November 29, 2008
Impersonations paying off for Haas
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
With a flutter of an eyelash, Charlie Haas went from being half of the World's Greatest Tag Team to a female impersonator. And a pretty good one at that.
Not only does he look good in spandex, he's become a Monday Night RAW highlight with his impressions.
Haas' latest schtick is to show up in the ring dressed and acting like current and former wrestlers ... so far, he's been Beth Phoenix, Hulk Hogan, JBL, Bret Hart, Carlito, Jim Ross, John Cena, Mr. Perfect and The Great Khali.
"I'm a big fan of Frank TV (a sketch comedy show on TBS)," says Haas. "The show is based on parodies of people around the world.
"I want to be an entertainer. I want to show there is charisma in Charlie Haas. I'm impersonating the best, paying homage to them, not embarrassing them. I'm having fun with this. I was very serious about wrestling, about knowing the holds ... and I missed out on the sports entertainment. This is helping me relax and everyt ing seems to come easier.
"John Laurinaitis came up with the (character) idea and it got related to the writers."
And how about dressing up as The Glamazon, Beth Phoenix?
"My hat goes out to the divas, I don't know how they can wear all that makeup and eyelashes," said Haas. "By doing that character, it showed I can pull off anything and make it work."
So what's next?
"Overseas, I got a great reaction to doing Rowdy Roddy Piper," says Haas. "I want to get it down where it's perfect. I don't want to do anything to disrespect the character."
A husband (to former diva Jackie Gayda) and father (to two-year-old Kayla and Taylor, born Sept. 17), Haas feels fortunate.
"My two-year-old comes into the bedroom, pulls the covers up and says: 'Daddy up, daddy up.'
"People say, 'Don't you want a little Charlie?' ... But I wouldn't trade my little girls for anything in the world.
"Even when I'm tired, when I come home and think about catching up on my sleep, I'd rather stay up and hold my daughters."
"I knew inside that I could succeed at anything. I was a (Division 1) All-American, I'd never been put on the bench. I was in the ring before everybody. And I thought with all the hard work I was doing, I wondered when it was going to pay off.
"I came to realize that it's not all about wrestle, wrestle, wrestle. It's about the entertainment. I looked at people like JBL and how long it took him to develop the JBL character. I never gave up, I knew I would succeed."
"I'm not going to lie about it. I'm not proud of what I did and I have to live with it. It was wrong, a mistake that I made. I thought I was doing something to surpass the pain. But what I was doing was hurting myself. And it was embarrassing to my family and to the company.
"Since then, I've really gotten into sports nutrition (with Jackie, he opened Custom Muscle Nutrition and Smoothie Shop, a nutritional store in Frisco, Texas). Kids have to realize if you're weaker or smaller, they shouldn't take steroids to get stronger and bigger. Just eat right. It can be done right. There's no better nutrition than food."
Tim Baines is the Ottawa Sun Sports Editor and writes a weekly wrestling column for Sun Media. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.