LaBar: Exclusive Q&A with WWE's Bo Dallas
This Sunday is WWE Battleground on the WWE Network. Bo Dallas will be competing in a battle royal for the vacant Intercontinental Championship.
Dallas has grabbed the attention of fans with his motivational and inspirational character he's developed. This memorable character breaks ground each week as he tries to motivate his opponent before beating them.
Dallas is no stranger to the business. He's a third-generation star. His grandfather was BlackJack Mulligan, his Dad was best known as IRS and his brother is current WWE Superstar Bray Wyatt.
Dallas and I spoke recently, and we talked about the origin of the character, the pressures coming from a wrestling family and more.
LaBar: You are one of many who have come up from NXT in 2014, and it seems like there is a lot of momentum with that right now.
Dallas: The NXT development system and the way they prepare us is unbelievable. If you look at the current roster, it really feels like a new era.
LaBar: You had a quick stint a few years ago at the Royal Rumble with Wade Barrett and then on RAW, but then you went back to NXT and seemed to put everything together. What happened there?
Dallas: I got the opportunity in NXT to win the NXT Championship. I got a good eight months to a year. Without it, I knew I was ready from my experience in the Royal Rumble, but goodness gracious I learned so much more in that eight months and really developed and crafted. I'm a whole other performer that I didn't think was possible that I got from that experience.
LaBar: Where did the creative input come from in the Bo Dallas character?
Dallas: It just kinda happened. It morphed into its own thing. People reacted, and I went with it. As I went with it, it developed and grew. I just kept on rolling with the punches and things kept happening. There was no one moment when this character was thought of. It just developed into what it is today, luckily.
LaBar: How do you come up with what you want to say? You've been real entertaining lately with these quick one lines. Recently when in Pittsburgh, the girls were fighting over Fandango, and you grabbed the mic and had the audience laughing when you started saying “woman.”
Dallas: A lot of it is just feeling it. When I step through the curtain, I am Bo Dallas. You can't talk to me or hear anything except what Bo Dallas would say. I “BOlieve” who I am. So in that instance — “Woman, who gets them. I don't get them, do you?”
LaBar: I know you're a Florida boy and I gotta ask, are you thinking of Tim Tebow when you get down on one knee?
Dallas: I am. Tim Tebow is a big inspiration. Him staying so positive in his career, I look a lot at what Tim Tebow does.
LaBar: In this business, you have to evolve to stick around. How do you think you can evolve?
Dallas: Yes, you have to evolve. That's what I did after the 2013 Royal Rumble. In the future, who knows where that's going to be. If something comes along, I'll grab it, catch it, use it and roll with it. You always have to be open minded and see what's in front of you. I can never forget I have to stay relevant and come up with new things. There is no formula. I just have to keep my eyes open and stay alert.
LaBar: You have quite the family pedigree. That's got to bring a lot of knowledge to you but a lot of pressure?
Dallas: Yes. Everybody looks at me being third-generation and that I have big shoes to fill. I looked at this as I wanted to come in as my own. It is an advantage to have family you can trust to bounce ideas off and know they'll give advice with my best interest at heart. I always look at this as I wanted to be me, my own entity. I wanted to come in and succeed on my own. That's how my family raised me. That's how me and my brother did it. You don't look at Bo Dallas and (say), 'He's the son of IRS.'
LaBar: Traveling with your family has to be enjoyable from a personal aspect?
Dallas: That's the biggest advantage of all is having family there. Road life can get difficult, and it's always great to have your family there with you.
LaBar: Do you have a dream match or opponent?
Dallas: One day I would love to main event WrestleMania. If there is any particular Superstar, it would be Daniel Bryan. I would love to compete against him.
To hear the full audio of the conversation, tune into TribLIVE Radio Friday afternoon at 2:15 p.m..
Justin LaBar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7949 or firstname.lastname@example.org.