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Gordon Holmes: Oh…Johnny Blindside!
John Hennigan: I was shocked. (Laughs) Sometimes the way that I deal with stuff is I laugh at things because it’s better to do that than to cry. I was just really emotional. I wasn’t upset, I was just so surprised. I was so confident that we were voting for Christian and in retrospect I was over confident, and when I see how things went down, I almost should have expected it. Sometimes when you’re hungry and tired your brain is kind of foggy and you get set in one way of thinking and then a different Brachacho is getting blindsided that the one you thought. It’s surprising. And it was really well played by Nick and Davie and Christian.
Holmes: It’s interesting that you mentioned laughing instead of crying, because it was the most jovial blindside I’ve ever seen. There was an outpouring of love for you almost immediately. It seems like you made some really good connections out there.
Hennigan: I connected and got along with everybody a lot more than I thought I would. I was expecting to have a good time. I was expecting to have a life-changing experience, but being unplugged like that, getting back to old-school human skills was actually refreshing. It was really nice. I feel like I’m constantly compelled to be tweeting and posting things on Facebook and Instagram because it’s a big part of what I’m doing in the wrestling business. I’m the current Impact Wrestling champion. We’re on Pop TV tonight at 10pm. I had to plug that.
Holmes: That’s alright. Plug away.
Hennigan: I have an awesome match with Matt Sydal tonight. But that stuff is constantly floating through my head. Especially when I’ve got my phone. It’s almost like a gift that you get to not be able to do that. I was completely present in this moment on this beautiful island with these people. It was really fun, I liked everybody. Maybe I should have been more strategic and talked a little more game. (Laughs) Then people wouldn’t have liked me as much and I’d still be there. But, it was very rewarding.
Holmes: That’s the problem guys like you and I are going to have…we’re just way too likable.
Hennigan: (Laughs) There’s worse problems. I appreciate that.
Holmes: Was there any talk amongst the Goliaths that you wouldn’t want to go to the end with a David because they’d have that built-in underdog story?
Hennigan: Big time. And it was nice last night that Mike broke the fourth wall when he said that he felt like Christian has the potential to win this game and everyone who’s watching at home is going to think, “Why didn’t they get Christian out?” And that thought process wasn’t just what the audience was thinking, but also the jury at the end. So, big time, everyone was thinking of that. That’s why I wanted to stay Goliath strong. And I probably held onto that thinking a little too long. Not probably…definitely.
Holmes: When I saw your name on the cast list my initial reaction was challenge superstar. You’re a professional athlete, you have a parkour background, I’ve seen you wiggle your way back into a Royal Rumble or two. And yet, here’s Alec taking the solo parts of all of these challenges? Was that strategy or is he that good?
Hennigan: I did not want to be perceived as a big challenge threat. I knew no matter what, being a pro wrestling and coming in in really good shape that that was going to be a perception anyway. I didn’t want to add to it. I didn’t want to put the idea in people’s heads that I was going to be good at individual immunity challenges. So, I specifically didn’t want to highlight myself like that. And, Alec was really good. I don’t know if I could have done better than him. If Alec had sucked, I’d have wanted to step up and play a part, but he didn’t.
Holmes: Speaking of Alec, he’s starting this Strike Force, he’s the one who told Nick about the Christian vote. Did you know at the time that he was making moves?
Hennigan: I did. I didn’t trust Alec because of the way he voted out Natalia. I didn’t know what happened, but when Vuku showed up and she was gone, it just made no sense to me. And I caught a look from him. And, there was a real quick conversation where I tried to figure out what was going on, and I just didn’t get good vibes. I think he knew that I didn’t trust him. And that Natalia blindside was just a dumb move. He didn’t really think through what that was going to do to his tribe. I knew he was going to pull the trigger and jump ship. I didn’t know he was going to hit the ground running as soon as the merge feast was over. The way I was thinking about the game was a little too slow-paced.
Holmes: Alright, word association time. Let’s start with…Jeremy.
Hennigan: Also hilarious.
Hennigan: Best smile ever.
Hennigan: A really good person.
Hennigan: Stubborn…in the best of all ways.
Hennigan: Living the good life.
Holmes: Let’s finish with the Comptroller of Slamtown, Christian.
Hennigan: Quirky, funny, intelligent.
Holmes: There was a weird controversy this season where Jeremy accused Angelina of voting him out because he had made a joke about you and her being in a showmance. What was your take on the situation?
Hennigan: First of all, there was no showmance. What Jeremy did in my opinion was feeling the anxiety of the first Tribal, he threw out that there was a Dan and Kara showmance, Alec and Natalia, and John and Angelina. We were playing the game together, we had an alliance, we were talking strategy. He tried to get side conversations to stop. That’s because nobody was having side conversations with Jeremy. It’s kind of a bummer the way he lashed out.
Holmes: My wife is a new “Survivor” fan and she was bummed to see you go. My response was that you’re funny, good-looking, good TV…the kind of guy I’d invite back. So, if you get that call, what’s the answer?
Hennigan: I really love the show, so probably yes. But to do the show, there’s a really tight window because of wrestling.
Holmes: Yes, and I hear you’re facing Matt Sydal on Impact Wrestling tonight at 10pm on Pop TV.