Source: Talk Is Jericho
Recently on Talk Is Jericho, the creator of WWE's Money In The Bank ladder match, Chris Jericho, spoke with former Money In The Bank ladder match winner, Damien Sandow. During the podcast, Jericho said that Sandow, who is now going by the name Aaron Stevens, probably should not have been released by WWE and claimed to be surprised by the released of Santino Marella. Also, Stevens talked about his release and how he explored the idea of taking time off from WWE shortly before he was let go. Additionally, Stevens called the Money In The Bank match he won the best constructed match he was ever in.
"When you think about guys that get released that maybe should not have, I would put [Stevens] on the list. I mean, sometimes you're cleaning out the closet, so to speak, and, I mean, you can understand some of the guys that get released, but a guy like Damien Sandow, I think, had a huge upside as a performer. Very versatile, can do anything that you want, could do anything that you ask, but anything he was given, he got it over." Jericho continued, "I mean, in this time, it seems a little bit strange that he would be released right before the [brand] split. A guy like that could have been given something minimal and made it maximum. But, like I said, that's the nature of the [professional wrestling] business."
The former 'Lionheart' claimed he was surprise by another Black Friday 2016 release, that of Santino Marella.
"Another guy I was really surprised about, I didn't really talk about this when it happened, that big kind of purge happened with all the releases, was I was really surprised about Santino Marella being let go because I thought, in my opinion, Santino should have been on every show [or] could have been on every show because that comedic element that he brought to the table. You could just have him standing in the back reciting a Chinese [restaurant] menu and it would be awesome. That's the type of performer he was."
Interestingly, Stevens admitted that he explored the possibility of taking time off from WWE shortly before he was released by the company.
"It was very, very mutual because I had actually thought about 'what if I was to take some time off anyway?' and that was something I had brought up to them about a month ago to explore that because, again, just there are so many different directions and so many different cogs in the wheel and elements and facets in the WWE that a lot of people, even myself included who have been with them for a number of years, we don't understand why things are the way they are. But, as a performer, look, all you can do is focus on you, do the best you can with everything, whether you're dressed as an astronaut, or Daniel Boone, or God knows what else I dressed up as. I even forgot. But you do that, you try to hit a grand slam every time, and you go on."
According to Stevens, the Money In The Bank match in 2013, where he won the coveted Money In The Bank briefcase, was the best constructed match he ever was a part of. He went on to say that it was probably his favorite match of his professional wrestling career.
"Everyone in that match, we were all heels. Yes, if you go back and watch that match, I mean, Cody [Rhodes] and I were partners at the time. We came down [to the ring] together, which, again, considering the finish of the match, I mean, ah! And everyone was getting booed." Stevens added, "I mean, Wade [Barrett] was in that match, [Dean] Ambrose, Cesaro, but everyone had a part and then nobody saw the finish coming. I mean, I was hiding out in the announcers' pit, but the goal was to make the people want to see Cody win. And just like Cody getting beat down and coming back and he's just continually fighting. I mean, he had inadvertently gotten busted open a little bit and there was just enough where, like, the crowd was so behind him. The Usos did a run in. The Shield did a run in. It was awesome. And then, when Cody was finally climbing to get that Money In The Bank [briefcase] and he had been in the Money In The Bank [match] before and almost won, they were so with it. And I just come from behind, push him, and grab the briefcase. I mean, it was just so well done."
In addition to these topics, Stevens discussed working with Dusty Rhodes in FCW, how he got the Macho Mandow gimmick, and much more on this episode of Talk Is Jericho. Click here to check out the podcast. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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