The wacky world of Baron Corbin on-screen led to some interesting moments for the man behind the gimmick off-camera.
This year, Baron Corbin went from being a king to a pauper, to a very happy, wealthy man. That on-screen journey also came with several name changes and aesthetic changes. Baron Corbin is now talking about the behind-the-scenes decision-making and on-the-fly creativity that led to his character's best moments in 2021.
Happy Corbin spoke with Ryan Satin on Out of Character and revealed that when it came to his new name, he found out via Twitter when it was reported that WWE had trademarked Happy Corbin. When he asked about the name change, he was told that there were no such plans.
“I heard it actually on Twitter. They're like, ‘ WWE just copyrighted Happy Corbin’ I was like, ‘What? That's where we're, what? So I was confused. I came and I asked him [and was told], ‘We don't really know what you're talking about.’ Then sure enough, a couple weeks later, they're like, ‘Hey, your name’s…’ I was like, huh, so Twitter knew before I knew. I mean, that's how you find out about a lot of stuff. It's so funny. I have no idea. Same with my music, like I showed up to work, and they're like, ‘Hey, we're going to rehearse your entrance. I'm like, it's no different. They're like, ‘No. You got new entrance music. I was like, ‘Since when?!’ I had no idea. So, it's just pretty funny. You have to be able to work on the fly a little bit.
Corbin further explained that his sad Corbin phase wasn't supposed to last as long as it did and talks about getting a 2 A.M. text message from Vince McMahon telling him not to shave or cut his hair which led to some pretty funny moments in his real life.
“I honestly believe that the sad Corbin wasn't supposed to last as long as it did. I think it was supposed to be kind, from what I understand, it was kind of supposed to be a two-week thing of like, ‘You're gonna lose the crown, you're gonna get a little depressed,’ but like, it became very entertaining. I had a lot of fun because it was the polar opposite of anything I've done. I think that's what is fun about this job for me is it doesn't become monotonous when you continually evolve. That was just like, a hard left from anything I'd ever done. It was just this miserable guy with a dirty shirt. The worst part was not being able to cut the hair or the beard. I get a text message at like 2 A.M. from Vince. It's like, ‘Don't shave or cut your hair' and I'm going, okay, where's this going. After like three weeks I'm going like, I got the Costanza hair going, like, I'm like, The best part is visiting schools for my daughter, like, my daughter's two and a half, and I'm going in and my beard and hair, you can't wear a hat into these places. So I look ridiculous. I have to apologize for how I look. It's my job. They're just like — because private schools are not cheap, and they're judging me the second I walk in.”
He continued, “So I think it became organically interesting. Like there was one of the SmackDown talk shows, Talking Smack. I did the interview where I was like, 'I had to bang a soup can on the edge.' I was just freestyling. Like that's the fun and that kind of like spitballed into a bigger thing. Then they're like the day in the life of Corbin, when we did the TikTok or whatever it was. That was another one where we just were like, just going with the flow. We didn't have any creative direction. It was just like, ‘Let's go have fun and do this.’ Then people really started to enjoy it. So it kept going and kept going and kept going. Then I think Vince felt the right time for the change was Vegas because it'd be a fun story. It's, you know, it can happen to anybody you can take rags to riches in Vegas every day where you can go the polar opposite, you know?
"That was funny too, like being in the casino, looking the way I did with a stain on my shirt. And that was the same shirt the whole time. Like, I washed it maybe once because I got blood on it. But like early morning, we're shooting the hotel scene. I was like, I tripped and fell over this thing. I get this huge dirt stain on my shoulder. The parking lot was so hot. But then I'm walking around the casino and people are just like, who let the homeless guy in here to gamble? People are just like wide-eyed. It was so funny.”
Now, Baron Corbin is completely happy alongside Madcap Moss on the Friday Night SmackDown brand. We have live coverage every Friday night beginning at 8 p.m. eastern time.
If you want to hear more about how ridiculous Baron Corbin looked during his sad Corbin phase, The New Day spent some time talking about how entertaining he was during one of their recent podcast episodes. Read more here.
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