Ring Rust Radio recently interviewed WWE Superstar Jack Gallagher. You can see the full interview at this link, and see submitted highlights below.
Ring Rust Radio: Figure Four Films will debut An Extraordinary Gentleman, a documentary focusing on your life and rise in the wrestling business. How were you first presented with this project and what were your initial thoughts on a documentary being made about you?
Jack Gallagher: I was first approached in the lead up to the Cruiserweight Classic by Adam Gill. He had previously made a film called Two Out of Three Falls that I had seen. It was a documentary about the British scene and how it evolved from the old World of Sport of Johnny Saint and Steve Grey era to the early 2000’s independent scene that we had. I was approached by him and the pitch was that I was a modern example of British style wrestling and it was almost in a way a spiritual sequel to his first documentary. The WWE link had a certain amount of interest in me there. It was actual fortuitous that by the end of the documentary I had signed a contract, so the film accidentally became about me getting to WWE.
Ring Rust Radio: Your first taste of WWE action came in the Cruiserweight Classic. How did you find out you were part of the tournament and how did you feel when the WWE Universe almost instantly took a liking to you and your character?
Jack Gallagher: I was first approached by William Regal who had sent me an email saying that there was something, nothing specific, but something coming up and that my style in particular and the way I carry myself probably best translated in a live environment, compared to sort of seeing me work out in the ring and go through drills and the usual try-out stuff. So, he had been helping me in that manner. I was overwhelmed because wrestling in the Classic was the first time I had ever competed in America at all, so I actually had no idea how Americans would take to me. Typically speaking and historically speaking, the English are put as the villains in your films over here, so I thought a very typical English person would get booed out of the building.
Ring Rust Radio: WWE has taken a huge interest in the British wrestling scene over the past year or so between utilizing you and Zack Sabre Jr. in the CWC, and holding the UK title tournament. How do you believe British wrestling as a whole has changed either for better or worse now that WWE has such a large influence?
Jack Gallagher: I think it’s mostly positive because trying to think for worse, how it is negatively affected, I’m not sure about the worst because I’m out of the scene. I think from looking outside of the scene now, it seems like it goes from strength to strength. A lot of people here who have been forced to pursue this part-time can now do this full-time. It has more exposure, more potential for travel which means more potential for earnings, so people can earn a better wage, and also it’s a glass ceiling that has been broken. It’s a path people can travel now. When I was beginning to train, I was thinking there were guys like Doug Williams who were phenomenal performers, but they still weren’t in WWE. Doug is a big stocky guy and whatnot and skinny little five-foot-eight me didn’t even have the dream or thought that I could make it to WWE. I thought at best I can make it to Japan and work there. Now you got guys like me, guys like Noam Dar, obviously Zack Sabre Jr. who competed in the classic, Pete Dunne the UK champion, Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, more than a handful of guys that have proven that there is a path from the training school to the top of the business and that’s the main takeaway I think.
Ring Rust Radio: In more than a year with WWE, your character has shown a lot of developments and you've been both beloved and hated by fans during that time. How much creative input do you have in the way your character is presented on television during your promos and matches?
Jack Gallagher: Not to plug the documentary, but a lot of this is talked in the documentary. A lot of what you see on screen isn’t fictitious, it’s usually just me being me. The lovable side is me on a good day and the side that’s been hated or as my wife affectively refers to is Angry Jack. In terms of creative input, you’ve got to understand that the majority of the writing staff is American and North American. They are very aware that none of them grew up in Britain as a young British lad, so when I say to them this is what I would probably say, I would not use this word, I would use this, or I wouldn’t do this I would do that, they are very open to it because I have a very clear idea as to who I am as a person and a fictional character. The relationship with Vince McMahon, he is surprisingly approachable. Growing up watching WWE or WWF as I did growing up, you think of Vince McMahon as this larger-than-life scary character. He is a larger-than-life character, but he is very welcoming, surprisingly charming, he sits down and if he has time in his busy schedule, which is rare, but if he has time in his schedule, he has time for anyone.