The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast recently welcomed former ROH World Champion and member of SCU Christopher Daniels where he and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman chatted about SCU’s time in AEW so far. Daniels expressed his gratitude towards the fans and also expressed his hope that full crowds return once the pandemic has subsided.
“It’s been two years for us. We were there at the beginning,” Daniels stated. “To see us come into this last full year of television for us has been a wild ride to be sure, and the pandemic has sort of steered us in a wacky direction, but the truth is, the fact that we’re still going strong, the fact that our ratings are going so well and fans have expressed a lot of support for our company and for our product, it’s meant a lot to us.
“It makes us feel good to know that we’re on the strong path right now and all our cylinders are firing, and hopefully, once this pandemic is over and we’re back in front of a live audience around the country, we’re definitely looking forward to bringing the game back in front of fans because that’s really the best way to enjoy this wrestling is in front of the fans. It’s hard to appreciate it until you’re not there. The first couple of months where we were in front of live, full arenas, I miss those days.”
The tag team division has been the highlight of AEW with Daniels’ fellow SCU members Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky kicking things off as the inaugural AEW Tag Team Champions. Daniels praised the tag team division highlighting current tag team champions The Young Bucks and FTR and their recent match at Full Gear.
“I think it’s awesome. I sort of knew that was the way it was going to be,” Daniels admitted. “Having The Young Bucks being EVPs, they were going to focus on the tag team division, and I think in the last couple of months, especially with the arrival of FTR, I have to say, I personally feel like those guys, they’re one of the best teams in the world. Their past match with The Bucks at the last PPV was just amazing, and I think Dax [Harwood] and Cash [Wheeler], they’re great.
“I’m big fans of their work. I’m big fans of their work ethic. That’s just two of the guys. That’s just two of the teams, like you said, in a full roster in addition to me and Frankie, in addition to Jurassic Express, Private Party [and] Best Friends, who I also think are great. It’s just a full boat, and it’s an embarrassment of riches for AEW [and] the tag team division.”
Hausman asked Daniels if he has any ambitions for another run at a title. Daniels said he “would love an opportunity” to hold tag team gold with his long-time tag team partner Kazarian. He noted that his chances are realistically slim considering the vast amount of talent in the division, but he hopes things can fall into his favor.
“I absolutely would love an opportunity to be AEW Tag Team Champions with Frankie,” Daniels expressed. “I think that if I went through AEW, if I was at the start of AEW and I didn’t have an opportunity to be a champion of some sort, I’d be disappointed, but I’m also very realistic about my chances at this point.
“I feel like there’s, again, such a loaded roster of guys, and we’re all fighting for that opportunity to be on Dynamite [and] to be a champion. The odds look long, but at the same time, I’m not giving up. I’ve said it before, these aren’t my best days, but they’re not my last days either, and so it’s just a matter of time before I get an opportunity. If everything falls my way, I’ll have some gold around my waist, me and Frankie.”
Back in ROH, Daniels had an unofficial role as a leader of the locker room. In AEW, Daniels said that he is one of many veterans that are helping out the younger wrestlers. He talked about what it means to him to have younger talent want to hear what he has to say.
“I’m one of the guys, in addition to being a wrestler, I’m also one of the guys behind the scenes that’s sort of trying to guide the younger talent, give them the benefit of my experience in television wrestling,” Daniels said. “There are people like Private Party, and Sonny Kiss and Jurassic Express that I try to give advice to when I can, but I’m just one of the many.
“There’s a lot of guys behind the scenes, especially guys like Jerry Lynn, Dean Malenko [and] Colt Cabana. These are all guys that are also helping the younger talent sort of come into their own, and so there’s no lack of guys that are trying to help the roster sort of come into their own when it comes to television, when it comes to the wrestling scene. I’m just happy to be a part of that crew.
“It warms my heart to know that people respect my opinion enough to want my input, to want my opinion on their their work and I try to give the benefit of my experience. I try to build them up, and hopefully, have them avoid the mistakes that I made coming up and just become more well-rounded wrestlers overall.”
Hausman asked Daniels if he could provide an example of a mistake he made early in his career. Daniels talked about how talent need to prioritize the bumps they take and make them feel important so that the audience knows that they are important rather than just taking spontaneous bumps just because you can.
“Honestly, it’s literally just about making stuff important,” Daniels described. “I go back and watch a lot of the stuff that I did back in the day, and it was a lot of wrestling just to show that I could wrestle. And I realized that sort of stuff is sort of pointless. Not pointless but it’s just a waste. I don’t want these guys — there’s a finite amount of bumps that we can all take as human beings, and I don’t want these guys wasting bumps, and falling down and potentially risking injury just to show that they can do something cool.
“I try to tell these guys make all these things important. They’re only as important as you make them, and if you act like it’s no big deal, then fans they’re going to act like it’s no big deal as well. The things that you deem important, the fans are going to feel are also important. So I try to express that to them so that they understand the more you make something mean, it’s going to mean that much more to the wrestling fan.”
Christopher Daniels is featured in the new short film SWERVE which is now available to watch for free on YouTube. He can also be seen every Wednesday night as part of AEW Dynamite and can be followed on Twitter @facdaniels. Daniels’ 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.