Independent wrestling star Fred Rosser (fka Darren Young in WWE) was the latest guest on the Wrestling Inc. Daily to discuss a variety of topics, including how Chris Jericho inspired him to work an off-Broadway play and what Vince McMahon taught him in promo class. Highlights are below.
On what Vince McMahon taught him in promo class:
“Well, one thing I learned from Vince McMahon when he would do promo class years ago, and it’s still in my head, is a few things. One, keep your hands up. That’s one rule from Vince McMahon. Second rule is never be afraid to make a fool of yourself. He would always say that in promo class. So years ago, I would do wrestling interviews like this and try to deepen my voice and all that stuff to sound more masculine. Now, I can just be myself. If I need to do a role, which I was doing in the musical, I did it to the best of my ability and made it as entertaining as possible.
How he envisions himself as a Randy Orton-type:
“The work I do now for New Japan, I’m just taking my time. When I’m in the ring, I take my time. When I’m in the ring, I envision myself being the black Randy Orton. No one knows that but me. When I go out there, be the black Randy Orton but make it my own, the in-between stuff, taking my time getting to the ring. Randy Orton’s a big inspiration of mine and a lot of stuff that I’ve learned in wrestling, in general, I just brought that to the stage and just, again, made it my own and wasn’t afraid to be soft, and wasn’t afraid to make a fool of myself and wasn’t afraid to be tough on stage. I brought it all in the musical, and you’ll definitely see it.”
Says Chris Jericho inspired him to be in an off-broadway musical:
“Well, when I was offered this role, probably November, December of 2019, I was 36 at the time. If I was 26, I wouldn’t have signed on to this role because, at the time, 26, I wasn’t out. I would have said, ‘Oh, that’s for gay people.’ When in all actuality, I was living a lie myself. So at 36, one of the biggest inspirations, and I say in any and all interviews I do moving forward, the biggest inspiration for me doing the musical was actually Chris Jericho, and he had his deal with Dancing With The Stars. And I said to myself, ‘Man, this musical theater sounds kind of cool, something that I would never ever do, but Chris Jericho, he’s doing everything. He’s got his rock band, and he’s done Dancing With The Stars.
On the experience he had in the show:
“If he can do something like that, then let me be the first WWE veteran, New Japan Pro Wrestling superstar to dive headfirst into this off-Broadway musical,’ which is about marriage equality based out of Fire Island, Little House On A Ferry. And I had the second lead, so much to remember. The script alone was overwhelming. So when I was given the script in December dealing with the director, I couldn’t stand him at the time. I wanted to really put the elbow right under his chin, and fast forward to when I did the musical and I worked with the director, Rob, every day leading up into this musical and flying out to New York, and I got all my lines. I got my lines down. I got the singing down. I got the dancing down but capturing it with the reality part was something that you gotta tune into because watching it back is just so funny and so real too because I was the first one there and the last one to leave when I was on set because I wanted to get it right.”