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By Mike Johnson on 2021-10-13 13:36:00

This Friday, AEW Rampage returns to TNT, featuring The Men of the Year and MMA star Junior Dos Santos taking on The Inner Circle.  Yesterday, I sat down with day-one AEW star Scorpio Sky to discuss the bout, his run in the company, reflections on his career and more.

Mike Johnson: AEW returns to television on TNT this Friday and Saturday. It's going to be a little mixed up this week due to the NHL broadcast on TNT on Wednesday. So Rampage, which usually closes out the week, is actually going to start us out Friday live from Miami, and then Saturday live from Miami as well will be AEW Dynamite.  We are on the line with one half of Men of the Year, Scorpio Sky, who has been with AEW from day one. He and his tag team compatriot, Ethan Page, will be teaming with Junior dos Santos. If you know MMA at all, you know what a lethal competitor he is, as they, along with Dan Lambert in their corner will be taking on The Inner Circle in Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager in a big six man tag. There's lots of other stuff on Rampage as well,. but let's talk about the issues at hand. So, first of all, I checked, and I don't know how this can be given I've traveled so many times to PWG and AEW over the years, this is the first time we've ever had you on the site. So first of all, I apologize for that, and second of all, hi, how are you? [Laughs[

Scorpio Sky: Better late than never, right? [Laughs]

Mike Johnson: I guess so!

Scorpio Sky: I'm doing great. Thanks for having me. I always say it'll be greater later.

Mike Johnson: There you go. So big six man tag for you. You've been involved in a lot of big AEW moments from the beginning with SCU and then Chris Jericho obviously the AEW championship match, but this feels like something special. Dan Lambert is a hell of an antagonist and has come across AEW as one of the best talkers anywhere, which is crazy when you think about the sheer amount of talent that's in AEW right now, yourself included. Thoughts on this big six man tag and what it means to you to be involved in such a high profile deal this Friday on Rampage.

Scorpio Sky: Well, it's definitely about time. I think I need to be in the big picture on all of the shows, on the Pay-Per-Views and on the big television shows. So I'm happy to be in the place I'm in and have the partners I have. I've got Ethan Page who has never been pinned in AEW still to this day. I've got a former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos. He's a knockout artist. He's a boxing specialist and he's a killer. So I've got the two best partners that anyone could ask for. Yeah, we're facing the legendary Chris Jericho, we're facing the TNT champion, Sammy Guevara, and we're facing another undefeated MMA fighter and very successful professional wrestler, former world champion, Jake Hager. But if I'm a betting, man, I'm a little bit biased, but I'm going to put my money on the Men of the Year, an American top team.

Mike Johnson: Obviously with so many MMA personalities involved with Men of the Year right now and Dan Lambert, it brings out a completely different dimension. It reinforces the idea of AEW as a sport when it comes to presentation of professional wrestling versus what other companies do. When you first heard about the pairing of yourself and Ethan with Lambert and that the MMA guys would be kind of entangled there, what was your first reaction to all of that?

Scorpio Sky: I thought it was going to be interesting. I wasn't sure how the fit was going to go, but I feel like we've made it work pretty well. Dan Lambert is an incredible talker. He's polarizing. The proof is if you look at social media any time he's on television, you're going to see the audience completely split down the middle. Half the people love what he's saying, and half the people can't stand him and don't even want him on TV. That shows he's doing something right. As for myself and Ethan and how we fit in, we're both former martial artists ourselves. He's got a Black Belt, I've got four MMA fights under my belt. I've got multiple Muay-thai competitions. I've got trophies sitting right next to me from some of my fights. So we're bad asses, just like the bad asses that roll with Dan Lambert. Obviously we're not on the level on the fighting resume of a Junior dos Santos or Jorge Masvidal, but real recognizes real, and that's why it all fits.

Mike Johnson: So 2021 has been a weird year. The last year-and-a-half has been a very weird year, but when we got to the end of 2021 one thing that I did not expect in my bingo card of weird was Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky to end up as a tag team and for it to feel like you guys have been teaming together for like 15, 20 years. The chemistry is so good, the in-ring works so good. Why do you think that chemistry just clicked like peanut butter and jelly from the first moment?

