At New York Comic Con 2019, the stars of All Elite Wrestling -- the hottest new company in wrestling -- gathered for a roundtable discussion on all things related to the show. CBR, which attended the event, caught up with Nyla Rose and Jack Perry/Jungle Boy about working with the fans, reacting on social media, comic books, their reaction to the inaugural episode of Dynamite and who they're excited to face next.
The roundtable started off with a question about Cody Rhodes' emotional letter in advance of Dynamite's first episode, which asked for feedback from the fans so as to tailor the show to what they want. Rose started by saying,“ So there's a bit of a fine line between the two, and I think you really have to be good at compartmentalizing and recognizing what is what. Some people just aren't going to be happy no matter what you give them. It's like, you know, 'I want a truck.' You give them a truck. 'It's not a blue truck.' Okay, well, let me give you a blue truck. 'That's not blue truck with 45 inch tires.' I don't know cars, I don't know."
"But you get my point, right? Some people are just not going to be happy no matter what you give them," she continued. "And usually, they are the ones who take to the internet to just kind of crap on everything. A lot of that is their daily stress in life. And they're just blowing off some steam on the internet. No harm, no foul. And I just think it comes with the territory, knowing how to navigate the internet, knowing what is what. It's like, 'Okay, well, these people were just bitching just to bitch, let them blow off steam have their day.'"
Rose added, "And then, like, the other side of that is... this person is making some good points. Maybe I should try something a little bit different. Why can't I try it the way they suggested? If there's no harm to you, your safety or your character, why not? But that's up to the artist's discretion."
The pair were then asked about potential backlash on Twitter and how they might approach people on social media differently because of their bigger platforms. Perry said, "I think we're kind of on different ends of the spectrum here. For me it's pretty to kind of just... I think it's maybe someone I learned growing up... the thing at the end is it's not important when people say negative -- obviously, it's important what the fans think. But there are things out there that just aren't important. People's personal opinions on others. At the end of the day, we're here to do what we're here to do. And we're here for a reason. People want to say many things all the time. You know what, go ahead, whatever."
Rose expressed her own opinion, which differs a fair bit, saying, "I think I'm a little too comfortable in clapping back. It's been a bit of a learning curve for myself, but just kind of knowing how to choose my battles. Knowing when and what to let go. I grew up in the Attitude Era. So hearing certain things, stuff doesn't really connect with me a certain way. So some of my clapbacks maybe come off a little too harsh. And you know, there's a little bit of collateral damage on the side of that. It's just one of those things."
She added, "I haven't had to think about it before, but now I'm reaching a broader spectrum of people. I'm reaching way more people than before. So things that I haven't necessarily had to take into consideration and have kind of been, you know, on my own self and ignorant to and overlooked. Now, I'm finding that, you know, even though this is a pointed comment at this particular individual, how could this affect somebody else? Because I don't want to do that. So it's a bit of a learning curve."
The two also addressed AEW's collaboration with DC Comics, which saw Robson Rocha (Aquaman, Supergirl) draw Rose, while Ramon Villalobos (Archer & Armstrong, Secret Wars) illustrated Jungle Boy and his Jungle Express partner, Luchasaurus.
Rose, for her part, was ecstatic. "Excuse me, I'm just gonna take off my professional hat," she said. "Holy crap, that was awesome! It was fantastic. Growing up as a fan of comics and video games. And it's just like, okay, so I don't think it's a secret. My background is in acting and performance. I've always wanted to do cartoons, do some voiceover work. [I] only scratched the surface, and I never really fully got into it. So seeing myself that way was truly a dream come true, especially in DC Comics. Like, what is this world coming to that I made a little quip on the internet. 'I think it's canon' and having one of the artists be like, 'yeah, I can confirm."
After expressing her excitement at potentially be canon, Rose added, "Listen, I’m not saying I don’t know Batman… I'ma leave that open to interpretation."
Perry talked about his initial reaction, saying, "For me, I love all these sort of art things in general. I, for the first time, am getting a lot of fan art, too, which I think is really cool. I think it's just awesome that someone takes the time out of their day and kind of puts their effort and their love into creating, so I love seeing that. The DC Comics thing was awesome. I kind of don't really even have the words for it. It's just so cool. I don't really know how to say it… When I saw mine, I was like, ‘damn, that’s cool.’"
Both Rose and Perry didn't realize art of them was coming. Instead, they figured more prominent wrestlers like Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes would get covers, but not them.
The two then addressed the connection between comic books and wrestling. With Rose saying, "I don't necessarily know that there's a disconnect. To be totally honest with you. Pro wrestling, I've always thought, has always been kind of like a comic book come to life. You know, before comic book movies became a big thing. There was pro wrestling. And you had the same tropes and character types and all this stuff existed in pro wrestling. So for me, I don't know that there is a disconnect. I mean, if I'm being totally honest with you, when I first started, kind of putting the pieces together of who Nyla Rose was, I looked to comics and video games for inspiration for my outfit for my character. You know, a lot of it came from my own culture, but some of that did come from Sucker Punch, the movie, which was another type of comic book,. There definitely is a fluidity between the two of us."
Perry added, "I think it's a big connector is kind of these just larger than life characters. You know, when I think about when I first kind of found wrestling and fell in love, I was a little kid. And I just remember, it was these big, buff, crazy, cool looking dudes, there were fireworks, there were pretty women. And there were just the craziest athletic action things I'd ever seen. I think, if you look, that's what comic books are as well. So I think it's just kind of the most over the top, craziest fun that you can have."
Rose then commented on Perry riding a dinosaur, saying, "the last time I saw that was on Genosha," a reference to the X-Men comics.
When the question turned to Perry, he addressed his "crazy" year, which included the passing of his father, actor Luke Perry. "With this particular one, my match actually didn't get aired on the show," Jungle Boy said. "It's getting aired in a couple of days, I think." Perry's match aired on the premiere episode of AEW: After Dark, which went live on October 8.
"I'm still looking forward to I guess my actual TV debut," he continued. "Still, we got to close out the show in the arena… Everyone was nervous and all, but the hard work is kind of already been laid. It's been done and now we're here. Getting here was the battle. Just time to go and do what we do. So just being able to see it come to life and that intro and the fire all of it, it was just amazing.
Rose, who responded to Perry's comments, said, "I honestly have nothing to add. He kind of like summarized it, you know, all of it. It's absolutely incredible to see all your hard work, because it definitely has been a team effort. And you know, to see everything that everyone's put together, see it come to life, take shape and see people genuinely, with every fiber of their being, absolutely enjoy what they're watching and have a hunger for more. It's I don't have the words for it. I don't think there are words for that, you know.
Perry and Rose also addressed which matches they're most looking forward to as AEW continues. Perry started by saying, "My first TV match of week three is with the Lucha Brothers. I'm super excited for that. Because those are two guys I was a big fan of on the indies. And I've never got to work with them. So I think that's gonna be super cool. And especially since it's my first TV as well. Super excited for that."
Rose, for her part, doesn't have one person she's excited to work with. However, she is looking forward to getting another shot at the AEW Women's World Championship that Riho took home at the first Dynamite event. "I don't care who they put in front of me," she said. "Quite frankly, I am going to knock'em all down. Knock'em all out. Get a couple of victories under my belt. Get that title."
AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesdays on TNT.