This was filmed in 2014
It was conducted by Rob Feinstein
Disc One runs at two hours and seventeen minutes long
The interview starts with Nova being asked about ECW going out of business. He talks about defending the ECW Tag Team Titles at the final show in Pine Bluff, AK. Nova talks about how he definitely knew it was done as they no longer had PPV and checks were bouncing. He mentions those in denial and thought it would restart in a few months but he was looking to move on at that time with a goal for working for the WWE.
Nova Said that he had no personal relationship with Paul Heyman and dealt with Tommy Dreamer almost all of the time. He said that he was scared of Heyman his first year and a half in the company. He then goes back and talks about how oblivious people were in thinking that ECW would be restarting seeing how they did not even have any shows booked.
He talks about making more money in the Independents the year after ECW closed than he did in any other year prior. He worked for Scott D’Amore at Border City Wrestling and puts him over. He said that he and a few other guys worked shows from these guys in Pennsylvania and he got paid $500-600 as soon as he got off of the plane. He also worked some WWA shows after Jeremy Borash got him the gig. At the time, he was teaming with Frankie Kazarian and asked to face Kronik and knew that he was jobbing and did not want to do it as he had to make a living on the independents and did not want to work a three minute squash. He then said that Brian Adams called him and said that they needed good workers go up against like themselves because they were shit.
Nova talks some more about WWA some more and said that he hung out with Sabu seven days straight and that he was clean and they would go to the gym together each morning and Sabu would even wake him up to go in the morning. Nova then said that he shared a room with AJ Styles and they were the only two on the tour that did not have their own room. After doing three-way matches with AJ and Jerry Lynn, he was supposed to face them on the PPV in Australia but at that time Nova had signed a WWE Developmental Deal with Jim Ross and did not tell anyone at the show as he did not want word getting out but Buff Bagwell asked him if he had signed as Ross put in on his “Ross Report.” Nova then said that he was supposed to work a ten minute opener against AJ but after two minutes they told them to “go home.”
He talks about Kazarian and said that he went to his wedding a few years ago and calls him a true pro in and out of the ring. Nova then says that he doesn’t talk about his friends in the business on social media and that he will never have a Twitter account then uses his Facebook account to basically talk about the Dallas Cowboys. Rick Bassman, the owner of UPW, told Nova and Kazarian after they were hanging out of before the show and said they looked like a team and gave them the name “Evolution.” When asked if HHH stole the Evolution name from them, he says he doesn’t give a shit as their is no comparison to HHH’s version then says that HHH is “gold.”
Nova puts over UPW for saving his career as at that time he was finishing his degree then says that he never saw himself as a “lifer” in wrestling and never wanted a 30 year career. He talks about some of the guys in UPW like Aaron Aguilera (Jesus in the WWE), Nathan Jones, Heidenreich, and the Ballad Brothers.
Now, he is asked about an incident at a UPW Show while teaming with Kazarian against Danny Doring & Roadkill. Nova first talks about Doring and brings up how he never hung out with him in ECW then talks about Doring talking shit about him in shoot interviews and wonders how long does a Doring shoot interview last as his career was not that long then says that he is not knocking him and that it is just reality. He then talks about wrestling against them in ECW and prefaces it by how he doesn’t want to sound egotistical but that he never felt like they were caring about the match the same way that they did. He did say that Doring cared a lot more than Roadkill, who he said only got over due to his cult following then said that Doring is an average worker. He then says that he was the one who brought them into UPW. Doring & Roadkill apparently booked themselves an autograph signing beforehand and came to the building at 8pm then proceeds to tell the story of what happened for the first time ever. He said that the locker room wanted to kill them and were filled with lunatics like Heidenreich, Horshu, and Tom Howard. Nova said that one night when Doring’s mother passed away, he gave up his pay for the show to Doring so he could support his younger brother. He said that they were seeing on who would go over as they were the last ECW Tag Team Champions and did not want to put over Nova & Kazarian and only thinking about themselves so they had the match end in a double DQ with a run-in finish. Nova then said that he blames most of this on Roadkill and feels a little sorry for Doring but then felt that he could have done more to stop his partner from being difficult to work with.
