Behind The Magician's Curtain
Dan America takes you behind the ring apron
The Future King of the Crusierweights
One year later, Dalton left the radio station and I had spent a year waking up at 4 in the morning to operate the boards for Free Beer and Hot Wings Morning
Show and touting that I was huge wrestling fan. I politely demanded an interview with a WWE Superstar for months before I got my opportunity. The WWE was coming to town for Smackdown and it had been
promised to us that a WWE Superstar would visit the station, I hoarded the opportunity which was easy because I was the only available wrestling fan to interview whoever they sent us.
The build up toward the announcement was like waiting for Christmas morning and I would not be disappointed, the WWE told us that Neville would visit us the day of the show. I had become a huge fan of Neville since his debut on the WWE main roster.
Although the interview had been promised to me, the digital team wanted to make a series of videos where three wrestling fans competed in a game of Wrestling Trivia in order to win the interview. It was like a real wrestling work because they put me against two people who did not know as much about wrestling then me. To spice it up a little they came up with the idea that we should all have Pro Wrestling names and try to act like we were Professional Wrestlers on a Game Show. I wore a leather jacket and no shirt, I had forgotten my deodorant that day but it didn’t bother my because I thought my stink would work to my advantage even though I knew I was going to win.
I acted like an arrogant jerk in the videos and won without effort, each of my answers to the questions I was asked came in the forum of a wrestling promo and I won the game, of course.
The interview was important to me, it felt like it was the conclusion to a mission I had began years ago. I told all of my friends and family about it, I was proud but nervous.
After all of the negative experiences I have had with WWE Superstars, I really wanted this one to go well. The best part was that it was going to be recorded for everyone to see, it felt like it would be my redemption: My first positive experience with a WWE Superstar would be on the record.
The day of the interview I was nervous and forgot my deodorant again, I had also convicted myself that I was accidentally wearing one of my wife’s shirts. I spent the early hours of the morning spraying my armpits with Lysol, watching old interviews with Neville and wondering if I really was wearing my wife’s shirt.
As I watched Neville’s interviews, matches and special appearances I became more of a fan then I was before, I also wanted to give the WWE the interview that they wanted, I could not be the character I was on The Real American Wrestling Critics but I still had to be funny. I gathered a list of WWE friendly questions, but one thing that bothered me from Neville’s interviews was one where he was ridiculed for being British and never had seen Mary Poppins.
My concern over my possible smell and not knowing if I was wearing my wife’s shirt started to distract me, so I asked someone at the station for there opinion. He brought in a small group of my co-workers to make fun of me but they still expressed their support.
When Neville arrived I was ready, I saw him walking down the hallway toward the studio and I pushed all fanboy related emotions out of my mind, my goal was to act causal and treat Neville as I would any other person.
He walked into the studio accompanied by a pair of WWE employees, seeing Neville in person is an impressive sight, the guy is so ripped that I was afraid to shake his hand at first because I did not want him to think I was as out of shape as I am.
After our formal introduction I began to nervously arrange myself for the interview, as I grabbed my notes and fussed over the position of the camera I told Neville how I had been watching his old interviews that morning and how I thought that the guy who ridiculed him about not seeing Mary Poppins was a jerk. Neville had no idea what I was talking about, I began to feel the sinking feeling I always got before when I knew I had made an ass our of myself infant of a WWE Superstar, but this time I was ready and rebounded. I cut the small talk and went straight into the interview, Neville and I sat down in front of the camera and as I went to introduce us I became tongue tied…
It took five minutes for me to introduce us, Neville laughed at me the entire time.
Once I got a hold of myself and were able to introduce Neville and I, the interview could not of went better. Neville seemed to actually enjoy my questions and our conversation, a minute in to the interview it was if the camera were not even there and that Neville and I had sat down for a friendly conversation. Neville is an awesome guy and I appreciated how genuine he was during the interview, I made a big deal out of how much of a draw he was when he first debuted on the main roster, during the interview I added some praise to how much of a fan favorite he had become.
A short time after the interview Neville was injured and when he returned he turned heel, my wrestling fan friends started joking that gave Neville bad luck.
I doubted it at first, then Neville won the Cruiser Weight Championship and went on Social Media and boasted that I had interviewed a WWE Champions!
Neville walked out on the WWE eventually.
Although it should not, the fate of Neville after our interview made me feel that even though I finally had a positive experience with a Professional Wrestler that it still somehow turned out to be negative.
( Here is the Youtube link to the actual interview.)