AEW: Dark Order’s 10 talks Rampage, Negative One, and more

All Elite Wrestling
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On Friday, August 13, AEW will begin airing its second hour of television. AEW Rampage will air live on Friday nights at 10 PM ET on TNT. The inaugural episode will be live from Pittsburgh, or if you’re in the know, Brittsburgh.

Ahead of the premiere episode, I had the opportunity to speak with Preston Vance, also known as “10” from the Dark Order. We discussed the new show, how he got involved with AEW, being a surrogate big brother to Negative One, and more.

AEW Rampage is full of many opportunities

When asked how Rampage will help AEW, Vance said that he thinks “it’s one of the best decisions that Tony and the rest of EVPs have made. I grew up obviously watching WWE because that’s all there was. They always had two shows: RAW and SmackDown. That’s a very pivotal moment in AEW is creating this other show.”

Vance also says that it will also create more opportunities to be on television since Dynamite is only two hours long. “This other show will help younger guys, myself included, have more opportunities on worldwide television as opposed to just YouTube. Which doing AEW Dark and Elevation is awesome because it gets a ton of views.

Another hour of television is good exposure of people living in smaller towns and he knows from experience. “I love being on television and having friends text me–y’know because I’m from a really small town–and say, ‘hey I just watched you on TV.'”

Kids will have more opportunities to see their favorite wrestlers and discover new ones. “If I was a kid growing up and I had all this wrestling to watch, I’d think this was the coolest thing ever.”

Vance’s road to AEW

In 2015, Vance moved to New Jersey the day he took his last college exam to train at the Monster Factory with Danny Cage. QT Marshall was there too and this would become a key relationship. While in Jersey, Vance was also trained by WWE Superstars Damien Priest and Matt Riddle. After about a year and a half of training, he tore his ACL. During his time off, Marshall had moved to Georgia and Vance moved back to Michigan for surgery. The pair kept in contact during this time. Marshall made him a life-changing offer: move to Georgia and live with him until he found his own place.

“The facility is state-of-the-art. They train NFL players. It’s sol cool.” When he moved to Georgia, Vance did the southern indies. in 2019, on the exact same day, he tore his other ACL, putting a stop to his momentum. All was not lost as he had another meeting that would change his life: meeting Cody Rhodes. Rhodes had his knee scoped and the pair bonded over their injuries. Rhodes “gave me his whole Rolodex of the indies that he was doing at the time. He would call these promoters himself to book me. Man, if Cody is putting his stamp of approval on me, that’s pretty cool.” He hit the indies hard in the North, South, and California.

Becoming 10

In 2020, Vance had his first match on Dark against Darby Allin. The match was about a week before the pandemic changed the course of how AEW did business. When they started filming a bunch of shows in Georgia, he met Mr. Brodie Lee.

“My match aired on Tuesday and it got a lot of good internet buzz. I met Brodie that night and we bonded instantly over hockey.” Lee asked Cody and Marshall what Vance’s deal was and asked if something was wrong with him because he wasn’t signed anywhere. “He was like, ‘I want him under my wing’ onscreen and offscreen.”

Initially, Vance was hesitant about the 10 character. He didn’t want to wear a mask and didn’t want to be “this creepy character” that Dark Order was doing at the time. He agreed to do it, but talked to Rhodes about it. He told him that “there’s nowhere to go but up.” He continues, “Brodie put his stamp on me, I’m not going to say no to him.”

“Now I absolutely love it. Instead of being the ‘pretty boy meathead’ like a lot of wrestlers, it’s different. Wrestling fans are so into that comic book world and superheroes, and it gives me a whole new look. Now I absolutely love the 10 character. It’s the best thing that’s happened in my career.”

Dark Order become fan favorites

When Dark Order started, they really had a hard time getting their footing and figuring out who they were and wanted to be. When Mr. Brodie Lee was revealed as “The Exalted One”, that changed everything. After Lee’s untimely passing (and the faction’s regular appearances on “Being the Elite”), the fans completely embraced the not cult so much so that they became full-on babyfaces.

10 didn’t join Dark Order until after Lee was already on TV. Vance was his first handpicked recruit, which he describes as “a really cool feeling.” Before being signed, he watched AEW and agrees that “Lee completely made the Dark Order. He completely turned it around. I know it’s cliche, but he really had that ‘it factor, onscreen and backstage. I never heard anyone say anything negative about him.”

“His passing really made the fans get behind us. I think it (Dark Order) was Stu and Uno’s idea in the beginning and they just needed that one focal leader, which was Brodie. And now we don’t obviously have a leader and I personally don’t want another leader, because you’ll never replace him, like ever. So, what we have right now–we’re all really good friends. I know if you go back and watch old groups and factions, these guys weren’t even friends. It’s all so organic because our relationship with each other is very real.”