Nova then talks about Doring and how he got to the WWE as a favor for Tommy Dreamer then said that he would be in writer’s meetings and that they would shit all over Doring as Nova sat there wondering why would you say all of those things with him being there. He then talks about being in John Laurinaitis’ office when they fired Doring and how Johnny offered him a job as a referee and Doring declined and got cut. Nova said that Roadkill agreed to go to OVW as he calls him a “piece of shit” then tells him to go fuck himself. Nova then apologizes to Doring for stiffing him and “receipting” him in ECW and wishes him the best of luck but says Roadkill can go fall off of a cliff. He then tells a story of Roadkill in OVW and how he stayed around to help write the shows after being released then even while working for free they had to tell him he was not welcome there anymore. Nova then tells a story about Roadkill and how Bruce Prichard, who Nova sarcastically calls a “true visionary of the business,” saw Roadkill in OVW then was told by Laurinaitis one night that while on the company plane, Prichard pitched an idea to Vince for Roadkill to face Undertaker at WrestleMania as he felt he was going to be a big deal. Nova talks about how he would read the agent reports and said that he never read worst reports than the ones that were written about Roadkill. Nova then says that Roadkill claimed that Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) hurt his neck and hinted that he made up injuries when rumors about cuts were being made with the belief that his job would be safe if he was injured.
He talks about wrestling for the PCW promotion and how he was facing Eddie Guerrero after he got released from the WWE and that Eddie wanted to put over Nova as it was the promotion he worked for but Nova said he refused to go over and they went back and forth until Eddie agreed to go over. He even talks how Eddie fucked with him during the match as he pulled Nova on top of him a few times. Nova closes this by stating how it was the proudest moment in his career for the fact that he could hang in the ring with one of the best wrestlers in the world and that all of his hard training paid off in this match.
When asked how he got signed by the WWE, Nova said that he was out doing motion capture stuff for the “Legends of Wrestling” game when he got a call from Kevin Kelly, who he said is cool, and that they were having a tryout camp. This was in the Summer or Fall of 2001. Just before the camp, Kelly called him up and said that he thinks they are just going to hire him and that he was bypassing the tryout camp altogether. Nova said that Jim Cornette vouched for him and was the reason he got hired. He saw him at Dennis Coralluzzo’s funeral right after ECW closed and told Nova that he was going to put a word in for him with the WWE. Nova talks about getting a call from John Laurinaitis and said that he gave him the standard line of how you will be down in OVW for a few months then called up to the main roster as Nova said he was still there two years later.
About the people in OVW he worked with, Nova said that he likes Danny Davis but feels sad as his company is barely hanging on and felt bad when the OVW/WWE alliance ended. He talks about Cornette again and said that he treated him better than anyone else in wrestling besides his brother (Donnie B.) When Nova was in developmental for a lot longer than he should have been, Cornette let Nova write the TV shows and taught him the behind the scenes stuff. He said that he had a lot of fun doing that down there then puts over the young talent. The head trainers when he first got to OVW was Tom Prichard but he got fired. Nova puts him over for being a straight-shooter.
Nova talks about how the guys were not allowed to watch ECW tapes down there as they felt it was garbage wrestling and also added the fact that Cornette hated Heyman as another reason. He said he became friends with Matt Morgan and knew him a little as he came to the ECW shows and worked as a bouncer in New Jersey. During their first training session, Nova blew them away with what he did in Morgan. He said that he started on the same day as Matt Morgan, Seven (Mordecai, Kevin Thorn), Horshu (Luther Reigns), and Heidenreich. All huge guys. Nova said that he always worked hard and never saw the fact that he was in developmental as a punishment.
