WARHORSE Was Not Influenced By Ultimate Warrior; Says Kayfabe’s Not Dead, It’s Just Different Now
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling
WARHORSE explains how he started ruling ass on the indies.
WARHORSE was a guest on Gregory Iron’s “Iron On Wrestling” podcast for a rare out-of-character interview where he talked about the origins of his infamous wrestling persona. He explained that he had the idea several months before debuting the character, but an unexpected incident where his car broke down led to him finally putting things in motion.
“This is a weird segue to get where we’re at but my car broke down and I had to try to figure out a way to get it home. So, I rented a U-Haul and I drove it home and while I was driving home I was like ‘hey, I should cut promos that way I can try to raise some money for this damn U-Haul.’ So I did that, I paid off the U-Haul when I got back and I didn’t know what the hell was going on with my motor and my car, so I took out like $1500 in bank loans and stuff like that because I was expecting the worse. I didn’t know what was going on. Come to find out Hyundai Sonatas had an issue that was covered by the company, so I now I had $1500 that I could use for whatever. We were going on a scheduled vacation, so we had a nice vacation, didn’t have to worry about anything and when we got back,” he explained, “I used the rest of the money to invest in new gear and all the ideas that I had to try and make sure that this new gimmick that I had was going to take off without a hitch.
“I started messing with face paint, I made that wall that’s in my basement and I actually got the idea for that while I was on vacation,” WARHORSE said. “We were in the queue for Kong Skull Island and it’s like spooky with skulls and stuff like that and I was like, ‘oh I can make that’ and I told my wife and she was ‘you’re gonna make a Gorilla?’ and I was like ‘no, I’m gonna make a cave wall.’”
Despite some obvious similarities, WARHORSE says he was not inspired by the Ultimate Warrior at all, and shared where he actually takes some creative cues from.
“It definitely was not and I’m being dead serious, my biggest influences for this was the band Venom, the band KISS, Road Warriors and just like old ’80s style promos. Everyone wants to do monologues these days, everyone wants to be thoughtful and seem smarter than they are but like, just be who you are. I’m thoughtful and I try to be as thought out as I can be but I’m not the brightest bulb in the box and I admit that,” WARHORSE explained, “so, I just gotta play to my strengths, not to my weaknesses. I try to be loud and over-the-top like the 80s wrestlers were and energetic and I try to bring the energy to my matches and I think that’s what helped me get over, it’s such a contrast from like a dude sitting in his car talking about like ‘you’re good but I’m better and we’re gonna respect each other after this match.’ Like f**k that, talk about beating some ass.”
BROTHER KISS JUST ANNOUNCED THEIR LAST TOUR DATES YOU JUMPIN IN THE VAN WITH ME OR WHAT?!? pic.twitter.com/DP0A6RnKRb
— WARHORSE (@JPWARHORSE) June 16, 2021
Gaining popularity in an era where the curtain has been pulled back even more and some claim kayfabe is dead, WARHORSE explained why it’s still very much alive and prospering in a new form.
“I don’t think kayfabe’s dead, I just think it’s different now. If I took my face paint off and talked in my normal voice and this podcast doesn’t count [laughs] but if I did it on social media, people would be like ‘what are you doing?’ They would be confused, there would be a disconnect and people would be very off put and people like me, people like Effy, people like Danhausen, we try to keep kayfabe with everything that we’re doing,” he explained, “and people like you [Gregory Iron] and the great things you’re doing with [GCW], you kept kayfabe the entire time and that’s what people want. They know we’re not really trying to hurt each other but they want to invest and something to sink their teeth into because for so f-cking long in wrestling, we’ve insulted people’s intelligence and acted like they didn’t know what was going on and treated it as such.
WARHORSE also shared how he was part of the setup to keep an angle going during his (then) IWTV Championship reign, which has since ended and stood for 532 days. He explained how IWTV set things in motion, and although it wasn’t an entirely original idea, they still had some fun with it and got people to invest in something they were doing.
“I was IWTV Champion at The Collective in October, so I had the IWTV belt and Jerry, who’s the IWTV boss-man was like ‘I want to have somebody take the belt.’ So, I was like ‘okay, let me put my spin on it and we’ll do something cool.’ So, after my match at Glory against Zach Wentz, I went to look for the belt but I had to act like nothing was wrong. I knew for a fact that wrestling fans were so used to me grabbing the belt and posing with the belt, that’s what you do as any champion with any company. So, they notice the belt is gone after a title defense, I don’t need to do anything else to draw their attention to it and I’ll let them connect their own pieces,” he explained, “and if a fan is like, ‘such and such had it’ I’ll acknowledge it, but I’m not gonna tweet about it, I’m not gonna say anything, they’re smart enough to figure it out.
“So, a couple hours later, they try to figure out who took it and there’s all these rumblings because there’s all these shows running at once. I took the belt, we went to Applebee’s, I go to the parking lot, take a picture of it and put it on Craigslist and Dan The Dad said it was on Craigslist and people actually emailed in saying ‘f-ck you, you’re a piece of sh-t’ and stuff like that. So, you can do these little things based on reality, that don’t insult anyone’s intelligence and have some fun. The next night when Gary Jay came out with the belt, showing that he stole it,” WARHORSE explained, “it got such a good reaction because people were like ‘ohhh…’ and this was the only show outside of Game Changer that set up any angles going out of this thing.
“It wasn’t even a hard angle to push, I just had to pretend that this thing was missing and put it on Craigslist, which was a tactic I saw somebody do at a company in Detroit a long time ago. It was great then, so I can’t even take claim to the great idea that I had but it still worked. There’s just so much that you can do without insulting anyone’s intelligence and keeping kayfabe,” he noted, “and it’s much more fun to play along with than it is to just be like, ‘we’re gonna have good matches and then you’re gonna jump me from behind and I’m gonna have you chase the belt for a while!’”
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