RF Video Shoot Interview with Kevin Steen

This was released in early 2014

The interview was conducted by Brett Lauderdale

It runs at four hours and one minute long

Steen talks about growing up and having to move to his grandparents house with his parents as they could no longer take care of themselves and because kids in the town would rob them and even tried to set the house on fire. He was 13 years old at the time. He said it was a small “shit” town filled with old people and mentions how he was too far away from his friends to walk over to their houses so he stayed there by himself all Summer. Steen said they did not even have cable so he would watch the same Simpsons tape over and over again.

His first memories of wrestling was at age 11 when his dad rented WrestleMania XI. He saw the first match, British Bulldog & Lex Luger vs. Blu Brothers, and was hooked after that. He then said that after watching Shawn Michaels match against Diesel blew his mind and he wanted to be a wrestler after that. He said he copied every match on that tape except for Bret Hart’s, because he found him incredibly boring. Steen said he has learned to appreciate him over time. Steen said his first live WWF show was at the Montreal Forum in 1996. It is now a movie theater.

He was first trained by Serge Jodoin, a former WWF job guy, at age 16. He first met him at a show that took place at a corn festival in what Steen calls a trashy venue that had drunks fighting with the wrestlers. He then trained at his barn and it cost $70 a month for three days of training weekly. He did that for about two months until the barn collapsed. Steen said Jodoin did good at teaching the basics and almost quit after the first day but went back.

A year later, he found out that Jacques Rougeau was opening a wrestling school and had his mom call up because he was only 16 years of age. The interviewer then asks him about Rougeau as Steen said that his experiences with him were mostly negative then talks about Devon “Hannibal” Nicholson in his shoot interview and how he called him (Steen) ungrateful and would kick his ass as Steen said that was not the same Devon he knew, the same Devon that he helped train at the school.

Back to Jacques, Steen said that if you did not completely devote 100% of your time to his cause, then he would consider you ungrateful. Steen said he was wrestling and going to school at the time. After a few months, Jacques stopped training them and was replaced by a guy named “Eric.” Steen also said that Jacques trained them to wrestle for his shows and not for the real world.

Steen said that he was Jacques top trainee and wowed everyone with his 450 splash. Steen then said that Jacques would tell guys that they would be losing when going up against him.

He goes further into Rougeau and how he would not want his guys to go to other shows. Steen said at that point, a lot of his friends were going to IWS as Rougeau was disinterested in the school and barely showing up so after seeing all his friends leave, he decided to go to the shows. It was there that he saw El Generico (Sami Zayn) for the first time. After a while, Steen asked Rougeau for his blessing to work for them and he said yes.

On the guys in IWS, he tells us about Crazy Manny, who said all sorts of crazy shit to them like he fucked their wives and blew cocaine off of their asses. Steen said it was an act and Manny was actually a really nice guy but crazy too.

Back to Rougeau, Steen tells about a story of how Rougeau promised Steen a tryout when the WWE came to town but had made him sign an agreement that would allow Rougeau to be an agent for his match and make 15% of his salary. Steen said he always wanted to wrestle in the WWE but was having fun where he was and got Rougeau to let him wrestle one more match in IWS to finish up for good. Steen said he was working is job, which was the night shift at a gas station, and pondering about his future as he was exhausted from going to school, work, then wrestling school as he had been up for 24 hours straight and went to the IWS show, where they told him to do what he had to do while some said that Rougeau wouldn’t so anything for him and he should stay. He had his match against El Generico as the fans found out he was going and chanted “please don’t go” as Steen said he got emotional and cried backstage. He was going to call Rougeau to work on the deal but decided against that and said at the time, he was very skinny and shorter than he was now and as a result, would have been laughed out of the building during his tryout. He said that his secret weapon was a 450 splash and the WWE has probably seen that a million times. Rougeau then called him as Steen told him he did not want him as his agent and was going to keep wrestling as Rougeau told him never to show up to his school again and that was the last time he spoke with him, on November 23rd, 2003. Steen then said that Rougeau picked two guys who got a tryout about a year later and they got squashed by Hurricane & Rosey on Heat. Steen then calls Rougeau out for being delusional and thought his guys would be getting a long match together instead of being used as jobbers. Steen also heard he was so obnoxious backstage that Rick Martel, who was visiting as the show was in Quebec, told an agent after the match to get Rougeau the fuck out of their and they eventually asked him to leave.

