The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast recently welcomed former WWE Superstar and member of the NEXUS, "The Darewolf" PJ BLACK (FKA Justin Gabriel). From his days wrestling in his native country of South Africa through his WWE tenure that saw him be a captain and main focal point of the NEXUS faction, PJ Black shows how he has made quite the name for himself in the wrestling world in both Lucha Underground as well as a stint in IMPACT wrestling after leaving WWE. In this excerpt from the 60 minute interview, Black reveals a pitch he made to Vince McMahon regarding the masked Bunny he portrayed while working alongside Adam Rose and the Exotic Express as well as if he is open to a WWE return. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.
Full Episode Download Link:
Justin Gabriel On Suggesting Vince McMahon Be Revealed As "The Bunny":
Justin Gabriel (PJ BLACK) On The Nexus Reunion In Chikara:
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Was he originally slated to be Adam Rose:
"It was supposed to be him but when I started wrestling that is the character I played. That character was also loosely based off of my real life and was for a long time that I was known as a party animal and my nickname at Lucha still today is actually "Spring Break" and I'm not like that anymore at all but in my early 20s and 30s that was basically me.
What was his idea for the Bunny:
"I had a bunch of different ideas and I'll give you one that kind of sparked the interest a little bit and I thought they were going to run with but never did, which was heart-breaking to me. I figured because you've followed the storyline with the Bunny and Adam Rose and my idea was that the Bunny would slowly become dark and he gets depressed or he gets moody or he doesn't want to be this happy character anymore and in the background of Adam Rose and kind of becomes the Donnie Darko character and very dark with like a shot of him backstage sitting and has dried blood on his fur or smoking a cigar and has ash on him and just looks grizzled. He's just beat up and doesn't want to be there anymore. But then he does these "hardcore" matches and he never wins and he never gets anywhere just gets more disgruntled and more mad and more angry and more ugly. If it would have been the Attitude Era that Bunny would have been the most over character ever but unfortunately it wasn't and they knew that too."
"It could have been anyone and if the Bunny's head came off it could have been anyone and at one stage it could have been Jeff Hardy or Kurt Angle or maybe it would have been me but my idea was no matter who it is people won't be shocked. The only thing that will make people shocked and an example I pitched was maybe the Bunny gets hurt for real and the ref thrown up the "X" and in a backstage segment where they pull the head off and all along it was Vince. He said; "Why the hell would I do that?" Because you are a crazy billionaire! That is why I would do if I was a crazy billionaire. How funny would that have been in that segment?"
Is it hard to pitch ideas to creative knowing they will get shot down:
"That was just one idea. I had like twenty or thirty different ideas for The Bunny alone and then the Darewolf character after that and I had a bunch for the Angel character. Even when I had just about left the Network came out and they asked us to submit shows and I wrote up like ten shows which just got shot down the whole time and I thought that maybe ideas aren't good? I kind of felt worthless and that was one of the main reasons that I left. One of the shows I pitched over and over was the 205 Live show and I'm happy to see that they are actually going with it right now."
“It was me, Dean Malenko and Jamie Knoble obviously two well-known cruiser weights who are agents backstage and we just talked about it and we kept pitching it to them and were like if we have a network and we need content and we have all this air time where we can put anything we want on but I think that was just a timing thing. Maybe it would have happened sooner or maybe I planted the seed and I don't want any credit for it because I'm just happy to see they are doing it right now."
Is WWE on his radar to go back or is he happy doing what he is doing now:
"It is funny you say that because it changes all the time. When I left it was been there and done that and I'm good now let me try some other stuff because I still want to go to Japan and a bunch of other companies that I still want to work for on my bucket list. But every once in a while I am like well maybe I should go back just one more run because I want closure and I don't feel like as a singles competitor that I got a good run at all or like a good showing. I feel like when I left too that it was abrupt and I feel like as a performer and a person and a wrestler that I've grown and I feel like my weaknesses back then are now my strong points. While in the WWE you kind of don't evolve you just do what you get told and you kind of just stay the same and that is why they sign a lot of the Indie guys and you see it with Kevin Steen and Finn Balor and AJ and you saw them doing well on the Indies and now they are doing well on TV. So every once in a while I think maybe I will go back and if they come to me with a good storyline I don't even care about money now if they just come with a good story line and I get a good payoff for WrestleMania or maybe it is a Nexus story line I'd consider it and I'm not going to turn anything down but if you spoke to me a year ago I would have said no and never. But one thing I learned from Vince was never say never."