Scorpio Sky: So it was Tony's idea to put us together. I don't know if he just saw something or what it was, and he just kind of pulled us together at one point and decided that this was going to be something that fit. Neither one of us really knew how it was going to fit at first, but we put our heads together and we just started talking and they just kind of threw us on camera together and it was get in where you fit in. We just flowed. It's weird. We have this weird connection where ... We didn't even really know each other before he came to AEW. I think I may have met him one time, and we've become good friends.  Like you said, the chemistry is undeniable. Him and I click so well. We bounce ideas off of each other. Neither one is trying to step on the other one's toes. If he gets going in a promo or something, I know to take a step back. If I get going in a promo or something, he takes a step back. Everything is just fitting in perfectly, and I think it speaks to our success. If you look at what we've done in the short period of time ... We got together in March ... We've had high profile matches against Jericho, against Darby, against Sting. We've been consistently featured since then. It's been an entertaining segment every time in my opinion. Again, I'm biased, but I have to give a lot of credit to Ethan Page. He's an incredible talent. He's unbelievable. He can be a great tag game wrestler. He can be a great singles wrestler. I think I'm the same. He and I will have success for years to come in both.

Mike Johnson: You mentioned Chris Jericho. There was a Dynamite a while back in Chicago, I think it was, where you actually challenged Jericho for the AEW Championship. When you look at even the night where Jericho won the belt, there's that vignette where he walks past you and he says, "Scorpio Sky, you're never getting a title shot." So even the night he won the belt, the breadcrumbs were being dropped for that match. Would you argue that or would you agree that was probably your biggest singles match of your life at that point? What was the pressure like for that bout knowing that you were being given such a huge opportunity by the company live on TV, competing for the world championship, which is pretty much like even if you're not going to win the title, it's a vote of confidence in you as a performer and as a competitor that they trust you to be in that segment and be in that match? Thoughts on that match, and what it meant to you at the time.

Scorpio Sky: Yes, of course. It was a huge moment in my career and definitely the biggest match of my career up until that point to wrestle Chris Jericho, someone who's a legend, someone who I grew up watching, for the world championship on live television. This is what you grow up dreaming of. These are the things that when I was a kid, when I was 10, 12 years old, and I was watching wrestling on television, these are the things that I dreamt of doing when I grew up. To be able to fulfill that win, lose or draw was a victory for me, just to be put on the map, just to have that trust to be in the main event wrestling for the world title. Was I ready at the time? I don't know. Because obviously I lost the match, but at the same time, in the moment I was not overwhelmed, I'll say that. I felt very much that I belonged where I was.  So I wouldn't say I wasn't ready in that aspect, but I think I'd been doing a lot of tag team wrestling for a number of years at that point. So I didn't have enough reps as a singles wrestler to really put on the caliber of a match and give him the fight that I really would've liked to give him. So going forward, my opportunities are going to be better and better. That's just all I could say about that. Jericho is an incredible performer. He brings the best out of anyone he's in the ring with. I think you saw that in the match and not only the match, but in the interview face-to-face that him and I did two weeks before that to set up for it.  I think that was as good as anything gets to where I was kind of like I tricked him into the title match. For me, someone who's not known as a great talker in wrestling ... I think I'm pretty good, honestly ... I wouldn't call myself Dusty Rhodes, but I think I'm a pretty good talker. I can get the job done and I'm believable. But for someone who's not known as a great talker, I think that was a time where I held my own on the microphone against one of the greatest talkers of all time. If people go back and watch it, they couldn't disagree with what I was saying.

Mike Johnson: So you've been with AEW from day one, but you had a long career well before AEW, dating back to the days of Aerial Express with Quicksilver and PWG and all these other places. For a long period of time, you had done the independent thing and the grind and had all the ups and downs of WWE tryouts and vignettes there, but never getting signed and then AEW comes around and you end up part of that ecosystem and part of the company to the point where you're going to be part of a major match this Friday.  With all that exposition said, what's your advice to the talents who have been out on the indies for an extended period of time like you were before an AEW was formed in terms of keeping the faith and always keeping yourself ready for the potential moment? Because if AEW doesn't show the world that, hey, anything could happen at any time, I don't know what does. But what's your advice to the talents who are out there and especially now they see others getting that chance, but maybe it's not their turn yet, for whatever reason? What's your advice to them to keep going and to maintain themselves as the wrestling landscape continues to unfold and change?

