Ryan Michael's Exclusive Interview with Rory McAllister of "The Highlanders"
For a while now, I have felt that the wrestling section of Bleacher Report has been in dire need of some direct interaction with those connected to the wrestling business. Joe Burgett does a fantastic job with his radio show, but I was looking to get directly involved with the performs that entertain us and use Bleacher Report as a venue for which they could keep in contact.
Luckily, I was able to do just that.
Rory McAllister of "The Highlanders" was gracious enough to take some time to do an interview with me. I myself was a big fan of "The Highlanders" when they wrestled on Monday Night Raw, so I thought it would be quite interesting to find out what my boys had been up to.
This is what Rory McAllister had to say...
First of all Rory, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. You've gathered a reputation for being one of the most approachable performers in the wrestling industry, what is it that motivates you to stay so involved with the fans?
I guess that's a nice reputation to have mate.
For me, it's something that comes with being a pro-wrestler, especially one who makes his living from doing so. Put quite simply, I owe everything I have today to the fans who have helped support me and everyone else in the business. From the roof over my head to the food in my belly. All my family has is because of the fans. If giving as much back as I can makes them feel appreciated, then it's the least I can do.
While growing up in Scotland, do you recall ever having an interest in professional wrestling and if so, who was it that intrigued you the most?
Being Scottish, I wasn't privy to all the American wrestling that was going on over here.
I was raised fairly poor and all my experience of wrestling was British stuff. My brother and I would lay belly down on the floor every Sunday afternoon and watch guys like Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks go at it and just get pulled in by everything they were doing.
I waited all week to watch that hour of television. It wasn't until I was older and would go to my friend Cambo's house to watch the WWF that I really got a feel for today's style and loved that too.
But as a kid I wanted to be a pro football (Soccer) player.
What is your favorite part about being a professional wrestler?
I'd have to say that would probably be all the charity work I have done over the past five years.
I have worked with the Make a Wish foundation, The Shriners, Habitat for Humanity, The Starlite foundation here in Cincinnati, and many more.
I really enjoy doing it and seeing someone smile just by talking to them when they haven't smiled in a long time is very rewarding.
What is the worst part about being a professional wrestler?
Missing my family.
I left home way over a decade ago and since then I have seen my mother and father for a month combined. I am very family oriented and it's soul destroying to me to be so separated.
If you can, compare your work with the WWE to other promotions that you've wrestled for, what are the pluses and minuses you've experienced?
Pluses would be the financial aspect, obviously.
But the main thing is being able to be seen by more of the fans and interact with them. There's nothing like stepping out in front of 20,000 people and entertaining them.
The minuses would be the all the politicking and backstage B.S.
I've noticed in this day and age, quality tag-teams like "The Highlanders" are in low supply. How much of an impact does spending quality time with your tag-team partner on the road have on your performance in the ring?
It would have meant way more if we were allowed to be ourselves.
Robbie is my real cousin and my best friend. We started together, lived together, traveled together and achieved together. Sharing it with him means more than I could ever explain.
Obviously you have managed to attain the greatest success as a tag-team competitor, but have you ever had any aspirations for making your mark as a singles competitor?
I am 100 percent behind tag team wrestling, even if WWE isn't. I love every aspect of it and believe it is the greatest gimmick in pro-wrestling if it is allowed to be what it truly is.
You've wrestled both as a babyface and a heel, compare and contrast your experiences while performing both roles. Which role do you prefer and why?
I really prefer neither one. I enjoy entertaining, bottom line.
Again, it comes down to being given creative license to be yourself and in WWE, we weren't given that. I am enjoying being in the independents again because I forgot who I was as a babyface or heel and am re-discovering myself in both roles.
I've gathered a reputation for being the unofficial president of the Randy Orton fan club, can you explain to those of us who have never met him, what he is like off-screen?
Randy is what you see on television, just a watered down version. He's cocky, brash, and smug but I like the guy. Lots of people think he's a jerk, but I just find him entertaining and get his sarcastic sense of humour.
If you could have one dream come true in your wrestling career as of today, what would it be?
Personally, I just want to see wrestling get back on top.
Right now it's in a shi*ty state and the business is hurting because of the lack of creative liberty. I want to see more natural development for the workers and less creative team constrictions.
Which match would you consider to be your best to date and what is it about that particular match that separates it from others in your career?
My first match back in Scotland definitely stands out for me.
It was Robbie, myself, Roddy Piper, and Ric Flair against the Spirit Squad.
The crowd was electric and behind us all the way and it was a very emotional night for me. There were a lot of doubters for me when I left to wrestle and they were all in the crowd that night to watch me do exactly what I said I would ten years prior.
I am the first Scotsman to ever sign with WWE and I'm very proud of that.
And so brought a close to my first exclusive interview. On behalf of myself and the Bleacher Report community, I would like to thank Rory for taking the time to do this interview.
He was nothing but a class act from the moment I contacted him and I was really impressed with how approachable he was. He is certainly one of the most humble wrestlers I have ever spoken to and doing this interview with him was a fantastic experience for me.
With any luck, I'll be able to bring you guys more exclusive interviews in the future. Things are already in motion so let's hope that other talented Superstars are as supportive and enthusiastic as Rory McAllister.
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