Justin Gabriel Talks Frustration In WWE, Being The Bunny, Idea For Vince, Triple H Taking Over, GFW

I recently spoke to former WWE star PJ Black, f.k.a. Justin Gabriel. Black will be in action at Legacy Wrestling's debut this Saturday, June 6th at In The Net Sports Complex in Hershey, PA. The show will also feature top indy stars Hania, Kimber Lee, Shane Strickland, AR Fox, Gran Akuma and The Juicy Product. You can get more details about the show here.

In part two of the interview below, Gabriel talks about appearing on Total Divas as a heel, not being used by WWE the past few years, appearing as Adam Rose's bunny, ideas he had for the bunny, being announced for the Royal Rumble this year and why he quit the week before the PPV, Triple H one day taking over WWE, signing with Global Force Wrestling and more.

Click here for part one of the interview, where Gabriel discussed the Nexus angle, if there was any backlash from established talent after the Nexus angle, if Daniel Bryan's firing affected the angle, working with Bret Hart, getting his WWE start, NXT and more.

* * *

You made some appearances on Total Divas, sort of as a heel to JoJo. What was that like, and what do you think of the show?

"I haven't watched any of the episodes, including the episodes I'm on. People just say 'man you're a dick.' I watched some of the clips and thought 'hmm, I don't remember any of that happening that way.' All of the girls I supposedly chatting up, those were just waitresses. I'd be ordering drinks by the pool or something. It's funny how they made that play out. They were kind of mad at me, because I was like 'yeah I'll run with this storyline,' it's a lot like pro wrestling. They give you a lot of freedom to do and say what you want, they just give you guidelines. I just decided I would do my own thing and do me, and that just didn't work out. I made good friends on that show, I made friends with a lot of the producers on the show. I'm glad to see it's doing well."

I know a lot of women who can't stand wrestling, but watch Total Divas

"I know, it's unreal. I live next to Tyson, he just bought a new house, and hanging out with him and the Usos, a lot of people recognize them from the show, they have no idea about wrestling. They'll get recognized on the streets."

The last few years in WWE, you weren't on TV as much. Are you ever told what's going on? You see it happen all the time, talented guys aren't being used on TV.

"I knew what I had to work on. I was never a promo guy. I took the initiative to go back to NXT, nobody told me to. I started training with a new couple of guys that would help me with new character stuff. I felt like the harder I worked, it just went unnoticed. I was just never on TV. I wondered why I was working so hard if it never got seen by anybody. It was really frustrating. I just decided to push through it and try some new stuff. I started to film my own vignettes, I came up with the Dare Wolf character. It's one more frustration. After two or three more years of that, I just decided that I'd try something else, and that's where I am now."

You mentioned the character you came up with. It seemed like there was a little movement to get that going.

"That's what annoys me, too. That happened four or five times. Maybe there was someone in the higher ups who didn't like me and wanted to push it aside. I won't name any names, but Vince was a big supporter of it, it just looked like he didn't have power over it somehow. It is what it is. I don't have any hard feelings towards anyone about it. If you look at their roster right now, there are so many talented guys. There can only be so many Roman Reigns' or John Cena's. There can only be one or two top guys, and I only see about four guys that they work on and use their character. There are way too many people on their roster right now. Then in NXT, they're signing all the top independent wrestlers, and they may just want NXT to be the top indy, and that's cool. The more top indy guys that get signed, the more spots that open up for me."

When you did appearances as The Bunny, was that always you or just once in a while?

"It started out as just a little character, then it kind of evolved from that. Then I'm like 'If I'm not going to be this Dare Wolf character, let me make this Bunny really f-cking cool. Me and Adam Rose sat down and wrote out stories to make this bunny and evil bunny, because he wanted to be a heel so bad. We wanted to do like the Donnie Darko thing. We had an awesome mask made by the people who do The Walking Dead makeup, the same people who make Kane's masks. We had things filmed, and all of these ideas to turn this bunny into an evil, sadistic character. Adam Rose was going to be like a Marilyn Manson character. Everything got shot down. Each time I'd come up with something or Adam would come up with something, it'd get shot down. An idea that I thought was great and everyone thought as It's more frustration, it gets disheartening. It makes you lose passion for what you're doing."

They put so much time into it and it went nowhere, it doesn't make sense. Was there any kind of plan where it was going to go?

"They were just doing it week-to-week. I think they wanted it to end up being someone who was returning. Someone like Kurt Angle or Jeff Hardy, somebody cool like that. Anyone else on the roster, it wouldn't have been cool. It wouldn't have been a shock. I came up with an idea for the bunny to become really hardcore, he has dried blood all over him, sitting backstage grumpy smoking cigars. It's like when people hit their all-time low. The bunny should be going through ladders, tables, and coming close to winning championships, but doesn't because he's too f-cked up. Then maybe the bunny gets knocked out backstage, and a ref shows up and it's Vince. That's the only shock factor it could be, if it's someone on the roster. Then Vince wakes up and just goes 'I don't know what happened. I put the suit on and I just blacked out.' Everyone loved the idea, it just never came to fruition."

You wanted Vince McMahon to be the Bunny?

"I did, yeah (laughs). That was my idea, that's what I suggested and everyone loved it. There were a lot of ideas."

I love that idea. That would have been great. There were so many ways that could have gone.

