Christopher Daniels on Final Battle, the Jericho Cruise and Curry Man's whereabouts
With close to two dozen title reigns to his credit, Christopher Daniels has been wrestling for 25 years. Currently one-third of Ring Of Honor's SCU -- alongside Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky -- Daniels is one of the most respected performers of ROH, past or present.
At Ring Of Honor's Final Battle -- which airs live from New York City on Friday, December 14th -- Christopher Daniels is putting his career on the line in a match against The Elite's Marty Scurll. Viewers can catch Final Battle at 8:00 PM EST on the 14th through traditional pay-per-view providers or FITE TV, while HonorClub members can also view this year's event at a 50 percent discount for HonorClub Standard; more details about that can be found online at ROHWrestling.com or via the ROH app.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Christopher Daniels himself by phone about Final Battle and more. Part 1 of our chat is below, while Part 2 is now live via The Hype Magazine. More on the legendary wrestler -- who contributed to the recent Merry X-Men comic released by Marvel -- can be viewed online at www.fallenangelchristopherdaniels.com.
So what’s going on for you in ROH right now?
Christopher Daniels: Well, just Final Battle coming up in a couple of weeks. That's the big one. A first-time match between me and Marty Scurll, and I'm looking forward to it. The situation now is if I can win that particular match I've got this title slot, which gives me sort of a de facto extension on my contract. So if I can win that, I remain in Ring Of Honor, but if I don't, it could be the last Ring Of Honor match that I ever have based on Joe Koff and his decision to not renew my contract at the end of the year.
Well, I, like many people, will be cheering for you of course on that end. But did you have any run-ins with Marty on the Jericho Cruise that you could talk about?
Christopher Daniels: No, no. I mean, he was pretty involved with the tournament and then his match with Sami Callihan, the Impact versus Bullet Club match... So yeah, I never had any run-ins with Marty there.
Overall was the Jericho Cruise relaxing for you? Or was it nothing but work?
Christopher Daniels: It wasn't all work, but I mean, you know, even the times when I wasn't involved with the wrestling, I would be walking by fans and it was like an extended meet and great. I sort of understood that that was gonna be the situation.
There were parts and times where we had moments to ourselves, but a lot of the time we'd be walking by and people would stop us for pictures or autographs or just to talk. So I mean, it wasn't exactly a vacation. But it was a good time overall, man. It was a good experience, and I'm sure based on the success of it it won't be the last time that Chris does a cruise like that.
One of the things that I find most interesting about you is how much you've accomplished in your career and how you've worked for just about every major company in the last 20 years. Or is there a company of choice that you didn't get to work for?
Christopher Daniels: No, I pretty much worked for the ones that I wanted to work for. Even the periods of time where I was doing dark matches and tryouts for WWF, over that period of time I pretty much worked everywhere I wanted to work. Sometimes not as long as I wanted to but you know, every time a door got closed another one opened for me. So I've been very fortunate in that respect to be a person in demand when companies were looking for talent. So I've been very fortunate that I've been pretty steady working that entire time.
You've had a longer career than just about anyone can think of. Did you know that you were gonna be wrestling these many years when you started out? Or did you originally have an exit plan of "hey, I'm gonna be stopping when I'm 30?"
Christopher Daniels: No man, I never had an end date. I was just gonna keep doing it as long as it was fun, and it was something that I could do at a certain level. That's still how I feel, man. It's still fun, it's still what I love to do, and no matter what I'm gonna keep working hard and keep trying to better myself and trying to stay relevant.
It's harder now than it has been in the last couple of years, but I feel like it's my job now to sort of figure out how I can keep working at that level and keep testing myself against the young guys coming up and still remain at that to echelon of talent that's going on in professional wrestling today.
And you've had a lot of championship runs over the course of your career. Is there a particular highlight that you look at most proudly?
Christopher Daniels: Well I mean, the first one that comes to mind, obviously the Ring Of Honor World Title that I won last year. It was something that I didn't know was gonna come around for me. There was a period of time where I thought that my opportunities to be a World Champion were done.
I'm just glad that I finally had that opportunity to win the big one. I feel like it was a good period of time in my career, and I think people look back at that and just the overall art of my career to finally get it 25 years in was an accomplishment that I'm very proud of and something that I'll always look back on fondly with.
Is there any chance that your friend Curry Man might have one more run in his career?
Christopher Daniels: Never say never, man. I'm sure he'll have to figure out his visa situation. There's rumors that he's been a horrible drunk his whole life. Who knows how his battle with the alcohol is going now. I hope it's going well. But yeah, you know, anything can happen in professional wrestling. No one ever really retires a hundred percent. So I mean, who knows what can happen for him?
Going back to your match at Final Battle, after you win, is there something that you hope to accomplish? For example, are you hoping for another World Title run?
Christopher Daniels: That would be awesome. I certainly haven't ruled it out. I feel like whatever happens between Jay Lethal and Cody Rhodes at Final Battle, whoever comes out of that as the World Champion is going to have a steady stream of competition coming for that title, and if I could put my name on the list, if I do win the match with Marty, I will have a title shot 'cause that was part of the stipulation of the match.
So no matter which one, whoever it is, Jay or Cody, I've got experience wrestling both of them and it's something that could happen for me, a second World Title reign at Ring Of Honor. I'm already the oldest gentleman to hold that title, so if I won it again I would break that record, and you know it'd be cool to be World Champion one more time.