Simon Diamond Explains Name Change To Pat Kenney In TNA, Why The Irish And Boondock Saints Themes Didn’t Click
Simon Diamond (aka Pat Kenney) recently spoke with WrestleZone’s Bill Pritchard ahead of his appearance on the Extreme Virtual Signing presented by 80s Wrestling Con’s Virtual Signing Series. Diamond made his name in ECW and worked for TNA under the name, but would later get a name change and he started being billed as his real name.
For a brief time, he also used ‘The Empire Saint’ as a nickname (and was ‘Irish’ Pat Kenney for a spell), but he explained that he’s not sure where the idea came from, but it was presented to him and he tried to make it a little deeper than just being an Irish stereotype.
“That was not my decision. I can’t remember whose decision that was, but they just kind of threw it at me and I was like ‘alright?’ Like, I think in part, some of that was Vince Russo. He’s Italian and I’m Irish and Vince is a New York guy, a friend of mine. He understands ethnicity, I understand ethnicity. We live in it, if you live in the Northeast corridor and someone says ‘what are you?’ You don’t say you’re an American, you tell them your ethnicity, you’re Irish, you’re Italian, you’re Polish. Because it’s so diverse,” Kenney explained, “Indian, Puerto Rican, Dominican, White, Black, the diversity in the Northeast is ginormous. So, I think he—his vision of relating this ethnicity didn’t catch on with people in the south or the midwest as much as it would catch on if you were doing it solely in the Northeast.”
“I thought that was the issue, and why it didn’t catch on. But, I just was like ‘sure, yeah… whatever.’ It wasn’t that long but then the Empire Saint thing,” Kenney explained, “I tried to do was a take off of the Boondock Saints and I was like ‘alright, that’s just flat.’ It’s just flat, there’s just nothing there…and I’ll never forget my mother saying, ‘do they really need to call you Irish? Can’t they figure out you’re Irish by your last name?’ And I was like ‘well, ma, that’s just wrestling.’ But anyway, so I saw the movie The Boondock Saints, I was like, ‘this is pretty cool, these guys are vigilantes but they’re going to church, so I’d try to like steer it in that direction’. But I don’t think the powers at be at that time, I don’t think that it was understood.”