Pineapple Pete On Why He Did Not Sign With AEW

Oct 1, 2020 - by Steve Gerweck


Conducted by Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman

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On feuding with Chris Jericho over the summer in AEW:

It was definitely one of those surreal like WWE career mode stories, you know what I’m saying? Only in the video games man, but it definitely let me know that happenstance is very powerful. I did his podcast, Talk Is Jericho. We got into the anatomy of all of that but something as small as just like a pineapple shirt at the right time, catches the eye. Stuff turns into stuff. It was definitely educational.

That’s the other thing that I can take from it too because I think people just don’t realize the mind on Chris Jericho. Just even for something that small, the way he got detailed and the way he was very meticulous about how he wanted certain things done even down to like the promo I recorded because this is a guy who knows if we lay it out this way, it’s going to get this kind of reaction.

And his track record is pretty damn good. We roll with that, and I think they leave him to kind of his own devices on that, but it was good. It was educational. It was a very fun one minute and 44 seconds, I guess, for the time that we got to have it. I won’t forget it, but I also won’t rest on it either.

On getting pyro for his entrance when he wrestled Chris Jericho on AEW Dynamite:

That was also a Jericho call. I remember getting pulled over, that was a very busy day, and I just remembe in the midst of everything that was going on and I’m having the internal thoughts like, ‘man, don’t screw this up. Make sure you’re on this.’ Also, shout out to the tech crew at AEW. That’s one of the hardest-working tech crews that I’ve ever seen. Everybody’s so personable. Everybody’s always in such a good mood when stuff is going on and you wouldn’t believe the stuff that they’re asked to do that you don’t see, and they’re knocking it out.

And I really appreciate what they do in the background so that we could have a foreground, but he comes up to me and he’s like, ‘yeah, when you get a chance, I gotta get with you. We gotta get with the positioning on your pyro.’ So my legit answer is, I look at him and I’m like, ‘why?’ He laughs about it, but he’s like, ‘yeah, I mean, it’s what Jericho wants so that’s what you’re gonna get,’ and I’m like, ‘OK, alright.’ But it was awesome.

That’s another thing I’ve never been privy to, they want to learn what your entrance is and the points on your entrance so that they know when to set the thing off. I was like, ‘wow, I actually have a point on my entrance and whatnot.’ So it’s stuff that you don’t think about and for those who are out there on the indies, I made a tweet about that yesterday where it’s like, the world’s are very different.

So there’s stuff that you are doing out there on the indies, and I’m glad it works. I know it’s popping. But you also have to make sure that your act is so ironclad or whatever act that they give you that it translates when the TV cameras are on. They are two different worlds, and it’s OK to say that.

On having to quickly create the Pineapple Pete character to capitalize on the momentum:

That’s the business. There was a whole new section of fans that like, granted, there are people who knew me as Suge D, but you have to be aware and you also have to be humble at the fact that like, OK, there’s just people who don’t know who Suge D is. There are going to be people that are still gonna call me Pineapple Pete when I show up on TV. It’s just going to happen that way.

Those who have paid attention over the years or some who dug deeper, yeah, there’s equity in Suge, but it’s like, OK, but there’s also equity in this Pete thing. Let’s go ahead and give it a shot. That’s how people know. Let’s not confuse them, more people probably know Pete than Suge. So I hurried as fast as I could to get some new tights. I was like, OK, I come and go out of this hairstyle at one point, but now, let’s just go ahead and hold onto it for a little while and see what’s going on.

You just try to do what you can do because if anything, I wanted to show that like, hey, I’m a team player. I can make this work. You gave me something that was supposed to be like a one-off joke, and I’m turning it into something and I’m flashing it into something.

On why he did not sign with AEW:

That’s the wrestling business man. I mean, if I had to give a self-critique, probably could have been in a little bit better shape. At the same time, it’s one of those cases. It’s something I’ve always been battling, always been working with.

I feel like by the time everything was over, I definitely whipped myself into better shape, but when you get that opportunity, sometimes, you just want to come in as the full package. But it’s not like I even knew there was a package to sell at the time. I thought it was just come in, make some people look good [and] call it a day. And that’s what it is.

I think the best advice that I can probably give to a lot of people right now is you have to know what it is and what it isn’t. When you walk into these situations, there wasn’t a promise or anything. I walked in as Suge D. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. There’s money to be made. I still get to do what it is that I do. So I walked in and I did it, and then I got this crazy opportunity and then I got a crazy opportunity that lasted for like six months.

I think people have this perception that, ‘oh god, He’s bitter, or oh god, he’s doing this or oh god, he feels he should have got this, or he’s got his nose up in the air because he thinks he’s this or he’s that.’ No, I love to wrestle, and occasionally, when I wrestle occasionally, real real real emphasis on occasionally, I like to get paid.

On how he was able to stretch his run with AEW out as long as he did:

It just made sense, but there were two thoughts that were always in the back of my mind, especially the last three months of it. It could end in one text message or one phone call, and every time that you go out there, you need to buy more time. Every match, make something, make a moment, make a face, make a sell [or], make a move.

Do something so that it’s like, ‘you know what, let’s keep him around just that one show longer just to see,’ and that was always my feeling every time I went on there. I thought for the longest time, for three months, I thought, ‘OK, they’re done,’ then I got three months. So I got way more time than people think I probably even thought I had, and there was just one day where I just got the message like the time’s up.

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