The media scrum after AEW’s All Out event outside Chicago on Saturday night included about 15-20 reporters. Amongst them were legendary pro wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Inc. managing editor Nick Hausman, Fightful.com managing editor Sean Ross Sapp, and a nine-year-old named AJ.
Here he is asking questions, without notes, to the Young Bucks and AEW founder Tony Khan. With regards to the latter, Khan had said earlier in the scrum that they picked Wednesday night for AEW on TNT and were choosing between that and Tuesday so as to not go up against the NFL, which a) the Khan family is invested in with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and b) is far and away the most popular show on television. AJ, who carried himself professionally throughout the evening, astutely noticed that Khan did not mention Saturday where there are also not NFL games as an option, and asked a follow-up question.
AJ is the host of the AJ Awesome Show on YouTube, where he’s interviewed a number of prominent people in the wrestling business including Cody Rhodes, Eric Bischoff, Billy Corgan (the Smashing Pumpkins lead singer has revived the NWA), Mick Foley, Harley Race, Kurt Angle, and Colt Cabana. He’s been credentialed for AEW’s three biggest shows thus far — All Out (in Chicago), Double or Nothing (in Las Vegas), and Fight for the Fallen (in Jacksonville) — and the NWA 70th anniversary show, as well as the All In event last year put on by the wrestlers who went on to launch AEW with Khan.
He was also credentialed for STARRCAST, the wrestling convention founded by famous podcaster Conrad Thompson, this past weekend.
“AJ has been a part of all three STARRCAST events and we love having him,” Thompson tells The Big Lead. “I think what’s great about AJ is that he puts in the work. He travels to various wrestling shows to interview talent, he’s always prepared with different questions for different people and has built a reputation as a fun reporter to work with. It’s getting to the point where the guys and girls in the locker room wear it as a badge of pride if they get to be on The AJ Awesome Show.”
While AJ had conducted nearly 30 interviews by this point, his proverbial career began to take off when he tracked down Cody Rhodes in July of 2017, when he was seven years old. At the time, Rhodes had been out of WWE for a little over a year and was criss-crossing the world on the independent circuit. Rhodes was appearing at a Glory Pro event in St. Louis, and AJ’s Twitter account, which is managed by his parents, connected with him:
A positive impression was made. Cody tweeted that “AJ is a model of efficiency/respect with his interviews.” AJ tells The Big Lead: “The first time I interviewed Cody, he really liked me, and everything great happened after that.”
AJ hails from Troy, Missouri, a town about an hour northwest of St. Louis. His parents have cultivated his love of the wrestling business; it was his mother who ferried him to Chicago for Double or Nothing this past weekend. His father (pictured to the right) has been a referee at World League Wrestling — the promotion in Troy that was founded by a group including the legendary, recently departed wrestler Harley Race — for about three years.
To borrow a phrase from now-AEW announcer Jim Ross, it is presumable that business for the AJ Awesome Show is about to pick up.