Welcome back to part 2 of our exclusive interview with Kidd Bandit, the Protagonist of pro-wrestling. Bandit has burst on the scene following internet memes and an explosive AEW Dark debut and is quickly amassing a following through their unique style of wrestling and their incredible (for multiple reasons) cosplays. In part one, we discussed their start in wrestling, waifu cosplays, AEW Dark, and the Young Lion’s Cup. In part 2, we get a bit more serious as we talk representation in wrestling, navigating the wrestling minefield, goals for the future, and a whole lot of anime. Enjoy!

You’re like a chameleon when it comes to cosplays. To be fair, it’s all good for representation too. You’ve said it yourself; you want to be a hero for outcasts, weebs…

“A hero for those who don’t really get represented. I’m not a furry, but a lot of the furry community gravitate towards me. They get the worst end of it when it comes to the internet. It used to be if you wanted to be considered cool, you’d make fun of a furry, then you’d be considered cool. Nobody likes furries, but it’s like, come on, they’re humans too. Also, when I went to anime club in high school the people running it and my friends were furries. They were cool people. People can’t get past the fur suits, they think it’s weird and gross. Don’t shame people if that’s their thing. Seeing all these furries, these weebs, and I’m not about the conventionally attractive weebs, the other end of the spectrum, the neckbeard or awkward girl weeb who’s using an anime profile pic because she’s too insecure about her looks. For the longest time, I was like that. I had Tobi as my profile picture because I was insecure about how I looked. These people gravitate towards me because they must have known I was one of them. I am one of them. Oh, shit, there goes Kidd Bandit, I bet he fucks with us. You’re right, I absolutely do. I am one of you. I learned to wrestle and learned to flip. I’m glad I go to learn from some of the best. So I might as well represent the people that really identify with me. I’m not going to be ashamed of it.

“The way it was explained to me, if you’re a wrestler, you’re a flavour of ice cream. There are people out there that just won’t like you. There’s people who’ll never like Bryan Danielson because he’s not 6ft tall. As good as he is, people won’t like him. I’ve learned that as good as I get, no matter where I go, where I peak, there will be people that don’t like me. Even if I’m like the best version of myself. That’s okay with me because, for the people that do like me, I want to represent them. I want to make them proud, make them happy. That I am proud to be one of them. Not just their ambassador. Training with Glacier, he told me this, “When you’re wrestling, there are fans that will live vicariously through you. They might have health reasons or a lack of resources that stop them from getting into the business so they’ll live it through you. So, you have to go out there and give it your best for them.”

You’ve also been quite vocal on combating negativity in the industry…

“Maybe if we spend enough time in a scene where that is normalised, we won’t see what’s going on, but for someone like me who’s newer that isn’t normal. That just speaks of toxicity. Before I get into that mindset, I want to be the one to say something. I might seem arrogant and might not be the one to make that change, but I want to make it better for everyone. I get I’m new and I might not know what I’m talking about or might be wrong, but in my heart of hearts, I know I’m not. In what scene would it be normalised to shake someone’s hand then talk shit on them five seconds later. So, what if someone’s bad in the ring? It takes to tango. Kota Ibushi had a five-star with a fucking blow-up doll. Unfortunately, our scene isn’t like that. I’ll get heat for it, but I don’t care. I don’t have to worry or step on eggshells because I’ve done nothing wrong. The people who would bury me are probably the problem. I might lose some bookings, but I won’t lose my humanity. They get mad at the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

“No matter what you do, no matter what you say, if you walk around on eggshells, you’re going to piss somebody off. I feel the way I sound, with my high-pitched voice and my very protagonist way of approaching questions, I already know I’m pissing someone off. Probably Jim Cornette. I’m not perfect, but thankfully I was around people who taught me to be better. I learned it from Cody, who is just a nice guy. In the position of power he’s in, being responsible for probably the best wrestling company in the world right now, he has every right to be a snob. To look up and ignore people beneath him, and he doesn’t do that. If Cody freaking Rhodes, I’m not just putting him over because he’s my favourite wrestler and my coach, I’m just putting him over as a human being. He can look me in the eye when I shake his hand not just because I’m his student but because he did that for everyone. If he can do that, no one has an excuse. That’s my personal opinion. It just makes you feel good to be acknowledged. I remember the people who make me feel human. Who makes me feel I’m good enough to share the locker room with them. This was before AEW Dark. Now everyone looks at me like there’s that big celebrity. I’m not, I’m not. I don’t know where this will all lead. Maybe it’s a one-time thing. I hope it’s not. If it is, I’d like to think I made the most out of it. At the same time, I never want to lose touch with the ground with my head so up in the clouds, I think I’m better than anybody.”

What are some goals you’ve set for yourself? Where do you want to be in the next few years?

