This was filmed in 2009
It is a two-disc set. Disc One runs for one hour and forty-three minutes. Disc Two runs at one hour and ten minutes.
This was filmed in 2009
It is a two-disc set. Disc One runs for one hour and forty-three minutes. Disc Two runs at one hour and ten minutes.
This was filmed in March of 2015
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at two hours and twelve minutes long
They start off by talking about the first shoot interview they did sixteen years prior at Rey’s home in San Diego as Rey talks about his son being one year old at the time.
Rob then leaves off where the first interview did in 1999 by asking him about WCW at that time, specifically the dying days. Rey said that he wasn’t paying much attention to the politics and had to plan for himself. He talks about Eric Bischoff wanting to remove his mask but beyond that he didn’t have any problems in WCW.
On the sale of WCW to Bischoff not going through, Rey said that he was just focusing on having fun in the ring and mentions how he still has the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Title belt today.
When Shane McMahon showed up on the final WCW Nitro, Rey said that he only said hi to him and a lot of guys were nervous. He said that his contract was really expensive at that point and WWE waited until it expired to approach him.
After WCW, Rey did a few Independents and worked for CMLL in Mexico. He talks about working against CM Punk in IWA Mid-South and mentions how they clicked from day one and thinks he is awesome.
He first learned that the WWE was interested in him at the beginning of 2002, right around the time his WCW contract was expiring. Rey was in Puerto Rico at the time and said that he was willing to start over again to prove himself if necessary as he wanted to have some job security. Rey said he wasn’t walking in as a negotiator and just looking for an opportunity.
On WWE wanting him to go back to using the mask, Rey said he liked that but at the time was working on a new character and had a gladiator look, complete with shoulder pads, but when he got to OVW they told him they wanted the mask.
Rey said that there were no initial promises but they just went along as he grew successful. He said he felt the acceptance of the locker room and the fans.
About the WWE locker room, Rey said he was part of a great era in that regard and got along with everyone. He said that he is easy going and built strong relationships with certain performers. When asked, he does feel that Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko helped him get into the company.
He talks about doing everything he could in the ring because he never felt like he could do a great promo like Kurt Angle or Ric Flair. Rey said that never bothered the office because they let him showcase his abilities in the ring.
When asked why he was sent to Smackdown instead of RAW, Rey said he thinks they were trying to build up Smackdown as HHH, Rock and Kurt were on that brand at the time. He said that Dean also protected him as he would stand up for him in creative meetings to make sure he was not given terrible material.
On teaming with Edge, Rey said that they had a lot of chemistry and mentions that he clicked with every partner he had in the WWE now that he thinks about it.
Rey is asked about the WWE Cruiserweight Division. He said that they had a ton of talent and it could have been a huge deal if it was kept by itself, comparing it to the beginning of his WCW run. He said they all wanted to work together to put on good matches. When asked, Rey said that he didn’t feel like he was kept in the Cruiserweight Division for too long and wanted to stay there so it couild grow, hoping that International talents would end up joining.
He is asked about the ECW One Night Stand and the WWE bringing back the brand. Rey thought it was going to work when in started but once they took it to the arenas, it didn’t feel the same and lacked the same passion of the ECW arena. He said he was happy with his match against Psychosis but was under constraints, unlike the original match in 1995.
On his feud with Eddie, Rey said that he loved the chance to work with Eddie again. When asked if it was better than their feud in WCW, Rey said they could never reach that same greatness in the ring. He said that Eddie had a lot of input into the feud and was for Rey’s son to get involved. When asked, Rey said he was not against it and thought the idea of his son being on the road with his dad, and getting paid, was a good thing. Rey talks about his son shooting vignettes then go back to playing with action figures when finished. Rey also said that Eddie would never let up when hurt and would go all out no matter what. When asked why he didn’t ask the office to take time off Rey said there feud was doing great and their mentality was to always perform at their best. He said they would talk about it amongst themselves but that was all. Rey was sad when their feud ended but loved their ladder match. He tells a story of Eddie getting pissed as the finish was not going as planned so he started to swear in English and Spanish.
Still on Eddie, Rey said that he hid his injuries well in the ring but backstage he would be on the floor in pain.
He is now asked about the day Eddie was found dead. Rey said he changed his flight to spend a few hours with his family and because of that, missed the flight he would have taken with Eddie and Chavo. He arrived to the hotel in Minnesota and one of the truck drivers asked if he heard what happen and that was how he found out. Rey said it hit him hard. He said that he wanted to see him so he went over to the hotel and was with Chavo, Dean, Chris Benoit, and the doctor, who let them all see Eddie before they took him away.
On the RAW tribute, Rey said that Shawn Michaels came up to him and said Eddie always wanted to see them work and asked if he would be able to have a match and that was how it happened.
When asked who came up with his angle against Randy Orton where Orton said that Eddie was in hell, Rey said that he was talking about it with Randy and they both felt that line was too strong but thought of Eddie and said he was always about the business so they went through with it as Rey cannot recall who came up with that line.
Rob asks him about Vickie Guerrero getting a job with the WWE and how he felt about that. Rey said that she did great. He is also asked about Eddie’s daughter not making it despite a few stints in Developmental, Rey said that she seemed to be training well at the end but hinted she was not passionate about the business.
Rey said the Wellness Policy is a good idea and as talent, you have to look at it as the future of wrestling because besides drug testing it included cardiovascular and electro testing. Whether or not the WWE should fine talents for smoking weed, Rey said that is a question for someone else to answer.
He said he first found out he was winning the 2006 Royal Rumble the night of the show. Rey said he remembers the match being long and how he spent a lot of time on the mat. Rob then asks him about the rumor of Vince not wanting him to be the champion despite others in the company wanting to make him the champ. Rey said he is not a politician and does not get involved in that so he just took things as they came.
On winning the title at WrestleMania 22, Rey said he got to work with two of his favorite American workers in Orton and Angle. He is then asked about the rumor of Vince believing Rey was lucky to win the strap so he would put him against monsters on purpose as Rey doesn’t really give an answer. Rob then asks him if he felt he was booked to fail as Rey says at the end of the day he was the champion no matter what so he didn’t get mad at losing non-title matches. He does say that he could have done bigger things with the belt, especially among the Latino fanbase.
Rey denies the rumor of him following Palmer Canon to the airport after he quit the company during the European tour trying to talk him out of leaving. He does say that was just “boys being boys” and notes how wrestling today is missing the camaraderie they had back then, noting how you also have to be careful what you do in part of social media. Rey also says JBL is not a bully.
He is asked about several talents. Rey said that he never would have thought he would work against Booker T in the WWE when they were in WCW but said they were friends and had great chemistry so they had good matches. He became good friends with Edge after they were a tag team and said they always thought up new things to do and how he loved his match against Edge at Elimination Chamber. Rey calls Chris Jericho the “American” version of Eddie and
When asked about his surgeries, Rey talks about how he regrets not stretching out before wrestling and how that would have added a few more years to his career. He said that he also never listened to the old-timers who would tell him to cut down on the big moves.
