On The Line with Brian Kendrick

He’s made a name for himself all over the world as a professional wrestler. He’s wrestled in WWE, TNA, ROH, and Japan. He is an exciting and dynamic individual both in the ring and out of the ring. Here is my interview with Brian Kendrick.

Alex Obert: Starting early in your wrestling career, what was it you enjoyed about WWE Velocity?

Brian Kendrick: What I liked about Velocity is you got a little more time than you did normally for matches. You got about eight minutes and they didn’t tend to care so much what was gonna happen in it. You had more freedom with the matches.

Alex Obert: Do you have any memorable matches on Velocity?

Brian Kendrick: Off the top of my head, nothing that springs to mind.

Alex Obert: Also early in your career, how did you pull off the streaking on Smackdown?

Brian Kendrick: They gave me a flesh colored thong. I had to actually run around in it in the arena in Philadelphia.

Alex Obert: How did the crowd react from your perspective?

Brian Kendrick: It seemed fine. It was a while ago. It seemed crazy because I just went out and ran. It was all really just that quick. It’s all kind of a blur, but it seemed like, “What’s the hell’s going on?”

Alex Obert: Someone that you teamed with in your early days in WWE and continued to, what is it that you like about Paul London both in and out of the ring?

Brian Kendrick: In the ring, we compliment each other. We wrestle pretty similar and have the same idea of what wrestling should be. Outside of the ring, he just makes me laugh. He’s a funny guy. We’re real good friends outside of wrestling. He just makes me laugh hysterically and has a great sense of humor.

Alex Obert: As far as your WWE entrance themes go, do you prefer the Spanky theme or the London and Kendrick theme?

Brian Kendrick: I wasn’t crazy about either of them. Both of them were just generic music. I didn’t hate either one, just wasn’t crazy about either one.

Alex Obert: If you had a say in it and licensing wasn’t an issue, who would you have do your theme?

Brian Kendrick: If I could get anybody to do my theme, Tool. That would be pretty sweet. I don’t know if Tool and I would go well together. But if I had my choice, it would be Tool.

Alex Obert: What are these rumors about you using My Heart Will Go On as your entrance theme at one point?

Brian Kendrick: Yeah, that’s legit. In Japan, they gave me a techno version of that, of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On. That, I didn’t have a say in. They sprung it on me. But I had to do it for about a year.

Alex Obert: Getting into your return to WWE from 2005 to 2009, what was it like with the death of Chris Benoit with WWE having a tribute for him, what was it like for them to be doing that then realize what actually happened?

Brian Kendrick: First of all, the day we found out that Chris Benoit died was the day we were having a funeral for Vince McMahon. It was supposed to be a tribute to Vince McMahon. It seemed more eerie to me after the fact. The timing of it, the memorial show for Vince McMahon. The murders happened a day or two before and we found out that day. It’s kind of funny timing. The moment we found out, it stuck with me. It’s a day I remember, finding out about it.

Everybody there was already wearing funeral clothes, because of the Vince McMahon storyline, when we found out. People split before they found out the actual news of what happened with Chris Benoit. Everybody was free to go an hour or so after we found out. So people took off. I thought right away that it was a murder. That’s what you hear, the father’s going crazy, killing their families. It’s not the first time that that’s happened, I would think. When it actually came out, it’s still shocking because you knew the guy. But I would have been far more shocked if it was anything else, like if somebody would have broken in and murdered his family.

Alex Obert: Was there a lot of panic backstage with people saying, “We just aired a tribute for him, how is this going to make us look?”

Brian Kendrick: I didn’t have to go back to work for a week. And so I don’t know what the field was like for the office. Back home for me, it was just a regular week. I would imagine they’d be shitting their pants. I would. But I would have done the same thing, done a tribute show right away because it would have made sense. But it also occurred to me that he probably killed his family. That was the first thing that occurred to me.

Alex Obert: Another backstage happening, in 2008, what was it like backstage when they were going from TV-14 to TV-PG? Did they talk to you about anything or have any new guidelines?