“I would like to manifest AEW for sure. I’d happily like to take any opportunity I’m given. I want to work the indies because not only will it make me better as a performer, but one of the biggest stigmas I’ve been getting, especially locally, is that I haven’t earned my spot. People think I got it easy and there’s been people wrestling for 10-20 years that never got the opportunities that I’ve had in such a short amount of time. I don’t want to be an arrogant prick, I want to be humble because I know it’s hard being as young as I am to keep myself in check. I have to keep myself in check. It’s so tempted to go out there and say I was better than everyone else, I was on AEW. I gotta keep myself humble because I understand that I have it easy. I got lucky. I can’t take that for granted. I want to prove that just because I have a connection to AEW doesn’t mean I won’t put work into the circuit. I know a lot of veterans have been working the circuit for so long, so seeing some young blood go ahead and skip it will piss them off. I don’t want to skip it. Not because I don’t want to piss them off, but because I want to earn my way there too. But, if AEW comes calling, I’m not going to say no.

“I want to work GCW for sure because I’d fit right in with them. There’s a new promotion could DPW, Deadlock Pro, I want to work with them (now is.) I want to work with all these promotions that will have me. I’m not in a rush. I understand that it’s a process. I’ve got to earn my way. I want to earn my spot. If I come barging in demanding opportunities, instead of earning them, then I’ll feel hollow. I’m not saying I’m not going to use it, obviously, I can be like, here’s my experience working for AEW. I just don’t want to skip the line. I’m going to earn my spot. I was taught by QT Marshall, by my peers, by Glacier, that this is a privilege. It can be taken away from you. You’re one bad day from losing everything. So, do it the right way. The right way, in my opinion, is earning your spot, impressing the right people, and hopefully winning over fans. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about, right? Sorry I had such a long-winded answer for such a simple question.”

No, no. That would have been the perfect closer, I regret that I have another question…

“Oh no, I kicked out at two. You gotta go for the bigger move.”

So, to end things, What’s some of the Protagonist’s favourite anime?

“This is such an odd question because Trigun will always be there, but depending on my mood, it’ll either be top one or top four. There’s an anime called Cross Ange, I don’t know if a lot of people know it. It’s basically made by the makers of Gundam SEED and is basically Gundam SEED with waifus and dragons and mechs and a lot, I mean a lot of fan service. That’s very telling why it’s one of my favourites. Yes, I really am the hentai on the sheets, it’s not a gimmick. But, but as stupid as it sounds, you need to watch it for the plot.”

Isn’t that what people say about hentai?

“Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes. But this is the one. This is the hill I will die on. A lot of Cross Ange is actually really good. It will really throw you off. I want to say My Hero Academia is one of them for sure. Would you consider Arcane?”

I’m not the anime police, I’ll allow it…

“Then I’ll definitely put Arcane even though it’s ongoing. Just because I’m a big League of Legends player. Hmm, Rurouni Kenshin. I like Dragonball a lot. Especially Z and I Like GT. As much as people shat on it. When I saw it, I was a kid, didn’t take much to impress me. Oh, Super Saiyan 4, cool. He’s got the black hair, the fur, they’re going back to the monkey Saiyan roots. I fuck with this hard. What else? It’s one of those things where I like a lot of anime, but it sucks trying to find what you really like. Samurai Champloo, if you’re not familiar, it’s made by the people who made Cowboy Bebop. Tiger Mask W because I’m obviously a wrestler. I’m really trying to think now, what’s a great anime that I love, that no one talks about. I have Cross Ange, but people will judge me for that one. They’ll see the opening and the copious amounts of skin and be like, “he only likes it for the fan service.” I swear to God, it has a good plot. You just have to take my word for it, it has a good plot. I’ll lose some followers for this, but I like Sword Art Online but just the first half of the first season. As soon as they woke up, I was good. That was the Tombstone Piledriver, they shouldn’t have kicked out. As far as anime movies go, I love Ghost in the Shell, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke. You’d think someone like me wouldn’t have a problem answering a question on his favourite anime, but I like so much. Oh, here’s another one, God Eater. If you enjoyed Attack on Titan, you’ll love God Eater. I like Naruto, but that’s kind of a given.”

You’ve got a move called the Rasengan, that’s kind of expected…

“I have the Rasengan and the Leaf Hurricane. I can do the real Leaf Hurricane, which is the 720 Hook Kick. However, the aforementioned injury to my knee was because of the 720 Hook. So, I’ve decided to retire that move until the day I win a world title. I’ll bust it out again, and it won’t be called the Lead Hurricane, it’ll be called something cooler. It’s such a dangerous move for me to continue performing since it was the one that put me on the shelf. I’ve done it, I have footage, I’ll probably never bust it out again unless it’s for mocap for a video game or to win a world title. I can say Berserk, that’s a great anime. Then I’ll think of one more… something wholesome no one expects. Oh, I like RWBY. Yes, it’s an anime. Every anime is valid in my eyes.”

Kidd Bandit on Social media: Twitter, Instagram

Kidd Bandit merch

All images courtesy of Kidd Bandit, Deadlockpro, 

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