So grab an appletini and settle down for a chat with one of the most entertaining wrestler on our TV Screen today!
Across The Pond: Hi, I'm James Marston. How're you?
Christopher Daniels: Hi, I'm Christopher Daniels, I fall down for a living. I'm good, how're you?
ATP: Good, yeah I'm good. Now, our first question, which we ask to every single person that we interview is....How did you get into professional wrestling and what was it that drew you to the sport?
CD: Well, I grew up in North Carolina, where the Mid-Atlantic terrotories were big and I watched guys like Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A and the Road Warriors and I just got into it as a kid and I feel like the guys that...the wrestlers that love wrestling like I do are usually guys that get attached as kids. It's very rare that you grow into pro wrestling, get introduced to it as an adult and have the same feelings, the same love for it, like I did. You know, I grew up watching it, I really enjoyed it and once I graduated college and I was out in the real world, trying to get a job in the acting capacity...there was a period of time when my career wasn't going so well and my wife found a school, so I told her if this acting thing doesn't work out, I could be a pro wrestler HA HA HA! She found a school, she made an appointment for me, I went in and spoke to the gentlemen that owned it, it was Windy City Pro Wrestling, the guys name was Sam Decero, who wrestle as one of the Maxx Brothers in the AWA and I decided to give it a shot. Just to say that I did it, I figured if I failed, if I washed out of the school, I could at least tell my kids one day, hey man, your Dad tried to be a professional wrestler. But I think because I grew up watching it that the physical aspects of wrestling came really easy to me, I went through my training in three months. I started wrestling three months after I started and that's where I started to learn everything, was on the road, that's where you learn about professional wrestling, was wrestling in front of a crowd and you know, against different wrestlers.
ATP: Now, the big TNA UK tour is coming up, next week, I believe it's Wednesday in Dublin?
CD: Yeah, it's the 29th, I think that's a Wednesday, yeah.
ATP: Then it's onto Glasgow (30th), Manchester (31st), London (1st Feb) and Birmingham (2nd). Is that something that you look forward to?
CD: Absolutely, we all look forward to it. It's usually some of the best crowds that we wrestle in front of, you know because we only do it once a year. It's become sort of a tradition, and something to look forward to, not just for the UK fans, but the guys. You know, we've had very succesful tours in the past, specifically last year, we had a great experience taping television over there. I think we've increased the amount of television, we're going to be taping over there, also one of the shows is going to be a pay-per-view taping, a One Night Only taping. The first time that we're ever taping television in the Hydro building in Glasgow, Scotland. There's a tonne of stuff happening on this tour, that it's gonna be a great tour for all.
ATP: I have to say I'm very impressed that you've pronounce Glasgow correctly, we've seen plenty of TNA's roster misprounce that one, it's became a bit of running joke amongst the fans over here.
CD: You know, the Christopher Daniels museum is actually in Glasgow, Scotland, so I have a special affinity to GlasGOW.
ATP: Would that be your favourite city over here to perform in? Do you have a favourite city?
CD: I really don't. I don't have a special favourite. I mean, last year, we had a great outing in Dublin. I feel like London's always a big deal, especially when we go to the O2. I know Manchester's going to be great this year. I really don't have a specific favourite. I had the oppurtunity not to just wrestle for TNA over there, but for a lot of the independents over there. One of my favourite matches that I ever had was in the Coventry Skydome against AJ Styles (Editors note: International Showdown on 19th March 2005) just after I won my first X-Division title. I've had a very good experience every time I've gone over to the UK and Great Britain specifically.
ATP: I have to say, with some bias, that crowds over here are some of the best in the word. Especially, with you guys only being over here once a year, the crowd seems receptive to what you've got to show, which you don't see all the time over in the US, because they seem to get....I don't want to say lethargic with the product but...
CD: Well, just comfortable with the product. There's a lot more access to the product over here, obviously, so lethargic isn't the right word.....I guess content would be a better word. They're content with it. Th ey're not really hungry for more product. They've got all the product they can handle. I know the UK wrestling scene, back in the day, they had their own product, with World of Sport, things like that and there's not really, apart from independents...I hope I'm not speaking out of turn, apart from independents they don't really have their own national scene anymore. So they've take to WWE and TNA, as their form of wrestling entertainment, that most of the country sees. Especially TNA with their ratings as good as they are, I feel like they've taken to our product rather well and this is our opportunity to get over their an take advantage of their appreciation of our product.
ATP: Certainly, and speaking of the UK Independent scene, former TNA employee AJ Styles is over here on February 28th and March 1st, wrestling for PCW – Preston City Wrestling, so I'd like to talk about the recent departures from TNA. We've seen Hulk Hogan moved on, apparently so, AJ's moved on, it's a possibililty that Sting could be moving on. I was just wondering what you're opinions were on those people moving on, potentially, elsewhere, and whether you could see them back in TNA at some point?
CD: Well, of all those people that you mentioned, I don't think anyone left on terms where they wouldn't come back. It would just depend on whether that's for him and whether that's for the company. I was really surprised that AJ Styles left, but at the same time, I feel like AJ came to a point in his career where he wanted to branch out and see how he could do in his own. So I feel like the next couple of months are going to be very important in his career and I wish him good luck. Whether or not Sting stays with the company depends a lot on what happens tonight on Impact against Magnus. We'll see how that goes, so stay tuned. I don't know when it comes on over there so I can't give you a good advertisement for Impact over there.
ATP: It'll be on Sunday night on Challenge TV.
