Posts Tagged ‘Gimmick’

Chris Jericho did an interview with Backstage Impact Interviewer Alicia Atout on her AMBY Interviews YouTube channel. Jericho discussed the year he had from the cruise to his band, about reinventing himself, and the one character that didn’t fit for him. Here are highlights from the interview:

The Jericho Cruise and if he’ll be doing it again:

“[The cruise] was one of those things where no one really knew what to expect. Once it happened, it’s just like, ‘Wow this is so much fun,’ and the reason for that was because it’s never been before. Matches on the ship being in the middle of the ocean, that’s never been done before. So, it was something where people are like ‘Okay, that sounds alright,’ but then were like, ‘Oh my god, this is going to be a destination vacation for me for years to come.’ That’s always been the plan to be an annual occurrence. Standing right now, we are in deep discussion to do another.”

Reinventing himself and loving NJPW:

“I hate to say, but if I go back to the WWE there won’t be a ‘List.’ I mean it doesn’t feel right anymore. For me to walk out there with ‘The List’ and put somebody on it just seems like, ‘Oh, that’s so 2016,’ which was huge and people want to see it, but I just can’t allow myself to not continue to be creative. That’s why I love working in New Japan. I love that character. Don’t really know how it started. I mean there’s a definite lineage that I could tell you step-by-step, but I didn’t just show up and go ‘Okay, I’m gonna wear a hat and put makeup on my face, and be completely crazy.’ It was an evolve and a change doing this so over-the-top brutal character, the brutal beatdowns on Kenny Omega and Naito. Wearing a light up scarf and sparkly underwear didn’t seem to fit anymore.”

One character that didn’t fit:

“When I came back in 2007 as kind of the short hair Y2J, it was a disconnect. It didn’t fit. I’ve been gone for two years and I didn’t look like the same guy and going back there with the same catchphrases, it felt stale. I knew that it wasn’t working and that’s why I had to completely change everything. That’s when I switched from shorts, to long pants, to tights, got rid of the countdown, started wearing a suit, and all that sort of stuff. It’s all of the process of realizing you don’t want to be a nostalgia act and people don’t want it either. It doesn’t work. It’ll never be more over the second time you do something that you did the first time.”

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Former WWE star Candice Michelle in September did a TED TALK at Youngstown, Ohio. The video of the event was just posted a few days ago on the TED TALKS YouTube Channel. Michelle talked about how wrestling is real from taking real bumps and risks like when she shattered her collarbone. Here are a few highlights from the TED TALK:

Wrestlers do get hurt:

“They think it’s fake because wrestlers don’t get hurt. The truth is we learned a bump. A bump is when you attack the mat, you land flat on your back, and smack on the back of both of your arms simultaneously. Don’t forget to tuck your neck. Scientific studies have proven that every single bump a professional takes it’s equivalent to getting into a car accident at 30 miles per hour. Can you just imagine how we feel after one match?

“When I first started, I would rent this wrestling ring It cost me $3 a day. It was half inside this garage and half out and there were these broken-down chicken coops over here and a weird barking dog over there. The owner says to me, ‘Be careful for that part of the ring because that boards are broken and I don’t want you to fall through.’ I got into that ring and I bumped over and over and over again and when I would drive home after that session, I cried all the way home. I could barely turn my neck even an inch and if you would have seen the rope burns of my back, you would think that someone could have beaten me. These are the things a professional wrestler will tell you and they will never show you.”

How she decided to use the wand as her sledgehammer:

“Traveling on the road we would frequent stripper stores a lot in search of ring gear. It was Halloween time, there was a lot of costumes. This costume had a flimsy star stripped wand. I decided at that moment I’m going to use this star wand the way the legendary Triple H uses his sledgehammer to defeat his opponents. I show up to the arena that day and I go find my agent Fit Finlay with my flimsy stripper wand and I tell him and the other superstars in my match what I plan to use it for. That wand did turn into a steel weapon and it did defeat many of my opponents. A few years later backstage, Fit secretly asked me for an autographed wand for his daughter.”

Her career-ending injury:

“I was making history in the women’s division, I went from doing pudding and lingerie matches to a semi-main event. I was trying everything in my repertoire to keep her down (Beth Phoenix), clotheslines, dropkicks, and spinning heel kicks. I climbed up on the second rope but nothing would keep her down for a 3 count. She was a bigger, stronger opponent over me and I knew I needed to go to the top. I sauntered so tiredly to that turnbuckle. I remember putting my first boot on the second rope and I swung my other leg over. My legs felt like cement and my arms started to shake but I pushed right through it up to the top. Next thing I remember is barely being able to see Stephanie McMahon leaning over me saying, ‘Don’t worry your husband is being flown in.’ I knew this was real because they never fly your husband in. The diagnosis that night was a concussion and I shattered my collarbone and it shattered my dreams of every wrestling again.”

