D’Lo Brown has recalled the hilarious reaction Vince McMahon had when he inadvertently swore on live television, all while performing his signature headshake.
D’Lo Brown’s headshake has been a trope of his wrestling persona for the majority of his career. Easily performed by fans worldwide, Brown has recalled when he first began using the unique taunt as it occurred during an accidental slip-of-the-tongue moment on a live broadcast of Monday Night Raw.
During a recent chat with Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso, D’Lo Brown recalled how a piece of advice received from WWE Hall of Famer Ron ‘Faarooq’ Simmons led to Brown adopting this trademark mannerism, as Simmons told him to steal every moment you’re on-screen:
“No, not at all. I never thought I had connectability with the audience. Then everything in my career changed forever when Ron Simmons gave me a piece of advice. He said it doesn’t matter if all you’re getting is 30 seconds on camera, but you need to find a way to steal that moment.
To steal a line from Tupac, I made sure all eyes were on me, no matter who was out there with me. That’s how I got noticed, and then I learned that one of the hardest aspects of the business is longevity. But I had great mentors and role models, which played a big part of my success.”
D’Lo Brown would continue, as he explained how Vince McMahon would react when the former European Champion began making this part of his schtick on WWF programming. McMahon was so taken aback by this that he completely ignored D’Lo Brown’s accidental F-bomb on live television:
“Back in ’97, portable DVD players were just starting to come out. You’d have sleeves of DVDs kind of like you’d have sleeves of CDs. The movie Friday was part of the regular rotation on our road trips. The Rock and I finished a match on a Sunday and we were back at the hotel watching Friday, and there’s a scene where Deebo knocks out a guy and Chris Tucker yells, ‘You just got knocked the f-*ck out!’
The next night at Raw, we’re getting ready to go to commercial break, and the spot is that Rocky is going to clothesline Ken Shamrock out of the ring and onto the floor, and then we’d go to the commercial. But I knew, if I had that 30 seconds, I was stealing it. So when Ken was knocked out of the ring. I ran up to the ropes, and screamed, ‘You just got knocked the f*ck out!’ and I’m shaking my head. That’s when it dawned on me that I’d swore on TV. I figured Vince [McMahon] was going to be furious.
Vince had two looks. One was when he looked at you and gave a thumbs up. That was good. The other was when he looked up, pulled his glasses down, and waved a finger over to him. That’s what I got that night. And he looked at me and said, ‘That thing you’re doing with your head? Keep doing it.’ So I didn’t get fined for swearing and I did something that piqued Vince’s curiosity. Then I turned the volume up on the head shake, and people still tell me stories to this day about doing it in a hallway or to their mom. It’s incredible.”
D’Lo Brown’s headshake has since become one of wrestling’s most famous wrestler traits. He’s maintained the quirk throughout his entire career, still performing it on IMPACT Wrestling programming today.
The real-life Accie Julius Connor had a successful WWE career, being a four-time European Champion and one-time Intercontinental Champion. He was released from his WWE contract in February 2003, ending his six-year career.
D’Lo Brown is now once again back in IMPACT Wrestling, having re-signed with the Anthem-helmed promotion in July 2019 as a producer. He also served as half of IMPACT’s broadcast team for a year before being written out of the role following an assault from Honor No More.