The Wrestling Inc. Daily recently welcomed former WWE Superstar Aiden English onto the podcast to chat about his transition into commentary after the Rusev Day angle had concluded. English admitted that commentary was never in his plans, but he thanks Tom Phillips for reaching out and recommending it to him.
“So that was an opportunity presented to me that I decided to really jump into. It wasn’t something that I was planning that’s for sure,” English revealed. “So I’ll be honest, after the whole Rusev Day thing ended with more of a whimper than a bang, it was a little disheartening. I said this before in other interviews, it’s a classic story. I tried to get things going. I talked to creative. I would pitch ideas. Hey, we could do this. We could do that, and it’s a lot of ‘sure, we’ll look at it,’ but for whatever reason, it didn’t go that way. So I wasn’t doing a lot of the time, and I wasn’t working a lot.
“I’ll be honest, I wasn’t feeling that great. I’m actually really thankful Tom Phillips came to me at the time and was just like, ‘look, I think you’d be really good at this if you want to give it a try. Keep wrestling, whatever they have you do that’s fine but if you’re able, come to the Performance Center and let’s record some stuff because I think you can be good at this too.’ Again, at that time, I’m like, you know what, why not? It’s another feather in the cap. It’s another skill to have. So let’s do it, and that was kind of it.”
English talked about the session that he did with Phillips and how he thought that there would be nothing that would come of it. However, he said Michael Cole went up to him a week later to tell him that he would be on 205 Live commentary.
“I went and did one session in Orlando, and I thought that was going to be kind of it,” English admitted. “Alright, maybe in six-eight months, next year or whatever, we’ll try it again sometime, or if they need somebody or whatever. Sure enough, one week later, Michael Cole calls me to gorilla at SmackDown and said, ‘hey, Tom said you did really good. Let’s try to put you on 205 Live for the next two-three months and see how it goes. You can keep wrestling in the meantime, but yeah, you’ll do this after SmackDown. Thanks.’ I was like, ‘OK?’ I’ve done 45 minutes in a recording booth in Florida, and now I’m going to be live on The Network every week. It took off from there, and they sat me with honestly one of the best teams I could have been thrown out there in Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness.”
English praised Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness for their commentary work and the help and support that they gave him. He admits that his deal was up at WrestleMania 35 and that he stayed on commentary because of how much fun he was having with Joseph and McGuinness. He acknowledges that he could have continued his path as a wrestler, but he decided to stick with the path in front of him instead.
“Nigel being a legend in this business we all know, and then Vic is an incredible play-by-play guy. I think he’s very underrated, and so those guys propped the crap out of me,” English said. “And I’m so grateful for all the things I learned from them. I think it’s because of them, honestly, that I stayed because at the end of it, I was supposed to stay till around Mania 35. That was kind of the deal, and then Mike was like, ‘look, you want to keep doing this, or do you want to try to keep doing the wrestling thing,’ but because of the good time I had, because of all that I learned from those guys, I really did develop kind of a love, admiration and appreciation for this side of the business that I never thought.
“So I was like, ‘you know what? I’m all about it.’ You go through the door that’s open. Sometimes, it’s the path that’s in front of you. It’s the immature mind that worries about what could be, and it’s the mature mind that worries about what is. And at that time, what was in front of me was that, and I could sit there and go, ‘no, no no, I want to be world champion for the next six months, or you know what, here’s an opportunity. Let’s see where it goes, and so that’s what I did.”
English was asked if his WWE deal changed from being an independent contractor to an employee when he transitioned into commentary. He notes that it can for some like for McGuiness, but his deal remained the same after his switch to commentary.
“There can be,” English noted. “I stayed on my regular deal for the time I was there, but I do know right when I was starting was like when Nigel was just being switched over to an employee. I think once you get more work in that department and they’re like, alright, we’re going to use this guy more than one show or something, a little bit more in depth in that kind of department, that becomes an option yes.”
Aiden English appeared recently at Zelo Pro Wrestling’s Stronger Together. To order the replay of the event on FITE please click HERE. Aiden’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.