When he came to AEW, Paul Wight made sure everyone knows he was not only coming as a commentator but as a wrestler too. QT Marshall poured a protein shake over Tony Schiavone’s head during a backstage interview as Schiavone had been critical of The Factory (QT Marshall, Aaron Solow, Nick Comoroto, and Anthony Ogogo) and their dastardly antics in the weeks leading up to the incident. They then assaulted Schiavone’s son in front of his eyes. That was enough for Wight to announce he would face off QT Marshall at All Out.

As a wrestler, QT Marshall has been involved in a long and complex feud with Cody and the Nightmare Family before creating his own faction, The Factory, with some of AEW student talents. Fighting Wight seems not to worry him as his friends will be with him like they were the weeks before. QT Marshall is also a trainer and a producer, with a very unique look at what AEW has become, its roster, the matches. Marshall is exactly where he has always wanted to be, a major figure in the wrestling business.

SteelChair Wrestling Magazine had the chance to talk to QT Marshall yesterday about his upcoming match against Paul Wight, The Factory, his role as Director of Creative Coordination, being at the same time a wrestler and a producer and a trainer, the lessons he tries to teach to his students, and what the future may hold for him.


This Sunday, at “All Out” PPV, you are going to wrestle Paul Wight. What is your state of mind coming to that match?

“My state of mind is I’ve been here since day one and I think that everyone is jumping onboard AEW right now is great. It’s awesome, right? The bigger names that come in, the bigger the company can grow. But, at the same time, they’re coming now, two years later after we survived through a pandemic era of wrestling. Paul was part of that as well, so I don’t blame him. I think he sees what’s going on in AEW, he loves the idea of being in a fresh company with some young fresh talent he can create his art with, but I have a problem with that and we’ll settle it on Sunday if he even shows up, after last night on Dynamite as we left him laying. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I do know the mindset I have is to go in there and put on the best show for AEW and for the fans, whether they like me or not, and win of course because in AEW, the wins and losses matter.”

It’s been a while since you were on PPV and you’ll get to return to a full crowd in Chicago, a city so important to AEW. Are you looking forward to these sensations, huge crowds booing you? Yesterday on Dynamite, they were very against you.

“That’s good. It means I’m doing something right. I’m very excited. It’s a sold-out crowd. A lot of the people that were there last night will probably be there on Sunday because we are in the same building which is the NOW Arena, which was the Sears Centre, which three years ago yesterday was ALL-IN, which was the show that Cody and the Bucks put on. I was a part of that, I was a producer backstage. I went there as a friend of Cody, just as to support. Something happened with one of the producers and he wasn’t available and I was there so as they say in wrestling, “Always have your gear with you.” I had my suit and I knew what to do so I helped produce the first half of that show, with other people, of course, but that kind of led me to.”

“It’s full circle now, I went from not being in wrestling, just owning a little school to three years later, being in one of the marquee matches on this PPV, which to me is an honour. I know it’s not one of the most popular things with the fans, but, when there’s 10,000 people booing you and chanting your name, even if it’s followed with sucks. If it’s “QT sucks”, that’s good. As long as they’re not getting up and leaving the arena and going to get merch or popcorn and they’re paying attention to what we’re doing, then we’re doing our job. The fans need that and as much as they think they don’t, as a fan of anything, you want to hit all those emotions. That’s what we do in wrestling. We want them to cheer, we want them to get excited, we want them to say “wow,” “holy crap,” ” this is awesome…”

Holy shit, too (laughs)…

“There you go, holy shit (laughs). Well, one of the most important things we need is people that get booed. I think we’re in a day and age in wrestling where a lot of guys don’t want to get booed and I don’t know why because in my mind, all the guys that get cheered need a bad guy to go against. In any movie, you have your villain and your hero. So, to me, I want to be the biggest bad guy possible. I don’t care if it’s not popular because, at the end of the day, as long as the rating is good and the fans are into it and there’s noise when I’m out there, that makes my job great. So, I’m super excited for this weekend.”

“There’s going to be nothing, I had three of my students in the ring with us last night. Three other students, not Comoroto and Solow, three unnamed guys, were part of this segment and they’re all trying to make it still. So, one of the guys works as a trainer in a gym and this that and the other and we came in the back as soon as we were done. He said, “I’m going to quit my job tomorrow.” I said, “Woah, what do you mean?” and he continues, “I’m going to quit my job and just come to training every day. I don’t want to miss any training, I want to do this.”

“There’s nothing like being in front of a crowd. The feeling you get when you have them making noise. I don’t know what you can compare it to. I’ve never felt anything like that except for when I’m out there. This is why, at 36 years old, I’m an old soul, and deep down, I’m an older guy. If you ask the fans, I’m 50 and I’m taking all the “young guy’s” spotlight. At the same time, I’m a kid out there. It’s just a lot of fun and I’m just happy to get the opportunity to work with someone like Paul. I grew up watching this guy, so this is like a dream come true.”

