ROH star Danhausen recently appeared on Insight With Chris Van Vilet to discuss all things pro-wrestling, including how his character was created, how he finally found his voice, and signing with ROH last year. Highlights are below.
His gimmick prior to creating Danhausen:
“It was like a standard tattooed, bearded, independent wrestling guy. You just emulate the guys that you are watching, until you figure out what you actually want to do. So Danhausen, some people have said it’s like if Conan O’Brien got possessed by a demon. That’s probably the closest you can get to it in terms of describing it. It kind of just is what it is. I don’t have a set thing of what Danhausen is.”
Why he decided to change his character:
“I would say frustration and uncomfortableness. As much as this character is out there and weird, this is way more naturally me than me trying to be a tough guy. It’s more natural than me pretending I’m going to beat everybody up, that’s not me. I was just trying to find myself and it was not working, I was striking out constantly. I was having good matches here and there, but it just doesn’t matter until you are comfortable.”
Talks signing with ROH:
“That was thanks to Alex Shelly. I rode with him a couple of times and we really bonded on the car rides. He saw what I was doing and he liked it. He thought that it was something that ROH needed. Ring of Honor had booked me a couple of times already, just based on me being weird and different. They allowed me to be full on Danhausen without changing anything. I have been thankful for that, if you change it, the character won’t work. So Alex said ‘you should sign this guy.’ ROH said yes and that was it.”
Says everything he does is based in reality:
“Everything I do is based in reality. I can’t shoot lightning from my fingers or do any supernatural stuff. But the character thinks he can. Like the tequila spot, I get the fans to dance along and I get their energy. That’s a real thing, you can feed off of that. You get excited from it, so it makes sense. No swearing makes sense, because it will get you taken off the air. The teeth thing is a “legal” way to cheat. I can argue with the ref that I am just putting more teeth in. It’s not thumbtacks, it’s just gross.”
On finding his voice:
“So before I found this voice, I used to just have this deep voice. The current one came from me just liking voice acting. Conan O’Brien does voices as he is doing skits, so it came from that. I am also a huge fan of The Simpsons. Also Mark Hamill from Batman the animates series. I will practice them in the car and cut promos by myself. It helps a lot on the long drives to shows. Filming the videos and hearing them back helped me to tweak them.”
On his future goals:
“One goal is I would like to be on television more. I would like to get some sort of cartoon that is not wrestling related. I think that the Danhausen character can translate over into a mainstream audience. The Conan O’Brien interview sort of proves that. There are legs for it outside of wrestling, but I don’t want to leave wrestling, but I want to draw more people to it.”
Full interview is below.