By Banner Hemweigh
Keith Daniels is one of the most respected men in his field these days. He is always greeted when he arrives; his word in the ring rates as law, and no one second-guesses him. There isn’t a performer that is trusted more whether in the ring, or out of it. He stands a stunning 6 feet 9 inches tall with the athletic versatility of a triathlete in a 280 pound frame. He has a natural charisma that hums off of him, the diction of a scholar, and if that isn’t enough, he ain’t bad on the eyes. He’s also the biggest, baddest heel professional wrestling has ever seen.
According to HWE statistics, on average roughly 30% of a live audience will actively jeer a character that is a successful heel, or ‘bad guy’ character. In industry speak, it’s called heat, and it is the initial response of an audience that knows you’re coming out to see them. For a face, which is the standard ‘good’ guy, it’s called pop, and the pop ratio is relatively higher, roughly pushing towards the 60% mark. It is very hard to generate enough emotional distain to convince a crowd to waste the energy to boo you when it could be used cheering on their face. These are factors that alter nightly, by locale.
On any given night, in any arena, anywhere in the world, Keith Daniels as 3D will generate heat that is closer to 50%. This average is said to only increase after he has been talking for 30 seconds or more, a ratio that insiders call ‘outrageous’. Like all things there are exceptions, but with the truth of professional wrestling being broadcast, it’s harder to generate actual distain. Everyone knows you’re acting. So how does he do it?
Teddy Rogers recalls meeting a ‘skinny, scrawny 15 year old’ wanting to be trained to wrestle. Now he refers to this same man as a gift to the industry. Teddy has an idea of what makes Keith Daniels the man that he is.
“Something in that boy that you don’t find everyday. Is it will, spirit, drive. Boy has more charisma in his pinky finger than most guys have in their entire bodies; more athletic ability than an Olympian, and I still can’t find anything to compare with the amount of heart he has.”
When asked when he knew he was ready for the ring, the champ is humble.
“Some days it’s when I got through my first televised match without a missed cue. Other days it’s when I finally convinced Teddy to start training me. But most days, I’m still waiting. It’s hard to determine ready for a field that is constantly in flux.”
The man known as the selfish mouthy 3D comes off as unassuming. The intelligence of the man is evident in his speech. His respect for his peers and contemporaries pours out of him at every opportunity. And his love for the fans is inspiring.
After the pay per view in his hometown of Dallas, TX, I conducted a final interview with Keith Daniels, and asked him to sum up what this profession has done for him.
“It’s provided more than just a paycheck. It’s given me focus when I don’t have it. Clarity when I can’t think clearly. It’s shown me the levels of myself that I didn’t know I had. I wasn’t always a good person, but I am a better one today, and I know it has a lot to do with what I choose to do for a living, and more importantly, how I choose to do it.”
From Make Mine a Heel by Suenammi Richards
"I liked this story. I'm not a big romance fan, but first this writer knows her stuff about football, Texas culture, and pro-wrestling. Second, the romance sucked me in. I wanted these two to get together because I genuinely liked them. This story is a Powerslam for any romance/sports fan!"
@alchemyofscrawl - Coral Russell
"I have to say I am a professional wrestling fan so this book really caught my interest as soon as I read the description. I very much enjoyed this book and definitely most likely will be reading it again at a late date."
"This isn't a garden variety romance novel featuring sports or wrestling. Ms. Richards has provided the reader with plenty of colorful characters that are dealing with sad, if not tragic, circumstances (racism, child abandonment, ethnic prejudice, drug abuse, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book."