As someone who has had a 4-decade long career against some of the best, Paul Wight is now beginning his run in AEW, with you. What does he represent to you as a fan and as a wrestler?

“It’s great. Of course, behind the curtain, the idea that he trusts to get in there with me. He is 50 years old and he has a surgically repaired hip that we’ve shown on TV. We’re telling that story. The idea that he’s willing to get in there with someone like me, things are going to happen but we’ll go out of our way not to ruin each other’s career. But everything I do out there is as real as it can be and he’s a big guy, so I can’t hit him as hard as I have to. The fact that he’s willing to trust me with a lot of ideas, I’m kind of just like the co-star in the movie. The movie is the Paul Wight movie and I’m the co-star and I’m okay with that because there needs to be a co-star. To me, it’s a dream come true. I’m just super excited for it, I’ve never had a one-on-one match on PPV. It’s a huge PPV too, we’ve got CM Punk vs Darby Allin, Kenny (Omega) vs Christian, the Bucks and the Lucha Brothers in a steel cage. It’s a humongous PPV. So, to be on it is an honour in itself.”

I remember watching the first “Double or Nothing” and Moxley throwing Omega off the casino chips. At the time, no one expected AEW to become that big. AEW brought CM Punk back, something we all wanted. This company has become something amazing with all the names appearing, Punk, Christian, Mark Henry, Paul Wight…

“All these additions are just helping put more eyes on the company. You talk about all the stuff that I do, right? It’s known that I do a lot of stuff for AEW but, going back to that first weekend at Double or Nothing, and this is an exclusive just for you, I practised the fall Omega had to take for Jon Moxley (he showed me a  video of it on his phone via Zoom). The day before, I had to do that because Kenny Omega was at his Starrcast signing and all the stuff they were doing. This was before I was a wrestler in AEW and they said, “Hey, we need someone to practice this.” So, I said, “practice what?” and they said, “we need someone to practice this bump Kenny has to take.” I remember saying, “alright, I’ll do it.” They tried to be like what do you mean but I was eventually going to ask to wrestle. This is just another thing I’ve done to help the company. So, when I do ask to get a chance to wrestle, they can’t say no.”

You will not come on your own to the match. We saw this yesterday again, you have your students, Aaron Solow and Nick Comoroto. In this faction situation, would you say you’re fundamental in trying to teach them how to be bad?

“I just teach them that, unfortunately in life and in wrestling especially, no one is just going to hand you stuff. Right, even myself. Cody gave me an opportunity at AEW to get his coffee and write his E-Mails and I saw that as a foot in the door to this new company. I realised if I worked really hard and I still get his coffee and do his E-Mails and stuff but while that’s going on, I do 100 other things. I can move up pretty far, pretty fast, and that’s what happened. I didn’t tweet about it or talk about it. I didn’t do any of that stuff. I just worked hard and I believe in that. Sometimes, you do have to take matters into your own hands and step on people and do things that you don’t want to do because it will help your career and your life out. That’s what we did and I started with Cody and his whole Nightmare Family. I realised I was only going to be known as a “Cody guy” and that’s good for the time being but I want to be my own person. I also have 75 other athletes at my school that want to become their own person. So, I took these guys under my wing and I’m showing them, this is the way you do business. I’m mentoring them and also we’re not here to make friends. We’re here to make money. That’s the other thing. We can make friends along the way but if you’re just here to please everybody, you’re never going to succeed. You just need to worry about yourself and the friends and family that are close to you. That’s it and if people don’t like it, it is what it is.”

You are AEW Director of Creative Coordination. How would you describe this role?

“It’s very vague. The easiest way for me to explain it is anything that involves Creative has to kind of go through me to filter to Tony or it has to go from Tony to me to everyone else. So, for example, if Tony says, “On Dark, it’s this match and this match and this match.” I have to go to the seamstress and the makeup and say, “Hey, Britt Baker is gonna be on third. Can we make sure she gets in the makeup chair pretty early or Jade is going to be on first, can we get her up first?” Because there’s so much going on and the last thing we want is for Britt’s music to hit and her makeup is still getting done. It can be as little as that, to as big as, “Hey, person X has a story they want to start to tell, they have seven weeks written out. Who do they go to?” They come to me and I pass it on to Tony and the other guys, Matt, Nick, Kenny and Cody, and let them handle it. There’s a big, I don’t want to say misconception about what I do because I don’t pitch ideas, especially for myself, and I definitely don’t go out of my way to find ideas to help other people either.”

