“Red Death” Daniel Garcia recently made an appearance on the AEW Unrestricted podcast with Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone. Garcia recently signed with AEW after working many appearances on Dynamite and Dark. Garcia made his AEW debut on an episode of Dark on September 22. Garcia revealed which AEW roster member helped make his appearance happen.
“People just end up reaching out to you. I think you develop a lot of independent wrestling clout or notoriety, and then people end up hitting you up,” Garcia noted. “And I think The Blade, Pepper Parks, one of my trainers, I think he was able to put in a good word for me a little bit. I’m sure that didn’t harm the cause at all, but I think that’s how it came together. They were just looking for, kind of, high-profile indie wrestlers that they could put on their show and give an opportunity to and that, plus a recommendation, I think went a long way. I had about eight months off from wrestling, and my first match back was at AEW.”
Garcia later talked about his pro wrestling training at Grapplers Anonymous with Mikey Evernight and Brandon Thurston. Garcia talked about how much The Blade has meant to him during his pro wrestling development.
“I learned so much from Pepper. I didn’t really have a father figure growing up,” Garcia admitted. “My father wasn’t really around. He passed away when I was young, so Pepper was one of the first father figures, I feel like, I had in my life. He’s 20 something years older than me, but he’s somebody I can always go to for advice in and out of wrestling, like life advice but also just advice in the ring. He’s somebody who is very comforting, and somebody who is very helpful and somebody who is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that somebody is comfortable and to make sure that somebody is just on the right path.”
There is a contingent of Buffalo-area wrestlers that remain close to this day in AEW. Garcia spoke more on what it’s been like for him to grow closer with The Blade.
“He’s someone who was like a role model,” Garcia said. “I grew up watching Pepper too. He was on all those indie shows that I would go to growing up. I have pictures with him as a fan. From me just being a fan of his and then him being kind of a role model figure and a positive male figure in my life, it’s a cool transition. And sometimes I’ll just be having a normal conversation with him, I’ll be like, man, this Pepper Parks! That’s pretty cool.”
Garcia then revealed another AEW star that has an influence in his nickname “Red Death”. He also revealed what his first reaction was to the nickname.
“Andy Williams actually came up with it, The Butcher,” Garcia revealed. “I started wearing this red gear. I think I was just missing a little bit of steam to my character, and one day, he was like, ‘You know what you need? You need a nickname. These Japanese wrestlers, they always random nicknames, two random words put together. [Tomohiro] Ishii is the Stone Pitbull. What does that nickname mean? Nobody knows. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s cool. It gets over. The American Dragon, just random things thrown together.’ It was kind of ironic because at the time, I was even skinnier than I am now.
“I had mopey hair. I was super pale. I was like, man, it would be kind of cool if the audience heard the name ‘Red Death’, and then all sudden, I come out. And I’m wrestling super intensely. I’m trying to wrestle like a ’90s All Japan Japan wrestler, but I look like a 12 year old. I was like, that would be a little cool bait and switch for the audience. I used it a couple times and ended up getting over. It’s really easy for the crowd to chant. I think it’s a really easy nickname to market. I hated the nickname for a lot.
“When I was injured, I wanted to get rid of it and just come back as just Daniel Garcia, but I don’t want to sound braggadocios, but it was too over to get rid of. I feel like too many people knew me as Red Death, even more so than Daniel Garcia. I was like, man, if I get rid of this, it’s gonna be a little bit of a handicap to my career. So I might as well just keep it. Even if I don’t like it that much, the crowd likes it, and that’s what really matters.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.