CD: There you go. It'll be on Challenge, Sunday Night at whatever time, folks. I feel like wrestling as a business, it's sort of fluid, people come and go from companies. I, myself was fired a couple of years ago from TNA, I was re-hired. The company is always trying to take, the best talent that they can and make a cohesive lockeroom out of it. If AJ leaving, if Sting leaving, if Jeff Hardy or Hulk Hogan leaving, if those guys leaving gives opportunities to other people, then so be it. If they get a chance to comeback that's also great, I mean it's just a matter of timing and circumstances in a lot of those instances.
ATP: Of course, I ask our Twitter followers and those on Facebook, and I'm not sure if this is 100% true, but a lot of people have being saying to me, that you're contract is up in April...now you don't have to answer this, but is that true? Will you be re-signing? What's the deal there?
CD: All I can tell you at this point is that my contract does end in April. Whether or not I resign depends a lot on the company, I have no plans on seeking employment elsewhere. So we'll just have to see when that date comes around, man. A lot could happen between now and then, but at this moment I'm very happy with what I'm doing in TNA. I'm very happy wrestling with Frankie Kazarian as my tag team partner, I feel like we've barely even scraped the surface as far as the potential for Bad Influence as a tag team. I don't have plan to break away or cut this out.
ATP: Personally, I'd hope that you'll be sticking around with TNA. For me, you're one of the most entertaining aspects of the product, you and Frankie as Bad Influence, with blowing smoke up your...whatever.
CD: No, blow smoke, go ahead.
ATP: For me, you take what's given to you and make it entertaining, whether it was originally entertaining or not. Especially, on the One Night Only PPV's, where without naming names, some of the guys seem to phone some of the stuff in, you bring something extra to those shows. As well as the Impact 365 stuff. Do you see all this as an opportunity to build your character?
CD: In terms of the Impact 365, we just wanted to do stuff that would be entertaining. It would have been very easy for us to take photos, or videos, of us just working out, walking down the street or walking our dogs. I only wanted to post on the 365 site, if I was inspired to do something that was clever, something that was entertaining, something that was going to catch the fans eyes, something that was going to make a fan sit up and take notice. That's how I feel about all social media, Twitter, Facebook. I don't want to just say “Had a hamburger!” That's random, that's mundane nonsense. I want to entertain my fans, the people that follow me, that fans that have supported me and I want to make them happy about the fact that their paying attention to what I'm doing. So, when it comes to the Impact 365, we haven't been posting videos each and every day, but I feel like the videos that we have posted have been quality, they've been the things that a lot of fans have talked about, that a lot of fans have voiced their approval for. That's how we're going to continue to do it. As far as the One Night Only's we looked at those, we look at every opportunity we get on the television, to have people talking about Bad Influence at the end of the night. We understand that Impact is a two hour show every week, these One Night Only are three hour PPV's and in that opportunity you get to see a lot of the roster, we want to make sure that Bad Influence stands head and shoulders above anyone else. At the end of the day, you're talking about what Bad Influence did, whether it's our matches, our promos, 365 videos, whatever, we want people talking about us. We want people checking the channels and making sure that they see us each and every week.
ATP: The American Wolves have recently turned up in TNA. What's your opinion on that signing? Will we be seeing the American Wolves against Bad Influence? And is there any other independent talents you'd like to see turn up in TNA?
CD: Well, I think it's inevitable that the Wolves and Bad Influence are going to tangle. You've basically described 2/3 of the entire tag team division in TNA, when you say that. I have nothing but respect for Davey Richards, for Eddie Edwards. The year that I spent in Ring of Honor in 2010/11, some of my best matches were with those guys. I look forward to wrestling them in a TNA wrestling ring, I know Frankie feels the same way. Truth be told, and I've said this on Twitter and I'll say this until someone sets me on fire and shuts my mouth, whether or not we have the World titles around our waste, Bad Influence is the best tag team, not only in TNA, but in the wrestling business right now. We want to go out there and prove that to the world, and we'll wrestle Davey and Eddie. I'd extend that invitiation to other tag teams, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows, the IWGP Tag Team Champions, The Youngbucks, IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions, Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly, the Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions and show the world that we are the best in the world. Davey and Eddie have come to TNA, you're going to see that match sooner rather than later I'm sure. Also, Robbie and Jessie, the current TNA Tag Team Champions, we haven't actually had an opportunity to challenge for those titles since they got the belts. At some point or another, that matters going to be addressed, maybe on the UK tour, who knows?
ATP: Now, you have a theatre degree (ATP's followers may or may not know that I myself am studying for a similar degree!), I was wondering how the time spent on the degree helped you in the wrestling ring?
CD: Well, it definitely made me comfortable to be in front of people, acting on a stage or wrestling in a wrestling ring, you're still basically playing to a crowd. So being a theatre person, being someone who has trod the boards so to speak, it made me very aware of playing to the back row and that's something that I learned wrestling in a wrestling ring, is that you're presenting a story to a large amount of people. Very simply, wrestling is basically theatre in the round. So you have to be aware of everybody, not just people in the back row, people in the back row. So it made me very aware to be big in my presentation, to try and engage the entire audience. Sometime wrestlers pretend that there's four walls around the wrestling ring and concentrate just on the match itself, rather than broadcasting that match to the fans that have come to pay tickets to see these matches! So, sometimes they're concentrating only their moves, I'm more aware of trying to tell my story and have that story understood by the greatest amount of people. Sometimes, whether you're doing live events where there are no cameras, so you're basically playing to those people. Or when you are doing television, the television represents the largest audience, so you play to the camera, I understood that from my theatre background.
Annnnnnnnd, that's where my audio cuts out. I can assure you and I think Mr. Daniels would back me up on this that the rest of our chat was incredibly entertaining, so I can only apologise once again that the equipment failed on me. If you would like a copy of the audio from this interview either e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Twitter