Brian Kendrick: I don’t remember anything specific. I don’t remember an official meeting or anything where, “This is the day you come in and can’t do this, this, this, or this.” But things had kind of went that way anyways, as far as going clean. They hadn’t really used blood in quite some time. They couldn’t swear. The big things became don’t hit your opponent in the head with chairs and choking type stuff because of the Benoit thing.

Alex Obert: On a lighter note, in 2009, what went through your head at the Royal Rumble when Triple H had tried to eliminate you and it didn’t work out as planned?

Brian Kendrick: There’s not much to go through my head, it lasted all of a few seconds. I got thrown out of the ring, to me, there’s only one way to go. I got thrown through the middle of the ring, so I had to go back in and get eliminated quite all over again. It got taken care of just like that, but it’s as simple as that.

Alex Obert: So you’re good with quickly improvising on the spot with things like that?

Brian Kendrick: Yeah. I mean what else are you gonna do? I would have been so confused if I had accidentally won the Royal Rumble from there. Just get back in there and fix it and that’s exactly what happened.

Alex Obert: Moving onto TNA, who did you hang out with while you were there?

Brian Kendrick: A lot of people. I was friends with a lot of people that I’ve hung out with for years. Daniels and Frankie or the Machine Guns or Sonjay Dutt when he was around or any number of people.

Alex Obert: How do you feel TNA improved when you made a couple of appearances several years before that?

Brian Kendrick: I think it was better than then for sure. I don’t know if it’s currently the best it’s ever been, I don’t think too many people would say it is, but I think it’s still now better than it was back then.

Alex Obert: What did you think about your TNA entrance theme?

Brian Kendrick: I tried to get one song and they gave me something close to it. And so I was happy that they were willing to at least compromise with me somewhat. I’m happy with that.

Alex Obert: What was the theme that you were going for originally?

Brian Kendrick: Originally I had just wanted Vivaldi and I guess it couldn’t be done, but they could give me something like that. And then it got twisted from there.

Alex Obert: I recall one time during your most recent run in TNA, you came out in clothes that looked like something Kurt Cobain would have worn. What would it have been like if you ever did a Kurt Cobain gimmick?

Brian Kendrick: It’s something I’ve pitched before. They didn’t go for it. But I would have been fine with it. I’m from the Washington state area, so dressing poorly becomes pretty natural for me too.

Alex Obert: What ideas have you had in mind for the gimmick?

Brian Kendrick: I would have a valet and be some sort of artistic genius, be to myself, and then be taken advantage by my valet. Getting whored out by your Courtney Love. That would be the idea.

Alex Obert: How much input in WWE did you have over the character of The Brian Kendrick?

Brian Kendrick: I had more than I guess I could have expected. I got to pitch the idea of having a singles character and they helped me with it. It came off the ground for me. The look, the attitude, a lot of that stuff was me.

Alex Obert: How do you adjust, as a cruiserweight, to wrestling as a heel?

Brian Kendrick: You just gotta move quick but not do anything too fancy. The trouble is is if you do anything too fancy, you’ll be likable. And if you’re likable, then that makes it counter-productive. You have to be able to move quick and fly around, but do that by making the other person look good and make me look bad.

Alex Obert: Who do you think has some of the best subtleties and mannerisms in the ring that really add to their character?

Brian Kendrick: For example, the way Mr. Perfect would walk around and the way he would move and the way he would seem almost thundershocked when he would wind up getting bumped or knocked on his ass. He’s great. Shawn Michaels, the way he would move between everything. Or Macho Man was real captivating to me, the way he would just walk around the ring.

Alex Obert: Who would you have liked to face in that era?

Brian Kendrick: Macho Man from the eighties. The Ultimate Warrior was my favorite as a kid though. But Macho Man would be my favorite to wrestle.

Alex Obert: Moving on, let’s go over some butterfly effects in wrestling. I have a couple questions for you, if something in wrestling history was changed, how would you see it ending up?

Brian Kendrick: Okay.

Alex Obert: What if you and Paul London were actually booked to get payback on Triple H after the Pedigree incident?

Brian Kendrick: I would imagine we would get beat up the following week right after. That would be my guess.

