Sports Illustrated has a great new interview with Zeb Colter. Below are a couple of highlights:

Basing his character on Clint Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino:

“That’s what I based Zeb Colter on. I had to do an interview about a minute long for Vince [McMahon], and all I did was channel Clint Eastwood?and I agree with a lot of his sentiments, so it wasn’t that hard. I said, ‘When I walk down the street today, it wasn’t like when I grew up. I don’t know what happened. The people don’t look the same, they don’t talk the same, they don’t eat the same food. What happened to my America?’ And Vince, instead of saying, ‘Fire him!’, said ‘You’re hired!’ They initially wanted Jimmy Golden [Bunkhouse Buck], but it didn’t work out. So I went in there at 3:30, was hired by 4:30, and was on Raw by 8:30.”

Why pairing with Alberto Del Rio didn’t work:

“WWE failed to take into account that it didn’t make a lot of sense. Remember, I hated Alberto Del Rio, and he hated me. So, all of a sudden, I disappeared and came back. But it’s not necessarily the first step in wrestling that is the most important, because it’s the second step that identifies and clarifies the first one. That’s what we didn’t do. There was no chemistry, but there was also no logical explanation as to why I would be with Alberto. I said to the guys in the back, ‘I’m not getting the story,’ but people kept saying, ‘Just wait.’ I’ve walked on enough wrestling floors, and I know if a crowd isn’t getting a certain vibe. The chemistry wasn’t there with me and Alberto.

“I suggested that I get back with Jack. What I really wanted to say during my return was, ‘When I was away, I realized that, instead of building walls, we should be building bridges. Instead of hating on people, I should be loving people.’ That was the build-up, but then we’d find out that, while I was away, I was really having a s— fit about every son of a b—- who f—– me over, and Alberto was one of them. So my plan was to convince Alberto to let Jack join us, and then we’d do the big turn at the end, and that would have helped everybody. They didn’t see it that way, and Del Rio wanted to stay a heel. So I worked six weeks with Alberto, then they went their way and I went mine.”

Colter also discussed riding with The Undertaker early in Taker’s career, WWE contacting him about return, Jack Swagger’s push almost getting derailed after arrest, WWE creative writers getting a bad wrap and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.

Source: Sports Illustrated