RF Video Shoot Interview with D-Lo Brown

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This was filmed in 2010

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

It runs for two hours and eleven minutes long

D-Lo starts by saying he was a huge wrestling fan growing up in New Jersey. He was friends with Tom Carter (Reckless Youth) and would actually wrestle in their backyards as he tells a story of how they once had a “cage match” as kids by putting four soccer nets together.

As a kid, he was a fan of guys who worked hard in the ring like Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, and Ron Simmons. He said that he went to the Civic Center as a kid all the time and even saw Nikita Koloff win the United States Title from Magnum TA, which made him happy as he was a big fan of Nikita.

He graduated from the University of Maine then went on to work in an advertising firm in New York. Carter was still trying to wrestle and got him back into it as they rented the ring on weekends from Larry Sharpe at the Monster Factory, who watched them, and told D-Lo that he was athletic and asked if he thought about doing it for real. He said at the time he weighed close to 400lbs. Sharpe told D-Lo that he moved around well and asked if he thought about becoming a wrestler and told him that if he sold 50 tickets he could be on his show. So, he sold four tickets and bought the rest himself and that was how he wrestled his first match.

After that he worked for Sharpe for about a month and said that the only thing he learned from him was how to throw a chop and said that it wasn’t even the correct way. At that time, Balls Mahoney was working for Sharpe too and got a call from Jim Cornette to work for him in Smoky Mountain as Boo Bradley. Balls did not have his driver’s license at the time so D-Lo drove Mahoney down to Tennessee for the show.

While in Tennessee, D-Lo approached Cornette and asked him for a chance and when asked what he could do, he said a moonsault so Cornette gave him an eight minute long match. After that, they went home, as it was during a TV taping, and just one month later, he was working for Smoky Mountain after just over a month in the business.

D-Lo is asked about working the Independent Scene in the Northeast as he tells a story of when he was just a few days in the business, he was at a show where Chris Benoit was backstage shaking everyone’s hand. D-Lo was having a conversation with someone as that was happening and said that he saw a shadow behind him as Benoit waited for him to finish his conversation before shaking his hand and introducing himself. D-Lo says that left such an impression on him that he does that in locker rooms today, stating that there is no difference between himself and someone else just because he has wrestled more matches and does not buy into that “superstar bullshit” mentality.

He did a few squash matches for the WWF and tells a story of how he was wrestling with some other guy to face Owen Hart & Yokozuna and how Pat Patterson called him “Acie Corner,” despite his name being Acie Connor. When asked why he was calling him that, Patterson that said it was “Corner” because all he was going to do in the match was stand in the corner. He then talks about wrestling as a jobber against Earthquake and was going to get sent against the ropes so Earthquake could clothesline him but was nervous and his foot hit the edge of the ring so he stumbled forward as Earthquake clotheslined him on the top of the head and he almost got legitimately knocked out. D-Lo said that the referee told him to do it again and he did by taking a great bump and after that incident, D-Lo believed that Vince McMahon would never hire him because of that.

When asked about the WWF locker room at that time (1994-1995) and if it was welcoming to him, D-Lo said that it was not and that there were a lot of cliques at that time, prefacing that there was “no pun intended” with that comment. He said that he never talked with Vince and just dressed quietly as he dealt with the agents, which were Blackjack Lanza and Tony Garea. He did say that the locker room was a lot more welcoming when he joined the company in 1997.

D-Lo speaks about Jim Cornette and puts him over for giving him his big break into wrestling and says that he was like Vince was in the WWF with the way he put together the show, calling SMW a “mini-WWF.”

He talks about wrestling Tracy Smothers, who had just landed from a tour of Japan, and when Smothers got handed his paycheck, he began to punch the lockers repeatedly as he was pissed. D-Lo then approached him and said that they were wrestling tonight so Smothers told him to call the match. D-Lo was still just a few months into the business at this time so they went out and had the match and afterwards backstage, Cornette asked D-Lo if he had any camouflage pants, to which D-Lo said no but that there was an Army-Navy store nearby, so Cornette told him to run out and get some and when he came back, Cornette told him to go out with the Gangstas as he was a new member of the group. He then says how he started that show as Acie Connor and ended it as D-Lo Brown.

When asked about working with the Gangstas, D-Lo said that New Jack the character is a lot different than he is in real life and that he is a really smart guy and always knows what he is doing and can always play up his character to work for him while Mustafa was always laid back and said that he liked to smoke a lot of pot and would giggle a lot.

