Monday Nitro – March 19, 2001

Monday Nitro #282
Date: March 19, 2001
Location: O’Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson

Greed has come and gone and it should be interesting to see where things go with this final real show before next week’s grand (work with me here) finale. Scott Steiner is still World Champion after demolishing Diamond Dallas Page because that’s what Scott Steiner does, though it does raise the question of who is left for him to beat. In theory that would be Booker T., who became US Champion for the first time last night. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Nitro – March 19, 2001

Thunder – March 14, 2001

Thunder
Date: March 14, 2001
Location: Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay

The long nightmare is almost over as we only have two shows left, including this one. This is the final show before Greed and things aren’t exactly looking up. Monday’s show was full of old guys having bad matches and not enough build to anything other than Sunday’s main event. Let’s get to it.

Read moreThunder – March 14, 2001

Thunder – March 7, 2001

Thunder
Date: March 7, 2001
Location: Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Tony Schaivone, Mike Tenay

The roll that WCW was on just a few weeks ago seems forever ago as they’re right back to the mostly uninteresting shows that aren’t getting anyone anywhere. Well save for the Steiner Brothers and the other old acts that is. They’re getting closer to Greed and the card isn’t looking great so far and I doubt that changes tonight. Let’s get to it.

Read moreThunder – March 7, 2001

Monday Nitro – March 5, 2001

Monday Nitro #280
Date: March 5, 2001
Location: Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Tony Schaivone, Scott Hudson

After last week, it’s really hard to say what we should expect here as Nitro worked very well but Thunder was every bit the show you would have expected it to be. I’m liking Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page but the rest of the show is so all over the scale that it’s hard to guess what you’ll get. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Nitro – March 5, 2001

Thunder – February 28, 2001

Thunder
Date: February 28, 2001
Location: Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay

I know it’s a bit late to matter but WCW is on a roll at this point. The matches are entertaining, the stories make sense and you can tell the story they’re going with. Diamond Dallas Page is the best option as a challenger for Steiner’s title and Booker T. is clearly the next major threat to the champ. Let’s get to it.

Read moreThunder – February 28, 2001

Monday Nitro – February 19, 2001

Monday Nitro #278
Date: February 19, 2001
Location: Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone

At this point, I can’t imagine they’ll ever leave the southeast again. We’re past SuperBrawl and as is far too often the case with pay per views, not a lot happened. Scott Steiner retired Kevin Nash which I’m sure means he won’t be back whatsoever. We’ve got less than four weeks until Greed so this is the final time we’ll start the build to a pay per view. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Nitro – February 19, 2001

Thunder – January 31, 2001

Thunder
Date: January 31, 2001
Location: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

I’m running out of things to say about these intros. We have less than two months to go in this company and it’s most likely a skippable B-show with a main event between two midcarders who don’t have an interesting feud. Or maybe a tag match with two members of a heel stable against a semi-regular tag team. I would offer a suggestion of a great cruiserweight match with two people being elevated to new heights but that’s not the WCW way. Let’s get to it.

Read moreThunder – January 31, 2001

Monday Nitro – January 23, 2001

Monday Nitro #274
Date: January 23, 2001
Location: Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone

We’re on a Tuesday this week as TNT has stopped pretending that Nitro is the ratings juggernaut it was back in the day. It’s the new era of WCW (the latest one that is) with Ric Flair in charge and evil for reasons that haven’t yet been and won’t be explained because WCW. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Nitro – January 23, 2001

Thunder – November 8, 2000

Thunder
Date: November 8, 2000
Location: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 7,000
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Stevie Ray

Sorry for this being late as I got a bit busy in Dallas over the weekend.  We’re still rolling towards Mayhem and things are starting to get a bit better. The shows still aren’t great but they’re coherent and you can see where they want to go for the most part. I’ll take that over Russo’s insanity as now I kind of want to see where things are going instead of waiting on the next big surprise. Let’s get to it.

Read moreThunder – November 8, 2000

Monday Nitro – October 9, 2000

Monday Nitro #261
Date: October 9, 2000
Location: Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Stevie Ray

Now this should be an interesting show as WCW is now taking their unique brand of horrible to a new country. This is the first of four straight shows in Australia but more interesting than that is the fact that it’s the first show without Vince Russo around. The concussions had caused him to be confined to his home but he would send in his stories. It should be interesting to see how the show goes without him actually in the arena though. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Nitro – October 9, 2000

Monday Nitro – October 2, 2000

Monday Nitro #260
Date: October 2, 2000
Location: Cow Palace, San Francisco, California
Attendance: 2,666
Commentators: Mark Madden, Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone

Tonight is the night. After several months, if not years, of waiting we FINALLY get to see what the wrestling world has been waiting for: Mike Tenay is getting in the ring for a match. Yes indeed. Somehow, this is the point we’ve reached. We also might find out something about the fate of the World Title and Russo has a surprise for Goldberg on top of it, but Tenay is wrestling tonight. Let’s get to it.

Read moreMonday Nitro – October 2, 2000

What the World Was Reading: WOW Magazine – July 1999

by Logan Scisco


This week we leave the confines of Titan Towers and head
over to Bill Apter’s side of the wrestling magazine universe.  Launched in 1999, WOW Magazine was an alternative to other wrestling magazines, which
largely kept kayfabe alive.  WOW catered to smart fans, using the
terminology of “face” and “heel,” and even tried to smarten up younger fans by
providing a vocabulary list of “smart wrestling terms.”  WOW also
featured more color photographs, had more pages, and was larger than
traditional wrestling magazines. 
Unfortunately, the magazine did not produce enough sales to remain
profitable and it folded in the summer of 2001.

