The Wrestling Inc. Daily welcomed back Suge D (a.k.a. Pineapple Pete) to the podcast where he discussed his unique summer where he got to work at AEW and WWE. Suge D discussed what the backstage environment was like at WWE comparing it to his previous experiences at WWE.
"I haven't been back to WWE since some time, so they definitely loosened up on some stuff since returning. It's just one of those cases where I'm looking at it and the atmosphere is just a little bit more, it's hectic, don't get me wrong," Suge D said. "There's always something going on, but it's gotten a little bit more chill and just the way that their dealings with extras and all that other stuff like that, just chill man.
"Before, it kind of used to be one of those things where it was like don't talk to anybody, just stay off in this little corner over here and everything like that, but now, everything is easy. You just be where you're supposed to be. Of course, you show up in your suit, all the other good stuff like that."
Suge D then compared the WWE environment to AEW calling AEW "casual". However, he noted that both are still corporate TV products and much different than the indies and are more alike than most people think.
"AEW is just casual," Suge D stated. "They do the thing [where] it's just a bunch of dudes getting together to make some wrestling. At the end of the day, it's all corporate wrestling though, so I don't think anybody should get it twisted that it's like, 'oh my god, it's just so much more chill over on this side.' It's chill, but it's still a TV wrestling product. So there's still stuff that goes on that's high pressure, and it's the same thing over with that other side.
"It's a little bit more hectic because they've been doing it longer. They got more people to answer to etc., but at the end of the day, it's all TV wrestling and coming from a guy that just had a match at a fare show last weekend and was at American Foreign Legion before that, there's differences.
"There's always going to be differences when it's all said and done. When you're in those positions, you just got to be ready to work. You got to be ready to show out. You got to be ready to just take the little and make more of it because I think people notice that. I think people pay attention to that."
"Bro, if you're gonna call me on that, you'd be calling people that have deals and don't have deals on that because let's be realistic, when AEW was on the road before the pandemic stuff was happening, they were supposed to be in Rochester," Suge D explained. "They had Blood and Guts, so they had a heavy schedule man. They were moving super heavy, and you know how that was with Dark around that time. It was like, you might get one or two indie guys to show. They got the rest of their full roster at their disposal.
"I don't think people were like, 'yo, you know what, Suge is like a blue chip prospect. Let's check for him.' I don't think it was ever anything like that, but because of the scenario, yeah, it makes wrestlers from Florida and Georgia and the surrounding areas just a little bit more attractive. They needed bodies. I was a body, and the opportunity went. I'm that type of dude [where] I call a thing a thing."
Suge D talked about the doubt he had during his AEW run. However, he noted that nothing was ever promised to him and how that is part of his journeyman lifestyle.
"I've had imposter syndrome," Suge D admitted. "I had impostor syndrome since the second phone call because it was like, would I be here if it wasn't for this?' And a lot of time in my mind, the answer was yes, but at the same time, I don't have time to stress that. It doesn't matter why I'm here. I need to show why I need to stay, or I need to show, 'hey, I was worth having even without the scenario.' I hung on for what I could, and I'm OK with that.
"That's the whole journeyman thing in me. Nothing was ever promised to me. Nobody ever pulled me in an office. Nobody said, 'hey, if you're gonna do this, you're going to do this, you're going to get that.' I had a run. The run was the run."
"Pineapple Pete" began in AEW when Chris Jericho called Suge D that on commentary. That would lead many to wonder if Suge D can still use that name on the indies. He then explained whether or not he could .
"As far as everything goes, I put the trademark in for it. It could change as of you asking this question, but I put the trademark in for it," Suge D revealed. "Nobody's contested it. So for right now, it's me. So if I get the cease and desist letter and you see like Guava Gary or something like that come out, then yeah.
"Nah, I ain't going out like that. If it's just one of those cases where it gets come for or whatever, just have it. I got a million more I can come up with something different. That's like an independent spirit, plus I just like Suge D anyway."
"Dude, she's everything they say she is," Suge D expressed. "I have an appreciation especially after being on the indies for so long and getting a chance to meet all these different personalities, what will always impress me is when somebody has room to have an attitude and you could probably excuse him for it, and they don't.
"If anything, it's the exact opposite, and she goes in that category. I mean, she's driven. She's smart, hell of an athlete [and] all this other stuff like that, but she's very personable. She took that segment, which again, another educational experience because people don't realize that segment was like what, a minute and 45 seconds.
"You don't realize all the work it takes to get that minute and 45 seconds. The angles, the shots, the way that it's framed [and] all that other stuff. Me being a film buff, I dig that. For her like, oh my god, like she was up to the challenge man."
Suge D continued speaking on how amazing Belair is to accomplish what she did in the vignette having been out of the track and field world for years. He reiterated that while she is really talented, she is also very friendly and notes that WWE has something special in her.
"Not to talk bad on [Dave] Meltzer, but before I even got on here, I guess there was like a clip from his show where he was like, I guess he's not a fan of those vignettes of hers or whatever it is. It's like he don't understand how she be able to do all that with the braid or whatever it is. It was like a big conversation about that. There literally is a cut of her doing that run. They didn't use it.
"They didn't use it for that, but there's literally a cut of her from the very start all the way down to the finish line, and she's booking and running and doing the hurdles and she's got the braid in her hair. And she knocked it out in one take, and this is a girl who hasn't done track in forever. She's completely trained her body for a whole nother sport.
"For her, she was getting frustrated because she couldn't go faster. She was killing it. She's like, 'I'm maybe 75% right now,' so that's scary because that's her 75 on camera. You see in the videos, I think, of her back in the day when like this was all she did. So for her to come in that day and for her to knock all that out physically, still be a total peach to everybody when everything is going on, just smiling, just happy, telling jokes and all the other stuff. Like yo, she's a real one. She's good. Like they got something super special in her, and I think that was obvious even if you haven't met her."
You can support Pete (aka Suge D) by following him on Twitter @SugarDunkerton. Pete'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.