Rob asks Rey if it was true that Chris Benoit was never the same after Eddie passed away. Rey said he traveled with Chris after Eddie passed and although he didn’t speak much if you knew him you could tell he was hurting. Rey does not believe that Chris had brain damage prior to killing his wife and son as says that Chris and Eddie are together now. Rey thinks Chris should be remembered as a great performer and the best way to do so is the photo of him and Eddie celebrating with the confetti at the end of WrestleMania XX. He said his first match with the Undertaker was intimidating but after that he soaked it all in and enjoyed working with him. Rey says he is an incredible person away from the ring.
He talks about moving to RAW in 2009. He said that the only difference from Smackdown is that it was on Monday. He feuded with Kane and calls him a great guy.
Rey believes that Dolph Ziggler is one of the best workers in the WWE. He said that CM Punk was very dedicated to his craft while completely ignoring the question on how he acted backstage. He then wont say anything about Punk walking out of the WWE as he just says he did what he felt was best for him. He was excited to see Alberto Del Rio perform as he was not familiar with him and said their feud got better as it progressed. On his firing, he said that he was surprised that he got fired after slapping an employee. As a follow up question he is asked about experiencing racism while in the WWE. Rey said not directly but unsure if it was directed to him backstage.
Rob asks him about several other guys in rapid fashion, trying to get something out of Rey, but he says nothing at all except that he likes Cody Rhodes.
Now, Rey is asked about failing a Wellness Policy test while sitting at home and what they were testing for as Rey gave some generic answer about how they were given routine tests and that he failed due to not having “proof and validation.” Mind you, he never said what he tested positive for or why he failed. He said the tough thing about the policy is its how the company sees things regarding prescriptions.
He is asked about Sin Cara and how he failed to succeed in the WWE and what happened there. Rey said that his main problem was that he did not speak English and did not know the WWE style. He also said that he had a reputation as a hothead and tried to help him but it didnt work.
Rey thinks the Shield was awesome and Seth is the best out of the three. On whether or not Reigns is the next big thing and if they should have him win at Mania instead of Daniel Bryan as Rey does not understand why the WWE does not go all the way with Bryan as the fans have been going nuts about him for three years. He says getting booed at the Royal Rumble in 2014 as #30, Rey said it shocked him initially but while out there is realized what was going on as he said he told Konnan later on if he saw Bryan in the gorilla position he would have dragged him out in front of the crowd to take his place.
He is asked about HHH and Vince McMahon regarding politics backstage as he gives more generic, non-threatening answers.
Rob now talks about the rumors about his WWE contract and if he was not getting paid. Rey claimed to have always gotten paid by the WWE. He then said he spoke with HHH when he contract was renewed and it went well as he was explained that they had to tack on time due to injury, which was explained in his original contract. He denies any blowup with Vince and that the doors are open for a return in the future.
Rey said he never heard any rumblings about the WWE being upset over him attending the Lucha Underground tapings but thinks they might have been suspicious. He also talks about cutting a promo that aired on TV for the AAA promotion in Mexico (where Rey said “see you soon” at the end) and claimed he did it because the WWE was going to tour Mexico soon and thought it would help promote the shows, not to say that he was going to wrestle for AAA. Rey also claimed he thought he was going on that WWE tour.
When asked about the rumor of HHH was going to release him early from his contract but got overruled by Vince, Rey just talked about how HHH explained his contract to him, not answering the question at all.
He says he is happy to be a free agent now after 13 years of the WWE. Rey also said he left on good terms as he wants to leave the doors open for a potential return. On why the WWE never announced his release, Rey said he had no idea but was aware of his release date.
On the rumors that he is heading to Lucha Underground, Rey said that he wants to wrestle a lot of guys in that company and would like to head into the company.
Rey said he loved returning to AAA for the Rey de Reyes event. He also puts over working with Konnan, who he has known since age 11. He puts over Pentagon and Fenix as being unbelievable workers.
He says his ladder match against Eddie Guerrero was the one he was the most proud of in the WWE as it was the last time they faced off and finishes off the interview by thanking his fans and that he will still be around for a while.
Final Thoughts: Rey might be a nice guy and I have not heard much bad said about him but this was one of the worst shoot interviews I have ever listened to and that was all due to himself. I understand not wanting to go off on people or burn bridges but Rey would not even attempt to answer even a slightly controversial question. And I felt he came off as very insincere and even full of shit when explaining how he left the company. I think he flat out lied about the promo from AAA being a way to promote the WWE Mexico house shows too as he had been off of TV for close to a year at that point with no sign of a return.
I give Feinstein credit for trying to get Rey to say something interesting. However, Rey was unwilling to play the game. He would avoid questions and give generic answers. I actually learned nothing from this interview to be honest and wanted to shut it off halfway through when it was apparent this was going nowhere.
I strongly recommend that you do not listen to this interview. WWE.com articles have more bite than this did and are easier to stomach. You would think filming a shoot a few days after getting released by the WWE would be interesting but that was not the case.
If you are still interested in getting this shoot, you can purchase the DVD for $20 by clicking on the links below:
This week, I have selected four interviews from guys who were WWE Champions This Century. Here are your four choices:
Rey Mysterio (2015)
Vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon
This was released in early 2014
The interview was conducted by Brett Lauderdale
It runs at four hours and one minute long
Steen talks about growing up and having to move to his grandparents house with his parents as they could no longer take care of themselves and because kids in the town would rob them and even tried to set the house on fire. He was 13 years old at the time. He said it was a small “shit” town filled with old people and mentions how he was too far away from his friends to walk over to their houses so he stayed there by himself all Summer. Steen said they did not even have cable so he would watch the same Simpsons tape over and over again.
His first memories of wrestling was at age 11 when his dad rented WrestleMania XI. He saw the first match, British Bulldog & Lex Luger vs. Blu Brothers, and was hooked after that. He then said that after watching Shawn Michaels match against Diesel blew his mind and he wanted to be a wrestler after that. He said he copied every match on that tape except for Bret Hart’s, because he found him incredibly boring. Steen said he has learned to appreciate him over time. Steen said his first live WWF show was at the Montreal Forum in 1996. It is now a movie theater.
He was first trained by Serge Jodoin, a former WWF job guy, at age 16. He first met him at a show that took place at a corn festival in what Steen calls a trashy venue that had drunks fighting with the wrestlers. He then trained at his barn and it cost $70 a month for three days of training weekly. He did that for about two months until the barn collapsed. Steen said Jodoin did good at teaching the basics and almost quit after the first day but went back.
A year later, he found out that Jacques Rougeau was opening a wrestling school and had his mom call up because he was only 16 years of age. The interviewer then asks him about Rougeau as Steen said that his experiences with him were mostly negative then talks about Devon “Hannibal” Nicholson in his shoot interview and how he called him (Steen) ungrateful and would kick his ass as Steen said that was not the same Devon he knew, the same Devon that he helped train at the school.
Back to Jacques, Steen said that if you did not completely devote 100% of your time to his cause, then he would consider you ungrateful. Steen said he was wrestling and going to school at the time. After a few months, Jacques stopped training them and was replaced by a guy named “Eric.” Steen also said that Jacques trained them to wrestle for his shows and not for the real world.
Steen said that he was Jacques top trainee and wowed everyone with his 450 splash. Steen then said that Jacques would tell guys that they would be losing when going up against him.