The magazine chosen for this week’s review is the July
1999 edition of WOW, just the third
issue of the magazine to hit newsstands. 
I remember buying this edition on a school field trip when we went to a
mall for lunch.  Going over to one of the
bookstores, I picked out the magazine.  I
really enjoyed WOW since it was much
more detailed and fun than WWF Magazine,
but there was no way my parents were going to purchase a second wrestling
magazine subscription for me.  So, the
only time that I was able to buy WOW
is when I cobbled together enough money on my own, made even harder by the fact
that I did not receive an allowance.
 Looking back, I may have purchased this magazine (which
the sticker says cost me $5.95 before tax) more for what is on the back than
the cover.  I was a big Dawn Marie fan
and loved her stuff in ECW.
 Immediately upon opening the magazine, which has a
foldout cover, we get some of the colorful pictures of WOW.  One is of an unmasked
Rey Mysterio, Jr., another of Sabu, and then of course the guy that helped
destroy ECW
In his first editorial, Editor-in-Chief Bill Apter lets
us know in his “Apter Thoughts” column that he is glad to be publishing a
smart-style magazine.  He says that he is
tired of “protecting the business.”  He
also laments the death of Rick Rude, who had recently passed away from a heart
attack.  We get quite the contrast of
photos in the column as Nicole Bass chokes out Apter in one shot and a young
Apter argues with Jesse Ventura in the image alongside it.  No word on whether Bass filed harassment charges against Apter at a future date.
Every magazine has to have a “Letters to the Editor”
section and WOW was no
different.  This month’s issue sees
William Zariske criticize Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair for taking up the spotlight
and not following other pursuits. 
Another fan, Frank Recchia, says that he admires technical wrestlers
like Dean Malenko and Curt Hennig, but they do not hold a candle to Lou Thesz
and Bruno Sammartino.  He notes that
Thesz and Bruno were superior because they “could hold a title for a year or
more, which rarely happens today.”  And
all those signs you used to see in the 1990s at wrestling events?  Well, James Reddyk of Peterborough, Ontario
is angry about them because he was not able to see the action from his close
seats at SkyDome for at a WWF event because of them.  He demands the WWF do something about
this.  I am sure Mr. Reddyk loves
attending live events these days, when there is hardly a sign to be seen.  There are also a few fans that praise the
magazine for being different, especially because it had a website, which many
other publications did not have in the late 1990s.  One fan comments that the Internet is the
future of the sport because there are “thousands of e-feds and fantasy
wrestling sites.”  Are there even more
than 1,000 operating today?
Blake Norton’s column “The Welcome Mat” praises Diamond
Dallas Page for becoming WCW World Champion, something I think was a sign of
the company’s decline because Page was nowhere near as over as he was when he
faced Goldberg at Halloween Havoc the previous year.  Norton blasts fans who fear that Kevin Nash
is about to give himself another title run and sends a shout out to Davey Boy
Smith, who was facing a career-ending back injury at the time after falling on
a trap door at Fall Brawl.  He also
criticizes the WWF for becoming more of a soap opera than a wrestling
product.  Lord only knows what Norton
would think the company has become today.
A review is provided of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Professional Wrestling.  The book is praised for providing some of
wrestling’s history.  For example, it
discusses how carnivals of the nineteenth century were the origins of the sport
and how a champion wrestler would take on all comers.  This led to the rise of men such as Toots
Mondt and Frank Gotch who knew various holds to submit all kinds of opponents
in shoot fights.  The book ultimately
receives a recommendation, but educated fans are told that they do not really
need it.  An interesting tidbit?  Gorgeous George ran for president in 1952.
The cover story of this issue concerns the Rock’s rise to
the top of the wrestling industry, or as Jim Varsallone calls it, “the sports
entertainment business.”
The article recaps the Rock’s family history, which
readers of this site are likely familiar with. 
However, for a smart magazine this piece is still filled with kayfabe,
as the Rock is quoted as saying that he initially turned heel over the “Rocky
Sucks” chants and that he joined the Nation of Domination because he could
“express himself.”  Varsallone even
posits that the Nation collapsed because the Rock and Faarooq could not get
along since they came from Miami and Florida State!  If you want some facts about the Rock’s
football career, though, this piece has you covered, meaning that Jim Ross
bought this issue when it hits newsstands. 
It closes by saying that the Rock is not bothered by kids watching an
adult-oriented RAW product because their parents have to monitor what they are
doing.  I should also point out here that
Apter mags traditionally never interviewed wrestlers and made up quotes (WWF Magazine did much of the same thing
before Vince Russo came aboard), so whether the Rock was actually interviewed
for this piece or not is open for debate.
And in case the Ultimate Warrior’s odd comic books were
not enough for you, you could have bought some $3 comic books about the
Undertaker in 1999!
The next piece provides a career recap of “Ravishing”
Rick Rude, who passed away on April 20, 1999 at the age of forty.
At the time, Rude was training for an in-ring comeback,
presumably to return to the WWF since he was trying to get out of his contract
with WCW.  Written by Dave Meltzer, it is
a fine article that recaps Rude’s Tough Man days and his eventual wrestling
career in the major promotions.  These
articles are where I learned wrestling terminology as terms such as “booker,”
“heat,” and “promo” are thrown in.  We
can laugh now at fans not knowing those terms, but back then Meltzer might as
well have been speaking Latin to me.  One
of the sad things about these magazines is you come across pictures of people
no longer with us, such as this one, where Ric Flair is the only person in it
that is still alive:
WOW was also
really good about following non-major promotions in North America and Richard
Berger’s article talks about the relaunch of Stampede Wrestling in Calgary in
