Christopher Daniels Talks Breaking Into Wrestling, Working For WWE And WCW, Worst Injury, More
The acting thing wasn't going very well for me. I was doing a lot of children's theatre and stuff like that. I decided to sort of take a break and give wrestling a try just to say I did it, just to say it was something new or something to try out. I ended up taking to it sort of quickly, I guess. Being a fan as a kid made it easy to go through the training in terms of learning how to do stuff. So I went into training in January of 93, and I had my first match in April of 93. Once I started wrestling matches in front of people, that was when I started learning everything. Basically, you learn everything on the job. Wrestling in front of people, that's where you learn the majority of your stuff. I just sort of took to it pretty quickly and started wrestling right away.
Wrestling Inc: When you started in 93, that period from ' 93 to late '95 was kind of a dark period of wrestling. It was starting to go down in popularity a lot, and there were a lot of these ridiculous gimmicks and not so much in the way of good matches and things like that. What were your thoughts on the industry during that time?
Daniels: I don't know. I was watching then, sort of paying attention, but I don't really look at it… I was sort of a hobby wrestler at that point. I only wrestled like once or twice a month. I don't really remember a lot of wrestling, like my own wrestling, in that period of time. Being in the wrestling school and then wrestling for Windy City after that, I hung out with guys and we tried to send tapes out to places like Memphis and even ECW, but at that point then, I was just look at wrestling as just trying to make my way in. I wasn't really paying attention in terms of like my own stuff, I was just watching… you know, we'd watch the pay per views every month and see what was going on, but in my mind at that point, I was not watching in terms of great matches then. I was just sort of trying to learn and step up.
Wrestling Inc: When you signed the developmental deal with WWF back in the late 90s, what was your reaction to that?
Daniels: It actually wasn't even a developmental deal. It was just an opportunity to go to one of the dojos that Dory Funk Jr. was running. So I really was only just a week in the dojos with guys like Kurt Angle and Steve Corino and Devon Storm, you know, Steve Williams. So I wasn't sure that I'd even made it or not, it was just an opportunity. It was more of like a tryout sort of thing. I was hopeful that something was going to come from it, but it was really just an opportunity to meet guys and it never really transformed into anything bigger than that.
Wrestling Inc: You wrestled for a bit with WWF. What was that experience like during that time?
Daniels: Well, I did a lot of dark matches for them. When they came out to California I made myself available for them. I actually got the opportunity through Jim Cornette and through Victor Quiñones. Victor was the guy who was sort of delegated for all the foreign talent, the Japanese guys and the Mexican guys that WWF brought in for the light heavyweight division they were building. So, the first time I got a chance to work for WWE, they know who I was because my partner from Windy City, Kevin Quinn, he knew Victor from Puerto Rico because we had gone to Puerto Rico in 95 for a period of time and when we were there, Kevin got to know Victor and ended up going to Mexico with him and working under him. So Victor knew who I was, so when he brought Taka, Taka Michinoku, to the WWE, when they came around to Phoenix for matches and they needed a match for Taka, Victor game me the opportunity. So that was how I started getting dark matches and Shotgun Saturday Night matches and stuff like that.
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