When the muscled men and women of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) come to Baton Rouge Tuesday, Damien Sandow will be there to enlighten all the fans.
A highly educated wrestler working to improve both the WWE and its fans, Sandow was born into a well-bred New England family that owns a winery in Palo Alto, Calif., his current home.
He’s quite intelligent. Just ask him about it.
“I don’t like to think of it as boastful so much as informative,” Sandow said when he called The Advocate. “If I’m the intellectual savior of the masses, then people need to know that. The sooner they accept that the sooner I can stop informing them.”
As the current holder of the WWE’s “money in the bank” briefcase, Sandow can order the current heavyweight champion to a match at any time.
“Who knows?” he said. “Maybe I’ll cash it in at the Baton Rouge River Center?”
Before the “SmackDown” event, Sandow answered a few questions from The Advocate.
Q. Traveling with the WWE, do you get to experience the places you visit, or do you just see arenas and hotels?
A. I am actually well-versed in United States history and world history. I try to, depending on the city I’m in, take in the local culture, cuisine, history, any kind of historical place of significance. There are times when I don’t get to do that as much as I would like. There are times when we get to be in a city more than a week like “SummerSlam” or “WrestleMania” (major Pay-per-view events), which will be in New Orleans this year. We will be there for more than a week and hopefully I will get to see the historical streets of New Orleans.
Q. The “SmackDown” show will take place right next to the Mississippi River. For a lover of history like yourself, what does the river bring to mind?
A. As far as the Mississippi River goes, Samuel Clemens, or I believe the ignoramuses know him as Mark Twain. Perhaps if the crowd receives me well I will give my own rendition of “Old Man River.”
Q. I hear you have quite the voice.
A. Thank you. I try. My many talents can be burdens at times, but they are burdens I must accept for the betterment of mankind.
Q. You seem to be critical of wrestlers and their less intellectual ways. Why?
I seek to make the change that the WWE so desperately needs. If the only way to change that is to change their less intellectual ways, and that leads to a better company, then by God that is what I’m going to do. That’s what I will be doing in Baton Rouge.
Q. Baton Rouge and New Orleans are sometimes called “Hollywood South.” Are you at all interested in following other wrestlers to the world of film? Or is that industry beneath you?
A. It is changing the world one genre at a time. Until I have conquered the WWE and made the changes it so desperately needs, I will stay focused here.
Q. What should the fans expect from you in Baton Rouge?
A. Expect enlightenment. People should seek higher education at all times, but for the low price of admission, you can go to a WWE event and hear me speak live and better yourself as human beings. What other avenue of entertainment allows you to become a better person than when you came in?
WWE’s “SmackDown” will be recorded and will air Oct. 4 on Syfy. “WrestleMania XXX,” the 30th edition of WWE’s largest annual Pay-per-view event, is coming to New Orleans April 6, 2014. Tickets go on sale Nov. 16 at Ticketmaster outlets and at Ticketmaster.com.