Shawn Daivari Interview Recap
by Neal Jones (InYourHeadOnline.com)
Shawn Daivari, formerly of the WWE, was the guest on the November 7th edition of the In Your Head Wrestling Online show, hosted by Jack, One Inch Biceps and Barbie Richards at http://www.inyourheadonline.com
Daivari was welcomed to the show, and mentioned he was watching Dog the Bounty Hunter on Larry King Live. Shawn says if you don’t want to be caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing then you shouldn’t be doing it.
Jack plugs the website www.shandaivari.com and to book Shawn for shows or appearances email [email protected]
Shawn says he asked for his release from WWE, he wasn’t let go. He had a 3 year extension coming up and no plans for his character in the future so he wasn’t sure if he wanted to stay if he wasn’t sure what he would be doing on TV. Shawn thought it would be better to get out now instead of waiting another 3 years of possibly not doing anything. Vince and Stephanie were very happy that he was upfront with them about wanting to leave WWE and pursuing making a living with his career.
Jack asks if the door is open for him to return one day. Shawn says yes, and WWE has always kept their word with him before so no reason to stop now.
Caller Brian asks why he and Hassan never used the Iraq War in their promos. Shawn says they wanted to entertain people but didn’t want people changing the channel and crossing the border from entertainment to being distasteful. Since people watching at home have family who were killed in the War. Shawn says they had great reactions as is without using cheap distasteful tricks.
Brian asks if it was true Sabu borrowed his ring gear when it was lost. Shawn says yes the airlines lost them and he let Sabu borrow his gear, it happens a lot.
Jack asks if they ever had any problems flying. Shawn says no, this was 2004 and years after 9/11. They even wore turbans at time in the airport, but it’s a normal thing, no one made any fuss.
OIB asks Shawn about beating Shawn Michaels on TV in his debut TV match. Shawn says he knew it must be leading somewhere, since they wouldn’t have a big deal like that for no reason.
Jack asks what it was like being in the ring with Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan. Shawn says up to the age of 12 or 13 Hogan was his hero. Then when he got older he respected the actual in ring talent more than the cartoon character and Michaels became his hero. He always felt that he could never let down his hero Michaels down, it would have almost been like letting his dad down. He felt he worked better under pressure. “To work at Wrestlemania is a big deal, to work with Hogan is a big deal, to work with Hogan at Wrestlemania is unbelievable”.
Shawn wasn’t surprised he and Hassan took off so quick. He knew they were good plus had the office behind them. He knew it was going to be successful and it was.
Jack asks what went through his mind when they took Hassan off TV. He said it was a huge kick in the balls at the time. Looking back now it was only 3 months off TV and he came back with Kurt Angle vs. Cena.
Jack asks is Hassan was wronged by being taken off TV for doing his job well. Shawn says yeah but to this day he is still not sure about the whole deal, and how it was handled behind the scenes. What came from WWE, Muhamed himself, Viacom and UPN. Shawn says only them, Brock Lesnar, Ken Kennedy and Randy Orton came off that great and quick in the last few years. He could have seen Hassan being the next thing like that.
OIB asks why WWE made him a full time wrestler instead of a manger. Shawn says it is something he and WWE decided to do. Shawn asked Vince about wrestling on ECW while Khali was recovering from surgery. Then they moved Khali to RAW and himself to Smackdown. He thinks in the long term it’s better for him. As big and successful as Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Paul Bearer were they were never Austin, The Rock or Hulk Hogan. He strives to be the very best he can be. He says it might eb unrealistic to want to be the next Rock, but if you don’t believe in yourself then it will never happen. Jack says you can always go back to being a manager but if you want to pursue your wrestling career you have to do it in your prime. Shawn says look at Umaga, when he left he was just a tag team guy then went to Japan and became a big name and came back as a main event guy. Shawn says it isn’t always a bad thing to leave. He thought it was the time to try and leave so he cane come back eventually at a bigger spot.
Shawn talks about speaking Farsi on TV. His parents with immigrants, and that is what he learned as a child as his first language. Jack asks why did he stop using it. Shawn says they tried to tone it down after Hussan left TV.
Caller Riren asks why he was moved from the Cruiser Weight division on RAW to Smackdown. Shawn says to get more out of his strengths as a character it was best for him. Cruiserweights is all about in the ring wrestling, on Raw hs could showcase his promos and character development more, along with his wrestling.
Riren asks why they brought in a different mouth piece for Khali. Shawn says the first few months on RAW he was by himself, it wasn’t planned. Coincidentally one of the WWE writers is from the same place as Khali and was communicating better with Khali than anyone else. He doesn’t do house shows or anything, he’s just his voice to express his thoughts on TV.
Jack mentions Jericho saying on IYH that Cruiserwieght label limits wrestlers. Daivari says it is a huge label. Ability is ability, cruiserweight label just limits what people see as the wrestler. He says no one comes close to the talent of Rey Mysterio but he isn’t labeled as a cruiserwieght so people just say his matches are great. Yet if you put the a guy like Noble vs. Batista even if it’s a great match people will say it’s just a cruiserweight and he has no chance.
