World Wrestling Insanity interview with Shark Boy
Host: James Guttman
Interview available at WorldWrestlingInsanity.com.
As any visitor to Sharkboy.net can tell you, Sharky has wrestled many of the industry's top stars. But it was his impression of one that got him a huge TNA reaction. When Shark Boy woke up from his on-air coma, he suddenly thought he was Stone Cold Steve Austin. James Guttman asks about the gimmick and whether Austin was ever contacted by the company to come in. Dean doesn't think so. Above all else, though, the gimmick was homage to his favorite wrestler. As he explains, knowing that The Texas Rattlesnake liked it was pretty important to him.
"I was really happy to know that he liked it because I was kind of worried. If he'd hated it, that would have really bothered me because I really admire the guy. But then I heard he thought it was funny and entertaining. And the first person who told me that was Kevin Nash. He said, 'Yo. I called Steve and told him about what you're doing and that he should watch. He popped. He loved it.' So I was really happy to hear that."
Were there any future plans for the character, though? As JG points out, Austin wasn't under contract to TNA and with no possibility of him joining the company, was there another end game that TNA had in mind?
"No. As far as what the future plans were for it, (laughs) I don't think there were any. I think it was like, 'This is an entertaining thing Dean does so let's let him go on there and do this. That was more like it."
Dean also speaks about Stone Cold's latest role as Tough Enough host, his thoughts on the first show, Rock-Cena at WM28, and more. Aside from WWE topics, he also talks plenty of TNA. As James mentions, much of Shark Boy's TNA success came directly from Dean Roll himself. The character was something he had going in. The Austin impression was a voice he himself could do. It seemed like he made most of his own success in a business where many wait for creative to give them something. Sharky agrees and talks about pitching ideas to TNA management. As the ClubWWI.com interview continues, he says he was doing that right until the end.
"I think in my case, I've always been able to come up with things. But I haven't always approached management. I think sometimes the mentality is that you don't really want to rock the boat when you're there. You just want to kind of take what they have for you, take the ball and run with it as best you can, and make it work. But, that being said, there toward the end with TNA, I pitched every idea I had because I didn't want to leave. I wanted them to give me another shot with a run on TV. I pitched them every idea I had. They didn't really like them - any of them. They weren't sure I fit with their core demographic - the audience they were trying to reach. They didn't see Shark Boy as fitting in with that, unfortunately. Which is really funny to me because, throughout my career, I've always found the character has had pretty universal appeal."
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