early April 1999. 
Bruce and Ross Hart were behind the idea and the
relaunched product lasted until 2008. 
The first card documented here drew nearly 2,000 fans and there is some
unintentional humor when it documents the statements fans were making before
the opening bell such as “Tatanka is in the main event!”  For some reason I think that fan probably
said that without much enthusiasm.  The
show was indeed headlined by Tatanka, the North American Heavyweight Champion,
who went on to defeat Jason “The Sledgehammer” Neidhart in a two-out-of-three
falls match.
Since Steve Austin was also on the cover, he is also
profiled in an article with some nice art. 
It just recaps Austin’s career, but does have some words of wisdom:  “…make sure to enjoy [Steve Austin] while he
is around, because no matter how many people try to copy him, they will never
even come close to the main himself.” 
Hence, the WWE’s inability to recreate the magic of Austin-McMahon
despite rotating various people out of Austin’s role over the last two decades.
We then get some WCW news, which includes results from TV
tapings and house shows.
There is a discussion of the severity of the British
Bulldog’s back injury, which is reported as career ending per the orders of his
doctors.  The Bulldog had recently been fired
from WCW.  It would have been better for
the Bulldog’s health to stay retired, as his 1999 run back in the WWF did very
little for him or his career legacy. 
Bischoff is commented as making an allusion to the Bulldog’s drug
problems, quoted in a “WCW Live” report on WCW.com as saying that prior to his
termination that the Bulldog “has had problems in a number of different areas
in his life.”  It is also reported that
WCW is looking into creating a Hardcore division, which it eventually did.  I always saw that as a poor move since it
came off as WCW blatantly copying a WWF idea. 
At least it gave us Screamin’ Norman Smiley.  Oh, and at a house show in Tampa, Florida,
Jimmy Hart beat Bubba the Love Sponge by disqualification when Randy Savage
accidentally hit Hart.
Konnan is the subject of an interview piece in this issue
of the magazine.
He takes a dig at WCW, saying that guaranteed income
makes guys reluctant to work while injured or put on good matches.  He also criticizes the politics of the
company, which he feels are holding him back. 
One of the best points of the interview, which is of a shoot style, is
Konnan referencing how spending time at basketball courts, youth hangouts, and
watching television made him aware of pop culture phenomenon and helped him
stay current.  It is a vision that is
sorely lacking in today’s wrestling product. 
And what would an Apter mag be like without
rankings?  Here are WOW’s rankings of WCW for the spring of 1999.  It simply evaluates the top ten men on the
roster, with no regard for their championship status.  I have a hard time buying Rey Mysterio as #1
at this time, but his defeat of Kidman, who is ranked #2, is the justification
given for him having the top spot.  The
rankings are critical of the WCW’s booking of Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko,
saying that the confusion over whether they “were heels or faces killed their
momentum.”
Blake Norton’s next column highlights some of the
concerns pervading WCW in 1999 and boy is it spot-on. 
It talks of Eric Bischoff’s tenuous position in the company
and how the booking power of Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash spells trouble.  Also highlighted are WCW’s declining ratings
relative to the WWF.  The resurrection of
the tag division is criticized for only creating “makeshift tag teams” such as
Kidman and Chavo Guerrero and Bobby Duncum and Mike Enos as is the company’s
decision to make Barry Windham and Curt Hennig their new champions instead of
Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit.  However,
some bright spots are highlighted, such as the cruiserweight division having
better matches and the spotlight going less to authority angles.
The great thing about 1999 was that you had three
prominent wrestling promotions getting coverage, so ECW gets a section of the
magazine, albeit smaller than WCW and the WWF. 
We are told that Chris Candido may have reinjured his neck against Taz
at Cyberslam 1999 and that Nova has returned to the tag team ranks with Chris
Chetti.  Here are the ECW rankings:
Hard to say that Taz was not the #1 ECW wrestler in early
1999 with Rob Van Dam as the clear #2. 
They would eventually fight at November to Remember when Taz was headed
out of the company.  We are told that Taz
puts fans into ‘mark’ mode when he makes his entrance.
The ECW Insider column discusses how other companies are
trying to imitate ECW’s hardcore style. 
In one of my favorite digs in the magazine it says that “In the G-rated
WCW, somewhere in between ‘Days of NWO Lives,’ Nash-friendly-booking, and the
5,278,189th showing of Konnan’s video, Bam Bam Bigelow calls himself
the ‘king of hardcore.’”  It laments that
if WCW gets a Hardcore title that it will just put it on the Booty Man.  It also predicts that imitations of ECW will
not hurt the company’s viewership, which might have been true, but it was never
able to use its hardcore status to overtake the other big two wrestling
promotions.
The WWF news and notes makes us aware that a whole lot of
people were given their pink slips on April 13. 
This included Golga, Blue Meanie, and Gillberg.  Evidently, Meanie was rehired back a day later
because of an online “Save the Meanie” campaign, which I vaguely remember.  There are also rumors that Steve Blackman is
going to get a more Attitude-style gimmick and that the Legion of Doom are
hankering for one last run.  Thank god
that did not happen.  A Triple H-Rock
feud is discussed for the summer, as well as yet another Austin-Undertaker
feud.  So, WOW will bash WCW at will, but no jabs at the WWF for returning to
that feud?  Ken Shamrock is also rumored
to be a possible contender for Austin’s title, but he was shunted down the card
throughout 1999.
Here are the WWF rankings:
Owen Hart makes his last appearance in the rankings at
#6.  His excerpt talks about how he and
Jarrett are going to go “full heel” soon by splitting with Debra.  The Undertaker receives some criticism for
“uninspiring” matches recently against the Big Bossman and Ken Shamrock.  It questions whether the WWF will shelve the
Undertaker persona for good, which ended up coming to fruition at Judgment Day
the following year when the Undertaker appeared in his American Badass gimmick.
