Vince McMahon didn't quite grasp the Drama King character.
Speaking with the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, Matthew Rehwoldt (formerly Aiden English in WWE) shared his tortured artist pitch to Vince McMahon back in 2017 and the reaction he received from the Chairman of the Board. Here is what happened:
"There was a brief period, I think it was the summer right after the Vaudevillains split, Simon was gone, before Rusev, so it was that summer of 2017, I had a couple of weeks on TV where I would break down crying randomly after a match or something like that. That's our jumping-off point. Rewind a few days. So a week or two prior, I remember I had gotten new gear. I wanted to do the Van Gogh painting tights, which I loved. I was so proud. That was some of my favorite gear that I've ever had, I still have it. I had to make sure it was okay because -- it's public domain, so it's all fine but you have to do the thing where you make sure no one is going to sue us because it's a real work. They're like, 'okay, it's legal, just show it to the boss and get his ideas. Alright, I'm gonna show him this and I'm going to pitch him where I want to take this character. I'm on my own now, I'm not a Vaudevillain, I did the Drama King thing, but I wanna take that -- I'm here on the main roster, I wanna take that and evolve it. Like I said, I don't just want to go backwards, I want to evolve and so I had this whole pitch.
I go in there and I got -- When you sit down with him [Vince McMahon], all the horror stories -- he is a crazy old man, don't get me wrong. If he's in gorilla and somethings pissing him off, he'll scream, he'll curse, all that stuff. But in his office, during the day, if you can get that time, he's a dude. [Immitating Vince] 'Come in, sit down, how's it going?' He listens. I had this whole pitch I laid out. Well thought out ideas. Cena helped me put this together. Cena was awesome with me. I'm like, 'I'm going to take this Drama King character so I'm not just a caricature. I'm this really tortured, twisted artist. I'm trying to create my masterpiece but I can't do it and I'm freaking out trying to figure it out.' Whatever my masterpiece is, I don't know. Maybe it's being on WrestleMania, maybe it's winning the Championship, maybe it's tearing the whole set apart. I don't know, I can't even figure it out. Just this tortured thing. I'm like, 'it's dark. I can throw buckets of paint on my opponents, like try to create something on them, like nWo style, but just more of like crazy Jackson Pollock nutjob in wrestling. Or again, maybe I'm at a piano and I'm just breaking the piano because I can't compose the idea I want to compose. All of this intricate, artistic stuff.
Then he [Vince] takes it all in. I'm sitting there [waiting nervously], and he's like, 'you're an artist. That means you're sensitive, right?' I'm like, [hesitantly] 'yes sir, yeah, I think that's fair.' [Vince says] 'So things really work you up. Maybe it causes you to cry.' On the inside, I'm like. 'what the f*ck. But at this point, I've put it all out there and you've just got to listen to him. He's like, 'it gets to you. You lose a match or something happens and you can't control those emotions because you're an artist. you cry.' I was like, 'I suppose, maybe.' He's like, 'okay, well, let's take a look at it. Thanks for coming by.' Out you go and I'm just like, what just happened? I mean I got the gear approved, great, but I didn't know what was going to happen.
The next week, they're like, 'hey, you have this thing' -- So I'm facing Tye Dillinger. 'You lose and you have to break down weeping in the ring. It says here [pointing at script], specifically, weeping. You need to weep.' I'm like, 'okay.' So I tried my best to turn it into what I kind of wanted. I'm not going to be [weeping], I'm gonna be mad and crazy and pulling my hair out kind of thing. Then I was okay. But then they had me lose. I had to do a backstage with Jericho where I start weeping and he puts me on the list because he was going the list thing. So I did that, I got put on the list, and then you never heard from me for like the next three weeks, and the crying thing was dead. That was it."
English was released by WWE in April 2020. During the pandemic, he remained part of the wrestling world by frequently having wrestlers on his podcast, Straight Shooting.
During IMPACT Slammiversary on July 17, a vignette aired teasing the arrival of "The Drama King."
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