Jumbo Tsuruta & John Tenta vs. The Road Warriors (and other Dream Matches!)

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! This time, we’ve got something weird- apparently when John Tenta was just starting out in wrestling, he was in ALL JAPAN of all places, teaming up with the Ace and weighing only 300-ish lbs., and fighting the legendary Road Warriors!

Also I found more of that bizarre Land of Giants team, as they take on… The Undertakers? Yes- it’s a pair of obese twins with a name the WWF actually bought off of them. Then wen see a “Battle of the Kings” as King Mabel decides to take out Ken Shamrock shortly after his King of the Ring victory- a shockingly good attempt at putting a guy over from MABEL of all people! And then, in a fantastically-terrible bout, come see the legendary POWER UTI, villain of Mick Foley’s first book and national hero of Nigeria, take on the worst wrestler in AEW- Doc “Super Festus” Gallows! And then we cap things off with WCW’s Wrath & Mortis vs. The Faces of Fear in a shockingly-good Hoss Brawl!

JUMBO TSURUTA & JOHN TENTA vs. THE ROAD WARRIORS (Hawk & Animal, w/ Paul Ellering):
(All Japan, 1987.6.8)
* Haha, oh Jesus- look at this! Baby John Tenta, fresh out of sumo and having lost a LOT of weight, is in the early stage of his pro wrestling career in All Japan as the Ace’s tag team partner, and they’re going up against the early form of the Road Warriors, in full black spike-vests and ’80s facepaint! Tenta, in his navy-blue singlet with a Canadian flag on it, is almost unrecognizable, being barely 300 lbs. and scarcely larger than Jumbo- he’s all straight lines! Even at 24 he’s lost almost all the hair on top of his head, though.

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Monday Nitro – March 12, 2001

Monday Nitro #281
Date: March 12, 2001
Location: Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson

It’s Greed week and that means we’ll likely hear more about Dusty Rhodes and his rather unfunny stipulation for Sunday’s tag match. Other than that it’s time for the final push towards the pay per view, which hopefully means more of the pretty good Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page feud. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Nitro – February 26, 2001

Monday Nitro #279
Date: February 26, 2001
Location: Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson

We had a pretty good show on Wednesday so maybe we’re in for something a bit better than usual this week. The big story is Diamond Dallas Page as the latest great hope against the Magnificent Seven and at least the big match should be better than the mess of Steiner vs. Nash. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – February 21, 2001

Date: February 21, 2001
Location: Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

It’s hard to believe we’ve got less than a month to go. The last pay per view is called Greed because the wrestling universe is funny that was. Earlier this week we found out that Diamond Dallas Page was the next challenger for Scott Steiner, mainly because there’s pretty much no one left to do it. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Nitro – February 19, 2001

Monday Nitro #278
Date: February 19, 2001
Location: Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone

At this point, I can’t imagine they’ll ever leave the southeast again. We’re past SuperBrawl and as is far too often the case with pay per views, not a lot happened. Scott Steiner retired Kevin Nash which I’m sure means he won’t be back whatsoever. We’ve got less than four weeks until Greed so this is the final time we’ll start the build to a pay per view. Let’s get to it.

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SuperBrawl Revenge (SuperBrawl 2001)

SuperBrawl Revenge
Date: February 18, 2001
Location: Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Attendance: 4,395
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson

I’m still not sure what the REVENGE subtitle is referring to but it might be due to the fact that we’ve seen several of these matches on TV in recent weeks. The main event is Kevin Nash challenging Scott Steiner for the World Title in a match we saw just six days ago on Nitro. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – July 12, 2000

Date: July 12, 2000
Location: North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, South Carolina
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone

It still feels weird to say that Booker T. is the World Champion but it’s a nice feeling to have. For once things feel fresh and with the addition of the newcomers in the tag division, there’s an actual youth movement going on around here. Now unfortunately there’s no reason to think this is going to last but at least we can enjoy it while it’s around. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Nitro – July 10, 2000

Monday Nitro #248
Date: July 10, 2000
Location: Jacksonville Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Attendance: 5,257
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Mark Madden, Tony Schiavone

We’re done with Bash at the Beach and that means a lot has changed in WCW. First of all, Booker T. is World Champion after a surprise change in last night’s title match. This change came about due to what seemed to be an overly complicated work/shoot which also saw the return of Vince Russo. We’re back to that old Russo style after a few weeks of false hope that the company might be getting better. Let’s get to it.

