Post Wrestling’s Andrew Thompson conducted an interview with Australian wrestling star Shane Haste (Thorne), where the former RETRIBUTION member discussed his recent appearance at the NJPW STRONG tapings, and how he hopes to reunite TMDK for NJPW’s World Tag League tournament. Highlights, including the full video interview, can be found below.
On the new Crocodile Dundee type character he introduced before being released:
Yeah, I was trying more character-based stuff [with the Crocodile Dundee character]. A lot of my career, pretty much all of it, I’ve just wrestled as myself. So, when I first went to SmackDown, I had singles gear and stuff like that and I’m like, ‘All right. I’m just gonna be this guy who’s been in NXT before’ and now — I really wanted to do like a moment on Raw Talk or Talking Smack straight after we left RETRIBUTION and I wanted to be like, ‘You don’t realize you’ve hit the bottom and the way Ali treated us, showed me that I was at the bottom so I’m done with that darkness and I’m ready to be a more positive person.’ I just wanted to be more positive about every situation that I was in and yeah, being in RETRIBUTION got pretty rough by the end of it and so I’m like, I wanna leave that behind and that’s kind of the real life — character reflecting real life and I’m like, ‘I didn’t realize I was at the bottom and looking at Ali and how mad and angry he was-was like looking into a mirror and I didn’t like what I saw so, you know, being away from him now on SmackDown is a fresh start for me and I’m ready to show the world.’
How Dijak gave him the idea:
Just put me on Raw Talk where I can just freeform say this and if you don’t like it, it’s only on YouTube, no one really cares, and then there were a lot of wrestler wrestlers out there like [Bryan] Danielson and Cesaro on SmackDown so I’m like, I’ll just be a babyface who’s a good wrestler and we just put over I’m a good wrestler. I’ll go out there, have great matches then go have some f*cking fun in the backstage but that stuff just kept getting — not happening so then I was looking at more, just any way to get on TV man. Just any way to get my face on TV and Nikki [A.S.H.] started doing her superhero thing and I know that was her idea and it was just to be more marketable and be more herself. A huge — I think one of the biggest markets in WWE is kids. Everyone always goes like, ‘Oh, when — it was better back in my day when I was younger.’ I’m like yeah, that’s because you were younger. So there’s kids who are that age now who probably think now’s product is the best and they’re gonna go, ‘Back in my day…’ So, that was my thought; just being something more marketable. I’ve gone through a lot of different looks in WWE at the time by that point and I’d never gotten an action figure not being marketable in that way so, and there was so many guys who just wore wrestling gear. So I was like, ‘All right, I gotta take a different direction with this. What’s something no one’s doing?’ And that was like the authentic, outback Australian look and so that’s where I got the look from was Dijak [T-BAR] giving me sh*t about, ‘Just go be Crocodile Dundee’ and I’m like, ‘I’m not gonna f*cking –’ no, he’s like, ‘Be the crocodile hunter. Go be Steve Irwin.’ I’m like, ‘I’m not gonna f*cking go be Steve Irwin, I don’t wanna be Steve Irwin’ and I was like, ‘Fine. I’m gonna be f*cking Steve Irwin.’ If that’s what you Americans want, I’m gonna stop being an Australian that Australians want to see because Australians, I don’t think they want to be seen as a joke and I’m like screw it. I’m not wrestling for Australians here. I’m wrestling for an American, my bosses are all American. So I’ll be the Australian Americans want to see.