RF Video Shoot Interview with the Midnight Express


This was released in 2001 I believe. It is the version with Stan Lane & Bobby Eaton.

The Interview was hosted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry.

It runs for two hours and nineteen minutes long

 

The interview starts with both guys asking how they got started in wrestling. Lane goes first and said he was a bouncer at “Mother Fletcher’s” in Myrtle Beach, SC and worked at a hotel. One day, he saw an order for four Bloody Mary’s for someone named “Flair.” He figured it might be for Ric Flair so he took it up to the room and sure enough it was Ric Flair, wearing just his underwear, who answered the door. It turned out to be the first night he met is current wife, Beth. Flair asked him about gyms to work out at in the area and other stuff as it was his first time there. He showed up later with Blackjack Mulligan and Greg Valentine as Lane made sure there were hot chicks there and that went well so they went to a nightclub and after that, Flair gave Lane his number and started to train him to wrestle, in his backyard. His first territory was in Amarillo as Flair got him there. His gimmick was going to be “Nature Boy” Stan Lane and only lasted about three months, stating it did not go to well. Lane credits Tank Patton for being very helpful. Eaton said he loved wrestling as a fan and started helping setting up the rings for Nick Gulas’ territory when they came down to Huntsville. He got to know some of the guys and said Tojo Yammamoto really took him under his wing. Eaton said Gulas himself was a character and had a bad reputation for stiffing guys on payouts. Feinstein asks him about his 60 minute matches against Randy Savage, who Eaton calls “crazy as hell,” and talked about how you can go forever when you are younger.

 

 

Lane talks about being part of the Fabulous Ones, with Steve Keirn, and how they wrestled Eaton and Koko Ware in Memphis for Jerry Jarrett. Lane said he met Jarrett in Florida and thinks that Jarrett had the Fabulous Ones gimmick in mind with him and Terry Taylor but Keirn got into Jarrett’s ear. He talks about possibly being the first team to use music video to promote themselves. He talks about having bloodbaths against the Moondogs and the Sheepherders and going up against the Road Warriors, who were taking the world by storm. Lane then tells a story about wrestling in the AWA against the Warriors, who had all their friends and families in attendance as it was in their hometown. The Fabulous Ones were supposed to go over. Before the match Hawk told Lane that they were not going to do the finish and to do it their way so no one gets hurt. Keirn didn’t really understand what Hawk said but Hawk thought Keirn was giving him shit and started beating the piss out of him. They went outside where Keirn grabbed a chair and the Warriors then got pissed and left.

 

 

Eaton is asked about meeting Jim Cornette for the first time. It took place in Mid South and at the time, Cornette was taking photographs and Eaton himself did not have anything to do so they paired them up, along with Dennis Condrey, to form the Midnight Express. Eaton talks about the fans and how crazy they were and it got so bad that Cornette had to stick a horseshoe inside of the tennis racket case and one time, a few fans jumped on his back so Eaton tried to whack them with the racket but ended up hitting Cornette and Grizzly Smith by accident instead as it was chaos.

 

 

Both guys liked working for Bill Watts. Lane said he could be a bully but was “fair” about it then talked about the low payoffs and the awfully long road trips. They talked about how dangerous the roads were and that they were in awful condition. Eaton talks about teaming with Condrey and said it was his first biggest push. His early memories of working with the Rock & Roll Express in Mid South were that they were over and in the matches they beat the shit out of them.

 

 

On Jerry Lawler, Lane said he was out for himself but at the same time was the “King of Memphis.” Lane also thinks that the Fabulous Ones selling a lot of merchandise and tickets bothered Lawler but there was no real serious heat between them.

 

 

Lane said he had fun with the Fabulous Ones videos, stating that he helped produce the ZZ Top one. On Keirn outside of the ring, Lane said he was fun but married and kept the balance. Lane also puts him over for being smart. He also said that Keirn was a great ribber and tells a story of how Jacques Rougeau and Terry Taylor kept arguing in the car so Keirn said next time it happened, they were leaving them on the side of the road. So, they started to argue and Keirn pulled over and made it look like they were stopping to take a leak, as Lane said they were drinking a bit, then jumped back into the car with Lane and took off. Lane then said that someone picked them up from the road about a half-hour later.

 

 

Eaton talks about wrestling against Magnum TA & Mr. Wrestling II, who both didn’t like each other. Eaton thinks it was jealously stemming from Magnum’s push. On wrestling the Rock & Roll Express in scaffold matches and how scary they were. One night, a fan tried to climb up the scaffolding. (Quick note, Eaton calls all fans “marks.”). On working the Von Erichs in Texas, Eaton said they didn’t want to be there and gave notice after the first night but lasted six months. Eaton said that the Von Erichs were good to work with though. He liked working with the Fantastics, as Lane chimes in how they were a spin-off of the Fabulous Ones.

 

 

Lane talks about Verne Gagne and how he was stuck in a “time warp.” Lane said he came in as the Fabulous Ones and Verne wanted them to cut promos about being with movie stars and women all day as Lane said that would make them heel. Verne insisted they do this and after the promos, the fans turned on the team, joking that they came off as “pricks” in the interviews.

 

 

While working for Crockett, Eaton is asked about what happened to Condrey. He said one night he stopped showing up and did not see any warning signs.  Lane said he went from making $600 weekly in Florida to thousands a week working for the Crocketts. Lane puts over Ricky Morton for being one of the best white-meat babyfaces of all-time. They talk about the scaffold match in which Cornette tore up his knee and Lane said it was his biggest payoff, at $10,000. Eaton said scaffold matches are a good way to kill your town.

 

 

Lane thought teaming with Eaton and Cornette would work as he had more charisma than Condrey and the whole package. On how Cornette changed throughout the years, Lane said that he was making money in Memphis taking photos and how he was one of the first managers to make as much as the wrestlers. Years later, working for Crockett, when it was time to renew their deals, Cornette was offered more money. Cornette told the company to pay the team more and they countered by offering to split up bonuses but Cornette declined. Lane said there was a little bit of heat over that between them but stated it wasn’t major.

 

 

When asked if the WWF was interested, Lane said not with him as Eaton stated they flew them up when he was teaming with Condrey.

 

 

On beating Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson in Philadelphia, PA for the NWA Tag Team Titles, Lane said that they were one of the only teams to hold both the World and U.S. Titles.

 

 

Against Ric Flair & Barry Windham at “Clash of the Champions,” Lane said it was an honor to finally face his trainer and how Windham was a terrific worker.

 

 

Lane tells a story about working with the Fantastics and how he was supposed to catch Tommy Rogers on the outside but forgot as Rogers crashed to the floor. Lane said Rogers looked up to him from the ground and said “why” as Lane said he didn’t get hurt luckily and they laugh about it for a bit.

 

 

Gentry asks Eaton if he asked Condrey why he left when he came back to the NWA. Eaton said he never bothered asking him and figured if Condrey wanted him to know he would have told him. Condrey also bailed on the company again shortly after his return.

 

 

They are asked about teams they worked against in the NWA. Lane said nothing really stood out when they wrestled Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk. He calls them well-built and good-looking babyfaces. Eaton talks about having a problem with the Freebirds one night as they didn’t want to sell for Cornette, even though they sold for Garvin’s wife so Steve Williams threatened the Freebirds with a chair. On the Samoan Swat Team, Lane said that Samu would not sell for them at the start but got better the work they worked together. He also tells a story during a battle royal where Brad Rheingans took Samu down and had “him tied up in a knot” as Lane said Samu learned a lesson how there is always going to be someone tougher than you. They loved working against the Steiners. Lane said Rick would tell him to kick him as hard as he can in the face so he did as Lane said it didn’t even bother Rick one bit. He talked about how Scott would stretch guys out he didn’t like, naming Lex Luger, but Lane said Scott liked him.

 

 

Lane talks about quitting while Herd was in charge as he was burned out on the road and said screw it then went home. He said the final straw was at a TV taping when Ole Anderson wanted them to do a job to a lower-level team so Cornette suggested they leave and they did, except for Eaton who stayed. After that, Cornette told Lane they should open their own company but Eaton said it was too risky as he had a wife and three kids and needed steady pay.

 

 

On being managed by Paul Heyman, Eaton said it was no comparison to Cornette. He then talks about being teamed up with Arn Anderson and said they were dull together. Lane is asked about being teamed up with Tom Prichard and how the travel was brutal as they drove up-and-down mountains and his car was getting beat up and the money wasn’t worth it and the towns weren’t doing well so Cornette had to hotshot things as Lane said he didn’t feel it was worth getting stabbed in some small, redneck town for a couple hundred bucks a night and since he saved his money, he decided to leave. Lane said he gave Cornette 3 months notice.

 

 

Lane talks about ending up in the WWF. He said they were sure Vince McMahon was going to prison and hired Jerry Jarrett to take over and Jarrett called Lane, who would do Radio DJ voice impressions and actually does it here and its great. So, Jarrett hired him for cheap and he did some play-by-play and interviews but had never done it before and puts over how it was tough being paired with Vince, who ended up not going to prison. When that happened, Jarrett was let go as Lane said once that happened the WWF did everything they could do run him off. Lane liked Vince at first, saying he was nice to him. Lane also said he did not want to get back into the ring as he was done and happy with that.

 

 

Eaton said he never minded doing a lot of “jobs” at the end of his WCW run. On whether or not is top rope severely injured him, Eaton said his stuff was basic and not doing backflips like guys are doing today.

 

 

On Goldberg, Eaton said he was extremely strong and connected with the fans as Lane chimes in that the biggest mistake they made with him was letting him talk as he was a strong, silent ass-kicker who shouldnt say more than a few words and sit in the background while someone does the talking for him. Lane says he has a million dollar work.

 

 

Eaton is asked about Eric Bischoff’s comments about him being fired for not showing up to train at the power plant. He said it was bullshit then talks about how he was doing stuff for the WCW video games in Vancouver and three different guys from the office would tell him three different places to go to when he was done. Eaton said that he called the office for not getting his check that week and found out that he was released.

 

 

On how he got hired as a trainer for the WWE Developmental, Eaton said that talked to Jim Ross and got hired as a trainer in Memphis. After that he went to OVW and got fired when he found out they switched the locks on day at the door as he claimed someone had it out for him. (I’m confused as at the end, Lane mentions how Eaton is training guys in OVW now).

 

 

Lane talks about wrestling today and says he enjoys the Rock. He then follows by talking about TV wrestling today and how they cram in a bunch of highspots in a limited amount of time for TV purposes, along with the glitz and glamour. He then says its changed from his day as the fans today do not believe that its real and stuff like working an arm for a long time is not going to keep the viewer’s interest and how all of that is killing the “spot show” business.

 

 

On their favorite guys to work, Lane said the Rock & Roll Express because you never had to worry about them hurting you and were over like hell. On the least favorite, Eaton said he liked everyone while Lane elaborated a bit more saying he didnt care for guys who wouldnt want to sell for them.

 

 

They talk about road stories as Lane joked how he fucked with Cornette all of the time. One night they stopped at a store to get Eaton some beer. Lane bought some plastic ants as Cornette was deathly afraid of bugs. Lane started to talk about the mosquitos at the show (they wrestled outdoors that day) and how he was itchy as Cornette said he was as well. Lane then took an ant and showed it to Cornette, who was freaking out a bit then showed him a few more as Cornette started itching himself, thinking they were all over him, and after that, Lane threw a bunch of them all at his face as Cornette was going out of his mind, swerving the car all over the place. He then stopped the car on the side of the road and took off his clothes, yelling how he was covered with ants as Lane and Eaton are hysterically laughing. After that, a state trooper pulled up and that was when they told Cornette the “rib” is over.

 

 

Name Association Time:

Bill Dundee: Lane said he was a hard worker who loves the business.

Jackie Fargo: Eaton said he was his favorite guy ever and was very funny as well.

Jimmy Hart: Eaton says he is always involved in something and loves wrestling.

Austin Idol: Lane thought he was cool and had a great gimmick but a limited worker.

Eddie Graham: Lane said he was a legend and just a rough, tough guy who would fight for the business. He also talks about flying in his plane and how Graham would drink while flying.

Dusty Rhodes: Lane credits Rhodes for giving him a bunch of breaks and recalls a time at the Sportatorium when he was doing an impression of Dusty, who walked in, as Dusty told Lane there will be no “lisping” when he is around.

Terry Taylor: Eaton likes him and says that if you do not know him he can get on your nerves.

Sting: Lane loved his original look but I didnt care for the scarecrow look.

Lex Luger: Lane said everyone pretty much hated Luger when he started out in Florida and thinks it was because he didnt have to “pay dues” as he talks about how it was a transition period from when guys didnt have to start out everywhere before getting a huge push. Lane said he traveled with him and was quiet, intelligent, but somewhat aloof.

Barry Windham: Lane recalls Windham coming to Florida straight out of high school and how he was tall and lanky but turned out to be a great worker.

Rick Rude: Eaton said he worked with Rude when he first started out in Mid South and didnt think he would ever make it in the business.

 

 

When asked about any regrets, Lane said he never should have left WCW to go to Smoky Mountain with Cornette as he could have stayed another five years and made more money.

 

 

On any locker room fights, Lane said he saw Tank Patton and Thunderbolt Patterson fought in Mid South but it was a short fight and also saw Brian Pillman beat up Tom Zenk at the Atlanta, GA Holiday Inn. Eaton claims to have never seen any fights.

 

 

They are asked about who they would want to wrestle that they never have before as Lane jokes he would want to be in a six-person tag with five of the WWE Divas. Eaton didnt provide an answer.

 

 

The interview closes with both guys thanking their fans.

 

 

Final Thoughts: I enjoyed this interview. My complaints were that the questions asked where not really in a timeline and kind of all over the place. They also talked more about their careers than the actual team. Also, while Lane was great, Eaton barely gave more than one word answers and kept chewing gum (or tobacco) and was really hard to understand at times. I also do not think he was fully able to comprehend some of the questions that were asked.

Lane was the star here. He was funny, told great stories, and had insight. He would be a great choice in any shoot interview format. Eaton’s stories of how he got fired as a trainer just seemed odd to me. I cant really explain it in writing and you have to see the shoot to get where I am coming from I suppose. Sorry, folks.

Overall, I recommend this shoot as there are enough good stories and insights to keep you entertained, especially if you are a fan of the 80’s Tag Team scene.

 

You can purchase the DVD of this shoot for $15 or download a digital copy for $7.99 by clicking on the links below.

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

http://www.highspots.com/p/VD_midnight_express_lane_eaton.html

 

On a side note, I will be going on vacation so there will not be any shoot interview recaps until the first Thursday in November, when I will have a recap of the Scott Hall YouShoot, which will be released on November 3rd.

 


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