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Bash at the Beach 2000

Bash at the Beach 2000
Date: July 9, 2000
Location: Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, Florida
Attendance: 6,572
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Scott Hudson, Mark Madden

Oh boy. After all those nice weeks of no Russo and/or Bischoff to screw things up, tonight we’re back to the old ways because this wrestling and storytelling stuff must be stopped at all costs. It’s a double main event of Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash for Scott Hall’s contract and Hulk Hogan challenging Jeff Jarrett for the World Title. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – July 5, 2000

Date: July 5, 2000
Location: Civic Center, Columbus, Georgia
Attendance: 3,088
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone

It’s the go home show for Bash at the Beach, meaning my moderate smile about WCW is about to go away. We’re still in the “Can Jeff Jarrett build a whole main event by himself, even though it’s a boring match in the first place?” phase which amazingly enough isn’t working because Jeff Jarrett is one of the least interesting World Champions WCW has had in the last three months. Of the five guys to hold the title since early April, he’s like the fourth most interesting at best. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – June 28, 2000

Date: June 28, 2000
Location: Pershing Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska
Attendance: 3,439
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan

We’re in such a weird place with WCW at the moment as they’re not very good at the moment but it’s SO much better than the Russo and Bischoff era. Russo and Bischoff seem to have destructed inside of the first two and a half months with Russo going home and Bischoff disappearing. This has given me such a good laugh as the fans somehow have more patience than they do for this nonsense. Let’s get to it.

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Monday Nitro – June 26, 2000

Monday Nitro #246
Date: June 26, 2000
Location: Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Des Moines, Iowa
Attendance: 4,573
Commentators: Scott Hudson, Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden

Russo is still gone over his latest backstage issue (something involving talent being moved around against his wishes), meaning we might be in for something watchable again tonight. We’re coming up on Bash at the Beach (where the watchableness ends) and the top matches of Hogan vs. Jarrett for the title and Nash vs. Goldberg for Hall’s contract (which was eaten one night and totally fine two nights later). Let’s get to it.

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Monday Nitro – June 12, 2000

Monday Nitro #244
Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
Attendance: 4,723
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

We’re past the Great American Bash and there are less than four weeks from Bash at the Beach. Last night’s major development was the Goldberg heel turn, which felt like nothing more than shock value for the sake of shock value. Russo has sworn revenge on Ric Flair tonight and since this show should have a bigger audience, you can almost guarantee that he’ll get what he promised. Let’s get to it.

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Great American Bash 2000

Great American Bash 2000
: June 11, 2000
: Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
: 7,031
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

The company is in a very bad place right now and it seems like it can only get worse. At this point the company is all about Russo and Bischoff plus a few older wrestlers who can beat up huge groups of young talent in a matter of seconds. The main event here is Nash vs. Jarrett for the title, even though Nash has given away the World Title twice in the last year and a half. Let’s get to it.

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Slamboree 2000

Slamboree 2000
Date: May 7, 2000
Location: Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Attendance: 7,165
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Scott Hudson

It’s time for the David Arquette pay per view with the triple cage match which has only been vaguely described on TV. Coming off this week’s Nitro and Thunder where there was barely any build for most of the matches, it’s really hard to get into this show. Maybe there will be some actual effort this time, though I have a feeling I’m going to be disappointed. Let’s get to it.

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Thunder – May 3, 2000

Date: May 3, 2000
Location: Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 3,979
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan

It’s the go home show for Slamboree and David Arquette is still World Champion. They’ve done a horrible job of setting up the triple cage match as the gimmick has barely been mentioned outside of a video on it early in the buildup. Instead it’s all about David Arquette, who wouldn’t prove to be the strongest draw. Let’s get to it.

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RF Video Shoot Interview with Kanyon, Disc Two

This Disc runs at one hour and thirty-one minutes long

You can read the recap of the first disc by clicking on the link below


Kanyon said that it was awesome working on the set of “Ready to Rumble” but said that a lot of the wrestlers showed up all fucked up on pills and that the helped act as a bridge between them and the producers. He said that Curt Hennig was really stiff during the filming with his kicks.

On getting hired by the WWE, Kanyon said that he was thankful for the opportunity he got and that Vince did not have to give him the U.S. Title and said it was a huge opportunity. He then talks about how he was at WrestleMania XX and took a picture of himself after the confetti fell from the ceiling as he was in the crowd. Kanyon was fired a few months before the show. Kanyon also said that just because Vince hired him does not mean that he is not a “douchebag,” “two-faced” or “evil.”

