Erick Rowan on how he’s coping with the deaths of Bray Wyatt and Brodie Lee, working with The Rock at WrestleMania, why he won’t join the Dark Order in AEW

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Insight With Chris Van Vliet with guest Erick Rowan
Host: Chris Van Vliet
Podcast available via

On the deaths of Bray Wyatt and Brodie Lee: “I’m doing okay. I mean, it’s obviously been rough for the wrestling world. And, you know, it’s just one of those things. And with, you know, the passing of Jon, you know, Brodie, it was a shock. And then with Windham, it’s like, you don’t know where to start or begin. And it’s one of those things that, you know, when you experience loss, it’s like, you don’t know how to react, then I still don’t know how to react. And no matter what I do, I always feel them with me. And wrestling’s worse, I think, because when I’m in the ring, I spent so much time with them that when I do any show lately, it’s constantly reminded, either by just popping myself in the ring by doing a move and thinking of somebody yelling in the corner at me and laughing or the crowd reminding me, it’s just one of those things. And keeping busy is, you know, my key, to just kind of moving on and concentrating on my family and myself.”

On working for AEW: “I think there was always something about like, possibly in the future. And it’s always that possibly in the future thing that I always hear. It’s like if it’s the right time, it’s the right time. If it’s the right thing, it’s the right thing. What I loved about wrestling was always surprises. And guys would come out and it’d be like holy crap, this guy just came out. Oh, now he’s got this storyline, this feud, and now he’s a hot commodity. Instead of like, Oh, this guy just came out, where is he now? He hasn’t been on TV for like three weeks. That’s not exciting to me. Like what was exciting to me was these guys… Like I remember when [Kevin] Nash, [Scott] Hall, and [Hulk] Hogan came. And this was during No Way Out with WWE and it was like, Holy crap. These guys are here now and like then they got stuck in all these top feuds with like The Rock, and it was like, it was exciting because it was like something different to watch. And you are instantly. Hey, this is who I am and this is what I’m going to do and here’s why I’m doing it. Like, and I don’t think there’s a lot of that happening right now.”

Was there ever a plan to join The Dark Order: “So we talked a lot when he [Brodie Lee] was doing it, because I was always like, I’m so happy for you, you look you’re having a blast. He’s like, he never was given much promo time in WWE. So like watching them do even the BTE episodes, I would watch that just to watch his segments because he’s having fun. He’s speaking, he is being this character he wanted to be. And he was a fan of mobster movies and stuff like that. So here I’m watching this giant man doing a Joe Pesci like, it’s crazy, like just is drawing papers that people, and you can tell, he’s just having a blast. And I was on the phone with them talking about how happy I was for him. And like he had this like, spark under him about how much fun he was having.

“And at the same time, I think I had started doing some films, and he was throwing back the same things to me and how excited he was for me, and like what was gonna happen for me in the future. So it was that kind of mutual thing. And then there was never any talk of it. I mean, we talked about maybe doing some signings together, or maybe like doing a couple, you know, like, shows, maybe in Japan or something, but like, we had never talked about doing anything there because he was building something for him. And we had fought so hard to like, get out of each other’s shadows for so long, because we were always connected.

“And we wanted something for ourselves. And to see him start to get something for himself and for me to be able to branch off and do stuff for myself. Like, those were great conversations to have, you know, and as far as like, after he passes, like, I wouldn’t want anything to do with Dark Order, ever. And it’s not because I don’t think those guys are cool. It’s because that was his legacy. He created that in such a short amount of time, he made them something very special. And nobody should try to replace that. And those guys do good by honoring him, but I don’t see them ever being as big as they were with him.”

On the WrestleMania match against The Rock: “Well, it was a short one. I don’t know why you gotta remind me of this. You know, you say it’s an honor. But then I started really thinking about [it]. Some fan came into the signing today and he was wearing The Rock’s Brahma Bull shirt and I was like, really? Like, come on. You gotta put this in my face and he starts laughing. And it got me thinking, What does Brahma Bull stand for? So what does the Brahma stand for? So I looked it up. Because I was curious. Brahma is the Hindu god, that means the creator, the creator bull. So it got me thinking, what the hell does that mean? I really want to know like, how did he come up with that? And you’re gonna be able to ask him that question. Let’s find out why he wanted to be the Brahma Bull. That’s like me being the Loki sheep to the God of mischief. I mean, it’s ridiculous sounding, but it actually might work. [How were you selected for that?] Because Braun [Strowman] couldn’t be beat, they had to protect Windham, and Jon [Brodie Lee] had just suffered a torn patella. So it would have been paper, rock, scissors between me and Jon taking the quickest pin. So yeah, I just happened to win the short straw on that one. As Joseph Ruud Yes, it was an honor. As Erick Rowan, that was humiliating.”


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