Alex Obert: Do you feel it would have elevated you or it would have just been a blow off?

Brian Kendrick: I don’t think it was in the stars, we were not seen as a big deal.

Alex Obert: What if you weren’t released from WWE in 2009?

Brian Kendrick: I would have anger issues right now, most likely. I wasn’t headed in a good direction, personally. For my health, I think it’s for the best.

Alex Obert: What if it wasn’t Deuce and Domino who beat you and Paul London for the tag titles?

Brian Kendrick: It would have been The Highlanders.

Alex Obert: And what if The Brian Kendrick was a face upon debuting?

Brian Kendrick: (laughs) Then his name would be even funnier if he was a face! What a dickhead!

Alex Obert: Would you still have Ezekiel Jackson?

Brian Kendrick: Yeah, of course!

Alex Obert: Moving onto music, I’ll list various conspiracy theories in music, and you tell me your opinion on them.

Brian Kendrick: Okay.

Alex Obert: The 27 Club.

Brian Kendrick: I don’t know why 27, numerology wise, but I do think that Kurt Cobain was offed by a professional. And I think that there’s something really suspicious about Jimi Hendrix’s death as well, as far as him drowning on bottles of wine. I think there’s questions about the alcohol consumption and how he could have consumed alcohol that rapidly, whereas maybe he was forcibly fed bottles of wine. That’s Jimi Hendrix. And of course, Kurt Cobain taking all that heroin and putting everything away and rolling his sleeves up. And then blowing his head off with a shotgun and wiping his fingerprints off of the shotgun before he died. That’s nuts too. I don’t know why 27, but there’s been some suspicious 27 year old deaths on top of it.

Alex Obert: The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz.

Brian Kendrick: I don’t know if you’ve seen it set up to Alice in Wonderland (the cartoon) instead of Wizard of Oz, but it also syncs up to that, some say better. I don’t know if it was done on purpose, but it’s a pretty trippy coincidence. It does seem to work quite well for two movies. So I think it was maybe just an inspired album.

Alex Obert: Michael Jackson’s death.

Brian Kendrick: Oh, I think he’s still alive! The best thing about that, at least the most fun and entertaining, is if you look up on YouTube, “Dave Dave being interviewed by Larry King”, and you’ll see this burn victim that looks like and sounds like Michael Jackson. He could just have a sick sense of imagination, picturing him in a rubber suit dressed as a burn victim. But Alex, it sounds just like Michael Jackson. It’s worth checking out if you’re bored later.

Alex Obert: Robert Johnson.

Brian Kendrick: The man who sold his soul at the crossroads, right? I believe in the idea. I think that if you believe you’re gonna sell your soul, you’re gonna wind up cursing yourself. I think though you’ll get what you want, you’ll indeed be fucked. To this weird worshiper of material, that’s where you soul will go, wherever that may be.

Alex Obert: If Elvis Presley and Tupac are currently hiding somewhere.

Brian Kendrick: Where would they be hiding? I guess probably in Mexico. I think they’re both dead. But I hope they’re hiding in Mexico.

Alex Obert: Do you have any experiences with records being played backwards with a message?

Brian Kendrick: I know it works, I don’t know why it works, but I know it fuckin’ works. I know there’s a site a buddy of mine showed me, it should be online (available here), where it’ll do it for you. It’ll play clips backwards. That’s pretty spooky, some of the results. You can hear it sound like somebody saying “Hail Satan!” or whatever it is, but you can hear it without imagining too much. I don’t know why it’s like that. I don’t know if people mean to do it. I don’t think they mean to do it, I think it’s just coincidentally happening.

Alex Obert: Do you know of the Nirvana one?

Brian Kendrick: No.

Alex Obert: Smells Like Teen Spirit, if you play various parts backwards, he says, “I hate you!”

Brian Kendrick: No shit!

Alex Obert: Do you have any other music theories?

Brian Kendrick: The biggest one was back in World War II time era, back when our school system got taken over, Nazi style. So did the soundwaves. And so music is supposed to be played at certain megahertz and they’ve adjusted it accordingly to screw with our vibrations. What it’s being played at and what it’s supposed to be played at can be looked up online. There’s numbers that I don’t know off the top of my head. But to me, it seems like that’s the biggest conspiracy of ’em all is that we’re listening to all of our stuff at a frequency that’s disharmonious, vibrationally. And it sounds like stupid shit, but it is what it is.