He was asked about a few different wrestlers. Kanyon said that Perry Saturn was different and that some guys were scared of him but he loved working with him and said he was an easy guy to work with. On Goldberg, he said that he was overly protective of his character but they will probably remember him in 20 years and maybe he had it right. Kanyon said that he could not be like that about his own character at the expense of others. Kanyon said that Lex Luger was nice to him but felt that he was phony. Kanyon said that at the airport people would ask for Luger’s autograph and he would say “sure” but just kept on walking.

About the Jersey Triad, Kanyon said that he felt honored to be in a team with Bam Bam and really noticed how smooth of a worker he was by watching him on the apron.

Kanyon said that when you worked with Chris Benoit he was all about the match and would do whatever it took to put together a good match. Then when asked about the Benoit tragedy, he spoke about how he had been inpatient three times in psychiatric units and knows what mental illness can do to you and cannot judge someone for the three days in which they were not well. He always remembered Chris as being a nice guy. He said he saw his son Daniel a few times and thinks he might have been mentally ill himself. There was also talk of that in the locker room. Kanyon said that he believes Benoit might have killed his son after Nancy because there might not have been anyone around to take of him.

He is asked about several other workers. Kanyon said that he never worked with Sting and said that he should give Ric Flair a Christmas present each year for making his career. He likes Harlem Heat and was ecstatic when Booker T won the title and was one of the first people to congratulate him at the curtain.

Kanyon said that Bischoff told him to hire ten young cruiserweight wrestlers for an idea of a show that would be like a “Saved by the Bell” show on Saturday mornings about kids who wrestled. The show would be the first hour and wrestling matches would take place on the second hour. He even said that Peter Engel, creator of “Saved by the Bell” was on board with the project.

On the “Champagne” gimmick, Kanyon said that he talked with Marty “Cham Pain” Garner who said he could use the name as Kanyon was infatuated with it himself. He went to Russo to film a series of vignettes then Garner went back on his word and said that he would sue but Kanyon had the verbal permission from him and was in the process of filming and did it anyway. Kanyon said that he really struggled playing a womanizer and hated it as it felt forced.

He talks about friends in the business and he made a comment about how when he was in wrestling he would get the “dirt sheets” for free then when he was gone, they stopped coming into the mail.

Regarding the angle with Buff & Judy Bagwell, Kanyon said that he moved on to that after beating Booker T the night he won the title. He thought that he should go on TV saying he deserved a shot for beating Booker T that show and should have been his first opponent but the plan was for Scott Steiner to be his challenger so he feuded with Buff instead.

On WCW closing, Kanyon said leading up to the sale he heard that Bischoff”s group was buying the WCW and was going to move the TV tapings to Las Vegas. He saw Ernest Miller at the airport, on the day of what turned out to be the final WCW Nitro, who told him that Bischoff was not buying the company. Shortly after that, John Laurinaitis called him up to say that they were not renewing his contract and on the plane he was hearing rumors that Vince McMahon was buying the company. Once they landed, he called Jim Ross and asked if the offer he had was on the table. Backstage, Kanyon noted how there would be signs all over the door but this time there was one that said WWF and he looked around and saw Shane McMahon walking backstage. He said that they did not know what was real or a work and noted how the WWF dressing room was near the exit and they had a lot of security so they thought it was a work at first. However, Kanyon went to catering, stating that he did not notice the sign that said production only, and saw WCW being handed over to Vince. He noted that everyone was in tears, namely because they were going to be out of a job.

Kanyon then went on about how he cannot believe that Vince is still recognized as a genius due to all of the fuckups (XFL, WBF, IcoPro, Monopolizing Wrestling) and notes how badly he messed up when he signed WCW.

He then talks about how when he was renegotiating his contract with WCW, he had to go to Diane Myers, a lawyer who Kanyon calls a “cunt.” He said she hated all of the wrestlers, citing that it was because they made more money than her. She offered Kanyon a shitty deal that also had Kanyon point out how she was working under Brad Siegel, who he claims really worked for Vince McMahon from inside and tells why. A year before Siegel said that the $250 million that Bischoff’s group offered to buy WCW was not enough but Vince got it for $4 million a year later. He also heard that Siegel worked for Vince in some aspect on the Pay-Per-Views.

When he first got to the WWE, Kanyon said that the WWF guys were not a fan of them coming into the company. He said that the WCW and WWF guys ate and dressed separately at first.

Kanyon said that he was shocked when named the MVP of the Invasion. After that he switched to the Alliance MVP. He then said that he was dumbfounded as to how the WWE handled the whole angle and how he should have two separate brands today: WWE and WCW.