He goes further into Rougeau and how he would not want his guys to go to other shows. Steen said at that point, a lot of his friends were going to IWS as Rougeau was disinterested in the school and barely showing up so after seeing all his friends leave, he decided to go to the shows. It was there that he saw El Generico (Sami Zayn) for the first time. After a while, Steen asked Rougeau for his blessing to work for them and he said yes.
On the guys in IWS, he tells us about Crazy Manny, who said all sorts of crazy shit to them like he fucked their wives and blew cocaine off of their asses. Steen said it was an act and Manny was actually a really nice guy but crazy too.
Back to Rougeau, Steen tells about a story of how Rougeau promised Steen a tryout when the WWE came to town but had made him sign an agreement that would allow Rougeau to be an agent for his match and make 15% of his salary. Steen said he always wanted to wrestle in the WWE but was having fun where he was and got Rougeau to let him wrestle one more match in IWS to finish up for good. Steen said he was working is job, which was the night shift at a gas station, and pondering about his future as he was exhausted from going to school, work, then wrestling school as he had been up for 24 hours straight and went to the IWS show, where they told him to do what he had to do while some said that Rougeau wouldn’t so anything for him and he should stay. He had his match against El Generico as the fans found out he was going and chanted “please don’t go” as Steen said he got emotional and cried backstage. He was going to call Rougeau to work on the deal but decided against that and said at the time, he was very skinny and shorter than he was now and as a result, would have been laughed out of the building during his tryout. He said that his secret weapon was a 450 splash and the WWE has probably seen that a million times. Rougeau then called him as Steen told him he did not want him as his agent and was going to keep wrestling as Rougeau told him never to show up to his school again and that was the last time he spoke with him, on November 23rd, 2003. Steen then said that Rougeau picked two guys who got a tryout about a year later and they got squashed by Hurricane & Rosey on Heat. Steen then calls Rougeau out for being delusional and thought his guys would be getting a long match together instead of being used as jobbers. Steen also heard he was so obnoxious backstage that Rick Martel, who was visiting as the show was in Quebec, told an agent after the match to get Rougeau the fuck out of their and they eventually asked him to leave.
When asked if he heard about CZW at that time, Steen said he did and what he saw, from a German CZW site, blew his mind. Steen said he was eager to make a name for himself and wanted to wrestle wherever he could. He made his debut after being brought in to wrestle in a four-way, along with El Generico, and that put them on the map in the U.S. indy scene. This was in 2004.
Steen talks about the guys in CZW. He said Nick Gage was one of the weirdest guys as he was friendly the first time then standoffish the next. He also said that Justice Pain was a dick. Steen then goes on about how if you feel threatened in a company (CZW) that you will never make money and is basically around for fun, then you are ridiculous. He said its not like the WWE where a lot of money is on the line.
In November of 2004, Steen made his debut in PWG. It was supposed to be a one-time deal and he and Generico even offered to wrestle for free as long as they had their tickets paid for but did get paid at the end. They were both just 20 years old at the time. He said it was the most fun he had in his life.
Steen put over the PWG locker room except for Scorpio Sky, who Steen calls a “bitter dude” who is upset about his lack of recognition. Steen said that he is a tremendous wrestler but probably does not get the recognition due to his attitude. Their first show was supposed to be against Sky and Quiksilver but they no-showed, blaming it on traffic as Steen and Generico wrestled each other. Steen said that they probably would have never gotten over as much as they did in a tag match.
On his Ring of Honor debut, he was at a show and handed a tape to Gabe Sapolsky and a few months later got a call. Steen was told to wrestle under a hood to face Jay Lethal at Final Battle then he would wrestle as himself that February. However, he got hurt so Generico took his role as the “Green Phantom.” He made his debut later than year (2005) and said he didn’t really have any good matches as he recalls having one particularly horrible match against Vordell Walker that had CM Punk yell at him in the locker room when he finished. Steen said for some reason it didn’t click in his first run.
He is asked about a rumor about an incident with CM Punk. Steen said he was hanging out in the back and was asked by Gabe to wear a singlet because he didn’t want anyone wrestling with t-shirts on for the show, despite the fact that Homicide and others did at the time. Steen wrestled and said it was fine but did not feel like it was him and says that people can say he is trying to hide that he is fat a Steen says everyone knows and think it looks better and if people disagree he is fine with that. But that afternoon, Punk made a crack about him wrestling in a shirt as Steen said he just took it as a joke, believing that they were on good terms. After the match, Steen said he was blown up and joked around and asked if he was happy for him wrestling in the singlet and said that Punk took offense to that as Steen said he might have sounded like that as he was out of breath but meant no ill will and might have took it the same way as Punk did if the roles were reversed. Steen said that they know each other better now and laughs off the rumors that they almost came to blows as a result.
Steen tells a story about how he was supposed to wrestle Teddy Hart at a Jersey All Pro show but Hart claimed his shoulder was injured yet was doing pull-ups on the basketball hoop. He was then going to team with Justin Credible but found out that he left after Low Ki refused to allow his ride into the show without a ticket so Credible said fuck it and quit. Steen then teamed with Generico against Ki and a few other guys. Steen said he has no problem with Ki but that Ki does not respect him at all. Steen then said one time Ki initially refused to job to Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro) at a PWG show and how that blew his mind, saying how could you not lose to someone like him, the guy who has been a champion for a year. Steen also tells a story of how he called Ki once and how Ki was pissed after Steen introduced himself because he had caller ID and knew who was calling.
He is asked about several other guys. Steen said that AJ Styles is incredible and always willing to do what he wanted. He also said he would take the Styles Clash from the apron to the floor when they wrestled as it got a great reaction but would also hurt his legs. He loves Bryan Danielson but also said he does not have good chemistry with him. They wrestled in PWG, at Steen’s request as it was his birthday, so they had an angle in which Steen told the fans he would leave if he lost and when he did lose, Danielson let him stay as long as he sung “Happy Birthday” because it was Danielson’s birthday a few weeks later. He really misses Chris Bosh, who he said is the nicest and funniest guys he knows. Steen thinks he could have been huge but he decided to leave wrestling.
Steen was in CZW and said he hated it there as the fans were terrible, which Steen said was due to the promotion putting out a shitty promotion. He said that he spoke with Colt Cabana and came up with an idea to get him back into Ring of Honor during their feud with CZW and wanted to be the traitor but it never came to fruition.
While going to Europe, Steen said he was told that the fans in Germany really hated him then talks about how he has found that people either love or hate him. During that tour, he won the crowd over and the crowd turned his back on him at the beginning of his match.
He is now asked about Davey Richards. Steen said he wrestled him for the first time several years ago and was humble and respectful but now is different but very talented. Steen said he thought Davey was a friend but would stay some stuff but now they are in a “good” place. Steen said he is misunderstood but also not an easy person to read.
On going back to Ring of Honor, Steen credits the Briscoes for getting him in and talks about how you cannot judge them as individuals until you meet him. While Steen does not agree with some of the stuff they have said on Twitter, he likes them as people and calls them great wrestlers.
Steen said that he liked Gabe and felt comfortable talking to him but did not always agree with him. He does feel that Gabe is very appreciative of the wrestlers. Steen credits Cary Silkin for helping out not only his career but his life and cites his passion for wrestling in keeping RoH alive.
