Ahead of his inaugural TNT Championship match against Cody Rhodes at AEW Double Or Nothing, Lance Archer spoke to Sports Illustrated about a wide variety of topics. Below are some highlights.
Lance Archer on working with Jake The Snake:
This is my re-introduction to the U.S. television market on a full-time basis. I had spurts here and there with New Japan on AXS, but I’ve really been off U.S. TV since 2010. Now the AEW fan base is very smart to the business and that’s really cool to see. Every time somebody comes in, whether it’s myself or when Jeff Cobb appeared, people knew who we were and what we were doing.
That being said, there was a large fan base that didn’t know who I was—didn’t know what I was about and didn’t understand ‘The Murderhawk Monster.’ People are still learning. My favorite quote was from Chris Jericho when he was doing commentary during matches on Dynamite, and he was like, ‘I had no idea what a Murderhawk Monster was, but now I’ve seen it standing right in front of me.’
The thinking behind my pairing with Jake, and you just said this yourself, Jake’s a legend in this business and everyone knows who he is. So when you see Jake The Snake, and he says he has a client, and then it’s me, then the hardcore fans get a cool pairing. And the people that didn’t know who I was? Now they’re paying attention. That’s what Jake provided for me: a spotlight. He’s the yin to my yang. He’s the snake in the grass and I’m going to kick your teeth down your throat. We’re both big guys, but our style and presentation are very different, and we mesh extremely well.
Lance Archer on what impresses him about Cody Rhodes:
You have to respect anyone that perseveres through hard times. This business isn’t easy. There are a lot more valleys than there are peaks, so I respect how Cody has persevered through his valleys and his lows to become the face of AEW. It’s going to be my honor and privilege to kick his ass at the pay-per-view.
It’s the match to become the first-ever TNT Champion. There are some high expectations, and I absolutely plan to kick ass and deliver beyond anyone else’s expectations.
Lance Archer on having unfinished business with Jon Moxley:
That’s the cool part, it’s part of why I came to AEW. There are so many first-time possibility match-ups. Obviously, Cody and I have our match on May 23 at Double or Nothing, and that’s a first-time match-up. We were around each other in Japan and the independents, hell even WWE together for a little while, but we never faced off.
I’ve only had one match with Mox, which was at Wrestle Kingdom. Kenny Omega is a guy I’ve never stepped in the ring with, though I’ve been around him for years in Japan. I’ve known PAC since 2009, and we’ve crossed paths so many times, but never stepped in the ring with him. A monster vs. monster match with Brodie Lee. I had one match with Fenix on an independent show, and I’d love to do it again. Luchasaurus, Wardlow, there are so many people I’m excited to get in the ring with.
To read the full Q&A, click here.