Now that Bray Wyatt is available, some fans have said they want him to go to AEW to lead Dark Order. Many fans believe that Negative One is the de facto leader. Could adding someone like Wyatt change the dynamic? Vance reiterated that he does not personally want another leader. “The only person that should take it over is Little Brodie in ten years, which is super long-term storytelling.” (laughs)

“That kid is so smart. He FaceTimes me all the time with these ideas, like ‘ten years from now, if you’re no longer 10 and then I come back and I give you the mask back’. I’m like, “that’s a really good idea. He’s super smart, way smarter than he should be for his age. He’s not just a kid. He’s got the wrestling mindset already, it’s insane.”

Dark Order as it is now (besides Grayson and Evil Uno) was all handpicked by Lee. Vance thinks that it should stay as is and no other members should be added. “This was Brodie’s vision and we were all like his kids, so we should be the ones to live out his vision. That’s totally my opinion on it. As I said, I just love all the guys in this group so much.”

Becoming big brother to Brodie Jr.

Since his father’s passing, Vance has become like a surrogate big brother to Brodie Jr. “Honestly, I was so honored that he was drawn to me in such a terrible time in his life and that I could be there for him. I was very honored by it. I remember when I met him–I didn’t meet him until Brodie was sick. I never met him before that. He was backstage and I was in my normal streetwear and he never said anything to me. And then I put on the 10 gear and he said, ‘mom, that’s 10!’ After that, he was completely by my side the whole time.”

Vance shares that Brodie Jr. got a new haircut last week and it’s “literally my haircut. He told his mom, ‘I want the Vance haircut.'” Vance is the youngest in his family and doesn’t have younger cousins. Growing up, he always wanted a little brother and always wanted someone who looked up to him. “He has completely filled that role. He’s the best kid ever. I couldn’t imagine going through what he went through at that age and he’s so strong. During that time, I saw him really sad, but when you’re in front of someone you look up to, you never want to cry in front of them. I’d tell him all the time, ‘it’s okay to be sad. You can cry and he’s like, ‘no, let’s just go for a walk.”

What’s next for Dark Order

At Fight for the Fallen, The Elite beat Dark Order in a 5-on-5 elimination match. That victory ensured that Hangman Page can’t challenge for the AEW World Championship and Dark Order can’t challenge for the tag team titles. On the following Dynamite, Page told his friends that he needed space. Later when he went to the ring, he was ambushed by The Elite. As they were beating him up, Dark Order ran to the ring, only to be stopped by Uno. Uno reminded them that Page wanted his space. The rest of the group begrudgingly left as Page continued to be pummeled.

Vance thinks that was the wrong thing to do. “I think we should be there for him. A hundred percent. I’m someone who’s–it’s a good thing and it can be a bad thing–I’m so loyal to people. Like, if I’m friends with you, I will have your back for the rest of your life. I disagree with that (leaving Page). Myself, Silver, and Reynolds are all on the same page in that aspect.

We’ve seen Vance wrestle in singles matches and also with Five (dubbed “Five and Dime”). Is there a tag run in the future or maybe a trios with them and Colt Cabana? “I like tagging with Five a lot. He’s super talented. He can do a lot of things that I can’t do and vice versa, I can do a lot of things that he can’t do. It’s a very good mix of speed and power. But, the trios things, I’d love to do with any of the guys. I’d love to do it with Silver and Reynolds.”

“But, I think when I got brought in, Brodie–because I got brought in before Five did–and then, I tore my bicep the first week I got signed. But, Brodie basically brought me in to be the singles guy of the group. So, I’m not a big tag team wrestler and always did singles stuff. But, I love tagging with Alan because he’s so good. Personally, I prefer singles. For me, the main goal for me will always be the TNT title. That’s simply because of Brodie. When he won that, that really made our entire group.”

Putting that title on Lee legitimized it as a big deal and made it the title for many within the company. “He was such a star.”

Next. Cody Rhodes wants AEW to run shows in the UK. dark

Vance really wants fans to tune into Rampage. “This week in Pittsburgh is one of the biggest weeks we’ve had for the company with Rampage debuting and Dynamite on Wednesday. I’m so excited for the debut of Rampage. Please tune into Rampage. You can buy tickets to Dynamite  and RampageThis is a huge week and I’m super, super excited. This is the most excited I’ve been for a week in wrestling since I’ve been here just because it’s a whole new–I’m really curious to see how Rampage is. This is a very big week for the company as a whole.”

Listen to 10 and tune into AEW Rampage this Friday night at 10 PM ET on TNT.