Jonathan Coachman On AEW The Moment That Put Him Over MORE

[Applause] enjoy now by the coach Jonathan Coachman welcome to WrestleMania weekend how's your treating you it is a thrill to be here with you the the weekend's been great I got to tell you this is my 15th WrestleMania that I've been to it's my first wrestle Caan convention but this is the greatest weekend of the year there's nothing like it and when you come to New York City it's the best the energy here is fantastic I'm having a ball so 15 WrestleMania scene yeah I came to 10 when I first started here back in my 20s and then I left to go to ESPN and then there's people in the UK no I left ESPN and now I'm back with the WV but I do a lot of things a lot of different projects here in a lot of different sports what is your favorite Wrestlemania gosh I think WrestleMania 18 at Toronto because for a lot of reasons that was when Rock and Hulk Hogan finally got in the ring and for those people who didn't have kind of behind-the-scenes story it was supposed to go one way and it kind of changed into a different direction right they had to call it in the ring and and right before the match me and the rock got to do our little thing and and he's such a favorite of mine he was so good to me we had so many fun moments together so that to me is my favorite WrestleMania moment for those two reasons I was gonna say you you know you've interviewed many many people enjoying your time in WWE but I was gonna ask who your favorite person interview was but look judging by that answer and the fact that it's exposed to the two of you together it's a fairly obvious well he's he was my very first interview ever and the thing I remember most about that night we were in Chicago and and he came up to me and he said listen I got this great idea cuz he was right in the middle of every interview he did he'd be like what color is your jacket well it doesn't matter what your right he was doing that and so he's like I don't want people to think that you're an idiot so let's do it this way and he said nobody knows who you are so I started asking the question and he said who are you and then I wouldn't answer because I was scared and you know that's okay tell the rock who you are and I said well my name is Jonathan Coachman but everybody calls me the coach and he goes the coach of what the coach of a little girls softball team the coach of this the coach of that right so he said my name probably eight or ten times and that's how brilliant he was because he knew the fans in the arena that's all they would remember and then at the end of the interview he said oh by the way why do they call you the coach and I go well it doesn't matter why they call you the coach right so we reversed it I walked out of the arena that night and all the fans in the back of the arena were yelling coach coach coach so it took one interview and the fact that he was so kind to get my nickname over which I've been using my entire professional career fascinating so because you'd imagine first first day first interview in WWE and they give you the rock it would be you know it's such a huge pressure scenario and yet it sounds like the pressure we was taking off because you know what you can do well that that was the thing and and I knew that if that night worked he got to handpick who he worked with right whether it was wrestlers whether it was announcers whatever so I knew if I if I got the timing down with him because it with him it's all about timing because even back in the day when Smackdown was taped he would still do his interviews live because there was so much crowd interaction and and you couldn't tape his interviews and hope that the crowd went with it so he loved me from the start and that's what we've had so many I guess magical moments now if you ask my mother she didn't like the fact that he said I did thing with with farm animals but you know you just roll with the punches I could take the road for this movie indeed I took my preparation for trying to you I was looking at all the different exhibited have you worked every single job there is to do in WWE I think I have I came there as an announcer and about three years in Vince came up to me at the gym and we were working out and he was like you're too big to be a backstage announcer and would you be interested in being a character and getting into the ring and getting physical and there's more to it than just saying yeah let's get in the ring and and get bounced around you have to learn how to do it I had to learn how to work matches that was the hardest thing that I've ever had to do I would come in before shows two or three hours on the weekends the non televised shows just to be trained in the ring so I could be a character when the time came and then in 2003 at SummerSlam it was like the greatest surprise in the history of the we cuz nobody saw that coming and I attacked chained Shane with a chair and and then after that I became Vince's assistant and I III did I've done it all and I'm proud of the work that I've done and I'm excited to be back now in a more limited role but it's just because of time and and my schedule more than anything but yeah I'm very proud of all the jobs I've had one thing I've noticed with people especially walking past you today is they didn't realize how big you are you mentioned that you mentioned they're working out with