Interview with King V, WWE’s Big Daddy V by Phil Strum of the Poughkeepsie Journal http://pojoslam.blogspot.com/
I had the opportunity to speak with Nelson Frazier, a.k.a. Big Daddy V at his autograph signing at Collector’s Realm in Poughkeepsie on Sunday. Neatly attired in dress clothes and a vest, the big man signed autographs for his fans for a few hours. He talked about his career, his WWE release and his movie career.
Phil Strum: First off, I just wanted to know what you’re up to these days.
Big Daddy V: Actually, I just finished my first motion picture. It’s called 301: The Legend of Awesomest Maximus. It’s a spoof movie of Troy and 300. I have another project coming up with Nicolas Cage called Kick Ass. I’m moving on to the big screen and I’m real happy about it.
PS: When and where did you shoot that?
BDV: It was last year. We did it in Utah.
PS: Are you still getting in the ring a lot? You wrestled last night for NEW (Northeast Wrestling).
BDV: I wrestled last night for NEW. I’ll be wrestling for Puerto Rico soon. I wrestled in Alaska two weeks ago. I wrestled Kevin Nash. I’m still wrestling, but I kind of put it on the back burner for movies now. Movies is my main priority right now.
PS: One thing I was wondering is, you’re somebody who’s been around for a while and you’ve changed your character a few times. Whenever you go through a character change like that, are you worried at all that the fans won’t take to it right away?
BDV: You know what, a lot of guys would be but I’m not because I know how to develop characters. I developed and got five characters over in WWE and WWF (meaning Men on a Mission, King Mabel, Viscera, World’s Largest Love Machine, Big Daddy V). I could get another character over too. My favorite one of all is the Love Machine. I had fun with that one.
PS: Are you looking to come back to WWE. Do you see that as a goal for yourself in the next couple of years, to get back there? Would you like to?
BDV: Yeah. Actually, the way I got released from the company this last time, it was a blessing in disguise. My doctor really got me fired. The very next day, Hollywood called me. Now, I’m focusing on one thing. My ultimate dream was to become an actor. I’m going to concentrate on that for at least another couple of years before I go back to WWE. Of course, I’ll go back. You know what I mean? That’s my home. I’ll go back eventually.
PS: The passion hasn’t died out for wrestling?
BDV: Not at all. It’s in my blood now, man. I’m addicted to wrestling now. The movie thing is a lot of opportunity for me and I’m going to seize it and seize it now. It worked out good for me because I would have always wrestled and never taken the opportunity to do this and now I have the opportunity to do it and I’m going to do it for a while.
PS: It was health issues when you got released?
BDV: Basically, my doctor and basically all doctors think that wrestlers are idiots for what we do for a living. He just basically shared his opinion on me and wrestling and WWE was forced to release me. They wanted me to go out and wrestle and make sure I was OK and then they were going to bring me back. Unfortunately for them, Hollywood called me. So I’m free from them now and I’m going to stay free until I’m ready to go back.
PS: What role do you have in this movie?
BDV: My character’s name is Ginormous. It’s one of the biggest, baddest warriors that has ever lived, in the movie. It’s very entertaining and fun. There’s two of the biggest armies going against each other and they have their like, ultimate warrior. And I’m one and Awesomest Maximus is the other. It’s very good. My lines will definitely make people laugh and I want everybody that’s reading this article to go see that movie. It will be out in the top of 2009.
PS: Over time, when you started, you were pretty young. You started there in 1993?
BDV: Actually, I got signed in ’92. I didn’t make TV until ’93. Myself and the 1-2-3 Kid were the youngest two employees at the time. Twenty-one years old.
PS: How is it to transition? Obviously now, in 2008, you’re one of the real veterans that’s been around for a long time. You’ve probably seen a lot in the company.
BDV: I’ve seen the business change several different times. It’s totally different now than it was back then. It’s better as far as as the wrestlers go. It’s a better environment and a lot more money too. I’m old school and new school in one.
PS: Who are some of the guys that you really enjoyed working with throughout your career? Anybody that stands out as maybe an influence or even just someone you enjoyed wrestling with?
BDV: The person I have the most history with would have to be the Undertaker. I was the first one to ever pin him on a pay-per-view back in 1995 at King of the Ring. I’m very proud of that. We have a very deep history. Kane, we have a deep history as well. My toughest opponent would have to be Yokozuna.
PS: One thing I always found interesting about the Undertaker is that he seems to work really, really well with big guys, regardless of the skill level. Do you agree with that as somebody who’s been in the ring with him many times?
BDV: It’s true. He’s a giant, but he works almost like a small guy. He’s good. He’s one of the best there’s ever been. I’ve got a lot of respect for ‘Taker.
PS: You think a lot of the big guys, you get sort of unfortunately pigeon-holed like, ‘oh that’s such a bad wrestler,” because obviously, you guys are going to moving as well as the small guys. Or do you think that that’s unfair in a way.
BDV: Not really because to a certain extent, it’s true. At the same time, I think when people pay the tickets, they want to see the big guys. You know what I mean? So, that’s why big guys have always been around and always will be around. Because we’re the ones that sell the tickets at the end of the day.
PS: You’re a big guy who moves around really well. You mentioned before that you pulled off your spin kick last night. When did you first know that you were going to be able to do that?
BDV: Actually, before I even got into pro wrestling because like I said, I started in the ninth grade, amateur wrestling. I’ve always been able to move well. Even to this day. That’s why I knew that I could make it in pro wrestling. That’s really the major reason why I went for it.
PS: Where did you grow up?
BDV: I’m a North Carolina boy. I grew up on Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Nikita Koloff and all that. I was hooked on wrestling way early in life. I was right there with the NWA and I also enjoyed AWA and WWF. I loved it all.
PS: When did the growth spurt happen?
BDV: Actually, I’ve always been taller and bigger than everybody else. As the years went on, I got even taller. I knew I had to use what God gave me. I took four years of commercial art, so I’m really good artist. I was either going to be an artist or a pro wrestler? You could see what choice I took.
PS: Where was that that you did commercial art?
BDV: Eastern Wayne High School in Goldsboro, North Carolina. That’s where I grew up.
PS: And finally, if there’s any message you want to let your fans know about what you’re up to.
BDV: I just want to say that I know there’s a lot of fans around the world that really miss my presence on TV. I miss being there, but at the same time, I want them to understand I’m in movies now. I’ll be on the big screen. It’s a great opportunity for me that I have to seize right now. I’ll be back to wrestling, but just no time soon.
PS: Thank you very much.
BDV: Thank you.