During the past few months a different “r” has been tossed around. Not “reality,” but “relatable.” Why is it so important for fans to have Superstars they can relate to?
I think being relatable and accessible is the key to having fans. People want to be involved and want to be part of the show. They certainly want to feel like they know you. I think it’s hard for a fan to feel like they know someone like Brad Pitt, or someone like that. But we’re a completely different animal as far as entertainment goes. If they can relate to a person they see on television, they feel like they know that person. They want to root for that person, or they want to boo that person. I think every good bad guy uses the part of them that they hate, and it gets under the skin of everybody else. People can relate to that, especially when they’re in a real-life situation. They can’t understand what it feels like to get suplexed off the top rope, but they can understand what it feels like to get slapped in the face.
Speaking of a slap in the face, who does the best John Laurinaitis impression backstage? What’s the secret to getting it just right?
Honestly, probably me. I guess I can do impressions pretty well. He’s an easy one. You just have to have the raspy voice and talk about yourself wrestling in Japan and how good you were. A couple of them are really irrelevant. I do a pretty good Raven.
How did you go from hating Twitter to being such a prominent Twitter user?
I think the Twitter thing was about me not really getting it. I never did MySpace or Facebook. That all seemed kind of silly to me. Twitter’s less of a hassle. It’s 140 characters: You can say what you’re thinking. You can blurt stuff right out. I poke fun at a lot of people and, hopefully, I can teach a new generation of America better grammar in doing so.
You Tweeted a photo recently of every current titleholder in the company at the time (yourself, Daniel Bryan, Zack Ryder, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne and Beth Phoenix). Did you orchestrate the photo? There’s a lot of meaning to it, as in, “We made it.”
Yup, that was all me. That was absolutely the idea behind it. If you look at that photo, back in 2005, I was in OVW, and so was Beth Phoenix. Then, a year later, Cody arrived there. Kofi was down there for a heartbeat and so was Zack Ryder. I competed in the Indies with Evan Bourne. Yeah, it was only six years ago or so, but it’s a lifetime. Many of them put in a good six years prior to OVW. In many ways, pretty much everybody in that picture, with maybe the exception of Cody, was told, “You’re too big,” or “You’re too fat, too skinny, too small, or not good enough…” Most of us started in the Indies. We’ve all had an uphill battle, and we all worked our butts off. The sad thing to me about that picture is that I’m the oldest person in it. For people to say I talk too much about change—well, I backed it up when I Tweeted that picture. And I’m certainly not saying, “Look at what I did,” but when you’re the WWE Champion, you’re the man. You’re the bandleader, the pace car, the frontrunner, and all eyes are on you. The locker room pretty much falls in line and looks to you for direction. I’m proud of my locker room, guys and girls. Superstars and Divas. I like it when people tell me I can’t do things and then I go and do it. We did that. I love that picture.
Rapper Papoose sampled you (quite prominently) in his song, “Pipe Bomb”: “In anybody else’s hand this is a microphone, in my hands it’s a pipe bomb.” Have you heard the song? Any thoughts? When will you be singing guest vocals on other albums?
I have heard the song. And if you can get a hold of me, and want me to do a guest vocal on your album, bring it on. I’ll do it. I hustle and get my own stuff done. I do my own thing. I think it was fantastic that I was sampled. I encourage freedom of creativity, and I want everybody to do their own thing.
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