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World Wrestling Insanity interview with Funaki (Host: James Guttman)
Sho Funaki has recently made news by announcing the upcoming opening of his FU Dojo in San Antonio, Texas (full details at RCW-Wrestling.com). James Guttman tackles the subject right from the start and mentions how young stars can’t wish for a better trainer than someone who was with WWE so long. Not only does Sho know what the company is looking for in rookies, but he has the connections to make things happen. James asks Funaki what style new students can expect to learn from him and Funaki explains to ClubWWI.com members.
"I train in Japanese style and American style," Funaki said. "I teach that. But it’s like Funaki style. I can do both. So, I create it. I teach it. I created my own style and I teach my own style."
His style has always been unique. Whether playing a villainous Japanese stable member intent on helping to "choppee choppee pee pee" or the sympathetic babyface that tugged at the heart strings of Smackdown fans, Sho knows how to get a reaction. He talks about all those gimmicks, but one that stands out is the famous "Evil! Indeed!" gimmick that saw him and partner, Taka Michinoku, lip sync to an English dubbed voice proclaiming to be evil. JG asks Sho how the idea came about and as the ClubWWI.com continues, he gives the backstory.
"That was Shane McMahon," said Funaki. "I think so. Shane, yeah. He came in the building at a live show. Raw live. Shane McMahon came up to us, ‘Hey guys. Today, you guys don’t have to talk. You guys grab a microphone but just, you know, don’t speak. But don’t worry about it.’
"We thought it was a joke. But other creative team guy told me, ‘Yeah, you guys grab microphone. Start with Taka. After give to Sho Funaki. It’s easy. You guys don’t have to talk, OK?’ We don’t know at the time what he’s talking about. Why would we grab a microphone and say nothing? How would they know (what we’re saying)? But the fans liked that. Like old Chinese movie or old Japanese movie, you know?"
From evil to announcing…or, reporting actually. After the Kaientai gimmick ran its course and Taka, who got Funaki his first job with WWE – a story he tells during the interview – left the company, Sho was sent to Smackdown where he was given a microphone and a whole new role as "Smackdown’s Numba One Announcer!" However, that famous catchphrase almost didn’t happen. In fact, the first time out, it was something different.
Sho tells ClubWWI.com about the original phrase and how it evolved: "My first promo was ‘This is Funaki – Smackdown Numba One Reporter.’ Mr. McMahon was there and saw my promo. After the promo, Mr. McMahon said, ‘Funaki, maybe you are Smackdown Numba One announcer.’ So it was going to be ‘Funaki – Smackdown Numba One Reporter.’ But then ‘Funaki – Smackdown Numba One Announcer’ was born."
Check out part 2 of this weeks Chair Shot Reality featuring….what is going to happen next between Cole & Lawler, Cena’s next move, The Miz’s opponent, plus Mark Madden rants about the week in wrestling!
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