Scorpio Sky: Well, for one thing, the business is different. You said the wrestling landscape has changed. It definitely has. One of the reasons I think people kind of get a little bit confused, it took me so many years ... We're talking a decade plus to get to the big stage, but it wasn't due to a lack of talent. People have to understand when I got into business, this was just a couple of years after everything closed, and there was only one place to go. That place was openly saying that if you weren't 6'4", 240, we weren't interested in you. I'm anything, but 6'4", 240. I'll never hit 240 in my life, hopefully because if I do, I'll be the shape of a circle. 6'4" is quite a few inches above where I'm at. So I absolutely was not what they were looking for, for a decade plus.  Now there were some other setbacks, but I think that was the biggest thing that held me back was just lack of opportunities. Growing up, guys on television that were wrestlers did not look like to me. Now they do. So the business changed, and I was able to grow with it. So the only advice I give to people out there that feel like they're working their butts off and they're not getting an opportunity, keep working. People will always see someone who's hustling, and it will eventually pay off. I know it sounds cliche, but hard work pays off.

When I was maybe a year in, somebody gave me some advice ... Actually, I received two pieces of advice that stuck with me to this day. One of them, they said, "Don't set a time limit on your goal. Basically don't say, 'Hey, if I don't make it by 30, if I don't make it by this age, if I don't make it by this amount of time, I'm going to try to find something else to do.' Don't do that." If I had done that, I'm sure I would've given up by this point. Just like I know a lot of people that did give up. The other piece of advice I received was if you are truly talented and working, then you're going to get somewhere. You can't just hold back talent forever. So those two pieces of advice stuck with me, and here I am.

Mike Johnson: Let's flip the coin. How excited are you for AEW to potentially finally get to California? And you get to perform in front of everyone else from Los Angeles or Big Bear or San Francisco or wherever. Obviously it's going to happen at some point. It's just a matter of time. But how excited are you as a SoCal original and someone who literally was SCU when this company formed, to eventually perform in front of California fans?

Scorpio Sky: I'm over the hill excited about it. I'm just elated at the idea of coming out here and wrestling in the areas that I grew up in, wrestling in buildings that I went and watched wrestling growing up. I'm sure we would've gotten out here sooner if it had not been for the pandemic and us having to kind of take a year off of touring, but we're back on tour. I'm sure, if not by the end of this year, then some time in 2022, we are going to get out to Cali and my home fans will be able to see me perform on the big stage. Hey, I'm looking to be a champion by then. I've been a champion before. It's not if I'm going to be a champion again, it's a when. Whenever we do get back out to Cali, I either want to be wrestling for a championship or defending a championship. That's the goal.

Mike Johnson: Well, you're going to be in the ring with one of the AEW champions this Friday in Sammy Guevara, who holds the TNT Championship. Thoughts on Sammy and also Jake Hager. We talked a little bit about Jericho and obviously your past there, but two other extremely talented individuals that you're going to be competing against on Friday. So thoughts on them?

Scorpio Sky: I take nothing away from those guys. They're both very, very talented in their own ways, but I keep falling into this weird category where people underrate me, and I don't quite know why. But I mean, if you look at my in-ring ability and my talents, I always bring it. It shows on the record too. I'm 11-1 as a singles wrestler. I'm 10-1 as a tag team wrestler. I have a better record than the world champion. I have a better record than the TNT Champion. I've got one of the best records overall in the entire company, and I've had one of the highest winning percentages since day one in AEW.  So I don't know why people underrate me because the numbers don't lie. If you look at the numbers, if you look at the analytics, the analytics show Scorpio Sky kicks ass, and he wins more often than he doesn't. So take nothing away from me, and I take nothing away from Sammy or Jake Hager. But if you're stepping in the ring against me with the caliber of resume that I bring and Ethan Page, who has never been pinned in AEW ... Again, I repeat that. And Junior Dos Santos, who's a knockout artist ... I don't think it's going to end very well for you.

Mike Johnson: As someone with an MMA professional record, you've won matches via submission, you've won matches via knockout. Junior Dos Santos, great UFC fighter, but this is professional wrestling.   How hard is it to make that transition into professional wrestling from the MMA side from your perspective, given that you've competed in both worlds? How do you think he's going to do when we get to see him wrestle this Friday?

