RF Video Shoot Interview with Matt Borne

This was filmed in 2010

Rob Feinstein is the host

It runs at two hours and nine minutes long

 

Borne talks about growing up in the wrestling business. He went to shows with his dad as they lived in Amarillo then Houston before settling in the Pacific Northwest. Borne traveled with his dad, who got custody of him after his parents divorced and was with him all of the time until he got into high school.

 

He took up amateur wrestling in high school and did not like pro wrestling at that time. Borne went to Portland State University and became neighbors with Jesse Ventura and they would party at night. When Borne saw the money Jesse was making, he wanted to break in as he knew how the business worked. Borne went to his dad, who discouraged him at first but thinks that was a test to see if he was serious enough.

 

Borne did not receive formal training and basically said he tossed into a tag match with his dad against the Von Steigers but did mention he would run the ropes before becoming a wrestler and was a natural with that. He said his dad gave him some advice but that Roddy Piper was his mentor. On Piper, Borne said he was wild. There was a big party scene as he would go to Piper’s & Killer Tim Brooks house.

 

Feinstein asks Borne about several talents in Portland. He said that Lonnie Mayne was a fantastic worker but always drunk. Borne idolized him as a young kid and said that Mayne always ribbed people. He then flashes forward to say that Vince McMahon gave him The Doink gimmick after asking him about Lonnie Mayne and thinking he could handle the role. On Don Owen, Borne said that he did not want guys to stay there permanently and have to get rid of them when past their primes as a lot of wrestlers loved the area and bought homes. Borne said you had to watch what Dutch Savage said because he did not always tell the truth and would do anything to get ahead of people. He said that Adrian Adonis was crazy but extremely athletic for his size. He tells a story of Savage sending Adonis out to “shoot” on him in a match and Adonis tried but failed. Adonis told him later that Savage set this up as Borne said it was due to problems Savage had with his father. Borne said that Billy Jack Haynes was a bouncer at a bar and gassed but nice and they became friends. He was also friends with “The Grappler” Len Denton and said he was a great guy. Borne puts over Buzz Sawyer for his work and athleticism but he was out of control with drugs. He also said that Curt Hennig was a great guy and that Mr. Fuji influenced him and that is how he got into ribbing people. We get an Andre the Giant story from 1983 as Borne was in his Mustang and went to score some cocaine. Andre was in the car and all cramped up as Borne went in the house and told the people to hurry as he had Andre the Giant in his car. They did not believe him at first then followed Borne to his car and they saw Andre in the front seat and freaked out. He said that Buddy Rose really did marry his (Borne’s) sister and one night his sister called to say Rose beat her up. Borne drove to the house and their was a scene as Borne spent the night in jail. The next night, they had a chain match together and did not have any problems but Borne actually did bust Rose open by accident during the finish.

 

He said the drug scene was crazy in Portland and is then asked about how he got started. Borne said it was with Piper when he broke into the business when he did cocaine for the first time. He used it off an on at first and said it was enticing to snort pure cocaine, which it was back then. Borne also talked about wrestling for Crockett in 1982 and went with Piper to meet with then booker Wahoo McDaniel, who opened up his drawer and pulled out two 8-balls of coke.

 

Borne talks about how drugs helped out become and off-the-wall character as the ones who did not use drugs lacked the flair or color needed to succeed.

 

He wrestled for Peter Maivia in Hawaii as Borne said he was a scary guy. He recalls Dwayne Johnson running around and how he was a good kid. Borne only stayed their for three months and chilled on the beach while smoking pot most of the time.

 

Borne then went to work for Crockett when his dad got him in by talking to Paul Jones. He felt that the Crockett’s were arrogant and recalls Jim Crockett sucking up to Ric Flair. He traveled with Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Buzz Sawyer, and Johnny Weaver the most. He recalls pulling over on the side of the road and fighting with Sawyer, who was his partner at the time. He got along well with Flair and said Steamboat was a great guy who helped him out.