He tells a story about working for the HWA promotion run by Les Thatcher. At that time, HWA was another WWE Developmental Territory. He worked a show for them and the house was triple what it usually was as several OVW guys were there too. Matt Stryker (not the on in the WWE) told Nova that no one was getting paid for this show. Nova was with Rene Dupree and said that after ECW closed, he promised himself that he would never get stiffed by another promoter ever again. They called Danny Davis and Cornette, who were bullshit, and a few months later, Thatcher came to OVW and went over to both Dupree and himself and gave then $50. Nova said that Thatcher is an old-time carny but a good guy overall.
When asked how he became a heel, Nova said that he approached Cornette and said that he wanted to be a heel. Cornette said that he did not think it would work as he had been a face his whole career. Nova then said that he started his Jersey stable and brought in Tank Toland (James Dick in the WWE), Danny Inferno, and Joey Matthews (Joey Mercury). They teamed Mercury with Johnny Nitro and said that he met Aaron Stevens (Damien Sandow) and knew that he would be the crown jewel with the stable. Nova puts over Stevens for being a great person and said he had a ton of natural ability and is not only his best friend but his daughter’s godfather. He said that he knew Stevens would make it one day and said after getting cut from developmental he spent a year living at his house and said that no one would book him, not even his so-called friends and said that TNA wouldn’t even put him in a dark match and had to go to Puerto Rico and reinvented himself then came back and got signed to another Developmental Deal where he grew out his beard and created the Damien Sandow character. . Nova says that Stevens deserved every penny he gets and says that not many people know that he has been wrestling since he was 19 years old and his a 15 year veteran.
Feinstein asks Nova about his memories of John Cena in OVW. He calls him a top notch pro and a fan of the business. He wrestled Cena and ended his year-long undefeated streak clean in the ring. Nova then talks about how when he worked in the office, he would see the schedule that they kept for Cena and said that it was more than anyone elses. Nova said that guys would turn stuff down but Cena never did then says that he believes Cena’s career will end early due to injury. Nova then says that when Cena leaves the company will be in trouble as he has been the only true star created by the WWE in the past ten years.
Nova puts over Christian a ton, saying that he has an incredible mind for the business and for the fact that he does not have heat with anyone in wrestling. Nova said that if he owned a wrestling company, he would make Christian the head trainer.
When asked about Lance Cade’s death, Nova said he will not speak ill of the dead but his death did not surprise him at all as his addiction was really bad. Nova said he saw Cade as a kid with a ton of potential and that they gave him a few chances but thinks that he had a seizure on an airplane that led to his release. He then wonders if he would be around today if the Wellness Policy was around.
On Chris Kanyon, Nova looks right into the camera and says how he got a RAW deal in this business. He calls him a great guy and says that people think that they hated each other as they both had the “Innovator” gimmick and would actually call each other up and trade ideas to moves. He then said that Kanyon almost died due to a botched shoulder surgery and went down voluntarily to OVW and trained on his own dime and when he finally was ready to come back, they put him in a box as part of a Boy George skit as Nova suspects those in the WWE knew that he was gay and did this purposely as part of a giant rib. Nova says watching that pisses him off and who would ever think this was funny and it wasn’t going to draw money or even lead to a match. He then talks about how Kanyon was so passionate and would have given his life for the business and was a great dude and said that others turned on him after he came out and acted bizarre on the Howard Stern show.
He is asked about several guys in OVW. Nova said that he thought Doug Basham was a good worker and puts him over for working crazy long shifts for Ford Motors then training in OVW. He did say that he would bury people behind the scenes and did other political moves that left him shaking his head but Nova attributes some of that to when you make it to the main roster and how you basically go into survival mode. He did say that he was one of the most grossly underused guys and talks about how little sense it made to stick Linda Miles with and Danny Basham. He said before his release, Doug was practicing a magician gimmick. He talks about Chris Nowinski and said that he felt bad after he slipped while hitting him with an enziguiri and ended up kicking him in the head and calls it the “JFK bump” as Nowinski got kicked so hard in the head that he bumped backwards then in the same match accidentally re-broke his nose during a reverse rollup when Nowinski was wearing a mask at the time.