Vince McMahon what is that like well they have a gym at the at the headquarters that very few people ever get to workout in and I spend a lot of time in there for me recently it's more of a lifestyle change and trying to be healthier trying to be a good example for my kids back then I just wanted to be in good enough shape to be able to take the beatings because I don't think people understand how hard it is to to be in the ring take the physical beatings that your body takes and I have so much respect for the guys that do it full-time because they're doing it four or five nights a week all over the world and it's hard to do it's very very difficult and to make it look good and and and Vince would never ask any of us to do stuff that he's not able to do but back to your original question what what does it like to work out with him you make sure that there's no dirt on your feet because he will throw I've seen him throw somebody out of his gym because they had dirt on their shoes everything is immaculate and he works out extremely hard he's probably the best in shape 74 year old man you're ever gonna find you know I always hated the stories of him old people trying to keep up with him well his his trainer back in the day was intense and they really really got after it and I've always you know people sometimes will make fun of me because I've been so loyal to him for so many years and it's not out of blind loyalty it's out of respect I respect what he's done I respect what he's built I respect how he goes about his business is it always the right decisions no but when you're building a brand like this that is so subjective and objective it's hard to make everybody happy and you're not gonna make everybody happy but I know that he's been good to me for damn near twenty years and hopefully it'll be 20 more you as you mentioned that you you've been in the WWE for a long time you went away you came back what do you think about how WWE and the industry has changed during your time in it it's changed a lot you know with the advent of streaming networks including the WWE Network it's become more of a global sport than it ever was before and what I mean we were always in 170 countries but now and I tell fans us all the time that sometimes all the ratings are down in the United States guess what we're not just playing to the United States anymore we're playing to the UK we're playing to Asia we're playing to Australia it's a global publicly traded company and so to do that the business had to change to less risqué outfits for the women putting the women on the level that they belong on and this weekend's a big example of that having the three in the main event at WrestleMania but also becoming more PG playing to the kids allowing kids to come to the shows and knowing that when you bring them to the shows there's not going to be anything that you see that is is over their head or isn't something that they can see so in that aspect from when I started and the things that I did personally to the way it is now I like the direction it's gone do I think it's gone too far sometimes because because it's an edgy business and whether it's stone cold with the beer truck whether it's it's somebody pulling my pants down and spraying you know spray paint and that did happen those things I think are funny and I still think there's a place for them but it is what it is and it's a bigger company now than it's ever been so somebody's doing things the right way you mentioned all the variety of roles that you've had a your the pre-show panel host of course nowadays um you have to be relatively impartial with that but are you allow do you have any favorite wrestlers that you enjoy watching or enjoy working with or communicating with me the one thing that I was able to achieve at ESPN was a level of self confidence that I knew wherever I went after that that not only could I deliver as a host but also give my opinion while I'm doing it which is what I do with the pre-show is I'll ask the rest of the panel what they think but also throw in what I think there's a lot of guys that that I love wrestling probably my favorite is Samoa Joe because of how he goes about it he's tough he's intense you talk about a guy that that keeps it real or makes it look real Samoa Joe is devastate and I love and I love how he carries himself you know I'm a big Rowan rain's fan you know and it sucks that it took leukemia coming back for the fans to finally realize what he's given to the business and I think that's my biggest pet peeve when you ask about how the business has changed with social media fans are so close to the business now and a lot of them think that they can do it just as well as we do it and if that was the case they all would do it you know and and so there's a lot of guys that that I love watching them work AJ Styles is amazing but I always I also like the the good human beings too because I'm a father now I try to be a good role model and I like the guys and and the women who are good role models as well there's a lot to talk about IEW at the moment do you think that's gonna be beneficial to have more you know through have more competition for WWE the thing that Vince has always taught us is that competition is good and when you only have one really big company what are we talking about 60 or 70 spots tops you're talking about only five hours of TV