Christopher Daniels Interview: His Curry Man Gimmick, His Rivalry With AJ Styles
Christopher Daniels spoke with Kayfabe Wrestling Radio Tuesday Night in nearly 25 minute interview. Here are some highlights.
On his Curry Man character and if he was worried about it getting over in the US: “Well, first, allow me to clarify; it was never me as Curry Man, it was always a young man known as Kiyoshi. That’s always been a misconception that people have had. So, let’s put that to rest, right away. Second of all, bringing Curry Man to the US, I wasn’t … The reason I thought it wouldn’t get over was that most of the gags in the States was that everyone knew it was me. So I didn’t know if that was going to play in the States. And then, at the time I really wasn’t letting loose with it the way I was letting loose with it in TNA and so I think I put a little more comedy in it than I was going to do because when I was doing it in Japan; like I would do the dance, I would dance to the ring, I would do all the silly stuff but once the bell rang, I would really just wrestle because it was Michinoku Pro, it was New Japan. There wasn’t really a lot of comedy or a lot of ‘Ha Ha’ going on and so the thing that Curry Man did for me there was it made me stand out in terms of my presentation; but as far as the wrestling, they really wanted the wrestler under the hood. It didn’t really matter, you know, the look, but the stuff in the ring is what they wanted.
“Now, when TNA came around, or the idea came around to bring Curry Man to TNA, it needed to be more of a presentation and more of a character than just a guy going out and wrestling. So, I think that’s why I thought it wasn’t going to get over as well as it did and I’m glad I was wrong. I still, to this day, get people talking about Curry Man; for a character that hasn’t wrestled, technically, since 2008. So, it’s cool to think that that part of my career is still respected and enjoyed and it’s awesome.”
His thoughts on his upcoming ‘One Last Time’ match with AJ Styles at Final Resolution and their longstanding rivalry: “Well, my lord, if there’s any other rivalry that’s been going on as long as me and AJ, I’d like to know who it is. Honestly, we talk about it, half-jokingly, like ‘Holy Cow, we’re wrestling each other again?!’ But, it’s just a testament to, I guess, our chemistry and the fact that the fans, despite the fact we’ve been doing it pretty much non-stop for a year to a year and a half, we’re still finding ways to make it different, make it new for the fans; and that’s the challenge for us. I was actually talking to somebody and they told me that they figured out that AJ and I have wrestled 114 singles matches in our career, and that’s to date. At this point now, I’m sure that this weekend I have live events in North Dakota , and I’m almost 100% sure that will be 115, 116, and 117, you know? TNA is going to get as many as many times out of it as they can before the “last time”. But, I just think our challenge is to make it new; the matches that we had this year, I’ve been real happy with: The Last Man Standing at Destination X, the Tag team matches we had with me and Frankie versus him and Kurt, you know the Bound for Glory Series match that we had on television. And here’s a chance to sort of end this rivalry the place where it started and see where it goes. I think it’s going to be cool; I think the fans are going to be entertained and I’m interested to see where we go from here.”
Being part of the stars from the UPW (John Cena, Daneils, Kazarian, Samoa Joe), the training videos, and if he’s surprised at the level of success they all have obtained: “Well, I was never surprised talent wise, but, I mean, so many times especially in an objective business like this, where talent doesn’t necessarily equal success; I’m happy that we all have the opportunities and caught the breaks that we did. I mean, we could have easily fallen through the cracks, especially living out in Southern California, you know, where it’s sort of tough to break pas the independent level just because there’s so little actual big time independents going on out there and it’s hard to make your name on that level out here and break out to the point where people are flying you to the East Coast and flying you overseas. It’s a testament to guys like Frankie Kazarian and Joe and other guys on the West Coast; guys like Joey Ryan, who’s just recently come into TNA for the first time. You know, it’s a testament to their talent that they’ve broken through especially now when it’s so tough in independent wrestling to catch hold and catch fire. So, I wasn’t surprised by that, I was just happy the breaks we caught were good breaks.”
If he would ever want to be on Dancing with the Stars: “Oh sure, especially when I had that wacky mask back in the day. You know, I follow my good friend Velvet Sky on Twitter and I know that she was campaigning pretty hard to be on the current season or the last season and you know, if a hot chick like that can’t get on, what chance do I have? But, I have to be realistic and say if Velvet can’t make it, no one wants to see me in a leotard. For crying out loud, they can see that on Thursday nights. But I promise, if I get on Dancing with the Stars, I will keep the bell bottom tights!”
* Major Swerve Coming With TNA’s ACES & EIGHTS Storyline