Wrestling / Damien Sandow



Aaron Steven Haddad (born April 3, 1982) is an American professional wrestler, best known for his tenure with WWE under the ring name Damien Sandow.

He made his WWE debut in 2006 wrestling under the ringname Idol Stevens. He was one half of a tag team with KC James and managed by Michelle McCool. Stevens was released from WWE in 2007, and James lingered in perpetual jobberhood under the name James Curtis before following suit a year later. In 2010, Stevens was rehired and sent back to developmental, where he received a gimmick change and a new ringname (Damien Sandow). Originally portrayed as a militant character, as Col. Damien Sandow, he later received another gimmick change. He spent a good amount of his career as an Insufferable Genius-type character who proclaimed himself to be "The Intellectual Savior of the Unwashed Masses". Afterwards, he acted as a sort of Ditto Fighter to the rest of the WWE roster, mimicking the likes of Bret Hart, Vince McMahon, and most notably The Miz, as his "stunt double". In 2015, Sandow lost the breakup feud to Miz, was randomly thrown into a team with Curtis Axel, and then taken off television. After making sporadic appearances, Sandow was released in 2016.

Rather than being a disappointment, however, his WWE release made him one of the hottest free agents in the world, his popularity putting him in high demand. Returning to the Independents under the ring name Aaron Stevens, he's signed on for matches with several indie promotions, including Global Force Wrestling and What Culture Pro Wrestling.

Among his in-ring achievements, he was one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions with The Miz, a former OVW Heavyweight Champion, a former OVW Television Champion, a former OVW Southern Tag Team Champion w/Nova, a former 4x WWC (Puerto Rico) World Tag Team Champion and a former FCW Florida Tag Team Champion w/Titus O'Neil.

As usual, you will without question locate the primary and most traditional information about Mr. Sandow's career at his page on The Other Wiki.

"My name is Damien Sandow, and these tropes are here to help you."

