TNA star Christopher Daniels on his theater background and how that led to wrestling, bringing the X Division back to prominence, and the difficulty of getting a WWE spot in the late '90s
Shining Wizards Podcast with Christopher Daniels
Hosts: Tony Z, Eddie, and Matt
Interview available at Shiningwizards.com.
His pursuit of acting and winding up in wrestling school: "My wife and I moved to Chicago to try and get into theater, and I was doing children's theater because it was the only place where I could make money. And I joked with her that if this didn't work out (acting), I'd probably be a pro wrestler, because I grew up as a fan, and half-heartedly dreamed about it but I never thought it would come true. So she found out about a school called Windy City Pro Wrestling, and she made an appointment for me. She said when I came out I had stars in my eyes, so I decided to give it a try."
The inspiration for the Fallen Angel character: "I was the Fallen Angel, in name only, since 1994. Right around '97-'98, I decided I wanted to do a character that was religion-based, only because Dustin Rhodes was doing so well with Goldust. I thought that people, no matter their background, have a strong sense of their sexuality. So I wanted a gimmick that would touch everybody's thoughts, no matter if rich or poor or whatever part of the country they came from, and I thought that religion was a subject that would touch everybody. I made a character based on David Koresh, based on Kevin Spacey in Seven, to be a guy with a God complex, a guy who thought he was a leader of men."
On the difficulty of getting a spot in the WWF in the late '90s: "I think it had to do with their tendency not to look at cruiserweight style guys. I had good matches for them but I don't think they saw anything that they thought they could do anything with. I think my size hurt me more than anything. I just sort of fell through the glass."
On TNA bringing the X-Division back to prominence: "I think it's a matter of giving it equal purpose, and finding guys that can carry the attention of the fan base. I think Austin Aries is one of the guys that did very well in the X-Division, and he had great matches with really good guys. Sometimes there's not enough focus on any one guy because we have two hours of television and we have so many guys we're trying to get on and keep sort of fresh and in view of the people. There's a lot of good guys but it's up to them to step up and make the office and the creative team pay attention."
For more from Christopher Daniels, including whether he offended anyone in his family doing a religious gimmick, his thoughts on John Cena and his training in UPW, working in the early days of ROH, comparing early ROH days to the current days, working as a Conquistador in the WWE, the story behind Curry Man, his match in WCW with Mike Modest, his opinions of the six-sided ring and more, go to www.shiningwizards.com and listen to Episode 64: Christopher Daniels with Comics.
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