|By Jay Calderon | January 31, 2013 | Comments|
On how his larger-than-life character developed: "First, I wanted to do something that would stand out and grab attention right away. In this day and age where there isn't giant monsters being created, it is a realistic athlete. So, I wanted to be someone that could be in there with a Big Show, an Undertaker, a Hornswoggle, a Khali -- anybody, a be able to adapt and put on a great show.
"In this day and age where the bad guy aren't just a big beer-belly guy who stands around and punches someone in the face, you've got to be great at this. We have a whole roster of superstars who are amazing at what they do. They are just clawing and fighting for 30 seconds of TV time.
"So, when you get a chance -- someone like me who is getting more and more time -- you want to be the best that you can be to represent those guys. In this day and age, it is a renaissance man kind of superstar where you can talk, you can move, you can jump, you can be athletic, you can be powerful and you have to be all of that wrapped into one."
On whether WWE still has room for bigger characters/names and more growth with the fans as was the case leading into the Attitude Era: "There's always room for improvement and that's what the WWE has done for years. It cycles in different talent, different types of talent, different characters.
"In the 90's, we had a bunch of drunk college kids cheering and being rowdy. Now, we are catering towards kids and families and having fun and it's actually expanding the message of WWE. That's smart business, it's a good move. Families and kids want to enjoy these shows. So, we have a slightly different market that we're catering to, but we're also teaching them that this is the way. It's fun for the fmaily, it's PG entertainment. You can bring anybody.
"That's just smart for WWE to adapt to. So, as we can keep bringing in more and more fans, we'll just continue to expand globally."
On whether being compared to the Attitude Era annoys him: "That is annoying because no matter what happens, in ten years, people will be like, 'Oh, I wish I had the PG era back because it was so great then. Everything sucks now.' That's just what people do. "I was a fan then. I was a fan during the 80's when it was fun characters. I was a fan during the 90's when it was an Attitude Era and I'm a fan now.
"I actually appreciate it from someone that has seen all those. And in a day and age where you can be lost in your iPhone and you have 1,000 channels ot choose from, that we can still keep an audience entertained...I appreciate it that we don't have naked girls running around and we're not swearing on TV and it's that much harder to not work blue and actually get the crowd. I like that as a challenge to myself and we put on a quality show and I'm happy to be apart of it."
On whether or not shoot-style promos can be dangerous to some extents: "You never know. That's the beauty of WWE where we do toe that line of suspending reality. You go watch a movie, you get enthralled and you believe what's going on. We want to put on a great show, we want to be entertaining, but we also want people to go, 'Oh. Where are they going with this?'
"That's just the out-of-the-box thinking that, in the 90's, was getting more and more viewers. That's what got it hot to begin with. So, now that we're constantly flirting with that line, it's great for the fans, young and old, to go, 'Oh, OK. I think I know what they're talking about.'
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