He talks about how he was working a full-time regular job for his primary income before signing with RoH and as a result he stopped working for PWG because he would be away from his family for too long.
Steen said that originally, there was a plan of him and Generico to have a three-way feud with The Briscoes and the Kings of Wrestling but the KoW got pulled from that as Steen & Generico fought the Briscoes instead.
When asked about the guys he worked with in 2008, Steen said that Brent Albright was a bully back and unnecessarily stiff in the ring. He recalls once when Albright kicked him in the teeth and was so pissed because he thought his teeth were broken so he ended up slapping the shit out of Albright, which shocked him. He loved working against Joey Matthews and said he learned a lot. Steen also said that he loved their match at the 6th Anniversary show and doesnt understand why people did not like that match.
Steen talks about how he has never received a concussion from wrestling but notes that Generico has had many and that he would do jumping jacks backstage to prove that he was okay enough to wrestle.
On whether or not he was shocked that Gabe was fired, Steen said he was not as Cary told him before it happened something big was happening and changes where needed. Steen said towards the end the booking was odd as they never defended the belts and would wrestle in singles matches and nothing else was making sense. When Adam Pearce was the replacement, Steen thought that Generico and him were done as they were not close.
When Pearce took over, his guys like Brent Albright were happy as they wanted a more old-school elemnt and to slow things down in the ring. Steen said that he had it out for them at the beginning as they told them they were not wrestling the style they used, the style that RoH had been using since it began. Steen said it got better over time but they never felt like they were part of their plans.
Steen talks about how when they made their debut on HD Net, the show came off really corny but that it got better towards the end.
He was excited when Ric Flair came into the company and said he was nice but after a while he started acting like a dick to other people. Steen said that Flair complimented Generico and himself. Steen could not tell if he was genuine though and says that he is the Flair character all of the time. He tells a story of Flair berating Cary backstage and when his music hit, Flair told him “alright motherfucker, I am going to go out there and put you over” as Flair went out to the ring and thanked Cary. Steen said that Flair was always good with him though.
Steen puts over Sylvan Grenier for being a good guy and a better wrestler than people give him credit for as while he might not be Ricky Steamboat, he does try and improve.
On Jim Cornette coming to RoH, Steen said they got along well at the beginning as they new each other from 2004 during an OVW tryout camp. However, while in RoH, Cornette ignored him and booked him in lesser matches and that when Pearce got fired and replaced by Cornette and Delirious, things got worse. Steen even mentioned how Cornette tried to get Colt Cabana booked off of shows as Cabana was pissed because Cornette was trying to take money away from him by doing that. Cornette hated a match they had together as well. Steen said Cabana is “one of the good ones.”
Cornette also told Steen at one point that he was going to go home for six months after his feud with Generico ended. Steen said he understood from a storyline point but that he needed to make money and when Cornette told him it was only a few thousand dollars, Steen brought up how he didnt make six figures in the 80’s. Steen said that Cary agreed to give him some money for the shows he missed and not Cornette, who claims that he did. Steen is asked about the rumor of him being sent home to get in shape as he said they told him it wouldnt hurt to slim down but that was not the main reason. In fact, Steen said that he almost quit wrestling after that and would have if not for PWG.
Steen said that wrestling passed Cornette by and did not care about the RoH faithful that were there since day one as he wanted to only concentrate on only getting mainstream fans. Steen said that he could have done both.
He felt happy for Cary after selling RoH because he put in a lot of time and now got something back. Steen said there were some growing pains but now the company is going strong.
On his public feud with Cornette, Steen said that in a public interview that Cornette should not be involved in the creative aspect of a wrestling company because he is out-of-touch and that set him off to the point where he was making personal attacks, something Steen said he never brought up at all with Cornette. Steen said that Cornette wouldn’t shut the fuck up about it and thinks he was probably used to everyone saying how great he was. Steen even said he emailed Cornette an apology for hurting his feelings because it was not his intent but it was what he felt. Cornette never responded to him and Steen said he even told a friend to say hi to him at a show and when he did, Cornette went nuts. Steen also told Cornette he would film a shoot with him but Cornette never got back to him.
Steen talks more about Cornette and said he is a great talent and helpful on promos but using hokey gimmicks like “Border Wars” and matches were the winner made $2,000 as Steen felt it lost it edge and became like every other wrestling company. Steen said he is passionate and cares about what he does and if he feels like he can help out or disagrees, he will speak up. Steen said if that makes him hard to work with then maybe he is but adds that he has not been fired from every job that he had, unlike Cornette.
The night Cornette quit, Steen said Cornette was a little more high strung than usual and said he admires Cornette for getting pissed because the office left while a wrestler was hurt and trying to help him but screaming like a fucking maniac is not the way to go about things, even noting how the EMT’s couldn’t believe he was there boss. Steen said it was good for Cornette’s health to leave because he was looking on the verge of having a heart attack.
When he beat Davey Richards for the title, Steen said he was happy and proud that his family was in attendance but the fact the iPPV feed was messed up and most people gave up on the shoe soured it a bit. Steen said he thought his reign was okay but could have been better but it was not the fault of anyone and would like another chance at that. He said winning in Canada was cool but feels like the New York crowd likes him the most. He liked his matches against Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal, who Steen says his very underrated. He said the idea to spit on his parents was Cornette’s idea. On Elgin, Steen said that when he first wrestled him he thought he sucked but now thinks he is excellent.
Lauderdale asks him about Davey Richards publically stating that Steen was not an athlete and other things as Steen said that took him aback and Richards later back-tracked and blamed it on him being upset in life and taking things out on people. Steen said he was fine with that apology. Steen said that he is trying to get in better shape and that Richards offered to help and is a good friend but you never know what you are going to get with him. He does note he has been positive in his life and is happy but what goes on in his life dictates how he acts.
Steen says his relationship with RoH is better today but wishes there would be more direction with him.
He is asked about his contract, which is expiring, and what he is doing next. Steen said he needs to support family and that pro wrestling has been good to him and wants to continue doing so. He enjoys all of the promotions he has wrestled for and wants to keep wrestling for them or somewhere else where he can make good money. Steen is then asked about the rumor that he will have a tryout with the WWE at the Performance Center. They guarantee Steen the interview will not come out until after March then Steen confirms. He is happy the WWE thought enough of him to send an invite and credits William Regal for getting him the tryout. Steen said he knows of five indy guys going to the tryout and while he does not know if he will get hired or not it is ridiculous to think they have no intention of hiring people they invite as they pay to fly you out and put you up in a hotel and will not do that for no reason. Steen does not believe he will be brought just to be told “no.” He just wants to say that he gave it his all and if it doesnt work, he can still look at himself in the mirror with regards to the tryout. When asked, Steen said he is willing to start from new scratch if signed as he is not afraid of change. Steen also says that any wrestler who has never been there and says the WWE is not for them is just kidding themselves and you have to tryout if given the opportunity.
When asked if he would have interest in TNA, Steen said sure as he has to be able to provide for his family and if they offer something like that he would consider. He just wants himself and his family to be happy.