He does tell a story about New Jack, who hit him a few times as they were both trying to get with the same girl then the next day in the car, Jack apologized and said it was due to “Jack Daniels.” He also denies New Jack’s claim that he mowed Jim Cornette’s lawn but said that he was part of the ring crew.

D-Lo then talks about the “Smoky Mountain Flophouse” and how he was living there at the time with Balls Mahoney, Glen Jacobs (Kane), and Chris Jericho among others. He slept on the couch as he was the newbie but told by someone that he could sleep in Jericho’s bed as he was in Japan. That morning at 2am, Jericho came home and saw D-Lo in his bed. After D-Lo introduced himself, Jericho said “I’m Chris Jericho now get the fuck out of my room.” D-Lo says that Jericho had recently denied this story. D-Lo said that Jericho was not even mad but just at a twenty hour flight and wanted to lay in his bed.

He then tells a story of when Cornette was managing the Rock n’ Roll Express as they were facing the Gangstas. Cornette was going to get color but as he was blading, Mustafa kicked him in the back of the head as Cornette nearly scalped himself. D-Lo then said that Cornette went over to him because he thought D-Lo would be the lighter worker and told him to work on him. D-Lo talks about how at that time, the only way he learned to punch was by putting his other hand on the opponents head but when he did that, his hand slipped due to the blood and he ended up stiffing Cornette by accident, who shouted out “Jesus Christ” and backstage Cornette yelled at him for hitting him harder than anyone has ever before in the ring. D-Lo said that they have recently talked and laughed about the story.

D-Lo puts over the Rock n’ Roll Express for being great workers who taught him a lot and says Ricky actually would sit down and tell him what worked and what did not and credits them, Tracy Smothers, and the Dirty White Boy for taking the time to help him out during his time in SMW.

He is asked about the party scene in SMW as D-Lo said that they were in a small town in Tennessee and there was nowhere to go there but they did know two girls who worked at the BP who would give them free beer that they would take back to their house.

When asked about if there was anyone in SMW that shocked him by not making it big in the business, D-Lo said that Brian Lee did as he thought he was witnessing greatness in the making when seeing him in SMW.

On how he wound up in the WWF, D-Lo said that he was bouncing around between SMW and other territories as Cornette was trying to get a hold of him as the WWF wanted him as a “gimmick jobber” like TL Hopper or Freddie Joe Floyd but he missed the call at home as he was in Puerto Rico at the time. D-Lo called him back as Cornette first asked him where he was but then told him that he might have something better for him as D-Lo was sent a plane ticket and told to wear a suit as he was going to appear on the debut episode of “Shotgun Saturday Night” as a member of the Nation of Domination and had Ahmed Johnson give him the Pearl River Plunge on top of a car. D-Lo then said that Vince came up to him and said that since he was putting his body on the line for his company then he was going to put himself on the line for him as he started to wrestle for the company.

His initial impression of Vince was that he has a commanding presence the second he walks into a room and how he demands 1,000% from everyone involved and will give you that same effort in return. He also talks about the first few times he was around him that he was quiet and did not bother him and one day at catering he walked by as Vince shouted his name then said “are you too good to talk to me” then after a few seconds after that he started to laugh and after that D-Lo was comfortable around Vince.

D-Lo said that he was welcomed in the locker room and credits Ron Simmons for taking him under his wing so no one ribbed him. D-Lo also said that he became Ron’s driver for a while as well. He calls Ron “the father he never had” and said that Ron has been involved in every major decision in his life both in and out of wrestling.

He calls the “Nation of Domination” gimmick the most fun he has ever had in the business but thinks it happened two years too early because they were pre-Attitude Era and thinks they would have been bigger if it actually occurred during the Attitude Era. He then says that they were the only faction in which everyone else went on to bigger things.

D-Lo tells a story of how he worked against Vader. Ron Simmons told D-Lo not to let Vader take advantage of you in the ring as D-Lo said that Vader was a bully. D-Lo also said that Vader would make a habit of punching you in the corner and as you tried to time his head-bobs, he would mess them up purposely and end up stiffing you. Well, after he got stiffed, D-Lo heard Simmons tell him not to let Vader hurt you so D-Lo ended up clipping Vader in the nose with a punch. Vader then cocked his head back as D-Lo said that he backed down the bully and says that was the day he grew up in the business as he could protect himself.

When he first met HHH, D-Lo said that right away he could tell that he had a great mind for the business but as the years went on he saw HHH morph into what he is today then says how it is amazing to him that someone who should be so secure with there position and image is so self-conscious. He says that he got along with HHH, who was even a supporter of him, but is still dumbfounded as to how much HHH worries about everything.