“If they come to me with ideas, I try to help them out, if Tony has his vision for those guys, I’m the one that kind of tells them what to do. I talk to the other producers, we call them coaches here. I tell Dean Malenko, “Dean this is what we’re looking for,” and they take care of that. It’s easier to just streamline it through me because I’m one of those people who just tries to work as hard as I can and find out as much information as I can. Then, I have to go to the production truck and talk to those guys and girls and let them know what’s going to happen and what we’d like. Last night for instance, if I had my way, which I kind of did, I told them, “I’d like to have my arms in the air, then we cut to the next segment.” That’s what I’d like, the final thing to be me standing over Paul, with my arms in the air, leading into Sunday. As long as that stuff gets passed along to the production team, everything is good. That’s my job in a nutshell. On top of wrestling and training.”

When it comes to you, are you putting the situation in the hands of someone else or are you able to handle your own segments?

“I do but, much like the WWE, there’s still Vince McMahon, we have Tony (Khan). Tony is the be all end all. If he doesn’t like the ideas that we have, he’s going to tell us. “No I don’t think that makes sense, I’d rather do this, I don’t see that happening.” But there is a lot of creative freedom because only I can tell you what QT is going to say. If you tell me what you want QT to say, it’s going to be harder for me to say it because these aren’t my thoughts, they’re not my ideas. But it’s easy for me to say, “Hey, what we don’t do on AEW is come out here, go on the stage and laugh at QT. Because I don’t like that, so Paul Wight get your big ass in this ring and meet me face to face, one on one, heavyweight to heavyweight,” because, in my mind, that’s what was happening. So if someone wrote that for me, it’s only a couple of lines, it’s not hard. But man, I don’t want to have to think, I just want to speak my mind freely and I think AEW is really good at giving us that platform to do so.”

You debuted in 2004, you went from Ring of Honor and the Indies to NXT, at that time were you expecting that one day you’d be such an important piece of a wrestling company, entrusting you the way they do now?

“So, when I did NXT, those were always extra gigs because I was trying to get a job with them. But when I was in ROH, I explained to them that I could help them with this, this and this. I don’t just want to be a wrestler, I want to do all these things because my neck was injured and I didn’t even know if I was going to wrestle anyway and I really wanted to show the others. I remember talking with Bully Ray, who’s my trainer, and we spoke and he told me, “It’s going to be very hard to give instructions to someone like Jay Lethal, who’s been doing this for years, and is a big star in ROH. How are you going to tell him what to do? There’s a respect factor.” I said, “I can completely understand that.” So, when AEW started, we were kind of able to change that mindset because we all started fresh. Yes, we have Dean Malenko, Billy Gunn, Jerry Lynn, and all these talented coaches and performers who’ve made a lot of money in the industry at almost legend status, and then you have QT, but I think right away, I was able to gain their trust of everybody because I work hard, I don’t tout my success, I definitely don’t tell people what I’m doing, “oh hey, look at me, I’m working hard, look at me, look at me.” That wasn’t what I wanted to do. I just wanted to work hard and make money. And I wanted a job in wrestling full-time. I think we were able to accomplish that. I never really knew if I was going to be in this position. I always dreamt of it but I think it was just a matter of getting the opportunity and when that opportunity was presented to me, I handled it the right way and I was ready. That’s what I try to tell my students more than anything. Opportunities are going to come and go but if you’re not ready for that opportunity, you’re just wasting your time and you’re going to give a bad impression. And there’s nothing worse than a bad first impression.”

What are the most important things you give to the teaching of this young talent?

“I tell everyone at the school, treat it like it’s a real school. Now, in a real school you have math, reading, spelling, I’m talking about your basic school, erm physical fitness. Whatever those subjects are. Well, in wrestling you have subjects too, your ability to cut a promo, your ability to wrestle, your ability to have a certain look and that doesn’t mean you need a six-pack or everyone needs to be 500 pounds. It just means a unique look that caters to your character. You need a character, you need to be a good person first and foremost, you also need to have social media and be good at using social media to use it as the tool to help your career and stay away from saying stupid things that get you in trouble. There are so many things that come into wrestling that I think a lot of people only focus on bell-to-bell wrestling. That’s why you have so many independent wrestlers that are really good and that’s where it ends. They don’t understand how the business part of it works, how cutting a promo works or even having TV-ready gear, the idea of having gear that pops when you walk out on HD TV. There’s stuff you don’t learn in a normal wrestling school, which is why our school is so successful. We have a nutritionist, a strength and conditioning coach, our wrestling coaches, we cut promos all the time. You’re learning every bit of it. We’re doing tape study, we teach you the etiquette of pro-wrestling and how to handle yourself backstage because, again, it’s a normal job.”