Steen closes by saying he loves wrestling and all it has brought to him as there are too many great moments to list. He then talks about supporting his family and how he has made enough money off of the indies the past two years that his wife does not have to work. He then says he will stop wrestling when it comes detrimental to his health or his family and has that sense but feels most people do not. He also thanks the fans, promotions, and companies like RF Video and Highspots for making ti possible to wrestle for a living instead of working a 9-5 job.
Final Thoughts: Good interview. Steen is open and honest here and really does seem to love wrestling. He didnt come here with an agenda or get pissed about not being in the WWE as he loves what he does.
Steen, who is a polarizing guy (Even admits fans either love him or hate him), seems to be able to let things roll off of him when it comes to negativity.
I also loved his attitude when asked about the WWE as he simply stated, when it comes to the tryout, that he wants the opportunity to give it his all and if he doesnt make it he can live with himself while calling out the bullshit from others who claim the WWE is not for them.
I recommend this interview, even if you did not follow Steen all that much in the indies because he is a great subject and you can get a backstory of his career and the hardships he has faced. I will say that Brett Lauderdale is the worst interviewer on the planet but he didnt even bring this down.
You can buy the DVD for $15 by clicking on the link below.
This week I chose three shoot interviews that took place before the subject made it to WWE TV. Here are your three choices and you can click on the link below to view the trailer:
Vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon.
The SmarK Rant for the RF Video Shoot Interview with Dusty Rhodes This was taped late in 1999, from what I can tell. As a reminder, this and all other shoot interviews I talk about are available at www.rfvideo.com. Footage from ECW opens things up. We start in West Texas State, pre-wrestling era for Dusty, as he went there with the likes of the Funks and Tully Blanchard. He got a football scholarship under dubious circumstances, but wrestling was his true calling. Dusty remembers himself booking shows as early as childhood in the backyard. I’m not sure about the rumors that he invited a young Ric Flair over to his house and then put himself over. He was trained in wrestling by a local named Bill Graham (no relation to anyone else with that name) and got started from there. Graham’s only question: “Can you do a dropkick?” At that point, he COULD, of course. Joe Blanchard (Tully’s dad and AWA President in that promotion’s dying days) taught him the essentials. Early on he went to Australia with Dick Murdoch and met Jim Barnett. Barnett switched things up a bit, making Dusty the talker on the team and paying him more money. Back to the states, as Dusty tells the story about his dad dying on the same day as Dustin being born. Fritz Von Erich paid for the funeral. Talks a bit about the importance of Living the Gimmick. Over to the AWA, and a feud with Crusher & Bruiser. Dusty was still a heel at this point, keep in mind. Went to Florida and did tons of hour-long draws with Jack Brisco, until the fans had apparently turned him babyface by default, which led to the angle with Pak Song where he turned for real. Talks about Kevin Sullivan’s devil-worship stuff in the 70s and how much the crowds were into it, to the point where there would be organized devil-worshipping groupie sessions, who were opposed by redneck bikers. And you thought Vince Russo’s fans were weird. Eddie Graham started grooming Dusty to book in 1974. Dusty then stops to reflect on how much power he really did have over the years and how some MIGHT see that as a knock on him. He then takes credit for a shitload of stuff, including training Paul Heyman to book and making just about major star in the 80s. He then trashes Meltzer and thinks that if he started his own promotion, he’d just put himself on top. Hello, Kettle? This is the Pot. I just called to say that you’re black. Onto Dory Funk, who was a great wrestler, but wasn’t so great as a booker. Dusty notes he always seemed to get the booking jobs to clean up Dory’s mess. Apparently everything Dory said or did was a work. Starrcade ’83 came about because Jim Crockett came to Dusty one day looking for a “special” aura to his big show. Dusty rejected early name suggestions from Barry Windham like “Autumn Bomb” and settled for a play-on-words for “Decade” instead – Starrcade. Eddie Graham let him go from his Florida obligations so he could book the NWA. Jim Crockett offered Dusty crazy money to name his big shows and book. No word on whether Dusty actually set up the rings and sold all the tickets door-to-door by himself, too, but it wouldn’t shock me to hear about that from him one day. His first experiment in sportz entertainment was the Boogie Woogie Man video that led to the Valiant-Jones haircut angle. He regrets not copyrighting his event names, because when Eric Bischoff came along he took all of Dusty’s and added some lame ones of his own. Dusty named all of WCW’s PPVs from 1983 until 1993. That actually makes sense, since Bischoff’s contributions were “Uncensored” and “World War III”. Wargames was thought up on a car trip to a house show, and is his favorite gimmick match. He describes the party atmosphere of the 80s. He continues to make friends, talking about what a shitty booker George Scott is. Dusty actually hates “the b word” and prefers “executive producer”. The buck always stopped with Dusty. Piper & Steamboat apparently couldn’t deal with that and left for the WWF in 1984. That’s a unique interpretation of their reasons for leaving. He was ready to pass the torch to Magnum before he accident killed his career. Dusty claims Magnum had more charisma than Hogan, and that he got way more chicks. Magnum got 40,000 letters a day from fans after the car accident. Talks about the Andersons cage match that turned Nikita babyface and we get a clip of that. Barry Windham, who once had tons of potential as a wrestler and booker, just prefers to stay home these days. Barry was Dusty’s #1 guy backstage and a protégé. Onto the Midnights/RnR stuff and how Dusty came up with videos to get them over. Says the RnR were like the Beatles in terms of crowds and money. Says they could go 30-60 with ease, but it wasn’t believable for Ricky Morton to get beat up that long, so he didn’t book them longer than 20. A bit on managers, with Paul E & Jim Cornette being his favorites. Thinks Cornette had the edge in talent. Knew Steve Austin would be a superstar right from the start. Yeah, that’s why he booked him to bump like a pinball for Dustin, because he knew he’d be a superstar. Talks about warring with Vince in the 80s. Takes credit for selling out the building in a match against Bubba Rogers and thinks they’d still be around (presumably on the strength of those Bubba-Dusty matches) had Crockett not gotten greedy. Yeah, THAT’S why the NWA died, because Crockett got greedy. Dusty’s booking had NOTHING to do with it. Thinks Hogan beat him because he had Hollywood Connections and Dusty didn’t. Tully: Good worker, bit of a crybaby. Thinks he was a spinoff of Flair. Onto Flair, who’s the “ultimate flim-flam man” and doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself. Dusty takes credit for creating the Ric Flair character, and naming him as such. See, Flair wanted to called “Ricky Rhodes”, and Dusty told him “Ricky, you gotta find your own way, if you will” and Flair was so inspired by these words from the Dream that he went on to draw millions of fans around the world, all for Dusty. Dusty doesn’t think Flair is God, but then he’s kinda biased. Clip of Dusty calling out Flair on an episode of Worldwide, as David Crockett has heart failure. Dusty Rhodes v. Ric Flair. Stalling to start. Hiptoss & elbow and Flair begs off. Rhodes wins a slugfest and Flair bails. Back in, Flair pounds him in the corner and drops the knee for two. Dusty comes back with a press slam and a lariat for two. Flair goes up and gets