Damien Sandow on Life After WWE and His ‘Thank You’ Tour
May 14, 2016 - WWE
Last week, several superstars were expelled by WWE. Fans reacted to all a cuts – in one approach or another – yet one in sold had them howling: a company’s preference to partial ways with Damien Sandow.
That was unequivocally a covenant to his talents as both a wrestler and a performer, given over a camber of his comparatively brief WWE run, Sandow regularly showed that he could get usually about anything over. He debuted in 2012 as a “Intellectual Savior of a Unwashed Masses,” incited into a Rhodes Scholar and afterwards became Mr. Money in a Bank in brief order. But after an catastrophic cash-in of a MITB briefcase, he fell by a wayside, usually to eventually reemerge as a Miz’s forever engaging attempt double.
That winning spin warranted Sandow copiousness of accolades – and his sole WWE title, a Tag Team Championship with a Miz. Their energetic was a tack of a company’s programming by WrestleMania 31, nonetheless for whatever reason, WWE never unequivocally capitalized on their possibility to build a new face, and Sandow was seen usually irregularly in new months.
But either he was a unchanging on Raw or merely a bit player, Sandow customarily perceived some of a biggest reactions of a night. It’s partial of a reason he skeleton on embarking on a wrestling “Thank You Tour” (while operative underneath a name Aaron Stevens) before branch his eyes to other projects – one of that has a intensity to truly amaze.
In his initial speak given being released, Sandow opens adult about his time in WWE, his attribute with a fans and what happens next.
Take me by what happened final week, when we perceived a phone call from WWE.
First of all, we know a lot of people within a wrestling village were a small surprised. With me, we was some-more beholden for my time there. Looking back, we had a good 4 years there. The law of it is, as a performer, a suspicion is to get a assembly to feel something, to elicit some kind of emotion. In a WWE, from a second we debuted, there was an impassioned feeling of dislike towards me. They unequivocally did not like me from a second we came on. Which was huge. A lot of guys spend years and years perplexing to get that kind of a reaction. They gave me a height to do that character. Then, as time went on, generally with a Mizdow thing, a fans went from hating me to amatory me. The throng invested as me as a person. we never suspicion that I’d get that turn of recognition as distant as being cheered. As a performer, in that genre, a usually thing we can ask for is fan response, generally genuine fan response. It’s a many gratifying thing. In reviewing my WWE career, that we did now when a call came, we was usually grateful, and vehement for a future.
Were we astounded they had motionless to recover you?
Not really. we had some conversations with them before, where we had pronounced that we think, as a character, we had left by a gamut. What some-more could we do with that character? Some people say, “This association should have finished this, or that.” No, a association gave me a platform, and we maximized my opportunity. That’s all we can ask for. In maximizing it to a indicate that we did, as a character, infrequently all we can do is get a new cloak of paint. As a radio show, a WWE, they have so many gifted performers there. There is so many talent in a WWE. we have no problem with them wanting time to let a other guys uncover their craft. we am not greedy in that respect. When we was on TV, they knew they’d get a reaction. When we demeanour during it, if we know we can block me in any spot, and we don’t have to deposit a TV time, afterwards it creates clarity to give TV time to guys who need to build their reactions. Just demeanour behind during a Royal Rumble in January, when we was on a preshow. we was in a ring for a initial time in months, and fans were chanting my name, when we was usually station on a apron. That, to me, means some-more than any pretension we could have won in WWE. That means a universe to me.
After a news broke, what did we consider of a fan greeting on amicable media?
The humorous thing about that is, a initial thing we did when we got off a phone was purify my strew out. we had been definition to do that for years. With my report in WWE, we unequivocally hadn’t been means to do that. My partner was ecstatic. we hadn’t been means to do anything around a residence in years. So we suspicion I’d use a time positively. we spotless a strew out, we played with a dogs and afterwards usually relaxed. That night, my phone was toll a lot. we checked in with my family, who were wondering if we was OK. we was fine, we told them not to worry about it. Then we incited my Twitter on. we was amazed. we was repelled that people cared that much. In a party world, it’s always about, “What’s a subsequent large thing?” It meant a universe to me that people cared. It meant some-more than winning titles, to see a escape of emotions. And a feeling is mutual. It’s clichéd to contend that yet a fans, there’s no WWE. But it’s true. Without a fans, we wouldn’t be a performer we am.
I have always listened to them, a fans. we noticed my trainer as whoever paid for a ticket. They always commanded my performance, in whatever genre I’m in. There’s a lot of opportunities that have been opening to me. Due to my commitments in WWE, we couldn’t pursue them like we wanted to. As we go and pursue these opportunities, a fans will always foreordain to me what’s a best thing to do as a character. That’s who we am. That’s who Aaron Stevens is.
Did WWE contend given they were releasing you?
