INTERVIEW: Nick Wayne comments on signing with AEW, being a part of GCW, what DEFY means to his career

While in Dallas, Texas, Andrew Thompson spoke to Nick Wayne to chat Wayne's rise on the indies, signing with AEW, working for GCW and more

Photo Courtesy: SP Media Graphics

Over the past year, Nick Wayne established himself as a standout prospect on the independent scene. So much so that it led to All Elite Wrestling offering him a contract.

Nick is the son of late pro wrestler and trainer Buddy Wayne. At the age of 16, Nick has become a regular for Game Changer Wrestling, DEFY, Prestige Wrestling and several more independent promotions across the east and west coasts.

While in Dallas, Texas at The Collective, I sat down with Nick for a chat about his rise in pro wrestling. I asked him if he’s had the chance to take in what he’s been able to accomplish. Nick explained that it’s hard to do that because he’s always on the go, balancing his in-ring career and being a student in high school. He shared that he has all his matches written down in a book and will go back and look at those to reflect.

So like, traveling every weekend and wrestling multiple times a weekend, it’s definitely hard to find the time to sit back and — at 16-years-old, still being in a public high school, it’s like weekends, you’re focus is all on wrestling. Weekdays, still have focus on professional wrestling but also education as well. So when I have the free time, I love to sit back and rewatch film of matches and whatnot and just like, I write all my matches down in a book and sometimes I’ll just flip through the book and be like, ‘Wow, I had this match, I had this match,’ you know? So when I get the opportunity to, yes, I definitely love to but sometimes it’s hard to be able to just sit down and lay back, you know? Very rare to get those opportunities sometimes.

As Wayne continues to get more experience, he hopes to write a book one day about his life story and being brought into the wrestling business by his father at a young age. Nick wants to share his story with the world in written form and open up about the highs and lows.

So yeah, I’d definitely love to write a book when I’m way older. Maybe around mid-30s or something, mid-40s, just because I feel like the whole story is so awesome, you know? The way I got into professional wrestling, the age I started training at, the unfortunate tragedy I had of my father [Buddy Wayne] passing at 11 years old, still being in training when my father passed and just, like you were saying, being at such a young age, traveling the country and doing like the best independents in the world today and just being able to reflect on doing such awesome things at a young age, you know? I feel like not very many people can tell a story like that so I’d love to just share out everything that’s happened to me to the public world.

During The Collective weekend in Dallas, Nick wrestled on three shows that weekend: GCW Spring Break parts one and two along with L.A. Fights versus JCW. He wrestled Marcus Mathers on the L.A. Fights versus JCW show.

He spoke about the importance of having those two promotions under the GCW umbrella and the opportunities it provides to talents.

I think it’s something that is very awesome [JCW & L.A. Fights being under the GCW umbrella] for many young talent that are working places like JCW or places like L.A. Fights, you know? It gives them that extra step to work even harder and strive even harder to get onto the main stage which is GCW. Even though JCW and L.A. Fights are still under the umbrella of GCW, it’s still a working stage up to the very top so I think it’s so awesome that GCW does that for the younger talent and the young talent they have on both coasts are very, very talented, you know? I’ve worked for both JCW and L.A. Fights. Incredible talent there in both promotions so I think it’s something very awesome that GCW does for talent.

DEFY Wrestling based in Seattle, Washington has been a home to Nick Wayne. He often attended their shows and was able to make his debut 2021. This year, DEFY lined up 2 Cold Scorpio, Shane ‘Swerve’ Strickland and Christopher Daniels for singles matches with Nick.

Nick described the energy at DEFY events as ‘electric’ and his time there has been a positive one since his arrival as a talent for the promotion.

Man, so I’ve been watching DEFY shows live since I was about 14 years old and every show I would go to monthly, it’s just the crowd is beyond electric, you know? It’s just something going on in that building that you didn’t see anywhere else. The energy was different inside of Washington Hall. So being able to finally debut there last April in 2021, they just — the second I busted out that curtain, the ‘defiance’ was there with open arms, you know? And everything has just been uphill since then, you know? Started off as tag team matches or multi-mans and then up to main event matches with guys like Christopher Daniels, Joey Janela, Swerve [Strickland], just incredible opportunities, you know? All of those matches I have at DEFY, all of the opportunities I get there, I’m beyond thankful for and I’m very grateful to have a platform like DEFY Wrestling in Seattle.

In February, following his match against Christopher Daniels for the Interim DEFY Wrestling Championship, Darby Allin came to the ring and presented Wayne with an AEW contract which Wayne would go on to sign.

Nick is excited to get his start with AEW and says he cannot believe he’s the youngest wrestler ever signed to the company.

Man, it feels so crazy [to be signed to AEW]. Just hearing people tell me the title, like, ‘The youngest wrestler ever signed to All Elite Wrestling.’ It sounds so crazy. That’s another thing I’d love to talk about and put in the book one day. But man, just from now until I’m 18 years old, we got about a year-and-a-half left. I’m just working as hard as I can right now so the day I turn 18, I’m ready to go, I look the part. My talent in the ring is crisp, you know? Just working to be the best version of myself.

His deal with All Elite Wrestling is an apprenticeship deal for now until he graduates high school. Nick confirmed that and said he does have to graduate in order for the contract to go into effect.

Yes, I do have to graduate high school [in order for my AEW deal to start], yeah.

Nick was last in action at GCW ‘Devil In A New Dress’. He went one-on-one with Effy but was originally scheduled to take on former ROH World Champion Bandido. To read more on that, click here.

To keep up with Nick on social media, head over to his Twitter @nickwayne21 and his Instagram @thenickwayne. The video version of our interview can be watched via the player at the beginning of this article or on the Andrew Thompson Interviews YouTube channel.

About Andrew Thompson 8246 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.