RF Video Shoot Interview with Sabu, Volume 1

This was filmed on November 30th, 2004

The interview runs at two hours long

It was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry

The beginning is a bit odd as the camera is on with Feinstein and Gentry talking about the brutally cold weather then a knock at the door appears and Sabu enters. They tell Sabu if he wants to do an interview and he declines. They then tell him that the camera is off but ask if he is willing to speak off the record and he agrees. Okay then.

Sabu said he became a wrestling fan at age three. He said that would see his uncle, the Sheik, and that his family would bring him to the shows. Sabu said at that young age he wanted to be a wrestler and when he was twelve years old, he knew he was going to become a wrestler.

As a kid, his favorites were Bobo Brazil and his uncle then he talks about how back then, these guys all seemed great but at the same time, you have nothing to compare then too as the business has evolved.

He then said that the Sheik would stay in character 24/7. He then says that he was like his father and calls him “cool as shit.”

On how he prepared to become a wrestler, Sabu said he bet himself up to prepare him for everything. Sabu then said that he was an amateur wrestler from middle school through high school and after that, the Sheik agreed to train him.

Sabu talks about how for the first several months of his training, he never even saw a wrestling ring but rather chopped wood and did chores around the house. When he first got into the ring, he did not have much expectations but knew if he was good or bad he was still going to do it anyway.

When he trained, Sabu said that he learned mat wrestling for the first two years and never even climbed the ropes at that time. This leads to him talking about how he gets criticized for not mat wrestling today then explains how he is not getting paid to wrestle that way.

On picking up the psychology, Sabu said it wasn’t until about five years that he started to get rid of the doubt that he had when he was in the ring.

His first territory was Big Time Wrestling out of Ontario. He started there around 1985-86 and worked with Ricky Johnson (Rock’s Uncle), Kevin Sullivan, Mark Lewin, and the Canadian Wildman along with his uncle. Sabu also said that the Sheik told the other guys to treat him like everyone else and not give him the easy road.

After his first match, the Sheik told him everything he did wrong as Sabu said that he wanted to be told what he had to work on as that is how you improve.

He wrestled in the Midwest then did a few shows for Joel Goodhart in Philly but was hidden in a battle royal and did not like it there.

Sabu’s first major territory was Memphis. This was around 1991-92. He said that he thought the style was alright and was told that he was “working too hard” and had no clue what they meant at the time but understands now, although he said that he does not believe in that. They were telling him to slow down and save moves for the big shows but Sabu remembered the Sheik telling him to treat every show like it is a big show as to that person in attendance, it is a big show to them as they are not going to buy a ticket to all of the shows anyway.

After Memphis, he worked in a Tag Team Tournament in FMW. It wasn’t until is second tour that he started doing barbed-wire matches. Sabu didn’t mind them once in a while but was pissed when they did them all of the time.

Sabu then tells a story about Louis Spicolli and how he accidentally got him fired. Apparently, no one on the tour could stand him and on the bus rides, he kept having the driver stop so he could take a piss. Sabu then told Spicolli to piss in a bottle instead. During the match, Sabu told the ref that Spicolli was pissing on the bus and afterwards when they pulled over at a rest stop, Spicolli poured the bottle out the window and they thought he was actually pissing so they fired him. Sabu said he felt bad as he liked Spicolli and claimed that he tried to make it up to him.

When asked about the fire match he had in Japan, Sabu said it was the shits and lasted two minutes long as the ring got way too hot.

He talks about turning down a WWF contract in 1993 as he felt that he was not ready and wanted to work for ECW. JJ Dillon called him up and asked him to come in for a tryout. Sabu said he just thought he was coming in for a payday and worked a match against Owen Hart. Afterwards, Vince offered him a deal as Sabu declined to work for ECW as Vince thought he was crazy.

On how he got to ECW, Dennis Coralluzzo told Sabu to call Tod Gordon as he was a sucker and could probably get a $500 payday. Sabu liked Dennis a lot and worked with Chris Benoit in his first match outside of New Japan.

Sabu said that early on, Taz was a “cock-sucking motherfucker.” He said that Taz thought everyone was trying to get over on him at first and had the impression that everyone owed him something too.

After speaking about how the old-timers were telling him he was ruining the business due to his in-ring style, Sabu sparks up a joint then cracks open a Budweiser tallboy as he speaks about how he hated teaming with Taz at the begining of ECW. He also did not care for Public Enemy and said at the time, there was heat between him and Rocco Rock for using the table spot, which he had made famous before them.