He then speaks about how the wrestling business blurs the line between reality and fantasy and always seemed to wonder whether or not someone who was pleasant to you backstage was talking behind your back. He said that Stephanie McMahon was always nice to him and has no reason to believe that she was anything but genuine but that you still have to wonder, especially since she is the “spawn of the devil.”

On the Undertaker, Kanyon talks about how he heard there was an incident between DDP and Vince. Kanyon said that the rumor was DDP gave Vince a hug after they talked and that Vince was not expecting that and even said that the whole gimmick of Austin hugging people in the ring was a rib on DDP as a result. He then said that DDP either rubbed Vince and the Undertaker the wrong way and gives two stories. The first was DDP had a palm pilot and was an “A-Z Guy,” which in this instance means you plan out all your matches before hand instead of calling it in the ring. Well, DDP was supposed to do a run-in against the Undertaker and just before he went out he tripped on the ramp and was bleeding from the forehead. He ran out anyway and that prompted Vince to say that he wondered if DDP wrote that into his palm pilot. Kanyon then said that at SummerSlam he was teaming with DDP to lose the Tag Belts to Undertaker & Kane. Kanyon said that he got $13,000 for working that match and had a lot of ideas because he never wrestled a cage match before. He suggested to Undertaker that he give him the Last Rites or chokeslam him off the top of the cage but Kanyon was told that they wanted him to leave the cage and have DDP get beat up by himself. Kanyon said this was all the result of either Vince or Undertaker hating DDP. Kanyon said that he knew it wasn’t because of Kane because he was “one of the sweetest guys in the world.” Kanyon then said a fan once yelled to the Undertaker what he thought of DDP, while he was near him. He said that the Undertaker looked at him then the fan before telling the fan that there is a certain way we do things around here and some people come in with their own ideas and those people do not last.

Kanyon is asked about several workers. He liked Tajiri and had no problem dropping the U.S. Title to him. He also liked Kurt Angle and said that his best match ever was with him at a Smackdown taping. Pat Patterson put the match together and he said they were really happy with the match. Kurt and Patterson designed the match to help give Kanyon the rub. The following week, Kanyon asked Kurt what Vince thought of the match because he would sit in on the creative meetings. Kurt told Kanyon that Vince hated the match and felt he was too over in it and after that it was the end of his push in the WWE. He puts over Kurt for being nice but also heard rumors that he is two-faced then tells a story of how Kurt’s nickname in the locker room was “Kurt Canseco” due to basseball player Jose Canseco’s book in which is named off a bunch of former players who used steroids.

He now talks about how he tore his ACL. In the midst of a long stretch on the road he wrestled Jeff Hardy, who landed low on his leg while performing the Swanton. He said his muscle was so bruised it kept giving out on him but he kept going on and in a dark match against Randy Orton he took a reverse atomic drop and that is when it happened as his leg completely gave out during the move.

While in OVW, Kanyon said that he loved working with Jim Cornette and Johnny Jeter. He also said how he got along well with John Laurinaitis, who gave him a sheet that listed everyone in OVW so that he could give a report on the wrestlers and how they were doing. He talks about how he saw Randy Orton and said the first time he saw him that he was the future of wrestling. He then said that John Cena was #2 behind Orton.

Kanyon got hurt again in a match against Lance Cade in HWA. He landed on his shoulder outside of the ring and at the time he had a cut on his arm. He did not think anything of it but ended up with a major infection. A few days later he woke up in the hospital and they had to perform emergency surgery. He also said he lost 32 lbs in six days.

He confirmed that there was a plan for him to come back as the Mortis character after his injury. Stephanie McMahon liked the idea and he did a few dark matches that seemed to get over okay but the company scrapped the idea after a few weeks.

Now, he is asked about the Boy George segment. Kanyon said that he had no idea who came up with the idea and was told by Paul Heyman that they wanted him to do this. Kanyon said he was just coming back from injury and was thinking about coming out as gay then as he read a Sports Illustrated article that questioned if professional sports was ready for an openly gay athlete but said that it can in entertainment so he thought since the WWE combined those two things it would be perfect. He apparently pitched the idea to someone and he was told that word got back to Vince, who hated the idea. He then said the way Heyman described what they wanted him to do was odd as he was told they built a giant closet that they wanted him to come out of and when he sang to sound like a “fag.” Kanyon said that he thinks they wanted to see if he would refuse to do it but that he said he agreed. He thinks that they got pissed when he threw it back in their face about wanting to continue the gimmick. After that, he worked nothing but dark matches until his release.

