Earlier this week, AEW announced the line-up for Tuesday’s episode of AEW Dark, featuring the usual blend of AEW stars and rising prospects, but one name stood out. Hayden Backlund. That name has a root in pro wrestling history – and like many names that sneak into part of a young star’s name that has a historical connection, people are intrigued if they’re the next generation of a royal bloodline. Well, according to Hayden Backlund in a recent interview, he is indeed related to former 2x WWF World Heavyweight Champion and Hall of Famer Bob Backlund. But it is distant. “From what I’ve been told,” he said in the interview with The Closed Fist podcast this past March, “he was my great-grandfather’s cousin.”
Tonight is the night starting at 7!!! pic.twitter.com/pHT8ZP4tWD
— Hayden BACKLUND (@Hayden_Backlund) April 6, 2021
But Hayden Backlund has been a life long wrestling fan, despite the remote connection to a pro wrestling legend, and while still in high school he began training at Grapplers Anonymous Pro Wrestling School in Buffalo, New York – the same school that produced indie stars like Daniel Garcia, Kevin Blackwood, Puf, The Butcher and more. But when Covid hit, Grapplers Anonymous closed down and he had nowhere to train. On a whim, he applied to the Nightmare Factory – the new school opened by AEW’s Cody Rhodes and QT Marshall – and he was selected for the first class. He made his televised debut as part of the Nightmare Factory’s first Showcase on YouTube in early January, and now the latest Nightmare Factory student makes their AEW debut, as Hayden Backlund teams up with Brick Aldridge and Justin Law to face Team Taz‘ Brian Cage, Ricky Starks, and Powerhouse Hobbs in 6-man tag team action.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube.
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