slammed off, cue the Horsemen run-in. 4-on-1 beatdown follows, and the usual suspects save. *1/2 On another episode, Dusty calls out Tully, resulting in another beatdown. Back to the interview… Talks about the early days of Ric Flair. Doesn’t think Ric’s a good booker, but notes he has a rabid following of people who don’t know anything about the business. Onto the UWF and the wasted interpromotional war. Dusty actually ADMITS A MISTAKE, as he notes he was too focused on Vince and didn’t see the potential in the UWF guys. The Bunkhouse Stampede: Well, he took a lot of heat from the boys on this one. It was a basically a throwaway PPV. When the boys questioned him going over in his own match, his response involved a naughty word. Ah, Dusty, truly a wrestler’s booker. Onto Sting and his trials and tribulations, and Luger’s. Funny story about a Luger-Wahoo match in Florida gets thrown in, but he admits to not knowing the details on the Bruiser Brody incident. The Turner buyout and Dusty’s departure come next, as Jim Herd fired him as booker and wanted to turn him heel. So he told Herd where to stick it and went back to Florida to book until Vince called him. Funny how he skipped over the whole Road Warrior incident there, where Herd specifically told him not to blade on TV anymore and he did a five-alarm bladejob on TBS shortly after and got fired. Dusty wanted Pat Patterson’s job in the WWF and made no secret about it. The polka dots were NOT to humilate him, apparently, but rather a test to see if he could it over, which he did. His original choice for Sapphire was not Juanita, but rather a black hooker off the street. Vince wanted a family image, and by gum he was right in this case. This interview is becoming more surreal by the moment. Went back to WCW in 1991 to finish unfinished business and try to forge the new WCW out of the dogshit given to him. He did his best for two years and fought kicking and screaming when Bischoff came in 1993, but finally gave way for Hulkamania. Talks about Dustin and missing his childhood. He knows a bad father for not being there. Loved the Goldust gimmick and thinks they didn’t even scrape the surface of it. On the WWF War: Thinks they could have won if three things happened. 1) They needed a PR company to promote the shit out of Magnum & Flair and get them on talk shows. They needed to make “NWA” the same kind of brand name that the WWF had. 2) Contracts suck, period, and guys needed to work for their money. 3) TBS had to change their image as a hick station. That’s actually the most astute thing Dusty’s said in this entire interview. History pieces piss him off because they leave out the 70s and act like wrestling died in 1964 and reawakened in 1984 when the WWF went national. The Dusty Finish? He liked it. Veers off onto the Shockmaster and how funny it was, and Jeff Jarrett’s guitarshot on Moolah in 1999. He’s proud to be associated with a finish forever, when most bookers aren’t even remembered. On today’s product: Times dicate T&A and storylines, so Vince delivers. Thinks three hours of Nitro is way too much, and thinks that ECW kids should slow down all the highspots. Most astuteness from Dusty. Talks about the origins of his name. Thinks Jerry Lawler is a flim-flam man in the Flair mold. Big fan of JR, but knew from Day One that Ross wanted his job. Talks about WCW’s big run. Doesn’t think it’ll happen again because Vince adapts so fast and wouldn’t let Turner beat him again. Talks about his TCW and aspirations to write & direct a movie. Plus the Dusty Rhodes Fantasy Camp, where you get to book yourself to the World title whether or not you deserve it. Okay, just kidding. He wants a piece of the ECW action with Paul Heyman. Dusty Rhodes & Tommy Dreamer v. Steve Corino & Jack Victory. Dreamer & Corino brawl into the crowd, and Tommy garbage cans Corino and tosses him into a ticket window. Back to ringside, Dusty beats on poor Steve. Dusty & Tommy double-team Victory, but Corino superkicks Dreamer. He refuses to use a ladder, and Tommy plays face-in-peril. Victory stomps away and Corino makes lewd gestures at Dusty. Corino goes up, but gets planted into a ladder facefirst. Hot tag Dusty, usual follows. Stereo DDTs on the heels and double bionic elbows finish at 8:40. Rhyno attacks, Sandman saves. *1/4 He talks a bit about Japan and how he wasn’t a big fan of Giant Baba (now there’s an understatement), and so he got caught up in the NJ-AJ wars when he worked a New Japan show and defended the NWA title there. Backstory: All Japan was an NWA member at the time, but Baba HATED Dusty, and in fact his booking of himself to the World title in 1986 caused a major PR problem between Crockett and Baba. We wrap things up. Classic footage time: From 86, the Horsemen trail Dusty’s car with a video camera in an angle stolen nearly shot-for-shot in 1997 for an Outsiders/Steiners angle. They follow him to Jim Crockett’s office, then jump out of the car and tie Dusty to a glass repair truck and break his arm with a baseball bat. Oh yeah, that’s the good stuff. From NWA TV: The James Boys, a pair of masked outlaws who just didn’t care about nothin’, attack the Midnight Express and kidnap Jim Cornette, then drag him outside and try to hang him from the back of a moving truck. The James Boys then cut a promo, sounding suspiciously like Magnum TA & Dusty Rhodes. From 88, Magnum & Tully mouth off at each other about the “I Quit” match from 85, as Tully gripes that no matter where he goes all he hears from the fans is “I Quit”. Tully cuts an awesome heel promo running down Magnum, then when Magnum won’t back down Tully attacks the crippled TA. Dusty saves with a baseball bat and just brutalizes Tully, nailing Jim Crockett on the backswing. This leads to Dusty getting suspended for 120 days, and we see the “board meeting” where this occurs, where of course Dusty cuts a tough-guy promo to declare his forthcoming vengeance on JJ Dillon for orchestrating the whole thing. The next week, the mysterious Midnight Rider comes into town and demolishes a jobber with a DDT and bionic elbow. The angle never ended up drawing a dime and was dropped very soon after. Barry Windham explains his heel turn, but gets confronted by the Dream. The new Horsemen beat Dusty down until Luger saves him and takes his own licks. Back in the dressing room, Dusty and pals head out to the ring and Dusty calls out Windham. Dusty kicks his ass as wrestlers surround the ring. Barry keeps running and the boys keeps throwing him in. Dusty DDTs him twice as the clip ends. Dusty Rhodes & The Rock N Roll Express v. The Midnight Express & Bubba Rogers. Same match that I covered on the Cornette shoot tape. From NWA TV: Ivan Koloff kills Dusty and goes after Nikita, but gets nailed. Vladimir Petrov gets Nikita, but Dusty comes back to clean house…and then gets killed again. Petrov & Nikita have a Bald Russian Staredown. The Four Horsemen v. The Road Warriors & The Superpowers. This is from Worldwide in 1987, just prior to Ole’s forced departure from the group. Mega-brawl to start, faces clean house. The Horsemen sacrifice Ole and let him take the initial beating, until he bails. Flair tries with Hawk, who totally no-sells the chops. Flair regroups and tries again as we go to commercial and return with a bunch of Horsemen down from the Sickle. Nikita chokes Tully down, same for Ole. Flair wants a piece of Animal, so they go. Flair chops the shit out of him, no effect. Press slam for Flair and he bails. Back in, Animal gets caught in the Horsemen corner, but he shoulderblocks out and Hawk comes in. He slams everyone as TV time runs out at 6:26. No finish shown, so no point rating it. The Bottom Line: Another interesting shoot interview from RF Video, as Dusty interprets history in his own unique manner. I was a little disappointed that stuff like the Midnight Rider flop and his later booking days for WCW weren’t addressed, and the Dusty Finish question was TOTALLY dodged, but the footage of Dusty getting his ass kicked is classic and Dusty certainly has the charisma to make for an interesting interview no matter what the subject. Recommended, but with reservations. Check it out at RFVideo.com.
