The Wrestling Inc. Daily welcomed back Suge D (a.k.a. Pineapple Pete) onto the podcast where he and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman discussed Suge D’s recent appearances in WWE. Before that, Suge D opened up about how he knew his time in AEW was coming to a close.
“So very interesting set of circumstances, I got the message they were cutting down on extras etc,” Suge D recalled. “They pretty much let it be known like you’ve been there a while, something may come up soon. Something may come up later but for now, that’s it. Cool. Thanks everybody.
“We move on to the next thing, so I had to take a moment, and the thing about it is it’s like there are people out there that if the extra work isn’t there, they don’t have anything going on. And that’s not necessarily their fault. It’s just one of those cases where they don’t have the resources. I’m not in that position. I’ve always been a guy that’s made more even when I’ve had less going on.”
Suge D discussed how most people thought that he was signed by AEW noting that not everyone gets the graphic that they are “All Elite”. However, he made clear that he was never signed and never has seen what an AEW contract looks like.
“You do what you’re supposed to do. You start making phone calls,” Suge D pointed out. “You start asking people what’s up and something very interesting happened in the midst of all that. As I started making phone calls, as I started asking questions, there were so many people that thought I had signed a deal already because they do have people that are under contract that don’t get the ‘such and such is All Elite’ graphic.
“So it happens like that, but you make the assumption that you’re seeing somebody this regularly all the time. There were assumptions made that OK, so you must have signed a deal. Nope. I got my check every two weeks in the mail. No direct deposit. I couldn’t even tell you what the contract looks like, the verbiage [or] any of that. It was cool. It was what it was.”
Suge D continued admitting that he may have lost out on some opportunities due to the misunderstanding. However, he called it a learning experience as he did eventually get the call to do extra work at WWE.
“So once, I guess, word got passed around that it was like, ‘oh well, OK.’ It was one of those things,” Suge D stated. “It was a bit bittersweet because I found out there were some opportunities I probably could have slid into if people had known that two months or three months earlier, but I don’t have time to dwell on that, so it is what it is.
“Again, it was a good learning experience. I’ve never been that deep in the game, especially for that long. Like how do you be there for six months and not pick stuff up? It really helped my game, help tighten me up. It made me better for when I got back to the indies, but then I just got an email, and it was like, ‘hey, do you want come through?’ Sure, I want to come through, and then it’s like, ‘hey, do you want to come through again?’ Sure, I’ll come through again. ‘Hey, do you want to do this track and field segment with Bianca Belair?’ Sure, let me go get my running clothes, and we’ll go do that.”
Suge D’s first WWE appearance was at RAW Underground where he was one of the fans in the crowd. He discussed why RAW Underground was probably not featured on the Sep. 28 episode of RAW, but he also speculated that RAW Underground is not going anywhere.
“Let me tell you something about RAW Underground, I think a lot of people get me confused because like I tell a lot of jokes. I take things seriously, but I don’t tend to be serious,” Suge D prefaced. “I really enjoy what they have with RAW Underground. I think they’re trying to still work out the kinks. As far as I’m concerned because everybody’s had reports of a bunch of outbreaks happening whether it be the indies, whether it be AEW [or] whether it be WWE, this is the worst news week I’ve heard in terms of outbreaks. I just get a feeling that it’s probably more so based around that. I don’t think they’ve abandoned Underground, but I could be wrong.”
Suge D went on to praise RAW Underground and the concept in general. He noted that once the camera cuts were lessened, it enhanced the experience and helps show off the skill of the wrestlers.
“Underground is a hell of a concept,” Suge D remarked. “It’s pretty cool, and the thing that I liked about the last episode of it was it didn’t have the MTV camera cuts. They were actually focusing on things that were happening, and to me, as you know, I’m a fan of Battle Arts [and] I’m a fan of World of Sport, those close combat quarters. I didn’t get to show that off on national TV, but on the indies, I think people will get to see that I do that style, and I do it a lot.
“The thing about it is, with that kind of style, you want to be close up. You need that long shot to see what’s happening because if you chop stuff up, you miss stuff, and I think that was the first time that they consciously like, OK, let them see how ugly it is. And the fights were cool, and you got wrestlers that know what they’re doing. You got wrestlers that are combat-trained. You got wrestlers that got MMA backgrounds, all sorts of stuff. I think it’s a cool concept. Like I dig it. I had fun.”
Hausman asked Suge D if Shane McMahon is merely just a character on RAW Underground or if he has any creative control over the segment. Suge D noted that there is a team that works on RAW Underground together, but McMahon is hands-on and helps give talent advice as to how they can make the fights more realistic.
“Oh, no, there’s a team for everything, so they got back-up producers, all that other stuff like that and everything. So I don’t think they’re going to leave too much to just playing it loose and fast with that, but yes, he’s definitely interactive with what’s going on and how he wants it and how he wants it to look,” Suge D revealed. “I actually dig how passionate he is about it because he’s a fight enthusiast.
“So when he’s looking at how he wants stuff to come across, ‘hey, you should try it this way, or realistically, if you’re trying to go for this switch or trying to go into this guard, you wouldn’t go into it that way. You’d go into it this way.’ To keep in mind, a lot of the performers, either they’ve been in a real fight or they have that training or they dabble in it as well too. So with him having that background in it as well, sometimes he’ll see what they’re putting together, and he’ll just be like, ‘hey, for authenticity [Suge D makes jab sounds]. You might want to do this. You might want to do that,’ and it makes sense.
“It makes a lot of sense. Sometimes, I think the camera cuts don’t do it justice because you miss out on that kind of stuff, and if you’re a real enthusiast who watches UFC and you watch all that other stuff like that, that’s the stuff you want to see.”
Hausman also asked if Suge D had ever met Vince McMahon. However, he admits that has not and remarked that Vince is like The Godfather in that you need an appointment to see him.
“I have never seen that man in the flesh, in real life, and I’ve done extra work prior to WWE, I think two or three times,” Suge D admitted. “I’ll probably end up, by the looks of it, doing more extra work for them in a few months than I have in a span of like five years, but I have never seen him in the flesh for anything or whatever it is. It’s The Godfather. You got to get an appointment or you just gotta catch him while he’s out.”
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.