Sonny Kiss spoke with TV Insider for a new interview promoting his TNT Championship match with Cody at Fight For the Fallen on Wednesday.
On his mindset going into the match: “Im going into this more mentally prepared more than anything. Usually, I have this fitness regimen. I would dance and go hard trying to keep my body in shape. Here its more about the mind because its easy to get overwhelmed. Youre thinking about how big this opportunity is. You want to stay balanced. I have been doing a lot of meditation and marinating and letting this opportunity come to me rather than over-analyzing it. Im still physically preparing for everything Cody has for me. Im excited.”
On working with Dustin Rhodes: “Dustin alongside Billy [Gunn] are two of my mentors. Theyve been keeping me grounded and honing my craft with me. Making me a better performer overall. Working with Dustin is a dream come true. How can it get any better than Dustin as my trainer, my mentor, the one guiding me. He is amazing. He is a legend. Him having my back through everything. Making sure Im okay. Every time Im out there and performing, he gives me these pep talks. Im going to need a big one on Wednesday, Dustin, so if youre around? He is absolutely amazing.”
Cyber-bullying is sadly still so prevalent within the pro wrestling community. A homophobic tweet was sent to Cody about the decision AEW made to put you in a match with him. He said he was proud to share the ring with you. How hard is it for you to navigate your social media and stay so positive and driven?
On Cody backing him up over the homophobic tweet about him getting a TNT Championship match: “Ive known who I was since maybe five years old. Very, very young. There is really not much anyone can say to deter me from who I am or make me feel less than. I really appreciate the outpouring of support Ive been getting on social media. There isnt anything I havent heard before. Thats why I can stay positive because I know exactly who I am, and nobody can take that from you once you know who you are. I know I have a group of people looking for ways to respond themselves. So if I show them that Im strong, they will be able to say, I can be like Sonny and not care what these people are saying about me. These people who have 30 followers. They cant tell me who I am. Tell me that something is wrong with me. They are nobody. I know who I am, and thats that.”
On what public figures inspire him: “Im inspired by Serena Williams. I love [anchor] Sharon Reed. A lot of people. Simone Biles. These are very unapologetic black women who are doing amazing in their respective fields. I just love how they portray themselves in the media. I love how they fight against adversity. I feel like Im trying to do that as well. When I see those women, they are very powerful and beautiful and athletic. Theyre intelligent speakers. They speak so eloquently. Sharon Reed had a very derogatory email sent to her news station. She clapped back in a classy way. It was beautiful. I aspire to be like that. Take something negative and educate people and shed a positive light on it.”
On initially intending to team with Joey Janela: “Joey and I were supposed to team with each other back in March at the New York show. But due to the climate today, we were unable to do that. We have really good chemistry. Its authentic. Weve been together throughout the indies. Weve traveled 16 to 24 hours together. Were really good friends. I learned so much from him, thankful to have him by my side. AEW pairing us together was perfect timing. It totally worked. Were like peanut butter and jelly.”
On finding the balance between his flashy persona and being taken seriously: “Im glad you brought that up. People are seeing or have seen me in the past and may say, ‘Sonny Kiss and that gimmick.’ Sonny Kiss is not a gimmick. Sonny Kiss is who he is, who she is, because I identify as either or. Im authentic and true to who this person is. Moving forward, its about being shown in that light as a serious competitor and not just the gimmick you think I am. Im definitely going to tweak some things and prove that I belong in this division and earned this title shot. Im going to show the best me. Ive been working hard. The fans are in for a treat for sure.”