WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi recently spoke with Chris Van Vliet on his “Insight” podcast and talked about rapper Bow Wow getting in the ring. You can find the full interview below. Van Vliet also sent us highlights from the interview.
We noted earlier this year how Bow Wow said he wanted to pursue a WWE career once his final album was released in the near future. This led to Bow Wow going back & forth with various wrestlers on Twitter. Bow Wow then announced in mid-February that he was set to begin training at the KnokX Pro Academy in Los Angeles, which is ran by Rikishi and Black Pearl.
Rikishi revealed that Bow Wow has not started his in-ring training yet, but they are talking. He also talked about how he got linked up with the rapper. Rikishi was asked if Bow Wow has started training yet.
“Not yet,” Rikishi answered. “We have been talking and I’m very happy, let me tell you the story about how I met this kid. So back in the day, I was actually coming onto a flight in Atlanta and as I was making my way to my seat in first class, there Bow Wow was. I think he was about 9 or 10 years old at the time, but he was already making hit records, and we just kind of kicked off. Me, I was on my way to work and I knew who he was. My father figure kind of kicked in saying I’m very proud of you and continue the hard work, make sure you do good in school and that kind of stuff.
“Twenty-something years later, I see this tweet come up and I just put a message out to him. I just felt like I knew this kid for a long time and again my passion for the business and for those coming in, I just felt obligated to teach him the right way.”
Rikishi noted that Bow Wow is based out of Atlanta, but will be coming to California this month to begin his training. He said the rapper will be treated like any of his other students.
“He’s actually based out there in Atlanta but he will be coming down here (to Southern California) sometime this month to get it going,” Rikishi revealed. “But I’m going to train him like I train all my students. We know his celebrity status, but in order for him to really understand the industry correctly, we got to put that all aside. He’s got to understand what it is when he gets in the ring how to protect himself, how to be a storyteller and all that theatrical movement. Not really getting in there and punching each other in the face and so forth.
“I like to say when students come in, I like to find the students and the students have to find me, meaning I want to see what kind of athletic ability he has. Is he easy to train? Does he listen well? Those types of things. Does he have an attitude? Is he coachable? Stuff like that.”
Rikishi also talked about how he feels Bow Wow training for pro wrestling is good for the business. He said there’s no time for jealousy or hate.
“Hey, I’m very excited to be able to be the guy to be able to give him this knowledge and help train him,” Rikishi said. “For me, it’s good for business. If Bow Wow can come into our industry and put asses in seats at WrestleMania, then why not? And everybody should motivate him or help him because him coming in, or anybody coming in from hip hop or the movie industry into our industry, obviously they’re green and they need to be smartened up.
“So there is no time for jealousy or those who just hate on the poor guy who is just trying to come in to live his dream.”