For a time, Ricky Starks and Big Bill were one of the hottest acts going in AEW, with a perfect blend of size and charisma to take on darn near any tag team, enough ability on the mic to get over in promos, and most importantly of all, enough belief from Tony Khan to actually get pushed to the top of the card, with the duo landing the tag team titles in a special match on Collision against FTR.

Discussing what it was like to become an AEW Tag Team Champion in an interview with WhatCulture Wrestling, Ricky Starks put over his tag team partner Big Bill, noting that he had a lot of fun working alongside the former TNA standout, as they were able to forge great in-ring chemistry together which doesn't always happen.

“I think that’s it, yeah. The way that we even came into teaming together was a bit of a crap shoot as well. Honestly, this is everything I had predicted was going to happen anyways. I got suspended, so I couldn’t be at All In, but I could be at All Out. During my suspension, I had a manager’s license, and that’s when I started being with Bill. I would tell people, me and Big Bill, we really don’t know each other that well. We’ve gotten to know each other over the course of the months, but that was something that me and him had to just make work. Every time they give something, we just make it work,” Ricky Starks told WhatCulture Wrestling via 411 Mania.

“So it was fun. I thought it was cool for what it was. Seemed like people were into it. Not too much of a chance given, so to speak. People can say what they want, but I think there was a little bit more to it that could have happened that didn’t. But you deal with stuff, and that’s how it is. He’s a great dude. I really, really hope that things work out for him. I’ve always actually campaigned for that. I’ve always made sure, if anybody out of this would be taken care of, it’s him. So I’m glad to see that he is doing good because he’s a good dude.”

Is cashing in a spot as the AEW Tag Team Champion to sit under the learning tree of Chris Jericho really “being taken care of?” Debatable, but in the end, Bill is doing good, and if that makes Starks happy, then it is unquestionably a positive.

Ricky Starks has no issue with CM Punk or the Young Bucks.

Elsewhere in his interview with WhatCulture Wrestling, Ricky Starks talked about what it's like to work with veterans in AEW, from CM Punk and FTR to The Elite, and, in a move that may come as a surprise to some, the “Absolute” was happy to put both sides over, as he'll work with anyone who wants to help his career.

“Dude, it was incredible. Even beyond those guys, who have history, they’re veterans, but don’t forget, the [Young] Bucks are also two guys that I’ve talked to and gone to. They’ve been super helpful and really knowledgeable as well. So it’s not just the veterans. It’s people who are more experienced than I am. So I love all those guys. They’ve been very helpful in that regard. Punk was very instrumental in my presentation on Collision. There’s a video clip that constantly gets reshared where the pyro is going off and exploding. That was Punk’s idea. Punk has a vision for trying to help out certain people. I do remember a conversation with him where he was like, ‘You know, it’s really up to you to swim. Sink or swim.’ I felt like a lot of stress on myself and pressure on myself to constantly out-perform my last match that I had, just to prove that if he was going to put his name on me, so to speak, or be the one to push for me, then I needed to do my part to make sure that I never let that down,” Ricky Starks told WhatCulture Wrestling.

“Punk was very instrumental in making sure, like, hey, we should try to do something different with this dude. I think Punk is the only one that was closest to really understanding me in that regard, when it came to how I came up in the car [on AEW Collision]. I had that, and then I was one with the bag. Every time he would see my outfit, he laugh and be like, ‘This is perfect.’ So there was a great collaboration going on in that regard. So that’s why I have no issue with Punk. I don’t give a fuck what anybody tries to tell me. I don’t care. He has never done me wrong. You can have your opinions on him and all that, but you shouldn’t vilify someone for thinking differently than you. I will say that til I’m blue in the face. He really went out of his way to really try to make something on that Collision show for me, and I feel like it was working. I feel like we were really onto something. He was a great dude, and I still think Punk is a good dude, in my opinion. He tried to help a lot of us on that show, and I can always be thankful for that.”

Welp, there you go, folks; while Starks hasn't been pegged a “CM Punk Guy” in the same way as Danhausen, Brody King, or FTR, he too remains fond of the “Best in the World” despite working for AEW and wants to see him succeed. Why? Because Starks puts friendship over tribalism and may end up working with the “Second City Saint” once more in the not-too-distant future, depending on how his free agency shakes out.