In an interview with Chris Mueller of B/R, AEW’s William Regal gave the backstory on who called him to pitch coming into AEW, and how the idea of the Blackpool Combat Club began.
“Bryan gave me a call about … it might’ve been three weeks before I debuted,” Regal said. “He said, ‘Could you talk to Tony? Please, would you like to come here? We have this idea.’ And I was like, ‘That sounds like a lot of fun.’ And then I talked to Tony and it all sounded like a lot of fun. I’d be coming in as talent, to be me and to be with Bryan because we’ve got such a long history together. Then I started watching the show because when I was let go by WWE, I checked out of wrestling completely.
“It might’ve only been six weeks, but when I said I checked out, I checked out because all I’ve ever done is wrestling. The only times I haven’t done it is when I’ve been ill. So it was like, ‘It’s not my job anymore. I’ll have a complete break from it and not think about it, except for stuff that I like’, which is watching old British wrestling with my son, who lives in England and that’s what he does now. We watched some old British stuff and some old Japanese stuff, and that was it. I was checked out.
“So I started watching the show, and then I saw Bryan and his stuff going on with him and Jon, which looked to me like they were going to be together. Then I spoke to Bryan again, and he said ‘Yes, this is the idea.’ So I said, ‘Thank you. Great.’ So I turn up and just do my thing. I didn’t know what I was doing until maybe 15 minutes before we did it. I got to the building at 7:15 or something that night.
“I was in the room, and finally, Jon and Bryan came in and said, ‘Right, here we go. This is it.’ And I’m like, ‘What, this is it?’ ‘Yup, this is it. We’re going out to have a match in a little bit, then you come out and react.’ And that’s exactly what we did. I just went out and reacted. They gave me an idea of where they wanted to go. The next thing, I’m just sort of having notes because I don’t feel like I’m in a position to say anything. I’ve mentioned the two things in the last few weeks, but I’m just like, ‘What do you need? Point and click? Right, I’ll just go and do my bit and react. And let’s see where it goes.'”
William Regal also went into detail on what he called “the myth” of BCC member Bryan Danielson being held down in WWE, and shared a conversation he had with Danielson during said time.
“You can’t believe the myth or the nonsense that Bryan was held down,” Regal said. “At one point, he said to me, ‘I’m not doing anything.’ I said ‘Bryan, since you’ve come back in the WWE, has it been more than two weeks when you weren’t a champion of some kind?’ ‘Well yeah.’
“If you go back and look, at this point when he was talking to me about stuff, I said, ‘You’ve already been world champion. I’ve never been a world champion. At the moment, you’re going through a normal phase that everyone goes through. But you’ve been US champion. Whatever it is, you’ve been doing something. Whether you know it or not, you’re building loads of trust with this audience because you’re the one going out there doing these 12 to 15-minute matches. You’re getting the TV time and it slowly builds up.'”
William Regal also shared a story of a time he was talking with extras and an unnamed wrestler about whether Bryan Danielson was the best wrestler in the world or not.
“I sat once with a group of extras, and I won’t mention who this person was but this person said to me — actually, I asked him, ‘What do you think of yourself?’ He said, ‘I’m the best wrestler in the world,'” Regal said. “I said, ‘Not in this company, you’re not.’ He said, ‘What do you mean?’ And I pointed to Bryan. He was sitting on the opposite side of the arena. I said, ‘In this company, they tell everybody that. Whether you know it or not, you’re getting told because of the way he wrestles, because of the way Michael Cole knocks him or says stuff about him. But if you look, because of the stories he’s telling, he’s the best wrestler in the world.’ I said, ‘He’s the best wrestler in the world here.’ And this person said, ‘I’m better than him.’ I said, ‘Not here, you’re not. Because they’ve invested time telling the audience that he’s the best wrestler in the world, and then when he goes out, he shows that he’s the best wrestler in the world.’
“I said to this certain person, I said, ‘Can you talk?’ His exact words to me were, ‘My wrestling speaks for itself, I don’t need to talk.’ I said, ‘Good luck with your career because you’re obviously so far up your backside that you’re not looking at the big picture. But you need to think about it more like Bryan and do whatever you need to do, on top of the wrestling to get noticed.’ Now if you want to buy into the myth about Bryan, you can buy into the fact that he was held down. If he was held down, there’s no way. I don’t care who he was, if Mr. McMahon wanted to hold him down, he wouldn’t have been in the main event of WrestleMania. You can buy into all the nonsense you want, he would not have let him be in that position. No way would’ve happened.”
To quote this article, please credit Chris Mueller of B/R and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
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