This was filmed in March of 2015
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at two hours and twelve minutes long
They start off by talking about the first shoot interview they did sixteen years prior at Rey’s home in San Diego as Rey talks about his son being one year old at the time.
Rob then leaves off where the first interview did in 1999 by asking him about WCW at that time, specifically the dying days. Rey said that he wasn’t paying much attention to the politics and had to plan for himself. He talks about Eric Bischoff wanting to remove his mask but beyond that he didn’t have any problems in WCW.
On the sale of WCW to Bischoff not going through, Rey said that he was just focusing on having fun in the ring and mentions how he still has the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Title belt today.
When Shane McMahon showed up on the final WCW Nitro, Rey said that he only said hi to him and a lot of guys were nervous. He said that his contract was really expensive at that point and WWE waited until it expired to approach him.
After WCW, Rey did a few Independents and worked for CMLL in Mexico. He talks about working against CM Punk in IWA Mid-South and mentions how they clicked from day one and thinks he is awesome.
He first learned that the WWE was interested in him at the beginning of 2002, right around the time his WCW contract was expiring. Rey was in Puerto Rico at the time and said that he was willing to start over again to prove himself if necessary as he wanted to have some job security. Rey said he wasn’t walking in as a negotiator and just looking for an opportunity.
On WWE wanting him to go back to using the mask, Rey said he liked that but at the time was working on a new character and had a gladiator look, complete with shoulder pads, but when he got to OVW they told him they wanted the mask.
Rey said that there were no initial promises but they just went along as he grew successful. He said he felt the acceptance of the locker room and the fans.
About the WWE locker room, Rey said he was part of a great era in that regard and got along with everyone. He said that he is easy going and built strong relationships with certain performers. When asked, he does feel that Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko helped him get into the company.
He talks about doing everything he could in the ring because he never felt like he could do a great promo like Kurt Angle or Ric Flair. Rey said that never bothered the office because they let him showcase his abilities in the ring.
When asked why he was sent to Smackdown instead of RAW, Rey said he thinks they were trying to build up Smackdown as HHH, Rock and Kurt were on that brand at the time. He said that Dean also protected him as he would stand up for him in creative meetings to make sure he was not given terrible material.
On teaming with Edge, Rey said that they had a lot of chemistry and mentions that he clicked with every partner he had in the WWE now that he thinks about it.
Rey is asked about the WWE Cruiserweight Division. He said that they had a ton of talent and it could have been a huge deal if it was kept by itself, comparing it to the beginning of his WCW run. He said they all wanted to work together to put on good matches. When asked, Rey said that he didn’t feel like he was kept in the Cruiserweight Division for too long and wanted to stay there so it couild grow, hoping that International talents would end up joining.
He is asked about the ECW One Night Stand and the WWE bringing back the brand. Rey thought it was going to work when in started but once they took it to the arenas, it didn’t feel the same and lacked the same passion of the ECW arena. He said he was happy with his match against Psychosis but was under constraints, unlike the original match in 1995.
On his feud with Eddie, Rey said that he loved the chance to work with Eddie again. When asked if it was better than their feud in WCW, Rey said they could never reach that same greatness in the ring. He said that Eddie had a lot of input into the feud and was for Rey’s son to get involved. When asked, Rey said he was not against it and thought the idea of his son being on the road with his dad, and getting paid, was a good thing. Rey talks about his son shooting vignettes then go back to playing with action figures when finished. Rey also said that Eddie would never let up when hurt and would go all out no matter what. When asked why he didn’t ask the office to take time off Rey said there feud was doing great and their mentality was to always perform at their best. He said they would talk about it amongst themselves but that was all. Rey was sad when their feud ended but loved their ladder match. He tells a story of Eddie getting pissed as the finish was not going as planned so he started to swear in English and Spanish.
Still on Eddie, Rey said that he hid his injuries well in the ring but backstage he would be on the floor in pain.
He is now asked about the day Eddie was found dead. Rey said he changed his flight to spend a few hours with his family and because of that, missed the flight he would have taken with Eddie and Chavo. He arrived to the hotel in Minnesota and one of the truck drivers asked if he heard what happen and that was how he found out. Rey said it hit him hard. He said that he wanted to see him so he went over to the hotel and was with Chavo, Dean, Chris Benoit, and the doctor, who let them all see Eddie before they took him away.
On the RAW tribute, Rey said that Shawn Michaels came up to him and said Eddie always wanted to see them work and asked if he would be able to have a match and that was how it happened.
When asked who came up with his angle against Randy Orton where Orton said that Eddie was in hell, Rey said that he was talking about it with Randy and they both felt that line was too strong but thought of Eddie and said he was always about the business so they went through with it as Rey cannot recall who came up with that line.
Rob asks him about Vickie Guerrero getting a job with the WWE and how he felt about that. Rey said that she did great. He is also asked about Eddie’s daughter not making it despite a few stints in Developmental, Rey said that she seemed to be training well at the end but hinted she was not passionate about the business.
Rey said the Wellness Policy is a good idea and as talent, you have to look at it as the future of wrestling because besides drug testing it included cardiovascular and electro testing. Whether or not the WWE should fine talents for smoking weed, Rey said that is a question for someone else to answer.
He said he first found out he was winning the 2006 Royal Rumble the night of the show. Rey said he remembers the match being long and how he spent a lot of time on the mat. Rob then asks him about the rumor of Vince not wanting him to be the champion despite others in the company wanting to make him the champ. Rey said he is not a politician and does not get involved in that so he just took things as they came.
On winning the title at WrestleMania 22, Rey said he got to work with two of his favorite American workers in Orton and Angle. He is then asked about the rumor of Vince believing Rey was lucky to win the strap so he would put him against monsters on purpose as Rey doesn’t really give an answer. Rob then asks him if he felt he was booked to fail as Rey says at the end of the day he was the champion no matter what so he didn’t get mad at losing non-title matches. He does say that he could have done bigger things with the belt, especially among the Latino fanbase.
Rey denies the rumor of him following Palmer Canon to the airport after he quit the company during the European tour trying to talk him out of leaving. He does say that was just “boys being boys” and notes how wrestling today is missing the camaraderie they had back then, noting how you also have to be careful what you do in part of social media. Rey also says JBL is not a bully.
He is asked about several talents. Rey said that he never would have thought he would work against Booker T in the WWE when they were in WCW but said they were friends and had great chemistry so they had good matches. He became good friends with Edge after they were a tag team and said they always thought up new things to do and how he loved his match against Edge at Elimination Chamber. Rey calls Chris Jericho the “American” version of Eddie and
When asked about his surgeries, Rey talks about how he regrets not stretching out before wrestling and how that would have added a few more years to his career. He said that he also never listened to the old-timers who would tell him to cut down on the big moves.
Rob asks Rey if it was true that Chris Benoit was never the same after Eddie passed away. Rey said he traveled with Chris after Eddie passed and although he didn’t speak much if you knew him you could tell he was hurting. Rey does not believe that Chris had brain damage prior to killing his wife and son as says that Chris and Eddie are together now. Rey thinks Chris should be remembered as a great performer and the best way to do so is the photo of him and Eddie celebrating with the confetti at the end of WrestleMania XX. He said his first match with the Undertaker was intimidating but after that he soaked it all in and enjoyed working with him. Rey says he is an incredible person away from the ring.
He talks about moving to RAW in 2009. He said that the only difference from Smackdown is that it was on Monday. He feuded with Kane and calls him a great guy.
Rey believes that Dolph Ziggler is one of the best workers in the WWE. He said that CM Punk was very dedicated to his craft while completely ignoring the question on how he acted backstage. He then wont say anything about Punk walking out of the WWE as he just says he did what he felt was best for him. He was excited to see Alberto Del Rio perform as he was not familiar with him and said their feud got better as it progressed. On his firing, he said that he was surprised that he got fired after slapping an employee. As a follow up question he is asked about experiencing racism while in the WWE. Rey said not directly but unsure if it was directed to him backstage.
Rob asks him about several other guys in rapid fashion, trying to get something out of Rey, but he says nothing at all except that he likes Cody Rhodes.
Now, Rey is asked about failing a Wellness Policy test while sitting at home and what they were testing for as Rey gave some generic answer about how they were given routine tests and that he failed due to not having “proof and validation.” Mind you, he never said what he tested positive for or why he failed. He said the tough thing about the policy is its how the company sees things regarding prescriptions.
He is asked about Sin Cara and how he failed to succeed in the WWE and what happened there. Rey said that his main problem was that he did not speak English and did not know the WWE style. He also said that he had a reputation as a hothead and tried to help him but it didnt work.
Rey thinks the Shield was awesome and Seth is the best out of the three. On whether or not Reigns is the next big thing and if they should have him win at Mania instead of Daniel Bryan as Rey does not understand why the WWE does not go all the way with Bryan as the fans have been going nuts about him for three years. He says getting booed at the Royal Rumble in 2014 as #30, Rey said it shocked him initially but while out there is realized what was going on as he said he told Konnan later on if he saw Bryan in the gorilla position he would have dragged him out in front of the crowd to take his place.
He is asked about HHH and Vince McMahon regarding politics backstage as he gives more generic, non-threatening answers.
Rob now talks about the rumors about his WWE contract and if he was not getting paid. Rey claimed to have always gotten paid by the WWE. He then said he spoke with HHH when he contract was renewed and it went well as he was explained that they had to tack on time due to injury, which was explained in his original contract. He denies any blowup with Vince and that the doors are open for a return in the future.
Rey said he never heard any rumblings about the WWE being upset over him attending the Lucha Underground tapings but thinks they might have been suspicious. He also talks about cutting a promo that aired on TV for the AAA promotion in Mexico (where Rey said “see you soon” at the end) and claimed he did it because the WWE was going to tour Mexico soon and thought it would help promote the shows, not to say that he was going to wrestle for AAA. Rey also claimed he thought he was going on that WWE tour.
When asked about the rumor of HHH was going to release him early from his contract but got overruled by Vince, Rey just talked about how HHH explained his contract to him, not answering the question at all.
He says he is happy to be a free agent now after 13 years of the WWE. Rey also said he left on good terms as he wants to leave the doors open for a potential return. On why the WWE never announced his release, Rey said he had no idea but was aware of his release date.
On the rumors that he is heading to Lucha Underground, Rey said that he wants to wrestle a lot of guys in that company and would like to head into the company.
Rey said he loved returning to AAA for the Rey de Reyes event. He also puts over working with Konnan, who he has known since age 11. He puts over Pentagon and Fenix as being unbelievable workers.
He says his ladder match against Eddie Guerrero was the one he was the most proud of in the WWE as it was the last time they faced off and finishes off the interview by thanking his fans and that he will still be around for a while.
Final Thoughts: Rey might be a nice guy and I have not heard much bad said about him but this was one of the worst shoot interviews I have ever listened to and that was all due to himself. I understand not wanting to go off on people or burn bridges but Rey would not even attempt to answer even a slightly controversial question. And I felt he came off as very insincere and even full of shit when explaining how he left the company. I think he flat out lied about the promo from AAA being a way to promote the WWE Mexico house shows too as he had been off of TV for close to a year at that point with no sign of a return.
I give Feinstein credit for trying to get Rey to say something interesting. However, Rey was unwilling to play the game. He would avoid questions and give generic answers. I actually learned nothing from this interview to be honest and wanted to shut it off halfway through when it was apparent this was going nowhere.
I strongly recommend that you do not listen to this interview. WWE.com articles have more bite than this did and are easier to stomach. You would think filming a shoot a few days after getting released by the WWE would be interesting but that was not the case.
If you are still interested in getting this shoot, you can purchase the DVD for $20 by clicking on the links below:
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.
This was filmed in 2000
The Interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at one hour and forty-nine minutes long
The interview starts with Valentine being asked about how he got started in wrestling. He said after his freshman year at Washington State, he traveled on the road with his dad (Johnny Valentine) in Texas, who did not want him to enter the business, and decided that was what he wanted to do as a career.
Valentine said that his mom raised him as his parents divorced when he was about six years old and wasn’t even able to see him wrestle on TV as his dad wrestled across the country while he lived in Seattle.
He said his dad told him at first that he was not big enough to be a wrestler but Valentine thinks he just wanted to drive home the point that it was a tough business. So, his dad then sent him to train in Calgary at Stu Hart’s dungeon. He talks about the training and how he started off as a referee and part of the ring crew at first then after several months called his dad and said he wanted to leave and actually wrestle somewhere. Valentine then does a spot-on Stu Hart impression about how he wanted to leave yet didn’t even know how to lace his boots.
After Calgary, Valentine headed to Detroit as he joked about living in the basement of Eddie Fargo and his “fat” son. Valentine said he had a ring in his backyard and trained then. He then said that Fargo told him not to use the Valentine name and had him go by “Baby Face Nelson.” After that, Don Fargo saw him and as he gained more experience then they teamed together. He also talks about winning the tag belts in the Buffalo territory that was run by Pedro Martinez as he wrestled guys like Dominic DeNucci and Tony Parisi.
He worked as the Fargo Brothers in the Funk’s territory in Amarillo and stayed there for about a year. He said the road trips were brutal but it was long, steady work and he had a lot of fun there too.
In 1973, Valentine had a falling out with Fargo and ended up going to Kansas City and while there switched his name to Greg Valentine. While there, Jack Brisco brought him to Florida where he was billed as the “brother” of his actual father because, as Greg puts it, his father was vein and if they thought he had a son that old he would be labeled as too old.
He left Florida and went over to Los Angeles and stayed there for a year where he won the America’s Title. It was then where he met Vince McMahon Sr. for the first time and worked for the WWWF briefly after that.
In 1976, he went to work for Bill Watts in Oklahoma. At the time, Valentine said he was a great guy to learn from but his payoffs were horrible and Valentine left as a result.
Valentine talks about the plane crash that ended his father’s career. He also talks about Ric Flair, who was part of the crash, and how he never broke his back despite claiming that he did.
Shortly after that, he worked for the Mid-Atlantic Territory. Valentine said he was still a bit green at the time, as was Flair, but they teamed together and worked with the Andersons (Ole & Gene). He puts them over a lot. They also worked against Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood as well as Paul Orndorff & Jimmy Snuka. Valentine estimates they had the belts back-and-forth for about three years.
Valentine then said that George Scott came up to him and said he needed to get out of the territory for a bit and said he had a deal for him in the WWWF. Valentine also said that Vince Sr. gave him the figure-four leg lock as a finisher in 1979 and used that and was built up as a heel then a few years after that, he went back to Mid-Atlantic as he said the WWWF would build up the heels for the babyfaces and that the heels had a short shelf-life as a result.
When he got back to the Mid-Atlantic, Valentine came in and tricked Flair into believing that he was a face then turned on him during a match when he walked out. Valentine said he took Gene Anderson’s cane and hit Flair but it didn’t break as the Andersons were screaming at him to break it so Valentine swung it harder and ended up breaking Flair’s nose and splitting his lip. He said that he felt like shit afterwards for hurting his friend but that Flair didn’t care as he said they were about to make some money with a feud.
He is asked about several workers from the Mid-Atlantic. He said that Tim Woods was very tough to work with. Valentine put over Wahoo McDaniel as a person and a wrestler. He said Rufus Jones was a good guy but a lousy worker, despite being over. He didn’t like teaming with Baron Von Rashcke at first, because it was different than teaming with someone like Flair and didn’t think it would workd but it did and Valentine puts over Rashcke also as a person and a wrestler. He said it took Ricky Steamboat about a year in the business to become a polished worked while it took himself about him. Valentine said that Ray Stevens was a “man’s man” and learned a lot from him then said while teaming up together, they were in a lumberjack match where Big John Studd was supposed to catch him but backed up and Stevens tore his groin and as a result, was not able to come back. He said Paul Orndorff was hard to work with because he was very strong and a little green at the time. Valentine said that Snuka was wild but easy to work with in the ring.
They go back to his time in the WWWF and working with Bob Backlund as Valentine compares it to “going to the dentist and asking for all of your teeth to be pulled out” then laughs for a bit. He calls Backlund a great person then said that they asked him to go an hour with Backlund and it was one of the hardest matches he has ever had, stating he blew up about 500 times that match, and that it was hard to get heat as while champion, it didn’t seem like the people got behind him and noted that his selling was almost comical.
On other guys he worked with in the WWWF, Valentine said that working with Pedro Morales was like a night off. He then said that Vince McMahon Jr. at that time was like one of the boys and partied with them and easy to get along with as back then, he was not the boss. He said the Grand Wizard was a good man and would almost act as a real-life manager to the guys he was managing at the time.
He worked a few tours for New Japan in the early 80’s. Valentine said back then he didn’t like going over due to the culture shock and the wrestling was hard. He worked with Tatsumi Fujinami, who Valentine said was the best over there and Antonio Inoki was easy to work with but there were several other guys who were tough.
He went back to the Mid-Atlantic then was asked about his feud with Roddy Piper. Valentine said they were both close and traveled together and came up with an angle that he would hit him with the belt as Piper “gigged” himself in the ear and he poured blood. Valentine also added that they tried to do a lot of “hardway” stuff as they wanted it to look as believable as possible. He talks about their dog collar match at Starrcade and how fans always mention that match when they see him today. After having problems with Dusty Rhodes, he left to go back to the WWF.
When he went back to the now WWF, Valentine was given Capt. Lou Albano as a manager. Valentine said Albano was hilarious and would always keep him laughing, especially when he was drinking. He also said how Vince Sr. would fire him every TV taping because he got drunk and would swear at everyone but get rehired back each time.
Valentine talks about his feud with Tito Santana and said that originally, Tito was going to feud with Orndorff. However, Orndorff kept missing shows here and there so George Scott, who was the booker in the WWF now, pitched the idea of replacing Orndorff with Valentine and since Tito needed a legitimate operation on his leg, Valentine would win the Intercontinental Title with the figure four that would “break” his leg. Valentine puts over Tito as being his favorite opponent and how he had great timing and was a natural babyface.
He said that he realized the WWF was going to be huge around 1984 when Vince Jr. told him he had a “home” there forever, he referring to him as family. Vince Jr. then told him that he was going to take over the world and buy TV time everywhere. He even asked Valentine if he could bring in the Road Warriors but Valentine did not even know them at that time. When asked, Valentine said his ego grew massively over time as they got more popular.
