Christopher Daniels spoke with Ring Rust Radio. Here are some highlights from the interview.
Being in Bad Influence with Kazarian: “It all came around when Frankie and I decided to tag together about 2 years ago. We saw the writing on the wall about the tag team division in TNA, Beer Money had just split up and the Motor City Machine Guns had been injured, so we figured there wasn’t a whole lot of stuff going on with us in terms of the singles ranks so we decided to give being a tag team a shot and TNA let us do that and got us involved with the whole storyline with AJ Styles. While that was going on, Frankie and I just decided to be ourselves on camera, on the microphone and in the ring. We’re pretty smart-a**/snarky guys backstage, we’re always goofing off and being ridiculous and we just put that out there in front of the camera and we were fortunate enough that the fans responded to it and latched on to it. It’s just really been a matter of going out there and really, in my mind anyway, go out there and even if it’s just a 30 second promo or a backstage vignette or whatever it is, try to do something where it catches peoples’ eye or catches their ear or gets them talking so hopefully at the end of the night, after two hours of Impact Wrestling, one of their high points is ‘Oh Christopher Daniels did this’ or ‘Bad Influence did this’ or ‘Frankie Kazarian did this’ and that’s been the goal. We’ve been trying to be noticed out of the two hour shows and be talked about.”
Reinventing yourself over the years: “Well the wrestling part of it, not to diminish it, but that’s not really the hard part, to be honest. I’ve always tried to, in terms of physical action, keep myself at a certain level and been fortunate enough to work with guys that push me to stay there. But it’s been the in-ring stuff that I’ve been trying to sort of, not capitalize on, but concentrate on a little bit just because that has always been the criticism against me, that I wasn’t a ‘character that people could get behind’ or whatever the case may be. And so I decided to heck with all that and I was just going to have fun and I’ve been fortunate enough that people have caught on to it and have enjoyed it and the more that they enjoy it or the more that there’s a buzz about it, the more I’m going to continue to do that.”
If he is a comedy character: “I don’t really feel like I’m doing comedy, per say. I play off of guys a certain way but I don’t really do a lot of comedy in the ring. I’m just being a smart-a** and people laughing at it but I hope they’re also getting annoyed at it and that they want to see me get my comeuppance in the ring. I’m not trying to be like a Santino character where it’s all comedy all the time or mostly comedy all the time, but I’m still trying to be that smart-a** wise guy that people want to smack around. So I don’t feel like comedy is the basis of my character but if I have to be or I want to be entertaining, especially in things that aren’t in-ring related, it’s easier to get people to enjoy what I’m doing by trying to be entertaining versus being the angry, serious, ‘I’m gonna get you’ guy.”
Influence of Indy Wrestling on his career: “Working in as many different promotions as I did in the past I felt like it helped me become well-rounded and versatile. I wasn’t sure who I was going to wrestle at any given moment, and it was always different guys in different places and different promoters, so it made me become comfortable in myself to the point where it didn’t matter who I wrestled that I could get a good match and make the promoter happy that he had booked me for that particular spot. Part of that is now that I’m with TNA, I’ve become so comfortable with the guys, but at the same time they are the best in our company. Those are the guys that are pushing me to stay in top shape and continue to learn and continue to grow as a wrestler. I think that part of the Indies is being trained on the Indies and making you that versatile and it’s going to get you prepared to step up and get into the national spotlight quicker than staying in one place and wrestling the same people over and over and over again.”
If he is disappointed about TNA possibly leaving the full time road schedule: “It’s not disappointment, we understand the game. We gambled and went out on the road and I think there were positives and negatives to that move. I felt like it definitely freshened up the look of our product and being in front of new fans every night I definitely felt the energy when we were going live and traveling around. But at the same time, we have to do what’s best for the company, and if that means going back to a central location, and taping certain times and getting on the road when we can, then that’s what we need to do. Impact Wrestling is in it for the long haul, they’re not looking to burn out all at once, we’re trying to stay in it long term, and these are the decisions that are made above my head in terms of the long term benefit of our company. So it’s not disappointment it’s more of an interest to see where we go from here, how we’re going to be received when we go back to Orlando for the next set of tapings that we do, and see what happens. It all depends on the product we put out. No matter where we are whether we’re in Orlando or where we are on the road, the most important part is the storylines and the wrestling and are we trying to hook that fan base into continuously coming back and making us a priority to watch.”
Thoughts on playing Curry Man: “It was just different. It was part of being entertaining. Whether I was the Fallen Angel trying to be entertaining by being the serious wrestler out there to win every match and get all the titles or just Curry Man being the guy that was out there having fun and bringing smiles to the fans’ faces, it didn’t matter to me it was a matter of getting people’s attention and trying to get them involved and get them invested in the wrestling. So it didn’t matter to me whether it was the serious guy or the comedy guy, if I was getting people involved and invested in watching wrestling then it’s a win-win situation for both of us.”
If he thinks TNA should try to bring back Hogan: “I think Hogan, with his name, brings something to the table at TNA. The real question is how much is it worth and how much do we pay for that? When you say there could be improvements made, like how much money do we put towards those improvements? And how do you make those improvements? Those are questions that our creative team and the guys that are running the ship are asking themselves every day and I think if it was a set plan I think we would have followed it but it’s something where we have to try different things and do different things. So they’re trying different things and trying to see what sticks and see what profits us best and if they decide that Hulk is profitable, not just monetarily but investment-wise, then great but that’s something they are going to decide.”