. That’s what I aspire to be with wrestling. Give back to people. That to me is why I love being around him
I’ve heard it a lot those traits are true when it comes to the wrestler Sting. How would you describe the bond you share with him today? Where do you think his head is at in terms of his career?
With Sting, I’ve always told him that I not only look up to him for what he has done in the ring but outside it. Right now, he is 64 years old and is at peace. He is not clout-chasing or trying to stay relevant. When he is not at AEW, he is at peace with his own personal time. I look up to that…I always tell Sting I love how at peace he is by showing up and kicking ass and then going home to have alone time. He is not constantly on his phone. Sometimes I’ll text him, and then I may not hear back for two days, because he isn’t on his phone. He means a lot. It’s no secret his career is winding down. To play a part in that final chapter is an honor. For me, the end is the most important in someone’s career. That is what people will remember you as. What you did at the very end. To be part of that, I couldn’t be more stoked and happy. I refuse to let Sting’s career go out on a bad note. Expect some really entertaining things coming up.
Booker T recently said on his radio show/podcast that you have essentially “cooled off” since working with CM Punk at All Out in 2021. Do you take these kinds of opinions any differently when they come from a veteran like Booker T?
I don’t look at it any differently. It’s another conversation I’ve had with Sting. Everyone has to have a podcast. Everybody has to act like they matter. Your words do not matter to my life because when I’m not wrestling, I disconnect. I don’t care what anyone says. The thing with Booker T saying stuff is he can have his own opinion. But I know what I’ve done since the CM Punk match, and what I’ve continued to do. People forget I was in the main event of the show in Seattle against Samoa Joe and beat him for the TNT championship and had a fun month-long run. People forget I was in Great Muta’s last match. Everybody tries to stay relevant and have their cute podcast. At the end of the day, it’s kind of a joke to me. I don’t care what people say, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I know what I’ve done.
This is Mental Health Awareness Month. You’ve been outspoken about mental health in the past. As you become a more recognizable public figure, what does it mean to you to be that positive example for others?
When I was growing up I always looked up to skateboarders and punk rockers. There weren’t a lot of wrestlers that spoke to me. I didn’t relate. I want to be the guy my younger self would have been hyped up on and looked up to. If I can be the spokesperson for people overcoming, that’s great…I like to do crazy stunts because it breaks down mental barriers in my head. It makes me feel I’m capable of achieving so much because if I can walk away with whatever I’ve done, I get mentally stronger. I do so much meditation. There is so much that goes into what I do. People think I’m so reckless, but there is a method to my madness. I just want to give back and show people they are capable of so much if they have the mind in the right place.
AEW is preparing for a massive All In show in August with more than 65,000 tickets sold for Wembley Stadium. in London. What is your dream match?
Me and Sting versus somebody who wants to step up and elevate their careers. I want a team of people who are hungry to get to that next level. I want people to help grow AEW. There are a lot of people if given the opportunity can be big players. I want to spotlight those people. I want this company to be the best it can be. It can’t be the best it can be if you only care about yourself. You have to care about everything that goes into it. So anybody who wants to get in there with me and Sting and tear it up in Wembley, step up.
AEW Double or Nothing, May 28, 8/7c, Pay-Per-View
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