Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/01/26/action-andretti-signed-tiered-deal-with-aew-in-october-left-non-wrestling-job-last-month/
Andretti became full-time with AEW in late 2022.
In Action Andretti’s AEW Dynamite debut, he picked up a pin fall victory over Chris Jericho and he is now one of the 24 losses Jericho has had in AEW.
Andretti being full-time with the company was announced after the match. He shared with Renée Paquette on The Sessions podcast that he worked numerous jobs before becoming a full-time wrestler and the most recent had to do with him chopping down trees. Andretti formally gave notice to that job in December.
So even before I was a barber, just to save up money to get a car, I worked for just some company and once I saved up enough, I quit that and then I went to barber school, I was doing barber school and I worked in an actual barbershop for a year or two and then I just knew it wasn’t for me. I was like, I can’t just sit here and just do this all day… Man, I did a lot. I worked in restaurants, I was an Amazon Prime delivery guy… Oh my God. That was probably my least favorite that I did. I did tree work. I was on a little job where we would cut trees for a while and just throw ‘em in the chipper and that would get me in shape for sure.
I remember it (handing in my resignation to my non-wrestling job) because it was just a month ago. When I’m at TV tapings, I’m really like, wow. Usually, I’d be setting my alarm to wake up at 6:30 in the morning and put on my stupid tree work outfit and come home all dirty and have to shower off and it’s just like, I get to wake up tomorrow and wrestle in front of all these people. It is a blessing. It feels so cool and it’s a damn good feeling knowing that.
He first gained traction within AEW after a match he had with Q.T. Marshall on Dark in October. After that match, Andretti was offered a tiered deal. He detailed how happy his mother was for him when she found out he signed a contract.
When I wrestled against Q.T. [Marshall on AEW Dark], I got offered the first deal that they offer you. I just got to come home the next day and say, ‘Hey mom, your son signed a contract with AEW. I did it yesterday. I’m in there now,’ and she just was mind blown like, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, what? You did what?’ Super, super proud of me. She wanted to go on the phone, call everybody, she’s one of those people and just, ‘I gotta call somebody, I gotta tell somebody.’ Sometimes it’s a bit too much but she was very, very, very excited for me and it was cool to see her reaction off of that. It almost made me a little emotional seeing her get like that.
Circling back to the match with Jericho, Andretti became emotional after it because when he got to the back, the locker room gave him a round of applause.
My eyes definitely sweat(ed) a little bit after the [Chris] Jericho match. They definitely were. I wasn’t crying, but my eyes were just sweating a lil bit.
I know what you [Renée Paquette] mean when you say having everybody group around like that. I’ve seen it and I love seeing it as well. When you can get the guys and the girls in the back, when you can fire them up, oh man, you know you’re doing something right. For me to be one of those guys to be able to do that, it’s really cool. I got through the back and everybody was just giving me a round of applause, standing up for me and people who I am fans of coming up to me and just giving me so much praise. It’s so crazy, it’s awesome.
Andretti was in action on the 1/25 Dynamite. He teamed up with Ricky Starks and they fell in defeat to Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The Sessions with Renée Paquette with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.