The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
Nov. 10, 2021

Darby Allin on Being Your Authentic Self, Trusting Your Gut and Chasing After Your Dreams

Darby Allin on Being Your Authentic Self, Trusting Your Gut and Chasing After Your Dreams

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Today's guest is Darby Allin (@darbyallin). Darby is a skateboarder and professional wrestler signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW). He talks about the obstacles that stood in his way on his journey to become a pro wrestler, how skateboarding has influenced his style, his friendship with Tony Hawk, why he thinks fans relate to him so much, how he created his finishing move "The Coffin Drop", his match with MJF at AEW Full Gear and much more!

On what airport staff think when they see Darby arrive with the face paint:

“They think that I am a rockstar or something like that. Then they start questioning me, because sometimes I am carrying my thumbtack skateboard. The TSA actually let me through with the thumbtack skateboard. It’s crazy, but they are cool with it.”

On doing things his way:

“Yeah it was always the plan. For me to do things on my terms and to get as far as possible on my terms, because money is good, but dignity is better. I feel that I have kept my whole dignity intact on my road to success in AEW, which is amazing. But yeah, this is what I dreamed of, having a ring in my basement and a skate ramp. I have lots of crazy sh*t here, I just bring my friends here and we just do crazy sh*t.”

On if AEW is happy with him still skateboarding:

“They know that I am filming a new skate video right now, and I am about done with it. I’m actually coming out with a Darby Allin collaboration with Deathwish Skateboards, I have their logo tattooed on my cheek. So they are coming out with the Darby Allin skateboard and I wanted to put a video out for it, so they know, and I know my own limits. AEW is my top priority, and I can’t show up to there with a broken hip.”

On where his worst injury came from:

“Skateboarding, by far. It’s kind of a crazy story. I was going down this big hill, and I hit a crack at the bottom, my elbow went into my ribs, I thought I broke my ribs. Then my kneecap smashed into the wall, I was laying there and I thought I had broke everything. I was laying on the ground and then I see I am laying in a red ant hill. It just got worse and worse, I thought I broke my wrist, and I had to wrestle next week, it was f*cked up. I was contemplating going to the hospital for 3 hours. I was like if I cough up blood then I will go, but I didn’t, so I didn’t go.”

On his personality and his best quality:

“Realness. A lot of people are fake, a lot of people play something on tv, but in reality they are the most boring thing, their personality is like watching paint dry. But with me I feel like it’s like oh sh*t, he’s legit. What you see inside of the ring, I am even crazier on the outside. To me, wrestling is therapy, and the fans see that and take notice to that.”

On if he can still continue with his crazy style in the future:

“Yeah I feel great and my body feels great. We all know that I am straight edge, but people don’t know all of the work that I put in to feel healthy. There is the stretching, the eating right and taking care of myself. Plus I feel like I don’t give my body time to rest, I am either skateboarding or something active. That was the one thing that Tony Hawk told me, he’s like 54 and killing it on the skateboard scene still, he says ‘Just don’t stop. Because the moment that you take a break, that’s when everything starts to feel like sh*t.’ So after I have this crazy match, I’ve got to go to the skatepark or I’ve got to swim or jump out of a helicopter, whatever I have to do.”

On his vice:

“I’m an adrenaline junkie. I legit get sketchy if I don’t do something every day. I’m like I’m being lazy or I’m f*cking up or something. 

The scariest Coffin Drop he has ever done:

“I would say the one to Ethan Page when I had him in the coffin. There was little room for error, and the moment I broke through the coffin, you see the spikes sticking up, I could have easily impaled myself. I could have hit my head on the rim of the coffin too, but there was zero room for error. People were like did you practice that? I don’t know how you practise that, you just gotta [do it]. I didn’t know what was going to happen to Ethan, I crashed through the coffin and all I hear is him screaming. I’m like well I guess I f*cked him up. The cameras are not on him while he is in there screaming.”

On where The Coffin Drop came from:

“I think I was bored of watching people do 450s or Shooting Stars. I was like, I don’t want to fly to look pretty, I want to fly to hurt, so I just started falling backwards. There is zero room for error, people do the 630s with the double front flips, I would hate to do that. I would hate to think every night I can’t slip, if you f*ck up a Coffin Drop, you’ve got issues, it’s pretty easy, you just fall back on someone. A lot of it is adrenaline, I’m not going to do a Coffin Drop cold turkey. I think lots of skateboarding got me ready.”

On how he found out about the CM Punk match at All Out:

“I was talking to Tony [Khan] on the phone, that was it pretty much. You don’t believe something until it happens, and then once I cut that promo about the best in the world that aired in North Carolina, I knew that it was a done deal and it was go time. That was the high pressure moment ever, because I knew everyone was going to be watching him because it’s such a big thing. Seven years, holy sh*t that’s a long time. For him to leave wrestling the way he did and to come back, people were not sure if he ever was going to come back. So when he did, and I was the first opponent, I was so nervous. I was in a zone, and I’ve been in a few zones in life, but like I was in a zone that day where I was like it’s not going to get more nerve wracking than this. It’s cool to get moments like that because it does make you mentally stronger. But it started hitting me hard because I remember when he left wrestling in 2014, it was the same year that I started wrestling. At the time he was my favorite wrestler. Besides the whole straight edge, it was the punk rock and I don’t give a sh*t what you think about me attitude. It was cool as a kid watching him, but then it hit me. When he left, I was a dishwasher and dude, life is a trip, so I got a little teary eyed before that match.”

On if CM Punk specifically chose Darby as his first match:

“I don’t know I have no f*cking clue. I just know that he was a fan of my work prior, but I don’t know if he said ‘Let me have him.’ But it worked out, and there is always one return match back. That’s a good thing to have for the resume and life in general, I had a lovely time that night.” 

On where he would be if AEW didn't exist:

“Dude I have no idea, and that’s the trip, that’s why I don’t take anything for granted. I work my ass off when it comes to promos, outside of wrestling. Whether it’s Dark, Rampage, Dynamite, when I come to work I am in the zone. I like to be alone, I change in Sting’s locker room, he has his own room. Not because I think that I am better, I just don’t want to be caught up in the dramas. AEW has been great, and I just want to treat it with respect.”

On what he is grateful for:

“The spot I am in at AEW, that I can walk and to kill MJF on Saturday.”

On MJF's comments in a recent promo:

“Personally I don’t care, because I’ve put that out there into the world, what he’s already said. If you want to do that, go and do that. I think if something happens and you’ve talked about it, then it shouldn’t be an issue. I think if you haven’t talked about it and they say it, it’s like oh what? But it’s cool, I don’t give a sh*t. I just care about the pillars of AEW stealing the show, and no one is willing to go through what I go through to push the story.”

Embedded image credit: Instagram