OIB asks if Shawn has any plans of working for ROH. Shawn says there hasn’t been anything specific yet. There ahs never been any serious offer yet, and he is also under a 90 day no compete clause. The last show Shawn did before going to WWE was an ROH show. Jack asks if he is happy to see ROH on PPV. Shawn says he is happy for anyone to be successful. There is no direct competition for anyone, they can all become big companies. They are 3 separate broadcasts on 3 separate times. Unless they have overlapping times they are not competing.
Jack asks if wrestling promotions should try to compete with WWE or focus on themselves. Shawn says both, It’s good to take what you can from other companies, or learn from the other. There are things TNA does better and things WWE does better.
Caller James asks about Shawn’s nationality. Shawn is full blooded Iranian born in the USA. James is half Pakistani and asks if Shawn came into any racism. Shawn says no, wrestling is more open minded than most businesses. They just want what is best for the business as a whole. If you can make money for the company it doesn’t matter if you are straight, gay, black, Jewish, Christian or what.
Daivari talks about admiring Bret Hart, Sting, Shawn Michaels and many others growing up. He was a teenager when wrestling took off in the 90’s and was a child when it was huge for kids. So he was always into wrestling.
Barbie asks about the name being close to Iron Sheik‘s real name. Shawn says Khosrow is a common Middle Eastern name, and as a weird coincidence it is also his father’s real name. Fans would look up his name online and find his dad’s address and send him tons of mail. Jack asks if he ever worked with the Iron Sheik, Shawn never has but Iron Sheik has always been nice to him and he hopes they can work together some time.
Jack asks if Shawn felt WWE was confident in him by putting him with main eveners to get heal heat. Shawn says it seemed whenever they needed someone to have instant heat they put them with Daivari. Mark Henry came back after a long time off TV and put him with Daivari, Kurt Angle was being cheered so much vs. Cena so to get heal heat they put them together. Khali was a new character that was to be a big deal right away so for instant heat they put him with Daivari.
Incher asks if he ever felt the character was a negative stereotype. Shawn says he never felt it was, because it never got to the point of being unintelligent. Shawn says they never once made a mention of being Arabic or Middle Eastern when he was with Henry or Angle. They never had to do cheap desperate things like spitting on a flag or anything. Shawn mentions not losing his heat when off TV like some other talent.
Shawn says he never worked Babyface in WWE, but he did prior to WWE. He thinks with the right build it was possible.
Jack asks if the Jillian singing pair was meant to last or was a one time deal. Shawn says anytime there is a goofy gimmick there is a good chance Brian Gerwertz wrote it. Shawn enjoys the Mr Socko, DX, Eugene characters in WWE and was happy to do it. At first, they were against doing anything goofy or funny with the Daivari character but Shawn was for it. When he was on RAW by himself and not with a main event guy they decided to write him some comedy angles. Shawn says it was one of his most fun moments in his final RAW run.
Shawn goes into well rounded characters and says Kurt Angle is the perfect example. He can be a heel or baby face, comic or serious from PPV to PPV.
Jack asks if the X Division is marketed differently than the Cruiserweight Division. Daivari says no, it’s about getting the character over that’s it. He says the Major Brothers on Smackdown are just 2 guys. They have nothing to get emotionally invested in, it has nothing to do with X-Division or Cruiserweights. Shawn compares Havok to Black Machismo. Saying Black Machismo is a character people get into, they know who he is and is entertaining. Havok is just some guy in a dress and funny clothes. He can’t be emotionally attached to a character who has no promo time or the commentators don’t explain anything about.
Caller Ben asks who is being overlooked now. Shawn says Cody Rhodes was red hot when he first came in. They knew he was standing up for his dad, they respected him and his dad. Shawn could feel that he was going to be a big deal. Then in a few weeks he lost all the momentum he had, but it wasn’t Cody’s fault. He wasn’t written into the show to keep the momentum going, and he could have been a big star within a year. Shawn says he worked with him and heard “Cody, Cody” chants. People have been on the roster for years and don’t get that. Shawn says no they had to start over from zero with the Bob Holly angle.
Ben asks about the WWE House Shows and if they effect how much TV time you get. Shawn says not really. You have a roster of guys, and the ones not written into RAW usually work Heat or the house shows. On a house show there is more time to get everyone on the show because people don’t have multiple segments on the card.
Ben asks if Shawn owns Daivari or WWE. Sahwn says he was doing the character before he went into WWE, and it’s really him. It’s his real last name, and he really is an Arab American.
Barbie asks who’s idea was the original vignettes for the characters. Shawn says most of those were from Stephanie McMahon.
Jack asks Shawn if he has any good rib stories. Shawn says he did a mixed tag match with Jillian vs. Cody and Mickie James. Jillian had just had her wisdom teeth pulled and was in so much pain, and they told her they were going to do a big smack spot across her face. It was just a rib though.
The IYH Crew thanks Shan Daivari for coming on. Shawn says he quit WWE but he hasn’t quit wrestling and everyone will see him on Indy wrestling and maybe back on TV sometime down the line. For more information on Shawn Daivari and for booking inquiries please visit…
http://www.shawndaivari.com or email [email protected]
You can listen to the full-length interview along with Fidel Sierra at http://www.inyourheadonline.com and new episodes Wednesdays at 8 PM EST including this week with Missy Hyatt.