Nova is then asked about Rene Dupree. He said that he was cool with him until the remark he made in his shoot interview about him (In his RF Video shoot, Rene said that Nova was “cool as shit” when he was in OVW but did a 180 once he got an office job ad hinted that the power went to his head). Nova said that very few people had the potential that he did coming into OVW but that his career was ruined because of drugs. He said that everyone in OVW thought Rene was spoiled and lazy but Nova said he never saw that and just saw a guy biding his time until he got called up to the main roster then goes on about Dupree and even Carlito paid more dues than just about anyone in the business as they were born into it and were wrestling matches in the early teens. When Rene first got called up, Nova said he let him travel with him and called Rene a slob and that he was weird and talked about how no one wanted ride with him for that reason. He said that your final day in OVW you had to do a one hour broadway and Nova had to do his with Dupree, who was all fucked up, and Nova said that he led him through the match and calls it one of his proudest accomplishments. Nova then talks about how when Dupree was going back and forth between WWE and OVW, he came down to OVW and was all fucked up in the ring and took a suplex then got up and was dazed as his genitals were hanging out of his tights. Laurinaitis called him into his office and showed him the tape and wanted to fire him on the spot but Nova called Dupree first, who ended up crying to him on the phone saying that he had a problem so they sent him to rehab and that is what pisses him off about Dupree’s comments as Nova said he saved his job and life for sending him to rehab. Nova even said that he felt bad after Bob Holly kicked his ass, which he deserved.
He talks about how he never had the power in wrestling that others accuse him of having then talks about how those guy might be mad that he outworked them both in and out of the ring. Nova then states that luck is bullshit and that hard work and preparation is how you become successful.
When asked about Bob Holly, Nova said that he never had a problem with Holly while in the WWE then someone sent him an excerpt from Holly’s book in which he said that Nova was a stooge and that no one was sad to see him leave. Nova then cant believe how Holly has a book and buried him. He said that he wrestled Holly about 50 times and loved it how they always hit hard and calls him a pro in the ring and says that he always got a pop when his music hit. When asked about Holly beating Matt Cappotelli, Nova said that he did not get the incident and is almost glad that Cappotelli never made the main roster for the simple fact that he was afraid of how the others would treat him. Nova talks more about the “Tough Enough” incident and how he does not understand how the other trainers let that happen and would love to ask Al Snow how he let Holly beat down this kid. He said how he never really had a relationship with Al even when they worked in the office together then mentions how HHH hates Al and always said that he was a joke and questioned why he was training people.
Nova is then asked about him being told by Steph to cut his hair because he looked too much like HHH. At that time, he said that the WWE was on a hair cutting kick and Laurinaitis brought Nova over to Steph if he would look more unique with a haircut and she said that he might and that was all. He said that the only one who got pissed over the haircut was Cornette because he would have worked that into a hair vs. hair match. Nova puts over Steph for having all the tools to become a great CEO and thinks that she was more like Vince while Shane was more like his mother.
He tells a story about Rhino in OVW. Nova said that he got into the ring to practice and took a chop from him but Rhino’s elbow caught him on the lip and split it open completely as he had to go to the hospital where a plastic surgeon corrected his lip line. When asked what happened with him and the WWE, Nova said that someone in the company must have it out for him because he is built like a brick shithouse and the Gore is over and said he guarantees if he came out on WWE TV today and Gored a member of the Shield it would get a massive pop. He calls him a great human being and says he is a complete 180 of his wrestling character.
Nova tells a story about traveling with Nunzio and how he drove so fast that he got two speeding tickets in the span of an hour as they were driving home from a show in Boston while in ECW.