  • Affectionate Parody: Damien Mizdow and Macho Mandow.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • Referred to Cody Rhodes as "The mustachioed magnificence of manhood (and my best friend)!"
    • Macho Mandow.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Went the whole nine yards when Cody threatened to chuck the World Title MITB briefcase in the Gulf of Mexico, from admitting Cody led Rhodes Scholars and being Damien's intellectual superior to having better facial hair and being more handsome, pretty much backtracking on everything he said about being above Cody. Cody saw through this as well, mockingly telling Sandow "you've earned this" before tossing the case into the water.
  • Affably Evil: He just wants to "enlighten" the WWE fans (make them less stupid), but he goes about it in an arrogant manner.
  • Altum Videtur:
    • Has a showboaty elbow drop he calls the Cubito Aequet (Elbow of Disdain). Careful examination of the Latin language will reveal that the second word is translated as distain, which means "to discolor" or "to sully," and thus makes no sense in this context, although it may be a hint that Sandow isn't actually as smart as he presents himself to be. The correct name is Cubito Fastidia.
    • His Finishing Move, a straightjacket neckbreaker, is called Terminus (pronounced "ter-mi-noose"), or "The End."
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Badass Beard/Beard of Evil: And a very robust one at that.
  • Badass Bookworm: Your teacher, Matt Striker claims that Damien Sandow makes him look like a mental midget and only got one question wrong on his SATs because it was spelled wrong. Sandow himself claims he has studied every WWE wrestler to know exactly how long they can go before becoming fatigued.
  • Badass Long Robe
    • His standard entrance attire is usually a brightly colored robe.
    • In his in-ring skits on SmackDown!, moved him to Badass in a Nice Suit.
  • Bad Santa: For 2013's Christmas episode of Raw, he was literally referred to as "Bad Santa", publicly announced his plans to cancel Christmas, and appeared in a skit where he insulted small children before a match with Good Santa (i.e. Mark Henry), which he lost.
  • Bash Brothers: With Edward G. Xtasy in Chaotic Wrestling. Simon Dean in OVW and not just during wrestling show either. With Shawn Spears, Kong Tonga Jr, El Illegal Chicano and Abbad in WWC.
  • Bullying a Dragon/Too Dumb to Live
    • His choice to interrupt, of all things, the D-Generation X reunion on the 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw. And this wasn't just any DX reunion: this was a DX Army reunion - Trips, Shawn, The New Age Outlaws, and X-Pac. And it gets better: Sandow actually acknowledges how stupid it is during the promo and admits (in so many words) that he's probably going to get his ass kicked. (Of course, he does.)
    • Also with Brodus Clay, who he repeatedly ambushed and assaulted. When they finally have a straight match, Brodus spends most of it beating the crap out of him, only losing when Damien cheats and grabs his tights. And after that, Damien finds himself on the receiving end of Brodus' wrath.
    • And again with The Rock.
  • Breakup Breakout: He is currently a much bigger star than his former tag team partner KC James. Inverted with the Rhodes Scholars as Cody has gotten a bigger push out of the two. Time will tell who gets the better of his inevitable breakup with The Miz.
  • The Cast Show Off: Sandow's recently done some parody singing on the JBL and Cole Show and even occasionally on Raw. He's pretty good
  • Catch Phrase: Begins his promos with "Allow me to beg your indulgence. My Name is Damien Sandow, and I'm here to help all of you." Ends his promos - and occasionally his beatdowns - with "You're welcome." Also tends to use "I do this for the benefit and the welfare of you, the unwashed masses", and Silence!
  • Combat Pragmatist: His cash in for the WWE championship actually went further than most money in the bank winners, not merely waiting for the champion to get injured or be beat down but both and then further beating him down himself with the briefcase.
  • Crowd Chant: Damien's better (while teaming with the Miz)
  • Cutting the Knot: Did this in a literal sense when presenting the challenge of the Gordian Knot. Sheamus was attempting to solve Sandow's Gordian Knot puzzle, when Sandow took the knot and cut it.
  • Declarative Finger: "If I can have your attention for a moment?"
  • Demoted to Extra: Sandow went from winning the Money in the Bank match for a World Heavyweight Championship opportunity to become the first to lose the cash-in title match,note  become a comedic impersonator, was randomly thrown into a team with Curtis Axel, and then taken off television before finally being released.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: His loss of the Jack Bricoe 15 championship to Seth Rollins was overturned by a phone call to to FCW President Liaison Norman Smiley, turning it into a draw.
  • Difficulty Spike: After his Tag Team Partner, Cody Rhodes, was Put on a Bus due to injury, his most recent gimmick involved him "searching for an apprentice" by calling a random person from the audience up into the ring and asking three questions to test their intellect. The first two are usually easy enough that almost anyone with a basic education can get them right, but the third ends up being a question better suited for the Million Dollar Question in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. This gimmick was dropped when Cody Rhodes returned and Team Rhodes Scholars was reformed.
  • Ditto Fighter: His "comedic impersonator" gimmick, besides having him mimick fictional characters like Magneto and Sherlock Holmes, had him mimick other wrestlers, such as Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and Vince McMahon, sometimes wrestling as them.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: Damien put a quiz detailing the history of the WWE on the organization's website which mocked participants as sub ignoramuses if they did terribly and cheaters if they got them all right.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Look at any picture of him from before the Sandow character.
