Shawn Daivari — also known as Khosrow Daivari and just “Daivari” during his stint in WWE, Sheik Abdul Bashir during his time in TNA, and DelAvar Daivari in season one of Lucha Underground — has been mentioned a lot on WWE programming as of late, but usually in passing when his brother, Ariya Daivari, is in a match. Still, no press is bad press, right? He was around for three years or so in WWE, usually as a manager, as he represented Mohammed Hassan, Kurt Angle, and the Great Khali. But he might have had another character at one point … one that likely would have lived in infamy.
In an interview with Wrestling Inc., Daivari — who recently opened a new wrestling academy with Ken Anderson — talked about the time he had to shoot down an idea that Stephanie McMahon pitched him, because … it sounded really, really bad.
Is it true that Stephanie McMahon wanted you to do a gimmick where you’d change your name to George Bush or something like that?
“Yeah, I don’t know if it was Stephanie’s idea. Stephanie was the one that told me about it. When I hear it, it sounds totally like a Vince thing. She could have just been translating Vince’s message. But yeah, she told me…”
When was this?
“This was the day they told us that me and Marc [Copani, a.k.a. Muhammad Hassan] couldn’t do the Arab characters anymore and we’re being pulled from UPN. I forget what day it was, but our last SmackDown! obligation was Great American Bash, so we were able to do that one because it wasn’t on UPN obviously, it was on pay-per-view. So then, the SmackDown! after Great American Bash, I was supposed to come out as George W. Bush, in an over-the-top, red, white, and blue ‘I love America’ thing. Almost, like, patronizing the whole thing being like, ‘hey, I can be patriotic too. I’m not an Arab. I’m American. I love America! My name is George Bush!’ and that kind of s–t. And then, I told her it was a bad idea. A) it doesn’t have any longevity, you can only do it for so long. And then, B) it’s not going to work because people … it just doesn’t sound like a great idea and she agreed with me. And she says, ‘yeah, I don’t think it’ll work either.’ And that was that.”
To me, the best part of the story is Stephanie pitching the idea, and then immediately admitting it’s a bad idea. It’s almost as if … more wrestlers should push back on ideas pitched to them when they’re less than ideal. The George W. Bush thing … woof. That is right up there with Kerwin White and Beaver Cleavage.
Daivari also talked about his TNA stint and his thoughts about his brother Ariya being involved with WWE and the Cruiserweight Classic, so head on over to Wrestling Inc. to check out the full interview.