RF Video Shoot Interview with Steve Blackman

This was filmed in 2007

The interview was conducted by Eric Gargiulo

It runs at two hours and three minutes long

First question asked is how he got into wrestling. Blackman said he was sick of working in the bar scene in Florida and wanted a career change. A friend of his said there was a wrestling school near his parents house in Connecticut, which was run by Tony Altimore. Blackman said Altimore would train them and put the guys on his own shows. Blackman said he drew good crowds and in 1986 had 3,000 attend a show headlined by Tony Atlas. Blackman put over Johnny Rodz and Tony Garea for helping him out at the beginning.

 

Blackman said he expected the training to be hard and bought a cheap car to train and drive to the gym. He talks about taking karate between baseball and football in high school then started to train in jiu jitsu. Blackman said he was obsessed with weight lifting growing up as well.

 

He is asked about steroids and said he tried them a little bit during the 1980’s and went to his doctor as he was leery of what it was doing to him and ended up getting an allergic reaction to a cortizone shot then said after that he stopped putting anything bad into his body.

 

On the toughest part about wrestling, Blackman said for him it was doing promos because he is not a talker and if someone was making him mad, he’d just go over and hit them instead of talking back.

 

He talks about meeting Owen Hart in Japan as Owen told him to wrestle for his dad in Stampede. Blackman liked Stu because he told it like it is and did not dick around. He said his kids really ran everything while he oversaw it all. Blackman said he’s been in the dungeon but not as much as Chris Benoit and Brian Pillman. He tells a story of how one guy was snitching to Stu on the road so Benoit, who Blackman said did a great Stu Hart impression, would call the hotel rooms and ended up finding out who it was as they all fucked with the guy. Blackman said that it got back to Stu and he was pissed.

 

Still on Stampede, Blackman talks about one of the moron promoters would keep booking them further and further out of Calgary during the week when they had to be at TV noon on Friday. He said they’d finish the show on Thursday at 10pm then drive about 10-12 hours home only to go to TV at noon. Blackman said the promoter did not care so the guys would slash his tires and smash his headlights until word got back to Stu. Blackman also said they got kicked out of about 30 hotels all through Canada for reckless behavior. He talks about guys punching holes in the wall, shitting in the pool, etc.

 

When asked about the ribs Owen pulled, Blackman said there was no one like him. He tells a story in Japan (during the 80’s). Owen tried to mess with Blackman by spraying the fire extinguisher underneath his hotel room door but the handle ended up getting stuck and would not shut off and everything emptied out. Blackman said it ended up sucking all of the oxygen out and he couldnt breath so he stuck his head out of his window and saw everyone else in the floor did the same things. After a bit, Blackman opened the door and saw the footprints lead to Owen’s room and told him about that as Owen then covered his mouth and ran out with a towel to wipe them away. As soon as he did that and went back to his room, hotel security came up on the elevator and started blaming Blackman at first then someone else but never did it to Owen, who they all knew as he had been going there for a few years.

 

He talks about when he got sick in South Africa. Blackman said he went to the hospital constantly for IV fluids and no matter what he did could not stay hydrated and lost 25 lbs in just one week. He came back to the U.S. after Gary Albright helped him get a ride to Johannesberg and had his parents get him a plane ticket home. Blackman kept drinking fluids and he had a 12 hour layover in Amsterdam where they barely let him back on the plane because of how sick he was. He said they called a doctor on the plane who revived him as he kept blacking out. He landed in New York and has able to actually keep food down then said he was delirious as he could not even remember his girlfriend’s name for a few days. He then kept on getting sick for the next few years as the doctor told him it was due to an intestinal tract infection and they put him on medications for a long time. Blackman said he spent about 18-20 hours a day in bed for a few years.

 

Before he went to South Africa, Blackman had a tryout with the WWF. They were going to sign him and Blackman said he already arraigned to go to South Africa, where he was the headline act. Pat Patterson told him to come back when he finished up. Blackman came back and had a tryout with Iron Mike Sharpe but was still sick. Blackman said that six years later, he approached him at a house show saying he was ready to give it a shot and Vince was reluctant to give him a deal because he’d been out of the ring for a while.