Backlash and Spring Stampede are given smark-style recaps
by Blake Norton.  They do not provide
star ratings, but it does break down the story each match tried to tell and
crowd reaction.  Backlash is criticized
for being mediocre, while Spring Stampede is called “a terrific pay-per-view
event.”  I liked these recaps much more
than WWF Magazine, which really
stopped caring about them at this point
A summary of ECW’s Cyberslam is provided, especially its
event for fans at the Holiday Inn. 
Justin Credible tells author Brad Perkins that he loves
ECW because “there’s no one better to book Justin Credible than Paul
Heyman.”  I cannot say that I disagree,
especially when the alternative is Aldo Montoya.  Taz has some good foreshadowing, telling a
fan that even though the WWF or WCW would give him a fresh start they would not
push him as hard as ECW has.
Another interview piece is provided in the magazine, this
time with New Jack
New Jack lets us know that he never had any professional
training and discusses his former career as a bounty hunter.  Teaming New Jack and Steve Blackman up to
rope in criminals would be quite the show for WWE Network.  He also has some stories of giving back to
fans, such as calling fans who give him their number or meeting kids after shows.  He also trashes parts of ECW, saying that it
is just as corrupt and political as the WWF and WCW.  New Jack indicates his desire to get into
movies, thereby ending his wrestling career, but that never came to fruition.
In happier news, we are told of Hacksaw Jim Duggan
recovering from kidney cancer.  A simple
career recap is provided for fans who may not be aware of his football prowess
and wrestling accomplishments in the 1980s.
WOW also had a
regular trivia feature.  If you click on
the image it should magnify it for you and you can see how many you can get
correct.  The answers are on the bottom
(upside down) of each section of the quiz.
Other random news and rumors are provided, letting us
know that Torrie Wilson is leaving WCW due to the fact that she was not given
more creative control over her character. 
It also informs us that Shawn Michaels has married the Nitro Girl
Whisper.  It questions whether that
marriage will last, but thankfully for both of them it did and it was probably
a big part in why Michaels did not die of a drug overdose in this period.  Kevin Nash is also identified for bringing Madusa
back to WCW.
We get an interview with Frye of the Nitro Girls.  If you have no idea who this is, here’s a
photo:
We are told that the Nitro Girls were not professional
dancers and selected from different backgrounds.  Frye was just “athletic” when she was picked
out for the team.  She says she was not a
wrestling fan before coming to WCW.  She
is also excited about the Nitro Girls possibly being in some storylines in
2000.  Skepticism is expressed about the
Shawn Michaels-Whisper marriage because they knew each other for only thirty
days before getting married.  Frye’s
dream is for the Nitro Girls to “explode like the Spice Girls.”
The magazine also provided lots of “Bombshell
photos.”  I remember when I saw the one
of Tammy Sytch in this magazine that she was in bad shape contrary to a slogan
that says she is getting better:
The “Indies and International” section informs us that
Vader recently won the 19th Champion Carnival on April 16, defeating
Kenta Kobashi.  This made Vader the first
American to win the tournament since Stan Hansen in 1993.  It also lets us know that Mitsuharu Misawa is
taking over the booking for All Japan following the death of Giant Baba.  All Pro Wrestling, run by Roland Alexander,
is profiled, with stars such as Vic Grimes and Michael Modest profiled.  APW was featured in Beyond the Mat.  Grimes is
dubbed as a “future WWF star.”  If you
can find his tryout match on YouTube it worth a look as he and a smaller
opponent tear the house down.
WOW could also
have some fun.  Its “Ring-Zingers” column
highlighted some of the funnier parodies about wrestling from ScoopTHIS.com.
The best story is how Sting has taken a vow of poverty
after finding religion.  Little did WOW know that Sting would find religion
and enact his vow of poverty by wrestling in front of high school gyms and
empty baseball stadiums more than a decade later.  The piece says that Sting has given his
fortune away to the less fortunate “beginning with the Disco Inferno, who has
since put away his run-down 1970s clothing in favor of the more contemporary
khaki cargo pants and loose-fitting shirt.”
Other funny stories talk about ECW wrestlers nearly
revolting at Paul Heyman’s Philadelphia office after they found out wrestling
was fake on NBC and how hundreds of WWF fans were injured “in what’s been
called the worst wrestling disaster since the return of the Ultimate Warrior”
in a fire in San Francisco.  Evidently, a
fan’s sign that said “Debra Has Tasty Cakes” caught on fire after Kane’s pyro
and spread through the sea of other signs in the arena.  During the fire, Mick Foley and Terry Funk
jumped into the flames and rolled around in glee, each suffering a third degree
burn.  Ron Simmons also turned in his
resignation after the Undertaker’s symbol caught on fire.  After Steve Austin could not douse the flames
with beer, Jeff Jarrett and Tiger Ali came down to the ring, which really
cooled things down.
Another parody piece pits a “fantasy match” of the
Ultimate Warrior against Mankind, simulated with a Dude Love and Rey Mysterio,
Jr. action figure.
Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone do the commentary on the
pages of the magazine and the Warrior keeps disappearing during the match,
frustrating Mankind.  Mr. Socko turns on
Mankind, sporting its own “One Warrior Nation” t-shirt, but Mankind rebounds by
pulling out a can of Chef Boyardee and shoving it in the Warrior’s face.  The newly fattened Warrior cannot make it
through the trap door anymore and the Undertaker proceeds to do a run-in,
although he takes his time and Ross and Schiavone argue over whether the
Undertaker’s symbol is a cross, even after Mankind is nailed to it.  This read like a fantasy booking scenario
gone awry.
Finally, Dutch Mantel’s column “The World According to Dutch”
closes out the magazine.  He shills his Dirty Dutch’s Little Handbook for Wrestling
Junkies
, which will be autographed and have some “special clip art of
wrestlers” for $20.  You have to pay with
a money order, though.  He also gives his
list of the top five bleeders in professional wrestling.  It is no surprise who is #1 on the list:

