AEW star Sonny Kiss recently appeared on the Shining Wizards podcast to discuss all things pro-wrestling, including how Jim Ross, Billy Gunn, and Dustin Rhodes have taken him under their wing. Kiss later discusses the Nightmare Factory training facility when asked about whether AEW has a developmental system. Highlights are below.
On working with Jim Ross & other legends:
I actually just texted Jim Ross the other day. I just wanted to wish him well and send him some good energy because he’s been going through alot. It’s honestly crazy when I think about it for a lot of things. There’s a lot of people that have taken me under their wing, and me having Dustin Rhodes and Billy Gunn as my mentors is like crazy. Like, “no freaking way!” It’s funny, because the first thing he (Billy Gunn) told me was, he goes, if I had an a** like yours when they were calling me the ass man, I’d have made a lot more money. I was like “oh my God, you’re too funny.” It’s honestly such a crazy thing. I can’t even fathom it, and I’m just like wow. And that’s one of the things that keeps me going because even when I’m not feeling the most confident or not feeling appreciated or valued, I definitely think about how blessed and grateful I should be, and that I am… I can’t be mad at anyone. I can definitely stay hungry and strive to want better and more without disrespecting the hand that feeds you.
If AEW has a developmental program like NXT:
So, the Nightmare Factory is definitely the closest thing to that. QT Marshall is the trainer there, and Cody is a trainer there. They have the camps, and yeah, that’s kind of their developmental in a way, I guess. Obviously, Dark and Elevation are ways for people that are already signed to try things out and gain experience, to test things out, to test storylines and try new things and help get people over so that they can get to the next level, to get to tv level and Rampage and Dynamite and all that stuff so, I guess it’s kind of like that. I mean, obviously, you know the Performance Center has been around a lot longer, but I think it’s going to get to that point where AEW has literally so many resources that help new and upcoming stars.
(Thanks to Shining Wizards for sending us the above quotes)