Scorpio Sky: I will say this. I had four fights. I was 3-1, and the only reason I had one loss is because it was a bad split decision. So I'm basically undefeated. I know a lot about both worlds. Junior dos Santos is a big, tough athlete ... Emphasis on athlete ... Is he going to go into the ring on Friday and perform at the level of Chris Jericho? Maybe not, but he doesn't have to. We're not asking him to come in and be a Brett Hart level technical wrestler. We're asking him to go in and do what he did in the UFC. Take those big hands, put them on people's faces and knock them out. That's what I'm counting on him doing.

Mike Johnson: Well, we're going to see what happens this Friday on AEW Rampage. Sir, before we go, we talked a lot about AEW, you talked a lot about different aspects, but one thing we didn't talk about was Tony Khan. You've been with the company since it started in January 2019. We've just passed the two-year anniversary of Dynamite. So let me ask you this. What do you think makes Tony Khan tick, and what's he like as a boss?

Scorpio Sky: I wish I knew what made him tick. He's a special kind of guy. He obviously has a vision, which we've seen many, many, many times. He's proven that that vision is clear and when you see it come to light, good things happen. Good things like AEW, good things like we've seen in AEW, the talent he's been able to attract even before the big names that have come in this year. If you look from day one, bringing in the Young Bucks, bringing in SCU, bringing in Chris Jericho and Cody and Hangman and Kenny, from day one, he's had his eye on talent.  This is a guy that loves the wrestling business, and it comes through like that. He's not in this business to make money. He's not in this business for clout. He's not a money mark.  He's a guy that loves the wrestling business. I think that's why people got behind AEW and that's why people get behind Tony. Whenever Tony walks out on the stage, people cheer and bow and chant his name because he's one of them, and he's giving the fans what they want to see.

He's a very, very smart guy. He's got a memory like no one I've ever seen. I mean, you can have a small two-second conversation with him ... Two seconds, who can talk in two seconds ... But a small 20-second conversation with him in a loud room that you won't remember the next day, and he'll remind you of it a month later. "Hey, sir, I didn't forget about this." Like, "Oh, holy crap. I did. Sorry." Working for him is great. I love it. He's always shown faith in me, and it's something that I've really truly appreciated. He saw something in me very, very early on. He still sees it, evident by the contract extension that I just signed so I'm going to be with AEW for a long, long time. A lot of that comes down to Tony Khan and his vision. There's nothing more I can say about it. Nothing but good things to say about working for a guy like that.

Mike Johnson: There had been a mention of you signing a new deal on television, but people weren't sure if that was storyline or that was legitimate. So what's the deal there?

Scorpio Sky: I did that right around the time of the Pay-Per-View. I'm happy to be with AEW for at least five more years.

Mike Johnson: I want to thank you so much for sitting down and talking to us. Before we go, if you've got any message for everybody out there that's kind of supported you over the course of this incredible career and this run that you've had, not just in AEW but over the last 10, 15 years, if you've got a personal message to everybody, I'd like to give you the chance to speak to them.

Scorpio Sky: Yeah. I talk a lot about haters in interviews and on social media, but I don't give enough energy to the supporters. That's something I want to change. Get away from the negativity. Talk about the positivity. To all my supporters out there, whether you are posting on social media, supporting me or not, I see you, I hear you. I appreciate you, and I hope I am making you proud, anyone that is in my corner. I see you guys arguing with others. Some people say I'm trash. Some people say I'm the best. It doesn't even matter. I appreciate anyone who keeps me in their mouth and talks about me and puts my name out there because no matter what, it helps. Especially the supporters though, and I appreciate you guys, and I'm going to prove you all right. Stick with me. It ain't over. It's just getting started. We're looking to do some very, very big things in the next few years. I am going to be a champion again. I'm going to keep winning matches. I'm going to keep racking up wins and putting on my record. We're going to have a legendary run.

Mike Johnson: All right. Well, you're going to see Scorpio Sky in action this Friday as the Men of the Year and Junior dos Santos take on The Inner Circle live on Rampage 10:00 PM Eastern on TNT. Of course, to follow all things Scorpio Sky, both on Instagram or Twitter, you can go to @scorpiosky. Very simple. He'll be with AEW for the next five years plus, and we look forward to seeing what he brings to the ring and what he brings beyond. Sir, I thank you so much for your time. We look forward to the match this Friday, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for you. So I appreciate it. Hopefully you'll be back sooner than later here on the website.

Scorpio Sky: Appreciate you back. Take care.

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