On the Rock, D-Lo said that at first when he came in with the big poofy hair he saw nothing special in him but after he hurt his knee, D-Lo said they spent a lot of time together and said after talking with him he saw that the Rock was someone who would be willing to try stuff out and then said the night he walked out and confronted Steve Austin was when he first thought he could become a star. D-Lo said that he never expected him to be a big movie star but thought he could get big in wrestling.

When asked if the Rock became more difficult to deal with as his star power grew, D-Lo said that at times he would be like the Rock character in real-life situations then says he got his “You better recognize” line when he would tell the Rock that he was acting like that. He says that they were always cool but its hard to keep in touch with him today as he changes his phone number several times a month.

At first, D-Lo was scared of facing Ken Shamrock and would be gentle around him in the ring until Shamrock told him to stop treating him “like a little bitch.” D-Lo then puts over Shamrock for being a cool guy.

On his thoughts of the “Montreal Incident,” D-Lo said that he was in that dressing room the day and nothing was out of the ordinary. He then said he saw it take place backstage on the monitor and was in shock then saw Bret Hart storm in and after that Shawn Michaels and HHH came in denying that they had prior knowledge of the finish of their match. Vince came in and kicked everyone else out of the locker room so they stood at the end of the hall and about five minutes later they saw Vince stagger out as they later learned was the result of him getting hit by Bret.

When asked about whether or not he ever spoke with WCW, D-Lo said that he did have some informal talks with WCW right after Vince Russo and Jeff Jarrett joined the company as was planning on going but a month before he WWF deal was set to expire, Vince spoke with D-Lo and gave him the “Loyalty Speech” and after that D-Lo joked how he was running through a brick wall trying to get to Jim Ross so he could re-sign with the company, despite making less money than he would have in WCW.

D-Lo said that Ahmed Johnson was not the brightest bulb in the shed and how he did not have a clue, despite liking him. He then tells a story of how Ahmed was wrestling Undertaker at a PPV for the Title. Ahmed came up to Jerry Brisco in catering and said that he didnt think he was ready to carry the title yet and kept believing that he was actually winning the title when he was not as Jerry told Ahmed to speak with Vince. D-Lo then talks about how Vince did all but throw buckets of money at him and Ahmed still managed to fuck it up.

He then talks about how he got into a fight with Ahmed one night. Ahmed was facing the Rock and wanted to hit him with a Michinoku Driver less than a minute into the match and when told that was Taka’s finisher, Ahmed said he didnt care as Taka was “twelve inches tall” as D-Lo tells us in his hilarious Ahmed voice. Backstage, Ahmed told Rock that he was going to “‘moke his ass” then D-Lo intervened as Ahmed threatened him. Ahmed then grabbed a paint can and tried to swing it at D-Lo, who said that he let Ahmed fall near him and dipped him so he could apply a headlock. He then asked Ahmed if he was proud of himself as the Godfather broke it up. The next day, the met with Jim Ross who told them both that in the WWF they have to get along  or you will have to go along, as he looked over at Ahmed. After that meeting, Simmons told D-Lo not to worry about Ahmed because he was a “stupid motherfucker.”

D-Lo said that the Godfather was cool and tells a funny story about him. While in Buffalo, they were going to drive to Toronto for a show. A few hours before they were going to leave, Godfather told him that he got some “great chronic” so D-Lo reluctantly smoked some and it knocked him on his ass. D-Lo said he took a nap and asked to get woken up before 4pm. He remembers Godfather waking him up and the next thing he knew it was 2am and he was in his hotel bed in Toronto as he did not recall who he wrestled that night, driving through customs, or the driving. Later that morning, the Godfather laughed at D-Lo when he saw him.

On the subject of racism in wrestling, D-Lo said that he has never been the victim of it himself but knows that it is there. When asked about the incident between Michael Hayes and Mark Henry (with Hayes saying he was more “nigga” than him), D-Lo said that was blown out of proportion as if you know Hayes he actually thinks he is black and says if the WWE was not a public company nothing would have happened. He also says that Hayes is not racist at all.

He is now asked about the incident when Droz got paralyzed. D-Lo says that they have talked about it several times since and they had no idea what went wrong as they did the running powerbomb spot to him a 100 times prior. He said that the doctor originally described the injury as something that could be fixed. D-Lo calls that night the worst in his entire life and the next day did a house show match and said he was mentally unable to perform and the next day he flew home and decided to quit as he called Jim Ross, who told him to take a few days off and after missing TV that week, Ross called up D-Lo and told him that there are risks everytime you perform and to not let two careers end on the same night so D-Lo came back. D-Lo said that he has not been the same wrestler since and has been unable to get that same swagger back, talking about how he was deeply depressed at that time and even separated from his fiance, although they are married today. He then said that he started to drink and screw around with different women until he sought treatment for depression. D-Lo said that he did visit Droz a few times but shortly after that he shut everyone out of his life, losing a few friends as a result.

D-Lo said that he had a really good repoire with Steve Austin and would play around backstage to find out various ways Austin could hit him with a stunner, which led to Austin selecting him to be in the 1-800 Collect commercial.

He tells an Owen Hart rib story of how they were wrestling and Owen kept telling him to look down at the referee’s and his own shoes as the laces kept getting untied. They got fixed then Owen told him to look down for a second time and they were untied again, to D-Lo’s amazement. D-Lo then talks about how Owen always wanted everyone to have a good time. He is then asked about the night of Owen’ death and how after working in the opener, he walked by him and saw Owen in the Blue Blazer outfit with the production crew. When Owen fell, D-Lo remembered Jerry Lawler running backstage, looking white as a ghost, saying that he thinks Owen his dead as D-Lo remembers seeing Owen rolling through on a stretcher and how he looked purple and an hour later he was pronounced dead. When asked if the show should have continued, D-Lo said that it is not fair to say Owen would have wanted the show to continue or not because no one knew but that people would have found fault in Vince’s decision no matter what he did.

He is asked about HHH and Stephanie’s relationship and if the boys knew at the time. D-Lo said that they were at Madison Square Garden when HHH and Mick Foley had a bloody match. D-Lo was standing in the Gorilla position with Stephanie, who he said looked at HHH like his wife would look at hi then noticed Chyna staring down Stephanie from behind, looking like she was going to kill her and a week or so after that, it was announced that HHH and Stephanie were dating.

D-Lo is asked about several workers. He said that X Pac is one of his favorite wrestlers to work with, even saying that he was tailor-made to wrestle together. D-Lo said his favorite match was against Val Venis at SummerSlam 1998 as they were given a lot of time to go out and do what they wanted. He then talks about Test and said that he was saddened but not shocked at his passing and said his death could have been avoided because he had been to rehab a few times and knew the dangers of what he was doing. He then goes into addiction problems and is basically pissed off at those who fall into addiction. He calls Bob Holly a “tough son of a bitch” and how he could be an asshole at times. D-Lo tells a story of how he was trying to get hired and doing a dark match with Bob and was supposed to run into his boot but at the last second, Bob put his foot back, instead of leaving it out, then booted D-Lo in the face, busting his lip. After that, Bob told D-Lo he was supposed to turn his head.

He talks about how he hates hardcore wrestling, saying it is garbage. He also jokes that he is a “little bitch” when it comes to that style.

Now, he is asked about getting sent to Puerto Rico with Chaz Warrington (Headbanger Mosh). D-Lo said he was miserable there. Tiger Ali Singh, who D-Lo simply describes as an “idiot” their manager as part of Low Down, got hurt taking a bump and they decided to take Low Down off of TV. D-Lo said he felt miserable as he was back to where he started again and felt the demotion was a slap in the face, especially because his manager got hurt. He also felt he did nothing wrong to get sent to the minors.

D-Lo said that when Tazz came into the company, there was some problems between them as they both wore orange. After ribbing each other for a bit, they got to know each other and stopped that.

When asked about the Jackyl (Don Callis), D-Lo said that Bradshaw ribbed him constantly. He recalls a few instances when Bradshaw nailed his clothing to the wall and then raised his bag 50 feet in the air on a hook. He also recalls Bradshaw buying a bunch of padlocks and started to lock everything that he owned. D-Lo said that it reached a point where it was uncomfortable as to how much Bradshaw hated Callis.

On what happened after he tried out as an announcer for the WWF, D-Lo said that it went well and was part of the first all-black announce team in wrestling with Jonathan Coachman on “Sunday Night Heat.” He considered seguing out of wrestling and becoming a full-time commentator until they replaced him with Lita.

He talks about working with Vince Russo and how they talked a lot as they came up with the chest protector gimmick. He refers to Russo as an “evil genius” and how he is unfairly represented at times as not every bad idea in the world is his fault, despite people blaming him for them. D-Lo then said that Russo once wanted to call him the “Phat Man” as D-Lo said he did not like that idea.

D-Lo was not too fond of getting squashed by Three Minute Warning as he felt he should have been bigger than just a jobber.

When Eric Bischoff came into the company, D-Lo said he was not well received at first and says that when Bischoff made his debut, they did not tell anyone and Bischoff made his first appearance when Booker T was talking live on air. Booker was not told that Bischoff was going to be brought into the company and his reaction was genuine. D-Lo did say that he got along fine with Bischoff.

On how he found out that Vince McMahon bought WCW, he said it was on TV, just like everyone else. He was next to Ron Simmons when that happened who said “we in deep shit now.”

D-Lo said that the WCW locker room was not well received and only a few could survive. When asked about Buff Bagwell, he said that he never saw anyone get fired so fast in his life and how he laid an egg out there.

When Shawn Michaels returned, D-Lo said that he was a completely different person than he was before.

He calls Brock Lesnar a “freak” and how he doesn’t look real due to how strong he is, calling him a close second to Mark Henry in terms of the strongest person he has ever seen.

On the “Tough Enough” concept, D-Lo was not a fan of exposing the business as he thinks it would turn people away and how everyone would get in the business as they think they could wrestle and as a result, wrestling would get watered down.

D-Lo said that the first time he was released from the WWE it was an amicable split as his contract ran out and he wanted to do something else with his career instead of being a jobber. He said that Vince sat him down in Los Angeles and was the one who told him he was getting released.

Vince Russo got him into TNA. At the time, D-Lo said it was less political and a lot of hungry, young guys trying to make the product better. He calls Jeff Jarrett a difficult boss as he had a certain vision and would not take anything else into consideration.

He thought that Monty Brown could have been a star in the business as he had a unique look that stood out and hopes he can return to wrestling after taking care of his family issues.

On how he got back into the WWE, D-Lo was working for Pro Wrestling NOAH and did three dark matches and talks of him getting brought back in happened and he signed. At first, he was told that bigger things were going to happen such as winning the IC Title but after beating Santino, he was off of TV for six weeks then came back and lost to him as he primarily did house shows then on a TV taping in Europe he lost to Mike Knox in 45 seconds and a month later was released due to “economy issues.”

D-Lo said the locker room is completely different from when he started as there is no freedom to make mistakes as everything is so regimented. He said that if the Rock came along today, he would not have been as big as he was because he would not have been given the chance to learn from his mistakes on his interviews. He also talks about there is no more video games, card playing, or music as it is all about wrestling and not a fun atmosphere.

He is a big Randy Orton fan and remembers watching Orton up close as he was a lumberjack and was amazed at how good he was. He also cites Cena and Batista for being able to do great things with what they are given. He then predicts that in three years, Ted DiBiase Jr’s career will be similar to Orton’s.

On wrestling in Japan, D-Lo said that the more you get over there, the more they use you compared to the WWE, when it doesnt matter how over you are, citing Christian at the end of his first WWE run as how he was over yet doing opening matches.

D-Lo got his job back with TNA and how says he is just about transitioned into his role as an agent. He said he was chosen to help lead the company in a different direction and thanks Dixie Carter and Vince Russo for giving him a chance to lead TNA into the future.

When asked about the WWE Wellness Policy, D’Lo said that he was tested 19 times in six months so he knows they are testing in the company but said they will see how the company plays out over time.

On Chris Benoit, he said that the Chris he knew never would have done that but the one who did can rot and burn in hell. He does say that he chooses to remember him as the guy who helped him out in his career.

The interview wraps as he wishes he could have worked with Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels and him joking that he wouldn’t write a book because no one would buy it then he tells the fans how much they appreciate him and how he hopes that they were entertained when he performed.

Final Thoughts: I thought that this was a solid interview. D’Lo came across as a good guy and did not have an agenda or anything like that at all. He also displayed a good sense of humor and seems like an intelligent guy. His Ahmed Johnson impression was a riot too.

Listening to him talk about the incident with Droz and how it impacted his life was a very interesting part of the interview. It seemed like he never did recover from that and is life was sent into a tailspin of sorts as a result.

He also gave good insight into the atmosphere of the locker room during the Attitude Era and also how different it was from when he returned for his second WWE run.

Overall, a solid interview sprinkled with insight and humor that I recommend if you are a fan of the Attitude Era. For those expecting a lot of party stories, there aren’t any as he did not discuss those, but there are plenty of other stories to keep you amused throughout.

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