No, not really, and they didn’t need to. Parting ways is never a pleasing thing. It’s funny, given we took some exam one time, and my consolation was totalled on some absurd level. When we was being called, we was meditative about a other man – a man who has to give a man this news. we was usually some-more like, “Oh, cool. Thank we for everything. It was awesome.” It was rather mutual. we had voiced to them that maybe, if they didn’t have anything for me, afterwards yeah, there are other guys who need a chance. we had already run that spectrum with a fans. A lot of times, in pro sports, we have egos involved. My ego was usually about removing a fans to conflict one approach or another.
When we contend it was mutual, do we meant your recover had come adult before, or that we were OK with their decision?
Not so many my release, yet all a options. we had asked about being a commentator if they weren’t going to have me on as a wrestler. There were many opposite options we was exploring. It wasn’t a doom or dejection situation. we usually wanted to demeanour into any track that was possible.
What were some of those routes? Over a past year, quite after a ‘Macho Mandow’ experiment, were ideas pitched to get we behind on TV?
I indeed kind of wanted to cold off for a month or two. What some-more could we have finished after that? There were talks about repackaging me. There were talks about me doing a satire of tide events. There were several things that were on a table. For one reason or another, they didn’t go through. There’s so many that goes into removing characters on TV. The WWE is good during defining and presenting characters in a best probable way. You can representation ideas, yet there’s so many that goes into a radio shows, as distant as where a impression will fit in, or how it’ll fit in, and infrequently it usually doesn’t fit. All we could do was strike a grand impact any time we got to go out there.
I don’t have a bad thing to contend about WWE. we wanted to be a wrestler given we was a kid, or we should contend we wanted to be a “performer” or whatever we call us now. we got a eventuality to do that. we trafficked a world. we had a garland of fun. What some-more could we ask for? It was awesome. There’s other opportunities out there. There’s other avenues in life that we wish to pursue. Now we can go into those other avenues. WWE gave me my initial tellurian platform, yet it won’t be my last. we will always be unequivocally unapproachable of being compared with them.
You got a clever greeting from a impulse we initial seemed in WWE as a ‘Intellectual Savior of a Unwashed Masses.’ How did that impression develop?
I had been in a developmental territory. we had been articulate about opposite impression ideas with people. At a time, NXT had usually started to take shape. It was a unequivocally sparkling time in developmental. As it started to take on a life of a own, there were a lot of people that were examination us down in Florida a lot closer. My one instruction during that indicate was to do anything we could to mount out. It unequivocally was like freedom. So we took that freedom, and wondered, “OK, what if we stopped shaving? And then, what if we wore pinkish trunks?” It usually kind of combined on itself. After a pinkish trunks got a reaction, it was Dusty Rhodes that suggested that we get a bathrobe like Lou Thesz used to wear, and wear it to a ring. And that dress was used to benefaction a pinkish trunks. we would take a dress off, and people would see a pinkish trunks for a initial time. They were horrified by it. It was so many fun.
It kind of usually took on a life of a own. They gave me leisure to govern a impression as we saw fit. we had my discipline and things of course. And people were overwhelming in assisting me. Triple H was awesome, Brian James was great. Mike Rotunda, he was unequivocally instrumental in assisting me out. I’ll always be beholden for his assistance in that. There were a lot of guys in WWE who helped me. we was also given a lot of freedom. And a lot of times, a approach this business is, we indispensable that leisure to bond to a crowd.
You unequivocally connected, and about year into your run, we won a Money in a Bank briefcase. Did we consider we were about to take that subsequent large step then?
I positively did consider we was going to take that large step. Of course, resources commanded differently and there’s so many that goes into decisions, things that go approach over what we as performers know about. When we had that compare on Raw with Cena, we usually went into it with a mindset that we was going to do a best we can. I’m going to give a opening of a lifetime. If we go behind and we watch that cash-in, if we watch a “conversation” before and what we did in a ring, we did give that performance. we put all we had into it. As a performer, I’m unequivocally unapproachable of that.
As unapproachable as we were of a moment, was there any beating that we didn’t win a title?
You always ask “Why?” The one thing we learned, over time, is that there’s a instruction that we go, as a company. If a tide is relocating one way, afterwards we have to go in that direction. Whether that means we concentration on certain characters, or a certain situation, afterwards we have to follow it. If my destiny success wasn’t foreseen – and I’m being totally honest here – and they had other things to concentration on, afterwards we know it. It was adult to me, as a performer, to gain on whatever time we had. Thus, a sauce adult as someone new any week. Other guys pronounced we should be doing something else. Well, we know what? I’m a usually one that’s sauce adult as someone new any week, and removing attention. So let’s go with it. we didn’t know where or how it was going to finish up, yet we usually wanted to strike a home run any week, and make them remember.
After several months of sauce adult as opposite people, we finally found a unchanging purpose as Miz’s attempt double. What was your initial suspicion when we were told about a idea?
Honestly, my initial suspicion was, “Oh my god, we wish we don’t have to compensate for all a garments that he buys.” Luckily, we had a black coats, and that was a M.O. for a while [laughs]. No, really, we was wondering if this was going to be a one-time thing or if we were unequivocally going with this. After about dual or 3 weeks, when they finally motionless that we were going to be together, we unequivocally got to puncture into it. From there, we remember we were on Raw, he fell down in a ring, and we had a notion, “Oh, what if we fell down.” we did it, and afterwards boom, off to a races.