When asked if he heard about CZW at that time, Steen said he did and what he saw, from a German CZW site, blew his mind. Steen said he was eager to make a name for himself and wanted to wrestle wherever he could. He made his debut after being brought in to wrestle in a four-way, along with El Generico, and that put them on the map in the U.S. indy scene. This was in 2004.

Steen talks about the guys in CZW. He said Nick Gage was one of the weirdest guys as he was friendly the first time then standoffish the next. He also said that Justice Pain was a dick. Steen then goes on about how if you feel threatened in a company (CZW) that you will never make money and is basically around for fun, then you are ridiculous. He said its not like the WWE where a lot of money is on the line.

In November of 2004, Steen made his debut in PWG. It was supposed to be a one-time deal and he and Generico even offered to wrestle for free as long as they had their tickets paid for but did get paid at the end. They were both just 20 years old at the time. He said it was the most fun he had in his life.

Steen put over the PWG locker room except for Scorpio Sky, who Steen calls a “bitter dude” who is upset about his lack of recognition. Steen said that he is a tremendous wrestler but probably does not get the recognition due to his attitude. Their first show was supposed to be against Sky and Quiksilver but they no-showed, blaming it on traffic as Steen and Generico wrestled each other. Steen said that they probably would have never gotten over as much as they did in a tag match.

On his Ring of Honor debut, he was at a show and handed a tape to Gabe Sapolsky and a few months later got a call. Steen was told to wrestle under a hood to face Jay Lethal at Final Battle then he would wrestle as himself that February. However, he got hurt so Generico took his role as the “Green Phantom.” He made his debut later than year (2005) and said he didn’t really have any good matches as he recalls having one particularly horrible match against Vordell Walker that had CM Punk yell at him in the locker room when he finished. Steen said for some reason it didn’t click in his first run.

He is asked about a rumor about an incident with CM Punk. Steen said he was hanging out in the back and was asked by Gabe to wear a singlet because he didn’t want anyone wrestling with t-shirts on for the show, despite the fact that Homicide and others did at the time. Steen wrestled and said it was fine but did not feel like it was him and says that people can say he is trying to hide that he is fat a Steen says everyone knows  and think it looks better and if people disagree he is fine with that. But that afternoon, Punk made a crack about him wrestling in a shirt as Steen said he just took it as a joke, believing that they were on good terms. After the match, Steen said he was blown up and joked around and asked if he was happy for him wrestling in the singlet and said that Punk took offense to that as Steen said he might have sounded like that as he was out of breath but meant no ill will and might have took it the same way as Punk did if the roles were reversed. Steen said that they know each other better now and laughs off the rumors that they almost came to blows as a result.

Steen tells a story about how he was supposed to wrestle Teddy Hart at a Jersey All Pro show but Hart claimed his shoulder was injured yet was doing pull-ups on the basketball hoop. He was then going to team with Justin Credible but found out that he left after Low Ki refused to allow his ride into the show without a ticket so Credible said fuck it and quit. Steen then teamed with Generico against Ki and a few other guys. Steen said he has no problem with Ki but that Ki does not respect him at all. Steen then said one time Ki initially refused to job to Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro) at a PWG show and how that blew his mind, saying how could you not lose to someone like him, the guy who has been a champion for a year. Steen also tells a story of how he called Ki once and how Ki was pissed after Steen introduced himself because he had caller ID and knew who was calling.

He is asked about several other guys. Steen said that AJ Styles is incredible and always willing to do what he wanted. He also said he would take the Styles Clash from the apron to the floor when they wrestled as it got a great reaction but would also hurt his legs. He loves Bryan Danielson but also said he does not have good chemistry with him. They wrestled in PWG, at Steen’s request as it was his birthday, so they had an angle in which Steen told the fans he would leave if he lost and when he did lose, Danielson let him stay as long as he sung “Happy Birthday” because it was Danielson’s birthday a few weeks later. He really misses Chris Bosh, who he said is the nicest and funniest guys he knows. Steen thinks he could have been huge but he decided to leave wrestling.

Steen was in CZW and said he hated it there as the fans were terrible, which Steen said was due to the promotion putting out a shitty promotion. He said that he spoke with Colt Cabana and came up with an idea to get him back into Ring of Honor during their feud with CZW and wanted to be the traitor but it never came to fruition.

While going to Europe, Steen said he was told that the fans in Germany really hated him then talks about how he has found that people either love or hate him. During that tour, he won the crowd over and the crowd turned his back on him at the beginning of his match.

