AEW wrestler Sonny Kiss joined Chris Jericho on the Talk Is Jericho podcast after Kiss’ match against Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship. They talked about Kiss’ rise in AEW as well as his beginnings that started with AEW Chief Brand Office Brandi Rhodes contacting Kiss for Double or Nothing.
“So Brandi slid into my DMs. I always say it like that,” Kiss laughingly said. “It’s just always so funny. She messaged me, ‘Hi Sonny. It’s nice to meet you. We would like you to come to a show. Are you signed anywhere?’ I was like yes, but I could still do other bookings.”
Kiss was signed with Lucha Underground at the time, but his contract allowed him to work with AEW as they had a partnership at the time. However, Kiss called the contract details a nightmare saying that Lucha Underground talent were only making around $4,000 a year.
“It was a nightmare. We were probably maybe making four grand a year,” Kiss revealed. “We couldn’t sign anywhere else at all. There were times I couldn’t pay my cellphone bill. I couldn’t contribute to my rent. It was bad.”
Many of Lucha Underground’s top talent eventually got out of their contracts with Lucha Underground including the Lucha Brothers. Kiss says he was one of the last people to get out of their Lucha Underground contract, and he revealed that he didn’t sign a contract with AEW until October when Dynamite started.
“They were amongst the first to get out though. I was amongst the last,” Kiss noted. “Cody was like, ‘don’t worry. We’re still gonna book you to the moon. We’ll make sure you’re still here’ which was great. I really appreciate him for that. January was when they announced AEW. I didn’t get the contract until TV happened.”
Jericho asked if Brandi had watched Lucha Underground and was impressed with Kiss’ work. Kiss admits that he hasn’t talked to Brandi about that and also talked about how he thought All In 2 was what he was being contacted for having not known AEW was going to be a promotion.
“I don’t know. We never had that conversation,” Kiss admits. “She just DM’d me on Instagram. I’m actually thinking it was gonna be All In 2. I actually didn’t know AEW was a thing back then. I just knew it was an event that was happening in Vegas, and I’m thinking alright this is just All In 2. This is not gonna be a promotion. Then they announced it in January, and I was like holy snap. Whoa.”
During his entrance before his match against Cody, Kiss had the Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders with him similar to Fight For the Fallen. Kiss said it feels like tradition now and said that he wanted the entrance to be bigger since it was a big match for him. He also said he was the one that created the dance choreography for the entrance having choreographed dance moves since he was a kid.
“It’s tradition now at this point,” Kiss stated. “[I did] at Fight For the Fallen last year. Then T.K. [Tony Khan] and Cody were like let’s do it again this year. I did want to amp it up a little bit. It was a big match for me obviously, so I had to get the big choreography with the big match.
“Last year they only gave us a half hour [to prepare]. This year we had a little more time with a couple more rehearsed. Last year we only rehearsed it once. This time we rehearsed it a couple of times on the stage. I’ve been choreographing moves since I was eight years old.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.