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Last month, WrestleZone had the opportunity to sit down with Ken Anderson, formerly known as Mr. Kennedy, to discuss his release from the WWE, the Randy Orton incident on Raw, and where he plans to go from here. The following is a written recap of highlights from the interview, and now, for the first time, the entire audio archive of the interview is available for download if you CLICK HERE (right click/save as). Alternatively, you can copy and paste the following link into your favorite media player to stream the audio: http://www2.wrestlezone.com/audio/kenanderson.mp3
On being a "free man" now that his WWE no-compete clause has expired:
Anderson: "Yeah, I guess that's what they say. I really don't feel too much different than I have for the last 90 days. I don't know; I guess it just feels a little more final which is nice and I can go do whatever I want now. So, it's a good feeling."
On what the online video features were all about:
Anderson: "You know, it's something fun. I always enjoy sketch comedy and social commentary. I guess when I first started out in the WWE, I was doing all this stuff, a lot of my promos were fun, entertaining, and exciting. I had just come out of OVW working with Paul Heyman doing some really, really fun things and then got to WWE and it was like a continuation when I got there.
And then, somewhere along the way somebody said 'Wait a minute, put the breaks on. This guy can't be funny; we can't let him go down that road'. And then it was just like..everytime I would go out there, I would come back and Vince would say 'That wasn't real; that was too funny; you're being too entertaining' and it was just a continuous him trying to reel me back.
I would have these conversations with [Vince] in his office where I would say 'Vince, that's me. What you see out there, that's me'. And I thought that's what we were supposed to do in this business. I thought the most over personalities were extensions of one's own personality. And he would say 'Ahh..that's not the way you talk to me, so no, it must not be [really you]'. Well, yeah...you know...'I don't talk to you that way Vince, because you're Vince and I don't know you that way'. But all my friends, everytime they would see stuff I was doing on tv, they would say 'Man, it's really funny because that's just you'.
[The online videos] were like an outlet for me to be able to do all the stuff that I had wanted to do for so many years and kind of do things my way and just have fun. And that's what I wanted to do."
On why Ken thinks Vince tried to hold him back:
Anderson: "Well, I guess it didn't make sense to me because that's what got me over in the first place, that's what got me to do the dance. That's what got me noticed. It really didn't make any sense. Aside from the fact that initially, I could understand, you know, I was going into a program with the Undertaker and I could see they didn't want the split crowd, they didn't want me to be a tweener. They wanted Undertaker to be the clear babyface and I was okay with that and I totally understood that.
At the time I was doing these funny little "Kennedy Declares" things on WWE.com and I remember one week [Vince] just came in and he said, 'You know what? I hated it'. It was the Tom Cruise one, the last one we did, which I thought was the funniest and the most entertaining and I think that a lot of other people felt that way too. I walked past vince and he said 'I absolutely hated it and you know what, we're not doing them anymore'. And I said 'Why not'? He said 'Because it's too entertaining and I don't want people to look at your character on the internet and say 'Ha ha ha, he's cool and funny and I'm supposed to boo for him when I see him on tv'.
So I get that, I mean, that makes sense, but he had also said like 'Hey, we can go back there some day; we can go down that road. We know that you can go there. You've got a range'. I have a range; I can do funny, I can do serious, I can do somewhere in between. And I like to go through all the different ranges; I don't like to just stay in one spot.
So, I don't know. I really don't know why he didn't want me to be entertaining in the least. And there were a lot of people, you know..writers too would be frustrated. Writers, other wrestlers, would just be like 'I don't get it man, what are they doing with you? Why are they doing this to you? It just doesn't make sense'. So, there ya have it."