wrestling / News

Sonny Kiss on Being Mentored by Dustin Rhodes, Chris Jericho, And Billy Gunn, Developing His Character

July 15, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Fight For the Fallen Sonny Kiss

Sonny Kiss spoke with Sports Illustrated for a new interview promoting his TNT Championship match against Cody at tonight’s Fight For the Fallen episode of Dynamite.

On his Concrete Rose gimmick: “‘The Concrete Rose’ sums up me as a person. Ashanti’s version of that was infusing her soulful vocals over a hip-hop beat. With me, it’s very similar. I’m a very unconventional, avant-garde person, so it’s a mantra I came up with as a teenager. It’s when two things that aren’t necessarily similar come together to make one awesome product. It’s not exuding a masculine or feminine quality exclusively. I’m a little rough around the edges, but I’m also bubbly. I’m a fan of a lot of things, and that comes together like different qualities in concrete and a rose. It’s basically two opposites coming together.”

On his early days on the indy scene: “When I first started wrestling, people didn’t know what to make of me. They wanted to make me like Adrian Adonis or even Goldust. But I wouldn’t have thrived doing that. It wouldn’t have been real, and people can see through fakeness. For me, I was either going to the top as myself or I wasn’t. I’m not a gimmick, I’m myself. I don’t want to do anything that isn’t real. LGBTQ+ people are more than what you’ve seen in the past as ‘gimmicks.’ People need authenticity, and I’m that for them. If you’re not authentic, how can people relate to you? I won’t change, I’ll always be me.”

On working with Chris Jericho, Bully Gunn, and Dustin Rhodes: “Dustin is a mentor, and Dustin and Billy and Jericho, they’ve really helped me. I have this graceful, ballet, flowy movement, so I’ve worked on intertwining that with physicality. That’s something I’ve had to work on, and I’m now using it to my advantage. I have the tendency to be very graceful and exude sexuality, but I can still be tough. That’s the ‘Concrete Rose.’ ”

On pursuing a college degree while wrestling: “I’m a senior. I study fitness training, fitness science, and kinesiology. Tony Khan is very supportive of our other endeavors, and we have a great schedule. Even after Dark, I’ll go back to the hotel and do my homework for a few hours. Once you start to master time management, things become a little easier.”

On getting a spotlight on tonight’s show: “I have a lot to prove. I’ve been on AEW Dark and I’ve been on the undercard, so this is a huge leap for me, but here we are, it’s happening, and the LGBTQ+ community is counting on me. Whether I win or lose, I have to show the world who the ‘Concrete Rose’ is. I’ve worked very hard to get here, but this isn’t just about me. I have a lot of people supporting me, and I’m fighting for their respect and to prove myself and who I am.”