10 Classic Pro Wrestling Interviews That Chael Sonnen Can Learn from
Fighting is a lack of words and an abundance of actions.
Chael Sonnen is excellent on the mic, but it is his skill as a fighter that makes those words relevant. If he couldn't back up what he said then he wouldn't be so captivating to fans.
That doesn't mean he should slow down on the trash talk or keep him from changing it up. He needs to stop himself from being a one-note wonder in interviews, and to do it he should study some of the best interview moments in pro wrestling's history.
While some men like John Cena and CM Punk have been left off the list, it is because they cut promos well—not interviews. Sonnen also cuts a great promo, but his interviews are going to get stale if he doesn't learn from the greats.
Here are some classic interviews that he could learn from.
The Four Horsemen-First Interview
picture courtesy of gridironfans.com
There is an easy way for Sonnen to get better quickly.
Get guys who can talk just like him.
The Four Horsemen were the first real stable in wrestling, and part of what made them great is that each guy was great in the ring but also great on the mic.
They just knew how to get a crowd going. Ric Flair may have been the star of the show, but each man contributed.
The Four Horsemen happened organically by having all of the champions in the NWA crowd together to do a promo, and Sonnen shouldn't force any partnerships himself. While his friends couldn't help him in the cage, they could help him train.
All they would need to really do is be good on the mic and help sharpen him for fights.
Macho Man Randy Savage-Cream of the Crop
Chael Sonnen is over the top on the mic.
So was Macho Man Randy Savage.
That doesn't mean that Savage couldn't sparkle in an interview, and in this one he proved that a great character can do something to help himself.
He can have props.
Savage introduced the creamers and threw them away so quickly that fans focused on the line and what it meant. Whatever small items Sonnen might bring could help him as well, as long as he thinks it through.
He should also be mindful of how loud and soft Savage is throughout the interview. Picking times to project his voice and then get quiet is part of what would make him shine even more.
Jake the Snake Roberts-Slapping Miss Elizabeth
Sonnen shouldn't slap a woman, but he treats Anderson Silva like one, so this could still work.
This article couldn't be made without at least one slide going to Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
The man exuded a darkness and an enjoyment of torturing his opponents that was so strong that it compelled fans to watch.
He just made fans love him in spite of themselves or detest him completely.
Sonnen does that now, but Roberts will live on in in infamy decades later. If Sonnen wants the same, he is going to need to learn how to give off the same kind of aura.
Roddy Piper-I Change the Questions
Most of these interviews have the wrestlers on the side of those being interviewed.
Not so with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.
He was the interviewer in this piece, and Sonnen could stand to turn around the mic on some of those who choose to question him.
While a few people in MMA might be interesting to talk to, there are plenty of static questions that both the fans and the journalist don't want to hear.
If Sonnen can become the person asking the question and putting the pressure on the other man for answers, it might liven the experience up.
Paul Heyman with Ariel Helwani
This technically wasn't an interview in a wrestling atmosphere, but Heyman brought the thunder when he went on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani.
He knew how to sell his love of MMA and wrestling and gave fans and detractors an entertaining segment worth watching over and over again.
He dedicated most of the time to talking about MMA, but he was able to bring just a little bit of pro wrestling into the mix.
He even gave his take on Sonnen.
It would be interesting to not only see Sonnen learn from Heyman, but return the favor.
Triple H-I Am the Game
Triple H was an angry guy only a decade ago.
He didn't like being held back, as he mentions and then states that he "is the game."
It got over huge with the crowd, and it made him an icon.
This won't be the last time that a sentence and its implications are used in this article, but it is worth noting the anger that Triple H had.
It was his passion turned to near hatred that sold the line.
If Sonnen feels the same way about being the middleweight champion and having the UFC belt, he should do the same.
The Rock and Lillian Garcia
If Sonnen has hit on a female interviewer in an over-the-top manner, it hasn't caught on yet.
While he should endeavor not to do the same things like Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, such as humping a reporter, he could get the female interviewer to play along and make the video viral.
It would be fun, unobtrusive and get the journalist the exposure that many want to have.
It would also add to the legacy of Chael Sonnen.
Ultimate Warrior- Any Promo
The Ultimate Warrior was crazy.
Half the time fans were left scratching their heads when he was done, but they were ready to tune in and hear him again.
Chael Sonnen is already a little confusing on interviews such as when he appeared on the Canadian show OTL.
If he just dialed it up a little more, he would have something really special.
It might not make sense, but that already happens in some of his interviews.
Superstar Billy Graham-He Already Has
He may have already stolen a bit from Superstar Billy Graham, but he could always steal a little bit more.
It worked well, but the fact that he didn't tell Joe Rogan "don't ever touch me" is a shame.
There are fans who love and hate Rogan, and that statement would have split the crowd even further.
For a fighter like Sonnen, that is all he can ask for.
Steve Austin-Austin 3:16
This is almost a promo more than it is an interview, but there is another man on the other side of the mic, so it counts.
Austin was able to sell a line so powerful, it made him the top star in the WWE.
He sold a persona, an attitude, a line and quite a bit of merchandise off of one sentence. He packed everything he was and every intention he had into that line.
And it took him everywhere he wanted to go.
If Sonnen does the same, he just may become an MMA legend.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com that focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.