Former WWE Superstar Shane Thorne (SLAPJACK from RETRIBUTION) recently spoke with POST Wrestling’s Andrew Thompson and commented on his time in WWE, pitching a Crocodile Dundee-type gimmick prior to his WWE release, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On working the NJPW Strong TV tapings: “Our illustrious New Japan career that everyone remembers. I had one match [Haste laughed]. I had one match in [New] Japan. Mikey [Nicholls] had the few and he trained at the New Japan L.A. Dojo so him coming back to New Japan was a huge, like a real cool, huge thing. For me, it just was that’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go and do a serious run at and then seeing how well JONAH’s been doing there and I’d go along to the shows and hang out and man, the vibe there, this atmosphere, the crowds, it’s awesome. I love it.”
On wanting to team with Mikey Nicholls for the NJPW World Tag League 2022: “Yeah man, that’s our goal, that’s the goal. TMDK, me and Mikey [Nicholls], I’d love to see us in it [World Tag League]. I’d love to see other versions of TMDK as well; JONAH, Slex, Marcius Pitt, Damian Slater, we got Hartley Jackson, Kane Broadrick. We got some good members in that and I’ve said this many, many times, my goal now is to get — well I mean, stabilize myself and get my spot but to bring as many of those TMDK guys over, get them exposed on that national, international level of Japan where they deserve respect that they’ve — they’ve earned respect and deserve to be shown it in pro wrestling, where sometimes you know, you come to America and it’s a different kind of show, a different kind of vibe but in Japan, there’s so much more respect with it and I really want those boys to have a feel of that even if it’s just one tour, you know what I mean? That would be awesome because a lot of them have their jobs and their families and they’re pretty set in Perth. Like man, the world’s gonna open back up, Perth’s a direct flight to Tokyo, it’d be sick. So yeah, I wanna see all of TMDK at the Tokyo Dome.”
On wishing he stuck to his guns more while he was in NXT: “I look back at it with pretty fond memories [his run in NXT]. I try to forget all the negative stuff because once you get stuck on the negative, you just get dragged into the dark side. Things that I would have liked [to do was stick] to my guns a little bit more, especially knowing now how thriving the pro wrestling world is. I’m like damn, I really should’ve died on my sword more and been willing to, I don’t know, get fired over things. We were very — me and Mikey [Nicholls] made a career of ourselves before that by doing what the company wanted. We’re company men, we’re good workers, we’re good hands. We did — you ask us to do something, we’ll go do that better than what you think can be done and in Australia and Japan, that got rewarded in the right ways. I found that in NXT, they have ideas and you just go with it and sometimes that can be a detriment because not all ideas are great ideas. We had been proven in Japan that as ourselves, we were good and we were successful. When you go there, they wanna have their hands on it a lot more. They want more control, which I’m like, you know what? Billion-dollar company, you gotta know what you’re doing and so, we let them. Some things I’m like, ‘Eh, I don’t know’ but I’m like, ‘All right, we’ll do it. I’ll trust what you’re saying first’ and then obviously, I’m not a multi-time world champion millionaire so, it didn’t quite work out that way [Haste laughed]. You know, I’m doing fine.”
On working with Authors of Pain (AOP) in NXT: “Well there’s that thing of saving it for the right moments [Haste & Nicholls displaying their power and athleticism in NXT]. That was a good payoff, especially with the AOP guys [at TakeOver: Toronto 2016] because we worked them so much and they were getting told, ‘Don’t get picked up, don’t get bumped,’ all this stuff so we — I remember once, they were like we weren’t allowed to duck a clothesline from them because it made them look stupid for them to swing a clothesline and me to duck it and give him something and they wanted to do stuff and they wanted to take stuff too so that TakeOver match and even the next year’s Dusty Cup then, they were more than happy to get bumped and lifted and things like that and because we hadn’t done it every single match, it did mean more. So there is that side of [it] and the other side of [it] is other people they were wrestling were doing it every single match with them and they were like, ‘Well if they’re bumping them,’ picking them up and stuff like that every single match, then of course people are gonna see that and go, ‘Yeah! Every single time.’”
On still making the WWE 2K22 roster: “It’s just the way that they work. Everybody gets so mad at the talent roster [for WWE video games] and [gives them] sh*t for it because it’s really 2K21. It’s last year’s roster. They can’t predict the future of the roster, you know what I mean? So of course it’s gonna be the older roster. I think Shane Thorne’s been in every single one [WWE video game] since 2017 I believe. So, people looking out for me there. I think there’s 20 or something people in this game that aren’t with the company anymore. But like [I] said, it’s 2021’s roster. It’s fun, it’s fun. It just makes for a fun situation, you know what I mean?”
On his thoughts on the Crocodile Dundee character he was using on SmackDown: “Yeah, I was trying more character-based stuff [with the Crocodile Dundee character]. A lot of my career, pretty much all of it, I’ve just wrestled as myself. So, when I first went to SmackDown, I had singles gear and stuff like that and I’m like, ‘All right. I’m just gonna be this guy who’s been in NXT before’ and now — I really wanted to do like a moment on Raw Talk or Talking Smack straight after we left RETRIBUTION and I wanted to be like, ‘You don’t realize you’ve hit the bottom and the way Ali treated us, showed me that I was at the bottom so I’m done with that darkness and I’m ready to be a more positive person.’ I just wanted to be more positive about every situation that I was in and yeah, being in RETRIBUTION got pretty rough by the end of it and so I’m like, I wanna leave that behind and that’s kind of the real life — character reflecting real life and I’m like, ‘I didn’t realize I was at the bottom and looking at Ali and how mad and angry he was-was like looking into a mirror and I didn’t like what I saw so, you know, being away from him now on SmackDown is a fresh start for me and I’m ready to show the world.’