On his matches with the Junkyard Dog, Valentine said he was hard to work with as when you would knock him down he would just lay on the mat so you had to pull him up yourself. Valentine said he was a great guy but lazy in the ring. Originally, he was supposed to work with Tito at WrestleMania I but George Scott wanted to stretch their feud out longer so he switched it to having Tito point out to the ref that Valentine cheated to win.
Valentine talks about working with Hogan and how the office originally wanted Valentine to job to the leg drop, Hogan got the finished switched to where Hogan pinned Valentine after clotheslining him after he came off of the top then afterwards, to get his heat back, Valentine would attack Hogan and put him in the figure four.
When asked about the formation of the Dream Team, Valentine said that before the officially became a team, the office would throw him and Beefcake as a team on occasion and had no clue they were grooming them as a team.
As part of the Dream Team, Valentine said he loved their matches with the British Bulldogs and notes how they sold out the Maple Leaf Gardens once. He talks about winning the belts from Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo and shortly after that they were all driving around drunk in the snow from Baltimore and the next morning, Windham flew back home and quit the company so they had Danny Spivey come in to take his place but it didn’t work out so they had all underneath teams and then George Scott wanted them to put over the Bulldogs in a non-title match for “Championship Wrestling” then eventually drop the belts to them at WrestleMania II. Feinstein then asks Valentine about Dynamite Kid saying in his book that he refused to drop the belts back to the Dream Team. Valentine says that is news to him then said a lot of guys disliked Beefcake because he was Hogan’s friend but finds it tough to believe as they had great matches together.
On the Dream Team breaking up and feuding with Beefcake, Valentine said they are still good friends to this day but Beefcake would complain when he got hit with stiff chops.
He is asked about several other workers at that time. He likes Jake Roberts as a person, noting how he has his “hangups” but does like him. He said that Don Muraco is a great guy and a “good kind of crazy.” Valentine said that Bret Hart becoming a singles star surprised him because he didn’t think he had the charisma to pull it off and was poor on interviews. On the Ultimate Warrior, Valentine said that everyone resented his push and hated to work with him but Vince was trying to feed him bodies so he could replace Hogan. Valentine said he got to know the Warrior when they did some independent tours of Europe and found him to be a great guy. He said he was friends with the Rockers, noting how a lot of the veterans disliked them at the time.
About steroids, Valentine said he used them a few times to recover from injuries but saw guys shooting them up daily in the locker room. He said they schedule they had back then, steroids and other substances helped them out.
When he teamed with Honky Tonk Man, Valentine said he went back to being managed by Jimmy Hart shortly after his feud with Beefcake ended and thinks they were thrown together because they both had Hart as a manager. Valentine said it took six months of convincing before he finally allowed his hair to get dyed black, which he said was an idea that Vince got from Jesse Ventura, who thought it would shock the fans. Valentine said he tried to make the gimmick work and at one point they were going to get the belts, because they were Vince’s creation, but he signed the Road Warriors then sent him to Japan to work for the SWS promotion as Honky became an announcer.
On Randy Savage, Valentine said that he always thought they were friends but never wrestled much together. However, Valentine said that Savage no longer stays in touch with anyone and talked about how his wife was friends with Elizabeth and when he went on tours, Savage would call his parents to take Elizabeth around when he was away.
He left the WWF after returning from Japan and worked against Dino Bravo then Earthquake at WrestleMania VII. Valentine talks about how originally, they were supposed to go 12 minutes but it got cut down to just four as Valentine didn’t mind jobbing but did not want to look like a jabroni losing in a few minutes. He got heated backstage and nearly walked out but did the match and stayed with the WWF a little bit longer before leaving for WCW.
In WCW, Valentine said that Bill Watts came in and cut everyone’s pay, noting how he gave his own son Erik a nice contract. He said one day he was going to do a job to Sting at the “WCW Saturday Night” tapings in a quick match but refused to do so and Dusty asked him if he wanted to work or not as Valentine said no then left the company.
He is asked about guys he worked with in WCW. Valentine said that Marcus Bagwell would cry when he beat the shit out of him in the corner with chops. He also said that Jimmy Garvin & Michael Hayes were fun to work against, despite the fact they were not the best wrestlers.
On working for Herb Abrams, Valentine laughs as he tells a story about working for Abrams then after the show, he talked with Vince McMahon. Word of this got back to Abrams, who decided to cancel Valentine’s check before he could cash it as a result. Valentine points out that he finished the work he was paid to do by Abrams before speaking with Vince.
Valentine said that he went back to WCW for Bischoff and got a two-year deal and was rarely used. When asked about Bischoff, Valentine said he should worship every wrestler he met as Bischoff made all his money in wrestling despite not knowing shit about the business. He also calls Bischoff a “mark” for Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.
He then talks about working the Independents today and how he now does not mind working as a babyface, something he hated earlier in his career. He would also like to try being a booker some day as well.
When asked if he could change anything about the business, Valentine said he would unionize wrestling and do something similar as the Screen Actors Guild to help pay for the injuries they suffer during their career, noting how the guys in ECW are killing themselves without a pot to piss in at the moment.
Valentine said he still talks to Tito, Honky, and King Kong Bundy today. His favorite match was the dog collar match against Piper. On wrestlers he likes to watch today, he says Chris Benoit, Rock, HHH, and Rikishi.
On the best rib he has ever heard about, Valentine tells a story of how his dad, who was a notorious “ribber,” once pranked Jay York by taking his inhaler and filling it up with lighter fluid. After his match, York used it and nearly died so he then went to his car and got a shotgun. Valentine’s dad took Buddy Rogers’ suitcase, which looked just like his own, and York ended up shooting it out of his hand while Valentine’s dad acted like he got shot himself.
When asked where he sees the business in the next five years, Valentine says that his dad told him no matter what you do you cannot kill the wrestling business. He believes that another company, not ECW, will come in as the TV stations are seeing the ratings wrestling brings in and will jump in on that.
Valentine said that his regrets are getting married so many times and letting Vince talk him out of going to WCW in 1990 when he had one hell of an offer.
And how some word association:
Hulk Hogan: A phenomenon and “basically” a good person.
Ric Flair: A great guy but “shady” at times.
Ricky Steamboat: Great Guy.
Lex Luger: One of the luckiest guys in the business but a nice guy.
Eric Bischoff: “asshole.”
Sting: Doesn’t really know him all that much but said that he was nice to him.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid interview. I prefer is WWE 1985 Timeline with Kayfabe Commentaries but Valentine provided some insight here and was willing to speak. He was not bitter and generally had good things to say about everyone, except for Bischoff.
Valentine was also very protective of his character (Basically, not wanting to get squashed in quick TV matches) and showed that he was a little bit behind the times at that point (Valentine was already 40 years old at WrestleMania VII). Valentine was relaxed and generally happy throughout the shoot as he went through his career in detail.
Overall, I would recommend this as it breezed by and Valentine did have an eventful career that he detailed well.
You can purchase a DVD of the shoot for $15 or download a digital copy for $9.99 by clicking on the links below:
This was filmed in 2004
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at one hour and fifty-two minutes long
The interview starts with New Jack saying that unlike his previous two RF Video shoot interviews, he does not work for ECW or anyone else right now. He then tells Feinstein before he asks his “stupid, motherfucking questions” he wants to talk about a few things.
Jack says that he wants to talk about Paul Heyman. He mocks Heyman, at one point impersonating Heyman saying “Have I ever lied to you” as Jack then tells a story about Heyman telling the locker room backstage at a PPV that his money got seized at the border, because they thought it was drug money so they could not get paid. At that time, the locker room was three months behind on pay.
The next Heyman story from Jack was when Heyman told Jack to go down to Georgia and turn himself in on charges then he would send him money to avoid going to jail. Jack said he told Heyman if he didn’t send the money in three days he would get locked up and Jack ended up sitting in a jail cell for nine weeks. After that, he returned to the arena and cut a promo about missing the ECW fans and the crowd turned him face, something that was not planned at all.
Heyman story #3 is Jack saying when Sandman got naked in the ring in Pensacola, FL, he only got sent home for a few days. Then when Taz got charged with sexual assault in a tanning booth in Pittsburgh, Jack said Heyman paid the girl not to go to court because Taz was one of his top guys. Jack then said that Heyman told them he was going to California and not coming back until he signed a new TV deal for ECW but in reality he was out filming the movie “Rollerball.” He talks about how Heyman would tell all the boys he was the “Captain of the Ship” and would go down with them but in reality he was jumping off of it behind their backs as Jack calls Heyman a “cocksucking motherfucker” adding how he even got some of the others to believe what he was saying and even how Heyman is preventing guys from getting work in the WWE because he has heat. Jack said if he saw Heyman in the WWE, he’d smack the shit out of him and if he even saw his momma he would run over her with his car. Jack said he would even tie Heyman’s daddy to a fence and “let a bull butt-fuck him.” Jack goes off on Heyman while spewing off all sorts of profanities.
Jack then selects Tod Gordon as his next target. He goes off on him for smoking crack and fucking some chick while he was on the side and how no one wanted word of this to get out because Gordon was a respected businessman in Philadelphia.
He then talks about how if you “played the game” the ECW office would get you over and then would eventually let you go to “the fed.”
We get another Heyman story as Jack tells us that one show in New York, Heyman called him up before it started. Heyman told Jack that the New York Athletic commission said last time they ran a show there, Jack hit on the guy’s fourteen year old daughter as Jack said the claim was ridiculous and how he has a 17 year old daughter himself. Jack then said the reason Heyman called him with this info was that he was owed money as Jack then told Heyman he was showing up in the parking lot for his money, as he was owed about $8,000 at the time. Jack called his bluff and told Heyman that ifhe gave him $6,000 he would go away. So, Heyman sent someone down to give Jack money, which turned out to be $500. Jack told the person that Heyman lost his mind then as he was there, the athletic commissioner walked by so Jack asked him he heard that he was mad at him for hitting on his daughter. The athletic commissioner told Jack that if he hit on his daughter at the last show he would have been pissed off at him but added that the problem was that he did not have any children to begin with.
Jack then said that during a PPV in Los Angeles, Heyman called him while he was in Dayton, OH. Heyman told Jack that he was at the police station because a woman claimed that Jack raped her and asked for a phone number to call him back on but not his cell phone. Jack said that Heyman told him the woman accused him of beating her up after not paying her for sex as Jack told Heyman that he was all the way in fucking Dayton, noting how it was all bullshit as a result, then hung up the phone.
He goes off on Heyman again, saying that when ECW first aired on TNN, he would not feature him on TV but only did so when he was trying to get kicked off the air then blamed Jack’s style of wrestling for that as Jack said Heyman is full of shit as he was the one who edited the shows. Jack then accused Heyman of making him the “sacrificial lamb” so he could file bankruptcy then go over to the WWE, stating Heyman gambled all his money as Jack tells a story of how he got Heyman and Taz gold cards at Harrah’s and one night they got snowed in and while at the Casino, they only got about $50 limits on their cards because Heyman gambled away $17,000 in one night, noting how they keep track of everything on those cards. He then tells Heyman that he will make sure he gets a copy of this interview, adding how he will mail him one when it comes out.
Jack goes off about how the WWE hired Heyman at $52,000 because if he made anymore than that he would not be protected from people who were trying to sue him as he accuses Heyman of stealing ECW away from Tod Gordon by coming into the company with his connections then steering everyone in the company to his direction. He then points out how Heyman doesn’t give a fuck about anyone and how he is in his 30’s and still lives at home with his parents so as a result, “he ain’t shit.”
The focus now switches over to Bubba & D’Von Dudley. He first said that they were not even the original Dudley’s, just “tryouts” as he calls them, but that Bubba “takes it up the ass” and that D’Von is a “white man dressed as a nigga” and they ain’t shit either. He then said that he used to be tight with D’Von in the locker room, even letting him live at his house at one point, but that D’Von was “sweating” this rat he was fucking, noting that he didn’t care if he fucked her down the line as she was with Stevie Richards too at one point but that he was trying to get with her while they were together and that was wrong. Jack refers to Bubba as the “puppet master” as he tells D’Von what to do and he does it while adding when they got split up in the WWE they weren’t worth shit then says that they bit off his ring gear (wearing camouflage), his music (the missile drop), and D’Von tried to get with his woman and that is why he doesn’t like him. He says Bubba is a “momma’s boy” and hopes that if he has kids they are born “defective” and that when the WWE releases them, he warns them both that the same people they shit on the way to the top will be waiting for them on the indy scene as he challenges them both to “put them up” if they cross paths.
Jack then lets Feinstein ask questions. The first is how he ended up in XPW. Jack said that he got there due to Vic Grimes as he talks about cracking his skull and other injuries suffered from a fall they took off of a balcony during a match in ECW. He said they were going to work a program together there and that was when he tossed Grimes 40 feet off of a scaffold, who missed the floor by several inches. He said that XPW was shit and just another paycheck.
He calls XPW the “backyard of backyards” as he said Rob Black would tell them before the show to have good matches, cut themselves (as Jack motions sideways across his forehead) and that they will have fun when the show ends. Jack said he was a mark and tells a story of how he once had a kid dressed like Sabu run in during the middle of a Sabu match and how he sent people over to Messiah’s house where they cut off his thumb as Jack says he can’t even jerk off with that hand anymore. When asked what it was like to work with Messiah, Jack said he was a young kid who tried but also has as much of a future in business than he does at flying to the moon.
Jack then talks about Black and how he made the shittiest and generic pornos and no mind for the wrestling business but thought he knew what he was doing and just a “mark with money.”
On working for Gary Yap in EPIC Pro Wrestling and how he would dodge him as he owed him money as he talks about the only way he got his money from Yap and other promoters was when he threatened them or his family. Jack said he sent some guys he knew to Yap’s girlfriend’s strip club that she danced at told the manager that they would beat the girl with a bat unless Yap paid Jack and an hour later Jack got a call that his money was at Western Union.
Jack then tells a story about Yap sending him a plane ticket but not the right one as he had multiple layovers and the airline lost his bag containing his wrestling gear. He told Yap to buy him some clothes to wear for the match and he did and Jack wrestled then promised to pay for him to fly back to Atlanta but Yap avoided him and Jack had to fly himself as he said he only got paid for that at the end after having his girlfriend threatened.
He worked in 3PW for Blue Meanie and Jasmin St. Claire as Jack calls her a skank then counters Jasmin’s claim of him snorting coke with her getting fucked by over 350 guys in one day as he would rather be in the snorting coke line as he said he heard Jasmin had to “ice down her pussy” after the gangbang shoot. He talks about being asked to put over Bam Bam, who he had no problem with, but Jack said he put Bam Bam over several other times, including the high school auditorium he graduated from and didn’t want to do it again. He then said he was on a flight from Atlanta to Philly, that Jasmin ended up giving him the wrong information for, that got delayed due to the weather in Philly. Jack then said he kept calling Jasmin hourly to give her updates and then realized he was not going to make it then the next day on the internet, Jasmin posted that New Jack double booked himself and that was why he did not arrive and that the Blue Meanie, who Jack refers to as a “bitch-ass” and how his claim to fame is the boyfriend of Jasmin and how Bam Bam was shooting on Jack in the ring about how he didn’t want to job to him as Jack said in reality Bam Bam was probably pissed that he couldn’t get any cocaine that night as Jack also said he was snorting cocaine “like a hoover” at that time. Jack then wishes for Meanie to “die of AIDS.” He says that Jasmin as a pussy the size of the “Delaware River.” He then laughs and tells Rob that he wanted a shoot and the only thing missing is a gun.
When asked about going to TNA, Jack said that he was close with Bill Behrens, who got him into the company. He got there and was with other ex-ECW guys and said that he came out and was made to look like a joke, noting out everytime he came out he ended up getting carried out to the back and how Mike Awesome and Justin Credible came in and got to look good as Jack said he didn’t want to make it a racial thing but wanted to know why he was the one who got stretchered out. Jack also said that Jarrett got mad at him for the language he used and asked what he could say, which was “bitch” and “ass.” Jack then said that Jarrett and Shane Douglas would come out and swear constantly.
On the backstage segments with Shark Boy, Jack said that he was either drunk or high for every single one of them. Jack then talks about the “Hard 10” tournament (A tournament that featured hardcore matches that were judged on a point system based on various types of weapon shots) and how they came to him and wanted Jack to wrestle the Sandman in a “Hard 20” match. He then talks about Jeff Jarrett and how he brought Sting in as his partner but used it as an attempt to put himself over as Jack tells Jarrett that he is not over and never was over at any point and if it wasn’t for his dad he wouldn’t have been shit.
After TNA, Jack went to work with CZW. He said Zandig wanted him to come in and work an angle together ending with Jack turning heel. Jack then told Zandig that he could “fuck his grandma” in the ring and get cheered, pointing out that the crowd would cheer for him no matter what. Jack recalls Zandig trying to get a job in ECW but was unable to make it so he created his own as Jack said CZW couldn’t draw flies if it was a “pile of shit.” Jack says the only reason people come to his shows is because its all those fans have. He talks about Zandig being afraid to face him in a match after he stapled gun him in a match and Jack told someone that he would pay him back for that. Jack then talks about how Zandig is the owner, booker, a wrestler, and everything else and in way over his head.
When asked about the Mass Transit incident, Jack said Transit came to him asking to “look good” as he was in his hometown. The Gangstas won the belts prior to the show. Jack said he told Heyman he would cut his head off and said he used a surgical scalpel to cut the kid from ear-to-ear. After the match, Heyman switched Jack to a new hotel and had him fly out a few days after the show then nine months later, Jack got indicted but got acquitted in court. He talks about Transit died a year ago and how his parents tried to sue him after he died. Jack said that Transit was fat when he met him and it didn’t just happen overnight (Gulas died after complications from gastric bypass surgery).
Feinstein asks him about an appearance on a radio show when he talked about the WWE talking to him about coming in and working with the Dudley Boyz. Jack said that Heyman called him about coming in but Jack sensed it was bullshit and that the WWE only wanted him for the rights to his name as they could keep it when he left. Jack said that he got his name over and is not signing that away.
Jack said that Dreamer is not “hardcore” no matter how much they want to portray him in that way. He says that he is “too pretty” but likes Dreamer a lot and is not saying this as a way to put him down.
He claims to be retiring at the end of the year due to chronic pain and seizures. He says that he would rather retire before ended up “retarded.” (Jack retired in 2013).
