"It's different for everyone. There's something to be said for sticking it out. With WWE, it's a massive machine, and you will air in 120 countries and have action figures and towels. I also think now it's possible to do what Cody has done and the Young Bucks have done and carve your own niche outside of WWE. That would be fun. It's definitely more work, because you're having to slog different kind of miles, and probably not going to be wrestling in better arenas with better showers. But at the end of the day, it's still the same job. As glamorous as WWE may seem you're probably eating at a Waffle House at 1 in the morning, and you're probably going to see the Ring of Honor guys there too."
Wrestling is getting more mainstream coverage now than at any point since the Attitude Era. Are you surprised to suddenly see WWE on, say, ESPN?
"Twenty years ago, outside of Hulk Hogan doing Santa With Muscles and things like that, it would have been difficult for someone like me to land a role on a dramatic, huge series. And now it's happening because of guys like Dwayne [Johnson] and Dave [Bautista], who are helping legitimize what we do. And what it is we do is a lot of different balls to keep in the air, and I think people are really starting to appreciate that now."
You also left wrestling with a bit of mystique left to your persona. Now, between reality shows and social media, the lines get blurred. Could that be a handicap down the road?
"I fought the social media thing kicking and screaming. It can demystify. But it's a different world now, and that is part of what we as humans have developed: right, wrong, good, bad, I don't know. Part of me has always been a private person. That's still there. Just occasionally, I'll tweet out that my daughter said I'm annoying. When I was talked into Twitter, I was like, "Eh, I feel like I'm losing part of what I built." Putting yourself out there also adds. I'm sure it didn't hurt for Vikings to see that I have six million Facebook followers and a million Twitter followers. Why not take control of it and let everybody know from the WWE fanbase that I haven't forgotten about ya?"
Source: Rolling Stone