Damien Sandow on Life After WWE and His ‘Thank You’ Tour
Last week, several superstars were released by WWE. Fans reacted to all the cuts – in one way or another – but one in particular had them howling: the company’s decision to part ways with Damien Sandow.
That was undoubtedly a testament to his talents as both a wrestler and a performer, because over the span of his relatively brief WWE run, Sandow repeatedly showed that he could get just about anything over. He debuted in 2012 as the “Intellectual Savior of the Unwashed Masses,” turned into a Rhodes Scholar and then became Mr. Money in the Bank in short order. But after an unsuccessful cash-in of the MITB briefcase, he fell by the wayside, only to eventually reemerge as the Miz’s endlessly entertaining stunt double.
That winning turn earned Sandow plenty of accolades – and his lone WWE title, a Tag Team Championship with the Miz. Their dynamic was a staple of the company’s programming through WrestleMania 31, yet for whatever reason, WWE never really capitalized on their chance to build a new face, and Sandow was seen only sporadically in recent months.
But whether he was a regular on Raw or merely a bit player, Sandow routinely received some of the biggest reactions of the night. It’s part of the reason he plans on embarking on a wrestling “Thank You Tour” (while working under the name Aaron Stevens) before turning his eyes to other projects – one of which has the potential to truly amaze.
In his first interview since being released, Sandow opens up about his time in WWE, his relationship with the fans and what happens next.
Take me through what happened last week, when you received the phone call from WWE.
First of all, I know a lot of people within the wrestling community were a little surprised. With me, I was more grateful for my time there. Looking back, I had a great four years there. The truth of it is, as a performer, the goal is to get the audience to feel something, to evoke some kind of emotion. In the WWE, from the second I debuted, there was an extreme feeling of dislike towards me. They really did not like me from the second I came on. Which was huge. A lot of guys spend years and years trying to get that kind of a reaction. They gave me the platform to do that character. Then, as time went on, especially with the Mizdow thing, the fans went from hating me to loving me. The crowd invested as me as a person. I never thought that I’d get that level of popularity as far as being cheered. As a performer, in that genre, the only thing we can ask for is fan response, especially genuine fan response. It’s the most satisfying thing. In reviewing my WWE career, which I did instantly when the call came, I was just grateful, and excited for the future.