AEW superstar and former WWE champion Paul Wight recently spoke with WrestleZone to discuss his work on the Fast and the Furious series, as well as what his goals are on the AEW commentary team. Highlights from the interview are below.
On working on the Fast and the Furious series:
“The ‘Fast and Furious’ people have been so much fun to work with. I had an opportunity and I think I said this before, I had an opportunity to speak Russian [in the series]. And this is part of things about finding different ways to challenge yourself as a performer and do things outside of the norm. Granted, the energy is really high with Palindrome, but also there’s a lot of heart with Palindrome. There’s some subtle nuances with that but also I had to learn how to speak Russian for one of the things we were doing. And for me, I’m just a big redneck from South Carolina. So English kicks my butt every day, so the opportunity to work on this and work with a voice coach really nailed that Russian.”
On speaking Russian for the series:
“Like when I heard it back, it’s almost one of those things that I’ll never forget as a performer because it didn’t sound like me. I was like oh that’s me talking. ‘Wow, I sound Russian.’ Holy smokes, you know what I mean? And it’s a confidence booster, believe it or not, when you do that because you know that okay, that’s something I stuck my toe into, so now I won’t be afraid to try for roles that might have that more. It’s funny because yes, I’ve had a lot of time in front of the camera, I’ve done a lot of stuff, movies and television and whatnot,” Wight said, “but you’re always finding ways to challenge yourself. And one of the things that I have with ‘Fast and Furious Spy Racers’ is I just had a lot of fun doing it.”
On his main goal for doing commentary:
“It’s funny because when I first wanted to do this, this is one of the things I talked about with Tony Khan after my contract ended with WWE and I started entering negotiations with AEW, you know, what did I want to do. And he and I both agreed on, I wanted to come in and really understand the AEW product because I had been such a force for WWE for so long, [I had the] WWE way of thinking, WWE way of processing, WWE way of executing things. I really wanted to understand that this is not WWE,” Wight explained, “this is a different product entirely. I wanted to immerse myself as much as possible and kind of forget a lot of the things that I knew, if that makes any sense. I wanted to immerse myself in this product, become familiar with the talent, and color commentating was something I always had aspirations to do. I got a little taste of it here and there in WWE for brief instances, but this opportunity, Tony was like, ‘yeah we got a show we’re gonna launch, ‘Elevation.’ It’d be you and Tony Schiavone’, and it wasn’t a temporary thing,” Wight said. “Tony just had the confidence in me to hit the ground running and go with it.”