RF Video Shoot Interview with Jerry Lynn


This was filmed in

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

It runs for two hours and forty-five minutes long

The interview starts with Lynn being asked if he was a wrestling fan growing up as a child. Lynn said that he was as his dad watched that as Lynn talks about watching the AWA while growing up in Minnesota. He was fans of The Crusher and Baron Von Raschke as well as some of the “job guys” like George “Scrap Iron” Gadaski and Kenny Jay. He also talked about how he loved watching Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura. He also put over how much he loved Ray Stevens and Bobby Heenan when he was smartened up to the business.

Lynn said that he never planned on becoming a wrestler, especially since he was not a bigger guy like most of the wrestlers were at that time (early 80’s). He talks about how his wife worked with the girl who dated Soldat Ustinov and went to watch him wrestle for an independent show run by Eddie Sharkey. After watching the matches, Lynn said he would wrestle with his brother in the backyard as kids and it looked better than that. He eventually got to meet Usinov, who told him to train. Lynn told Usinov he was too small but Usinov convinced him that they would pair him up with guys his size. He met with Ed Sharkey but did not train with him.

A few years later, Lynn was working for a cable company installing wires underground. His co-worker was Todd Becker, who found out about Brad Rheingans holding a class for $2,500. They took out a loan and trained with two other guys. Lynn puts over Rheingans for his amateur accomplishments for a bit, saying that he was an incredible shooter as well. He also said that the first few weeks of training they were not allowed in the ring as they only did matwork. They also did a lot of cardio as well, something Lynn said his very important to wrestling. Lynn then goes off topic and says that wrestling is like the music business in that you are on the road a lot and its tough to make it but wrestling is harder because you are destroying your body.

His first match was at a TV taping for an independent show run by Jim Cook. Lynn said he was scared to death as a lot of the guys were “gassed up” and he was smaller. Lynn talks about doing squash matches around this time and recalls doing one for the WWF when he went up against the Big Boss Man and Akeem, saying on TV it looked brutal but both guys worked as light as a feather.

He then talks about working for Jerry Jarrett in Memphis. Eddie Gilbert brought him into the territory and Lynn was ecstatic as Gilbert was one of his favorite wrestlers. His first match was against Ken Wayne and Lynn said he was scared as Memphis kept the heels and faces separate so he did not get a chance to go over the match but Wayne walked him through it and there were no problems. Lynn puts over how much he learned as he teamed with Cody Michaels, mostly jobbing to other teams coming into the territory. Lynn told Eddie Marlin that if he was just doing to get jobbed out and not learn to work, he was going to go home. Lynn left as he saw they had nothing for him there then went home as he said that he needed a real job to support his wrestling habit, seeing how he was not making any money.

Lynn is asked about Global Wrestling. He said that he was not shocked that it went under because once the money was tight and they stopped bringing in name guys, they used local talents and it came off like a “glorified indy show.” He loved working with Sean Waltman and said he met Raven there, when he was Scotty the Body but they did not get close until later on in their careers.

He got a role as a stuntman in the film “Crossing the Bridge” and that he had to get his haircut for the role so they ran an angle on TV when Waltman cut his hair then after that, Waltman put Lynn’s hair in baggies and ended up selling the for $4 a bag, making a total of $80 that night.

On his first tour of Japan, Lynn said he did not like it much there and not a fan of the food. He said that the Great Sasuke’s nickname was “Super Candlewax” due to being known as a very kinky guy. When asked if Sasuke was difficult to deal with, Lynn said not when he was there but that when he sees a wrestler he wants to know how long they have been on the road, if they are hurt or hungry before judging them as this is such a tough business that you never know what someone is going through at any given point.

Lynn talks about going to Smoky Mountain after leaving Global. He wrestled against Killer Kyle and got compliments from Tim Horner and Tommy Young. Mikey Whipwreck interrupts the shoot as Lynn wants him to do an Ozzy Osborne impression but he declines and just says hi before leaving.

