AEW star and head of talent relations Christopher Daniels spoke with CBS Miami ahead of today’s Fyter Fest event from Daytona Beach, Florida. Daniels discusses his possible retirement, his new backstage role with the company, and whether or not he sees himself performing at Madison Square Garden in the future. Highlights below.
You said recently on Chris Jericho’s podcast that you were contemplating retirement. Now here you are, 49 years old, and it is full steam ahead for you. Is hanging up the boots at all in your mind right now or is your mentality, “I’m going to go until my body can’t go anymore?”
It is and it isn’t. Every day I wake up, and I think about the wear and tear on my body, and will I be able to continue to perform at a high level. Sometimes I’m working with guys that are 15 years younger than me, 20 years younger than me. But the positive to that is that I always feel like the experience that I have is going to carry me through any aches and pains that I might have. And yeah, I’m always cognizant of where I’m at in my career.
AEW already really has already made a tremendous impact on the wrestling scene with Double Or Nothing. Now we just saw All-Out in Chicago become another instant sellout. What were your expectations as far as ticket demand heading into that?
The goodwill for our brand right now is at an all-time high. I think because we’ve only announced a small amount of shows, I feel like the demand is certainly outweighing the supply right now. Once we get to a weekly schedule, I think it might tone down a little bit, but at this point with only two or three shows it makes perfect sense that we’re selling out. People want to see what’s next, they want to be a part of all this. There’s a feeling of seeing something starting from the ground up and being on that ride from the very first day that appeals to a lot of wrestling fans. And so I’m not surprised that All-Out sold out as quickly as it did.
Just a couple of months ago Ring of Honor ran Madison Square Garden with New Japan. You were still there when that show was announced, but left before it took place. Is it feasible to think that you might still get an opportunity to perform in the Garden, but with AEW?
Certainly! I feel like if the opportunity were to come, if Madison Square Garden and AEW can come to some sort of agreement, I feel like it’s a smart thing. If you’re Madison Square Garden and you see that all the big shows that AEW’s already done have sold out, how can you turn it down? How could you say that’s not for us?
You’re not just a performer in AEW; you’re also the head of talent relations. Describe that role.
It’s really just a matter of being a liaison between the talent and the office. Right now my job is a lot of emails, a lot of phone calls. We’re working on visas for international talents and all this stuff for all the regular talent. Trying to find referees, trying to find announcers. Just coordinating all of that stuff. It’s a lot of busy work. But, it’s fun and I’m glad that I was given an opportunity to sort of use my relationships with a lot of these wrestlers in a positive way, to help the company and build from the bottom a good locker room, and a positive feeling between the talent and the office.
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