This week on “Sitting Ringside with David Penzer,” AEW’s Evil Uno is the guest.
He was on the show to talk about how he got his start in the wrestling business with guys like current WWE stars Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, being a pioneer in melding the gaming world with pro wrestling, how he met Stu Grayson, and becoming the Super Smash Bros., their time in PWG and ROH, The Young Bucks, how they got into AEW and much more.
Here are some highlights:
Evil Uno told us how he came up with his name and gimmick: “I started training when I was 14 years old. I had my first few matches when I was 15. After my first few matches, I had to decide what my name and character would be. At the time when you’re 15 years old, you don’t know a whole lot. All I knew was wrestling and video games. I decided I was going to be a masked character because at the time, being 15, I didn’t look intimidating. I decided to call myself Player Uno. Back when I started in 2003, the Create a Character was a new thing in video games where you could create your character and they would chant player 1 at the character. I took the name and I changed it to Player Uno to make it my own spin. I never thought it would have lasting appeal. I thought it would just be a good way to start. Pretty quickly, because most people like video games, at least in my age bracket, it started giving me a little bit of traction. The evolution of that character was not just being a video game fan, but I implemented video game factors into the wrestling I did. Eventually, I got a pair of tights that had pressable buttons, you could press the A button and the B button and I would press those buttons to hit people or I would input a code which would enable me to do a top rope maneuver.”
Evil Uno talked about the idea behind the Dark Order: “When I signed with AEW we had told them about this idea that I would essentially have a ton of minions and we would recruit people to join in and they would essentially view me as a higher person so it would elevate us. When we started, The Young Bucks were very familiar with our work and very excited for us. They gave us a big reveal, but we also knew at the time that we hadn’t been in America for 5 years and we changed our character and we would slowly build it up. When we were shown in May of 2019 at Double or Nothing, people weren’t very excited. People didn’t know who we were because we hadn’t been wrestling in America in over 7 years at that time. That grew with some discussions with them. We started turning it into a cult explaining where these minions come from. How do these people join our group? Why do they join the group? It morphed over time. Over the weeks, it became clear this was a Scientology-like cult and eventually the higher figure was not me, but somebody even above me and we were all doing his bidding. That’s what led to where we are today.”
Uno was asked if Brodie Lee was always supposed to be the leader: “At first when we first started doing the cult stuff, we had no clear picture of what the final direction was. We were in the infancy of this because the TV just started and we were one of the characters that needed to be explained. Initially, we never knew who the Exalted One was going to be. All we knew is we were going to drag this out until we had a reveal. Before the reveal, I think it was maybe a month beforehand, if not a little earlier, we had inklings it was going to be Brodie Lee. Honestly, we were very happy with that because I’ve known Brodie for over 15 years now and we are good friends. I knew if he came in, he would take care of us and it would work. There definitely were some other names that were thrown in the hat as potential ones. I think most of them have come out online. Matt Hardy was implied at one point and was a maybe for about 2 days and then we decided it wasn’t. But, we used the mystery and the fact his contract was expiring that we tried to entice people into thinking it was him because it seemed like the most obvious subject. I heard that Marty Scurll was also a potential but no one ever discussed it with us. I know Dr. Luther did some interviews and promos as a potential leader as well when it was in its infancy, but Brodie Lee was the concrete choice for the last month before the reveal.”