Current: Darby Allin
There are few more exciting prospects in AEW than Darby Allin.
Perhaps due to some lackluster feuds and team with Sting, you could argue some of the shine has come off the apple but that does little to hinder what Allin can do in the ring.
Since joining AEW, Allin has wowed audiences with his unbelievable stunts that go above and beyond the call of duty. These extreme stunts include taking a Coffin Drop back-first onto the apron, being powerbombed out of the ring whilst in a bodybag filled with thumbtacks, being thrown down a flight of concrete stairs, wrestling an entire match handcuffed, and every matter of other things.
Allin is one of the very few talents whose win/loss record feels like it is irrelevant as his hardcore spots and dedication to entertainment – risking his body for anything, makes him the person you will likely leave the match thinking about. With his face half-painted, Allin seemingly rejects sanity and continues to enthrall the barbarian side of wrestling fans.
The young career of Darby has just begun and it will be exciting to see where his professionally deluded mind can go next. As Jim Ross explained: “He’s a good kid and he’s learning early, the more input you can have in your creative, you increase your odds for success.”
Past: Kevin Sullivan
Kevin Sullivan from Massachusetts is not alone a strong wrestling persona and Sullivan knew this – and became “The Prince Of Darkness”.
During his time in Championship Wrestling from Florida, Sullivan formed his own army. Comprised of occultist, Satanical followers – including wife, Woman – the group dressed in black and carried snakes. At the time, the world was captivated by the likes of Black Sabbath, with this social change aiding the sinister, ominous faction’s creation. Although not in this form full-time, it is the gimmick Sullivan is likely best known for.
In Jim Crockett Promotions (later WCW) Sullivan formed both The Varsity Club and Sullivan’s Slaughterhouse, in which he was surrounded by talents such as Cactus Jack, Bam Bam Bigelow, Steve Williams, Rick Steiner, and Mike Rotundo. Here, he won the World Tag Team champions twice.
Even though he had abandoned the face paint, Sullivan retained a mysterious figure in ECW, teaming with The Tazmaniac and winning the ECW tag straps twice.
A strong worker and even better character – perhaps the most underutilized, as it was never on a large stage – makes Sullivan’s 5’8 height irrelevant. Just don’t mention his later WCW run, that was (Dungeon of) doomed from the start!
To conclude, these guys did not let size stand in the way. Although wrestling continues to favor those of extensive height, the world is further and further recognizing those with better talent rather than those of greater height. Now those who would never have a chance rightfully have an opportunity to be able to display their skills just as much as anyone else.
Going forward, we can only hope that the bias gap is thinned further to the point of insignificant and talent is honored oversize.