Before his release he was told that he needed to go down to OVW to get trained. At the time he was working on a “real estate deal” and said that he would go down after that as he could not pass that up. He also had to fly down to Florida to get his car because he was told he would be down in OVW “indefinitely” and since they cut his salary he could not afford to rent one for that amount of time. They called him up a few days later and he told them what he said before about not being able to report their right away then a few days after that Laurinaitis called him up to fire him. Kanyon knew it was coming as they were trying to make him crack with the Boy George thing that he threw back in their face. He said he wasn’t even sure that he would have shown up in OVW because how they were treating him.

He said that he taped his conversation with Laurinaitis when he was fired. When asked why he was fired he was told that the writers did not have anything for him and that led Kanyon to ask him why aren’t they firing the writers. He then asked if he could go to WrestleMania to say bye to the guys and he approved as he was still under the 90 Day non-compete as he was let go in February. He said it felt full-circle to be at Mania at the Garden as his fandom started with Hogan winning the title and WWE ended when he saw Benoit/Guerrero win at the Garden.

Kanyon said that people knew he was gay in the business as the rumor was out there. He then tells a story, not naming the name, about how he almost fooled around with a pro wrestler at the Ready to Rumble” filming but they both decided against it as they felt it was a bad idea. Kanyon confirmed that the other wrestler was gay and that he is still in the business today.

On whether or not he hooked up with girls to prove to the others that he was not gay he said that he did. Kanyon tells a story about a girl in a hotel lobby he met that blew him and he had his buddy film it to show that he was not gay. The next day his buddy was on the elevator with X-Pac who asked him what happened to the girl. He said that the girl blew Kanyon and he filmed it as X-Pac told him that he always thought Kanyon was gay.

Terry Taylor asked him one day if he was gay. Kanyon said that Taylor does not have a filter and will say whatever comes to his mind. He said that Raven always asked him if he was gay too. He then said that after he came out his friends that were still in the WWE said that William Regal and Chris Jericho always asked them if he was gay.

On his arrest in 2004, Kanyon said that he does not drink. The camera then shows how Kanyon has finished off four energy drinks and a cup of coffee already at this point. During the shoot you will see Kanyon constantly drinking them then he talks about his manic episodes. That is just the worst thing to do if you are prone to manic episodes. He then talks about being on the “Howard Stern Show” and said he was shocked when Ric Flair called in and said that the bet with Artie Lange was legit. He said he was in the midst of a manic episode when he called in and said that Artie legitimately tried to help him because he did try to kill himself (Lange made a serious attempt shortly after this interview and never returned to the show).

Kanyon is asked about the lawsuit he was part off with Raven and Mike Sanders against the WWE for classifying their wrestlers as independent contractors. He said one reason he agreed was that Raven needed people do go in with him and a lot of wrestlers were afraid to go up against Vince. He did say that since it was ongoing he could not talk about it but promised that he would when it ended.

He is asked about his comment that Bret Hart once told him that the “Montreal Incident” was a work. Kanyon said that Bret liked him a lot and tells a story. Kanyon was wrestling Booker T and nervous about a spot in which he accidentally spiked himself when Booker powerbombed him off of the top rope. He talks about how Bret was the first person to ask if he was okay then said that he went to him at a bar and wanted to work with him. He then tells the story about everything that happened in the WWF and wanted him to see “Wrestling With Shadows” and if it exposed the business too much. The next day he said that he asked Bret if Vince presented the whole thing as an angle before it happened, would he have done it? Kanyon said that Bret went “ssshh” and Kanyon took that as it was a work but did note that it could have meant anything.

Kanyon said that Vince should pay for psychological counseling if he is going to pay for rehab. He thinks that will be a lot more beneficial. He said that it is almost a reward that you can get him to pay for help if you are fucking around with drugs.

Final Thoughts: This was quite the shoot. Kanyon held nothing back at all. The interview itself was all over the place and it didn’t really follow a timeline like most shoots did but that not make me enjoy it any less, although I could see how it could drive some people crazy.

Even watching this you could see Kanyon struggling with his mental illness. From the constant drinking of energy drinks to the way he struggled to stay on topic at times. It was sad to watch at times. Also, the way he was treated by the WWE, if true, was horrible. There was no excuse for that.

Overall, a fantastic interview that I highly recommend. You can purchase the video for $20 by clicking on the link below.


RF Video Shoot Interview with Chris Kanyon, Disc One

This was filmed in 2009

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

Disc One runs at One Hour and Fifty-Nine minutes long.