Last month, Tenille Dashwood did an interview with Backstage Impact Interviewer Alicia Atout on her AMBY Interviews YouTube channel. Dashwood talked about her psoriasis and sharing her experiences dealing with it on social media. Last month, she shared a photo of a flare-up on her Instagram to give awareness on the skin condition. In the above interview, she also talked about her shoulder surgery, physical therapy, and her signature sunglasses. Here are highlights from the interview:

Update on her shoulder surgery:

“Good actually, it’s been almost six weeks now. I’ve had a huge improvement. Over the last week or two, I can kind of use my arm otherwise I was in a sling. So I can take it off now and straighten my arm. I can’t lift it up. It’s going to be a long process about six months in total when I’m finished. I’ll be better than I have in a long time, so it’s worth it in the end.”

Going right into physical therapy after surgery:

“It started the day after surgery, which I couldn’t believe. ‘I’m still on a bunch of drugs, ow!’ The therapist moved my arm making sure it didn’t go stiff and all those things. From what I hear this next month is supposed to be really intense. Just going to be more and more painful. Basically just trying to move it properly because everything has been tightened up. Yeah, so it’s already painful as it is, so I just kind of grit my teeth and put up with it and just keep doing that until it’s better.”

Wrestling with her skin condition (psoriasis):

“It was painful. People don’t realize that it’s painful either. I guess when you have an extreme case, it almost feels like burns all over your skin. It got to the point where I started wearing-you probably can look back at photos from the last few months, you’ll see me. I started wearing extra stockings, fishnet stockings on top of that. So, I had like two or three layers over my legs covering all those spots that were everywhere. I wore t-shirts in all my matches because my stomach and everything was covered. My arms, I couldn’t cover because I didn’t have the right gear for it. So you can probably see on some photos the spots I had on my arms. They were like red coals, like burns. That’s how the rest of my body was.

“But yeah it can get to the point where it can crack or bleed. I would have to have baths to soothe the pain. It’s a whole process. Basically, I stayed home for a few weeks trying to take care of myself and ease it up a little. It can get really severe and people didn’t realize it either. It’s good that people have a good understanding of these conditions.”

How her sunglasses give her confidence:

“The aviators I actually sell [the silver ones] in merchandise. That’s just part of my persona and character. Have you ever seen that movie Big Daddy ? The little boy puts his glasses on and feels his confidence. For me, if I put my glasses on, gear, and gloves I’m in my own world and I can focus and do what I got to do.”

It’s no surprise that The Big Show has spent much of his career receiving comparisons to the legendary Andre the Giant. On a recent episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, former WCW president Eric Bischoff discussed Big Show’s early career in WCW as The Giant.

Bischoff said they spent a lot of time wondering how to debut Paul Wight. Despite the obvious likening to Andre the Giant, Bischoff revealed there was never a plan to have him debut as “Andre the Giant Jr.” He said he knew Hulk Hogan would never allow it because it wouldn’t have been respectful to the memory of Andre the Giant.

“There was a lot of goofy ideas bouncing around at the time but at no time was there any consideration billing him as Andre the Giant Jr. I don’t think Hulk Hogan would have wanted it,” Bischoff said. “You know, Hulk Hogan has a lot of respect, still till this day. When you talk to him about Andre the Giant and within three to four minutes he will start tearing up.”

Even though they didn’t bill him as Andre the Giant’s son, Bischoff said they definitely tried to liken The Giant to him in subtle ways. With The Giant being the second-largest man ever to step foot in a wrestling ring, it was easy for fans to make the comparisons themselves.

“I don’t think he would have gone quite that far in trying to name him Andre the Giant Jr, but we definitely wanted to draw the connection with him and Andre the Giant,” Bischoff said. “That is a fact.”

Carlito made his WWE debut by defeating John Cena on his first night on the main roster, winning the United States Championship in the process. However, the Superstar endured a rough couple of years afterwards, and in 2007, he once again beat Cena who was the then WWE Champion on RAW, before facing Triple H at WWE Unforgiven.

Bruce Prichard, on his Something to Wrestle podcast was asked about Carlito’s start-stop push in the company, and what Vince McMahon thought about the Superstar.

“A lot of times it has to do with injuries”, said Prichard. “It just was utilizing what you had at the time and who’s healthy, and what could we do at the time. And some of it is also timing. The landscape dictates it, so if guys are injured and are nursing stuff, we got to pull people up from bullpen and you’ve got to do something with the guys that are healthy and ready to go at the time. To me, I always looked at Carlito as one of those guys you could plug-in anywhere, anytime. And it was time to plug him in.

“Vince liked Carlito. Vince was a big fan of his going all the way back… he loved his gimmick. It was one of his gimmicks that he helped come up with, the whole “Carlito Cool man, you’re not cool”, and spitting the apples. He loved the gimmick. And he liked Carlito, being a second generation wrestler. So it was somebody overall that he really liked. He enjoyed working with him.”

The Undertaker will be making his first non-WrestleMania wrestling appearance this Sunday at Super Show-Down since the Greatest Royal Rumble this past April, and only his second televised non-WrestleMania match since competing in the 2017 Royal Rumble nearly two years ago. At 53, Undertaker still relies on being one of the most popular characters in WWE history to continue to awe the fans in attendance.

