Aiden English, alongside his tag team partner, Simon Gotch will compete against the New Day this Sunday at WWE's Extreme Rules network event for the prestigious WWE World Tag Team Championship. English, real name Matt Rehwoldt, recently was "promoted" to the WWE main roster and now is part of the Monday Night Raw and SmackDown! television shows, instead of the NXT brand.
While in NXT, English captured the the NXT Tag Team Championship with Gotch and made a name for himself with the over-the-top circus strongmen stylings as The Vaudevillains. They're definitely a throwback gimmick and have a distinctive flair that could soon be a cornerstone of the WWE's New Era.
English recently talked to the Kingston Whig-Standard of Toronto, Canada about coming up with the gimmick and how he started out in the theater before lacing up his wrestling boots.
"I had been in NXT for probably about two years when this came up," English said. "We had just started at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando and at the time, I was doing my theatrical, artiste entrance to the ring and doing things on my own and Simon Gotch had just recently come to WWE. I think someone basically suggested, 'Hey, Simon has this unique look, you have this whole entertainer, artiste thespian persona going on, is there anything there?'."
He mentioned they didn't know each other well, but once suggested, it was too good to turn down. "All I remember was that somebody threw out the word vaudeville. Obviously, coming from a theatre background, I loved all that stuff. So I literally went home that night, sat on my bed and said, 'Hmm, vaudeville ... alright, we're going to do a team. Vaudeville...Vaudevillains. It literally rolled off my tongue as I said it out loud. I went, 'OK, let's try that,' and boom, literally the next day off we went, we started teaming, we started doing shows, then NXT and so on and so forth."
In the world of the WWE, outlandish characters are the key to capture the imaginations of its audience. What Aiden and Gotch did was a breath of fresh air compared any random bad ass in trunks with no gimmick. They were unique since day one, but it was unsure how the duo would be received. Luckily for them, it was a hit with the NXT crowd, but for those who only watch the main shows, it's still undecided what to make of the eccentric tag team it seems.
"I think, given the chance, I believe that they'll take to it quite, quite keenly," he said. "As time goes on, and people see us every single week, they'll grow to understand why we say the things we say, why we do the things we do and what makes us real men, as we put it, and I think this Sunday at Extreme Rules on the WWE Network, that's going to be a really good opportunity for everybody to see what we can do."
Extreme Rules airs this Sunday, only on the WWE Network at 8 PM ET.