On Frank Goodman and USA Pro Wrestling, Jack jokes that his shows last forever but that he pays him well. He says that the show drew but lasted forever. On working with Louie Ramos, Jack said he is nice and respectful but he will not make a living in wrestling and to not quite his day job.
Jack says he does not keep in touch with Mustafa and does not want to as he is an idiot who did not understand what they had as a team. Jack said that Ricky Morton told him once that he and Robert Gibson couldn’t stand each other but that they knew what they had together and made it work.
He said the only thing he misses about ECW were the “hoes” at the Holiday Inn as he had girls running up and down the halls naked as he had rented the top floor. He then says that ECW will never be duplicated and how you had to be a “soldier” to survive the company at that time.
When asked about his health, Jack said he got surgery on his back but he has no sight in his eye due to the balcony fall, which he still gets treated for today. He then says in the morning he gets out of bed to take a piss then puts on his ankle and neck braces and how it will not get any better. Regardless, Jack says he has no regrets about anything in his career.
Jack is asked about the biggest misconception people have about him as he said people think he is the person they see on TV in real life. Jack talks about how he was tried to help many wrestlers but does not want any thanks for that then says he does not care about what the fans think of him as their job is to buy a ticket, merchandise, enjoy the show then take their “dumbass” home.
He then tells Heyman that he is one of the “lowest motherfuckers” on the planet and got away with “almost murder” as Louie Spicolli and Bobby Duncum died under his watch and Jack doesn’t blame pills but rather Heyman for letting them get lost in the shuffle as he wishes Heyman nothing but bad luck and that he “suffers like a motherfucker” before he dies.
On Missy Hyatt, Jack said they “hung out” for a few weeks until one day Missy went to the police day and said her roommate “Missy Hyatt” was missing. When the detective asked for her name, she said it was “Melissa Hiatt,” which was her name. The detective then asked Missy if she was on any medications as she said that she was on a “whole lot of shit” then dumped her pills out of her purse onto the counter then turned in either her doctor that prescribed them or someone forging scripts as I couldnt tell what Jack was saying and he had written over 2,000 scripts and was facing charges and as a result killed himself as Jack blames Missy for the guy’s death as he wishes to run her over with a lawnmower for being pathetic and that she is 40 years old and does not realize that her day has passed.
When asked about the incident with Gypsy Joe, Jack said that he was asked to wrestle Joe, who looked to be about a 100 years old. Joe told Jack that he invented hardcore and could teach him a few things as he talked about beating up Taz and Steve Austin. During the match, Joe refused to sell anything then busted his nose with a headbutt and after that Jack beat on Joe for real. Jack said some fans were calling him a “nigger” repeatedly and after brutalizing Joe, the promoter came out and called the match as Jack accused Joe of killing the business with comedy matches.
Jack then introduces us to his protégé Kwame, who is a bouncer at a strip club in Philadelphia, and found out that they are related as he is on camera for about a minute.
About his favorite rib, Jack tells a story about sharing a room with Jason Knight and how Jack glued the phone handle to the receiver then called it with his cell phone as Jason picked it up and it got stuck to him. He then glued Jason’s shoes to the ceiling, toothbrush to the sink, and the soap to the soap dish and the remote to the nightstand as it was facing the wall. Jack then said that he is cool with Jason and likes him, even if others do not.
Now the video switches from the hotel room to the RF Video offices as we get the “undercover” part of the tape. Jack said he just got out of jail as he talks about being in a match in a guy who was green and the guy was shooting on him in the ring. He also said the guy (William Jason Lane) told him before the match that he only “got color” hardway too. Jack said that he stabbed the guy in the head and neck of the neck and after stabbing him several other times the match was stopped and Jack was in jail for nineteen days and the charges were dropped because it happened in the ring. Jack claims you cannot get charged for that and that the wrestler did not even press charges as the cops took Jack away. He then says that if you want a crash course in the business the best thing to do is get into the ring with a veteran and show in disrespect, as you can either get your ass beat or stabbed, which is what he prefers as Jack claims that he has “soft hands.”
When he got to jail, Jack said no one knew what he was put in red, as that meant you were violent and that was his second time he was charged with violence. Jack said while in jail he mostly kept to himself and said he kept on making up reasons for why he was there as he was paying a lawyer to get him out and he didnt want to talk to the others. He said some of the inmates knew who he was but Jack did not want to entertain them.
Jack says that some states, like New York, are giving him a hard time about getting work in the state as Jack said its bullshit that he had both cases acquitted. He then said the way the case was handled in the media was bullshit as it portrayed him as someone like Jeffrey Dahmer then said it has hurt him a lot financially as others are afraid to get in the ring with him. Jack said he is down about $9,000 due to paying lawyers. As he is talking, he receives a phone call from Hack Meyers and quickly rushes him off of the phone.
He then talks abut the police pressing charges for the stabbing, even after the wrestler dropped them. Jack said he would never knowingly stab someone on camera if he was going to go to jail. He then said Lane got back in the ring after the stabbing thus proving that he was not afraid for his life.
Jack talks about how he found out who had his back as only a few people reached out to him while he was in jail as he declares that he doesnt give a fuck about anyone. He says that he is going to do some work in Los Angeles and just did some stuff with the Goodie Mob. Jack also says that he is wrestling in Puerto Rico.
We then see the tape of Jack stabbing Lane, even providing commentary. As the wrestler made his entrance, Jack said that before the match he told Jack he had been wrestling a hardcore style for years in Florida but when they talked Jack realized that he didnt know what any of the terms met, not even kayfabe. He even jokes how all the fans in attendance were dressed as chairs and how well the show was promoted (There looked to be about 15 fans in attendance). The match starts as the guy fucks up a lockup then stiffs Jack with a punch to the back of the head before he tried to dump him to the floor then Jack stabbed him several times as Jack told the guy to get the promoter after he was unable to do the match. Jack again stresses that the guy told him he knew how to work and wanted to get color. The guy comes as Jack was holding up the guy, telling him that he was hurt. The tape ended after that as Jack said that was how he got put away and says when you book New Jack not to expect arm drags and stuff like that. Jack then says that he has nothing else to say as he wants to leave and to go the “titty club.” He then plugs the newest album from the Goodie Mob as the interview ends.
Final Thoughts: This shoot was something else. First off, the first 20 minutes that features Jack going off on people was incredible. As far as what he says, it is shocking. As far as that being believable, who knows but I do know that after many shoot interviews that feature people talking about being lied to by Heyman, a lot of them state Heyman would call them up with a lie then purposely avoid them afterwards. Its a common theme among Heyman lies.
The “undercover” part of the shoot, with footage of Jack stabbing the indy wrestler, I really dont know what to make of that. It seemed like part of it was for Jack to clear his name so to speak to those who saw the reports about him on the news. Part of it also seemed as an attempt to market himself as an unpredictable wrestler. Another part of it seems to be Jack’s personality and how he seems to be getting off of doing shit like this to people who were not expecting it, regardless the situation.
Another thing I took away from this shoot, which is highly controversial, is that Jack knew the independent scene was gravitating towards the “workrate” crowd and saw this as the way to market himself. And it worked has Jack has done all sorts of shoot interviews with various companies since. Jack got the business and could market himself, something a fan or someone who loathes him should be able to understand. Jack amped up the shock value here (like the constant wishing or suffering and death for various people and their families) but I think its clear Jack has a few screws loose.
I recommend this shoot, as it is quite the interview. Its really a spectacle to say the least. Even if you are not a fan of his, I would recommend this to you.
You can purchase the DVD of this for $20 or the Digital Download for $9.99 by clicking on the links below.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/12/87
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/18/87
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/19/87
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
This was filmed in
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs for two hours and forty-five minutes long
The interview starts with Lynn being asked if he was a wrestling fan growing up as a child. Lynn said that he was as his dad watched that as Lynn talks about watching the AWA while growing up in Minnesota. He was fans of The Crusher and Baron Von Raschke as well as some of the “job guys” like George “Scrap Iron” Gadaski and Kenny Jay. He also talked about how he loved watching Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura. He also put over how much he loved Ray Stevens and Bobby Heenan when he was smartened up to the business.
Lynn said that he never planned on becoming a wrestler, especially since he was not a bigger guy like most of the wrestlers were at that time (early 80’s). He talks about how his wife worked with the girl who dated Soldat Ustinov and went to watch him wrestle for an independent show run by Eddie Sharkey. After watching the matches, Lynn said he would wrestle with his brother in the backyard as kids and it looked better than that. He eventually got to meet Usinov, who told him to train. Lynn told Usinov he was too small but Usinov convinced him that they would pair him up with guys his size. He met with Ed Sharkey but did not train with him.
A few years later, Lynn was working for a cable company installing wires underground. His co-worker was Todd Becker, who found out about Brad Rheingans holding a class for $2,500. They took out a loan and trained with two other guys. Lynn puts over Rheingans for his amateur accomplishments for a bit, saying that he was an incredible shooter as well. He also said that the first few weeks of training they were not allowed in the ring as they only did matwork. They also did a lot of cardio as well, something Lynn said his very important to wrestling. Lynn then goes off topic and says that wrestling is like the music business in that you are on the road a lot and its tough to make it but wrestling is harder because you are destroying your body.
His first match was at a TV taping for an independent show run by Jim Cook. Lynn said he was scared to death as a lot of the guys were “gassed up” and he was smaller. Lynn talks about doing squash matches around this time and recalls doing one for the WWF when he went up against the Big Boss Man and Akeem, saying on TV it looked brutal but both guys worked as light as a feather.
He then talks about working for Jerry Jarrett in Memphis. Eddie Gilbert brought him into the territory and Lynn was ecstatic as Gilbert was one of his favorite wrestlers. His first match was against Ken Wayne and Lynn said he was scared as Memphis kept the heels and faces separate so he did not get a chance to go over the match but Wayne walked him through it and there were no problems. Lynn puts over how much he learned as he teamed with Cody Michaels, mostly jobbing to other teams coming into the territory. Lynn told Eddie Marlin that if he was just doing to get jobbed out and not learn to work, he was going to go home. Lynn left as he saw they had nothing for him there then went home as he said that he needed a real job to support his wrestling habit, seeing how he was not making any money.
Lynn is asked about Global Wrestling. He said that he was not shocked that it went under because once the money was tight and they stopped bringing in name guys, they used local talents and it came off like a “glorified indy show.” He loved working with Sean Waltman and said he met Raven there, when he was Scotty the Body but they did not get close until later on in their careers.
He got a role as a stuntman in the film “Crossing the Bridge” and that he had to get his haircut for the role so they ran an angle on TV when Waltman cut his hair then after that, Waltman put Lynn’s hair in baggies and ended up selling the for $4 a bag, making a total of $80 that night.
On his first tour of Japan, Lynn said he did not like it much there and not a fan of the food. He said that the Great Sasuke’s nickname was “Super Candlewax” due to being known as a very kinky guy. When asked if Sasuke was difficult to deal with, Lynn said not when he was there but that when he sees a wrestler he wants to know how long they have been on the road, if they are hurt or hungry before judging them as this is such a tough business that you never know what someone is going through at any given point.
Lynn talks about going to Smoky Mountain after leaving Global. He wrestled against Killer Kyle and got compliments from Tim Horner and Tommy Young. Mikey Whipwreck interrupts the shoot as Lynn wants him to do an Ozzy Osborne impression but he declines and just says hi before leaving.
After that, he went to WCW. Lynn talks about knowing Bischoff since the AWA then goes on to talk briefly about Sabu, his first opponent on Nitro, and how he knew him from Japan. Lynn’s first contract was for a nightly deal and he talks about breaking his arm working a match against Dean Malenko when he did a super gutbuster, a move that Lynn did not want to take but said Dean and Eddie Guerrero talked him into taking the move. Lynn said he freaked out but luckily it was the end of the match. When he got backstage, his arm was bent the wrong way and he pushed it back to normal and heard it snap in the process. Lynn then talks about how a doctor told him he probably has detached tendons and a lot of scar tissue. Since he was on a nightly deal and unable to wrestle, he took a job at a temp agency for $8 an hour with his arm in a sling until he was able to get back into the ring. When asked if he is getting surgery for this today, Lynn said that he can’t because he needs to keep working in order to make money. When he was healthy enough to wrestle, he got a one-year deal for $1,000 a week. He had to move to Atlanta and would fly home to see his daughter once a month but it got too expensive.
He then talks about WCW and how no one from the people who ran the company to the production guys cared about the product and were only there for the money as they all helped destroy WCW.
Lynn tells a story about how he was sent to New Japan by WCW, along with other talents he did not name. He said that Alex Wright was originally supposed to go but he got out of the trip as Lynn said the other guys loved to beat the crap out of him so they started to treat Lynn like that. Lynn said that at first he didn’t mind but as it went on, they got mad when Lynn wouldn’t engage with them. The second night of the tour, Lynn broke his foot on a dive after his opponent moved back further than normal for a dive. He stayed and worked a bit longer as one of the wrestlers, Black Cat, gave him a few Percocets as Lynn would take one before his match. Lynn said that he worked the tour as the other guys gave him shit and made fun of him for being hurt. Later on, he got hurt trying a dropkick when one of the Mexican guys he was facing moved out of the way as he decided that he wasn’t going to take the move. Lynn then crashed on his shoulder and fucked that up badly to the point the next morning, it took him ten minutes to put on his shirt. Lynn then went to Saito and asked for a day off but was told he could get sent home for being hurt, as Lynn asked him to stay but just have this night off. One of the young boys took him to see a doctor in Nagasaki, which was bombed by America during World War II. Lynn said the place was filthy and the doctor told him there was nothing wrong and to stop acting like a baby. When he got back home to Atlanta, he was diagnosed with a broken foot. However, when the other guys came back, he heard from Mike Enos that one of them told the WCW office that he faked an injury in order to get sent home early. Lynn said that another one of their friends treated him like shit in WCW then the office started to job him out. (The “other” guys on tour with him were Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit and according to Cagematch.net, Lynn’s opponent the night he broke his foot, the second night, was Chris Benoit ).
After getting fired by WCW, Lynn contemplated quitting wrestling altogether as he was not having any fun. He worked for the WWF in the Light Heavyweight Tournament against Taka Michinoku but shortly after that he got called up by Chris Candido about working a few shots. Lynn said he did not want to get hit by weapons then talks about how he worked against Candido in his debut and it went well.
On Paul Heyman, Lynn said that he had a great mind for wrestling and respected his work but right off the bat you could tell he was full of shit.
Lynn is asked about a few talents. He said that RVD was stiff and reckless at times but learned to work with him as they did house show matches together for almost a year. He said they both went all out even at the house shows. He said that Justin Credible was a good heel and loved their match at Heatwave 98. He liked working with Tajiri but said you would never know when he was going to stiff you on a kick and he usually surprised you with them, saying that he got stiffed badly with a kick to the back of the head at November to Remember 1999. He enjoyed working with Rhino, saying that he was the first to work with him in ECW and after the match he told Heyman that he was ready.
He is asked about getting the ECW World Title at the Anarchy Rulz PPV in 2000. Lynn said he found out that Heyman did not want to give him the belt but Justin Credible talked him into it then Lynn talked about Heyman trying to feel him out to see if he was a mark for the belt. Lynn said he was not a “belt mark” as he would rather get paid instead.
On Mike Awesome and how he left ECW, Lynn said that he doesnt understand why they just didnt ask him to drop the title and said a lot of the guys in the locker room came off as “whiny bitches” over the whole situation.
Lynn is asked about Heyman ever lying to him as he said whenever Heyman opens his mouth it is a lie. He talks about the checks bouncing and how it was a crapshoot come payday whether or not the check would be there.
When asked about what caused ECW’s downfall, Lynn said the WWF and WCW started to sign their stars so in order to prevent that Heyman signed guys to contracts and ended up being unable to afford to pay the guys.
He said that he didnt want to go to the final ECW PPV (Guilty as Charged in 2001) as he found out through Mikey Whipwreck that they were only getting half of their paychecks. Lynn then said that he informed the rest of the locker room about this and an hour before the show, told Heyman that he was not going to work the show. Lynn then asked Heyman if he would mind him watching the show backstage as Heyman then told him he was going to be in the main event putting over RVD and would get his heat back as Heyman said he wouldnt. Heyman then tried to convince Lynn to wrestle the match, saying he would give him his full paycheck if he put RVD over. Lynn said that he actually left his tights at home because he didnt want to be there to begin with then ended up wrestling the match in pants that were too big on him and he had to use electrical tape to hold them up. Lynn ended up getting paid his full check that night. On how much Lynn is owed by Heyman, he said he was about three months behind in pay, owed 14 PPV bonuses, and owed what he made off of merchandise then gives a “lowball” estimate of $75,000.
Lynn talks about how he met his biological parents when he was 30 years old and how they suffered from alcohol abuse. Lynn said that he always kept that in mind whenever he went out drinking.
On the night Sandman was naked in Pensacola, FL, Lynn said that he was nude backstage before the show messing around with people and even ran Dawn Marie’s brush through his pubes. Sandman also had a beer in his hand and kept acting like he was going to jump in with RVD, who was jumping rope backstage. He then said he was with Credible no-selling Sandman, who was looking for attention, and Sandman thought it was great they were not paying him attention after a while. When it came time for the show, Sandman came down with his pants around his ankles but still had his underwear on at first. Sandman then motioned to take them off but Tommy Dreamer begged him not to as he did not want to risk losing the building due to him being naked. Sandman stopped at first but took them off as soon as Dreamer turned around and mentioned how it was hilarious.
After ECW went under, he called up Jim Ross as when he worked the Light Heavyweight Tournament a few years prior, Ross told him that they might have something for him in the future as he turned them down. Lynn said he was signed for three years but that they were three one-yer deals so the WWF always had an out clause.
On his first night with the company (Backlash 2001), Lynn said he was told about getting the Light Heayweight Title as soon as he got to the building during the match on “Sunday Night Heat.” He was also told to be a heel and thought it wouldnt work as he was known from ECW in Illinois and over with the crowd. When he got backstage after it was over, Heyman told Lynn that the office was surprised how over he was with the crowd. He dropped it a month later as he talks about how he only did one match on RAW and two on Smackdown the whole time he was there. Lynn saw the writing on the wall when he had a match against RVD that was taped for Heat then when it came out, the match was edited with most of his offense taken out.
Lynn talks about backstage politics and how after one match, Gerald Brisco yelled at him backstage for doing Spike Dudley’s finisher as Lynn pointed out how he did a DDT while Spike used a Diamond Cutter when he ran up the ropes then walked off. Lynn said that Michael Hayes came up to him in the locker room just to be careful what he did in the matches as he goes off on agents telling you to do different things and how you would get yelled at by them.
He got hurt wrestling someone in a dark match and had to get knee surgery that he said required six months recovery time. John Laurinaitis called him up after three months and asked if he was ready to come back but said the doctor told him it would take six months. A week later, Lynn got fired. Lynn said he was put in an unsafe working environment as the guy he wrestled had no business getting a tryout due to inexperience.
After the WWF, Lynn worked for a few different independents then eventually got hired to work for NWA-TNA. He ended up moving to Nashville as Lynn felt that when money gets tight in a promotion, they stop flying guys in to work so if he was local the company would use him more.
When asked, he said that Jeff Jarrett does put himself over at the expense of others. He even points out his blowoff match against Raven and how they had to turn about 1,000 people away before the show then Jarrett booked the match as he kicked out of Raven’s finisher after being handcuffed and beat up and ended up getting booed out of the building and got mad afterwards as Lynn questions how you could not see that coming.
Lynn said that today’s high-flying wrestlers do not put in any psychology in their matches and claim to know a lot about the business due to the “sheets” and the internet. He said that highspots and weapon shots don’t make a match. He said in Ring of Honor the first time he was there, the fans sat with their arms folded and would golf-clap after seeing a spot they liked as he likens them to critics and not fans, even stating they are not there to have a good time and just want to impress everyone with how they know what is going to happen.
On Vince Russo, Lynn said that he got along with him and gets a kick out of fans starting “Fire Russo” chants as there is someone above him that has the final say in the decisions.
About Dixie Carter, Lynn said she doesnt know the business and that Jeff Jarrett is not going to smarten her up.
He talks about having to job to David Flair and Mike Sanders. Lynn said he told Jerry Jarrett about his concerns over the product as it seemed like WCW during its dying days. Jerry told him that his own son (Jeff Jarrett) doesnt even see the problems. Lynn said that Flair told him that he felt sorry as Sanders, the heel, was playing up to the crowd as Lynn told him not to do that as you won’t get heat. Sanders told him that it worked in England and blew off Lynn’s advice.
Lynn tells a story about how he was in Scott D’Amore’s office one day and said the company was pulling the rug out from under him because he was getting more over than Jeff Jarrett, who it turns out was in the office next door and heard that so as a result, Lynn sat at home for five months and when he came back it was for less money and he was putting people over. Lynn found out Jarrett heard what he said as D’Amore told him Jarrett came in when he left and said that Lynn needed a “vacation.” He then goes on about being the “Barry Horowitz” of TNA.
He tells a story about the World X Cup and how Juventud Guerrera demanded to take most of the offense in their match and even ended up dropping Lynn on his shoulder, which caused an injury. Lynn said that Guerrera walked right past him without saying a word when he got backstage, where Lynn was icing his shoulder. He was then made into an agent as he was hurt so he could at least pay the bills.
On how he would fix TNA, Lynn said its okay to have some comedy but not for the entire show as you cannot take it seriously. He refers to WWE as “satire” of a wrestling company today.
He talks about how he was barely making money and told he could not work for any independent organizations with a distribution deal so he called Terry Taylor, asking for his release. Taylor called him back as Jarrett wanted to know why so Lynn told him that he had been there for over three years without a raise and no room to grow. After that, TNA granted him his release.
Lynn tells people breaking in today to get a college degree first and look at it as a hobby and not that you are going to be the next Hulk Hogan, which is something that Brad Rheingans told him. Also, do not be afraid to say no to something you are uncomfortable doing in the ring as you have to protect your body.
About the Chris Benoit tragedy, Lynn said that he is a murderer and cannot understand someone who would murder their own child. He will not praise him for his wrestling, either. Lynn said that he always looked like he was on the “gas” and that any number of factors could have led to what he did.
When asked about his favorite rib, Lynn said that in the AWA they would put sardines under the bus driver’s seat and in the Winter they would put limburger cheese on the engine block so it would reek when he car started to heat up.
He closes the interview by thanking his fans and that he would like to write a book but would need to talk to people about things as his memory his poor.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a good shoot overall. At times, I did feel like Lynn gave off the vibe of someone who complained all of the time though. He even said himself at one point he woud vent to other wrestlers and at times would say the wrong things to people. Lynn also had some woe-is-me stuff regarding how he was booked. Then again, this guy suffered a shit-ton of injuries and is barely getting by today off of Indy bookings. He also admitted to having memory problems and cannot afford to get much-much needed surgery.
The thing I took away the most from this was how beaten down and broke he was. The guy is slumming it just to get by and has to work temp agency jobs for near minimum wage when he is not getting enough bookings. Like he said, most wrestlers are not going to turn out like Hulk Hogan and its a tough life. And to make it worse, his best and what should have been his most profitable years where spent in a company that was stiffing him on pay.
I thought Lynn had some eye opening stories here and you can tell he loathed Benoit and not just for what he did to his own family. Benoit made sure to fuck with his pay and his health, providing another example of his destructive behaviors before murdering his wife and child.
All in all, a good interview of a realy journeyman wrestler. I do recommend this interview as Lynn was candid and not holding anything back.
You can purchase the DVD of this interview for $20 or the Digital Download for $9.99 by clicking on the links below.
Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/4/87
Saturday: RoH Beating the Odds 9/6/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/5/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/11/87
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
This was released in January 2014
The interview was conducted by Brett Lauderdale
It runs for three hours and thirty-eight minutes long
The interview starts with Morgan being asked about Andre the Giant being his favorite wrestler. Morgan said he got hooked when he saw Ken Patera and Big John Studd try to cut his hair. He also talked about how his dad and brother were huge fans and followed suit.
He talks about his college basketball career. He started off at Monmouth and even got to play in the NCAA Tourmanent in 1996. Morgan also was a starter as a freshman. He also said he was invited to play in the McDonald’s All-American team as a high school senior.
Morgan then transferred to Chaminade University in Hawaii and started to train as a wrestler. He saw an ad on TV one day for the local promotion, Pro Wrestling Hawaii, and decided that he wanted to train. He then called the promoter, “Bonecrusher” Jeff Nunez, and had his first day of training in the middle of Waikiki Beach, with tourists all over the place. He said that it cost $500. After 15 minutes, Nunez told him that was it and to call him tomorrow but he was gone as the guy was a scammer who would train people for a day then leave and go to another island and do the same thing.
After that he moved back home and got a job back home in Connecticut at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Stamford, CT. Morgan said that he also got tryouts for the NBA and the NFL. Morgan said best case scenario in the NBA would be the “white guy at the end of the bench. Morgan said he stayed at Enterprise as he did an internship there and thought he could get promoted quickly at the Stamford branch. He said while there he met Tom Prichard and the Mean Street Posse and would talk to them. He also said that he met Vince McMahon’s driver and trainer as Titan Towers was just four doors down. This was right when the “Attitude Era” was taking off.
Morgan then said he met a go-fer for “RAW Magazine” who told him to work out at the gym on Friday nights at Titan Towers because that is when Vince worked out. After six months, he still had not met Vince but did run into Stephanie, Jim Ross, and his wife, who Morgan said was a sweetheart of a person. One day, he bumped into Vince and approached him briefly as he did not want to interrupt his workout, as Vince asked him about his height and weight then asked Morgan he owed it to himself and his family to tryout for the NBA before committing to wrestling. Morgan had a tryout with the Indiana Pacers coming up but said he didnt care about that as much and was a wrestling fan long before basketball. Vince also told him to get in contact with Tom Prichard if he was serious too.
On auditioning for “Tough Enough,” Morgan was waiting for the WWE to contact him and he eventually talked to Prichard and asked if he should go to a wrestling school such as Killer Kowalski’s. Prichard then told him to wait as they had something coming up (Tough Enough). He missed the deadline for the first season but the MTV producers saw his video and he got to audition for season 2.
He talks about wrestling at a higher weight at first and how he was nowhere near ready to be in the ring as he did not have the cardio. He then talks about the training and how the trainers wanted to test him as he was a big guy. Morgan said he did not get preferential treatment due to his size. He talks about his injury where he snapped his ankle and said it happened mostly due to the fact that he was overweight.
Morgan said the trainers were cool, even Bob Holly. He said that the Big Show would pull him aside off camera and give him pointers. He said that the show pushed you through a lot of tests and put your body to the limit. He never thought that his career would be over or anything like that after the injury.
He is asked about the other contestants. He said that Kenny King was picking up things quicker than anyone. He likes Jake and Hawk, saying that Jake was cool but not picking up on the training. He talks about how they were told at first that one man and one woman would win but it ended up being two females. He also said that Kenny King should have won one of the spots.
Morgan was offered a Developmental contract to report to OVW after the show in 2002. He said he was ecstatic when he got the call from John Laurinaitis then a congratulatory call from Prichard after that.
Danny Davis was the head trainer when he started. He talks about how he probably had the least experience out of everyone down there at the time. When asked if he was signed based off of potential, Morgan said yes but so is everyone else and just because you were a star on the independent scene doesnt mean you immediately bypass the Developmental system as you have to go through the WWE style of training before making it to television. He names Nova as an example as he worked for ten years and had to do the same drills as he did in OVW, noting how if you ask Nova today he would say that those drills helped him.
He is asked about the other guys with him in OVW at the time. Morgan said he was with John Cena, Batista, Shelton Benjamin, Sean O’Haire, Mark Jindrak, Lance Cade, Nick Dinsmore, Rob Conway, and Rene Dupree among others. Morgan said the locker room atmosphere was like family.
Morgan talks about being called up, saying that he was not ready at the time as he only had several months of training. He was told that he would be paired up with guys who were experienced and puts over the veterans for making the 2003 Survivor Series Team Angle vs. Team Lesnar match great.
On his team with Nathan Jones, Morgan said that they were going to remain a team but he ended up quitting. Morgan said that Jones was very quiet and during practice in OVW would just sit down and look at everyone. He also said that Jones was not prepared for the “mental ribbing” of the locker room. Morgan then talks about that and how he played sports his whole life and that kind of stuff is typically used as a weird way of getting to know you and a camaraderie builder then tells a story as a freshman at Monmouth when the whole team tied him down naked on the goalpost before the women’s lacrosse team came out to practice. He then goes back to Jones and recalls telling him that they were just messing with him and discusses how Jones spent time in solitary confinement while in Australia and struggled to adapt on dealing with people. He then recalls the day he quit when he came up to Morgan as he was warming up and shook his hand, saying he quit as he had a tear in his eye. Morgan heard that he told the office that night he was not going to wrestle and quit as Angle and Lesnar attempted to get him to stay.
Morgan stays on the subject of ribbing in the locker room and how it is not the end of the world if someone pulls a rib on you as it is a way to see if you are mentally prepared and stresses the importance of trying to have a good time on the road and keep everyone laughing when times are bad. He then tells a story of Cena pulling a rib on him during the European tour when he had the sound guy turn up the microphone so he would sound like “Alvin & The Chipmunks” when he cuts his promo on the crowd while he was doing his stuttering gimmick. Morgan also said that he made a point to no-sell the rib and kept cutting the promo as the crowd went nuts.
He talks about getting sent back to OVW in 2004. Morgan said after Lesnar and Nathan Jones quit, they had nothing to do for him. Morgan then talks about how he would have learned more on the road working house show matches with veterans, who he described as leading him through the matches. At the same time, Morgan said that he would get more ring time in OVW but the demotion did mess with him mentally a bit.
He got called back up to the main roster in 2005 and given the stuttering gimmick. Morgan confirmed that Vince came up with the idea. He also said that Vince apparently had the gimmick for a few years and was waiting to use it on someone. At first, Morgan was told that he could accept the gimmick or wait for another one to come along while waiting in OVW. Morgan then went to Vince’s office, who explained the gimmick with an analogy of a hot chick who ends up having a deep voice when she speaks, making everyone turn their heads, as the stuttering character would have that be his only flaw and would get set off when exploited. He then took the gimmick at the advice of others by saying no matter how stupid it sounded, you dont say no to an opportunity.
On the first “One Night Stand” PPV, Morgan said that he was sitting in the box with the other guys as waitresses were bringing them drinks and guys, JBL in particular, were getting drunk and screaming at Heyman’s guys. He also tells a story about how Snitsky was dared to take the shoe off of the waitress and stick her toes in his mouth and he did. When asked about the incident between JBL and the Blue Meanie, Morgan said he had no idea that happened until the next day. He recalls seeing Meanie busted open backstage but thought it was just part of the match but found out the next day at TV that it was a legitimate fight.
Morgan got released from the WWE on July 5th, 2005. He was with Carlito, who was feuding with the Big Show but Carlito got drafted to RAW and Morgan was still on Smackdown and was left with nothing to do. Morgan then talks about the stuttering gimmick and how it was on him why the gimmick did not get over as he was the one with the opportunity. John Laurinaitis told him to go to Japan and work over there and improve then they could bring him back. Morgan said that despite getting upset over being released, he got a chance to ditch the stuttering gimmick and create a character that was more like himself elsewhere.
He is now asked about his comments about being a “functioning addict” during his second WWE run. Morgan said he was addicted to painkillers and that few people knew he was an addict. He said he was always able to get them from doctors and wouldnt really abuse them in the locker room but rather behind closed doors. Morgan said he was “doctor shopping” and was getting tons of Percocets. He would go through 60 pills in about two days.
Morgan said once on tour in Japan he started to ask around for pills and that was the only time they saw him struggling. He then goes into his addiction and how he would get a rush from taking the pills and would take 40-60 milligrams every four hours for about five years of either Percocet or Vicodin.
On a tour of Italy on the Independent scene, Morgan said he was going through withdrawals and having cold sweats so he ended up knocking on guys doors asking for pills and came to a realization that he could not get through withdrawals for another night so he called his wife and asked her to set him up with the scariest, crappiest detox center she could find so it would scare the shit out of him because he thought the next point for him was jail as he felt he could have done something like write fake scripts or anything else to get his fix. He went to the Center For Drug Free Living in Orlando, FL which he said was in a shitty part of town. He was there for three weeks and detoxed off of pills and went on Suboxone. Morgan said he felt pathetic and weak at first as he could not beat a pill. He talks about listening to a story of a guy there who was a former Harvard English professor who ended up losing everything and was living underneath a bridge. Morgan also talks about how he wanted to get clean and if you go to detox and are not serious about that then it will never work. He said he learned a lot of tools to stay clean through the outpatient treator he had when he got released. He said that he found a different route to drive home so he wouldnt drive by pharmacies and switched gyms as to not get triggered. He said he stayed out of wrestling because if that was what it took to stay clean he had to do it as he did not want to return and have to deal with injuries without pills.
Morgan got into TNA as he worked a few indy shows and felt better as his cardio and blood pressure were much improved due to not being on pills. He then got a chance to be Jim Cornette’s bodyguard in TNA. He met Dixie Carter and asked if he could do PR and speak about addiction and did some stuff with D.A.R.E. Morgan talks about being proud of overcoming his addiction.
He talks about some of the workers in TNA. Regarding Abyss, Morgan said that he is an underrated big man and excellent at putting together matches and could be an agent when he retires. He talks about Beer Money and how both of them are extremely charismatic. Morgan said that Roode and Dolph Ziggler are the best bump-and-feed heels in the business today. He said that Bubba Ray Dudley was a total dick in the WWE but was helpful and a lot easier to deal with in TNA.
On his Bound for Glory match against Kurt Angle, Morgan said it was the longest match of his career and had to get into shape and lost 15lbs during training. He recalls Angle ripping into him for going through the motions at times before the match and to act like a 7-foot tall giant.
When asked if he helped Angle with his addiction, he claims that he had helped 38 wrestlers get sober throughout his career. Morgan said he wanted to do it after getting sober himself. Morgan said he referred several guys to his addiction specialists and felt that he owed it to his friends in the business, no matter how big of a name, that if he saw them in trouble he had to help them. He also talks about the WWE Wellness Policy and how the facilities they send guys to are the best on the planet.
He loved working with Ric Flair and said that he would always give out advice to guys. When asked about outside of the ring, Morgan says the stories of him being crazy outside are true but at that time in TNA Morgan was not into that scene and recalls having a beer or two with him after their match at a hotel bar while watching the NBA playoffs, saying they were both huge LeBron James fans.
Morgan is asked about bigger names coming into TNA and phoning it in as he said they would roll their eyes when that happened and how some of the vocal guys in the locker room, like Samoa Joe, would sometimes speak up to those guys.
On working with Jeff Hardy, Morgan talks about how they both turned a month before the match and talks about how they had him as a face going up against Hardy, who was a heel, saying it was an uphill battle.
When asked about Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff showing up to TNA, Morgan said he was happy to see that. On the rest of the locker room, Morgan said he is sure than some guys were unhappy and goes on how wrestling is a business filled with paranoia. He recalls Bischoff taking notes of everyone’s matches at the monitor and wanting to improve the product. He also recalls Hogan sitting them all done and asking them who they were so they could get to know their character’s better.
He said that it was Hogan’s plan for his match against Sting was to pass out in the Scorpion Death Lock instead of tapping out and they were going to work a long program after that.
Morgan puts over Hogan for being a great person and how he has a big heart. He said that Hogan gave him and his wife his suite for a New Years Eve party once. He also likes Bischoff for being up front with him.
On whether or not Bischoff lost touch, Morgan said that Bischoff is a big fan of Austin Aries and attributes his run as the champion to that so he thinks Bischoff does not what the fans like today.
He is asked if Scott Steiner is crazy as Morgan starts to laugh then tells a story during a promo where Tyson Tomko pulled up in a truck as Steiner just yelled out “Hey Ned, get my bag” for some reason.
Morgan thought that Crimson was picking up wrestling quickly but still figuring out who he was and did not get enough time to do that.
On leaving TNA, Morgan said that his leave was a 100% work as it was Bischoff’s way of keeping him fresh. He then said when he returned they never did anything with him though. He got paired with Joey Ryan and puts over his charisma and character. At this time Morgan felt frustrated as their pairing did not make sense. He also revealed that they were supposed to have a six-month long storyline and become the champions but that was switched as Hogan did not want Morgan as a comedy character.
Morgan expresses his frustration at the end of his run where they kept him off of TV to bring him back in a storyline then they brought him back and did nothing with him. He went to Dixie Carter and told her that he wanted to leave. He also said that the company was slashing its budget and thought they could save money by releasing him as his wife was pregnant with their first child and thought about being around for his kid and leaving wrestling. He is asked about Dixie and says that she has a grass-roots belief on getting to know the fans and some people do not think that is a good way to do business.
He liked going on the road as you could find out who was over as he talks about some of the guys, without mentioning names, would constantly hang out with the “marks” and buy them beers so they would get cheered at the Impact Zone.
When asked why TNA struggled to draw on the road, Morgan said it was easy to figure out as it was the marketing. He talks about how he and James Storm would play a game when they would work out at the gym closest to the arena and see fans, who would ask them why they were there and would have to tell the fans that they had a show that night. He said no one knew that they had shows because they did a poor job at promoting.
On steroids in wrestling, Morgan said he did early on in his career. He then said that Jim Ross came down to OVW and saw Morgan, telling him that he didnt look like an athlete anymore and to stop whatever he was doing and after that he never took them again. He then talks about how while wrestlers shouldnt look like roided-out action figures or anything but should look like they are able to kick someone’s ass. He then talks about how today you can look at the guys and see that they are not on the juice, something you could tell before.
He is then asked about American Gladiators as Morgan said he got the job as they were looking for a wrestler to fill a role on the show.
Morgan closes by talking about how proud he is to be a father and says that anyone watching who is struggling with addiction can hit him up on Twitter and from there he can communicate with them through direct message where he can guide you on how to receive help.
Final Thoughts: I thought Morgan was an interesting subject and I became a fan of his by the end. However, the interviewer was fucking terrible here and it made for a subpar shoot. This Lauderdale guy is clueless. From cutting off the wrestlers (He did the same in the Tracy Smothers shoot) to asking ill-timed and overall poor follow-up questions he made this dull when it should have been an interesting interview, especially with an engaging guy like Morgan. He essentially asks token questions that are designed to get the subject talking for minutes on end and instead of steering the interview along he just cuts them off as they get going.
His story about getting clean was interesting. They had a lot to work with there. But stuff like Tough Enough and his TNA career was largely glossed over and they had 3.5 hours worth of material on this DVD.
Bottom line, Morgan is an interesting guy who was willing to talk but the interviewer was unable to utilize that and it made for a stagnant interview, especially the final hour, where I was ready to tap out myself. I cannot recommend this interview but I am happy about Morgan overcoming his addiction and the fact he wants to help others is admirable.
You can purchase the interview for $15 by clicking on the link below
This was filmed in 2008
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at one hour and fifty-four minutes long
Glacier starts the interview by saying he was a fan of wrestling growing up and would watch matches at the arena in Jacksonville, FL with his father and brother. He said Dusty was his hero growing up.
He started to do martial arts when he was 12 or 13 years old when he asked his dad if he could learn them after watching Bruce Lee movies. He talks about some of the types that he learned for a few minutes. Glacier also said that Eric Bischoff at one point pushed him to do some of the K1 stuff.
On how he got into wrestling, Glacier said a few of his college football teammates would go to the local wrestling tapings and one of his teammates, R.D. Swain, was with him and they got interviewed together and jokingly said their goals were to become the World Tag Team Champions. Local wrestler Fred Avery (a local wrestler who did a few jobs for WCW in the early 90’s) asked them if they wanted to become wrestlers but they declined at first but eventually went to train in his backyard. Glacier said the ring Avery had was slanted and painted orange then they were hooked after that.
He talks about the training and said that Avery was insistent that they learn amateur-style wrestling and after about 5 months of training they got to have their first match. Glacier laughs about taking tehebumps saying he was youthful then and had so much adrenaline and excitement that he did not really think about taking them at the time.
When asked about his first match, Glacier said that he was basically trained as a tag team with his partner and they wrestled a tag team called “The Smurfs” who were both about 5’5.
Glacier wrestled for an Independent in Georgia called “Peach State Wrestling.” He talks about being mentored by Ted Oates and Mr. Wrestling II. Glacier said that MWII would be at the arena 4 hours before the show with his mask on and would always maintain kayfabe at all times, even using masks on in the shower after the show.
Tommy Rich took a liking to him and one day called him up and said that he should be called “Sugar” Ray Lloyd as he worked for Southern States Wrestling and even got a few matches in WCW.
When asked if any guys tried to test him out in the ring, Glacier said that a few of them did and recalls one guy Steve Lawler tried and Glacier said he gave it back to him. Ted Allen also tested him out. Glacier said that at the time he was out of college and was clean-cut, looking like a total babyface. He didnt mind guys testing him out.
His first match in WCW was in 1989 against Butch Reed. He said Reed took care of him in the ring and wanted to see him again and thank him as Reed could have taken advantage of him then but did not. The next night he wrestled against the Great Muta as he dealt with Gary Hart, who put the match together. Glacier said that when he wrestled in WCW in the 90’s he learned that Muta could actually speak English. He recalls being perplexed as to what Muta was doing before the match (making a concoction to use for his mist) then said that Hart gave a good word to the office about him.
He is asked about Eddie Gilbert as Glacier said he always gave him advice. Glacier then said that people were generally nice to him and always gave advice as Glacier then talks about how most guys gave him help and figures they did as he is easy to get along with.
Glacier goes back to talk about how he graduated with a Masters Degree in Education and taught and coached football for several years before getting his big break in WCW in the mid 1990’s. Glacier tells everyone to pursue their dreams but do so realistically as you should get an education first.
On UWFI, Glacier said that most of it was a shoot, especially when you were on your feet compared to on the mat. He was thankful for the experience then talks about how the training was tough at the dojo. He wished UWFI would have lasted longer as they opened it up to everyone from Judo guys and boxers.
He talks about how he got back into WCW. Glacier said he joined Sting & Luger’s gym and ended up meeting Diamond Dallas Page through Disco Inferno. He said that Disco came up with the idea for the Coach Buzz Stern character, something Glacier did a few times at various indy shows. He then said he was with DDP and wanted to add some martial arts stuff to the Stern character. DDP had no idea Glacier studied martial arts and when he found out, he suggested that he tell Bischoff about that as he was interested in that. Glacier met Bischoff, who wanted to make sure he knew what he was doing, and after a few hours he was offered a contract.
His friend who worked in special effects met with Bischoff and after that they came up with the Glacier gimmick. At first, there were going to be four characters: Mortis, Wrath, and then something for Ernest Miller. Glacier said Bischoff would call these secret meetings that took place at Glacier’s friend’s studio. Bischoff wanted them to be video game characters that came to life and wanted heavyweight guys to wrestle like cruiserweights. Glacier said he would go to arcades with Kanyon and pick up on what games the kids were playing and how they would speak so they could use that for their characters.
Originally, Bischoff wanted the Glacier character to be called “Cryonic” but Glacier did not want that and they settled on having that as the name of his finisher. Glacier also said that “Stone Cold” was one of the ten names listed that they had thought of and laughs about that.
Glacier had no idea what to expect about the character but knew Bischoff wanted it to be a huge deal. He would work out the character and entrance at the Power Plant and said that for some reason it was not clicking but credits DDP for telling him to create the history of the character. He also said the plan was for his finisher was a big spinning hook kick but no one wanted to take the move.
He talks about the vignettes and how they had someone else to the voiceover as his own voice was really “Southern” at the time.
When asked why his debut was delayed, Glacier said that Bischoff did not like the vignettes but did not find out why, which Glacier said was in typical WCW fashion. He then talked about how Bischoff called him in his office as Midway, the video game company that created Mortal Kombat, was suing over the character. Glacier suggested they change the costume as Bischoff did not want that as it was expensive so Glacier said they switch his tights to differ from the Sub Zero character and got rid of the helmet, which he hated.
Glacier talks about having heat in the locker room as he was perceived as being Bischoff’s golden boy and learned that others in power hated the gimmick. Glacier said he never wanted any of that and just wanted to wrestle so he just kept quiet and stayed humble.
On his debut, he worked with Ray Traylor, who Glacier really respected. They worked on their match at the Power Plant before hand and thanks Traylor for making him look good and how he did him a favor. Glacier said he was scared to death out there as that character and talks about how he had then what was known as the Goldberg push. He also became friends with the referee, Brian Hillebrand, after that and thanks him a lot too.
When asked about how much his entrance cost, Glacier heard estimates ranging from $100,000-$500,000 from all sorts of guys and that Bischoff told him they had to fly three guys in each time he did the entrance. Glacier then talks about how you could not follow the entrance because it was so elaborate.
Originally, he was supposed to wrestle Mortis at Bash at the Beach in 1996 but was told at the last minute to not come down. He talks about how the nWo was the best and at the end the worst times in wrestling.
Glacier wishes that he was a heel at the beginning because the character was shoved down everyone’s throat and the kneejerk reaction is to reject that.
On wrestling Mortis, Glacier said that they always clicked in the ring. He then talks about how he got pissed at Meltzer for giving their match at Uncensored *** but how he said it should have been good as they had five months to put the match together but after watching the match later on, he does agree with the rating.
Glacier calls James Vandenberg (James Mitchell) one of the most talented guys in wrestling and how he never stumbled over a promo. Glacier says he was known as “Vandy” then.
He recalls a match he had against Wrath in which Terry Taylor told them not to do a superplex but Wrath told Glacier to suplex him and how he would take the heat. Well, they did the move and backstage Taylor berated them but Wrath never came forward and when Glacier realized that he came forward and got yelled at by Taylor.
When asked if Wrath and Mortis having martial arts training would have helped things out, Glacier said that they could have done some different things but doenst necessarily think it would have done better.
About Ernest Miller coming into WCW, he was disliked at first because he was so cocky and arrogant but after that they warmed up to him. He then talks about meeting Ernest initially at an underground first club in Atlanta that he was brought to by Bischoff that cost $100 to get in and had coolers of beer everywhere.
Glacier talks about losing to Buff Bagwell and how at the time everyone was losing to the nWo and didnt mind returning a favor and putting over someone. He didnt care for Bagwell not selling his kicks but didn’t see the writing on the wall at that point. Later on when he was not doing anything with the gimmick he saw the writing on the wall as when you are not relating to the fans you become stale.
On when he trashed the gimmick, Glacier said he was told to do so and promised they had better plans for him. He then said he couldnt believe he was naive enough to think that would happen.
About the Coach Buzz Stern character, he said he took from various coaches he had in his life. He wished he had a chance to run with the character a bit. He then said that he got released and got a meeting with Bischoff after that to show him some of the clips he shot with Luther Biggs in his coach character and gor rehired after that for a few hundred bucks less a week. Glacier tells young guys to not sit around and wait for the office to come up with something for you and be proactive.
He is asked about some of the major players in WCW. Glacier liked Hulk Hogan, saying he was nice to him. He always respected Bret Hart for hanging out with the boys in the locker room instead of using private rooms like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. He does say that he got to know Kevin since leaving WCW and likes him a lot. He also likes Hall too.
Glacier got hurt wrestling Goldberg and had to get helped to the back then got operated on a few days later. He said in wrestling you are going to get hurt and that it was not Goldberg’s fault that it happened.
After leaving WCW, he worked for Dusty Rhodes in Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling. He was the champion and wrestled against Barry Windham, who was sick and wanted Glacier to call the match in the ring. He loved how he got to wrestle guys like Larry Zbyzsko and Dave Taylor.
He went back to WCW after asking Terry Taylor what he had to do in order to get a spot on the roster again. Taylor asked him if he could be comedic with the Glacier character and actually think he was a superhero. Glacier said he paid for his own costume and went to the booking room before the show and hid in the closet, per the advice of Taylor. About ten minutes into the meeting, Taylor played a cassette of Glacier’s music and then Glacier busted out of the door and cut a promo in character about how he was a superhero. He said that Ed Ferrara laughed so hard that he fell out of his chair and then when he promo was finished he left the room and went home. He was rehired shortly after that. Glacier then talks about how he also had a gimmick of being Lance Storm’s older brother, as they look alike, but Vince Russo did not like the idea.
Glacier talks about the WWF showing interest and at the advice of Taylor, cut a promo as Buzz Stern introducing Glacier. Kevin Kelly called him up and asked who introduced him and found out it was him. Vince McMahon got wind that his dad was a state trooper and had an idea for him to be that as a character but Glacier said the money wasnt that great as they were the only game in town and he wanted a normal life at the time so he passed.
After wrestling he went back to teaching and helped Dusty run the wrestling school at Turnbuckle Wrestling.
He became an agent in TNA when Dusty was the head booker. At the time, Glacier was in Florida working on the Indiana Jones stunt show at Universal but got hurt. He liked the experience there.
On working as a stuntman, he talks about his first role was on “No Holds Barred” and recently got a role on “Burn Notice.” He hopes to break into acting soon.
When asked about Chris Benoit, Glacier said he was close to him as was all the midcard WCW guys were at the time. He said its sad that all people will remember him for is the murder/suicide because he gave so much back to the wrestling business. He does believe that head trauma was a major factor in the tragedy and talks about how wrestlers can get into the mindset that they are indestructible athletes and if they are hurt they have to get better before the next match and believes that Benoit was one of those guys.
He tells a road story about when he was in WCW. He says that they finished World War 3 and it was snowing like crazy. He was with Kidman, Chris Jericho, Kanyon, and Sick Boy. James Vandenberg was with them but went to bed early. Jericho came up with an idea to scare Vanderberg, who was passed out drunk. They came into the room with huge snowballs and planned on Kanyon turning on the light so he knew who was doing it but the light never worked and they hit him so Vandenberg took the beer bottles and started throwing them. Glacier said that Vanderberg took everything in stride and never let things bother him. Vandenberg then brushed the snow off of the bed and went back to sleep.
Final Thoughts: I really liked this interview. The recap might not read like the most interesting thing in the world but Glacier came off as a great guy with a good head on his shoulders. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He came across as a guy who loved everything he did and tries to make the best out of every situation.
He did express some frustration with how WCW was run at the time but was always proactive regarding his career, which is something I respect. He also had some good insight into the business as well.
I thought it was a fine interview but unless you are a fan of Glacier or interested in all things mid-90’s WCW (well, this is the place for that) then you would enjoy this a lot. You do learn a lot about how the character was created here, which was cool.
Next week I will be reviewing the Matt Morgan shoot interview as he talks about being on “Tough Enough” to his times in the WWE and TNA and about his drug addiction as well.
You can purchase the DVD of this shoot for $20 by clicking on the link below
This was filmed in April of 1998
The interview was conducted by Eric Gargiulo
It runs for two hours and seven minutes long
He became a fan of wrestling as a kid while watching the Sheik’s territory then wanted to get into the business while watching Georgia Championship Wrestling and started to get magazines and call offices of Verne Gagne among others until he called Gene Anderson and got invited to a tryout camp that cost $250. He sold his car and took a bus from Lima, OH to Charlotte, NC then walked 5 miles to a hotel and was out of money already. He got to the camp and about 25 guys where there and then Ole Anderson arrived with a few guys and they ran around the parking lot of the Charlotte Coliseum for five miles then went inside and did 500 free squats then ran around and up-and-down the stairs of the arena then after that did 400 pushups. Then, while waiting to go into the ring, you had to run back-and-forth with someone on your back or do jumping jacks. Snow said that by the time you got inside you were so blown up. Ole asked him if he wrestled before and Snow lied and said he did and told him that Jim Lancaster said hi but used his real name and Ole had no idea who that was then Snow did some moves with various guys trying to get out of chinlocks and leg locks with Ole yelling at Snow if he was going to give up as Snow jokes with the interview that he probably would have but his jaw was clenched so tight that he could not speak. Ole had been stretching guys out hard before that and even broke one guy’s jaw after knocking him out then had Gene get in and put Al in a chinlock but Gene started to dig into his mouth and eyes as Snow had no idea what he was doing until Gene clenched his balls then Snow grabbed Gene’s nuts as they tussled as Snow wanted to get out. Snow said his nose got broken as Gene also threatened him after kicking him in the ass. Snow said he thanked them both and said he would see them soon as Gene said he doubted that then Snow bought a ticket to the show and the next day woke up with bite marks all over his back.
After taking the bus back home, Snow contacted Lancaster, who first laughed then told Snow that a few other guys called him wanting to get trained and used mats since Lancaster did not have a ring. Snow had trouble finding a building until he found a community center and used the boxing ring a few times a week.
Back to the training with the Andersons, Snow said they ran that to make money as they never called anyone back nor did he see anyone there in the business as later on in Smoky Mountain, Sandy Scott told him that the Andersons would run those camps with the sole intention of making money and not training prospective wrestlers and later on he saw them while he did jobs for Crockett when they came through Ohio and West Virginia but they never recognized him.
Snow said he got married and had a regular job while wrestling on the side. He noted that he was referred to as “Wrestling’s Best Kept Secret” then got noticed during a match against Sabu around 93-94 and that got him booked more. Gargiulo mentioned how Feinstein paid Snow out of his own pocket to work a show he was booking at his local high school.
When asked if he was frustrated over not getting a break, Snow said he viewed everything he did as having a purpose that will eventually paid off but once he opened up his school and saw that some of his students were having more success then he did start to get a bit frustrated but it got a lot more frustrating when he got to the WWF.
Back to his matches against Sabu, Snow was asked about the aerial-style he used. He said that he did whatever style that would help get the match over and if he did copy a move from Sabu, he figured since Sabu came up with it first that he would miss the move and let Sabu hit it and would adapt to whatever style was necessary to get over the match. He then talks about the progression of the business how eighteen years ago a suplex was the finisher and now its just a highspot as he talks about when a move gets over, everyone wants to try it then it gets old as they keep having to amp up the craziness to get the fans to pop. He then compares the Lucha Libre style in America to watching fireworks as the fans go “ooh and ah” but do not have any attachment to the matches and that it will not put people in the seats. He does call it a nice addition to the shows but that heat is what sells tickets.
On why his initial ECW run ended so quickly, Snow said that Cornette asked him to go to SMW and team with Glen Jacobs (Kane) when Eddie Gilbert left to go to Puerto Rico and that Paul Heyman was not booking him as much as initially promised.
His initial impression of Smoky Mountain was that it was a good avenue to get to the WWF and give him his break. He then talks about how he hates doing promos as this was his first time doing them and they had a set amount of time for each promo and had to get across several points in just a limited amount of time.
Snow talks about being loyal to Cornette as he always stood behind him and was even the only one who did so in the WWF.
On teaming with Glen Jacobs against the Rock n’ Roll Express, Snow said that Morton, along with Ricky Steamboat, were the best babyfaces in the business. He then said he never traveled with anyone who he was teaming with but broke that rule in the WWF when he traveled with Marty Jannetty. He said it was hard to travel with someone who you were with essentially married to as you were teaming with them daily.
When asked why SMW went out of business, Snow said it was due to them having the same people over and over again then said that wrestling was like a movie that needed questions and answers and when the fans knew what would happen before buying a ticket, there was no reason to come to the shows and there was not a lot of talent to come in at that time either. Snow also said that Cornette’s role with the WWF took up a lot of his time too and he could not devote himself as much to the company.
Snow talks about what makes you want to watch a wrestler in the ring and how its not what you do but when and why you do something and not a lot of guys have the experience to do that. He then says that WCW and WWF should be kissing Heyman’s ass for grooming guys for them to use in the future as there are no more territories and their training camps are not going to find people. He says there is a reason guys start at the bottom and work their way up before getting ready for the push. He said that fans are sophisticated today and that they can tell when a guy is not ready and needs to get carried in the ring, citing Rocky Maivia as an example.
He talks about going to WCW and how he was told by Kevin Sullivan to come to Center Stage but was never given any directions. He said that Dave Penzer was a dick the entire time and wanted him to sign a piece of paper but did not want to tell him what it was so Penzer stormed off when Snow refused to sign without knowing what it was. Terry Taylor and Sullivan then came out and asked why he did not sign as Snow explained he just wanted to know what it was as Sullivan said it was just a piece of paper to sign so he got paid for the tryout and Snow signed but said that Sullivan thought he was a dick after that and despite having a good tryout with Ric Flair, he spoke with Bischoff who was going to offer a contract after the next PPV then Snow said that he was speaking with Jim Ross in the WWF and Bischoff told him that he owed it to himself to seek out the best deal then later on Snow noted that Taylor, who was nice to him in person, was ripping him on the WCW Hotline for his attitude as Snow was taken aback as Taylor was the nicest guy to him there. Later that week, Ross called and he flew up to meet Vince as he notes how the way Vince markets his company compared to WCW and it like night and day as the WWF gives you the tour and fine accommodations.
Snow said Vince asked him what he wanted, which was an opportunity. Snow said that he left and a few weeks later, Jeff Katz called him and said that Sullivan was trying to get a hold of him but Snow said it wasnt too tough to do then he ultimately signed with the WWF.
On how the Avatar gimmick came about, Snow said that Mortal Kombat was big and he was doing the Shinoni gimmick at the time. Vince originally wanted him to do vignettes to build up his appearance and it was going to be exactly how they would end up marketing Glacier in WCW but when he showed up, he was told then he would be on a live RAW. He then said he was not used to the ropes the WWF used and was using a lot of springboard moves. Snow said that he thought the match was good then had a good match the next night with Chris Candido then a few house shows and did nothing until working a few squash matches. Snow said he was told by others that he was perceived as being cocky and the “independent kingpin,” which rubbed guys like Kevin Nash the wrong way. Snow said he didnt work again until April 1996 with the New Rockers gimmick.
When asked about the Kliq, Snow said they indeed ruled the WWF, essentially acting like second bookers. He said it was obvious too. On whether or not the Kliq disliked him to his face, Snow said no but if they did hate him they weren’t going to tell him to his face as that is how business worked.
Snow also said that locker room morale was horrible at that time as there was nowhere to go and no one to talk too with your problems.
He talks about trying to talk to Vince about his problems but Cornette called him instead on Vince’s behalf as Snow explained how it was difficult to even get the chance to speak with Vince. As the New Rockers, he knew they were done when they were asked to put over the Harris Twins so he approached to Vince at TV, who told him to call the office and he would get back to him but that never happened as Cornette again called him back a few weeks later and calmed Snow down. Again, Snow approached Vince at TV about his character and how he feels he got the Leif Cassidy gimmick over to a point and worked hard and has charisma, wanting to get a chance to do something. The next night, he sat down with the Smoking Gunns and how Vince wanted Billy to walk out yet have Bart beat the New Rockers by himself. Marty threw a fit then left even after Jake Roberts was brought in to calm them down as Snow jokes about how ridiculous this was but remained a professional. They were told that they did not want Bart to look like shit as Snow questioned what does that make them look like by jobbing to one guy.
Still on that match, Snow said that he went over a couple of spots with Bart then Jake Roberts walked in pissed off and told him that he wasn’t always rising to the occasion as that set Snow off, who told him that he didnt give a fuck what he thought as he busted his ass in his that role. Jake said that Vince thought the same as Snow challenged him to go to Vince together. Snow talked about how he always volunteered to go over while teaming with Marty and he had nothing to lose at that point as he jobbed all the time anyway and took pride in everything he did. He then sat home for a while shortly after that until working at Survivor Series. Marty got hurt and couldnt work the show so Bob Holly, who was going to leave the territory the next day, was his partner yet they asked Snow to do the job anyway as he saw that as the ultimate sign of disrespect.
Snow tells another story about how he was asked to work against Tiger Ali Singh in England and how despite being a nice guy he was terrible in the ring and not ready for a push. He was then told that Singh was going to make the company money and the next night, they had a production meeting where Cornette came out and told Snow they wanted him to put Brakkus over. Cornette went back to the staff and said Snow refused, the first time they have done so as Bruce Prichard said they wanted to fire him as Cornette said he wants to quit then Jerry Brisco suggested they withdraw his pay but was reminded he was not being paid anything as Snow said the company was pissed as they could not punish him and the first time he said no to something they wanted to let him go.
We have reached the phone call portion of the show and its a few questions about if he wants to go to WCW or WWF as he said not at this time.
Snow talks about the Head gimmick, which is sitting next to him during the interview. He said that it was brought to a show by a fan to give to New Jack to use as a weapon then he took that to replace the head that he broke. Snow also jokingly called Feinstein gay, who denied the allegation.
More phone calls as one fan accuses Snow of running away from him when he asked for an autograph. The fan was apparently a wise ass who was chased away by Balls Mahoney. He is still under WWF contract at this time despite being in ECW. A lot of these calls are a waste of time, similar to the “YouShoot” fan submissions of people trying to get themselves over. Snow was good natured in goofing around with the callers.
He talks about the “Job Squad” and how it started as a joke at catering once when everyone was part of a gang to he said guys like Barry Horowitz and Aldo Montoya would be a part of his gang and joked about that for a bit.
Snow puts over ECW, saying its the happiest he has been in wrestling. He also does not rule out a potential return to the WWF.
On the Montreal Incident, Snow understands why both parties did what they did but that Vince always breaks the tradition of the business despite preaching it and that Bret sent a message out to everyone that he is not to be trusted and neither is Vince for that matter as he proves that his contract does not mean shit.
Snow agrees with Vince that Bret was a pain in the ass and that if you are not a pain in the ass in this business then you prove that you are willing to be in this to make money and being a nice guy gets you nowhere.
When asked about his upcoming title match against Shane Douglas at Wrestlepalooza, Snow said that if he makes money for this match then he has achieved his goal because he has had memorable matches and up until this PPV he has not had a bigger match.
Final Thoughts: Solid interview, although it did slow down significantly the last 35-40 minutes when they took fan questions (a feature that RF Video thankfully removed from their shoots) and when he was talking some about UFC. Snow was pretty upset about the way he was treated in the WWF but did seem very happy about his time in ECW. I felt Snow was honest here. This also seemed a lot more groundbreaking in 1998 than it does now as I do not feel it holds up to the legendary status that it did at the time.
Being one of the earlier shoots for RF Video, the call-in feature was regular and it hurt this interview a lot. 75% of the questions were if he would ever go back to the WWF or go to WCW.
Snow displayed a lot of insight here as well as a great sense of humor. He was definitely an engaging guy to interview.
Overall, I recommend this interview but once the call-ins start up, be wary as it is repetitive and unbearable at times.
Next week, I will review a shoot interview of one of the most overproduced and overhyped gimmicks in the history of wrestling in Glacier.
You can purchase a DVD of this shoot for $15 or download a digital copy to own for $9.99 by clicking on the links below:
This was filmed in 2010
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs for one hour and forty-five minutes long.
The interview starts with Missy asking Honky what wrestling he watched before getting into the business. Honky said he watched Nick Gulas’ Memphis Territory and believed all of what they were selling in regards to diamond rings and limousines. Missy asked him about Gulas’ payoffs as Honky said it depends who it is as he talks about how Vince was the same way and that TNA does it as well. Honky then talks about Vince killing the business and how today the underneath guys in TNA are killing it too as they are basically working for free as Missy chimes in on how you have to do that when you are breaking into the business.
Both of them shoot the breeze as they talk about nepotism in wrestling with Honky telling Missy she could be the next Dixie Carter if her daddy owned a wrestling company as Missy jokes that she couldn’t because she has a brain.
On Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett breaking away from Gulas to open their own territory, Honky said that they took the guys with them as they offered more money then when Jim Barnett offered more he took those guys from Jarrett and Lawler.
They talk some more about Memphis as Honky mentions all of the guys who sleep with “rats” while married and would get pissed if you mentioned how many they had slept with as Missy said Eddie Gilbert told her that you could always tell how well Memphis was doing by the quality and amount of the rats that would hang out at the arenas. Honky puts over Phil Hickerson as being a great worker and talker and was one tough guy as he would fight for the fun of it, like David Schultz. He was asked about Hogan in Memphis as Honky said he was just breaking in at the time but could tell even then he had it and joked how the saw the “money dripping off of him.”
Honky and Missy joke around as Honky tells Missy she wasn’t green in the WWF as Jake Roberts “broke her in” as Missy then says it was the other way around. Missy then talks about how she got H-Bombed and did not find out until years later as they then talk about Sam Houston and about what happened to him as they learn he was in jail.
Missy asks Honky about working in Calgary. Honky first does a killer Stu Hart impression then talks about how he bought his “green gimmick” from Smith Hart and how he never messed with cocaine. He said that Bruce Hart would have all sorts of wacky stories about why he did not like different Nationalities. Honky also said that Stu told him that Bruce thought he was “Roman Polanski” and would hang around young girls. Missy then jokes that she was going to ask Bret Hart for his sperm because with her brains and looks and his wrestling abilities they would have a child that could rule the world.
On the Dynamite Kid and if he was a mean-spirited ribber, Honky said that Dynamite would prey on the weak and would do anything if he got away with it until Jacques Rougeau paid him back. Honky said that Dynamite terrorized Terry Taylor. Honky talks about how Dynamite beat himself up by wrestling in Japan and by the late 80’s all of the pain he was undergoing made him angry.
Honky is then asked if he is mad about other wrestlers using his gimmicks as he said that everyone in wresting borrows from everyone then talks about how Jake Roberts created the 3:16 gimmick. Missy then adds in a story about Jake as he introduced her boyfriend to him a few years ago and Jake went up to him and shook his balls, saying “nice to meet you.”
Feinstein then asks them what wrestling marriages were doomed for failure and which ones surprised you by ending in divorce. Honky jokes that his own marriage lasting surprised him the most, which has lasted for 27 years. Honky then talks about how it is not the business that causes the divorce but that when someone decides to switch from their regular life to that of a wrestler they go into a whole new lifestyle. Honky was shocked that Elizabeth and Savage divorced. They then try to figure out if Flair’s newest wife is his 4th or 5th marriage.
They both talk about TNA trying to compete with the WWE on Monday Nights and how they never had a product to compete with the WWE. Honky says why would TNA expect to draw a lot of people on Monday when they draw 400 fans at their house shows. Missy then tells Dixie Carter to think about each segment on Impact and how will it get people to come to the shows or buy the PPV’s as she wonders how TNA makes money. Honky then laughs at the notion of Vince Russo changing the wrestling business then questions the decision of running a strip poker segment on TNA’s first Monday Night show and how that was a waste of time. They talk about how they have talent but the production is awful and Honky thinks they should fire all of the non-wrestling guys in the back. Honky says TNA is WCW all over again as they are just throwing money away.
Honky is asked about the incident between Matt Borne and Jim Duggan. Honky says he does not know all of the details but the promoter never should have booked two seasoned vets together as they would not cooperate then talks about how no one should ever get into a fight over this “stupid business” as Missy makes fun of guys crying about having to put other people over.
When asked if it is tough to make money at their age on the Independent scene, Honky said that a lot of guys that get cut from the WWE are usually gobbled up quick but that he always reinvents himself and starts to do comic book conventions and car shows along with a rock & roll wrestling tour he is working on at the moment.
He is asked what happened to his Gatorade bottle (Honky was famous for drinking hard booze with the Gatorade) as Honky said he has not had any hard liquor in two years and will only have a few beers here and there as Missy added that she has not had anything in four years. Honky said he was drinking just to pass time on the road and waiting for shows.
Missy talks about Chris Kanyon and his suicide. She feels bad for saying a lot of mean things about him during a shoot interview that they filmed together that had not been released yet. Missy then talks about how he could have had better options for him rather than suicide, even discussing that Kanyon himself in that interview talked about how he had mentioned that he would kill himself all of the time.
Feinstein then asks them what would they tell Dixie Carter if they had a meeting with her. Honky said he would tell her to find something else to do as Missy reiterates about asking Dixie to look at each segment and figure out how will it make her money or get fans to buy the shows and PPV’s. Missy then says it is a business to make money as Honky questions why wouldn’t you go out an hire a PR firm that knows how to market if you have all of that money and why you would continue to keep the same people around that have no idea what they are doing. They then talk about how they are never going to go after the WWE but can make money by being an alternative.
On their favorites to watch, Honky loved watching the Funks and Harley Race. He also loved hearing King Curtis on interviews. Honky also talks about how he never cared that much about how athletic someone might be or how they looked. Missy talks about Tommy Rich and how hot he was in 1981, saying that he could talk the pants off of the girls.
Honky says he does not follow the product much today but thinks that Randy Orton should be pushed more and that he likes Ted DiBiase Jr. Missy talks about all of the guys in the WWE looking the same with similar tattoos. Honky then talks about how the guest shows are not helping anything and that picking fights with the hosts and announcers will not sell tickets, just the fights between the wrestlers.
About the drug scene and if it was a lot more prevalent when they were in the major companies as compared to today, Honky thinks it is the same as guys can do what they want in the privacy of their own home that you would never know about. Honky said he was unaware of the cocaine problems in the WWF when he was there as he was at the bar of out getting food and not with those guys.
Missy talks about Mickie James and the incident in which her nude photos were posted all over the locker room and how in any other TV company that would constitute as sexual harassment and she could easily file a lawsuit.
On the Iron Sheik and how he is still alive, Honky said its amazing how he is still alive after all of the abuse he has brought on himself mentally and physically, citing the fact that he must have tremendous genes as Missy jokes how he would survive a nuclear bomb.
Honky is asked about the WWE letting Jim Ross go as Honky says that Ross has some sour grapes going on as after all they did to him he is shocked they let him go, noting how Ross also stabbed a lot of people in the back while working for the WWE. Missy adds that Ross is still the best announcer and was a mentor to her in Mid South. Honky then talks about his job in talent relations and how the people who take that position believe they are bigger than the job and says that a certain type of person takes a job that requires you to fire someone for really no reason as Missy talks about the WWE not giving young guys a chance.
When asked if you can still be innovative in wrestling today, Missy said yes and that you have to keep up with the times as wrestling has been on television since the 1950’s and will be for years to come as the business goes through lulls. Honky cites a seminar from JBL on how he told perspective wrestlers to stand out from the crowd.
On whether or not MMA will hurt the wrestling business, Missy says no as people watch wrestling for the storylines and not the fights. Honky adds that MMA is different as their merchandise and action figures are not big sellers as a majority of their fans are adults and not children like in wrestling. Honky says that Brock Lesnar will succeed in MMA as he is a character and will be there long if he stays healthy.
When asked about the silliest gimmicks they have seen, Honky says the Gobbledy Gooker as Missy said it was cool and would play that if asked. Missy said the Ding Dongs was the silliest she has seen.
Missy said that the reason crowds are down for Independent shows is due to the fact that they only advertise on the internet as Honky adds that they do a poor job of getting the word out to the fans as sometimes they do not even know you are in town.
They close with being asked about their legacy as Honky talks about he will be remembered for being controversial and most do not know he had a career before going to the WWF as they both joke about how they lived longer than they thought they would.
Final Thoughts: Not a bad interview at all but with these two as the subjects you’d expect a little more in terms of crazy stories. They showed a lot of insight here, especially Missy (which might shock you if not familiar with her on Twitter or past interviews. Her Twitter account is very insightful in terms of wrestling), and there were some funny parts but these two were relatively mild throughout the interview.
But more importantly, these two have settled down and no longer abuse their bodies like they did in the past. Nice to see them both sober after some struggles. And they both seemed in good spirits and in health here too.
A lot of the content here was in regards to Honky’s early career, which had Missy asking him all sorts of questions and about TNA’s attempt to recreate the Monday Night War (Which was shortly before this was filmed).
I found this to be a solid interview but if you are not interested into their opinions and insights into the above and expected to hear crazy road stories, then I would not recommend this as you would probably be bored, especially at the beginning.
You can purchase the DVD of this shoot for $20 at RFVideo.com or purchase the digital download to own at Highspots.com for $9.99 by clicking on the links below:
And congratulations to poster The Cooler, who won the BoD March Madness Pool. As part of the prize, he gets to choose the next 4 shoot interviews that I recap. So next week, I will review the 1986 WWE Timeline as told by George Steele.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/10/87
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/16/87
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/17/87
Thursday: 1986 WWE Timeline as told by George Steele
This was filmed in 2007
The interview was conducted by Eric Gargiulo
It runs at two hours and forty-six minutes long.
Bruno talks about being born in Italy and how during World War II, his father went to America and got stuck over there as he was with his mother and siblings and had to retreat to a mountain as one-third of his town got killed. Bruno said he did not see his father until he was 15 years old when he moved to America. He talked about his mom would sneak down the mountain to go to the land and get some food to bring. He said a lot of people died as it was freezing cold on the mountain. Bruno himself got sick and actually failed a physical that kept his family in Italy and how he weighed 80lbs when he came to America.
His dad bought as house in Pittsburgh that cost $6,000 that was in rough condition and a huge difference from the villa he lived at in Italy but he was just happy to be out of Italy at that point.
He went to school to learn English and said he got taunted and beat up daily, along with his brother. Bruno’s dad went to the school to tell them what was happening so the school let them come in fifteen minutes late and leave ten minutes early to help prevent the others from beating up Bruno and his brother before and after school.
On how he got into weightlifting, someone from school took him there and he became infatuated and wanted to look like the weightlifters and said that he cut lawns and did what it took to afford a gym membership to the YMCA. Bruno said that despite barely being able to lift anything he saw that this would be something he would be good at and quickly gained confidence.
Bruno started to become better at weightlifting and even got sponsored by another YMCA that he joined. He then talks about how this tied into his wrestling career as in 1958, he went to Oklahoma City and became the North American Weight Lifting Champion. That gave him some notoriety and when he got back home he met Bob Prince, who was the voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates, went to the same YMCA and saw Bruno lift and wrestle on the mat, invited him on his TV show where Rudy Miller of the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (which later became the WWWF) saw him and asked around the studio the next day if Bruno could wrestle and it turned out that a classmate of Bruno told him who he was then Miller spoke with Bruno and invited him to Washington D.C. to become a pro wrestler. Bruno said he was interested but also was weighing an offer from Art Rooney, who asked him to tryout for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a lineman. Bruno asked Rooney what he could make as they told him $7,000 while Miller told him he could make $30,000 wrestling and that was all Bruno needed to hear as he wanted to get as much money as possible to help out his family.
When he went to Washington D.C., Bruno was told to wrestle a few veterans guys in a gym and one of them told Bruno that he had a big future in the business. He trained with Angelo Savoldi and Arnold Skaaland along with other guys in the company for about two months then started to work shows at the smaller arenas.
Bruno is asked about the importance of “shooting” in wrestling at that time. He said that it was very important as some of the old-timers would purposely fuck with guys who they felt did not pay their dues and “backdoored” their way into the business because they did not want guys who would get their ass kicked by fans in a fight. Bruno said that a few of the vets messed with him in the ring at the beginning.
He talks about Vince McMahon Sr. and Toots Mondt putting him in a match against Haystacks Calhoun in the Madison Square Garden in which Bruno slammed him as the fans went mental. Calhoun was announced as 601lbs at the time. Bruno earned the “World’s Strongest Wrestler” moniker
Shortly after that, Buddy Rogers came into the territory with his guys and played politics, something Bruno had no clue how to play. Bruno said that he quit as they were asking him to do things he did not want to then when he tried to wrestle elsewhere, he found out that he was blackballed as the athletic commissions kept on telling him that he was suspended. He finally went to Pittsburgh but did not beg for his job and went back to work as a construction worker as he did not want to play the game. One night after work he went to a show run by Pedro Martinez and saw Yukon Eric, who suggested he go work in Canada for Frank Tunney as the territory was in bad shape and they had a big Italian population in the area. Tunney spoke with Bruno, who told him that he did not want to get there and find out everyone else badmouthing him would lead to a firing. Tunney agreed as Bruno went to Toronto the following week.
Bruno started to talk with the press in Toronto and gained some notoriety. He then spoke again with Vince McMahon Sr, who told Bruno that what happened was in the past and that he would be the future. He then asked what it would take to get him back as Bruno said he would come back to wrestle Rogers for the World Title. When asked about Rogers claim of having a heart attack, Bruno said that everyone knew it was a joke and talks about how the territory was dying and Rogers went to a show in Pittsburgh and saw the arena, which held 19,000, had about 1,500 people and Rogers told the athletic commission that he was having chest pains and they would not allow him to wrestle, where he left the hospital with a clean bill of health and wrestled afterwards then when he lost to Bruno in 48 seconds he left to work for the Sheik in Detroit.
He talks about his favorite opponents. Bruno said Gorilla Monsoon was great and talks about how they wrestled a 90 minute match at MSG and how Bruno accidentally cracked two of his ribs within the first 10 minutes. He says that Killer Kowalski was always in excellent shape and always respected him for that. He also said he had great matches with Don Leo Jonathan and Ivan Koloff.
Bruno talks about how he promised to wrestle for Tunney in Toronto and would go there as a way to pay him back for giving him the chance to wrestle again.
About the pain he suffered, Bruno said he never believed in taking anything, even aspirin, because you have to be aware of your body. When he felt he could not give it his all, he decided to step away as he did not want to disappoint the fans.
He talks about how after his second title reign, he wrestled part-time for all different territories for a few years until Vince McMahon Sr. called him back and offered him a one-year deal that would have him wrestle the major shows then Vince kept on convincing him to stay longer and that was when he broke his neck.
With a broken neck, Bruno was asked to come back soon to wrestle against Stan Hansen, the man who did it, as the company was hurting financially at the time due to a deal to show the Muhammed Ali vs Antonio Inoki match on closed-circuit that ended up tanking. Bruno said Vince Sr. kept calling the hospital and the nurse would have to pick up the phone for him as he was unable to do so himself. Bruno talks about how the doctor heard about this and asked to speak to Vince when he called and picked up to tell him that they did not even know if he could walk again. Bruno got released after a month and started to lightly train then told Vince he could make the match as he did not want to see the company go under.
Bruno talks about losing the title to Ivan Koloff and how he thought the crowd would boo loudly but he found out the fans were shocked and saw some of them cry when he walked backstage as Bruno said he felt bad about that but also wanted the giant weight of being champion off of him at that time.
He talks about his match against Lou Thesz in Canada and thought it was good. Bruno then said he was surprised about the story in Thesz’s book about the deal of unifying the belts (NWA & WWWF) and how Thesz himself wanted more money as the reason it did not happen, saying it was not true at all. Bruno said that Toots Mondt and Sam Mushnick were meeting about unifying the titles as the WWWF was getting bigger and featured in more magazines. He then said one guy in the company told Vince and Toots they should talk to Bruno as Mushnick wanted 17 dates a month while Vince wanted 18 days a month which would make it a ton of work for Bruno. He then told Vince and Toots at TV tapings that he did not care about the dates but was getting only two days a month to see his family and that he wanted at least four days off to see them. Toots then immediately got up and told Vince that they should want no part of unifying the belts because the NWA wants Bruno because they have an older champion who is not drawing as much anymore. Bruno found out later that Vince and Toots told the rest of the NWA they were not going to sacrifice their other dates for this to happen and that was what really happened as Vince did not want to give up four Sundays of Bruno on the card.
When asked about who he traveled with, Bruno said he traveled with Arnold Skaaland and Dominic DeNucci a lot. Bruno said that he always got around with Arnold.
He is then asked about Dusty Rhodes claim in his book about how he was more popular than Bruno in New York and how one night leaving a bar in New York, Dusty got mobbed for autographs instead of Bruno, who claims that is nonsense as he never hung out with Dusty once.
Bruno said that Bruiser Brody looked impressive but did not know him all that well. He said that he didnt get very close to any of the wrestlers so he does not know how they were outside of the ring but said their matches were respectable and felt terrible when he heard about his death and how tragic it is that the case remains open today.
On his relationship with the “Rat Pack,” Bruno said that one day he was told that Jilly Rizzo wanted to meet him so he did and Jilly invited him to his club, even providing him transportation. Bruno said he had no plans and Jilly had a car waiting for him so he met various actors, musicians and comedians like Tony Bennett, Ann Margret, and Don Rickles to name a few along with the Rat Pack.
About Superstar Billy Graham’s claim in his book that Bruno told him that business was so hot and good that he should fake a knee injury to avoid dropping the belt to Bob Backlund, Bruno jokes that he much have amnesia because he does not remember that at all.
He talks about Larry Zbyszko and said he felt that Larry felt that since being his protege that no one would take him seriously on his own. On Hogan’s claim that he and Andre were the draw of that show, Bruno said that Vince Sr. tried them out on their home to headline and drew only 1,200 to White Plains, NY. Bruno then goes off on a tangent about Hogan, calling him an “idiot” about claims of taking wrestling out of “smoke-filled buildings” and how he and others before him wrestled in the big arenas well before he came around. He then calls him out for taking steroids.
When he returned as a color commentator in 1984, Bruno said that after a little while he felt that it was going in a bad direction and saw more steroid and drug use and decided he no longer wanted to be associated with it anymore. He then said he didnt think Vince Jr. was interesting in wrestling and wanted more of the sports entertainment, focusing on TV and the PPV business as Bruno said there is no reason for the fans to pay to see the show at the arenas because it is no different than the matches you see on TV. He then talks about the ridiculous angles and how it turned off older fans who were loyal.
Bruno said he was booked to wrestle Hogan but he did not show up so Sgt. Slaughter took his place. He believes to this day that Hogan knew he could get blown up in ten minutes and wanted no part of that.
He talks about his son David coming to the WWF and how he ended up wrestling occasionally as business was not good at that point. Bruno then said that guys were going up to his son, suggesting he get his dad to wrestle as he would get pushed as well. Bruno told David he was older and that hard work would get him pushed but they were having issues between them so he agreed but when it was done, David went back to the bottom of the card. Bruno said he was disgusted by what he saw in the locker room and wanted out of it all, even saying that he felt his heart was not in it to begin with and how the business passed him by at that point. He then tells how he sold of Boston with Savage while Hogan could not sell out that arena as the champ at that point. He did give credit to Paul Orndorff for being a hard worker.
More on his son David as he talked about how Vince Jr. fired him after hitting a fan, which Bruno said he never should have done, but then talks about all of the problems that the other wrestlers had, including Randy Savage who hit a 13 year old fan in Florida.
Bruno said that he did a tour of Texas and Phoenix and how he told Vince he did not want to ride with anyone as the drug use was so rampant that he did not want to get pulled over with someone who had that in their possession. Vince then made a deal for him to ride with Chief Jay Strongbow, who was clean.
When he called to quit he said that he called Vince a bunch of times and was never able to reach him and told everyone but him he was leaving.
On Mick Foley’s claim that Vince McMahon as a soft spot in his heart for him, Bruno says he loves Mick and jokes about how he took too many bumps to the head as Vince does not a soft heart for anyone and only wants him in his Hall of Fame because of all the fans complaining about Bruno not being there as he felt Vince never planned to put him there as he wanted to pretend that he did not exist. He then talks about Vince’s attorney calling Bruno’s and how he spoke with Jim Ross, who he likes. Bruno then said that he talked to Vince after being subpoenaed for the “Living Legend” lawsuit against the WWE brought on by Zbyszko and had no intention of accepting the offer but did get a chance to get some things of his chest as he told him he did not have any respect for the older generation of wrestlers and if he ever wanted to bring him back they would have to show him the same respect he does for the celebrities he brings into the company because Vince low-balled all of the legends when bringing them back but gave guys like Pete Rose six-figure deals to appear. Bruno then said that Vince put out how he was hostile and that was why he was not in the Hall of Fame.
Bruno talks about how Vince would not allow his name mentioned on the A&E pro wrestling documentary as Bruno told the producer on the phone that to allow someone to distort the documentary speaks volumes of what Vince and A&E are all about.
He is asked about Ric Flair saying that Bruno never impressed him in the ring and how he never drew outside of the Northeast as Bruno talks about selling out arenas in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Georgia, St. Louis, and in Japan Bruno was the headliner of the shows that Flair worked the undercard. He then tells us how Flair vs. Hogan couldnt sell out MSG when they wrestled each other. Bruno then says that he laughs when people call Flair the greatest worker ever as he did the same match every time. Bruno does credits him for working hard and bumping a lot then talks about while not the most talented himself, he wrestled different style of matches depending on his opponent. Bruno then questions where he drew outside of the Carolinas as Flair first came to the WWWF to work in the preliminaries while Bruno worked as a headliner even outside of the company.
Still speaking about Flair, Bruno said Flair’s claim of trying to shake his hand only for Bruno to turn his back on him is the biggest lie in the world. Bruno said this was the day he had a meeting with Vince and how he was speaking to a few people backstage at RAW and saw Flair about 20-25 feet away and walked towards him. Bruno said that Flair then took off like a child and said people were even commenting about that as he then talks about Flair being a terrible ambassador for wrestling for exposing himself frequently and nearly arrested for evading income tax, even back in the 1980’s. Bruno said he heard Flair constantly bragged about affairs he was having while married.
Bruno talks about steroids briefly and how they have led to more deaths in wrestling than in any other sport.
He said that Vince Russo’s claim in which he was negotiating with WCW in 2000 were false and has no idea where they come from.
On Vince Jr. wrestling, Bruno said he knows Vince uses steroids as his lawyer told him so and that he is insane at his age to be taken those and he must have something missing at his stage in life to be getting into the ring.
When asked about becoming a referee for a match in WCW for the Thunderdome match at 1989 Halloween Havoc, Bruno said that Gary Jester called him and he was not interested because he never thought he was a good referee but then Jim Herd called and gave him an offer that he could not refuse. He was asked to come back to make periodic appearances but that never happened.
About his current fitness routine, Bruno said he is done to about 215 lbs and does weights three days a week and “road work” three days a week too, all at the age of 71.
Bruno talks about being grateful for all his fan support and always appreciates them as without the fans it would not be possible to do what he did, stating he probably would have remained a construction worker. He also talks about being shocked at the fan support he receives now long after he was retired and how much he appreciates that now.
When asked about his match against Chick Garibaldi, who ended up dying of a heart attack during the bout, Bruno said that they had wrestled for about ten minutes and as soon as he slammed him, he went to cover but noticed Garibaldi make a gargling sound and his eyes rolled in the back of his head so he waved over the doctor from the State Athletic Commission and he finally came in and shot him up with adrenaline then stretchered him to the back as Bruno volunteered to massage his chest in order to revive him until the doctor told him that he was dead. Later on he found out that Garibaldi had clogged arteries that led to his death and it was not the result of the slam but Bruno said that haunted him for months as he could not get that out of his head.
He is asked about if he ever felt cheated on his pay as Bruno joked about how could that happen in wrestling with all of the honest promoters then said he had a deal that paid him a percentage of the house (which was 9%) and that there were times in which he and Vince Sr. got along great and other times where they did not. He talks about being short-changed at times as well and how some other promoters treated him fairly while others did not at all.
On if he was surprised that Hogan and Flair as still wrestling, Bruno said he was but has no problem with them doing so and who is he to tell them to get out of the business.
Bruno talks about meeting Kurt Angle a few times and respects him for his achievements but does not know him all that well and feels bad for him due to his injuries and how he became dependent on painkillers as a result as Bruno talks about how pills just mask the problems while comparing guys to today who get put through rehab for injuries while the guys from his era were treated like dogs and how they were told to wrestle anyway due to the fact they were advertised on the show. Bruno felt like he shortchanged the fans when he was wrestling while injured as he could not give them everything he had.
He gets asked about the rumors that he is bitter as Bruno said that he wishes he was younger but is a happy and grateful guy. He also talks about spending 20+ years on the road and was grateful to retire and spent time with his parents, who lived to be in their late 90’s and how he has beautiful grandchildren and is even able to go to Italy once a year. Bruno also talks about how despite all of the health issues he had as a child and after all he went through he got to come to the greatest country in the world and became a wrestler. He then said the rumors of him not liking the wrestlers today couldn’t be further form the truth as he does not even know many of the guys but that he does not like the direction that Vince Jr. went with wrestling and hates how steroids impacted the business and believes wrestling belongs in the big arenas. He says that wrestling turns him off today and he does not bother to watch it anymore.
Bruno talks about how he tries to be a good ambassador to wrestling as he loves it and wants to make sure to conduct himself in a professional manner.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a terrific interview. Some watching this or even reading the recap might think that Bruno is bitter but I never got that feeling here. He seemed to hate what Vince McMahon did to wrestling and was disgusted by the drug use in the locker room when he returned in 1984 as a commentator. Like he said, he does not know the wrestlers today so he did not comment on them one way or the other. And Bruno seems like a happy guy as he talks about his family and laughed and joked a lot during the interview and was relaxed but he did shoot straight and did not pull any punches at all here. Bruno comes off as a guy who is passionate about everything he does. And how HHH managed to get him to agree to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is a minor miracle. Maybe HHH should head over to the Middle East to negotiate a peace treaty?
It was also fascinating to hear about the hardships he faced growing up as a child. His childhood in Italy sounded like a living hell until he made it to America, where he got the shit kicked out of him when he started school. His story is fascinating as this guy worked his ass off to get everything. Even at 71 years old here he was in tremendous shape, both physically and mentally as his mind seemed solid and memory very well intact.
He certainly has a disdain for Vince McMahon Jr. and Ric Flair. Bruno was not a fan of Hogan, either. Other than that, Bruno really didnt comment on anything else as he even said he did not hang out much with the others, preferring to be at home.
In closing, I highly recommend this interview as I became a big fan of Bruno as a person. Gargiulo did a great job with the interview itself and it certainly helps that he has interviewed Bruno many times in the past.
You can purchase the DVD of this interview for $20 at RFVideo.com by clicking on the link below:
Or you can download a digital copy at RFVideoNow for $9.99 by clicking on the link below:
This was filmed in 2006
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry
Disc Two runs for one hour and twenty-eight minutes long
You can read the recap for Disc One by clicking on the link below:
Larry is asked about the War Games match and said that he didn’t like that match that much as he saw it as more of a cluster and would rather wrestle in a match that had more of a story. He then talks about how the art of booking was becoming lost then they started to hotshot ideas.
On Lex Luger, Larry said he had a great look and rode the wave of the “steroid era” and said he couldn’t talk and was in the right place at the right time then said that he had great heel charisma because he was a real-life narcissist as he tells a story of how he was in the backyard with Sting and Luger, who kept on looking at himself through the reflection of the glass door. He does say it was too bad what happened to him though as he went from millionaire wrestler to being in jail and suicidal is sad but puts him over for trying to turn his life around.
He is asked about all of the bookers that WCW used as Larry said that they had non-wrestling guys, committees, and ex-wrestlers try and fail but that Eric Bischoff was smart enough to pick the brain of others to get ideas. Larry also said that with Ted Turner wanting to challenge Vince and having his money behind them, WCW was able to do to Vince what he did to other promoters and raid his talent. Larry also said that Eric was at the right place at the right time as Turner wanted to challenge Vince and if he did not, it would have probably been much different for Bischoff.