Alex Obert: Can you describe to readers your infamous claymation story?

Brian Kendrick: My buddy and I were stuck in an audio visual class for high school, actually. So we had two hours a day every day to just do whatever we wanted with video cameras and stuff. And so we fooled with lincoln logs, with those types of things. My friend and I made claymation pornography. It got us suspended for a week. It was actually pretty clever, crafty stuff. And to this day, my mom blames the teacher for being that stupid and oblivious to give two idiot kids enough time to just make a claymation pornography. And my mom’s kind of right. It starred animals and dinosaurs. Hopefully someday, I can share it with the world. I was just cleaning out my house this past week. I found that VHS and I don’t know how to watch it.

Alex Obert: Would it accompany the cat wrestling that you’re working on?

Brian Kendrick: (laughs) One can only hope! I don’t know if I’m ever gonna have any actual cats wrestle. I do have a friend, Teddy Hart, who actually might do it. He has trained cats and makes them do backflips. I would hopefully like to do something where there are people dressed as cats wrestling though against dogs, against mailmen, against aliens. I would like to do that as a live show. Right now, it’s just animation. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the energy or the courage to really turn that into a live show. But someday, that would be an idea, to have humans dressed up as different animals pretending to fight.

Alex Obert: In WWE Magazine, they showed Kendrick’s Column from your high school newspaper. What was it like writing for the school newspaper?

Brian Kendrick: It was fun. I guess I liked it. I didn’t really have much to write about other than arguing student’s rights to drink soda in class or whether mustard was as important of a condiment as ketchup. It was a bunch of nonsense, but I liked it. It gave me something to do.

Alex Obert: Have you written since then?

Brian Kendrick: Not in that capacity though. Just for myself. Stupid poems and crap like that. Just garbage in notebooks.

Alex Obert: Will we see an outlet from you someday on YouTube or anything of that nature?

Brian Kendrick: I don’t know, maybe if I get really inspired to do something. But for now, I’ve got nothing but garbage to share with the world.

Alex Obert: What was it like being a contestant on The Price Is Right?

Brian Kendrick: It was awesome. I got to spin the wheel. Who wouldn’t wanna do that? It was really cool, out of the blue. It was a long wait to get there, as far as when you show up to go do Price Is Right. It’s five hours before the show starts, so it’s a long day. But at the end of the day, I got to spin the wheel, so it was worth it. I won a giant popcorn maker, like a big fuckin’ one, it was a $3,000 popcorn maker. No space for it, no need for it. So we gave it to the local Venice Boys and Girls Club City Commerce people.

Alex Obert: Is it true that TNA didn’t even know about it?

Brian Kendrick: Yeah. They had no idea. They had no idea until it aired on TV.

Alex Obert: Did you wish that they aired it on Impact Wrestling?

Brian Kendrick: No, I didn’t wanna tell ’em. It was my own thing. It was not Brian Kendrick, the wrestler that they sent to go do it. It was Brian Kendrick, the guy whose mom was in town. I was there because my family wanted to go, my wife always wanted to go. And TNA had nothing to do with it.

Alex Obert: Speaking of attending, what are some wrestling events you’ve attended as a fan?

Brian Kendrick: I remember as a kid, the biggest event I went to was when Spring Stampede came to Tacoma, Washington, which was an old WCW pay per view. So that was huge. I was seventeen, eighteen at the time. Before that, I’d seen two small indy shows come through Washington state, a couple of RAWs, and that was it. I grew up in Washington state, there wasn’t a whole lot of wrestling. I gobbled up every bit I could.

Alex Obert: In closing, can you tell readers about your wrestling school?

Brian Kendrick: It just started, so the website’s just briankendrick.net. I run a twelve week camp that started this week, so the next one won’t be until mid-Summer.

Alex Obert: Thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it!

Brian Kendrick: Thanks, Alex!

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