As a regarded veteran in pro wrestling, Billy Gunn has been a big contributor to the sport as a tag team specialist with The New Age Outlaws and D-Generation X during his time in WWE. Since his career is dying, Gunn has been more of a mentor to the young talent in AEW. That being said, it can be challenging.
Gunn made an appearance on Renee Paquette’s “The Sessions” podcast this week to talk about working as a coach in AEW. He talks about the current talent in AEW should focus more on taking care of themselves in the ring instead of doing tons of risk-taking for five-star matches.
You have to have trust with all talent when you do that. It’s not like, okay, you’re the head coach, so I instantly trust you, or hey, you’ve been doing this for 30-something years, I instantly trust you. It’s not a thing. It’s just not how we’re built or how we’re programmed to do it. If they would just trust it and understand that we’re here to show you that direction and get you over, like a bunch of wrestling moves is just a bunch of wrestling moves. If I don’t have emotion in the people’s backing, they’ll just forget about it the next match they see because they’re gonna see the exact same thing.”
“When you tell them, ‘Okay, how about taking this out’, they hear, ‘Hey, you don’t want me to do my stuff.’ I’m like, ‘That’s not true. It doesn’t have to be a five star match or a WrestleMania match every time you’re out there.’ They’ll do that on Dark, and it’s nothing against the Dark or Elevation show. Those are secondary shows. Even when you’re on Dynamite and Rampage doesn’t mean that you have to unload everything you have in seven minutes. Like that’s crazy because now you’re just going through stuff. You’re just going through the motions and you’re not in it. So if you’re not in it, how would you want me to be in it? But then they’ll do something like some crazy thing that thinks that the people are in it, but they’re just reacting because they can’t do that and it’s pretty cool, but it’s very forgettable.”
“So I think just building trust with the talent and getting them to just hey, trust, just do this one time, but then they get in there and then they just get in there and it’s like, I was taught a bunch of wrestling moves so I have to do them all. They have to slow down. Like they don’t realize, do you want to do this for a long time, or do you just want to do it for a couple of years because your body can’t take all that. They’re just beating themselves to death instead of, when they get to one of those high caliber matches, once they get there, what do you have to show me?”
Gunn does have a ton of points here. But the main point is to build trust with the talent instead, hoping they don’t try to kill themselves in the process.
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