Sabu said that his first match against Cactus Jack was alright but everyone was expecting them to kill each other and that wasn’t going to happen. Sabu is told that Cactus said on the WWE Documentary on ECW that there was too much hype going into that match and Sabu said that he was injured at the time and that did not help things either.

He then said that he was the one who brought Chris Benoit to ECW when Benoit asked to get more work in the U.S. and Sabu wanted to wrestle him.  The interviewers then bring up how when Sabu broke his neck, the nurse at the hospital mentioned how they saw a bullet in his face on the x-ray. Sabu then tells a story of how he got shot in the face after high school at a party when some kid with a real gun in one hand and a fake gun in the other appeared to be shooting his friend then actually shot another one of his friends and took off so Sabu chased him down and tackled him then got shot.

About getting his neck broken in his match against Benoit, Sabu said he does not blame him and that it was just an accident. When asked if Heyman paid his bills when he was out, Sabu laughed and said that he rushed himself back and wrestled two weeks afterwards and wore a neck brace on occasion but the injury does not bother him today.

He talks about how he accidentally double-booked himself and chose the New Japan date over the ECW date as the pay was $6,000 in New Japan compared to $1,000 for the ECW show. Sabu said at the time he was pissed that Heyman got in the ring and told the fans how he basically ditched them but now is flattered that they thought he meant that much to them. Sabu then talks about how he talked to Heyman three days later and they talked it out and how before that, he talked to Taz, Benoit, and Malenko who all told him to do the tour of Japan instead of working a spot show.

Sabu said that he wound up in WCW after Kevin Sullivan asked him how much would it cost to bring him in for the first Nitro. Sabu said $500 and figured that was just for WCW to give him a look but it turned out that he got that much for every show, including PPV’s. He said that he worked the second Nitro and did not get to do everything he wanted to in the company. Sabu then talks about working a show for Coralluzzo to see how much money he could get while working for WCW. Bischoff found out and called him to see if he quit and Sabu said that he did not and took the show as he needed the money. Sabu said that he did that to see how much he could get and planned to return to WCW but found out after that through the hotline that he had been fired.

He now talks about some of the guys he worked with in WCW. Sabu said that Alex Wright was scared to wrestle him and that he almost got fired in his match against Mr. JL when the Sheik threw a fireball.

On how he started to use super glue on his wounds, Sabu said that he saw that on a documentary on World War II how soldiers would use that on the field to stop the bleeding until they got sutured.

Sabu calls Too Cold Scorpio the best professional wrestler he has ever wrestled against and that he gelled in the ring with everyone.

About his memory of being on RAW while part of ECW, Sabu said that he barely remembered it and was never that huge on being in the WWF and the only difference between them and anyone else is the pay better. Sabu said that he was well-received in the locker room.

On dealing with his injuries, Sabu said that they never bothered him and that he could get up from anything he did.

Sabu is asked about working with Sandman. He said that he was worried at first going in the ring with him because he was drunk then said after a while, you got used to it and he was actually better to work with drunk than sober. He said that Perry Saturn could shoot on you at times but nothing too major. Sabu said that he liked working with everyone as he coughs up a lung while finishing his joint.

He talks about his match against RVD at Wrestlepalooza and how he vomited twice on camera and off camera as he was really sick. He said he vomited up Mello Yello because it was the only thing in his system and he felt fine after that.

When asked about tagging with RVD, Sabu said he remembers wrestling him a lot more than being his partner then talks about how you barely even remember your partner and know your opponents a lot better.

On bringing in guys from FMW into ECW, Sabu said that he brokered the deal but the guys never came back because Heyman never followed through on his promises and the guys did not get paid.

Sabu is asked how the six-man tag at November to Remember 1998 became such a bad match and if the guys were pissed off in the locker room. He said the match was shit and that Heyman and Taz almost came to blows and he had to pull Taz away.

When asked if he was told do interviews in ECW, Sabu said that he was but that he never wanted to do them and felt a mouthpiece works better for him.

He is asked about several other guys. Sabu said that for some reason he did not Tajiri at first but grew to like him later. On Steve Corino, Sabu said that he never even knew he was there until the end of his run and recalls how Corino approached him once and told Sabu he knew he didnt like, prompting Sabu to say “who the fuck are you.” Sabu then talks about how he just never crossed paths with him and if he doesnt greet you that does not mean he hates you. Sabu is a big fan of Rhyno and Justin Credible.

