|“||Allow me to beg your indulgence. My Name is Damien Sandow, and I'm here to help all of you.||„|
|~ Sandow's catchphrase.|
|~ Sandow's other catchphrase|
Damien Sandow is a pro wrestler currently signed to WWE. He was previously known as "The Idol" Aaron Stevens. Sandow proclaims himself to be "The Intellectual Saviour of the (Unwashed) Masses".
On the April 6, 2012 episode of SmackDown, Sandow, presenting his new gimmick of a grandiloquent pedant, appeared in a pre-taped interview denouncing today's popular culture and extolling his virtues. After weeks of vignettes, Sandow made his WWE in-ring re-debut on the May 4 episode of SmackDown, but refused to compete in his scheduled match against Derrick Bateman, claiming that the audience would neither learn nor benefit from him facing an inferior opponent. On the May 18 episode of SmackDown, Sandow again refused to wrestle against Yoshi Tatsu but after Tatsu accused Sandow of cowardice, Sandow assaulted him. On the May 25 episode of SmackDown, Sandow defeated Tatsu decisively in his debut match.
The following week, Sandow refused to face Ezekiel Jackson; despite Jackson forcing the match to begin, Sandow won the match. On the June 8 episode of SmackDown, Sandow had intentions of attacking Hornswoggle, who was mocking Jim Ross, but was intercepted by Tyson Kidd before he could do so. The following week on SmackDown, Sandow defeated Kidd in a match. On the June 29 episode of SmackDown, Sandow defeated Zack Ryder to qualify for the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at Money in the Bank. However, he was unsuccessful as the match was won by Dolph Ziggler. At Raw 1,000, Sandow confronted D-Generation X regarding their sophomoric and disgusting behaviour which he believed had brainwashed society; Sandow also declared that he would be a martyr if DX disposed of him. Despite this, DX assaulted Sandow and laid him out. Sandow then began a feud with Brodus Clay the on July 30 episode of Raw, attacking Clay when he laughed at a video of Sandow's beatdown at the hands of DX. The following week on Raw, Sandow attacked Clay again before their scheduled match. Sandow and Clay finally faced off on the August 20 episode of Raw, where Sandow won after a roll-up but he was attacked by Clay after the match. On the August 31 episode of SmackDown Sandow had his first singles loss after being intentionally counted out against World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus.
Sandow then aligned himself with Cody Rhodes, attacking Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Kane on the September 24 episode of Raw and vowing to become the next champions. The team, known as Rhodes Scholars, were entered in a Tag Team Championship tournament four days later on SmackDown, and defeated The Usos to advance. Sandow's undefeated streak came to an end on the October 1 edition of Raw, when he was pinned by Sheamus in a singles match.
The following week on Raw, Rhodes Scholars defeated Santino Marella and Zack Ryder to advance to the finals in the tournament. Rhodes Scholars ultimately defeated Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara on the October 22 episode of Raw, to win the tournament and become the number one contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championship. Rhodes Scholars got their title opportunity against Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) at Hell in a Cell, where they won by disqualification, thus Team Hell No retained the titles. Rhodes Scholars received another shot at the WWE Tag Team Championship on the November 14 of WWE Main Event, but were again defeated by Team Hell No. During the match, Rhodes suffered several legitimate injuries, placing their partnership on hold. On the November 23 episode of SmackDown, Sandow unsuccessfully challenged Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship, his first singles title opportunity in WWE. From December 2012, Sandow begun a search for an apprentice by quizzing members of the audience. Sandow and Rhodes reunited on the December 10 episode of Raw, where they defeated Epico and Primo, Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil), and the Usos in a fatal four-way tag team elimination match to earn the right to face Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in a number one contender Tables match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. Six days later at the pay-per-view, Team Rhodes Scholars defeated Mysterio and Sin Cara to become the number one contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championship. Team Rhodes Scholars received their title shots on the following episode of Main Event, but were again defeated by Team Hell No. On the January 7, 2013, episode of Raw, Team Rhodes Scholars defeated Team Hell No in a non-title match to earn another shot at the WWE Tag Team Championship. The title rematch took place on January 27 at the Royal Rumble, where Team Rhodes Scholars once again failed to capture the tag team titles. On the following episode of SmackDown, Sandow and Rhodes mutually decided to dissolve Team Rhodes Scholars and remain "best friends".However, they reunited during the pre-show of Elimination Chamber on February 17, but were defeated by the team of Brodus Clay and Tensai.[ Sandow and Rhodes then aligned themselves with The Bella Twins as they began feuding with "Tons of Funk" (Brodus Clay and Tensai) and The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi).
The two teams were originally booked to face each other in an eight-person mixed tag team match on April 7 at Wrestlemania 29, but their match was cut due to time constraints. The match instead took place the following night on Raw, where Tons of Funk and The Funkadactyls emerged victorious.
On the May 15 episode of NXT, Sandow unsuccessfully challenged Big E Langston for the NXT Championship. While Sandow hosted a series of mental challenges on SmackDown, Sheamus repeatedly interrupted Sandow and tried to solve the challenges. However, when Sheamus failed to solve the puzzles, he instead resorted to physical violence with the Brogue Kick. On June 16, during the Payback "kick-off", Sandow was defeated by Sheamus in a singles match. The following night on Raw, Sandow and Cody Rhodes defeated Sheamus in a handicap match after Sandow pinned him with a roll-up. The rivalry culminated in a Dublin Street Fight on the June 28 episode of SmackDown, where Sheamus emerged victorious.
On July 14 at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Sandow defeated his tag team partner Cody Rhodes, Antonio Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Fandango, Jack Swagger, and Wade Barrett to win the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, thus earning the opportunity to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at any time of his choosing within the next year. During the match, Sandow threw Rhodes off the ladder just as he was about to win the match, which led to Rhodes attacking Sandow the following night on Raw, effectively dissolving Team Rhodes Scholars. On the July 26 episode of SmackDown, Rhodes stole the briefcase from Sandow and threw it into the Gulf of Mexico; Sandow jumped in to save it, but gave up as he could not swim. On the August 5 episode of Raw, Rhodes gave Sandow the briefcase that he retrieved from the Gulf of Mexico. Sandow then introduced a new custom made Money in the Bank briefcase with a fresh copy of the World Heavyweight Championship contract on that week's SmackDown. Later that night, Sandow attempted to cash in his contract on a vulnerable Alberto Del Rio, but was attacked and laid out by Rhodes. On August 18 at SummerSlam, Sandow was defeated by Rhodes in a singles match, and again the following night on Raw.