At the WWE Superstar Spectacle media scrum on Friday, eWrestlingNews.com’s Tathya Sachdev caught up with Dilsher Shanky for an in-depth interview. While Shanky has been seen on RAW and SmackDown in the past allied with Jinder Mahal and Veer, he has spent most of last year at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL, honing his skills.
During the chat, Shanky touched on life at the Performance Center, where he is focusing on his improvement, training under The Undertaker, the respect he has for him, and more.
You can check out some highlights from our exclusive interview below:
Question: “Ahead of tonight’s show, is there a feeling of pressure to perform, since you have not been in the ring in over a year, and have never performed in India before?”
Answer: “No. I don’t feel pressure. We are in India, our home country. There is much more pressure when the foreigners are watching. Tonight, the Indian crowd is going to support us. So, there’s no pressure. I wouldn’t say so. I’m a little nervous, sure, but pressure – none at all.”
Question: “You mentioned earlier that the language barrier is one of foremost challenges you face in the United States. Be it in your personal life, or in your professional life working and training in WWE – the art of cutting promos and connecting with the audience can be quite the challenge for foreign athletes and Indians in particular. Being based at the Performance Center in Florida right now, how much time and effort do you invest into the physical aspect of wrestling, and how much focus is there on the psychological aspect and on your verbal ability and promo skills?”
Answer: “We have the best coaches at the Performance Center, those that been in the wrestling industry for years and have achieved quite a lot. Our day consists of two hours each of ring training and gym training in the mornings. We also work a lot on our promo skills. We are shown old matches to learn and grasp from them, The Undertaker for instance. It’s a video class, so to speak. We are taught every aspect of how to learn and grow in the industry. We spend 7-8 hours daily training in a variety of ways and departments.”
Question: “There are often guest coaches at the Performance Center. Who stands out as having had the most impact on you personally, someone from whom you have learnt a lot?”
Answer: “I have been watching The Undertaker since my school days. When I found out that he was going to coach us, I was very excited. Honestly, I began crying, I began shivering. I used to watch The Undertaker back when I was in school. And now, he’s going to coach me. This was the best feeling ever. I have trained under him for a month, it was just the best feeling ever.”
Question: “Fans and wrestlers have often shared their experiences that when The Undertaker enters the arena, and then he enters the ring, the mood changes. He has that aura, that presence. It is just awe-inspiring. When he is not in-character, when he is coaching you, how is that different than watching him compete or just on the show live?”
Answer: “That presence and aura is intact. It is the man himself, not just his character. He commands respect, and we pay him that respect he commands. As far as how he coaches you, he does not get physical in the ring. He instructs you as to how you should work; in my case, how to work like a big man. What kind of moves are suitable, subtle movements, body language, facial expressions, that is where the majority of his focus lies. And because he’s a legend, we do have the utmost respect for him. There is a bit of fear there as well. I mean, it’s The Undertaker, no?”
At WWE Superstar Spectacle, Shanky unsuccessfully challenged GUNTHER for the Intercontinental Championship.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Tathya Sachdev of eWrestlingNews, with a linkback to this page. NOTE: This interview has been translated from Hindi to English.