“It’s like working at Bank of America. Your job might just be to count the money but you still have to show up on time, deal with the other workers, you’ve still done a lot of other stuff but you still have to count the money. If you can only count money, you’re useless, then we’re just going to put you in the backroom hiding you from everybody. There’s no use for you because we can get a machine to do it. That’s what I preach to everyone and I say the more A’s you have on your report card, the better chance you have at succeeding. Of course, there’s going to be exceptions. You’re going to get those flash in the pan people, they made it big without having to go through these lines. But those are exceptions and I always say don’t try to be the exception, be the rule but be extraordinary at that. Be the rule but be really good at being the rule. Have the nicest gear, the nicest entrance, the nicest wrestling, the most exciting promo. Whatever it is, just be the best at it and eventually good things will happen because as performers we always want to help other people as well, if we feel they need to be helped. Cody saw me, he saw how passionate I was and wanted to give me an opportunity. I see my guys, the guys and girls who want it, I give them opportunities. But that’s all it is, I open the door and it’s up to them to get a job. I can’t help them with that. I’m not going to either. It’s just not the way I do business.”

AEW has signed a lot of big names, what are the names for you as a producer, trainer, that have impressed you the most? I was thinking about guys like Orange Cassidy and Darby Allin who are really exploding in front of our eyes…

“I think those guys check those boxes. They’re good people backstage. They don’t bother anybody, they’re friendly, they stay to themselves because they understand this is a real job. Darby has a very unique style, a unique look, and a cool character that kids and adults come into the show dressed as him. Same with Orange Cassidy. He has all of those things. Does he have crystals on his gear? No, because he doesn’t need them. Darby would look weird with those things. He has his gimmick, his character of who Darby really is and the same with Orange Cassidy, he has these things that he really focuses on and he’s the best at what Orange Cassidy does. That is why he’s in the spot that he’s in. if you look at Orange Cassidy ten years ago, you wouldn’t think he’s the same because it’s developed over time. He cut his hair, he got more tan and more lean. There’s just things that happen over time.”

You have a special relationship with DDP, he gave you his Diamond Cutter. What does it mean to you? Was he one of your inspirations?

“When I was younger, of course. When I got to know who Dallas was as a human being, definitely. He’s somebody who just doesn’t quit. I think he made it fun on the YouTube shows to have him given me the Diamond Cutter and show me how to do it. We had fun with it. The real story was much better. He called me and he explained why he wanted me to use it. H told me that we had a lot of similarities. We were both getting our moment to shine at 35 years old, we’re catching our break, we’re both from New Jersey, we’re both really hard workers. He trained at the Power Plant every day. After TV, he would go back to Atlanta, he would train. The same with me, I train 4 to 5 nights a week. He just saw all these things and how hard I work. And I don’t ask for anything, all this stuff. He said, “Hey, would you consider doing it?” I said of course. I’d never start doing it without permission. He said, “What if I give it to you publicly? I’ll endorse it.” I said, “There’s no bigger honour so of course, I loved to.” Now that I’m a bad guy, I still want to do it because it just gets fans even more upset that he chose me out of all the wrestlers in the world. So, I’m going to continue to do it and do the sign to get people upset. He chose me for a reason. He saw what everyone now is starting to see. I’m a hardworking performer that loves wrestling. You can see it in the work. I’m not saying I’m the most exciting. I’m not Rey Fénix, I’m not the Young Bucks, I get that. But I am good at what I do.”

“That’s what I try to explain, I’m good at what I do and I try to be the best me. I don’t want to be the next Rey Fénix or Young Bucks, I want to be me. I think there is a spot in the company for someone like me. I have my guys behind me that are learning from me. Eventually, I’ll transition to letting them do more of the wrestling but right now, it’s my time. They understand that and know I’m not being selfish with it. They’re along for the ride because if I succeed, they succeed. That’s our mentality as a faction. If one of us succeeds, we all succeed. I was supposed to be in the Casino Battle Royale at Double or Nothing this year and I pulled myself from it due to the “injury” to my wrist but really I wanted to be in Anthony Ogogo’s corner and I wanted Aaron Solow to be in the Battle Royale, so he got to be on PPV. I told Tony I was “injured,” he okayed it and I put my metal brace on and punched Cody in the head with it. I also got to go out with Ogogo as his mentor and watch him perform on a PPV. Now, it’s my turn. Hopefully next PPV, it’s Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solow’s turn and we just keep it going. That’s the goal of what the Factory is. It’s not, hey this is the QT show, right now it is but next week it goes back to being the Factory. Everything is we or the Factory, not I. I think that’s the best part of why we’re so successful as a faction already. It’s because we’re one group that together is trying to be the best. Kind of like AEW.”   

Follow QT Marshall on Twitter @realmmarshall1– More information on The Nightmare Factory here.

All Out is airing live this Sunday at 8 PM EST (1 AM BST) on Fite TV. The Buy In Free Pre-Show is airing live at 7 PM EST on AEW social media and Fite TV.

Special thanks to Johanna Petruski and Mr Deathman – All pics and videos courtesy of AEW

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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