Danhausen On Insight With Chris Van Vliet: Podcast Recap

Danhausen recently appeared on Chris Van Vliet’s podcast Insight. They talked about his character and why he needed to change it up. They also discussed his influences, singing to Ring of Honor and more. The most notable quotes can be found below:

On his character:

“Well if you’re not going to do it, no one is going to. You need to at least get the ball rolling and put yourself out there. It was all about taking the risk and hoping people would catch on and want to help.”

On why he changed from his old gimmick to his new character:

“I would say frustration and uncomfortableness. As much as this character is out there and weird, this is way more naturally me than me trying to be a tough guy. It’s more natural than me pretending I’m going to beat everybody up, that’s not me. I was just trying to find myself and it was not working, I was striking out constantly. I was having good matches here and there, but it just doesn’t matter until you are comfortable.”

On what he was before Danhausen and what the character is:

“It was like a standard tattooed, bearded, independent wrestling guy. You just emulate the guys that you are watching, until you figure out what you actually want to do. So Danhausen, some people have said it’s like if Conan O’Brien got possessed by a demon. That’s probably the closest you can get to it in terms of describing it. It kind of just is what it is. I don’t have a set thing of what Danhausen is.”

On how the transition came about:

“It was being the indie guy, and it didn’t matter what I was doing. I was having good matches and getting opportunities, but no one cares really. I had wrestled Johnny Gargano at the beginning of my career, which is awesome. That was followed by wrestling Ricochet almost straight after. I’m like this is great, but I can have good matches with those guys because they are amazing. But no one cares, because I am just another dude. That carried on for about 4 or 5 years. I was just a guy doing shows here and there trying to figure it out. There was something that people wanted to like about me, but I don’t know if I had it at the time. I had moved onto Florida, and discovered that there is not much of a wrestling scene down there. It’s literally NXT and a few indies here and there.”

On frustrations and final developments of the character:

“Florida didn’t work out, and I came back to Michigan. I started hammering down on wrestling every week that I possibly could. But it was still going nowhere and I didn’t feel like I was getting better at wrestling. I was getting increasingly frustrated, hurt and I was losing money. In 2017, I thought about quitting, because it sucked. Before I decided to quit, I wanted to give it one more real go. I did literally whatever I felt like doing, and waiting to see if it pays off. At that point it was entirely on me. I switched over to a horror based character, full on evil. I also switched up my makeup depending on the show I was doing. Eventually I settled on an Exorcist style makeup, because I wore it at a Halloween party once. I thought it was cool, so I decided to modify it to make it my own thing. It was the easiest to do, and that’s what caught people’s eye. I kept getting fan art from it. We did the evil thing for about a year, and it was catching on. But horror fans are niche, so it needed to evolve more. It took another year for the process to evolve. I took the idea of a vampire thinking he is wrestling, the inspiration is from Shadow of the Vampire. It was fun, and the videos were doing better than the more serious ones. So lets try and mix this with my current character. The humour got the ball rolling more.”

On promoters reaction to the new character:

“So the promoters saw that I had more fun wrestling with this character. I just let loose because it is kind of like wearing a mask, you don’t feel like yourself. I remember someone being iffy about it, because guys with makeup are generally not that great. But they let me do it and they were happy that they took the chance.”

On when he noticed the character taking off:

“I would say when the fan art started to come in a lot. October 2019 was when it really took off, because promoters were like ‘Oh you want the scary guy for the show.’ I had only been doing the very nice/very evil part for about 6 months, but it was slow build. In October it was every weekend. People thought that I might be leaving after October, I was like I can’t. I had to make the most of being booked 3-4 times a week during that month. I showed that I could keep this character going.”

On getting signed to Ring of Honor:

“That was thanks to Alex Shelly. I rode with him a couple of times and we really bonded on the car rides. He saw what I was doing and he liked it. He thought that it was something that ROH needed. Ring of Honor had booked me a couple of times already, just based on me being weird and different. They allowed me to be full on Danhausen without changing anything. I have been thankful for that, if you change it, the character won’t work. So Alex said ‘you should sign this guy.’ ROH said yes and that was it.”

On how his character is not too over the top:

“Everything I do is based in reality. I can’t shoot lightning from my fingers or do any supernatural stuff. But the character thinks he can. Like the tequila spot, I get the fans to dance along and I get their energy. That’s a real thing, you can feed off of that. You get excited from it, so it makes sense. No swearing makes sense, because it will get you taken off the air. The teeth thing is a “legal” way to cheat. I can argue with the ref that I am just putting more teeth in. It’s not thumbtacks, it’s just gross.”

On finding his voice:

“So before I found this voice, I used to just have this deep voice. The current one came from me just liking voice acting. Conan O’Brien does voices as he is doing skits, so it came from that. I am also a huge fan of The Simpsons. Also Mark Hamill from Batman the animates series. I will practice them in the car and cut promos by myself. It helps a lot on the long drives to shows. Filming the videos and hearing them back helped me to tweak them.”

On his future goals:

“One goal is I would like to be on television more. I would like to get some sort of cartoon that is not wrestling related. I think that the Danhausen character can translate over into a mainstream audience. The Conan O’Brien interview sort of proves that. There are legs for it outside of wrestling, but I don’t want to leave wrestling, but I want to draw more people to it.”

On potentially running out of content:

“I do fear it but it hasn’t happened yet. I keep thinking what can top this? But then something happens and it does. I think as long as I stay true and have fun with it, I will always have content. All of my stuff is just me reacting off of real life things, and life doesn’t stop. Theoretically I should always have content.”

On what he is grateful for:

“My wife, Davis and Nick for filming things for me, and my fans.”

Featured image credit: Instagram

Danhausen can be found on Twitter here and Instagram here.

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