Kanyon is first asked if he was a fan of wrestling growing up. He said that his dad used to watch horse racing on Saturday’s and that wrestling came on after that and he was hooked at an early age. He said by age 12 he wanted to become a wrestler. He said that he saw Hogan win the Championship at the Garden in 1984 then when he saw Ric Flair wrestle Ricky Steamboat in 1989 at the Meadowlands he decided that he wanted to become a really good wrestler. He tells a story of how he went to the Meadowlands show and his uncle was there and shit all over him for liking wrestling but after the end of the Flair/Steamboat match, he told Kanyon that he now understands why he watches wrestling.

He said that his parents told him he could live on his own and train to be a wrestler after he graduated high school or that they would help pay for him to go to college. Kanyon said that he wasn’t ready to live on his own so he decided to go to the University of Buffalo to be with his friend and studied physically therapy. His senior year he got tickets to an indy show and talked with someone and ended up going to wrestling school after that and said that he lied to his parents about going there by saying he was at his internship or studying at the library.

On his training, he said that he went to the Lower Eastside Gym and got the shit beat out of him by one of the Power Twins from WCW fame on his first days. Kanyon then talks about how he watched a ton of wrestling from all over the world and that he had over 1,000 tapes in his collection. He said that Flair and Roddy Piper were his two favorites as a kid and said it was their talking skills that drew him towards them and even went as far as to make compilation tapes of them, even including every single mention of them throughout the show. He said that he knew someone who worked in the lighting crew for New York and Pennsylvania shows and they stole him one of the original “Piper’s Pit” posters from the set that Kanyon still has to this day.

He met James Mitchell in South Carolina where he was doing indies at the time. He said that Mitchell is a weird dude but was a good guy who took a liking to him. He then talks about wrestling against Billy Kidman at that time and how the shooting star press is one of the scariest moves to lay down for.

Kanyon got some gigs doing jobs at WWF Tapings when he was training with Afa in California. He said that he told him in his match against Diesel that he had to make him look strong because he was going to get the strap soon. Kanyon that he didn’t care what he had to do as he was on TV and after the match when they were backstage, Diesel went over to Afa and told him and put over Kanyon. He said that Diesel and X-Pac took a liking to him backstage as did Tony Garea. Kanyon said he told Garea he played rugby in college and said that Garea was in charge of putting together the squash matches at the time. Kanyon said that Owen Hart gave him the stiffiest missile dropkick of his life. Kanyon also said they critiqued him and said he needed to show some personality. He said that Bob Holly was really stiff with him and gave him a clothesline that gave him a sore throat for three weeks. Kanyon then said that he disagreed with what Holly did to Matt Cappotelli on “Tough Enough” and it made the business look bad.

He talks about how at that time (1995) was his favorite in wrestling as he was just breaking into the major organizations and learning and meeting from the top names.

Kanyon talks some more about the Kliq and how they would stand by the monitors and would bury or put over certain guys and recalls how one day he heard Scott Hall, after watching Jeff Hardy lose in a squash match, say how the WWF needed to sign him right away. Kanyon said he was jealous when Hall said that and would talk about how he and Kidman would tell each other what the Kliq would say about them backstage when they were in the ring.

When he was training in South Carolina at the Fabulous Moolah’s school, Mitchell told him that they had to “work this bitch” and pretend like he had not already been working for a few months. Kanyon said that he failed at working her on the first day but Moolah had a sense of humor about it and got him booked on a show once. Kanyon tells a story of that show as Curt Hennig was backstage and told Kanyon that Sean Waltman was pissed because he did a moonsault in his match. Kanyon said that this was before he knew that Hennig was a big “ribber.” Anyway, Kanyon went to apologize and Waltman told him he doesn’t give a fuck then suggest that they rib him back and that Waltman starts tossing stuff around to the point people were running backstage to break it up but Kanyon said that he got so caught up in and started shooting on him like an idiot and yelled about how Waltman had made Wade Keller put him over in his newsletter to get a push, which seem to piss off Waltman. After the show, Hennig told Kanyon that he would never get a rib over on him again.

He said that he worked for ECW when it was “Eastern Championship Wrestling” as part of a hockey player gimmick. Kanyon recalls how Heyman told him to blow a spot in a match against Stevie Richards to set up 911 running in and chokeslam them but he and Richards did not fully understand what he meant or the business at the time and they just ended up mistiming a bunch of moves.