He is now asked about Davey Richards. Steen said he wrestled him for the first time several years ago and was humble and respectful but now is different but very talented. Steen said he thought Davey was a friend but would stay some stuff but now they are in a “good” place. Steen said he is misunderstood but also not an easy person to read.

On going back to Ring of Honor, Steen credits the Briscoes for getting him in and talks about how you cannot judge them as individuals until you meet him. While Steen does not agree with some of the stuff they have said on Twitter, he likes them as people and calls them great wrestlers.

Steen said that he liked Gabe and felt comfortable talking to him but did not always agree with him. He does feel that Gabe is very appreciative of the wrestlers. Steen credits Cary Silkin for helping out not only his career but his life and cites his passion for wrestling in keeping RoH alive.

He talks about how he was working a full-time regular job for his primary income before signing with RoH and as a result he stopped working for PWG because he would be away from his family for too long.

Steen said that originally, there was a plan of him and Generico to have a three-way feud with The Briscoes and the Kings of Wrestling but the KoW got pulled from that as Steen & Generico fought the Briscoes instead.

When asked about the guys he worked with in 2008, Steen said that Brent Albright was a bully back and unnecessarily stiff in the ring. He recalls once when Albright kicked him in the teeth and was so pissed because he thought his teeth were broken so he ended up slapping the shit out of Albright, which shocked him. He loved working against Joey Matthews and said he learned a lot. Steen also said that he loved their match at the 6th Anniversary show and doesnt understand why people did not like that match.

Steen talks about how he has never received a concussion from wrestling but notes that Generico has had many and that he would do jumping jacks backstage to prove that he was okay enough to wrestle.

On whether or not he was shocked that Gabe was fired, Steen said he was not as Cary told him before it happened something big was happening and changes where needed. Steen said towards the end the booking was odd as they never defended the belts and would wrestle in singles matches and nothing else was making sense. When Adam Pearce was the replacement, Steen thought that Generico and him were done as they were not close.

When Pearce took over, his guys like Brent Albright were happy as they wanted a more old-school elemnt and to slow things down in the ring. Steen said that he had it out for them at the beginning as they told them they were not wrestling the style they used, the style that RoH had been using since it began. Steen said it got better over time but they never felt like they were part of their plans.

Steen talks about how when they made their debut on HD Net, the show came off really corny but that it got better towards the end.

He was excited when Ric Flair came into the company and said he was nice but after a while he started acting like a dick to other people. Steen said that Flair complimented Generico and himself. Steen could not tell if he was genuine though and says that he is the Flair character all of the time. He tells a story of Flair berating Cary backstage and when his music hit, Flair told him “alright motherfucker, I am going to go out there and put you over” as Flair went out to the ring and thanked Cary. Steen said that Flair was always good with him though.

Steen puts over Sylvan Grenier for being a good guy and a better wrestler than people give him credit for as while he might not be Ricky Steamboat, he does try and improve.

On Jim Cornette coming to RoH, Steen said they got along well at the beginning as they new each other from 2004 during an OVW tryout camp. However, while in RoH, Cornette ignored him and booked him in lesser matches and that when Pearce got fired and replaced by Cornette and Delirious, things got worse. Steen even mentioned how Cornette tried to get Colt Cabana booked off of shows as Cabana was pissed because Cornette was trying to take money away from him by doing that. Cornette hated a match they had together as well. Steen said Cabana is “one of the good ones.”

Cornette also told Steen at one point that he was going to go home for six months after his feud with Generico ended. Steen said he understood from a storyline point but that he needed to make money and when Cornette told him it was only a few thousand dollars, Steen brought up how he didnt make six figures in the 80’s. Steen said that Cary agreed to give him some money for the shows he missed and not Cornette, who claims that he did. Steen is asked about the rumor of him being sent home to get in shape as he said they told him it wouldnt hurt to slim down but that was not the main reason. In fact, Steen said that he almost quit wrestling after that and would have if not for PWG.

Steen said that wrestling passed Cornette by and did not care about the RoH faithful that were there since day one as he wanted to only concentrate on only getting mainstream fans. Steen said that he could have done both.

He felt happy for Cary after selling RoH because he put in a lot of time and now got something back. Steen said there were some growing pains but now the company is going strong.

On his public feud with Cornette, Steen said that in a public interview that Cornette should not be involved in the creative aspect of a wrestling company because he is out-of-touch and that set him off to the point where he was making personal attacks, something Steen said he never brought up at all with Cornette. Steen said that Cornette wouldn’t shut the fuck up about it and thinks he was probably used to everyone saying how great he was. Steen even said he emailed Cornette an apology for hurting his feelings because it was not his intent but it was what he felt. Cornette never responded to him and Steen said he even told a friend to say hi to him at a show and when he did, Cornette went nuts. Steen also told Cornette he would film a shoot with him but Cornette never got back to him.

