Paul Walter Hauser is an acclaimed actor who appears in YouTube Red's Cobra Kai. But Hauser is also a huge wrestling fan who keeps tabs on the various promotions in addition to visiting Wrestling Inc.
As such, Hauser spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast where he first talked about what kinds of stories he enjoys reading about on Wrestling Inc.
"I hate getting wrapped into the pettiness like when Sami Zayn mentioned AEW on Raw," said Hauser. "It was like that somehow became a story even though it wasn't really a story because no one knows what actually happened. There are tertiary accounts of the story and I get sucked into them. I'm like, 'Why am I going down this rabbit hole?'
"But I love when Wrestling Inc. breaks something huge and you guys are so quick. You talk about every angle in the business including mentioning when it's so and so's birthday or so and so is shooting a commercial or the Jon Moxley story. You guys cover everything which I think is perfect."
On the topic of Moxley, Hauser shared his thoughts on the recent Moxley interview on Talk is Jericho.
"It's long overdue. These guys gotta start defending themselves. For guys that fight for a living, they don't fight for their careers nearly enough," Hauser said before adding that he's passed on jobs where he was offered peanuts by people he knew were worth a lot more.
"I think these guys are learning that being independent contractors…they have to take more ownership on their careers. That's scary because we feel so indebted to people that pay us, but you gotta know your value whether you're a plumber, teacher or wrestler.
"At some point, Jon Moxley was like, 'I think I know my value.' And you're seeing that from Sasha Banks. She's gonna fly the coop in about 10 minutes. The second her contract is up, she's gonna go make hand-over-fist wherever she wants because she finally realized her value."
Before Moxley spoke with Jericho and before he joined AEW, he made a series of cinematic viral videos and Hauser reacted to those.
"What a healthy 'the sky's the limit' moment for all wrestlers when they see what Moxley did…I just hope it encourages people. I hope they see all this and go, 'Oh, I can do my thing' whatever that thing is. It might be literal, public stunts. Why is there not a wrestler out staging publicity stunts in shopping malls," asked Hauser.
"The creativity has no limits – you just can't be afraid to do it. A guy like Jon Moxley or Cody Rhodes, these guys aren't afraid to do it. The chains are off."
Much has been made about the treatment of pro wrestlers in recent weeks, and Hauser was asked if he feels bad for how wrestlers are treated based on his Hollywood experience.
"Yeah, I feel bad for people who think they have to stay in one place – people that feel loyalty to a fault. The thing about Jon is that he made a good point in saying, 'Is Vince a genius?' He touched on that everybody says he's a genius, but he doesn't go genius things," stated Hauser. "What's bad with tribalism is that it leads us to believe in the lore over reality."
Hauser then talked about how Vince will always be a genius for what he did, but at some point the fans got tired and he didn't re-invent himself.
Hauser is by no means a wrestler, but he did get to partake in some physicality with Cobra Kai. He was asked how much physical prep he did for the role.
"Physical prep – not much [laughs]. I will say this – I am very flexible and can kick over my head. I do all my own stunts and just did my stunts in a new movie for Netflix for Spike Lee," said Hauser. "When they told me I got to be in the fight scene…I was like, 'Dude, I'll do 500 takes of this. I can't wait!'"
Paul Walter Hauser can be seen as part of YouTube Red's Cobra Kai which was recently renewed for a third season. You can follow his on Twitter @PaulWHauser.
Paul's full interview with Wrestling Inc was included in a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded player at the bottom of this post. Some of what Paul discusses includes Jon Moxley's leap away from WWE to AEW, WWE's culture driving away fans and wrestlers, his advice for Vince McMahon, who should be the first AEW World Champion, his work in movies like "I, Tanya" and "Blackkklansman" and more.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.