When asked if Vince was approachable, Nova said that he was intimidated at first and loved the Simon Dean gimmick. He then said that one day while he was riding his segway scooter backstage, he saw Vince walking by with a cup of coffee and decided to knock it out of his hand and kept on going without thinking twice. Nova calls Vince the second most influential man in his life besides his father. He also adds that Vince and Laurinaitis hand picked him to run Developmental.
Nova also says that he is great friends with Mark Henry and how they have an agreement to attend the Super Bowl together if the Cowboys make it to the game. He then tells a story of how they became good friends. Henry was wrestling Chris Benoit at a house show and really messed up his shoulder. Nova said that he helped him get dressed, carried his bags, and drove him to the hospital and they have been great friends since. Nova then said how Henry talks about having backers when he leaves the WWE that want to promote wrestling and that Henry wants him to be his “Johnny Ace.”
On the creation of Simon Dean, Nova said that he was at TV for a dark match when Laurinaitis told him that Vince wanted to meet to find out more about him. They met and Vince told him that his work was good and that he was clean and wanted to know more so he can make him money. Nova told him that he had an idea of creating a fitness character in the mold of Tony Little and Jack LaLanne and in the back of his head knew that Vince was into working out and hoped he would bite on his idea. Vince talked about vignettes and promos then Nova told him that he had an idea to do infomercials instead and Vince loved the idea and replied that it was “fucking fantastic” and suggested that he get a purple jumpsuit and makes fun of all the “fat motherfuckers.” Soon after that, Vince came down to OVW to watch a bunch of matches and see the guys. That day, Nova had prepared to do the character and had the purple jumpsuit and whistle to go with the gym bag he carried to the ring and did the character which at the time was called “Sonny Slade.” He went into the whole thing as Vince loved it as did writers Chris DeJoseph (Big Dick Johnson) and Court Bauer. After that, Laurinaitis told him he was going to get called up to the main roster and in two weeks, he was flown up to Stamford to film the vignettes. When he got there, he thought that they would have scripts and sets for him to film but they asked Nova what he wanted to do and he ended up putting together the Simon System infomercials himself. Originally, he wanted to use Tommy Dreamer’s number at the bottom of the screen but they nixed that idea. He then said that Vince told him that he knew how to do the character and that he had free reign then talks about he was never once handed a script or told what to say.
He tells a story of how he included the segway scooter in his act. He was at the casino and saw someone point out a fat guy on one and how he was too fat to walk then Nova said that he was too lazy to walk and ended up getting one for $50 and tickets to the show from a guy in Toronto. Nova brought the scooter (The Dean Machine) to the show and Stephanie saw it and went to find Vince to get approval and he loved the idea. Nova said that it now sits in a warehouse in Stamford, CT.
Nova talks about how he wanted a stable including a wife that he wanted to be called “Jean Dean.” He originally suggested Jillian Hall for that role to have a matching outfit and almost had a midget wrestler play a mini version of him that he wanted to carry to the ring in a backpack but they nixed the idea only for Hornswoggle to be brought in for Finlay six months later. He also was going to have the Dicks (Tank Toland & Chad Wicks) for his henchmen but the company shit on them for being too short and gave them the awful Dick last names then suggested the Shane Twins in that role and came up with the “Gymini” name for them. He said the Gymini were bad ass motherfuckers who could work but they were already in their 30’s when they got called up and Todd tore his bicep shortly after that then they were released months later.
