Former WWE superstar PJ Black, or better known by his WWE alias as Justin Gabriel; was a recent guest on the Wrestling Epicenter show. During the interview, Black reflected on some memories during his time with the WWE.
Here are the highlights from that particular portion of the show:
The Gimmick He Wanted To Debut:
“I did, that was the plan. I experimented with a lot of different characters, I wasn’t really being used on TV. I was like, ‘All right, back to the drawing board.’ I wasn’t one of the guys that would sit in the back and just collect a paycheck, I wanted to work. I didn’t really care too much about the money back then, I just wanted to work, be on TV and let people see my work. I started working with a lot of different characters, Dusty helped me with a bunch of promos, just kind of working on lots of different stuff. We kind of got stuck on this ‘Darewolf’ character. WWE called me ‘Capetown Werewolf.’ I guess this was during the Twilight days? Matt Striker came up with the idea of putting the werewolf and the dare devil together. The character was kind of a dare devil like a modern day Evel Knievel. He came up with the word ‘Darewolf.’ Everyone loved it except Hunter, WWE actually trademarked that immediately. There is something with the patent laws in the US, if you don’t use it in 12 months, it gets abandoned and someone else can apply for it. When I left, I don’t know what I was doing but I was googling. I came across this file that said it was abandoned; I was like, ‘Yep, I’ll just trademark it myself.’ It’s not a word that exists so I was like, ‘Hmm, could be on to something.'”
Triple H’s Reaction To The Gimmick:
“Um, I’m not sure if he didn’t like it but, when I told him ‘Hey, I’ve got this great idea!’ He was like, ‘Just because you came up with it doesn’t mean it is a good idea.’ I have no idea what that means, I still think about it to this day. He’s a very sarcastic person so maybe that’s what he came up with on the spot.”
Vince McMahon Changing His Original NXT Name:
“Vince is friends with Chris Angel. In that era when NXT started, they wanted it to be like a reality show. Justin Angel was too gimmicky, I don’t know if anyone noticed this but everyone had 2 names, like a first name and a last name. In the first season and everybody wore trunks, it was supposed to be a reality show. It was going to be a reality show. They were going to put us in a house and film everything like the Ultimate Fighter. The writers waited too long and then it was like, ‘Oh, that house stuff fell through; here’s 5 minute segments, you guys go out there and freestyle and do whatever.’ When NXT started, Vince changed it on the day without me knowing. When I walked to the ring, I heard the announcer say ‘Justin Gabriel,’ I was like ‘What? I’m Justin Angel.’ I guess it just stuck from there.”