  • Expy
    • He gets a lot of comparisons to both Triple H in his original "Hunter Hearst Helmsley" gimmick and "The Genius" Lanny Poffo (brother of Randy Savage). The cartwheel Sandow did early on the gimmick specifically was a staple of the Genius, and the Genius confirmed in an interview that he personally gave Sandow his blessing to use the gimmick.
    • It's less common as the other two, but a few people have also drawn comparisons between him and Muhammad Hassan, because he has a distinctive theme and a habit of interrupting other people's promos.
    • Also comparable to Goldust, in that his early pre-debut vignettes also started with quotations. Though, instead of referencing movies, his started with him quoting Marshall McLuhan and Benjamin Franklin.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Sandow dismissed people as too stupid to wrestle against him and just flounced away. (Just type in "Team Rhodes Scholars" on YouTube.)
  • Finishing Move: Initially, cross-arm/straight jacket neckbreaker, which has been dubbed "Terminus" (Latin for "over" or "end"). Then (and very briefly), a sitout side slam he calls the Silencer. Currently, a full-nelson side slam called "You're Welcome."
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: His Insufferable Genius gimmick had previously been used by Shane Douglas (Dean Douglas) and Lanny Poffo (The Genius). The gimmick of parodying other wrestlers on a regular basis had been done before by the Blue World Order (Hollywood Nova, Stevie Richards, and The Blue Meanie) in ECW, and the Big Show and Charlie Haas in WWE.
  • Genius Bruiser: Under all the posturing and Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness is about 250 pounds of angry dude.
  • Hypocrite
    • Claims to be more refined than anyone else in the building, but his wrestling attacks are every bit as savage as Randy Orton's.
    • Claimed to be intellectual and professional equals with Cody Rhodes, as well as promising that neither man would prevent the other from achieving greatness. Cue Money in the Bank, where Cody seems primed to take the briefcase and Sandow unceremoniously dumps him off the ladder to claim it for himself. Then the following weeks would see Sandow saying that he was smarter than Cody and that he "taught him everything he knows" in the ring.
  • Insufferable Genius: The basis of his feud with Sheamus, where Damien Sandow would repeatedly outsmart him or cheat him and then flaunt in Sheamus's face till Sheamus kicked him.
  • It Will Never Catch On: TNA refused to even put Idol Steven in a dark match, so he went to WWC, reinvented himself and went back to WWE.
  • It's All About Me: Firmly established this part of his character after screwing Cody Rhodes at the Money In The Bank ladder match.
  • Joisey: He was part of a the Jersey Shore before someone went and made a television show of the same name. Consider this was during his tenor in an Ohio/Kentucky promotion and figure out the rest.
  • Jobber Entrance
    • After failing to cash in his briefcase against John Cena, Sandow would get one more match against him. Not only would Sandow not get an onscreen entrance, he would not even get an introduction. In hindsight, Sandow's fall down the card was obviously foreshadowed.
    • On the last SmackDown of 2014, Sandow had a proper entrance and Kofi Kingston had a jobber entrance. Sandow still lost!
  • Karma Houdini: He gets away with quite a few dirty attacks on a few people.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: However, this expired, despite him winning by cheating, when Brodus Clay knocked him out and danced with his kids and dancers in the arena.
  • Lightning Bruiser: This guy is 6'4'' and he can do cartwheels around the ring.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor
    • He plays the obnoxious know-it-all to perfection, but during an episode of WWE Main Event, Cody Rhodes took a nasty fall that left him with head and shoulder injuries. Cody and a lot of fans noticed that Sandow refused to tag Cody back into the match after it happened and prevented the injury from getting worse. Cody later thanked him saying it probably saved his career.
    • In 2014, he was spotted on the street giving $10 bills to homeless people. Hardly anybody was there to witness it, meaning that was purely an act of kindness rather than a publicity stunt.
  • Minor Insult Meltdown: Sandow was supposed to wrestle Yoshi Tatsu, but deemed him an unworthy opponent. He beat him up anyway when Tatsu called him "chicken"..
  • Mythology Gag: Haddad's stage name is an apparent homage to Billy Sandow, a member of the "Gold Dust Trio" which was influential in establishing wrestling as a worked sport in the 1920s.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: Plays this for laughs as Damien Mizdow. He's supposed to be Miz's stunt double, despite being taller, paler, with longer, darker hair, and a full beard. Nobody is fooled.
  • Perky Female Minion: Aaron "the idol" Stevens had quite a few, including Daffney and Beth Phoenix. Shelly Martinez and Trudi DeNucci being a less known but still examples worthy of mentioning, as they debuted around the same tome he did. Stevens himself was Michelle McCool's minion on Smackdown.
  • Power Stable: The FCW All-Stars, with AJ, Maxine, Aksana and Lucky Cannon.
  • Punch Clock Villain: As Mizdow, he's really only a heel because he hangs out with The Miz, which doesn't stop the crowd from loudly cheering for him at all.
  • Real Men Wear Pink
    • His choice of gear, pink tights and purple kneepads. He wears purple briefs under his tights too.
    • Not to mention the fact that he essentially walks down to the ring in a bathrobe.
  • Red Baron: The (Self-Proclaimed) Intellectual Savior of the Unwashed Masses
  • Rhymes on a Dime:
    • The cartwheel he does is referred to as the "Rotation of Illumination."