On how he left ECW, Sabu said that he wanted to make more money and that wasn’t happening in ECW. He tells the story of Heyman telling him he was going do to the job to Super Crazy and gave him a script. Sabu told Heyman that he could not read so Heyman read the script out loud with the whole locker room around him as it made Sabu look like an idiot. After that, Heyman asked if they had a deal and stuck out his hand. Sabu said that he shook it then took his bags and left. Sabu said it did not matter who he was going to put over as he was leaving.

Sabu talks about how FMW and even Heyman killed things by constantly trying to “have the world end every day.” He said that FMW started off by having one barbed-wire match a year then one a tour, to four a tour then talks about how he worked 16 matches on a tour and only one of them was a regular match. He then talks about how the constant barbed-wire matches lessened his enthusiasm and burned out the fans.

He talks about how Kevin Sullivan signed him to WCW after that but Heyman bluffed WCW saying that Sabu had a binding contract. WCW then told Sabu that he could either handle the deal or they could take it out from the second year of his deal. Sabu told WCW that he was going to take care of it but was not able to take him to court. Sabu said that Heyman prevented him from earning money on purpose.

On ECW going out of business, Sabu said that he was surprised as he thought Heyman would figure out a way to keep it going.

Sabu said that he wound up in XPW due to Big Dick Dudley. He said he got paid but the promotion sucked. He talks about dropping the belt to Rob Black as he was originally going to drop it to Messiah but he got fired for fucking the boss’s wife so they had an idea that he would wrestle against two Rob Black’s and his manager would cost him the match.

He is asked about working for the MECW promotion it in Indiana and starts to laugh. Sabu said he did a few shows and it was the lowest point of his career and recalls one night, they wrestled in front of 15 people and just four of them paid as the rest were all the wrestlers wives. He even said guys like Curt Hennig, Barry Windham, and Public Enemy were on the show. He said that the guy who ran the promotion gave him a counterfeit check and when he went to cash it at the bank, they almost arrested him then accused Sabu for making the check on a computer.

Sabu said he wound up in TNA after they called him up. He said he started to get into a groove but got sick and as a result, his feud with Raven never happened. He then talks about how he always felt like an outsider in that company and said there were a lot of cliques backstage. Sabu said Raven is cool and would hire him to run his wrestling company.

When asked about Teddy Hart, Sabu said that he will have a future in the business once he learns to shut his mouth. He said that Carly Colon (Carlito) was great to work with and has a future in the business.

Sabu said that he doesnt watch that much wrestling today but likes to watch Mysterio in the WWE but calls the WWE “too fancy” and how it is too scripted and it feels like the wrestlers are now stuntmen in a soap opera and the writers, who do not know fuck about the business, are controlling your fate.

He puts over Monty Brown for being a good worker at his experience level but said that in Japan they should not let him work in street fights because he is still learning and should be doing matwork only at this point.

When asked, Sabu said that he never paid attention to the politics of the business and said that the Sheik told him you have to compromise today with the promotion but Sabu said he does not always do that.

Sabu did not have a problem with Heyman taking a job with the WWE, saying that he has to make a living too. He then says that he does not have an opinion on everything and that he does not always ask or research everything and only comments on what happens in front of him and that he does not have the brain to remember everything.

He confirms that when he had his first tryout for Vince McMahon that the company wanted to change his name and modify his look and for the Iron Sheik to be his uncle, which Sabu said was “retarded” and joked that his uncle would have probably died earlier from a heart attack if he found out.

Sabu said earlier in his career he did not like the dirtsheets but does not mind them now as everything has been exposed.

On if another promotion can run a successful territory, Sabu said no because Vince killed those territories. He said that Heyman could afford to pay a few of the top guys but could not afford everyone.

He still talks to guys like Scott D’Amore, Terry Funk, and Kid Kash today.

Sabu talks about how he got sick while in Puerto Rico. He got an infection and thinks he will be able to wrestle in January. When he got the infection, he was not talking to anyone and in the hospital for two months and could not even walk.

Final Thoughts: Sabu seems like a cool guy. However, this interview bored me. A lot of the questions were about his time in FMW. He did make his name there but that is just not a promotion that I am familiar with thus not too keen on listening to stories about that.

Also, Sabu is not the best storyteller either. He does appear to have a stuttering problem but you can at least hear what he has to say. They did not ask a whole lot about any crazy stories from his time in ECW and since he says his memory is poor and only paid attention to himself, we really do not get any dirt dished out here.

I really do not recommend this interview unless you are a die-hard Sabu fan. The first 45 minutes I felt were tough to get through and it does get a bit interesting in the middle but that was all. I came away liking Sabu as a person though but that is the most positive thing I can say about the interview.

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