WWE Wrestler Daniel Vidot's Message To His Old Club, The Canberra Raiders
"The Green machine is back."
And with those five words ahead of this Sunday's NRL Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and the Canberra Raiders, you just knew Daniel Vidot was missing his former life as a rugby league player for the first time since quitting the game two years ago to chase his pro wrestling dreams.
"The Raiders will always have a place in my heart," Vidot said when 10 daily reporter Nick Wray caught up with him in America this week.
"They're the team I played for the longest in the NRL. I lived in Canberra for five years, and in 2010, when we were in the semis we got knocked out, that really killed us."
That 2010 season was indeed a heartbreaker for the Raiders. They agonisingly missed a preliminary final berth after current captain Jarrod Croker missed a goal after the siren against the Wests Tigers.
But Vidot moved on from that moment, and -- after several more years of NRL footy at four different clubs -- he moved on from the sport of rugby league itself.
"All my footy mates were a bit shocked. Some of them didn't believe me," he said of the moment in 2017 he decided to try his luck as a pro wrestler.
"But the ones that did believe me, they said I'd be the perfect fit. My personality was always wild. I was always on my own buzz. I love to entertain and what better place to do it than the WWE?"
Today, Vidot is training at the WWE performance centre in Orlando, Florida, where he is now appearing on live non-televised events for NXT -- WWE's developmental brand.
He's on his way to the big time. No guarantees he'll make it yet, but his foot is well and truly in the door. Oh, and they don't call him Daniel Vidot anymore either.
"I've come up with a nickname here. I'm called 'The Untamed'. Basically it just which means to be yourself and not to worry about what other people think, kind of let your wild side run free," he said.
As you'd expect, Vidot spends a lot of time in the gym on strength, as well as time working on wrestling moves and flips.
"It's about daring, and being a former rugby league player, that's what we're like," he said.
But there's also the other side of pro wrestling. That letter "e" in WWE? It stands for "entertainment". And learning to be an entertainer is all part of the game.
"Inside the ring and outside the ring, there's a lot of work on the mic, a lot of performing, a lot of promo," he said. "That was something that was definitely very challenging for me. But I love the challenge and I've kind of adapted to it."
Vidot was a big fan of wrestlers like Stone Cold and The Rock when he was growing up. Who knows? One day, he might just be a rock star in the eyes of young wrestling fans.