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Catching Up With The Peeps Champ

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Because The Shakedown has the pulse of the peeps, who better to sit down with the champion of said peeps? Christian, who takes on Houston's Booker T at Bad Blood on June 15 for the Intercontinental Title, checked in with The Shakedown this week to talk shop, SARS and what it's like trying to control the absolute maddening amounts of peeps who surround him constantly.

Q: You now carry the InterContinental strap, a title that had been in mothballs for a while. Why did it go away and why was now the time to bring it back?

A: It went away, I think, because after the brand split, there were so many titles and fans were getting confused as to what titles were on what shows. They wanted to take away the IC title and put focus on the main titles and get a focus on the product and the storylines around those belts. It's good for the company to have it back because it gives something else for guys, like me, to fight for that aren't in the World Title picture. It's another attraction, and it should really help our televised and non-televised events. Plus, for our writing staff, the IC title gives something to have storylines for. They can build around it. It makes it a little easier on them.


Q: In the past, the IC belt has been a stepping stone for guys like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and Triple H to the world title picture. Do you see that happening this time around?

A: When I was a fan growing up, that's the way it was. You gave the IC belt to that guy who was ready to take next step to that top position. Hey, I've got the belt now, so, hopefully, it will be like that again. Hopefully, the fans will view it as something like that. It's a real exciting time for it to come back because we've got a lot of guys who can be described as those guys ready to take that next step.


Q: Bad Blood is the first brand-only pay-per-view. With the writing on each show already geared to match the top guys against one another, do you think there is enough writing and wrestling depth to attract fans to actually pay for matches they've likely already seen or will see on television?

A: I think we can because, with brand-only pay-per-views, you're going to have the time to build storylines and make the stories more interesting. RAW has been doing a great job of that. It's exciting, too, because now that each brand is going to have its own pay-per-view, it gives the feeling of two separate entities. For a while, there really wasn't that feeling. It's great for a lot of the guys. In the past, it's been hard for some guys, myself included, to get on a pay-per-view. Now, we're going to have that opportunity.


Q: Because pay-per-views will be brand-only, do you think the "squash" match will return as a way to keep workers away from one another before pay-per-views?

A: I think our sport, as a whole, has evolved from that. I don't know if people will be interested in that. They've been geared to knowing each week the top guys will be wrestling each other. Now, it gives us more time to build stories, more time to draw out storylines and build interest in the actual match.


Q: You're a guy who many may consider small, yet you can work with the bigger guys. How did you miss getting labeled?

A: I never want to be categorized. I feel like I can wrestle any style. I can work with bigger guys, and I can work the faster matches with the smaller guys. And, I'm not as small as people may think. I'm not 5-10 as my bio says. I'm 6-1 and 215-220 pounds. I'm at a good size and confident in my ability to work and have an entertaining match with anyone.


Q: You're a guy who many may consider small, yet you can work with the bigger guys. How did you miss getting labeled?

A: I never want to be categorized. I feel like I can wrestle any style. I can work with bigger guys, and I can work the faster matches with the smaller guys. And, I'm not as small as people may think. I'm not 5-10 as my bio says. I'm 6-1 and 215-220 pounds. I'm at a good size and confident in my ability to work and have an entertaining match with anyone.


Q: You're now a singles only wrestler after being paired with Edge in one of the more popular tag teams in the company. You've been a singles wrestler for over a year now. As a whole, how have you seen your switch to singles?

A: If you asked me that at the start of my singles wrestling, I would have said "Yeah, I'm ready to do this." But, I had a hard time at the beginning because I was in that mentality as a tag-team wrestler. It took me a good few months to completely adjust. I had to adjust, and I had to change things. I had to re-teach myself how to be a singles wrestler. Once I finally got more experience, I think I was fine. Last year, I finally felt confident as a singles wrestler. Now, when I go back and look at that adjustment period it really helped me. That hard time has made me better. I'm in a good spot right now.


Q: You really seem to click with Chris Jericho. Do you see a permanent tag team down the road?

A: Chris and I were never going to be a set tag team. Really, we never were going to be together. It's just something that happened. One night, they put us in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match to see if we could work together. We showed we had it. It's really helped me to be with him because of where he was on the card. He'd been world champion. I got a rub off him. It was to my benefit for that to happen.


Q: You are a Toronto native though you live in the States now. From talking with your family there, how are people there taking the SARS scare?

A: I think people are blowing it out of proportion. I was up there not long ago for a show, and I went up a few days early. I expected rubber gloves, masks, etc. When I landed, I was really nervous. I was watching the news just like anyone else and had heard about how bad it was supposed to be. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about it, but, really, people were going about their daily lives. It was being a little bit blown up. How many people get pneumonia every year? People shouldn't be afraid to visit Toronto. I didn't see one person with a mask, doing anything out of the ordinary.


Credit: Cody Monk's article in the
Dallas News