Kayfabe Commentaries’ YouShoot concept works best when the guest is a controversial figure in the wrestling industry, someone who has nothing to lose and is ready to say anything, whatever is on their mind.
That is not Rikishi.
In this recent YouShoot DVD, Rikishi shies away from almost everything, including his recent WWE Hall of Fame induction. He was asked about the reaction of his partners from Too Cool, Scotty Too Hotty and Grand Master Sexy Brian Christopher, who took to Twitter to express their disappointment about being left out of his speech.
Rikishi’s response? “It was what it was.”
Mind you, the issue is not only with Rikishi but also with the quality of questions. I know the shoot interview here is supposed to be questions being asked directly from the fans, but that doesn’t mean you should use all of them. Some were obviously inserted for humour yet they failed at that miserably, especially if the subject doesn’t play along.
I like my wrestling to be a serious affair, so I might not find things funny that others will get a good laugh out of it. Still, a screening of the questions would have been a good thing since some of them were unanswerable.
There are a few things interesting in the release, like how his uncles made sure he respected the business when he first got started. Also, I learned that his first WWE appearance was with the Samoans’ contingent during the Butcher Vachon wedding on TNT. Even that appearance predates him working the Montreal territory as Alofa the Polynesian Prince. Sadly, there was no insight on him working his first territory in the province of Quebec. But that’s the historian in me talking.
We also go slightly into the time Rikishi became a heel and was ultimately revealed as the man who ran down Stone Cold Steve Austin with a car — though it’s barely touched on and is not very insightful. There was nothing on his big fall that he took in the Hell in the Cell bout either. That was a big stunt, I think it would have been interesting to get his take on it about taking such a risk.
At time, we go sideways and his memory kind of puts in doubt his credibility; for example he remembers Yokozuna as WWE champion for three years, when his reign was not even close to that long.
The interview just feels wrong all along, like Rikishi didn’t want to be there, and was uncomfortable or embarrassed about most of what was asked of him. Considering his WWE Hall of Fame induction came with a Legends contract and his sons, Jimmy and Jey Uso, are on the current WWE roster, I can’t really blame him.
Maybe he should have been brought in with a more serious interview like Kayfabe Commentaries’ Breaking Kayfabe series. In that kind of setting, the most interesting question could still be asked by host Sean Oliver without making the guest shy away from his answers.
While I rank this one a stinkface, if you are into Rikishi, you will want to make your own mind. It’s available now on DVD and on demand through at kaybecommentaries.com.