Damien Sandow spoke with Sports Illustrated ahead of tonight's Money in the Bank match on Smackdown to discuss what it's like not only competing in a such a bout but also in constructing one.
"There was a real collaboration to make the match work," Sandow told Sports Illustrated. "That is because of the agents and the talent in the match, and I was very lucky to be in there with such pros both times I was in a Money in the Bank match.
"I don't want to name specific agents because I don't want to leave anyone out. Being an agent is a very thankless job, but every single agent I ever worked with was constructive and awesome. As for talent, Dolph and Cesaro are the names that come to mind as awesome."
Sandow, who is known outside of WWE as Aron Stevens, worked in a Money in the Bank ladder match in 2012 and captured the briefcase in the bout in 2013.
As for multi-talent matches being a "set up for injury," Sandow explained it hinges largely on the bout participants.
"That all depends on who is in the ring," Sandow said. "The creative process for me was enjoyable and fairly easy. On the other end, I've had some singles matches with people that were like pulling teeth. Given the opponent, a singles match could be more difficult and draining than a Money in the Bank match. It really all depends on the talent in the ring."
Sandow, primed to take the step to the main event level after winning the World Heavyweight Championship contract in the 2013 Money in the Bank match, saw his character stall. He became the second wrestler in WWE history scripted to lose his "cash in" opportunity against then World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. Despite that, Sandow looks back proudly at his Money in the Bank performances.
"You have to have your ring awareness at an all-time high in a Money in the Bank match," Sandow recalled. "Believe it or not, there were no injuries in my two Money in the Bank ladder matches. That speaks to the caliber of the men in that match. Once you start over-thinking during a Money in the Bank match, that can really hurt you. I can't remember ever second-guessing myself atop the ladder, which is why I've been fairly injury-free, knock on wood."
Sandow explained it's important that participants in a Money in the Bank match stick to the plan, despite the variables that can occur.
"We always had a game plan and I did my best to stick to it," said Sandow. "Variables always occur, whether that was changing something in the match and getting it where it needed it to be or changing based off the crowd. That comes with proper training, and there are a lot of guys up there who are properly trained."
Sandow was released from WWE in May 2016 and went on to work in Impact Wrestling as well as the independent circuit. He's taken some time off from the business lately due to the death of his 14-year-old yellow lab. He misses WWE but is growing and changing.
"WWE was such a great part of my life, but I'm also looking forward now to my forward movement," said Sandow. "I'm grateful for my time there, and I'm excited about my life moving forward. I miss the fans and hope they're doing great."
You can read more of Sandow's interview with Sports Illustrated by clicking here. Make sure to join us later tonight here at WrestlingINC.com for our Live SmackDown Viewing Party.