Steen talks more about Cornette and said he is a great talent and helpful on promos but using hokey gimmicks like “Border Wars” and matches were the winner made $2,000 as Steen felt it lost it edge and became like every other wrestling company. Steen said he is passionate and cares about what he does and if he feels like he can help out or disagrees, he will speak up. Steen said if that makes him hard to work with then maybe he is but adds that he has not been fired from every job that he had, unlike Cornette.

The night Cornette quit, Steen said Cornette was a little more high strung than usual and said he admires Cornette for getting pissed because the office left while a wrestler was hurt and trying to help him but screaming like a fucking maniac is not the way to go about things, even noting how the EMT’s couldn’t believe he was there boss. Steen said it was good for Cornette’s health to leave because he was looking on the verge of having a heart attack.

When he beat Davey Richards for the title, Steen said he was happy and proud that his family was in attendance but the fact the iPPV feed was messed up and most people gave up on the shoe soured it a bit. Steen said he thought his reign was okay but could have been better but it was not the fault of anyone and would like another chance at that. He said winning in Canada was cool but feels like the New York crowd likes him the most. He liked his matches against Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal, who Steen says his very underrated. He said the idea to spit on his parents was Cornette’s idea. On Elgin, Steen said that when he first wrestled him he thought he sucked but now thinks he is excellent.

Lauderdale asks him about Davey Richards publically stating that Steen was not an athlete and other things as Steen said that took him aback and Richards later back-tracked and blamed it on him being upset in life and taking things out on people. Steen said he was fine with that apology. Steen said that he is trying to get in better shape and that Richards offered to help and is a good friend but you never know what you are going to get with him. He does note he has been positive in his life and is happy but what goes on in his life dictates how he acts.

Steen says his relationship with RoH is better today but wishes there would be more direction with him.

He is asked about his contract, which is expiring, and what he is doing next. Steen said he needs to support family and that pro wrestling has been good to him and wants to continue doing so. He enjoys all of the promotions he has wrestled for and wants to keep wrestling for them or somewhere else where he can make good money. Steen is then asked about the rumor that he will have a tryout with the WWE at the Performance Center. They guarantee Steen the interview will not come out until after March then Steen confirms. He is happy the WWE thought enough of him to send an invite and credits William Regal for getting him the tryout. Steen said he knows of five indy guys going to the tryout and while he does not know if he will get hired or not it is ridiculous to think they have no intention of hiring people they invite as they pay to fly you out and put you up in a hotel and will not do that for no reason. Steen does not believe he will be brought just to be told “no.” He just wants to say that he gave it his all and if it doesnt work, he can still look at himself in the mirror with regards to the tryout. When asked, Steen said he is willing to start from new scratch if signed as he is not afraid of change. Steen also says that any wrestler who has never been there and says the WWE is not for them is just kidding themselves and you have to tryout if given the opportunity.

When asked if he would have interest in TNA, Steen said sure as he has to be able to provide for his family and if they offer something like that he would consider. He just wants himself and his family to be happy.

Steen closes by saying he loves wrestling and all it has brought to him as there are too many great moments to list. He then talks about supporting his family and how he has made enough money off of the indies the past two years that his wife does not have to work. He then says he will stop wrestling when it comes detrimental to his health or his family and has that sense but feels most people do not. He also thanks the fans, promotions, and companies like RF Video and Highspots for making ti possible to wrestle for a living instead of working a 9-5 job.

Final Thoughts: Good interview. Steen is open and honest here and really does seem to love wrestling. He didnt come here with an agenda or get pissed about not being in the WWE as he loves what he does.

Steen, who is a polarizing guy (Even admits fans either love him or hate him), seems to be able to let things roll off of him when it comes to negativity.

I also loved his attitude when asked about the WWE as he simply stated, when it comes to the tryout, that he wants the opportunity to give it his all and if he doesnt make it he can live with himself while calling out the bullshit from others who claim the WWE is not for them.

I recommend this interview, even if you did not follow Steen all that much in the indies because he is a great subject and you can get a backstory of his career and the hardships he has faced. I will say that Brett Lauderdale is the worst interviewer on the planet but he didnt even bring this down.

You can buy the DVD for $15 by clicking on the link below.