Pro-wrestling star Damo (fka Killian Dain in WWE) recently spoke with WrestleTalk about a number of different subjects, most notably what NXT’s mindset is on big-man wrestling and how WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels helped him break that mold in NXT. Highlights are below.
How Shawn Michaels helped the big men break out of their mold:
“Right now it’s very relaxed, but when I first started it was the opposite. Not necessarily right at the top, but it took Shawn Michaels becoming more involved, when he started taking classes and working with us, and he started watching all of our indie stuff which is one of the weirdest things. I’d send him indie matches and he’s like, ‘This is awesome, why aren’t you doing this?’, and I’m like, ‘Well, they want me to be a stoic heel so I can’t really come off the top rope very often, or dive’. Then suddenly, when we started becoming tweeners and into faces, I was allowed to dive, I was allowed to do more. It’s not that they were specifically against me doing these things, but it was like if I’m diving and I’m doing cool stuff off the top rope, then what is the babyface going to do to make that better?”
Says that once he became a babyface he was able to do more athletic stuff:
“So at first I fully understood why they wanted me to be a bit more plodding and a bit more generic big guy, but as we became the tweeners then the babies, the gloves came off and I was able to start putting more stuff in. And it was good because I started coming up against AOP and Lars and stuff like that who are as big as me if not bigger, so the character then has to come up with ways to beat these people or hurt these people. Against Lars, we had a four-way dance, where I managed to do this big mad dash off the stage through a table and I did the dive on him and stuff like that. So I was able to showcase a little bit there – that’s one of the matches that I really enjoyed actually, it was a fatal four-way, the two of us with Johnny (Gargano) and Aleister Black, and it’s one of the ones I completely forgot about until the other day, someone was telling me, sent me the link, and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that was fun.”
On working with Shawn Michaels:
“Especially working with Shawn and stuff like that because, first of all, working with him was outrageous anyway, but to then him trusting us and watching our indie stuff. I think it was him who said why hadn’t I done the coast-to-coast. And I was like, ‘It’s pretty sore! Very stiff ring!’ (laughs). I think I only ever did it twice on TV, and the second time they completely missed it, which is one of the most bizarre parts of – for such a slick operation, whoever our producer was that day missed it. And I literally took this bump for no reason (laughs). I don’t even think they got a replay of it from what I remember. The only evidence I have of it was a fan who was in building took a video of it, that’s the only evidence I have that it actually happened. But for everything else, generally they’re so slick and they capture everything, so I can’t really give anybody any heat for that.”