Overall, this was a very detailed and fun magazine.  It did a much better job shedding light on
what was happening in the wrestling world in the spring of 1999 than any other
wrestling magazine on the market.  For
next time, I will review the first edition of RAW Magazine.  I figured that
during this cold winter we could all use some “Sunny days.”

RF Video Shoot Interview with Konnan, Volume 2

This interview was filmed in 2010. It ran at just under two hours long. It was a follow up to his first shoot from 2000.

The interview begins with his initial thoughts of TNA were that the idea of the weekly PPV was not a sound business plan and went there because he couldn’t get a job in WWE.

Initially, he thought that Jeff Jarrett was old-school as a booker and believed that he was trying to impress his dad but also said that he did not have a lot to work with and now, believes that he has evolved. He also puts over his improvement as a wrestler, noting that he use to be obnoxious, a terrible dresser and promo. Konnan believes that Jarrett has finally changed with the times, instead of being stuck in the 80’s and 90’s.
He thought that Jerry Jarrett was bringing in old ideas from the past that were dated. He believes that you can modify ideas from the past to have them work today but you just can’t expect the fans to buy into stuff from the 70’s. He says that the business had passed him by.
When Jerry Jarrett sold TNA, Konnan thought TNA was getting a little better due to participating in less angles that he felt were corny, but at the end of the day, he felt that Dixie Carter was just like Eric Bischoff in a sense that they were excited to be around of wrestlers and given bad advice by people with hidden agendas. Konnan noted that Dixie was nice at the beginning but turned standoffish after finding out what the business is about.
His first gimmick in TNA was that he called out TNA for stealing from Lucha Libre with the X Division. He brought in guys that were fed to Jerry Lynn. Konnan tells us that Jerry Jarrett called Lynn the “dragon slayer” and that he kept telling Konnan to find more “dragons.” Konnan jokingly refers to Jarrett as “King Arthur” while telling this story.
After he wasn’t doing anything for a while and chilling with Ron Killings and BG James, he asked to be put together with them. He then tells the story from WCW when the “Filthy Animals” name became about when Disco Inferno would comment when guys like he and Rey came back late at night from clubbing.
Konnan goes back to WCW when Russo started out. He says that WCW was very clickish and that Bischoff’s guys would flat-out refuse to do things he said. Konnan also said that Russo would tell him that he was concerned about guys who were not getting over. Konnan puts him over for being open minded and wanting to push the envelope but felt he was burned out in TNA due to power struggles with Jarrett.
Konnan said that Juventud Guerrera got him heat when he first arrived after he didn’t take care of Jerry Lynn after hitting him with the Juvy Driver, leaving Lynn out for almost a year with injury. Konnan said that Juvy also got heat on himself in Mexico after he did an interview about how he was the only Mexican wrestler that they cared about in the U.S. because he spoke English. When Juvy returned to Mexico, Abismo Negro saw him in the locker room and kicked his ass.
Konnan is now asked about the incident between Juvy and Jack Evans. He first gives us the backstory of how the heat began when Juvy was selfish in the ring and wouldn’t sell anything and treated Jack and Teddy Hart like jabroni’s. Konnan said that he just got back to AAA at that point and although he wasn’t booking, he was acting like a consultant and told Juvy that Teddy and Jack looked up to him and to help them out. The day before of the incident in question, Sean Waltman put shit in Juvy’s bag during his match. Waltman did this after Juvy did an interview in the United States were he said that Waltman attempted suicide. At the time, Waltman was living in Mexico with his girlfriend, Alicia Webb, and her son, who Sean spent a lot of time with. Anyway, the boy’s biological father was looking for him and apparently got hold of this interview and showed it to a judge and after that, they had to go to court and the boy’s father won custody. After his match, Juvy opened the bag and flipped out, like a “straight up bitch” dumping the shit on the floor and yelling that Konnan did this. Juvy’s girlfriend Lizzy Valentine was flipping out too. Konnan claims that despite being pissed at Juvy, Waltman would shake his hand, unlike Konnan, who states that if he is pissed at you he will brush you away. Juvy then went to confront Konnan, who blew him off, and Juvy thought for sure that it was Konnan. The next day, Konnan was sitting backstage with a lot of English speaking wrestlers and Juvy started to flip out and swear “Indian style,” which meant that he threw together a bunch of words that do not fit together. Konnan said that he had enough and got up but Juvy grabbed a chair. Jack Evans, who was sitting on a stage, jumped off and kicked the chair out of Juvy’s hands and cracked him in the face. Juvy was stunned and tried to fit back but Jack was unloading. Konnan said that when he went to separate them he was pushing Juvy aside and as that happened, Evans grabbed Juvy’s head and kneed him in the face, breaking his nose.
Back to TNA, he is asked about several workers. He liked Super Crazy, who he knew from Promo Azteca. Konnan said that his weight and lack of charisma kept him from being a bigger star.
Konnan is then asked about the Mexicools in the WWE. He said that they might as well have been called the “Bean Burritos” but now says that they have evolved with the Alberto Del Rio character, an aristocrat who looks down on Americans. He then says that a writer who was there at the time told him that they were in a writers meeting with Vince McMahon when the Mexicools gimmick was created. A writer suggested the name, stating that they should be cool Mexicans and Vince thought that since his landscapers were Mexican, that they should come out on ride-on lawnmowers.
He is now asked on a comment that Russo made about how American’s do not want to see Lucha. Konnan said that he is wrong and that Russo does not speak for every fan, stating they liked Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. He then offers a comparison about how he does not like Garth Brooks, but ten million people buy his album so who is he to say that people do not like him.
When asked what led to the downfall of WCW, Konnan said that there were many factors. He also said that Eric Bischoff should take some blame for his failures, seeing as he has no problem taking credit for what worked.  