    • On his appearance on Up Up Down Down, he does this. Justified as he is rapping.
  • Running Gag: Each and every week he comes out as a different person (real or otherwise). Until he settled on Damien Mizdow. See Affectionate Parody above.
  • Schmuck Bait: When The Rock had Sandow on the receiving end of the quiz game
    Rock: Let The Rock ask you one final question and if you get it right, you'll get an amazing prize from The Rock here in Miami: What happens when you combine a geological aggregate of minerals with its lowest form?
    Sandow: That would be, you would get 'rock bottom'!
    Rock: Exactly. *Rock Bottoms Sandow*
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Pulls these when he's put in matches that are made on the fly, as he wants to study his opponents and exploit any weakness they may have.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Oh, my dear lord...
  • Smug Snake
    • So much so that if he ever pulls one competitive dick move on a friend, it hangs in the air like a neon sign saying "DO NOT WANT" all over said friendship. Just ask Cody Rhodes.
    • His theme song "Hallelujah" makes sense when you remember his former ring name "the idol" and his current claims to be an intellectual savior.
  • The Snark Knight: Feels no one is of his caliber (aside from Cody Rhodes at one time), and regularly makes comments belittling those beneath him, using sarcasm and facial expressions. His Outside The Ring videos show this clearly
  • Spot of Tea: On Twitter, many of his (or rather, "Ignatius" his supposed personal scribe's) tweets are regarding what type of tea he is drinking.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Miz started wearing them, which caused Damien Mizdow to start doing so as well
  • Super Drowning Skills: When Cody Rhodes threw Sandow's Money in the Bank briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico, Sandow revealed that he can't swim, and then nearly drowned trying to retrieve the briefcase.
  • Tag Team:
    • (in Chaotic Wrestling): One Night Stand, w/Edward G. Xtasy
    • (in the WWC [World Wrestling Council] in Puerto Rico): The American Family, w/Shawn Spears
    • (in OVW): The Jersey Shore Crew, w/Nova, Danny Infernonote  and Trudi DeNucci.
    • The Teacher's Pets, with KC James
    • Team Rhodes Scholars
    • Worked with The Miz as his stunt double, Damien Mizdow.
    • The Meta Powers, with AxelMania.
  • Viewers Are Morons: The original "WWE in Roughly Five Minutes" videos on YouTube (since removed, though they can be found elsewhere on the Interwebz) began a segment called Understanding Sandow: A Simple Guide for the Feeble-Minded.
    Sandow: Deplorable, contemptible, and abhorrent.
    Translation: Bad, bad, and bad.
    Sandow: This is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind as they were fighting for our independence.
    Translation: This isn't what John and Ben and those other dudes wanted you to do with your free time.
    Sandow: And the Intellectual Savior of the Masses and Your Martyr, I am obligated to rid the WWE of all foolishness.
    Translation: I'm pretty smart and a bro, and I don't like silly stuff.
    Sandow: Any man who engages in a ridiculous activity such as dancing...
    Translation: Men dancing is silly and the Dougie is stupid...
    Sandow: ...serves only to contribute to the delinquency of our society.
    Translation: ...except when Kate Upton does it. Anyone who isn't her should stop.
    Sandow: YOU'RE WELCOME!
    Translation: kthxbai
  • Verb This!: During his beatdown of John Cena, he could be heard shouting "rise above this!"
  • Villainous Friendship: Type 1. He and Cody Rhodes legitimately enjoyed one another's company and considered the other their best friend. Until…well…see Smug Snake for a clue as to what happened.
  • Villain Team-Up: With Cody Rhodes, calling themselves Team Rhodes Scholars, who Damien says is the only guy on the roster that he can have an intelligent conversation with (which is hilarious when you consider who Cody's father and brother are.) After a couple months as a tag team, they went their separate ways, but vowed to to remain best friends... or at least that was the plan. The two continued to support one each other regardless and reunited only a month afterwards.
  • Villainous Breakdown/Enraged by Idiocy: Had a minor one during the September 21 episode of Smackdown when Edge, Kane, and Daniel Bryan were in the process of "hugging it out" to get rid of their frustrations. Sandow came out and was doing his usual schtick when Edge asked the audience if they'd rather see Sandow face Kane or Bryan. After Edge kept repeating "Bryan or Kane?" over and over, Sandow went from being calm like he usually is to screaming "STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!" Had another one when Rhodes deliberately threw his Money in the Bank briefcase during the July 26, 2013 episode of SmackDown.
  • Villainous B.S.O.D.: When he cashed in his Money In The Bank contract on John Cena and failed (despite him destroying Cena's injured arm beforehand and coming so close to succeeding), the look on his face in the corner while Cena celebrated just screamed this trope. There was no doubt that he was a broken man when this happened.
  • Who's on First?: In this clip, he does a bit with a guy dressed as Doctor Who.
  • Wicked Cultured: His introductory promos are basically spiels about art and how the 'common man' doesn't understand it. When giving promos, he even holds his mic like a brandy snifter.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Is constantly referred to as Miz's "stunt double"... but that title would imply, in this context, that Mizdow would be called upon to wrestle in a lot of situations where Miz didn't feel like getting his hands dirty. In reality, he hardly gets tagged into matches (Miz is - probably correctly - concerned that Mizdow will upstage him) and spends half his time on the apron imitating everything Miz does - including falling down and taking bumps. This would make Mizdow more or less a "mime."