Promoting this Sunday’s Lockdown pay-per-view event, Christopher Daniels spoke to the Kingston Whig-Standard and candidly offered his thoughts on why he never joined WWE full-time.
Daniels appeared for WWE multiple times in 2000 and 2001, including televised appearances on Jakked as an enhancement worker. He was never offered a contract and has not appeared for the company since.
“I think that they never really saw anything that they could really sink their teeth into,” Daniels said. “Which is OK, because you know, the truth of the matter is I was never really their type of wrestler. Or when I was, or now that I am … I don’t know … I’ve already got ties to TNA, or Ring of Honor, or wherever I was, at the time.”
“A lot of it was timing, but I think a lot of it was just preference. You know, there was a period of time, when I was a younger guy, when I was trying to get a job there, but they were more interested in guys that were taller, and heavier. Guys that were built more like Ryback, (instead of) me. If it wasn’t for places like TNA, Japan, and Ring of Honor, I might not have had the career that I’ve had. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities, despite WWE’s reluctance to ever give me an opportunity.”
Unlike Daniels, fellow Ring of Honor alum CM Punk was able to catch on with WWE. The renowned wrestler couldn’t be happier for him.
“I think it’s great, man. He rose to the top at a time where it seemed like John Cena might be the only person that WWE would give that opportunity to,” he said. “You know, it took him a while to sort of find his groove, but I think it’s a testament to his hard work, and his stubbornness to stick with it. And to finally break through and hold a World Heavyweight Championship for more than a calendar year … that’s a big accomplishment, especially in this day and age. It all goes back to the effort he put in to get there in the first place, and the effort he put in to stand out, and be somebody that the crowd wanted to see.”
For most of its existence, Daniels has called TNA home. He reflects on the company’s success in spite of numerous obstacles.
“The fact that we came from such a waxed business plan in terms of the Wednesday pay-per-views, and while we were doing that, people were already sounding the death bell for the company, you know, after a year. But the fact that we’ve taken these tall steps forward … each step might not have been huge, but they were still steps forward … whether it was going from Nashville to Orlando, or going from FOX Sportsnet to SpikeTV. Going from Saturday (late) night to Thursday night (prime time). Going from (a) taped (multiple week program) to live (every week). These are all steps forward that we’ve taken, and it’s a testament to the hard work of guys like AJ (Styles), Samoa Joe, James Storm, Bobby Roode, and me and Frankie Kazarian. We’re just lucky to have been there, pretty much, right from the beginning, and helping build this company from the ground up,” said Daniels.
Daniels also discusses his introduction to the professional wrestling industry, Dixie Carter, AJ Styles, his longevity and more. The full interview is available here.
Here is a video of Christopher Daniels wrestling in WWE: