On WWE’s grueling schedule:
Sometimes people say, “It’s so rough, it’s so rough.” It’s not that bad. It used to be a lot worse. But I have two kids and I am home three days a week. But when you do go on the road, it’s hectic. You’re in a different city every day. You fly in to a new town, you do a show, you go to the next town, you sleep, you wake up and do it again. It’s basically just a series of transportation, to the gym, to the arena, to the plane.
What keeps fans coming back:
Entertainment. Sometimes I watch TV and I think, “Who watches this crap?” It’s OK, but it’s not exciting, it’s not entertaining — and I’m not saying we’re everyone’s cup of tea. I think there’s a large section of our population — more than people want to believe — that know what we are, want to be entertained. It’s like live comic books. You’ve got good guys and bad guys, good looking women and good looking men, music and pyro and you live out your fantasies with it. There’s this big anti-aggression sentiment, but when you’re a kid, that’s what you think about. You don’t think about picking daisies when you’re a 12-year-old boy; you think about being Batman or Spider-man, or John Cena or Triple H. From there, the story lines meld that all together and keep people involved and interested. Sometimes people look at the stories we do and say they are wacky, but it’s no more wacky than “Desperate Housewives.” I remember when that show first came on and hearing all about it. My wife was watching it and I sat down to watch a few minutes. I was like, “Are you kidding? This is the big rage? And they give us at hard time?”
Decision to reveal his marriage with Stephanie McMahon in storyline:
For story lines and business, we try to keep that stuff separate. But people knew and we joked about it when I was in DX [comic wrestling tag team formed with fellow superstar Shawn Michaels]. The only reason I was apprehensive is where do we go on the flip side of it. Look at it like this: There is the real world and the WWE Universe. So the cat is now out of the bag in the WWE Universe and it now exists there. So anything that has to do with me story-line-wise, you have to be conscious of the fact that I am married into the McMahon family. That throws a different curve into it. So my only concern was it tainting future story lines. Say something happens, and it’s like, “Well, why doesn’t he get that change through his father-in-law?” [Laughs.] We have created a wrinkle in the fabric of the WWE Universe.
Working for his father-in-law Vince McMahon:
Well, the good thing is I had a really good relationship with him before I even met Steph. We had a great relationship not only from a talent standpoint, but I used to work a lot with Vince hand-in-hand to create story lines behind the scenes, not just for myself but other guys. But if you have ever met Vince, he’s a complex man and it can be trying. There are times he wants to choke me and there are times when I want to choke him.
On Vince taking his ideas:
Let me put it this way: When I come up with a good idea in the back, there’s not 70,000 people standing up and cheering. Usually when I have an idea in the back, it is dismissed and Vince will bring it up later and pretend it is his idea.
On being a heel:
I love being a heel. If I had my way, I’d have been a heel my whole career. I compare it to Darth Vader by the second or third movie, when he came on, you started saying, “Yeah!” Even though he was trying to kill Luke Skywalker… he was just cool. There was a point in time with my character where I had been here a long time, I had a certain amount of respect [from the fans] and … you know, I beat up a lot of people and caused mayhem, and to teenagers and kids, that is cool. It just became a cool character and we were struggling … the worse things we thought I was doing, the louder the audience would cheer me for it. I was coming out and drilling a guy with a sledgehammer and people would go nuts. So I had no choice as people basically turned me. If I thought it would work, I’d turn back in a minute.
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