The recent clash at Double Or Nothing saw AEW's four male pillars engage in an extraordinary battle for the coveted AEW World Championship. However, Ricky Starks, one of the rising stars in the company, has now revealed his strong aversion towards labeling certain wrestlers as "pillars" of the promotion.
The concept of pillars traces its roots back to All Japan Pro Wrestling, where the quartet of Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Toshiaki Kawada, and Akira Taue were hailed as the company's Four Pillars. In AEW's context, MJF, Sammy Guevara, Jack Perry (known as Jungle Boy), and Darby Allin are considered the four male talents who, along with Britt Baker, represent the homegrown stars that AEW aims to build its future around.
This distinction distinguishes them from performers like Jon Moxley or Kenny Omega, who made their names elsewhere.
Starks Denounces AEW Pillars
During an interview on The Corner Podcast, Ricky Starks was confronted with whether he could be regarded as a fifth male pillar in AEW.
In a vehement response, Starks outright rejected the idea of pillars and expressed his strong distaste for the concept: "I hate the idea of pillars. I wouldn't say I like the idea of a pillar because it's a gimmick solely derived from one individual.
There's no substance behind it. By proclaiming that these four guys are the pillars of the company, do you realize what you're doing? You're essentially saying, 'Forget everybody else who contributed anything; they don't matter.
It's these three guys whom we have deemed worthy of this sacred title, and we want them to carry the burden.' " Starks firmly opposed the notion of being considered a fifth pillar and emphasized his preference for a different role within the company: "No, I don't believe in that.
It may be a nice gesture to suggest that I should be seen as a fifth pillar, but I don't need that. I can be the foundation, the roof, or the person outside caring for the lawn. I don't need to confine myself to a limited category like that.
To imply that these four individuals will make or break the company, let's see the evidence. Do you want to talk about ratings? Could you show me the numbers? Let's see how much money you generate. If you're going to keep spouting all this nonsense, back it up with factual data.
How are the quarterly viewership figures when you're on TV? Let's examine that." Starks vehemently rejects the conversation surrounding pillars and wishes to distance himself from it. He adamantly denies the need to be considered a pillar, dismissing the comparison to All Japan Pro Wrestling.
Starks even challenges fellow AEW talent MJF's knowledge of the subject, stating, "I bet I tell Max [MJF] to his face he doesn't know anything about All Japan." Following an ambush backstage at Double Or Nothing by Juice Robinson and Jay White from Bullet Club Gold, it is evident that Ricky Starks will have revenge on his mind shortly.