Who Is Danhausen And Why Is He Your New Favorite Wrestler?

Ring of Honor star Danhausen talks about his origin story and developing his character over the past few years.

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Ring of Honor's macabre and hilarious Danhausen had been flourishing on the independent scene for a few years before signing with the promotion late last year. With the pandemic altering how live-entertainment is presented, and with Ring of Honor doing televised shows with no audience, you might not know how Danhausen even is.

That might change very soon.

With a Twitter following of over 25,000 and a YouTube channel on the rise, Danhausen could be your new favorite wrestler. But who is Danhausen? The man behind the makeup, Donovan Danhausen spoke to Gamespot about his character and how the evolution began from generic guy in tights to someone who he was able to channel more of his own personality into.

Danhausen Being Himself (Basil Mahmud)
Danhausen Being Himself (Basil Mahmud)

"This is much more me. This is me incorporating every aspect of my personality into this character. Besides the fact, in real life, I'm really not that outgoing, so this character is a way for me to be more out there," Danhausen said. "Growing up, I was very shy, and talking in front of audiences makes me very nervous, but this whole character really helps with that. Anything I grew up with, or the things I took along the way of just living like late-night comedy, cartoons, horror, it's all in this character."

Going from his "Kid Gorgeous" moniker to the weird face-painted Danhausen, a character he describes as "Conan O'Brien with Elvira and Beetlejuice", was quite a process. Firstly, he needed a new name. With help from a friend, that came pretty quickly.

"I remember talking to [professional wrestler] Effy about it", he said. "He suggested [my last name]. It stands out but it's just a German last name and goes with the weird aesthetic I have going on."

With the name settled on, he wanted to evoke more of a silent movie horror star, but something wasn't quite working as he started working on his promos. "The first version was too niche for people being this serious horror-based character," he said. "Horror is already niche. Wrestling is already niche. Put them together and it's unsurprising when you find out that people have no idea what you're doing."

Danhausen said that working with Effy, and forming the tag team of Gaytanic Panic, he was able to experiment and try new things for the characters, with encouragement from his tag partner.

"I then just started doing more of an impression of Billy Moseley as Chop Top from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. I learned that the 30-second videos of me being funny with my friends were doing so much better than the ones I was taking actual time with to be seriously scary."

He's not sure if this version of the character is the final version, but he's more comfortable than ever when he's performing. "It made me want to be myself more than this other thing I was trying to do. I mean, everybody loves to laugh but not everybody loves horror."

Danhausen can be seen on Ring of Honor, and new episodes are available onsite. Ring of Honor also airs in certain TV markets, and you can check your local listings here.

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