 

On Ole Anderson, Borne said he was a bully and did not respect him much at all. He recalls a story of how a few guys who wanted to break into the business showed up to a TV taping while in Georgia. The Iron Sheik was there and tried to stretch out one guy with a good physique but was taken down. Buzz went in afterwards and beat the guy up then Ole came in after that and really laid into the guy when he was already hurt. Borne said that Ole always wanted everyone to think he was tough then goes “so what.”

 

Borne gives us a road story while in Georgia. He was in the back of a car that Arn Anderson was driving. Paul Ellering was in the front and everyone fell asleep where Arn sideswiped a guardrail and Borne woke up and started yelling at Arn as they nearly drove off of a cliff. He does say Arn was a good guy and a great worker though.

 

They ask Borne about some other talents. He’s amazed that Jake Roberts is still alive and one of the only guys that you can never tell when he is high. Borne talks about himself and how he could not function in the ring while all messed up. Borne likes Ted DiBiase and said that the Road Warriors got their first break in Georgia because he quit the Territory and was teaming with Arn Anderson at the time so they needed another team. Borne said that Paul Orndorff stayed to himself a lot but was a respectable guy. Borne respected Bill Watts and said he ran a tight ship who did not care if his guys got into bar fights as long as they won then said he was a bully.

 

Borne talks about how Jim Duggan was fighting with three guys in the crowd while in Monroe, LA so Borne helped him out and knocked one of the guys out but there was problems afterwards and Watts lost his license so Borne took the brunt of it and was gone. Borne said that Duggan got sued over it too and lost as Duggan never spoke to Borne again. Borne said that Duggan had to sell property to pay for the lawsuit.

 

He is asked about other wrestlers in Mid-South. Borne said that Junkyard Dog was the man who sold out New Orleans every Monday night. He then talks about the Stagger Lee angle and how one night in Houston he was teaming with DiBiase against JYD, who had been up for a couple of days on a bender. Borne convinced DiBiase to rip his shirt off and when it happened, JYD went nuts. Borne got punched in the face after his mask got ripped off then Borne got him on the mat and held him down as JYD was shaking. JYD apparently apologized afterwards and got mad about Borne trying to upstage him.

 

Borne never witnessed a riot while working for Mid-South but said you had to watch out for the fans at all times.

 

He got into the WWF in January of 1985 through Roddy Piper, who convinced booker George Scott to give him a shot. Borne said the schedule was hectic and he worked a 120 days in a row. He said the drug scene was out of control then too.

 

On WrestleMania I, Borne said he considered it like another show then afterwards went to the airport then flew back to Portland with Piper. After doing drugs, Borne drove Piper home and they sat in his driveway for an hour. Borne drove home and said the fog was really thick so he accidentally ran a red light and got pulled over where he found out there was a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket as he talks about going from working WrestleMania to sitting in a jail cell in Oregon.

 

Borne is asked about Hulk Hogan. He said that Hogan never wanted to work with him as Doink and that Hogan had problems with Buzz Sawyer from the past where Buzz owed Hogan money for steroids.

 

When asked why he left the WWF, Borne said that he missed some shows and partied a lot so they booked him a lot overseas and he left after that.

 

Borne liked working in Japan and said you had to keep up with them or else they would eat you up in the ring. He really puts over Bruiser Brody and said he was one of the best ever to be part of the business.

 

He went to World Class after the WWF stopped booking him. Borne said that Fritz Von Erich was an intimidating guy and that the Von Erich boys were always messed up on drugs and he would snort coke with them in the locker room but never did anything outside of that. Borne did put over Kerry for being a kind hearted guy who helped out his son with throwing the discus. He said that Mike should not have been in the business but Fritz pushed him into it anyway.

 

On others he worked with in World Class, Borne said that Chris Adams was a nice guy until he started drinking and have rages. He talks about the Ultimate Warrior as Feinstein mentions that Warrior buried him in an interview as that leads Borne to say Warrior never learned how to work but could paint is face well. On why Al Perez never went further, Borne did not think he wanted to and said he never got with the times and was easily discouraged.

 

He hated working for Jerry Jarrett in Tennessee and said it was depressing having to stay there.

 

Borne said that Dusty Rhodes brought him into WCW for the “Big Josh” gimmick. He is asked about some of the talents and said that Lex Luger always did an impression of a “homosexual” in the locker room and that Tommy Rich partied a ton. Borne partied a lot with Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk too.