 

When he came back to the WWF, Blackman said they hated the fact he wore his karate pants as he had muscular legs and Vince said something to him a few times about it as Blackman said having him do a karate gimmick in regular tights looked weird.

 

Blackman then tells a story of how when he first came to a WWF show in 1996 at a show in Hershey, PA, he went backstage and said he wanted to kick the shit out of Vader, who along with Buzz Sawyer made his life hell in Japan. Blackman said that he saw the British Bulldog, Owen Hart, and Brian Pillman who were his friends. Vader entered as Blackman told him why he was there then Vader apologized to him twice as Blackman said he’d look like an idiot hitting someone who just apologized and adds that he has changed a lot since they were in Japan.

 

On the road, Blackman said he first drove around with the Legion of Doom and that lasted about six months then he drove with Ken Shamrock for over two years before he drove with Bob Holly as Blackman said those guys had the same gym schedule and did not like to party. He then puts over the crazy lifestyle on the road with the WWE and you have to find time to sleep whether its on the plane or in the locker room or else you will not be able to live that lifestyle. Blackman then said he does not fault guys who take stuff like steroids as the road wears you down and if he did have bad reactions to steroids and cortisone he might have taken a little on the road to get through as it helps you rebound faster.

 

Blackman talks about guys today and how they need to let the wrestlers do their own promos because when you wing it and it flows, you can develop a niche or catchphrases that the crowd can get into.

 

He started getting headaches then needed neck surgery where Jim Ross told him to sit out his contract at home.

 

On “Brawl for All” and how that started, Blackman said they called guys at home on their day off. He asked the rules and told he could kick, punch, and take people down as Blackman but when he got there kicks were not allowed to do that. Blackman said deep down he thought they were working him but it was real. Blackman also said the gloves were all brand new and you had to break them in so it was tough to punch at first. When asked if this was designed to get Steve Williams over, Blackman said it could have been. He then talks about how he trained with a friend after facing Marc Mero but his friend fell on him as Blackman tore cartilage in his leg and was out of the tournament.

 

Blackman thought is parking lot match against Shamrock wasn’t that good because the ceiling in the garage was too low and you could not do much of anything.

 

He thought Triple H was alright but that a lot of guys said he was a kiss-ass. Blackman said you cannot take away the fact he has the skills on the mic and in the ring. He said it could have went on and others did stuff like that too to keep their spots.

 

Blackman does not remember who came up with the idea to wear a cheese hat but he said it looked funny and the fans would pop right away when he walked out. He said his team with Snow was not that good in the ring though.

 

On his matches against Shane McMahon, Blackman said he liked it and that Shane was a crazy bastard for taking a backwards fall off of the Titantron in their match at SummerSlam 2000.

 

Regarding Vince Russo, Blackman thought for a guy who was never a wrestler had a decent mind for the business.

 

Blackman said at the end of his career he was constantly getting migraines and developed a nerve problem in his neck that prevented him from working out daily and wrestling was making it a lot worse.

 

He spent time in HWA and did not like it as he was away from home and wrestled in front of a couple hundred people as he said there was a ring at his house he could train at instead. Blackman did say that Les Thatcher was a nice guy.

 

Now, Blackman is training MMA fighters in Harrisburg, PA. He talks about liking wrestling in the ring but does not want to go back on the road and be away from home.

 

He would write a book but does not want to do it to trash or snitch on people.

 

Blackman closes by thanking the fans for their support.

 

Final Thoughts: I came away from this interview liking Blackman as a person. He’s articulate, interesting, and a great storyteller. He also had a lot of interesting things to discuss in this interview. However, the interviewer was unable to get the most out of it and it made for a subpar listen.

I do not have a problem with Gargiulo as the interviewer other than the fact he jumps all over the place but here he did a bad job. For example, he asks Blackman how he bullshitted his way onto his first tour of Japan and Blackman said he would answer that after explaining his last story but Gargiulo jumped to another question. Why would you do that with such an interesting story? And Gargiulo never bothered to ask Blackman for dates when he was battling his illness or anything else.

Overall, I like Blackman but I’d pass on this interview. The best parts are about his time in Calgary and they did not do a good job in covering his WWF run. There are a few funny stories but this could have been more entertaining and informative than what we go to see.

 

You can get the DVD for $20 or download a digital copy for just $9.99