This was filmed in 2000
The Interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at one hour and forty-nine minutes long
The interview starts with Valentine being asked about how he got started in wrestling. He said after his freshman year at Washington State, he traveled on the road with his dad (Johnny Valentine) in Texas, who did not want him to enter the business, and decided that was what he wanted to do as a career.
Valentine said that his mom raised him as his parents divorced when he was about six years old and wasn’t even able to see him wrestle on TV as his dad wrestled across the country while he lived in Seattle.
He said his dad told him at first that he was not big enough to be a wrestler but Valentine thinks he just wanted to drive home the point that it was a tough business. So, his dad then sent him to train in Calgary at Stu Hart’s dungeon. He talks about the training and how he started off as a referee and part of the ring crew at first then after several months called his dad and said he wanted to leave and actually wrestle somewhere. Valentine then does a spot-on Stu Hart impression about how he wanted to leave yet didn’t even know how to lace his boots.
After Calgary, Valentine headed to Detroit as he joked about living in the basement of Eddie Fargo and his “fat” son. Valentine said he had a ring in his backyard and trained then. He then said that Fargo told him not to use the Valentine name and had him go by “Baby Face Nelson.” After that, Don Fargo saw him and as he gained more experience then they teamed together. He also talks about winning the tag belts in the Buffalo territory that was run by Pedro Martinez as he wrestled guys like Dominic DeNucci and Tony Parisi.
He worked as the Fargo Brothers in the Funk’s territory in Amarillo and stayed there for about a year. He said the road trips were brutal but it was long, steady work and he had a lot of fun there too.
In 1973, Valentine had a falling out with Fargo and ended up going to Kansas City and while there switched his name to Greg Valentine. While there, Jack Brisco brought him to Florida where he was billed as the “brother” of his actual father because, as Greg puts it, his father was vein and if they thought he had a son that old he would be labeled as too old.
He left Florida and went over to Los Angeles and stayed there for a year where he won the America’s Title. It was then where he met Vince McMahon Sr. for the first time and worked for the WWWF briefly after that.
In 1976, he went to work for Bill Watts in Oklahoma. At the time, Valentine said he was a great guy to learn from but his payoffs were horrible and Valentine left as a result.
Valentine talks about the plane crash that ended his father’s career. He also talks about Ric Flair, who was part of the crash, and how he never broke his back despite claiming that he did.
Shortly after that, he worked for the Mid-Atlantic Territory. Valentine said he was still a bit green at the time, as was Flair, but they teamed together and worked with the Andersons (Ole & Gene). He puts them over a lot. They also worked against Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood as well as Paul Orndorff & Jimmy Snuka. Valentine estimates they had the belts back-and-forth for about three years.
Valentine then said that George Scott came up to him and said he needed to get out of the territory for a bit and said he had a deal for him in the WWWF. Valentine also said that Vince Sr. gave him the figure-four leg lock as a finisher in 1979 and used that and was built up as a heel then a few years after that, he went back to Mid-Atlantic as he said the WWWF would build up the heels for the babyfaces and that the heels had a short shelf-life as a result.
When he got back to the Mid-Atlantic, Valentine came in and tricked Flair into believing that he was a face then turned on him during a match when he walked out. Valentine said he took Gene Anderson’s cane and hit Flair but it didn’t break as the Andersons were screaming at him to break it so Valentine swung it harder and ended up breaking Flair’s nose and splitting his lip. He said that he felt like shit afterwards for hurting his friend but that Flair didn’t care as he said they were about to make some money with a feud.
He is asked about several workers from the Mid-Atlantic. He said that Tim Woods was very tough to work with. Valentine put over Wahoo McDaniel as a person and a wrestler. He said Rufus Jones was a good guy but a lousy worker, despite being over. He didn’t like teaming with Baron Von Rashcke at first, because it was different than teaming with someone like Flair and didn’t think it would workd but it did and Valentine puts over Rashcke also as a person and a wrestler. He said it took Ricky Steamboat about a year in the business to become a polished worked while it took himself about him. Valentine said that Ray Stevens was a “man’s man” and learned a lot from him then said while teaming up together, they were in a lumberjack match where Big John Studd was supposed to catch him but backed up and Stevens tore his groin and as a result, was not able to come back. He said Paul Orndorff was hard to work with because he was very strong and a little green at the time. Valentine said that Snuka was wild but easy to work with in the ring.
They go back to his time in the WWWF and working with Bob Backlund as Valentine compares it to “going to the dentist and asking for all of your teeth to be pulled out” then laughs for a bit. He calls Backlund a great person then said that they asked him to go an hour with Backlund and it was one of the hardest matches he has ever had, stating he blew up about 500 times that match, and that it was hard to get heat as while champion, it didn’t seem like the people got behind him and noted that his selling was almost comical.
On other guys he worked with in the WWWF, Valentine said that working with Pedro Morales was like a night off. He then said that Vince McMahon Jr. at that time was like one of the boys and partied with them and easy to get along with as back then, he was not the boss. He said the Grand Wizard was a good man and would almost act as a real-life manager to the guys he was managing at the time.
He worked a few tours for New Japan in the early 80’s. Valentine said back then he didn’t like going over due to the culture shock and the wrestling was hard. He worked with Tatsumi Fujinami, who Valentine said was the best over there and Antonio Inoki was easy to work with but there were several other guys who were tough.
He went back to the Mid-Atlantic then was asked about his feud with Roddy Piper. Valentine said they were both close and traveled together and came up with an angle that he would hit him with the belt as Piper “gigged” himself in the ear and he poured blood. Valentine also added that they tried to do a lot of “hardway” stuff as they wanted it to look as believable as possible. He talks about their dog collar match at Starrcade and how fans always mention that match when they see him today. After having problems with Dusty Rhodes, he left to go back to the WWF.
When he went back to the now WWF, Valentine was given Capt. Lou Albano as a manager. Valentine said Albano was hilarious and would always keep him laughing, especially when he was drinking. He also said how Vince Sr. would fire him every TV taping because he got drunk and would swear at everyone but get rehired back each time.
Valentine talks about his feud with Tito Santana and said that originally, Tito was going to feud with Orndorff. However, Orndorff kept missing shows here and there so George Scott, who was the booker in the WWF now, pitched the idea of replacing Orndorff with Valentine and since Tito needed a legitimate operation on his leg, Valentine would win the Intercontinental Title with the figure four that would “break” his leg. Valentine puts over Tito as being his favorite opponent and how he had great timing and was a natural babyface.
He said that he realized the WWF was going to be huge around 1984 when Vince Jr. told him he had a “home” there forever, he referring to him as family. Vince Jr. then told him that he was going to take over the world and buy TV time everywhere. He even asked Valentine if he could bring in the Road Warriors but Valentine did not even know them at that time. When asked, Valentine said his ego grew massively over time as they got more popular.