Konnan is now asked if Russo is overrated or underrated as a booker. He said he didn’t impress him too much but wasn’t around him when he had success in the WWF so it is hard to say.
He is asked about Dusty Rhodes as a booker. Konnan said that growing up in Miami, Rhodes was as big a star as LeBron James is now. But as a booker, Konnan said that he didn’t know the wrestlers names and would do things to get himself over like surrounded himself with women.
Next he talks about Three Live Krew. He said that he thought of the name due to being a fan of the rap group “Two Live Crew” as a kid. When Billy Gunn came into the company, they broke up the trio as BG went with Gunn. He then said that Jarrett didn’t want him and Killings teaming together so Killings asked to team with Jeff Hardy, as the two were close friends. Jarrett wouldn’t put him with Hardy either and Konnan said that he was very vocal about wanting to do the LAX so they let him do that as Killings floundered. Konnan believes that Jarrett has a personal problem with Killings.
Konnan is asked about Monty Brown. He said that he was extremely talented but TNA cut his nuts off as soon as he was getting over big by putting him with Jarrett’s stable. He said that was done by Jarrett, who wanted to show everyone that he is the star of the company. Konnan also said that Brown quit TNA due to dealing with racism.
He is asked about his first appearance for Ring of Honor in 2002. He said he went in and did not know what the product was about. He went against the SAT’s and backstage, one of them tried to put him on his shoulders to practice a move but he was way too big and obvious that they couldn’t pull it off. He then said that one of them forgot the first spot then fucked up the second and the match fell apart from there. The crowd shitted all over Konnan.
He is asked about Shane Douglas. Konnan calls him a cool dude, who was witty and passionate. He also believes that he had some substance abuse issues when he was in TNA (Which Shane himself had confirmed). He also recalls the spot in which Douglas puked in the ring.
Konnan is asked if Jarrett pushed himself too hard at the beginning. Konnan said that he did but in the early days, they had no stars. Konnan tells a story about being in Australia for WWA. He said that Jarrett wrestled Nathan Jones, who Konnan said was a nice guy, and just went out there and beat him. Konnan was perplexed that Jarrett wouldn’t want to do something so he could go back to Australia for a future match, due to the size and look of Jones.
He is asked about his relationship with Raven. Konnan said that Raven has always been condescending, which is something he can deal with, but likes to talk to him even though they have had a tumultuous relationship. Konnan said that Jarrett prevented Raven from becoming a bigger star in TNA when he took control. Konnan said that Raven went to Dixie Carter and buried Jeff Jarrett and Bob Ryder and that Jarrett never forgot that.
Konnan is asked about LAX. He said that he always wanted Homocide as part of the group. He originally wanted Apolo but he no-showed a bunch of dates and that was the end of that. Konnan also wanted Low-Ki but said that Dutch Mantell had heat with him. Konnan said that Low-Ki has heat with a lot of people and that he refuses to kiss anyone’s ass either, which does not help in the wrestling business.
Next, Konnan is asked how Dixe Carter is not able to see problems that are clearly evident, even to the fans watching. Konnan said that Dixie’s head is in the sand when a problem arises and she tells people to deal with their problems instead of trying to help. Konnan also says that she is the daughter of a multi-billionaire and that it is not her money, just like Bischoff in WCW.
Konnan thinks that Jeremy Borash is talented in what he does but that he always makes sure to latch on to the person in power. He said that he rode Russo’s nuts while in WCW.
He likes Samoa Joe and says that TNA dropped the ball with him and says that he should go to the WWE. He thought Team Canada was easy to work with.
When asked if people are underpaid in TNA, Konnan says yes. He said that guys like AJ Styles and Kazarian might me making more than when they first started but only the top guys are getting any money. He said it is frustrating to be told that there is no money for a raise then see them bring in the Dudleys, Christian, and Kurt Angle. He said that was one of the main reasons as to why he quit.
He thinks that it is a double-edged sword when it comes to TNA going after ex-WWE guys. Sometimes, it can make viewers turn in and think it is cool to see someone but other times, it comes off desperate when they go after guys who were lower card in the WWE.
Konnan calls Kevin Nash a master politician. He also says that Nash was bad for the X Division, saying he got into that role when he had a heart condition and they didn’t believe him so he asked to help get the X Division over. Konnan said that he only wanted to get himself over.
He is asked about the death of Antonio Pena, the owner of the AAA promotion. Konnan said he was glad to reconcile with him before his death, saying it was very important to him. He puts over Pena for his passion and intelligence.
Konnan now talks about the birth of LAX. He said that he liked Homicide after seeing him work in Puerto Rico but had to fight to get him into TNA, as they thought he was too short and didn’t care for his physical appearance. He then put Hernandez in the group as they were not doing anything with him. Konnan said that he picked out the colors and even produced the rap song with someone.
When asked about Mick Foley in TNA, Konnan said that he was really funny at first then changed after that. Konnan said that he is a huge Foley fan then says that when people first arrive to TNA after being in the WWE, they are happy at the beginning with less politics and that they are not on the rode as much. Then after a while, they realize that this place isn’t major league and that fans will approach them and ask if they are still wrestling. Konnan then says that the stars usually go back after resting in TNA for a while before saying that Vince should let guys have a few months a year, in order to keep guys fresh.

Konnan said he got along with Cornette in TNA. He said he was loud and funny. When asked about Cornette and Russo in TNA, he said that Jarrett and Dutch Mantell acted as buffers between them.

While doing Spanish commentary, Konnan said that he would bury guys he didn’t like and put over guys that he did like.

Konnan said that never say never when it comes to TNA competing with the WWE but does not ever see that happening. He said that Dixie does not put in the time and effort that Vince does with the WWE. He also said that Dixie has the wrong people around her.

