In an age where it's recommended that we practice social distancing, pro wrestling is the exact opposite of that. Some wrestlers, like Sami Callihan, have even vowed to not wrestle until the coronavirus pandemic is contained.
Indie wrestler Suge D made his AEW debut this past Tuesday in an AEW Dark match against Kip Sabian. The match was filmed during last Wednesday's Dynamite taping and Suge was asked if he was hesitant to perform, considering the circumstances, when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"Absolutely. This is something you have to take in mind and there's risk being taken by anyone doing it in an empty arena right now. You're risking it with the government. You're risking it with insurance because there are insurances that say if somebody gets hurt in your building – while there was not supposed to be a gathering in your building – insurance has the right to not cover you," said Suge.
He then mentioned that with indie wrestlers doing whatever they can to get on a show, he wanted to keep that spirit alive.
"In the case of AEW, you get national exposure and, I'm not gonna lie, the money was right," admitted Suge. "Also, the opportunity to show people that your dream is not dead. It's a four-hour drive from where I'm at…but if AEW comes calling and we're in the middle of doomsday, and they say they've got a spot for you, you go. You do everything you can with that spot and that's what I feel like I did."
Suge then talked more about his AEW Dark appearance and what precautions were in place by the promotion.
"There was a doctor on sight and tests done to make sure you were good to go and weren't carrying a fever. There was an area separated off from the locker room before you even got into it. It took a good little bit as they had to do people one at a time before you went in," recalled Suge. "But I felt at ease as with the virus you may not see signs right away so it's good they're taking the precaution and taking care.
"Everybody was social distancing where applicable. We were in a good outside environment and catering was making sure everything was bagged up so you could take things individually. The locker room area had disinfectant and wipes and of course we're in a football arena so you have access to showers and all of that good stuff."
Suge also ran into Tony Khan and reminded him that they had met once before and he praised Khan for being down to earth.
"For a guy worth that kind of money – you've got guys who will never see the amount of money that he has and they act above you like you're nothing. He's personable and says hi to everybody. He makes time for actual conversation and he took the time after the match to let me know what he thought," said Suge. "Little stuff like that goes a long way. You would never know that he's worth what he's worth but he's a great person."
One of the indie promotions that Suge worked for was RPro where he worked for Billy Corgan and his partners, Jacques and Gabe Baron. Suge recalled that experience.
"The Lock Up gimmick was also a Jacques Baron idea and I appreciate him for that. It gave me an opportunity for people to see that, 'Oh wow! He can be serious!' I was cutting promos that were so deep that they thought I really did prison time. That's what you want to come across as a performer to be effective. You want to make people believe no matter how strange or crazy the scenario is. It's why we go to the movies or listen to music," stated Suge.
He called Billy Corgan "an interesting character" and says he doesn't want to say more than that. He mentioned that working with Billy was an experience but noted that he still listens to The Smashing Pumpkins.
You can support Suge D by following him on Twitter @sugardunkerton or by buying one of his shirt at ProWrestlingTees.com/sugardunkerton. Suge's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.