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NewsAEWKip Sabian Credits Shia LaBeouf For Inspiring The Box Gimmick

Kip Sabian Credits Shia LaBeouf For Inspiring The Box Gimmick



On a recent edition of the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Kip Sabian explained how he came up with the ‘Underrated/Over It’ box gimmick.

Sabian revealed that it was essential for him to do something and stay involved during a lengthy injury recovery, and that’s how he came up with the idea of the box.

Sabian credited Hollywood star Shia LeBeouf for inspiring the gimmick.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On his lengthy recovery from surgery: “It’s a really hard one, because the original idea that I had has changed so many times depending on the reactions from the fans. So the initial starting point was; obviously I’d got injured. Full labrum surgery, which took longer than it normally would’ve been because when they got in there, they found that it was torn all the way around. So I was looking at twelve-ish months, maybe twelve to fifteen months of rehab. For me, as someone that has wrestled since I was 16… so like, 30 now. By that point, it’d been like eleven years, twelve years, a really good chunk of my life wrestling non-stop. I think the longest I’d had away from wrestling was maybe three weeks in all of that time. Cause I did a lot of the holiday camp shows, so you’re wrestling 5-6 times a week, plus the indie shows. It was a lot of wrestling.”

On how well AEW treated him during his recovery: “So having this break and being told you’re not going to wrestle for twelve months is kind of soul-destroying. So I’m sitting at home. It was straight after surgery. I’m sitting on my couch because I can’t sleep in my bed, I have to sit up with a big old sling on. I’m watching the show and I’m like, man, I don’t want to stay at home for twelve months. And here’s the thing: AEW is so great with the talent. I could’ve literally sat at home for those twelve months, no issues whatsoever, still getting paid. Treated me well, helped me out with my rehab and all of this stuff. But me… I couldn’t do it.”

On needing to get involved and be creative: “So I started to go crazy. I was watching the show. Now I look back, it was a good thing. Back thing, I think it was a bad thing for me because I had such a long time before I could wrestle again that I’m watching it, and it’s making me go more and more down this hole. It wasn’t long before I realized man, I’m depressed. This is terrible. I need to do something. I’ve a very artistic mind, as someone who has a pretty high-functioning ADHD, I’m always having to try and find things to be creative with.”

On seeing a life-art stunt Shia LaBeouf had done: “I’m a big fan of the acting ability of Shia LaBeouf. Now. There’s a stunt that Shia did, which was for the red carpet of, I think it was Nymphomaniac. He turned up on the red carpet with a bag on his head that said ‘I’m not famous anymore’. And he just stood there, silently, and it was like life-art. I remember at the time going this is great. I don’t understand it, but I like it. So then I did more of a deep dive into Shia and what he was doing with this life-art stuff. That’s pretty cool. Maybe I’ll do that.”

On the initial idea being a serial killer-type gimmick: “Fast-forward, I’m planning this serial killer-esque character. I’m a big fan of Halloween. I like Mike Myers. These shots that they use in Halloween… in my mind, it’s the greatest horror movie of all time. For simplicity reasons. All of the fear you have is from a background shot of the dude just standing there. They can’t see him, but we can see him. I love stuff like that. I was like, what if we can do this? And we get to All Out 2021, I believe? I packed a suit. I’m like, I’m gonna go buy a bag for my head, and then I’m gonna stand there and do my meet and greets. So I printed out a bunch of old pictures of myself that I was crossing my head out of.”

On why he ended up using a box instead of a paper bag: “Shane, the driver. Good old Shane, was driving me to the meet and greet. I’m like, can we find a place to get a brown paper bag. So we try these places… NOWHERE has a brown paper bag! I’ve literally come here to do this random life-art stunt, and now I don’t have anything for my head. So last ditch effort, we go into UPS. I’m like, hi. I need a box that’ll fit a human head (laughs). Do you have a box that’ll fit a human head? She goes, maybe… this one? So she weirdly passes me the box. I put it together and I’m like, this’ll work! Great! Hi, so do you have any like tape? She’s like, yeah, sure. Do you have a box cutter?! She’s looking at me now like, what is this guy planning on doing with a box to fit a human head, and now he wants a box cutter? I’m in a suit and tie, as well (laughs). I’m in this burgundy suit, asking for a box that’ll fit a human head!”

On coming up with the underrated/over it tagline: “So they pass me the box cutter, I cut two really random eyeholes. I pay for the box, I get back in the car. I’ve got some sharpies and Shane’s like, I guess you’re going for a box then. I guess I am! What can I write on this box? Shia had ‘I’m not famous anymore.’ So I was like, I can put ‘I’m not over anymore.’ Then I had a self-realization of you know what? I wasn’t really that over anyway. I’m already working out the jokes that can come back at me for this. So I’m like, how do I really feel? D’y’know what? I feel like I’m severely underrated in the world of wrestling, on a grand scale. And you know what? I’ve had enough. So I wrote ‘underrated.’ And then I was like ‘I’m over it.’”

On how the gimmick grew: “That’s where it started. I did that and it seemed to get over. I was being weird, and wacky. I was ultra-skinny at that point because I was just post-surgery. I think I’d dropped twenty pounds. And it just grew from there. AEW would bring me out to the shows, and I would go out before the show and set up these random meet and greets. I would wander around. I slowly went from being outside the venue to inside the venue, to inside the arena, to sitting in the further back rows, moving my way forwards as time went on. It was one of those wonderfully organic things where I didn’t know what was going to happen. I feel like Tony [Khan] as well didn’t know what was going to happen at all. Kip can’t do anything, but I didn’t want to be stagnant. I wanted to develop myself further. And do that, I had to do something creative. So that’s where this came from.”

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