On his matches with the Junkyard Dog, Valentine said he was hard to work with as when you would knock him down he would just lay on the mat so you had to pull him up yourself. Valentine said he was a great guy but lazy in the ring. Originally, he was supposed to work with Tito at WrestleMania I but George Scott wanted to stretch their feud out longer so he switched it to having Tito point out to the ref that Valentine cheated to win.
Valentine talks about working with Hogan and how the office originally wanted Valentine to job to the leg drop, Hogan got the finished switched to where Hogan pinned Valentine after clotheslining him after he came off of the top then afterwards, to get his heat back, Valentine would attack Hogan and put him in the figure four.
When asked about the formation of the Dream Team, Valentine said that before the officially became a team, the office would throw him and Beefcake as a team on occasion and had no clue they were grooming them as a team.
As part of the Dream Team, Valentine said he loved their matches with the British Bulldogs and notes how they sold out the Maple Leaf Gardens once. He talks about winning the belts from Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo and shortly after that they were all driving around drunk in the snow from Baltimore and the next morning, Windham flew back home and quit the company so they had Danny Spivey come in to take his place but it didn’t work out so they had all underneath teams and then George Scott wanted them to put over the Bulldogs in a non-title match for “Championship Wrestling” then eventually drop the belts to them at WrestleMania II. Feinstein then asks Valentine about Dynamite Kid saying in his book that he refused to drop the belts back to the Dream Team. Valentine says that is news to him then said a lot of guys disliked Beefcake because he was Hogan’s friend but finds it tough to believe as they had great matches together.
On the Dream Team breaking up and feuding with Beefcake, Valentine said they are still good friends to this day but Beefcake would complain when he got hit with stiff chops.
He is asked about several other workers at that time. He likes Jake Roberts as a person, noting how he has his “hangups” but does like him. He said that Don Muraco is a great guy and a “good kind of crazy.” Valentine said that Bret Hart becoming a singles star surprised him because he didn’t think he had the charisma to pull it off and was poor on interviews. On the Ultimate Warrior, Valentine said that everyone resented his push and hated to work with him but Vince was trying to feed him bodies so he could replace Hogan. Valentine said he got to know the Warrior when they did some independent tours of Europe and found him to be a great guy. He said he was friends with the Rockers, noting how a lot of the veterans disliked them at the time.
About steroids, Valentine said he used them a few times to recover from injuries but saw guys shooting them up daily in the locker room. He said they schedule they had back then, steroids and other substances helped them out.
When he teamed with Honky Tonk Man, Valentine said he went back to being managed by Jimmy Hart shortly after his feud with Beefcake ended and thinks they were thrown together because they both had Hart as a manager. Valentine said it took six months of convincing before he finally allowed his hair to get dyed black, which he said was an idea that Vince got from Jesse Ventura, who thought it would shock the fans. Valentine said he tried to make the gimmick work and at one point they were going to get the belts, because they were Vince’s creation, but he signed the Road Warriors then sent him to Japan to work for the SWS promotion as Honky became an announcer.
On Randy Savage, Valentine said that he always thought they were friends but never wrestled much together. However, Valentine said that Savage no longer stays in touch with anyone and talked about how his wife was friends with Elizabeth and when he went on tours, Savage would call his parents to take Elizabeth around when he was away.
He left the WWF after returning from Japan and worked against Dino Bravo then Earthquake at WrestleMania VII. Valentine talks about how originally, they were supposed to go 12 minutes but it got cut down to just four as Valentine didn’t mind jobbing but did not want to look like a jabroni losing in a few minutes. He got heated backstage and nearly walked out but did the match and stayed with the WWF a little bit longer before leaving for WCW.
In WCW, Valentine said that Bill Watts came in and cut everyone’s pay, noting how he gave his own son Erik a nice contract. He said one day he was going to do a job to Sting at the “WCW Saturday Night” tapings in a quick match but refused to do so and Dusty asked him if he wanted to work or not as Valentine said no then left the company.
He is asked about guys he worked with in WCW. Valentine said that Marcus Bagwell would cry when he beat the shit out of him in the corner with chops. He also said that Jimmy Garvin & Michael Hayes were fun to work against, despite the fact they were not the best wrestlers.
On working for Herb Abrams, Valentine laughs as he tells a story about working for Abrams then after the show, he talked with Vince McMahon. Word of this got back to Abrams, who decided to cancel Valentine’s check before he could cash it as a result. Valentine points out that he finished the work he was paid to do by Abrams before speaking with Vince.
Valentine said that he went back to WCW for Bischoff and got a two-year deal and was rarely used. When asked about Bischoff, Valentine said he should worship every wrestler he met as Bischoff made all his money in wrestling despite not knowing shit about the business. He also calls Bischoff a “mark” for Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.
He then talks about working the Independents today and how he now does not mind working as a babyface, something he hated earlier in his career. He would also like to try being a booker some day as well.
When asked if he could change anything about the business, Valentine said he would unionize wrestling and do something similar as the Screen Actors Guild to help pay for the injuries they suffer during their career, noting how the guys in ECW are killing themselves without a pot to piss in at the moment.
Valentine said he still talks to Tito, Honky, and King Kong Bundy today. His favorite match was the dog collar match against Piper. On wrestlers he likes to watch today, he says Chris Benoit, Rock, HHH, and Rikishi.
On the best rib he has ever heard about, Valentine tells a story of how his dad, who was a notorious “ribber,” once pranked Jay York by taking his inhaler and filling it up with lighter fluid. After his match, York used it and nearly died so he then went to his car and got a shotgun. Valentine’s dad took Buddy Rogers’ suitcase, which looked just like his own, and York ended up shooting it out of his hand while Valentine’s dad acted like he got shot himself.
When asked where he sees the business in the next five years, Valentine says that his dad told him no matter what you do you cannot kill the wrestling business. He believes that another company, not ECW, will come in as the TV stations are seeing the ratings wrestling brings in and will jump in on that.
Valentine said that his regrets are getting married so many times and letting Vince talk him out of going to WCW in 1990 when he had one hell of an offer.
And how some word association:
Hulk Hogan: A phenomenon and “basically” a good person.
Ric Flair: A great guy but “shady” at times.
Ricky Steamboat: Great Guy.
Lex Luger: One of the luckiest guys in the business but a nice guy.
Eric Bischoff: “asshole.”
Sting: Doesn’t really know him all that much but said that he was nice to him.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid interview. I prefer is WWE 1985 Timeline with Kayfabe Commentaries but Valentine provided some insight here and was willing to speak. He was not bitter and generally had good things to say about everyone, except for Bischoff.
Valentine was also very protective of his character (Basically, not wanting to get squashed in quick TV matches) and showed that he was a little bit behind the times at that point (Valentine was already 40 years old at WrestleMania VII). Valentine was relaxed and generally happy throughout the shoot as he went through his career in detail.
Overall, I would recommend this as it breezed by and Valentine did have an eventful career that he detailed well.
You can purchase a DVD of the shoot for $15 or download a digital copy for $9.99 by clicking on the links below:
This week I thought I would choose from four wrestlers who were stars in the WWF during the 80’s. Here are your four choices:
Vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon.
This week I chose four shoots that are filled with crazy stories. Here are your choices:
New Jack (2004)
Those are your four choices. Vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon.
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.
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
This week I have chosen four shoot interviews from people who worked with TNA. Here are your choices:
You can vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon.