By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Submission Radio interview with Paul Wight
Hosts: Denis Shkuratov and Kacper Rosolowski
Video available at Submission Radio YouTube Page
Wight on Sasha Banks and Naomi walking out of WWE Raw: “For me to speculate on all of that would just be absurd, because I don’t know. I haven’t talked to Naomi, I haven’t talked to Mercedes, or Sasha, either. So, I think every talent… fans forget, you know, there’s keywords used every time, there’s opportunity and all these different things, but this is still a business. And as much as we love and everyone has passion for this business, it comes down to a lot of times making business decisions. And sometimes a talent believes strongly in something they have to take that stand. I’ve never been put in a position where I felt like I had to make that choice. My attitude was always very different in wrestling. I always [felt like] I signed a contract, they pay me to do this. Whatever they want me to do. Whether it’s getting knocked out by a mechanical bull, wear a mawashi and have my ass hang out at WrestleMania and have a sumo match.
“That was never a thing for me where I was so worried about my character. And I’ve caught grief for that over the years too, [that] I’ve sold too much for these people, I’ve done too much for other people. Everybody’s got an opinion. I always approached this business and never forgot the golden rule, that it’s entertainment, it’s not real, doesn’t matter. Whatever you do last week, most people won’t remember in three or four weeks. And if they do remember it, then that’s a good thing, because you’ve made an impact on a fan. But everyone looks at this business differently. They all have their own business choices and opinions. I just hope obviously that Sasha and Naomi find a way to work things out, because they’re two incredible talents that fans really enjoy seeing. And the only sad thing out of the whole scenario would be them not being able to entertain the fans that I know that they both are very passionate about and love doing. But again, all you can do is sit back and wait and see what happens.”
On his second hip transplant in December keeping him out of the ring, wanting to help young talent, and working on his commentary skills: “I’m never going to be a guy that’s come in and bully my way, I’m gonna need my own dressing room, I need to be fighting for the title. That’s not my MO. I want the business to do well, I want the talent around me to do well, and I’ll be okay. I had another hip transplant in December. So, now I have two. I have two titanium hips. So, I’m like wolverine. So, the process for me has just been rehab, physical therapy, get stronger. And my thing coming over here to be honest and be sincere is, I came over here to work on my commentary skills. Because that’s where my future lies in wrestling, that’s where I came to contribute to the business. But I came over here to compete periodically in small dosages.
“Like, I don’t see myself running for championships. That’s not my gig. Maybe if it works and there’s a younger talent that I help bring up a lot, like a tag team championship, maybe. I’ve done my five nights a week for four decades. I’ve put in my time. Now for me it’s about not taking anything away from the amazing AEW talent here that deserves that TV time, that deserves that opportunity to make those connections with the audience, that deserves that ability to go out and earn pay-per-view paydays. This is their time. And for me, I’ll pick here and there and squeeze in. We’ve got some stuff coming down the line that’s really cool.”
On AEW dream matches: “Wardlow obviously at some point. I’d like to actually do some kind of thing where I could tag with Wardlow. Just so I can kind of work with him as a team. I think there’s a lot of fun we could have there. I would love to do something. When I look at guys, it’s funny, because a lot of this too would be me being a heel. And I don’t know if I could pull that off, but I’ve had more turns than NASCAR. When there’s a lot of great talent – even working with like Kenny Omega, Adam Page. I would love to work with Dante Martin, Ricky Starks, Darby Allen. My god, I would love to be a heel with some heat and work with Darby Allen. Like, I mean, I think I could cause a riot with Darby Allen. Murderhawk [Lance Archer]. I’d love to work with him, just because he’s a big monster. There’s a lot of younger talent there that I want to mix up with. But it’s finding the right scenario to mix it up. Because let’s be honest, it doesn’t do any good for me to go out there and beat up a younger talent at this stage of the game for me, you know what I mean? I need to find a way that it makes sense to enhance that talent and elevate that talent. So, I think in this situation a lot of it is less is more.”
On Steve Austin’s WrestleMania return and how Vince McMahon takes “the crappiest” Stunners: “I thought it was great. I thought it was good for Steve, because Steve and I stay in touch a lot. We’re pretty good buds. We’re usually laughing about cars and dog videos, but I know he’s been working really hard. He stays in shape, he hits the gym, he gets his cardio in, and I know that he loves this business, and like me, you always want to be a part of it. And for him to get out there and rock and roll and have that opportunity to mix it up, that’s an amazing opportunity for him, and I thought he did fantastic. I really did. I know they’re the other company, but I was really, really – I’m pleased and happy with how that whole thing turned out and the way they laid it out, and even Vince getting his ass in the ring and doing something, I thought it was great… Here’s the thing, and he’ll be the first to admit it, he takes the crappiest stunner. It’s a good thing he’s a smart guy and can run a company, because he’s just not an athlete. God bless him. He’s a hell of a weightlifter. You know, squats 700 pounds, benches 500 pounds, but he’s just not the athlete that Shane [McMahon] is, that’s for sure.”