Recently, Undertaker was a part of a series from Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church called Wrastlin, which documents the strong connections between wrestling and the Bible. Undertaker was a guest, and did a rare, out-of-character interview about the pro wrestling business.

Having nearly 30 years of experience from the WWE regarding his character being able to transcend eras, Undertaker commented on how important this element is in the success of a competitor.

“Wrestling and sports entertainment is not about the moves, it really isn’t,” said Undertaker (h/t Sky Sports). “It’s about being able to evoke emotion in one facet or another. You either have to make people love you or you have to make them hate you, it doesn’t really matter either way. If you can’t bring that emotion out of your audience then you’re not going to have them for long.”

Undertaker added on how many matches in this era of wrestling cause fans to focus more on the moves than putting the wrestlers over.

“What happens with these young guys is they’re so athletic and so gifted, they’ll do some crazy double backflip off the top rope and land on somebody on the floor and then that’s what the audience takes away from it, that this guy does crazy stuff,” said Undertaker. “But you can only see that so many times before you need something new, and then the person has to up that. They have to keep upping the ante and by doing that you increase your potential for injuries.”

Undertaker highlighted characters such as The Rock, Ric Flair, and John Cena being people who had the ability of making people love them or hate them. Although wrestling moves should be used to further tell the story, it ultimately “boils down to the character and being able to bring either love or hate out of your crowd.”

Recently on E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness, ‘The Rocket-Strappers’ were joined by NXT’s Ricochet. Among many other things, Ricochet talked about athletic aspects of pro wrestling coming easily to him, looking forward to developing his character, and getting more comfortable with promos.

During the interview, Ricochet admitted that though things come easy to him from an athletic standpoint, he struggled with ring psychology up until last year.

“In terms of athleticism, I always felt like I kind of caught on to the athletic part of it pretty well, but I was trash until last year.” Ricochet explained, “it really took me a while to grasp the concept of everything and even as far as athletically, I don’t know. Things kind of come easy.”

According to Ricochet, he is excited to be in NXT partly because he has never had the opportunity to work on his character on the indies. ‘The High Flying Ace’ suggested that some people liked his Lucha Underground character, Prince Puma, more than Ricochet because of the character development that took place on Lucha Underground.

“One of the main reasons I was excited about coming here to NXT is because I know they focus on [character development] and not just in TV tapings, but in general they focus on that sort of thing.” Ricochet continued, “so that was one of the main reasons I was really excited to come here because, before coming here, I was always just kind of the ‘dream match’ guy. Like, Ricochet versus this guy and this guy, ‘I can’t wait for him to wrestle this guy’. Like, to give some guy a good match, do you know what I mean? That’s who I was. And so now I’m excited coming [to NXT]. A lot of people message me, or Instagram, or tweet, whatever, and they’ll talk about how, like, they liked Prince Puma more than they like Ricochet. And I feel, because I didn’t really change my in-ring style, so I feel like it has to do with the story-driven connection. So I feel like that’s why I’m excited to come to NXT because, obviously, the story is the biggest part of the match, whether it is before, during, or after. So I feel really excited about that, coming here.”

Additionally, Ricochet indicated that he will start developing his character on NXTTV more now.

“I feel that [character development] is something that I’m going to focus on because I’ve been thrown into the mix, kind of, since my debut. It has just been, ‘okay, we’ll pull you in this way’ and there hasn’t really been a reason about who I am, where I come from, or why I am where I am. There hasn’t been any

.” Ricochet added, “some of [the NXT audience] know me from my indie days, but there [are] going to be a lot of people that don’t know who I am, or where I come from, or whatever, what I do, or why I’m here. So that’s something I think we’re going to try to start focusing on moving forward.”

With respect to promo skills, Ricochet acknowledged that he is starting to feel more comfortable on the mic and confident in what he’s saying. ‘Mr. High Fly’ stated that he is more comfortable cutting an in-ring promo than doing a backstage segment.

“I starting to feel more comfortable.” Ricochet divulged, “I feel like my biggest thing is just the comfortability of it, like to be comfortable. Do you know what I mean? Like, be comfortable and to, like mean what I say. Confidence is what I’m looking for! Comfortable and confident in the things you say. I feel like for me that’s the hardest part, the confidence. But I feel like when I’m out in a live crowd situation I’m like 10-times more comfortable and confident cutting a promo. But then, like, backstage, camera in your face, ‘okay, go!’ That’s when I’m like, ‘oh, I’ve got no emotion to go off of.’ I can’t feel the crowd.”

Ricochet claimed that he needs more experience to get comfortable on the mic.

“I feel like mine is a matter of more repetition. Because, like, each time I do one, people say, ‘I can tell you’re getting more comfortable out there.’ So for me, that’s good. All I need is to know that every time I go out there, I’m getting at least a little better. Do you know what I mean? So that’s good. As long as I’m still progressing, a little better is good for me.” Ricochet said, “that’s the thing, you have to believe it. If you’re not confident in the things that you’re saying right there, the fans are going to notice that.”