IMPACT Wrestling’s Rhino has done it all during his over 20 year wrestling career.
Having first made his name in ECW (becoming the company’s last-ever World Heavyweight Champion) he went on to compete in WWE, where he became a tag team champion alongside Heath.
Now, as one of IMPACT’s top stars, Rhino is happier than ever, having recently been reunited with his best friend Heath.
Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, Rhino revealed how IMPACT currently reminds him in many ways of the original ECW.
“Right now [IMPACT] feels more like ECW and I know why because you’ve got influences like Scott D’Amore, who would go on the road with me quite a bit, and he studied and learned a lot from Paul Heyman,” Rhino explained.
“Tommy Dreamer, Don Callis, that’s a great influence and a lot of the men and women that are in the locker room, they watched ECW and what made that product was unpredictability.
“Just when you thought you knew what was going to happen, bam, something totally different happened which just brought you in even more.”
Backstage, Rhino says the veterans are all also willing to look out for and mentor the company’s rising stars.
“About a month ago I was in the IMPACT locker room and I watched Eddie Edwards walk by and I see Dreamer talking to younger talent trying to help them become better than what they are.
“I see Don Callis in the corner talking to someone, I see Rob Van Dam sitting there, either eating or, you know, being Rob Van Dam and I took a deep breath and I thought, ‘I’m part of something pretty great’.
“And this is coming from a guy that’s been in a lot of locker rooms over 26 years and I look over and see Heath coming down the hallway and I think, ‘and I’ve got my best friend here too.'”
Speaking about ECW, nearly 20 years after it folded, Rhino admitted he didn’t fully appreciate how special his time there was while it was happening.
“I just went over to Pakistan and I was still getting ECW chants,” Rhino said. “I get ECW chants all over the place.
“But when you live it you don’t realise the memories you’re creating, you’re just out there just hitting that grind, doing the best you can and just living it.
“You don’t take a second to step back, take a deep breath and look around,” he added. “That’s what I tell a lot of people I mentor – don’t get caught up too much where you don’t stop for a second take a deep breath and look around.”
IMPACT Wrestling is available for FREE for fans in the UK on the IMPACT Plus app. Bound For Glory airs on October 25 at 1am on Fite TV.
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