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By Mike Johnson on 2022-05-24 16:06:00

Powerhouse Will Hobbs is at the start of what may prove to be one of the biggest weeks of his career, challenging for the AEW Tag Team Championships at Double or Nothing this Sunday in Las Vegas, being part of AEW's California debut in eight days and taking part in the season premiere of Carpool Karaoke - The Series streaming this week on AppeTV+.  With all that on the horizon, Hobbs sat down with to discuss and reflect.  Transcription by Billy Krotchsen.

Mike Johnson: How are you?

Will Hobbs: I'm good, how are you? Thanks for having me.

Mike Johnson: Thank you for being here. I am well, well aware of you. I know this is the first time we've ever spoken, but I know you are one of many gentlemen and women who carry that badge of honor of the old APW Gym Wars in Hayward, California, so we'll definitely talk about that in a little bit. You have quite an opportunity this week at Double Or Nothing. You've had some big moments in AEW thus far, really building yourself up from AEW Dark and AEW Dark Evolution to a member of Team Taz, but Tag Team Championship Match this Saturday challenging Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus alongside Ricky Starks, and your other opponents Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland. Big pressure moment, big spotlight moment for you, so before we start diving into all this other craziness that's going on this week, thoughts on how hard you worked and how hard you fought and now getting such an opportunity so close to home?

Will Hobbs: I'm more than excited. I think you can hear my daughter in the background, she's excited too.

Mike Johnson: As well she should be.

Will Hobbs: You know, I knew there would be a point where I would get here, I just didn't know when and how soon, but I'm excited. Just like you said, coming from AEW Dark and anyone not knowing who I am outside of the Bay Area California is... I'm overwhelmed, I'm humbled and it has been a great experience. I believe that it's my time and what better place to do it than sin city? 

Mike Johnson: You mention coming and doing AEW Dark. One of the things that I feel AEW as an entity has done is kind of changed the culture of how talents can be found and given an opportunity because prior to Tony Khan founding this company in 2019, it was "I got to work to try and get to Louisville Kentucky," or "I got to work to try and get to Performance Center tryout and hope that someone who's watching wants me." Tony kind of changed the flow chart of how opportunities had presented themselves. That first time you got booked for that first opportunity, when you look back on that moment it changed your life. What advice would you give to someone who's trying to get into that moment where they could be seen and hopefully be given a future opportunity? What is your advice for someone who really did the grind, not just in the Bay Area, all over the West Coast. What's your advice to someone trying to get to that position? 

Will Hobbs: Me personally, I grew up around a lot of older cats, you know, and I was always told, "If you don't believe in yourself, nobody's going to believe in you, how you perceive yourself is how others are going to perceive you." I went in there knowing I wanted to get a job and did what I had to do to get it. I believe nothing is handed to you, that's what I teach my children, no matter how much I think you're special, you gotta go outside and prove it to everyone else. That's what I felt I did and look at me now. 

Mike Johnson: You've been given a lot of opportunities and you know, when you ended up with Team Taz, obviously there's a veteran here who can give you advice and anybody knows Taz knows that man has an opinion on everything ever and you get the option to work with Ricky and also work with Hook. How long do you think it took to kind of find the chemistry and then figure out how to make everything connect and make everything work so that it is better for everybody involved given there are so many unique personalities involved?

Will Hobbs: We all had chemistry off the bat. You can go back and look at the tapes and see how much fun we're having, that's how we are when we're not on camera. How you see me and Ricky every week on TV, that's how we are in the gym, leaving the airport, if we decide to go out, that's how we are, it's the same thing when Hook is in my corner for every match, that's just how we are, we got a special bond. It's not necessary to be together all the time on every show, but neither was the Heenan Family when Bobby Heenan had all those greats with him,  but when things get serious we all come back together. Like I said before, Team Taz is like a pot of gumbo, we each add something special to it, and so with Taz being the head honcho, we make sure we're on the straight and narrow. 

Interview Continues on Page 2!

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