Konnan said that both TNA and WWE need to get over the bullshit that you need to be tall and jacked to wrestle and go after guys in RoH and Dragon Gate. He said that if he was TNA, he would bring in Pac and Ibushi, saying that people want to see athletic matches and knows that it is exciting to watch and different. He said part of why he brought Lucha Libre to the U.S. was to counter the slow and lumbering style that the fans were used to at the time.

When asked if Paul Heyman could turn around TNA, Konnan thinks that TNA should have brought him in and let him do whatever he wanted. Konnan said that ECW was cool and different and thought he could come in and change things because he can think outside of the box. He also mentions how he never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Konnan is asked what made him leave TNA. He said the main factor was that he never got a raise as he was constantly told that there was no money, despite being there for five years. One time, he got pissed and did an interview bad-mouthing TNA and after that, Jarrett told him that he wasn’t going to get a raise if he kept acting like that and after that, Konnan brought up to Jeff how he was always told that there was not any money for a raise. He also claims that at one point LAX was selling the most merchandise.

He is now asked to elaborate on the racism in TNA. He recalls a story of how once at a meeting, Scott D’Amore asked to bring in D’Lo Brown and was told by an executive that “you want to go the nigger route.” He also said that Ron Killings was told not to act like an “uppity nigger” and that when Konnan himself missed a show, an executive reportedly said that they could easily replace him with any “drunk Puerto Rican in the park.” Konnan puts over how he never used racial slurs to describe anyone and that in TNA, executives would joke about minorities on a frequent basis.

Up next is Konnan’s beef with Vampiro. He said that they are cool now and that it started when they were top starts in Mexico. Konnan also puts over how Vampiro is constantly full of shit and that he lives on the same planet of oblivion as Juvy, Brian Christopher, and Teddy Hart when it comes to being delusional about the amount that they have with people and the bullshit that they spew.

Konnan also talks about Vampiro’s story about being kidnapped and how he is full of shit. He does this by going over Vampiro’s claim that some guys broke through his front door then knocked on his bedroom door. After that, he jumped through the window and saw some police that were driving by. He also said that he broke his back then two weeks later he said that he was pushing his girl home from school.

Eddie Guerrero’s death is discussed next. He said he found out when he was at the Double Tree Hotel in Orlando when Dixie told him. She asked him if he wanted to take the night off but he said no, that Eddie would have wanted him to work. Konnan puts over how Eddie was being worked to death and was constantly in pain. He also said that Eddie broke down from the stress and that he was always being told by management how he was not drawing.

He is talked about the angle with Randy Orton spitting on Eddie’s low rider after his death. Konnan siad tat he was bothered by that stuff and knows some of the writers that were there and that the wrestlers and even Stephanie and HHH were all against this but that Vince thought it would get heat and work out.

Konnan is asked about Rey’s push. He said that they do not push him right and that he is a draw to kids. Konnan also says that Rey is also hurt because he cannot cut a good promo. He also said that Rey once told Vince that he was quitting then they brought in Stephanie and the writers and Vince told them to do whatever made Rey happy.

Next is Konnan’s hip replacement surgery. He said that TNA refused to pay for his surgery, saying that he came into the company with the injury. Konnan claims that he had a minor injury that got a lot worse over time when he was wrestling for TNA. He said the insurance he had through TNA had him pay for everything up front then he would get reimbursed at 75%. Konnan then said that he had to sign an agreement with TNA that he would payback the $18,000 it cost for his surgery. He then points out how Ron Killings got hurt and needed surgery after he was sent to work for another promotion by TNA and they made him do the same thing but when Scott Steiner got hurt in Puerto Rico, TNA paid for everything. He says he is not saying this crying racism but just wants to know why they paid for Steiner and not for he and Killings.

He then talks about his kidney surgery. He said that when they went to operate on his hip, he was told that his kidneys were failing and that he needed dialysis and could not wait. He said at first, his body rejected the kidney and that he was doing awful. He was in a hospital in Tijuana and then went to another facility that was private. He also said that he was constantly getting mobbed in Tijuana, putting over how wrestling is bigger there than the U.S.

He said that he went to WWE and spoke with John Laurinatis about he LAX gimmick before he pitched the idea in TNA. He said that John told him that he was too old then Konnan said he was the same age as Booker T. He then said that Bruce Prichard hated him because he was mad that when Konnan called, he was under the impression that Bruce knew who he was. Konnan said that he was asked to send in a tape.

Konnan talks about how WWE wanted to buy AAA. He said that Bruce Prichard went down and told them that Vince offered a 51/49 split and when asked why, Prichard said that Vince doesnt like to answer to others. Konnan said he told the owner of AAA, Dorian Roldan,, that what will happen is that Vince will buy the company and slowly get rid of everyone.

When asked about congress ever regulating pro wrestling, he said that they called him after the Benoit tragedy. He believed that it would have been good and though that Henry Waxman originally headed it up but then it stopped.

He thinks that MMA and Wrestling can learn from each other but that the companies are too stubborn.

He puts over AAA for having a lot of talent right now. He also said when he left with the other luchadores for WCW in 1996, they used a lot of cheaper talent that was not as good. He says that now, the storylines are better and that they have agents. He believes that if they come to the United States, they can do well with the Hispanic population.

Konnan said that he now helps with booking, writing, and producing in AAA. He puts over Fenix and Daga, who he calls almost a mirror image of Bryan Danielson, as the two biggest stars for the future.

When it comes to Teddy Hart, he said he wished he was warned about him before hand. Konnan said that he was grateful for Stu Hart when he was in Calgary and always friendly with Bret. He said when Teddy came to AAA, he gave Konnan some pot and asked where he wanted to smoke. Teddy also told Konnan that he had been celibate for over a year and that they had to get rid of him due to all of the crazy shit that he pulled.