After that, he went to WCW. Lynn talks about knowing Bischoff since the AWA then goes on to talk briefly about Sabu, his first opponent on Nitro, and how he knew him from Japan. Lynn’s first contract was for a nightly deal and he talks about breaking his arm working a match against Dean Malenko when he did a super gutbuster, a move that Lynn did not want to take but said Dean and Eddie Guerrero talked him into taking the move. Lynn said he freaked out but luckily it was the end of the match. When he got backstage, his arm was bent the wrong way and he pushed it back to normal and heard it snap in the process. Lynn then talks about how a doctor told him he probably has detached tendons and a lot of scar tissue. Since he was on a nightly deal and unable to wrestle, he took a job at a temp agency for $8 an hour with his arm in a sling until he was able to get back into the ring. When asked if he is getting surgery for this today, Lynn said that he can’t because he needs to keep working in order to make money. When he was healthy enough to wrestle, he got a one-year deal for $1,000 a week. He had to move to Atlanta and would fly home to see his daughter once a month but it got too expensive.

He then talks about WCW and how no one from the people who ran the company to the production guys cared about the product and were only there for the money as they all helped destroy WCW.

Lynn tells a story about how he was sent to New Japan by WCW, along with other talents he did not name. He said that Alex Wright was originally supposed to go but he got out of the trip as Lynn said the other guys loved to beat the crap out of him so they started to treat Lynn like that. Lynn said that at first he didn’t mind but as it went on, they got mad when Lynn wouldn’t engage with them. The second night of the tour, Lynn broke his foot on a dive after his opponent moved back further than normal for a dive. He stayed and worked a bit longer as one of the wrestlers, Black Cat, gave him a few Percocets as Lynn would take one before his match. Lynn said that he worked the tour as the other guys gave him shit and made fun of him for being hurt. Later on, he got hurt trying a dropkick when one of the Mexican guys he was facing moved out of the way as he decided that he wasn’t going to take the move. Lynn then crashed on his shoulder and fucked that up badly to the point the next morning, it took him ten minutes to put on his shirt. Lynn then went to Saito and asked for a day off but was told he could get sent home for being hurt, as Lynn asked him to stay but just have this night off. One of the young boys took him to see a doctor in Nagasaki, which was bombed by America during World War II. Lynn said the place was filthy and the doctor told him there was nothing wrong and to stop acting like a baby. When he got back home to Atlanta, he was diagnosed with a broken foot. However, when the other guys came back, he heard from Mike Enos that one of them told the WCW office that he faked an injury in order to get sent home early. Lynn said that another one of their friends treated him like shit in WCW then the office started to job him out. (The “other” guys on tour with him were Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit and according to Cagematch.net, Lynn’s opponent the night he broke his foot, the second night, was Chris Benoit ).

After getting fired by WCW, Lynn contemplated quitting wrestling altogether as he was not having any fun. He worked for the WWF in the Light Heavyweight Tournament against Taka Michinoku but shortly after that he got called up by Chris Candido about working a few shots. Lynn said he did not want to get hit by weapons then talks about how he worked against Candido in his debut and it went well.

On Paul Heyman, Lynn said that he had a great mind for wrestling and respected his work but right off the bat you could tell he was full of shit.

Lynn is asked about a few talents. He said that RVD was stiff and reckless at times but learned to work with him as they did house show matches together for almost a year. He said they both went all out even at the house shows. He said that Justin Credible was a good heel and loved their match at Heatwave 98. He liked working with Tajiri but said you would never know when he was going to stiff you on a kick and he usually surprised you with them, saying that he got stiffed badly with a kick to the back of the head at November to Remember 1999. He enjoyed working with Rhino, saying that he was the first to work with him in ECW and after the match he told Heyman that he was ready.

He is asked about getting the ECW World Title at the Anarchy Rulz PPV in 2000. Lynn said he found out that Heyman did not want to give him the belt but Justin Credible talked him into it then Lynn talked about Heyman trying to feel him out to see if he was a mark for the belt. Lynn said he was not a “belt mark” as he would rather get paid instead.

On Mike Awesome and how he left ECW, Lynn said that he doesnt understand why they just didnt ask him to drop the title and said a lot of the guys in the locker room came off as “whiny bitches” over the whole situation.

Lynn is asked about Heyman ever lying to him as he said whenever Heyman opens his mouth it is a lie. He talks about the checks bouncing and how it was a crapshoot come payday whether or not the check would be there.

When asked about what caused ECW’s downfall, Lynn said the WWF and WCW started to sign their stars so in order to prevent that Heyman signed guys to contracts and ended up being unable to afford to pay the guys.

He said that he didnt want to go to the final ECW PPV (Guilty as Charged in 2001) as he found out through Mikey Whipwreck that they were only getting half of their paychecks. Lynn then said that he informed the rest of the locker room about this and an hour before the show, told Heyman that he was not going to work the show. Lynn then asked Heyman if he would mind him watching the show backstage as Heyman then told him he was going to be in the main event putting over RVD and would get his heat back as Heyman said he wouldnt. Heyman then tried to convince Lynn to wrestle the match, saying he would give him his full paycheck if he put RVD over. Lynn said that he actually left his tights at home because he didnt want to be there to begin with then ended up wrestling the match in pants that were too big on him and he had to use electrical tape to hold them up. Lynn ended up getting paid his full check that night. On how much Lynn is owed by Heyman, he said he was about three months behind in pay, owed 14 PPV bonuses, and owed what he made off of merchandise then gives a “lowball” estimate of $75,000.

Lynn talks about how he met his biological parents when he was 30 years old and how they suffered from alcohol abuse. Lynn said that he always kept that in mind whenever he went out drinking.

On the night Sandman was naked in Pensacola, FL, Lynn said that he was nude backstage before the show messing around with people and even ran Dawn Marie’s brush through his pubes. Sandman also had a beer in his hand and kept acting like he was going to jump in with RVD, who was jumping rope backstage. He then said he was with Credible no-selling Sandman, who was looking for attention, and Sandman thought it was great they were not paying him attention after a while. When it came time for the show, Sandman came down with his pants around his ankles but still had his underwear on at first. Sandman then motioned to take them off but Tommy Dreamer begged him not to as he did not want to risk losing the building due to him being naked. Sandman stopped at first but took them off as soon as Dreamer turned around and mentioned how it was hilarious.

After ECW went under, he called up Jim Ross as when he worked the Light Heavyweight Tournament a few years prior, Ross told him that they might have something for him in the future as he turned them down. Lynn said he was signed for three years but that they were three one-yer deals so the WWF always had an out clause.

On his first night with the company (Backlash 2001), Lynn said he was told about getting the Light Heayweight Title as soon as he got to the building during the match on “Sunday Night Heat.” He was also told to be a heel and thought it wouldnt work as he was known from ECW in Illinois and over with the crowd. When he got backstage after it was over, Heyman told Lynn that the office was surprised how over he was with the crowd. He dropped it a month later as he talks about how he only did one match on RAW and two on Smackdown the whole time he was there. Lynn saw the writing on the wall when he had a match against RVD that was taped for Heat then when it came out, the match was edited with most of his offense taken out.

Lynn talks about backstage politics and how after one match, Gerald Brisco yelled at him backstage for doing Spike Dudley’s finisher as Lynn pointed out how he did a DDT while Spike used a Diamond Cutter when he ran up the ropes then walked off. Lynn said that Michael Hayes came up to him in the locker room just to be careful what he did in the matches as he goes off on agents telling you to do different things and how you would get yelled at by them.

He got hurt wrestling someone in a dark match and had to get knee surgery that he said required six months recovery time. John Laurinaitis called him up after three months and asked if he was ready to come back but said the doctor told him it would take six months. A week later, Lynn got fired. Lynn said he was put in an unsafe working environment as the guy he wrestled had no business getting a tryout due to inexperience.

After the WWF, Lynn worked for a few different independents then eventually got hired to work for NWA-TNA. He ended up moving to Nashville as Lynn felt that when money gets tight in a promotion, they stop flying guys in to work so if he was local the company would use him more.

When asked, he said that Jeff Jarrett does put himself over at the expense of others. He even points out his blowoff match against Raven and how they had to turn about 1,000 people away before the show then Jarrett booked the match as he kicked out of Raven’s finisher after being handcuffed and beat up and ended up getting booed out of the building and got mad afterwards as Lynn questions how you could not see that coming.

Lynn said that today’s high-flying wrestlers do not put in any psychology in their matches and claim to know a lot about the business due to the “sheets” and the internet. He said that highspots and weapon shots don’t make a match. He said in Ring of Honor the first time he was there, the fans sat with their arms folded and would golf-clap after seeing a spot they liked as he likens them to critics and not fans, even stating they are not there to have a good time and just want to impress everyone with how they know what is going to happen.

On Vince Russo, Lynn said that he got along with him and gets a kick out of fans starting “Fire Russo” chants as there is someone above him that has the final say in the decisions.

About Dixie Carter, Lynn said she doesnt know the business and that Jeff Jarrett is not going to smarten her up.

He talks about having to job to David Flair and Mike Sanders. Lynn said he told Jerry Jarrett about his concerns over the product as it seemed like WCW during its dying days. Jerry told him that his own son (Jeff Jarrett) doesnt even see the problems. Lynn said that Flair told him that he felt sorry as Sanders, the heel, was playing up to the crowd as Lynn told him not to do that as you won’t get heat. Sanders told him that it worked in England and blew off Lynn’s advice.

Lynn tells a story about how he was in Scott D’Amore’s office one day and said the company was pulling the rug out from under him because he was getting more over than Jeff Jarrett, who it turns out was in the office next door and heard that so as a result, Lynn sat at home for five months and when he came back it was for less money and he was putting people over. Lynn found out Jarrett heard what he said as D’Amore told him Jarrett came in when he left and said that Lynn needed a “vacation.” He then goes on about being the “Barry Horowitz” of TNA.

He tells a story about the World X Cup and how Juventud Guerrera demanded to take most of the offense in their match and even ended up dropping Lynn on his shoulder, which caused an injury. Lynn said that Guerrera walked right past him without saying a word when he got backstage, where Lynn was icing his shoulder. He was then made into an agent as he was hurt so he could at least pay the bills.

On how he would fix TNA, Lynn said its okay to have some comedy but not for the entire show as you cannot take it seriously. He refers to WWE as “satire” of a wrestling company today.

He talks about how he was barely making money and told he could not work for any independent organizations with a distribution deal so he called Terry Taylor, asking for his release. Taylor called him back as Jarrett wanted to know why so Lynn told him that he had been there for over three years without a raise and no room to grow. After that, TNA granted him his release.

Lynn tells people breaking in today to get a college degree first and look at it as a hobby and not that you are going to be the next Hulk Hogan, which is something that Brad Rheingans told him. Also, do not be afraid to say no to something you are uncomfortable doing in the ring as you have to protect your body.

About the Chris Benoit tragedy, Lynn said that he is a murderer and cannot understand someone who would murder their own child. He will not praise him for his wrestling, either. Lynn said that he always looked like he was on the “gas” and that any number of factors could have led to what he did.

When asked about his favorite rib, Lynn said that in the AWA they would put sardines under the bus driver’s seat and in the Winter they would put limburger cheese on the engine block so it would reek when he car started to heat up.

He closes the interview by thanking his fans and that he would like to write a book but would need to talk to people about things as his memory his poor.

Final Thoughts: I thought this was a good shoot overall. At times, I did feel like Lynn gave off the vibe of someone who complained all of the time though. He even said himself at one point he woud vent to other wrestlers and at times would say the wrong things to people. Lynn also had some woe-is-me stuff regarding how he was booked. Then again, this guy suffered a shit-ton of injuries and is barely getting by today off of Indy bookings. He also admitted to having memory problems and cannot afford to get much-much needed surgery.

The thing I took away the most from this was how beaten down and broke he was. The guy is slumming it just to get by and has to work temp agency jobs for near minimum wage when he is not getting enough bookings. Like he said, most wrestlers are not going to turn out like Hulk Hogan and its a tough life. And to make it worse, his best and what should have been his most profitable years where spent in a company that was stiffing him on pay.

I thought Lynn had some eye opening stories here and you can tell he loathed Benoit and not just for what he did to his own family. Benoit made sure to fuck with his pay and his health, providing another example of his destructive behaviors before murdering his wife and child.

All in all, a good interview of a realy journeyman wrestler. I do recommend this interview as Lynn was candid and not holding anything back.

You can purchase the DVD of this interview for $20 or the Digital Download for $9.99 by clicking on the links below.

http://www.rfvideo.com/shootwithjerrylynn1.aspx

http://store.rfvideonow.com/downloads/jerry-lynn-shoot-interview/

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/4/87
Saturday: RoH Beating the Odds 9/6/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/5/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/11/87
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD


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