Lee Sanders of The RCWR Show recently conducted an interview with #BigSweatyMen himself Johnny Knockout, who was victim no.4 to Braun Strowman last week on RAW. During the interview, he discussed working with Braun Strowman, the impact Johnny's segment had on potenital LGBTQ characters and storylines, the passing of Mr. Fuji, his time at WWE's FCW andmuch more. You can check out the show ever Tuesday night at 10pm ET after WWE Smackdown on Spreaker.com. You can listen to the full interview in the player at the end of this post, they sent us these highlights:
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I got to ask you straight up man. How has it been for you with the recent reactions from the WWE fans? You gave them without a doubt a memorable segment there right before your faced Braun Strowman.
"It was definitely unexpected. I didn't think social media was going to go nuts over it. I'm not the biggest social media guy in fact when I heard about it was through my Instagram. I didn't have the Facebook and Twitter but had it prior. I had a lot of people on it too but I deactivated, then deleted it and then somebody on one of my Instagram posts wrote; "Dude you're trending!" I didn't have bat eyes on the trending stuff in the past and then I was like well let me look into this, what is this trending stuff? Is it really a thing? And then I saw these posts with the hashtag then the #BigSweatyMen, I'm like wow this is the thing! I was like this is something I need to capitalize on so I opened the Twitter, I opened back up my Facebook and I started from scratch. The reactions has been pretty good. I just did what I thought was right at the moment like I always do and it worked out so I'm happy about that. Everybody seems to get a kick at it so…"
Right on. Now you come off as a rather tall guy yourself from what I've seen of you on TV. I was looking up some of your matches. I'm just picturing you right next to Braun Strowman and it just really comes off like the TV doesn't do this guy justice! Just how freakish of a physique and height does he have in person?
"Yeah, you said it very good. TV doesn't do justice standing next to the guy especially when he's pretty angry. I heard he didn't eat lunch that day so I certainly wasn't going to be his lunch, so I went on the attack. But standing next to him, the dude was a big guy man. I mean that's an understatement and I would say you have to meet him to experience that but he's country big too. He's very big but it's all good man, I'm ready for anybody! The bigger the better. Think of the sweatier the better!"
He comes off for the most part very smooth in the ring. I've actually been watching a bit of his stuff since he's debuted on the main roaster for a while now. I can think of previous big guys that were like a little bit--what's the right word I'm looking for? A little bit rough around the edges but it seems like anybody that he's been working with even up to this point, his work has been pretty solid. I know you were only in there with him just briefly but did he come off pretty well rounded to you as well?
"Oh yeah the guy is a total pro. I mean in order to be on a stage like WWE he has to be a pro, he's got to know how to move in that ring and I like physicality. That's the main reason I got into professional wrestling or sports entertainment in the first place. I like to entertain people but I like the physicality of it. He's fluid in the ring I can say that but I mean he's fluid up to the point where you're getting hit. I mean it's like a Mack truck man but that's cool man. I say bring it! Going to what you're saying…Yeah a total pro as am I. So it was a good mix."
Many fans have seen some of their favorite wrestlers in interviews over the years talk about how much WWE is very heavy on scripted promos. Most recent comments include the WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose who just wants bullet points and can make the rest happen once he gets out there. That segment that you had with Strowman felt very organic, like a straight up shoot. Was it or does credit need to be given to the writers?
"I would say that I went out there and I said what I felt. I said what was on my mind in the moment and I just went with it. I mean who doesn't love a big sweaty man, am I right? I mean when we workout and we get all big and working out, you sweat it up! We're hot, we're putting out some hard work man. Women, I mean come on you know many women have come up to me and said I love big sweaty man too?! I'm like good, hi-five! I said what I felt and I'm glad I did as you know I've been watching these big sweaty men since I was four years old. It started with Jake the Snake and I've been loving him ever since. I'm one of them and there's nothing wrong with scrapping, sweaty men scrapping it up and seeing who would come out with the victory, you know what I'm saying?"
Yes without a doubt. You just mentioned a WWE legend and before we can even continue I think it only serves right that we definitely give that nod to the late Mr. Fuji who we found out passed over the weekend. Any fond memories for you of Mr. Fuji?
"Oh yeah! I quoted the other day…I said true villains are those who truly stand in opposition of our heroes. Bret Hart was my favorite of all time and when I heard of Mr. Fuji's passing the first thing I thought was that visual was of him throwing the salt in the eye of Bret when he was at Wrestle Mania IX. He had Yokozuna in that sharpshooter and that was it! I was like that was it, he's winning this title and when Mr. Fuji got in I was like oh he's so bad. Had a lot of great memories man, he stood the test of time too. He was 82 but I mean he was still talked. One of the best and so I think there will always be fond memories as I grew up watching the guy. So it is sad to hear of his passing. I didn't know him personally but it seems to me that he lived a good fulfilled life so I'm happy about that and I think all we can do now is just keep his memory going. Maybe I could add some of those traits into my matches in the future, we'll see. I'll do anything for him, so salt powder, pepper, garlic, anything."
Rest in peace Mr. Fuji, long fruitful life. That's a good way to go out. Nice, long, prosperous life. You know going back to that segment that you were in, the timing of your words in that segment was spot on perfect. I'm sure you've noticed there's been a small minority of fans that felt that your segment was a subliminal nod to the series of interviews WWE CBO Stephanie McMahon has given addressing future of regular LGBTQ storylines and characters perhaps one day coming into the fold of this modern PG era in their programming. I got a two-part question for you. The first part, how does it make you feel to be attached to something important like that to a minority of fans that basically want more diversity in their TV viewing habits? Second question, some of these millennials tend to overreact to the least little things they find offensive. You know what I mean? Like a good example was 1985's "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits. When you pay attention to the second verse of the song…Back then for those of us that grew up on that we didn't think anything much of that word that was used in the song but you fast forward to now. You look at the context, look at the tone, at the interpreting…It's all lost with some of the millennials. There's like a lot of unnecessary political correctness going on but what's your take on both?
"Well first I want to say Lee that's fantastic, excellent question and think it need be addressed. And I'm going to do so right now. Like I said it's something that I felt inside, it's something that I felt needed to be said, just right in the moment. As far as the feedback on the LGBTQ, the awareness and all, I didn't consider it when I said it and having said it I understand that there are a lot of varying opinions out there. I'm not going to say that that's why I said it. I'm not going to say that that's not why I said it but I want to say I said what I felt. The way I look at things Lee is that I don't care if you're purple. I don't care if you're red, black, white, yellow, gay, lesbian, transsexual, heterosexual, I don't care what you are be it man, woman, child…All alike. I'm cool with everybody. I like everybody and I give everybody a fair and fighting chance. Just as long as you're a good person and you're not trying to hurt anybody. So if this brings more attention to the LGBTQ team then I'll say I'm all for it. I mean it's not a bad thing to have a group of people on your side no matter where it's from. Like I said whether it a man or woman, whether it's a child, that's three demographics that if I could somehow reach them and show support then good. What else can you ask for in life? I'm all about support. I'm all about making people feel like they mean something. I love to entertain people and so if I could do that and encapsulate all into one then great.
"As far as the second part of your question about the millennials, the politically correct generation… I'm not really for political correctness although I mean if you're on a platform where I mean come on you have little kids watching then yeah I'm all for it when it comes to that. I love kids and I want to set good examples for them. I think leadership by example is very important especially in my life and sometimes it's lacking in others. And so if I can be at the forefront in any capacity then I'm all for it and I don't think people should get offended. If they do I mean everybody has their right to their opinion but I would say look a little bit deeper below the surface and don't just rush to judgment and try to see how it suits you. "