a week there's only so many people that can be on those shows so anytime you've got healthy competition it's good for the talent more so than anything else and so for that reason more places for them to work and really earn a living doing it I'm all for that and it's not just competition from from outside companies from independent companies from impact from aww from whoever it's also internal competition because today is Friday here at wrestle Con it's NXT takeover tonight and the way that that developmental system has changed and the way that now you know guys aren't being brought up and slowly introduced they can come in and you know we saw Finn Balor win titles almost immediately well when I started OVW was like our farm system right and they had like a local TV deal and now you've got NXT is on the WB network every single week there's no doubt you're right that internally there's competition and you want to drive yourself to be the absolute best i I don't like being complacent and part of the reason I made the moves that I've made from my own personal career is to push myself and to push my brand and push my career and I think that a lot of wrestlers executives whatever your job is if you're at the WWE now I think it's a good kind of shot in the butt to to say okay there is somebody else out there that's gonna put legitimate money behind a company because we've seen so many of the names you've already said they can only get so far right because there's only so much money there's only so many people watching but you've got to have a big backer and it seems like they have that they've got some pretty big names that they've signed they've got you know jr. is their voice now so certainly they've got the names we'll see if it's it's one thing to do a show twice a year it's another thing to tour and make that amount of money it's gonna take to pay all of these wrestlers and we'll see if they can pull it off you know in more power to them if they can yeah absolutely it's an exciting time to be a wrestling fan and it's one of them one of the most transitional periods of in wrestling history would you think you'd say there's no there's no doubt it's you know as as the the business has changed from closed-circuit TV to pay-per-view to streaming and and to have people think ahead and then people that Vince was crazy when he when he enters a network for $10 a month and now you've got record revenue but the in-ring product has to match the the way the business is turning and I think that takes almost a genius to look ahead to be ready for that it's interesting that the amount that WWE changes and we saw recently that John all have a segment on W do you do you think that could be a catalyst for change in W we always is you know it's being part of that company is it something I've already considered I mean that's something that's been talked about since the 90s you know in my career now I'm an independent contractor you know I work for five different companies and I have to pay my own health insurance with the with the guys like it yeah yeah I'm any I would love for one of my companies go here here's $1,000 extra a month to pay for your health insurance sometimes that's just the way it is and this is not the first time it's probably the most funny way that it's ever been presented but this has been a subject matter for 25 years so it's gonna come it goes the new cycle is 24/7 so it will come and it will go question you mentioned working with rock you mentioned working with DX if you could go in now and work with someone whether it be a comedy or an angle with someone in that WWE locker room who you got your eye on man it would probably be somebody that has a really good personality somebody that can match me on the microphone because that's when I was at my best was when I got the crowd to hate me enough and then whoever was where there was the rock whether it was John Cena whether it was Batista I would get my ass kicked at the end of the day and I'm proud of how how tough I was you know you you don't know how tough you are until you literally get hit in the chin which I did many many times but right now I think I don't know if there's anybody specific that I can think about the top of my head I certainly wouldn't want to get in there with Brock Lesnar there's no doubt about that but anybody that can cut a promo I think I'd be I think I would be a good manager type or I'd be a good character or maybe have a group of guys that I lead I think that would be a good role for me if I ever decided or if they ever decided they wanted me to come back as a character I think that'd be fun final question for you today we've been we've been asking everyone this they're the Hulk Hogan movie everyone is talking about at the moment and when it comes out it's been in process at moment if anyone was gonna play you in a film about your life who would it be well I mean there's there's the obvious choices like Denzel or Wesley Snipes but I think I'd probably go with Denzel simply because he's been able to change his body to accommodate the roles that he's been in so but I'm not on that level so so it's it's funny to think about but I'd probably say probably Denzel yeah sure okay he can put some hours in the gym he'll be fine it's been an absolute pleasure you have a great rest of my anyway yeah you guys be good thanks for having me appreciate it