Feinstein asks him about several guys he worked with in the WWE. He says that he liked working with Rosey and is proud of his weight loss. Nova says that he loves Shane Helms and talks about he was one of the top merchandise sellers in the company at one point. Nova then talks about how he wished he ruffled from feathers when they told him he was beating Helms with a low blow and a rollup in his debut match because after that he was perceived as a guy who could only win that way as Nova said he could have used an illegal move then hit his opponent with his finisher. Nova then tells guys in the WWE today to not be afraid to ruffle some feathers. He talks about teaming with Maven and how Michael Hayes shit all over their first match as a team. Nova liked Shelton Benjamin and said that he one of the most naturally gifted athletes he had ever seen. He also shits all over the idea of giving him a fat mother and asks why it couldnt have been someone who looked like Claire Huxtable. Nova said that the company said he had no mic skills but when he talked to Shelton he always thought he was charismatic. Nova puts over Kane and says the company would be a much better place if everyone acted like he did backstage. He talks about how Chris Jericho was a total pro who never stabbed anyone in the back and beat the game as he had a lot of roadblocks to overcome as the company never thought of him as a top guy. He liked Maven a lot and said he tried to reach out to him when he was struggling with his addiction to pain medication. Nova then tells a story about how they always used to keep action figures of all the wrestlers in the back near the seamstress and about a week before he got fired, Nova saw that Maven’s figure was in the trash so he grabbed it and put it in his bag and a year or so later he saw Maven visiting backstage at a house show and gave him his figure and he was almost in tears when it was handed to him.
When he was on RAW, he traveled with Rob Conway, Sylvan Grenier, and Gene Snitsky. Nova said that he never drank either. On Smackdown, he traveled with Chris Masters, Paul Burchill, and Jillian Hall.
Nova then talks about “Boogeyman Duty.” Marty Wright, who was the Boogeyman, was someone who the WWE felt was incapable of traveling by himself and needed supervision. Nova said that he did it for six months and did not mind because the company paid for the rental car and that they got to the arena early so that the Boogeyman could have his makeup put on. He then said that Vince loved the character and backstage would randomly go up to people to get their attention then yell “I’M COMING TO GET YA!!!!” He said he liked Marty but did not think he was capable of doing the most basic of wrestling moves and if he did, he might have been able to become this generation’s Ultimate Warrior.
He talks about his first loss in the WWE and how at that point he realized that he wasnt going anywhere after that. Nova then said that Bruce Prichard and Michael Hayes were not fans of his gimmick. He then talks about how after that they bury you then reheat you for a bit then talks about how in the real world, you actually get rewarded for being dependable, respectful, and producing results and are treated well but that does not always happen in the world of wrestling. Nova then talks about how in the WWE you are basically under a mind control and try to make you think that this is it and you cannot do anything else and feels like it is some weird culture of how you are unable to do anything once you leave the company. Nova talked about how he was going to school at that time because he never planned on only wrestling for his entire life.
When asked about Bobby Lashley, Nova said he took a lot of pride in the fact that Lashley came up to him and thanked him for not trying to make him look like shit as a lot of the roster was doing that to him at the time. He puts over Lashley for his attitude and tells a story of how he was training in OVW and his daughter was just about to be born and wanted to go home. He was going to wrestle Lashley on TV and went up to Arn Anderson and said that he wanted to make him look as strong as possible so Lashley could get put on the road permanently and Nova said that he made him look good and convinced Laurinaitis to put him on the road so he could leave OVW and go home to his family and he agreed. A week later, Nova said that he put together the PPV angle with Lashley after he broke his hand in a match on “Sunday Night Heat.” Nova said that he practiced the match with Lashley five times because he wanted him to have a good showing.
Final Thoughts: Excellent stuff. Nova sat there and talked about everything from his frustrations about being stuck in OVW for two years and what it was like being on the main roster. He also has stories on just about everyone too and tells you about those on the bottom and on the top. Nova was not afraid to talk about anyone and did not have an agenda. He can com across as arrogant at times and a lot of guys in the business have stated how they disliked him but he has also done a lot of nice things for people and was not into fucking around with people. I also liked that he was smart enough to realize that his wrestling career was not going to last forever and is now a manager at a successful bank in Kentucky.
Disc Two will be up tomorrow and is filled with all sorts of great stories as well.
I highly recommend this shoot as it is one of the best to come out in the past year. You can purchase it at RFVideo.com by clicking on the link below