When Damien Sandow made it to the WWE roster, many thought he was destined for big things. His alliance with Cody Rhodes as the Rhodes Scholars and his victory at Money in the Bank sought to solidify him on the roster. Except it didn’t.

Throughout his time in WWE, Sandow was never able to achieve the level of greatness his character would tell fans he was destined for. After leaving the company, he briefly worked as Aron Rex over in Impact Wrestling before he opted to take a break from wrestling to focus on other interests.

During a recent appearance on The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast, Sandow went into detail about the moment he knew he would, unfortunately, be leaving WWE. He also addressed where the origins of his name came from and the critics of his character in WWE.

In a surprising turn of events, Sandow revealed that he had wanted to leave WWE. WWE told him they would see what they could do, but never got back to him, so he was eventually let go. He explains how this happened, and what drove him to make that decision.

“I had told them that I was. They said we will see what we can do and they never got back to me and just did it with everyone else. Which is fine. Thank you for the extra two weeks. On the inside there is the (WWE) World Title thing and everything but to me my come to Jesus moment (as we say in the South) it was WrestleMania at the Battle Royal. When Miz and I did our thing and I was about to turn on him and everyone knew I was about to turn on him and the way the arena built up, I just took a couple of seconds and looked around to say wow. This is not because anyone wanted this to happen and this reaction of these 80,000 people are having this reaction because they genuinely want to. There are guys that they have tried to push and push and shove down their throats and I don’t think they can ever say that. Have they had more titles? Of course. “

“That was all I needed. It kind of shifted something inside me to where (and I don’t want this to come out wrong) but it was like I don’t need to look for justification from anyone anymore. I was given the stage to perform on and I am so grateful that the WWE in particular gave me that as well as anyone who has ever employed me did, however that was like it for me. That was just like there is more to life than this. For the first time I didn’t care about winning a World Championship or being a “top guy”. That just kind of cemented everything I had worked for and I was okay on the inside and when you are okay on the inside you don’t need some piece of leather and tin to justify that.” 

Sandow recalls being told to create a new name for himself after being known as Idol Stevens down in FCW. He based “Sandow” off Billy Sandow- a well-known promoter from many years ago. He can’t recall where he got the name “Damien” from, but explains why everything worked so well for him.

“I was Idol Stevens down there (FCW) and then they said okay you’ve got to come up with a new name. So I’m thinking and I’ve got a bunch of names down and one of which was Sandow. It’s based off of Billy Sandow who was in the “Gold Dust Trio” (the promoters back from the turn of the century), so Sandow {whatever} and for Damien, I’ll be really honest with you and it is funny because a lot of guys who would get reassigned names would be like that name is awful and they would complain about it but I was like the person makes the name and the name does not make the person. I always kind of took that and years ago if you told me Damien Sandow that is the stupidest name I’ve ever heard, which is still may be to some people and that is fine. But to me and to a lot of people when you hear Damien Sandow you think “Intellectual Savior”, the robe, the mic and it was kind of a description of the character. I like it but I do not recall where the name Damien came from.”  

Finally, Sandow revealed that the intention with his character- at least in the beginning, was never to be the smart guy. Over time, Dusty Rhodes and WWE ultimately decided to take his character in that direction.

“There was one guy who is no longer there and this not a shot at anyone that is currently in the administration and I don’t know who is there anymore administratively but the guy who was kind of the bridge between WWE and FCW came down and looked me in the eye and said; “You’re too bland”. I remember Dusty just laughing at him and asking do you even know what was going on and do you even watch the show? I thought he was joking with me because I was getting reactions at the show that were very good and I got with Dusty and he said if they think you are bland keep the tights look, get the robe and look like Lou Thesz but we’ll make a presentation out of it and have an old school look coming to the ring and from there you dis-robe and have the pink tights and just be ridiculous. It kind of started evolving and I didn’t know I was going to be a “smart guy” until probably the second day I was there and called up to WWE. That is where I heard that I was going to be the “Intellectual Savior” so I thought well okay I am going to have to expand my vocabulary and start acting smart.”

Did you enjoy Sandow in WWE? What moments from his time as a competitor are most memorable to you? Let us know your thoughts, opinions, and reactions in those comments below.

With H/T to The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling for the transcription.

Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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