Simon Gotch
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Simon Gotch on Why The Vaudevillains Didn’t Work on the WWE Main Roster, His Time in NXT, Who Was Responsible for His Character

Former WWE superstar Simon Gotch was the most recent guest on Vince Russo’s ‘The Brand,’ which you can listen to the entire interview at this link. Below are a few of the highlights:

On Who Was Most Responsible For His Character:

It was really a group effort honestly. Dusty obviously had a lot to do with it. Part of the ‘Communication Skills’ class that Dusty [Rhodes] lead us with, well the goal was you had to pop Dusty if you can make Dusty laugh or smile. Me and Bull Dempsey did a promo one time, we actually did a silent movie. We did the whole bit where I pull out a sledgehammer, he pulls out a fairly larger sledgehammer, we do the whole thing and ultimately the whole promo built, we did around 4 or 5 of them where Bull is shaking his finger at me like he’s mad at me and I point to the sky, he looks at the sky and I put him in a choke hold. So he goes out and I try and grab his body out of the way, but I can’t so I grab a chair and sit on top of him and tip-toed out. The whole idea was to get Dusty to laugh. The entrance came up was Triple H’s idea. The day we debuted on TV, and right after WrestleMania the following year, Triple H told us that we [with Aiden English] would be a team now. We literally came up with our entrance the same day we debuted.

On the NXT Environment:

The thing is, I never felt a competitive nature, which is just my personality. I’m not what you call a highly-competitive person. I believe that if my work is good it will stand out, or it won’t. If I did something good it will stand out, if I didn’t then it won’t. I actually had this conversation with Jason Jordan, who is a great guy and exceptional wrestler. One of the things that were preached early on in NXT. In the early days of FCW, there was a sign that said, ‘You’re not here to fill a spot, you are here to take a spot,’ just trying to promote that competitive ideology. I looked over at Jason one day and said that the sign is complete garbage; he asked me why and I said, ‘Well, you are you, and I am me. I can’t do your job and you can’t do mine. You are this jacked adonis, bi-racial Superman with an amateur wrestling background that people would kill to have. You are charming as hell and athletic as long as the day is long. I can’t do anything you can do, and in the same way because of a lot of the stuff that I do because of my background, you can’t do.’ We aren’t competing for the same jobs because they hired us to fill two separate positions, so a lot of the time, and this plays in for the reason as to why some are being called up before other people. You might say Guy A is better than Guy B, well yeah, but they need Guy B right now. Guy A fills the need right now. Let’s say we need someone to feud with The New Day. For example, look at The Revival, Dash, and Dawson, great tag team. You go, we need a tag-team; alright, we need a heel tag team because we might have a great babyface tag team, but right now, we don’t need a babyface tag team, we need a heel tag team. We need a heel tag team that can do main event style matches with The New Day, so they get called up. When you see talent getting squandered that were in NXT it’s usually because they are called up without a plan. They say that they would want to bring up a character, and then you ask, okay, well what are you going to do with the character? They will say, we don’t know, let’s just figure it out when we get there, which is usually the idea of not thinking that far ahead. If you see get someone get called up before someone else is because they have an idea for what they want to do and that character is part of that idea.

On Getting Called Up to the Main Roster:

It’s a funny story, it wasn’t really that different, it was just different people. The funny story is we get the call-up; so, the previous day they are shooting footage for the NXT guys on the Network, so I think it was Enzo and Cass, Baron Corbin I think got told on camera by Triple H that they are going to be called up. They mentioned that they are going to tell Apollo Crews, who is one of the best people you will ever meet. We weren’t mentioned at all in that. We were told that day that Mark Carrano needs to talk with us the next day that afternoon. Aiden [English] and I look at each other and ask what we think the conversation will be about? He said that he had no clue, but it usually means that we are either getting called up or we are being let go. 6:15 am, I had gotten no sleep that night because we were actually part of Triple H’s entrance so we were in rehearsals until 3 am. We get back to the hotel, I sleep for about 2 hours and I get a text message saying that I will talk to you guys at WrestleMania, go back to sleep, we will talk about it later. I go to Axxess, come back to the green room and Kathy Morrell, who is responsible for our travel asks if we are flying back in the group flight back to Orlando, Florida. I said, yes, that is my return, but then she starts texting. She doesn’t even look at me and says, ‘Yeah, don’t go back to the group flight. I asked Mark [Carrano] and he said that it is okay to tell you guys that you are getting called up so don’t go on the group flight.’ We only found out, legit only 24 hours before. My only thought was, great, I’m going to run out of clean underwear because I only packed to go home Monday and you’re telling me I’m going to come back on Wednesday, so a bunch of us had to actually stop by a Wal-Mart to pick up some random stuff. The funny this is, it’s pretty much the same thing as the NXT locker room, just a bunch of boys hanging out and having fun. You find people you are always going to click better where you have more in common with some guys and will be able to talk with certain things about people. Bray Wyatt is a perfect example. We talk about horror movies. Charles Robinson is also a big horror movie fan so Charles and I can talk about Evil Dead and stuff like that, so you just find people you can click with and have things in common with.

On Why the Vaudevillains Didn’t Work on the Main Roster:

I think a lot of it is when you go from NXT to the WWE it all just depends on how you are integrated into the system. Sometimes you are woven in well and other times it doesn’t work. There are some guys it works well with, like look at Baron Corbin for example. They did the whole thing with him winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, who wasn’t even one of the announced guys, he was just a big guy who was in there, so when he wins the thing, he’s a name already. Similarly look at Apollo Crews, he’s being used in a full capacity at the time or not, you look at him and know that he is going to be a big star. He’s in great shape, super athletic, can work like a cruiserweight at 250 lbs, which not a lot of people can do. I do feel that we needed a little more explanation but at the same time, it’s like, well, we are kind of off and running. You can’t undo something; once you start with what you are given you work with it. They told us that, look, you are called up and have done everything you can in NXT and we want to call you up to the main roster and you will just have to work with it. With the example of Nakamura, who just debuted on SmackDown. You didn’t have to do vignettes with Shinsuke, but immediately once he goes out you are drawn to his personality. He has all this energy when he is moving that you can put him out there and the audience will be drawn to right away. There are some guys where they are a little more cerebral where, just like us, you needed a little more thought into what you are given, so you just work with what they give you and you go with it. Like I said about the call-ups, sometimes you are in the position because they need you. They need a heel team for the New Day to work with, we have the Vaudevillains coming up, okay great, how do we get them there? Well, we have to do this because we have to get them up against the New Day by this point. It’s one of those things where you have to put it together after you figure out what they are going to do with you, so you have to figure out how you are going to go from A to B you just have to fill it in.