What inspired you to seek a career as a professional wrestler?
I was a fan when I grew up in Fayetteville, NC, watching guys like Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, & the Road Warriors. After I graduated college (w/ my theatre degree), I was living in the Chicago area trying to start a career as an actor. I made a comment to my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) that if the acting thing didn't work out, "I could always be a professional wrestler". Because of that conversation, she sought out a wrestling school that was close to where we lived, the Windy City Professional Wrestling School, and made an appointment for me to see the head trainers.
After that first visit, I decided to take a break from acting and give wrestling a try, thinking that at the very least I'd have a story for my kids one day. But because I was a fan, I had a frame of reference as I went through the initial training, and I had my first match 3 months after I started. In my third match, I won my first championship, the Windy City Lightweight Championship, and I just stuck with it.
I enjoy watching you in TNA Impact Wrestling on Spike TV, Thursdays at 8:00 PM. Tell me more about what you're up to these days with that cool show.
I am currently one half of the most entertaining tag team in the wrestling business today, Bad Influence, along with my partner Frankie Kazarian, known affectionately as "the Physical Fascination" by all women with clear vision. We have been World Tag Team Champions Of The World (not redundant, we're two planets worth of great) on two occasions and are always preparing to win our third. We are also pillars of society, snappy dressers, and an inspiration to children everywhere.
What would you say to someone who's thinking about a career as a pro wrestler?
First, I would say stay in school. Professional Wrestling, just like any other professional sport or entertainment field, has many full time hopefuls, but very few people who break through and make their living at it. So it's best to have a back-up plan in case falling down for a living doesn't work out. If after your schooling is complete, you still want to try professional wrestling, understand that those of us that are professionals make what we do look very easy, but it's far from it.
Many people can't finish the rigorous training, or can lead a lifestyle conducive the wear & tear their bodies will go through in the course of a career. Once you've learned how to do the things we do in a wrestling ring, learning when & why to do them involves wrestling actual matches in front of live crowds. So much of what I learned in terms of connecting with a crowd and entertaining wrestling fans came from "learning on the job", so my last bit of advice for young wrestlers is to wrestle for as many different promoters as you can against as many different wrestlers as you can.
Once you are comfortable enough with your wrestling that you can wrestle an entertaining match against someone you've just met, that's when you become a possible commodity to a promoter.
Wrestling, as any contact sport, could be dangerous. Have you ever sustained a serious injury while in the ring?
I've been fortunate enough to avoid serious injury for most of my 20+ year career, however, there are some occasions where accidents happen. The worst injury I ever sustained happened when I attempted to jump from the mat to the top rope and execute a "moonsault" (a backflip where you land on your opponent). As I hit the ropes, my feet slipped out from under me and I landed directly on my head, with all my body weight directly on top. I lost feeling in my left arm, and it stayed numb for about 6 weeks. I did finish the match, though.
What do you have planned for the rest of this year, and where can people find out more about you online?
I plan to continue being the best and brightest part of IMPACT WRESTLING, which can be seen on Spike TV on Thursday nights at 9pm EST starting May 30. You can keep up with my exploits at ImpactWrestling.com, and at my own web site, FallenAngelChristopherDaniels.com, home of the longest URL in Internet history, where I keep my schedule updated and sell assorted merchandise featuring either my matinee-idol good looks or pearls of wisdom from my noggin.
I don't do FaceBook despite their constant nagging to join the club, but folks on Twitter can follow me @facdaniels, where I dispense greatness 140 characters at a time. Also, be on the lookout for the BAD INFLUENCE movie, in production now and coming soon to a theater near you!
Courtesy TNA IMPACT WRESTLING/Lee South