Is This Goodbye From Aron Stevens or Just ‘Farewell’?

Aron Stevens, the NWA star and former Damien Sandow, has taken to Instagram tonight to announce that will be wrestling his final match when he takes on rival Trevor Murdoch at the NWA Alwayz Ready PPV on June 11th.

The news is surprising but was teased by an angle on the May 3rd edition (May 6th for YouTube) of NWA Powerrr where Stevens did refer to his retirement to a tearful May Valentine. Billy Corgan, guesting on commentary, made reference to not knowing how serious Stevens was, but with this announcement, it appears that Stevens is very genuine. Once the final bell rings on that match with Murdoch on June 11th, Aron Stevens will be done and his in-ring career will be over.

Why now? Aron Stevens is an integral part of Billy Corgan’s NWA and until recently, when his partnership with Kratos seemingly dissolved, he was a major part of the mid-card. His partnership before that with the late (and much missed) Question Mark was one of the key factors in the NWA’s swell in popularity during the early days of Powerrr. Arguably, Stevens still has a lot to offer to the NWA—so why stop now?

Well, although Stevens is not a high-risk performer, keeping mainly to the mat and to brawling, he might just figure that, at 39 years old, he doesn’t want to put his body through much more punishment. More likely, though, is the idea that Stevens might want to get further into working on the creative side of things. He already books for the UWN. Could he be looking to expand his efforts in this direction in the NWA?

The other option is that this is possibly a work. It’s less likely, but looking at the comical way that the Stevens-Valentine segment was presented, and how Billy sold it as undecided, I do wonder if we’re being set up for a big swerve. Will Stevens soak up all the adoration and sadness of the fans and talent before attacking someone? Will Murdoch attack Stevens after the bell, forcing him to recant his retirement? Time will tell, but I’m of the opinion that this might actually be really goodbye this time.

Aron Stevens has had a much longer career than I realised, having debuted in 2001 and worked the indies as well as having stretches in Ohio Valley Wrestling and and Florida Championship Wrestling. My first encounters with Stevens came with his stretch as Damien Sandow for WWE. I was always very impressed with this whimsical wrestler with charisma for miles and a vocabulary to match Nick Bockwinkel’s, perhaps the wordiest speaker in wrestling history (that’s a compliment!) Sandow was completely over with the WWE Universe, and I’ve never understood why they didn’t push him more; the audience loved him. Perhaps Sandow was a victim of the WWE’s reluctance to build new stars, lest they become bigger than the company.

And yet, Sandow really was popular. He won the Money in the Bank briefcase in 2013, and his stint as Miz’s stunt double, Mizdow, was an absolute hoot. When WWE released him 2016, I couldn’t understand it. I also couldn’t understand why he couldn’t replicate his success in Impact as Aron Rex. When he disappeared from wrestling to move into acting, I thought that was the last we would see of him. So you can imagine my pleased surprise when Aron Stevens turned up again in the NWA, showing that charisma that made me a fan in the first place. Yes, he could take that charisma too far, as he did when he vomited into a bucket during a match with The Dawsons, but at his best he was never less than entertaining, especially when he amped up the menace as he did in his feud with Trevor Murdoch on Prime Time Live.

If this really is the end of the road, I can only thank him for such a enjoyable journey. All the best to Aron Stevens.

Written by Chris Flackett

Wrestling obsessed since '91. Lived through the Monday Night Wars and is still here to tell the tale. Major fan of Strong Style, technical and Super Jr. Wrestling, as well as big versatile hosses smacking the hell out of each other. Lives in Manchester, England.

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