"That's an idea of how frustrated I was, because that was just one idea. Everyone loved it and nothing ever happened. I had so many ideas, and obviously not every single idea was great. I was just like 'nobody's ever going to listen to me here, so see ya.'"

You were announced for the Royal Rumble this year. Were you told or did you find out yourself?

"That whole week is a blur. If I was in it, I knew I was just going to be there as a prop for someone to throw out quickly. I didn't really care. I wasn't featured in any of the promos, I wasn't in a storyline with anybody, so I knew I wasn't going to have a good spot. I know the Royal Rumble is a big pay-per-view, I enjoy watching it. I just wasn't interested in being just another guy. I have so much more to offer this business. I've been wrestling for longer than I haven't been. I've put my body through hell for fans' entertainment. I guess the WWE didn't see that in me."

You quit the day before the Royal Rumble. Were you pulled or did you just leave?

"It was actually a week before the Royal Rumble. The Rumble was never even in my thoughts. I wasn't told about it, didn't know if I was in it or wasn't in it, I had no idea. In my idea I was planning on holding off a month or two and not make any rash decisions. A bunch of things happened, it was a blur. I went to the building, then went skydiving, came back and nobody noticed I was gone. I was like 'Okay, nobody notices, and this is four straight weeks I'm not being used on TV, or Superstars, or Main Event, or backstage or anything, I'm going home.' So I went home, and someone called me and I just told them I quit. I said 'I was going to tell you guys next week anyway, but since I have you on the phone, I quit.' I have no hard feelings towards them. A lot of those guys are my friends. There are only so many spots for so many people. That was part of the deciding factor. You can only do so many things with so many people. That's the weird thing, they have the Network, and so many hours on TV, how can they not give a spot to every single person on the roster? That's on them, they aren't even trying."

You spent some time in NXT, and that's Triple H's baby. What is your opinion on Triple H and his leadership, and the future of the company if Vince McMahon does ever step down and Triple H takes over?

"I think he's doing a great job with NXT. I personally think he's just too different. Then again, it's wrestling and at the end of the day this guy thinks this is the way it should be done and another guy thinks it should be done another way. It's his decision. It's its own brand, it's not even a developmental system anymore. They go on the road full time. I even said I'd go back down there full time if it's its own brand. I tried really hard, I guess he didn't like me. I pulled him aside and said 'hey man, I know you're not a fan of my work,' and he said 'I like two things: people who work hard, and people who prove me wrong.' I worked my ass off and tried to prove him wrong, and maybe towards the end I did a little bit. Maybe I should have stuck around a little bit longer. I just turned 34 this year, that's another thing. The stuff I do in the ring I can probably only do for another few years. I didn't want to waste it away trying to impress someone."

Global Force Wrestling announced you had signed with them. Is there anything else you can tell us about the organization?

"I don't know too much about it yet. We have a couple of TV dates coming up soon. The roster looks amazing. I was driving down the road and Jeff Jarrett called me and I was like 'Jeff? I don't know any Jeffs. Holy sh-t, it's Jeff Jarrett. Where did you get my number?' and he said 'I can get anybody's number.' He told me about this great idea and I liked it, and I told him about the character I have in mind. I told him about the character I had, and all these vignettes that were filmed, because WWE never used them, I filmed them with my own camera and I own it. I trademarked it myself. I talked to two other big companies and told them the same thing. If I can keep my name, keep my merch, and keep my Dare Wolf character going, I'm good. A lot of them said no, and Jeff said yes."

Does this deal allow you to work indies as well?

"Yep. As long as I keep certain dates open for TV tapings, and they give me those months in advance. They just have July and August so far. I had those dates open, and they're my priority. Everything else is coming along and filling up my schedule. It's working out great for me."

You're going to be in action in a four-way match at the finals of the Legacy Wrestling Tag Team Title Tournament [this Saturday] in Palmeira, Pennsylvania. What can fans expect from that show?

"It's going to be freaking awesome. Especially the main event. It's a four-way, and the other guys are going to be top indy guys right now. I've been hearing a lot about AR Fox. I got to work with him a few times, and the kid's amazing. A quick back story, my first few matches a worked in front of die-hard indy fans, and I'd come out and they'd be like 'Oh, here comes another ex-WWE guy. He's probably just going to phone it in.' They were sitting on their hands, and I had to win them over. I'd do my comeback, and I'd go over the top, because that's the indy style. I went over the top and actually got a standing ovation. Whether there are 100 or 1000 in the crowd, I do the big spots to win the fans over. This show is going to be the same, I'm going to go all out. I'm pretty sure we'll draw a decent crowd, but it doesn't matter, I'm going all out."

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Do you have anything else you'd like to mention?

"Yeah, follow me on Twitter at @Justin__Gabriel. All of my upcoming shows are on my website at PJBlack.com. You can find my booking information on there, Twitter on there, there's some cool merch. I update it as much as I can. You can get tickets on there, too."

Click here for part one of the interview, where Gabriel discussed the Nexus angle, if there was any backlash from established talent after the Nexus angle, if Daniel Bryan's firing affected the angle, working with Bret Hart, getting his WWE start, NXT and more.

You can check out Black in action at Legacy Wrestling's debut this Saturday at In The Net Sports Complex in Hershey, PA. You can get more details or purchase tickets by clicking here. You can follow Black on Twitter @Justin__Gabriel and get information about his upcoming shows at PJBlack.com.


Back To Top