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*inerview* Daivari, Talks Hassan, USA and more
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Old 24 Sep 2005, 03:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default *inerview* Daivari, Talks Hassan, USA and more

Daivari: Give me the ball; Iíll run with it
By Evan Denbaum
September 22, 2005

During the course of a seven-month period in 2005, Shawn Daivari succeeded in becoming one of the most controversial and caustic characters in network television history. As Muhammad Hassanís manager and mouthpiece, Daivari drove crowds into frenzies with his half-Farsi, half-English diatribes about an intolerant American public. But as Daivari acknowledges, his job wasnít to make a name for himself; it was to keep Hassanís name and message in headlines. Because of the nature of such a role, Daivariís fate was linked to that of Hassanís. And when Hassan was removed from TV, so was Daivari. Now that Hassan is gone from WWE, where does that leave Daivari?

With the news of WWE and Mark Copani, a.k.a. Muhammad Hassan, parting ways, contacted Shawn Daivari via cell phone to find out what the development means for him and his future. So, where do you think your career now stands?

Daivari: Iím not really sure. I hope my job is somewhat safe with the company. Iím also smart enough and know enough about wrestling to know that nothingís for sure. If there was ever a point in time in 1996 when you could say, ďHey, guess what? Bret Hart wonít be working for this company any more.Ē I would have said, ďYeah, right!Ē It goes to show you that anything can happen. And I know that I havenít made enough of a mark yet in this company to say that my job is completely secure.

But I also do know that I was given one opportunity in this company, and John Laurinaitis, head of talent relations himself said that Iíve done an amazing job. So, I think they gave me the ball once, and I ran with it. And then, due to circumstances outside of their hands, I had to give it up. But I never fumbled. I know that there were a couple times when Mark fumbled, either personally in the locker room or professionally on television or with his work, but I never have. And that was only one time that they (gave the ball) to me. So, Iíd like to hope that there would be a second opportunity. And then if they give me the ball a second time and I fumble, then I can understand if they wanted to let me go. If given the opportunity to resume your WWE career, which show would you like to return to?

Daivari: I would prefer RAW. Iím thinking just business-wise because I would hate to get a good steam going on something and then have some jerk-off write in to the network saying, ďThis is just that Ďterroristí character; they just changed his character and name, blah blah blah.Ē And then have the higher-ups say, ďHey, I thought I told you guys we donít want this person on television anymore,Ē and then Iím gone. Are you in contact with Mark?

Daivari: Since weíve both been taken off television, I think weíve talked on a daily basis. Whatís your understanding of why Mark is leaving WWE?

Daivari: Pretty much the deal with Mark was he liked wrestling. He liked it a lot, but it wasnít like a dream of his. It was something he liked to do, but it wasnít like, ďGive me wrestling or give me death.Ē There was a ton of other stuff that he wanted to do in his life. That was a way in which we were kind of different. Wrestling was the only thing on my mind ever, at all times. He liked what he was doing because we worked hard and we kind of had done pretty well for ourselves with the Muhammad character and the Khosrow Daivari characters.

Now, since that had kind of run its course and itís starting again from square one, I donít think he had the interest to devote that much of his life to starting something new again when there were other avenues that he wanted to explore. He wants to be an actor. I know another thing he always talked about was real estate. He wanted to get into real estate. So, he lives in California now ó heís in Hollywood ó and from talking to him, it seems like heís doing extremely well. He has pretty good ties to a manager and is having meetings with ďA-listĒ talent agencies on a daily basis. So, heís doing, to my shock and surprise, really well. All the talent agencies heís listed, he told me talent they represented like Ashton Kutcher and a couple other people. One is a talent agency owned by Will Smith. These are all A-list things, and theyíre kind of like fighting for him right now. So, heís going to different agencies, talking to different people, and heís going to just see which one has the best opportunities for him and thatís the one heíll probably end up signing with. Why do you think heís in such demand?

Daivari: I think there was a very, very credible acting coach out there who worked with a lot of people. I canít remember them off the top of my head, but one is Heather Locklear. He worked with Heather Locklear. And he works with a lot of major Hollywood talent. And he was a fan of wrestling, and he watched Monday Night RAW and was super-impressed with Markís ability.

When he found out that Mark was an Italian, he thought Mark was able to do a good job because this was all stuff he was (pulling from his own life experience), but when he found out that Mark was just playing the role of a Middle Eastern man ó that he wasnít actually ó and that the things he described didnít actually affect his life, yet was able to pull that kind of emotion and animosity out of it, he was really, really impressed. So, he got a hold of Mark. Since then, this guy has been helping him find work because, I donít know exactly how it works, but the way Mark described it is if he makes money, then the people he works with make money. And this guy is confident that Mark will have a future in Hollywood. So, heís helping Mark out right now with all the connections and (Hollywood) ties he has because heís confident that one day Mark will be able to make money and then he will make money. Can you take us through what happened following you two being taken off of TV?

Daivari: When I was taken off TV, the office asked me to go to Atlanta for about 14 days, so I went there for 14 days just to stay in ring shape. I came back and was sitting at home for a little bit and I was kind of bored out of my mind. So, I went down to Atlanta in Deep South Wrestling for a couple weeks and then I went to OVW for a couple weeks and now Iím back home again.

There was some stuff I had to take care of as far as bills and mortgage and loose ends around the Twin Cities, so itís not like I could completely relocate. Well, I guess I could, but right now weíve got a nice thing going: I go down there for two weeks, come back home for two weeks, go to Louisville for two weeks, and I donít even think itís mandatory. Wrestling is my life; itís in my blood. I couldnít think of anything worse happening right now than me sitting at home. I was bred to go out and wrestle in front of fans, and not being able to do that is just killing me. There have been some changes to the sports-entertainment landscape in your absence. What do you think about RAW going back to USA?

Daivari: I think itís awesome. I know that when I was traveling, a lot of times Iíd be staying in hotels that didnít get Spike TV. Every hotel that Iíve been to that has cable, has USA network. I know thereís a lot of places that donít get Spike TV, so I think itíll be a bigger window for our fans to be able to tune in and watch us.

Iím excited. I would love to be a part of that Oct. 3, ďHomecoming RAW.Ē I couldnít think of a better place, I would love to come back at that show because thatís the one that everybody will be watching and thatís the type of show that you can make an impact on upon a return. Because even if I do keep the Daivari name and character, itís going to be completely different now that the spotlightís on me, instead of my job being to put the spotlight on someone else

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