After that he went to Memphis. He showed up to TV the first day with Kidman, who drove down with him after Kanyon’s original partner no-showed and they told Kidman that he was too small and did not use him but Kanyon worked with PG-13. He said that he was making $40 a night working in Memphis and shortly before that was making $70,000 as a physical therapist. He then said that he was still rough around the edges and did not understand the gimmick and Bill Dundee told him that hockey players are known for fighting and to go out there and beat the shit out of people and to not do his highspots. At the time, Kanyon said he was young and thought Dundee was a dick but looking back sees that he was just looking out for his career. He got his two weeks notice as the business was hurting and remembers Wolfie D telling him not to quit the business then telling him to head down to WCW as they were taping a bunch of TV Shows in Orlando. After contemplating whether or not to quit the business altogether after the office in WCW was not returning his calls, Kanyon said he was at a bar and talked to the bartender who told him that he should drive down to Orlando as he had nothing to lose.

Kanyon drove down to Florida and was in the arena as he bought a ticket and saw Head of Security Doug Dillinger, who both Kanyon and Feinstein said was a dick, look at him and walk over to throw him out but he saw Bischoff’s secretary and asked her if he could talk to Jody Hamilton to get some work at the tapings. He got to Hamilton, who wanted him to go see him on May 8th at the Power Plant but had no work for him at this taping. Hamilton called Kanyon on May 7th and asked him where he was then when Kanyon said he thought it was on the 8th when he had to be there, Hamilton told him to come in a few days. He showed up and met with Mike Winter, who he teamed with briefly as the Men at Work team. Winter worked him over for several minutes as Jody Hamilton came out and watched briefly then went back to his office. Winter then trained the others as Kanyon was walking around by himself as he had nothing to do but was looking around at all the cool shit in the building. Hamilton then wanted to see him and Kanyon went to his office and had no clue what was happening as Hamilton wrote down six dates on a piece of paper. Kanyon said that Hamilton always looks down when he talked to you and came off a bit odd. Kanyon then asked if he could come down and practice with the guys during the other dates and that got Hamilton to actually look at him as he told Kanyon that was the best thing he could have said and he got to train. After a few weeks he was working with HHH, Terry Taylor, and Chad Fortune.

Kanyon said that DDP took a liking to him and helped him out at the beginning. He also said that Disco Inferno was really nice to him as well and they became friends.

He recalls WCW doing a cross promotion with NASCAR and they were doing matches on the street but it was raining outside. Kanyon was scheduled for his first live match in a tag against the Blue Bloods. He said it was also Bischoff’s birthday and DDP invited him to a bar after the show. Kanyon said that DDP told Bichoff that he (Kanyon) might be something some day and shortly after that Kanyon was booked to face Johnny B. Badd on the Bash at the Beach preshow. Kanyon said that he was late to the show and thought the match went fine but was worried as he was late. When he went backstage, Badd thanked him for the match and then after that, Kanyon saw Bobby Heenan, who had his own dressing room, come over to him and tell him that he was going to be something in this business, which made him feel great and he was almost in tears afterwards then mentions how he was upset that Heenan buried him in his book.

Kanyon said that he thought Bischoff paid him a little less and did not give him perks like others got because of his friendship with DDP and how others would perceive him if he did. He talked about at the end of WCW, even guys coming out of the power plant were getting their cars and hotels paid for except for him and Disco. Kanyon also thought that Kevin Sullivan disliked DDP because he would push ideas on him.

On the “Who better than Kanyon” idea, DDP came to him backstage after he said it and wanted him to use it often. Heenan told him to compliment others before going into that bit but was fearful that Sullivan would get pissed if he started to do that so he decided against it, which leads Kanyon to think why Heenan buried him in his book for acting like too big of a star to listen to him. He then said that he talked to Heenan at WrestleMania XX to clear up the issue and that Heenan told him he understood.

He started to imitate DDP after he left wrestling for a bit. Kanyon said that Ed Ferrara and Disco wrote the angles for him and came up with the idea for doing Kanyon Cutters all over the place and even said that the plan was for him to do it all sorts of events like Atlanta Hawks game. Russo came back to the company and Kanyon said that they were butting heads and DDP might not have come back. Kanyon wanted Russo to drop the angle if DDP was not coming back and said that he had to man up and talk to DDP to sort things out because if he was not coming back there was no point of teasing the fans. After that, Kanyon was held off of TV for a few week then went home as he lost his grandparents and had to help out his dad.