 

When WCW did not renew his contract he called up the WWF for work but nothing came then he called Jerry Jarrett, who called up the WWF for him and after that he did a few dark matches and got a two-year deal. After that, Vince asked him about growing up in the business and Borne told him about Lonnie Mayne and the pranks he played as Vince gave him the gimmick and said he thinks it can work out. Vince asked if he had any other ideas and to call him back. Borne went home and said if it worked he’d get a push and called up to start the gimmick. Borne also adds that Road Warrior Hawk had this idea years before.

 

Borne said that he liked Vince a lot and could talk to him all of the time.

 

He prepared for Doink by watching “Batman,” specifically Cesar Romero as The Joker. He also thought of Mayne too for the role. Borne also said that a lot of his friends in the business thought it was a complete joke but he knew it was going to get over.

 

On WrestleMania IX, all Borne said was that he won a lot of money at the blackjack table.

 

Borne talks about working against Bret Hart and how 20 minutes before their match they’d take one Percocet and one Valium then go out and wrestle their match. He said a match against him was like a day off. He also recalls how Pat Patterson told him to dump a bucket of water over Bruce Hart’s head once as Bruce had no clue it was going to happen. He did become friends with Bruce after that though.

 

He talks about having issues with Bam Bam Bigelow, who Borne said had issues about putting him over. Borne said that Bigelow thought the only way to get over was getting your hand raised but that is not the case.

 

Borne said he got fired from the WWF after failing a drug test. He said that Shawn Michaels tested positive for steroids then Scott Hall was going around calling him (Borne) a snitch and that led to an altercation. Borne blames himself for this and said he should haev let it go. After that, Vince pulled him aside to say he was changing Doink to a babyface gimmick as a way to slow him down as he was out of control with drugs. Borne said soon after that they were in a hotel in Boston at the Howard Johnson smoking a joint with Mike McGuirk and Luna Vachon in the hallway near the back door when Bigelow called up Vince to rat him out and after that he was fired.

 

After getting fired, Borne said he isolated himself and his wife left him after a fight then took their daughter as he never saw them again. Borne also said that she took $20,000 from an account he set aside then got paranoid and emptied out his other accounts and locked himself in his apartment with three ounces of cocaine.

 

Borne said he’d work shows on the weekend then party all during the week and said it was not the life anyone should live.

 

He said the ECW environment was even too nuts for himself and compares it to an insane asylum.

 

Paul Heyman created the “Borne Again” gimmick as Borne said he would do whatever the booker said to the best of his ability. Borne also said his addiction was still horrible at this point. He left to work in Germany for a bit and after Heyman said to call when he returned, Heyman never returned his calls.

 

Borne is asked about doing stunt work in Hollywood as he lived with a friend and did that for several months until returning to Portland.

 

He does tell a story on the set of “Larger Than Life” when Bill Murray saw him read a gossip book and asked if it was a good read.

 

On today’s wrestling, Borne said it is too much standing around and talking. He also thinks their is too much talking inside of the ring and they should set up the matches with confrontations that take place outside of the arena.

 

Borne closes by saying there are many misconceptions about him and that he is a caring, compassionate person. He also states he currently works in construction while occasionally wrestling on the weekends.

 

Final Thoughts: Borne is certainly an interesting subject being that he grew up in the business and had a terrible substance abuse problem, which ultimately ended his life in 2013. He was fairly candid too but Feinstein did a poor job with follow up questions and getting the most out of this because he stuck to his generic list of questions. There was an awful lot you could have gotten from Borne but instead we got the “your memories of working with _____” question throughout the interview.

Regarding Borne, he took blame for blowing it in the WWF which led to the downfall of his career and personal life spiraling out of control. You really could have dug deep into exactly what happened during this period but it was glossed over.

Overall, Borne was interesting enough to make this a good listen but with a better interviewer it really could have been something great. Borne would have been a fantastic subject for Kayfabe Commentaries “Breaking Kayfabe” series.

 

You can purchase this on DVD for $20 or on Digital Download for $9.99