Shawn Spears got a lot of inspiration from WWE Legend “The Model” Rick Martel.
All Elite Wrestling‘s Shawn Spears recently sat down with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard to discuss a wide variety of subjects. While discussing the inspiration Rick Martel had on him while growing up, Spears said he believes Martel had a very strong character for his era.
“Yeah, absolutely. I think you nailed it on the head where you said he had a very strong character for his generation, for his era,” Shawn Spears said. “Because you had a guy like Rick Martel who was in incredible shape, has the charisma just like anybody else, and has this Model character. At that time, there was Duke The Dumpster, the Gobbledy Gooker, the over-the-top characters that we’ve kind of gone away with since, which is great, it’s fine.
“But that character in specific could work then, and it could work now. Same thing with The Million Dollar Man. I think it could work nowadays; it’s just the different spin that’s put on it. I don’t know if you watched any Perfect Ten stuff, but that terrible cartwheel that I do, I stole that from him because he used to whip into the ropes, go for a backdrop, and then he stopped short, do a cartwheel, cheer and pop himself.
“He had every dislikable quality, and he was his own biggest fan. That’s one of those things I took and implemented in my — especially when I’m on the heel side of things; I don’t do a lot of moves when I’m a heel. I save a lot of that for the good offense; I can do all the springboards and all the shit off the top rope, I can do all that. I save a lot of that for my babyface.
“I don’t want to be a cool heel that’s doing cool moves. I want to be booed; I want to be disliked. I want qualities about me as a character that is dislikable because that, to me, is truly what a heel is. A heel doesn’t believe he’s wrong, and Rick Martel never thought he did anything wrong. That’s what made him so great. So yes, to answer your question, I do pull from guys like him, Mr. Perfect, and Rick Rude, just epic performers and underrated; I would 100% agree. But man, incredible performer.”
Spears touched on the fans who call him underrated and believe that he’ll get his flowers one day; he cautioned by the time that stuff comes around for him, he’ll be retired already.
“A lot of people say, too, that I’m underrated or ‘Hopefully one day he gets his flowers,’ or all that kind of stuff. You keep saying that, but by the time that stuff rolls around, I will be long, long gone,” Shawn Spears said. “I take pride in being able to be a guy who can go out and have a good match with anybody.
“I can start out in the first match, I can be your crossover, and I can be the main event if I need to. Wherever you need me, I’m available. Without pulling the curtain back too much, I can cut time if it’s needed, I can create time if it’s needed, and I can do it in a heartbeat without a second thought on live television.
“That’s where I excel the most. The in-ring part is the easy part. It’s the rest of the things that come into play on live TV in a chaotic environment with thousands of people around you that sometimes when things are not going right, that’s where I excel the most.”
You can check out our interview with Shawn Spears in the embedded video below.
What do you make of Shawn Spears’ comments? Who were some of your favorite wrestlers growing up? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit WrestleZone with a link back to this article for the transcription.