Kanyon talks about how poor the morale was in WCW around the time the Radicals went to the WWE and a lot of the roster was calling up WWE and ECW looking for work. Kanyon said that he was going to ask for his release and even talked to Jim Ross before that and the WWE was going to offer him $400,000, a raise from his $270,000 he was making in WCW. Ross told Kanyon that he would not have to go to Developmental either. Kanyon said he went to Bill Busch, who had to go to a production assistant to find out who he was, and was told he would be seen in ten minutes. Kanyon said he was pissed and started calling Busch “Billy” and basically told him he was an idiot and how Hulk Hogan was bashing people as this was when he said that Kidman couldn’t draw anything, then told Busch that the Westminster Dog Show was going to beat them in the ratings that Monday because no one knows what the fuck they are doing. He then told Busch that he shouldn’t bother to ride coach with them on the flights in an attempt to bond because he hadn’t earned or deserved their respect. Busch said that Kanyon could not get his release then Kanyon brought up how he said in a meeting that if you were unhappy they would grant a release so he challenged Busch, who claimed he would get back to him in a week, something that Kanyon told Busch he would not do, and sure enough, Busch never got back to him.

He recalls how he came up to Hogan and asked for his release and how he thought what he did to Kidman was bullshit and hurt morale. Hogan then told Kanyon that it was a work and he would be doing something with Kidman down the line. Kanyon said that Kidman was not told that it was a work beforehand. Kanyon then told Kidman that it was a work after that, something that Hogan did not want to get out.

On the creation of the Mortis character, Kanyon said that Bischoff told him, Bryan Clark, Glacier, and Ernest Miller how the popular things were Power Rangers, Mortal Kombat, and over the top martial arts characters and thought they could revolutionize wrestling with these characters and wanted to go as far as having cartoons with them. Bischoff initially did not want Kanyon in the role but DDP pushed for him. Kanyon said that he was taking karate lessons with Glacier and Wrath to prepare for the role.

Kanyon said that Bryan Clarke as Wrath, who apparently recently buried him, would take care of him at that time because Kanyon was not making much money at all, which Clarke was pissed at WCW for doing.

He now talks about how he was Bipolar but not diagnosed at the time and said it was tough as he was untreated and he could become violent.

When asked if the nWo or anyone else tried to nix certain storylines, Kanyon was convinced that one on “WCW Saturday Night” taping, Sullivan had the Faces of Fear shoot on him and Wrath in their match as they beat the fuck out of them. Kanyon said that he did not want them to think he was a pussy but also knew they would kick the shit out of him so he hit one of them hard but not too hard. After that, they worked a program and it was fine. Kanyon also said that if the boss tells you to do something, you do it and he would have done the same thing.

Kanyon also heard a rumor that Nash nixed Wrath’s singles push. He talked about how Wrath can be difficult to get along with and believes he pissed off the Kliq while in the WWF and that was the reason why.

He talks about being gay and how he purposely acted homophobic in college so no one would know. He even dated a girl for a while so no one would think he was gay.

On helping train Kevin Greene and Steve McMichael, Kanyon said that Greene was cool but McMichael was crazy and a horrible wrestler too. He tells a story about being a bar when a girl came over petrified of McMichael, who was doing all sorts of crazy shit like snorting a line of salt and squirting the lime in his eyes then slamming his  shot of tequila as hard as he could at the back of the wall and kept repeating this over and over. Kanyon did say he liked him on commentary.

When asked about Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone, Kanyon said that Malone was awesome and trained hard but Rodman fucked around until Hogan basically had to threaten him and after that Rodman was fine. Kanyon also said that Jay Leno took it seriously though.

Final Thoughts: Decent stuff so far. You can definitely see the bipolar in Kanyon here as he was hyperverbal and took the topics in many different directions. Kanyon was and at the time of this interview a die-hard wrestling fan. It seemed to mean everything to him. Kanyon was not afraid to hold back and did seem inept at handling himself backstage but not a bad guy or anything like that. Disc Two will be up tomorrow.

Why Kanyon?

Hey Scott,

I've been looking at old Kanyon shoots. Is there any real understanding of why that guy fell SO hard? Of any wrestler who fell out with WWE, he seems to be the one who has the most extra-curricular stuff to fall back on: He was educated, had decent connections, was an experienced stuntman, and was generally well liked.

Was it drugs? Was he just clinically depressed?

​Yes.  It was apparently a combination of both, as he had a series of disastrous injuries that left him hooked on painkillers, and sent him into a spiral that worsened his natural depression.  Near the end he had a bunch of unsuccessful surgeries on his arm to repair what I think was a biceps tear and it just never healed properly and that probably didn't help his painkiller issues.  He was a guy with a lot of problems, sadly.  ​