So that partial of a gimmick was all you, and improvised?
Yeah, that was totally on a whim. we would have never guessed that it would collect adult a approach it did. Kudos to Mike [Mizanin], given we worked together for a while. We looked during any other, and we didn’t know what we had here, yet we knew it was something. We would not discipline during all. That was not a science. That was finish art. We would usually go and see what would occur from week to week. We were usually carrying a lot of fun.
At WrestleMania 31, a Andre a Giant Battle Royal was fundamentally built around your impression finally station adult to a Miz. What was that like for we to finally strike that crescendo of a storyline, and get a accepting from a track full of people like that?
The approach it was done, and a build to that, was awesome. The whole setup, him walking, me jolt my head, me jolt my conduct a second time, and afterwards feeling a swell of 83,000 people chanting my name. In that moment, time stood still for me. When they were doing that for me, we unequivocally felt that my career was a success. There are guys that are in a categorical eventuality that don’t get cheers like that. That was a genuine, 100-percent genuine romantic response on a grand stage. To me, as a performer, there is no endowment we can win, no accolade, that can kick a genuine response from a fans. That impulse is among my favorite memories in a WWE.
Having pronounced that, with that throng reaction, with what seemed like a company’s support, what do we consider about happened after?
The association was streamer in a certain direction. With my success, even we didn’t consider it was going to take off like it did. From a essay standpoint, if a tide is relocating north, and I’m going east, afterwards there’s not many we can do. we usually went in with a mindset of going out and executing a best we could with whatever was given to me.
Looking back, do we have any regrets about your time in WWE?
Look during a greeting we got this week, out of all a guys who were released. Look during a greeting we got from a throng when we was there. It was given we put all we had into my performance, and it always showed. we did in 4 years what it takes some people 10 years to do. we took a assembly by a whole spectrum of emotions in 4 years. If that’s my legacy, as distant as a WWE is concerned, I’m grateful, and I’m beholden for them for giving me a height to do that. we had fun. we consider a fans had a lot of fun.
WWE fans, they know their stuff. They know what’s good. Do we have regrets? Absolutely not. I’m perplexing to consider if there’s one thing we would have finished differently. Not really. we can’t consider of one. we maximized my time. we had a good time doing it. And it’s presenting me with new opportunities that I’m going to demeanour to take advantage of now.
So what are some of those opportunities?
After we got a call final week, we was indeed looking brazen to spending time during home for a while. But, as offers started entrance in, we took name dates, given we wanted to contend appreciate we to a fans. we wish to accommodate them, and have a possibility to speak to them. we wanted to go out and appreciate them, in my possess way. My career is given of a fans. WWE gave me a platform, and I’m evermore beholden for a WWE, yet I’m here given of a fans.
However, even as we was with WWE, we had questions come adult of if I’d ever do anything on film or acting-wise. we was taken aback, given I’m a wrestler. It started entrance from some-more than one chairman though. People started to speak to me about it, and we started seeking questions about it. we started holding behaving classes on my off-days, usually to see what it would be all about. we found that acting, in terms of putting on a facade of a character, is opposite in a lot of ways afterwards what we did, yet it’s also unequivocally similar. My passion started to be unequivocally character-based, reckoning out what a sum of personification opposite forms of characters would be. It’s unequivocally a craft, yet it’s a qualification that I’m unequivocally committed to. Over a past year or so, I’ve been holding classes and reading and it’s unequivocally interesting. we adore it. There have been a integrate of offers, however, I’m unequivocally lucky. we have a good group of people who know what they’re doing. The initial pierce is going to be crucial. It’s all about sifting by and reckoning out what works. we can guarantee we this though: we will put a same volume we put into my wrestling into whatever we do.
If we had a choice, would we be looking to do film, television, or even theatre acting?
It’s unequivocally humorous we ask that. we was in city a other day, and ran into one of my friends, and he said, “I know people who are into Shakespeare.” So on Monday, I’m going to start study Shakespearean acting. Am we going to order out doing Shakespeare? Absolutely not. It’s about heightening my sword as many as we can. As an actor, we wish to be prepared to do whatever comes my way. Right now, many of a offers have been in film. That is something that I’ve wanted to do. I’m kind of astounded during a offers we had. But it’s all about creation a smartest move. Right now a concentration is film, yet we wish to learn as many as we can about acting.
Could we see yourself returning to wrestling on a full-time basis, either that’s in a association like TNA, ROH, Lucha Underground, or somewhere else?
When we contend full-time, full-time in a WWE is unequivocally opposite than full-time elsewhere. we am not going to order out anything. we don’t wish to extent myself. It’s not like when we finish adult my “Thank You Tour,” I’m going to be blazing my boots. It is an aspect of performance, and if we can use whatever entrance to perform. If a fans wish it, and they’re digging it, if it coincides with whatever plan we confirm to take, afterwards I’m open to anything. It’s a unequivocally sparkling time, and I’m not against to behaving in a wrestling ring. You never know.