Jonathan Coachman Recalls How The Rock Put Him Over, Why It Still Resonates Today
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Jonathan Coachman recalls how great The Rock was as an entertainer, and how “The Great One” gave him an identity that has stood the test of time.
Coachman spoke with The Wrestling Chatter podcast and talked about working with The Rock in his very first on-air segment in the WWE, which he cites as a personal favorite. “The Coach” broke down how the segment evolved and noted that he takes pride in The Rock putting him over, adding that it’s carried over into his post-WWE career.
“They said, ‘hey we got an idea’ and this to me is a story that encapsulates what The Rock is all about. Even though he has a huge ego—who wouldn’t if you’re The Rock—but he also is trying to think, how can he get everybody else over because if you get everybody else over, you’re going to get yourself over. This was at the time where he was telling anybody in every interview ‘it doesn’t matter what your name is, it doesn’t matter this, it doesn’t matter that’. He says ‘you’re brand new to the audience so why don’t you start by asking me question’ as if we know each other and I’ll say, ‘wait a sec, who are you?’ and then you don’t answer because we don’t want the people to think you’re stupid.” If you watch The Rock, you knew he was going to do that.
“[So I say] Rock, my name is Jonathan Coachman but everybody calls me ‘The Coach’. And he proceeded to say ‘The Coach of what? The coach of a little girl’s softball team, the coach of this, the coach of that?’ And he said my name like 5, 6, 7 times, and then at the end of the interview, so he just flipped it. He said, so why do they call you The Coach though. And now I’m comfortable and I go well, “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHY THEY CALL YOU THE COACH”. So people laugh and we always had to do his interviews even though it was on Smackdown and it was taped, we had to do his live because of the interaction with the crowd. And so we walked out of the building that night, and it’s still my favorite building in the world, probably because of that night, the Allstate Arena in Chicago.
“And all the fans will go to the back and they wait to see you, everybody is yelling, “Coach, Coach, Coach, Coach” and he didn’t have to do that, he didn’t have to get my nickname over and from that night on, every single show that I’ve ever been on including SportsCenter, and that got me in some trouble at ESPN, I’ve said ‘welcome everybody, this is the Coach…’ because that’s who I am. I’m the Coach and I’ve never been Jonathan Coachman professionally and I want to keep it that way.”
Check out Coachman’s full interview below: