Alex Marvez’s weekly pro wrestling column features an interview with Chris Roll, aka Shark Boy. The main topic of discussion was Boy’s character, um, development, and the backlash toward it, as he adopted a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin persona at the suggestion of the turds in TNA.
“I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I thought why not give it a go and see what happens,” Roll said. “People seem to embrace it, although I’ve also gotten a lot of criticism.”
Roll said some of the knocks stem from the perception TNA is doing too many rip-offs of WWE stars after casting Jay Lethal (real name Jamar Shipman) and So Cal Val as the second comings of Randy “Macho Man” Savage and The Lovely Elizabeth (the late Elizabeth Hulette). There also are diehard Austin supporters who believe Roll is mocking their hero.
“I wouldn’t bother to learn how to imitate somebody I wasn’t a fan of,” Roll said. “From what I’ve heard and read on-line, Austin thinks it’s funny and entertaining. If he gets it, I wish some fans would lighten up and realize what I’m doing is not meant as an insult in any way. It’s more of a tribute.”
At least they nailed one criticism right on the head: You cannot have so damn many imposter-type characters in one wrestling organization. Number to shoot for: zero. Maybe Shark Boy reads different comments and goes to different websites than I do, but never once have I heard anyone complain that STEVE AUSTIN IZ MI HERO HOW DARE U IMITAT HIM! It’s that it’s a really cheap-ass, discount impression starring a guy in a full-body kids’ Halloween costume. Those two things just don’t fit. And the kicker is, I don’t even blame Chris Roll for this. TNA did not have to go this route, but they don’t have a fucking clue what they’re doing, so of course this is what we get. -Eric