He then talks about how the Swine Flu killed the business for a few months as everyone was afraid of catching the illness.

Konnan is now asked about Juvy’s comments about how he only brought in Mexican talents to WCW to get himself over. He talks about how he brought Rey Mysterio, Psychosis, La Parka, and Juvy to AAA. He then said when Paul Heyman asked him about Rey and Psychosis, Konnan said that they can blow away anything else they had in the locker room. Then in WCW, he came in and requested that Psychosis come in and work with him. He then said that he had to really fight to bring in Rey and Juvy. When Rey first got to WCW, everyone laughed and joked that they were starting a midget division. Konnan said that he only saw two standing ovations from the locker room and both times involved Rey. They were his debut match against Dean Malenko and his Halloween Havoc match against Eddy Guerrero.

When asked what the business is lacking today, Konnan said that they should go behind the scenes more like UFC does, when it comes to how hard they train and also to show a little bit of the inner workings of the business. He then puts over how he is a fan of high flyers and good workers and that would help.

Konnan now discusses the impact of the drug cartels in Mexico. He said that it does hurt business because you cannot go into the certain parts of the country. He said that before the new political party took over, the prior party negotiated with the drug dealers so they would not participate in any mass murders or anything else. When the new party took over, they declared war on the drug cartels and from those cartels, some of the younger people split off and went out on their own and started up with mass murders and other violent tactics.

When asked about Hulk Hogan, he said that he never really hung out with him. He always thought his character was cheezy but that Hogan was always cool with him.

Konnan likes Alberto Del Rio and thinks he has a lot of tools. He thinks that Sin Cara should have went to FCW to learn to work and now he is struggling in the ring.

He is asked about overrated/underrated guys. He says that Low Ki and Austin Aries are underrated.

Konnan puts over how he always loved the junior heavyweights and tell a story about how Kevin Nash told him that when they see a guy like Rey Mysterio, their first thought is that they can kick his ass. Konnan told him that when they see Rey, they see a guy who can do cool moves and no one thinks that they can kick his ass because none of it is real.

He says that the difference between fans from ten years ago to today is that they are harder to please and smarter today. In five years, he sees WWE still running strong and that TNA will still be running, stating that if they lasted this long they can maintain the same pace. He also hopes that he can bring AAA to the United States

Konnan said that if he was in charge today, he would let guys go in the ring. He said that a lot of fans are not getting to see what Bryan Danielson is capable of because the WWE is giving the fans the watered down version.

In regards to bringing AAA to the United States, Konnan said that he would also bring in “hot bitches,” midgets, as well as the best workers not in TNA or WWE. He would also show the behind the scenes stuff he was talking about

Final Thoughts: Good interview. Konnan always says what is on his mind and does offer a lot of insight into the business. He also let us know about all of the backstage stuff that happened in the earlier days of TNA, which if it is true, makes it seem even worse than we thought. He looked really bad in this interview, as his skin was discolored and his kidneys were still in rough shape, but at least looks a little bit better today. I recommend this interview, which was a follow up to his first shoot.

This week, I will not put up a poll as next week, due to the amount of requests that I have received, I will be putting up the recap for the 1989 Timeline with Brutus Beefcake

Konnan Interview

Hi Scott, just passing this on…Konnan on an hour-long podcast talking about everything under the sun!

“Officially, 60,000 people have been victims of Mexico’s ongoing Drug War, and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight. In Episode 95 of Smells Like Human Spirit, Guy Evans discusses the issue with legendary pro wrestler, soap opera actor, and Mexican icon Konnan, marking his second appearance on the podcast. This is an episode that you don’t want to miss…Enjoy, spread the word, and peace!”

Konnan on the Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: "Smells Like Human Spirit" > Hi Scott,
>
> Love your work and the blog. Just thought to pass on this news item:
>
> Former WCW star Konnan recently appeared on the Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast at smellslikehumanspirit.com. In a wide-ranging one hour interview, he spoke on everything from wrestling, to politics, and beyond:
>
> On his time in WCW:
>
> "[WCW] was the only company in the history of wrestling to beat WWE, [it was] 82, 84 weeks in a row in the ratings. We had all the big names – Hulk Hogan, Randy 'Macho Man' Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, we just had all these big stars. Roddy Piper, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Ric Flair. It was really, really good TV. It's a time that I can say that I was proud to be a wrestler. When you see some of the cheesy things they're doing now on TV, it's very embarassing."
>
> On AAA's expansion plans in the United States:
>
> "When we come [to the United States], it's gonna be raw, it's gonna be a whole different thing that's never been seen. I'm gonna expose the United States to what I was exposed to when I was 23, and they're just gonna be like holy [expletive]."
>
> On his experiences in the Navy:
>
> "They sent me to Lebanon…and you start hearing all these things [like] we were there helping other [people's] interests. I started to find out the truth – I had this Cuban guy come up to me, he was an officer, and he started to open up my eyes, 'cos I would ask him 'why are they saying this' (on transmissions), 'why are they saying that', 'what does that mean'? He goes, "this is all bull[expletive] dude, we're not here to protect American interests, we're here to protect some oil companies' interests, and that's all you're here for."
>
> On the current state of the American Political system:
>
> "It's not like we really control anything in the United States anyway, so why would our vote be taken into account? This is what I feel is going on in the United States: I just think that the richest guys in the [country] get together, make policies, say 'this is what we want, this is what we don't want'. We don't really have power over anything."
>
> This episode of the Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast is available for free at: www.smellslikehumanspirit.com and on iTunes. You can also find more information about the show at: http://www.facebook.com/smellslikehumanspirit.
>
> Many thanks!
>
> —
> http://www.smellslikehumanspirit.com
> Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast on iTunes
> Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast on YouTube
> Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast on Facebook
>