Larry then talks about writer in wrestling and how that does not work for a wrestling show as that booking is the heart and soul of the product and if you do not have a booker with knowledge of the business then you will just spin your wheels.
He then talks about how all WCW had to do with Goldberg was to build up heels to feed him and copy the Bruno Sammartino formula and would be around today. Larry then talks about how Ted sold off his stock in the company to AOL-Time Warner, who did not want wrestling and ended up selling off the company and tape archive for next to nothing for Vince.
About when Hulk Hogan came into WCW and if there was jealously, Larry said that Hogan didn’t get over at first as a babyface then wanted to switch to the nWo as he saw that was getting hot. Larry then talks about how awful the vignettes with Hogan was involving the Dungeon of Doom and how they were just stupid and unrealistic and talks about in TNA today he tells them that the skits are the worst part of the show as it is all writing and not part of wrestling as they do not create any drama.
On WCW falling behind the WWE, Larry said Bischoff made mistakes with contracts by offering creative control and guaranteed deals and those guys never did anything to help the company and would get doctor’s notes to get out of doing anything they were unhappy with and stresses how the crowds would chant for Goldberg yet the Heavyweight Champion was a writer.
When asked about the undercard being important to Nitro’s early success. Larry said that people pay to watch stars, not wrestling.
About TNA, Larry said that they are trying to grow and have great young talent but the problem is that no one knows who they are. He was in favor of bringing in Kurt Angle but did not care that Sting was brought in because he was stale and all he did in the past was whine and complain then laughs about how they just brought Russo back after talking about not wanting to go in the wrong direction.
Larry talks about how good of a job it was to be a broadcaster but that he wanted to be a babyface announcer so he could put over the talent.
On Ric Flair, Larry said that he cannot believe he is still doing the same thing as he was getting old in the 90’s. Larry also said he is horrified when he sees Flair wrestle in hardcore matches and rolling around in thumbtacks. He mentions Flair’s debt to the IRS and how he will probably end up dying in the ring. Larry also said that if needed the money like that he would rather get an actual job instead of wrestle a hardcore style at that age.
He missed the Vader/Orndorff fight but said he did see a fight occur between Peter Maivia slap the shit out of Ivan Putksi in the locker room after Putski made a comment about Rocky Johnson’s wife, who was in fact the daughter of Maivia.
About whether or not guys not protecting kayfabe is hurting the business and he said no as the business is exposed then goes back to how they need to keep kayfabe on TV instead of reciting awful lines backstage as it leaves out any imagination that the fans have.
Larry then talks about Louie Spicolli. He said that he was originally going to face him but that Louie passed away the week before. Tony Schiavone on commentary then asked Larry about Spicolli on commentary after he was dead. Larry said he was about to say something nice about Spicolli and his family but before he had the chance the director started to scream into his headset about not mentioning any details about his death because it was the result of an overdose so Larry, on the spot by both Schiavone and the director, blurted out on air that out of respect of his death he will not say anything about him, something that he looked like he regretted saying.. Well, Scott Hall saw Larry at the bar one night as he was drunk and started to push Larry, who let it go because he liked Scott. Larry then said he was about to go after him but Arn Anderson backed Hall away.
He speaks about an incident at catering where Chris Benoit was mad at him for hinting that he was small on commentary. Larry told Chris that he was wrestling Sid Vicious, who was much taller than him and said in his headphones he was told by the production people to talk about the size difference so it wasn’t up to him what he said.
On how much leeway he had on commentary, Larry said most of the time they were left alone and as a color commentator he got to ad-lib as the play-by-play guys had to take a lot more direction.
Larry said he became a broadcaster as they asked him but at first he did not want to do it as he had no interest. However, he said that he saw the direction the company was going in then and found out he would get health benefits as an announcer and made more doing that than he did in wrestling and got to live on the golf course as well.
He puts over Steve Regal a lot and mentions how their match in WCW was great and had Brian Pillman run around backstage saying they put on a clinic.
When the WWF bought out WCW, Larry said he was gone six months prior and said the company was a wreck at the time and didn’t even want to be there to begin with.
About the lawsuit against the WWE in 2001 for Chris Jericho using the “Living Legend” monniker, Larry said he is not able to talk about that due to legal issues.
On winding up in TNA, Larry said that he got a call to get involved with a storyline involving AJ Styles but they kept on changing things and it fell through then they were going to have a championship committee but Terry Funk wanted too much money and Larry said he was local and cheap and after going back and forth for a while helping out periodically.
Larry said that Jeff Jarrett gets a bad rep for TNA as he is not involved on the money side of things and is a good worker but that there wasn’t anyone else over enough to carry the belt and that they shouldn’t put the belt on someone that will “make the smarks happy.”
He talks about the talent of guys like AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, and others but unfortunately it is tough to make a star out of a group of guys who are all very similar. He also talks about how some agents, while very talented wrestlers themselves, are not able to convey that to others. Larry also thinks that TNA can break out and compete against the WWE as they have good people in charge.
On the craziest things that happened to him by fans, Larry said that he got stabbed in the ass after turning on Bruno and had about three of his cars smashed by rocks. He then said he saw a fan while he was smoking a cigarette outside and when he got back in the fan had the cigarette butt in a plastic bag and asked for an autograph.
When asked to compare Bruno and Hogan and who was the biggest draw, Larry said it was Bruno as he was on top for 20 years with a roster that had a lot less stars as Hogan also said Andre, Piper, Snuka, Savage, and the Ultimate Warrior also on the cards that were attractions.
Larry closes by talking about TNA and how he thinks and hopes they can succeed and compete with the WWE.
Final Thoughts: I have to say that Disc One was much better than Disc Two. The last 20-25 minutes of this disc really could have been cut out completely as he just talked about TNA wanting to succeed while more or less repeating the same points over and over again. Also, the token questions everyone got asked about WCW from these shoots (Did Russo kill WCW, Did they misuse Bret Hart, etc) slowed things down a lot as there is only so many times you can hear people answer these questions.
I enjoyed this shoot as Larry was relaxed throughout and willing to talk. Seeing how he was working with TNA at this time, he did offer valid and honest criticism of the company without coming off as a complete shill. Also, when he spoke about criticism of wrestling today, he did not do so in a bitter manner. He just calmly spoke his mind and did not dismiss today’s wrestlers ability.
Larry was not a partier and took care of himself, which is why he is still in good shape today. But he still has a lot of good stories he spoke about in this shoot and came off as having a good sense of humor. And his on-screen character definitely seems like some of his personality amped up to 11 but Larry seems like a good guy overall.
Overall, I recommend this shoot and it might even change your opinion on Larry if you are not a fan of his. Be warned though that Disc One is a lot more interesting than Disc Two.
You can purchase the video for $20 by clicking on the link below.
This was filmed in 2006
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry
Disc One runs for two hours and two minutes long
The interview starts with Larry being asked what he did before wrestling and if he was a fan growing up. He talks about how he first saw wrestling on TV as a 12 year old kid and was hooked after seeing
Bruno Sammartino. He even tells a story during his Freshman year of high school when he told his guidance counselor that he wanted to be a professional wrestler growing up, joking that there was no curriculum for that. Larry said that he did some amateur wrestling.
Larry then tells the story of how he first met Bruno Sammartino. He was at church with his family and when he looked down the pugh, he actually saw Bruno. As the others went to receive communion, Larry sat there and was simply in awe of Bruno, even waiting for him on the steps for an autograph. Bruno gave Larry an autograph, something that he still has to this day, then Larry yelled “good luck against the Beast,” his opponent for that week.
He then tells a story of how he found out where Bruno’s son David went to school through his mother who was a teacher and basically stalked Bruno by following David home and played with him until he saw Bruno, where he struck up a conversation with him. Larry then said that he would speak to Bruno when he saw him in his backyard then years later they began to train together as Bruno took Larry under his wing.
Larry talks about the training as Bruno had a small gym in his basement. Larry said he did the workout Bruno did, which was 1.5 hours just on the chest three times a week. He said there was not much in terms of actual wrestling involved. After two years he could bench 465lbs and Bruno was still doing 505lbs at that time in his 40’s.
At that time he also did some training at Geeto Mongol’s gym. Bill Eadie also started out there with him as Larry said he did not see him until thirty years later because they were never in the same territory together.
He talks about his first match and how he was extremely nervous and wrestled a guy named Buddy who was Canadian. Larry said that Buddy told him to do a “Chinese armbar” which Larry joked was probably a rib on him.
When asked about Vince McMahon Sr., Larry said that he fit into the cliche of the promoter in that era as he dressed in a suit and looked smooth. He also always had someone around him, usually Arnold Skaaland, and would jingle 4 to 5 quarters in his hand.
On working with Mr. Fuji, Larry said that he was great to be with in the ring. He also said that he never hung outwith the guys who ribbed each other then talked about Fuji putting tape on people’s feet and lighting it on fire when they fell asleep. Larry also said that if Fuji did rib you all you could do was laugh as if you returned the favor, he would get you back much worse.
Larry then tells a story of how he was at Mr. Fuji’s house for dinner one night with Professor Tanaka and Fuji and his wife were fighting. Fuji put his wife’s poodle in the freezer (the poodle was alive and did not die, thank god) then after that his wife dumped a bowl of salad on top of his head then Fuji told everyone that it was time to leave. Later on that night, Larry was with “Stretcher” Jack Evans when he heard a “flip-flop” sound followed by screaming outside as he looked out the window and saw a 300lbs woman in a white night gown running and screaming as Professor Tanaka was chasing her from behind wearing flip-flops shooting her in the ass with a BB gun. The next day Fuji’s face was all hacked up after his wife attacked himwith her heel.
He know tells a story about when he worked out in California. He received a letter asking him to be in a movie as the director liked how he moved around for a big guy. Larry saw the guy and read the script that would have him kill people and eat babies in the desert for $1,500 but it lasted for three weeks. Larry said that he made more money wrestling and turned him down. Well, the director he ended up turning down was Wes Craven and the movie was “The Hills Have Eyes.” Larry says he was stupid for turning that down.
On Andre the Giant, Larry said he was fun and a great guy. He tells a story of how they wrestled Chuck O’Connor and Killer Kowalski. They won and typically Andre would lift Larry up afterwards and put him on his shoulder. Larry said he fell on purpose once and pretended he was hurt as Andre became concerned because he never wanted to hurt anyone. When Larry let him know he was ribbing him, Andre got pissed. So, backstage after the match, Larry got out of the shower and was only wearing his underwear when Andre shoved him out of the locker room and locked the door. Larry was in the hallway and eventually Andre and the rest of the guys went to exit so Larry headed back into the locker room but Andre wouldn’t let him back inside. Larry then dropped down and grabbed Andre by the ankles, dropping him to his knees. Larry then goes to crawl inside but Andre grabs him by his underwear and ends up ripping it off completely. Andre starts laughing then the door to the locker room shuts as they are now both locked outside. Larry then said he had to wait outside with just a tiny piece of his underwear left.
Larry tells another story of how he was driving with Tony Garea following Andre the Giant, who was being driven around by a 17 year old kid named “Freddy” who had a huge car that could fit him. Freddy’s car got hit after blowing through a stop sign. The other guy gets out and starts yelling and cursing at Freddy but Andre opens the door and gets out as the guy yells “Jesus Christ!” as he rolled his sleeves back down then went back into the car and locked the doors until the police came.
He said that wrestling the Valiant Brothers were a night off because they always had heat, making it easy to work with. He talks about the difference today where guys dont have heat and have to go out and kill themselves to get the crowd to react. Larry said that his style of wrestling is why he can wrestle today at 54 years ago and did so without putting down the wrestlers of today whatsoever.
Larry then talks about the stars of that era and how the characters were all believable to the fans, comparing it to how when he was later in his career the fans were more smartened up and it took a lot of the emotion out of everything. He then said that he never did a lot in the ring because he got the fans emotionally invested by making them believe that he was a real asshole so they wanted to see him lose.
On how he was paired with Bruno in the WWWF, Larry said that it was Bruno’s idea. He even said that Bruno told him he would break him into the business once he finished college. Larry goes off topic a bit and said that guys would go to Bruno when they were getting low payoffs, who would stick up for them to the promoters. Larry then talks about how business was really down as the WWWF was giving the fans the product the company wanted instead of what the fans wanted so after sitting back and thinking, Larry went to Bruno about his idea to turn on him. Bruno agreed and then it went from there. Larry said it was like “heaven” working with Bruno.
He is asked about Vince Sr. and Jr. at this time as Larry talks about them being great promoters if you can get yourself over but when it comes to creating things they are not very good. At first, they did not go for the turn because Larry wasnt a huge guy like the ones that Bruno faced when he was the champion. Larry said that Vince Jr. wanted Bob Backlund as the champ and said he is still like that today as he doesnt care who the fans want as he will push his guy regardless.
Larry said that Vince Jr. initially thought that his match against Bruno at Shea Stadium would bomb. Larry then said that they were selling out houses leading up to the match as the fans wanted him dead after turning on Bruno.
About jealously in the locker room, Larry said there was not anyone as it was mostly older guys because the business was hard to get into then as they kept people out and they actually felt proud of Larry during that time.
He talks about Hulk Hogan at that time and said that Hogan was worried because he wasn’t really doing much so Larry told him to leave and go somewhere else and that is when Hogan left to film “Rocky 3” then went to the AWA after that. He said that Verne created the babyface Hogan character then Vince Jr. stole it but knew how to promote it a lot better.
Larry talks about the differences in pay between the AWA and WWF in the 1970’s. He said that main event at MSG would get you $6,000 while opening match got you $150. In the AWA, main event at the St. Paul Civic Center got you close to $6,000 while the opening match got your $1,500.
On why he did not end up with the Intercontinental Title, Larry said that the McMahon’s did not like him and did not like Bruno either. He then talked about how the McMahon’s wanted “puppets” but he wasnt going to do that. He said that after the Shea Stadium show it was an end of an era as Vince Jr. got more power and into more surrealistic characters and guys pumped full of steroids.
When asked about Hulk Hogan’s claim that it was him and Andre that drew the house at the Shea Stadium show, Larry said that it was a lie and that Hogan knew better, even referencing how Hogan called Larry his “hero” back when he first started in the WWWF.
Larry said, when asked, that the reason Bob Backlund held the belt that long was because Vince Jr. liked him as he was not drawing money on top. Larry said he does like Backlund and how he is a great wrestler.
On how he left the WWWF, Larry said that they were fucking with him after he stood up for himself as he was originally supposed to beat guys to get a shot at Backlund but when he got to the arena he was told to do the job and Larry said that would cost him a lot of money because back then a loss would shunt you back down the card so he quit.
After quitting he went to work in Georgia Championship Wrestling but he first tells a story of how he worked in Florida and first met Bill Watts, who he calls the “biggest asshole” he has ever met. He was originally going to be booked to look fine and win as he was going back to WWWF as Bruno’s protege and these shows were shown in the WWWF market. However, he found out that he was going to be jobbing in two minutes. Larry said that Eddie Graham hated Bruno after they had some blow-ups and as a result probably hated him too. So, Watts talked to Larry, who went to his office, and said that if this business was a shoot then some people would not be here and got fired, which he didnt care about as he did not want to be there to begin with. Now, Larry is in Georgia and gets in the
locker room and sees Bearcat Wright, who points at him and yells “that’s the guy who told Bill Watts to go fuck himself” and as he does that Jim Barnett and Watts himself are standing behind Wright. Watts was pissed as Larry was in disbelief then Larry joked how Barnett was checking out guys asses before saying how Barnett had him and Watts sit down and talk in his office. Barnett told Larry that they had a place here in Atlanta for him but it was all to try and get Bruno to come down and work there. Barnett then made Watts apologize to Larry as Watts bit his tongue and apologized for firing him in Florida, saying that if he didnt Graham would have done it himself.
He talks about some of the guys in Georgia. Larry got along with Ole Anderson. He said that he “passed” Missy Hyatt onto Jake Roberts as she wanted to move in with him and he did not want that. He also said that Tommy Rich would constantly crash his car and was on his own planet, usually high as a kite.
Larry went to the AWA after Georgia. He talks about how he dated Verne’s daughter first and how at first he thought she was a stuck-up rich girl but as time went he realized she was cool and they snuck around for about a year as he did not want the boys in the locker room giving him shit about dating the boss’s daughter. One night they went to a Moody Blues concert and they realized that just two rows behind them was Greg Gagne and his friends and knew he was busted. The next day, Verne called Larry into his office and as Verne slowly got up Larry yelled out “Dad” as that flustered Verne but Larry said that eventually Verne warmed up and they got along good after that.
Rob asks Larry about Hogan leaving the AWA and how Verne handled that as Larry said he was not there for it but knew that Verne took both Hogan’s and Bobby Heenan’s departure hard. He also said that despite guys not giving proper notice to the booker before leaving, he can understand why the did that for the money.
He said that Nick Bockwinkel was smooth in the ring but that he should have passed the torch at that time to younger guys like Curt Hennig. Larry said that Bruiser Brody was a good guy with him but he was a terrible businessman as he always gave promoters a hard time. Larry said that Curt Hennig was a great kid at the time and always had fun but never did anything to hurt anyone. He talks about Scott Hall and mentioned how he heard Hall put him over in an interview for being an influence in his career. Larry said that Hall had a lot of charisma but thinks he struggled with success. On the Midnight Rockers, Larry said that Marty was the standout early on as he was outgoing and had more charisma but kept on going off of the deep end. He said that Shawn was quiet there but always a good worker. He said that Sgt. Slaughter was easy to work with because he was over. Larry said that Ray Stevens was a fun guy.
Larry said that he was suppose to work a program with Jerry Lawler for the belt but Lawler had already bolted from the promotion with the belt and was threatened with a lawsuit unless he sent the belt back so Lawler did sent it back but not until he smashed it with a hammer and ran it over with his car.
On whether or not Verne fell out of touch with the business, Larry said that it was his beliefs as he was focused on drama and not fireworks and other things as he compares it to people watching poker on TV, with guys barely doing anything, because there is a lot of drama.
About Dale Gagne offering him the AWA Title when he planned to revive the company, Larry said that he does not recall that but said he knew Dale and that he was a local hustler.
Larry now talks about WCW starting and how he didnt like the politics that were going on there so he went back to the AWA, despite knowing the company was on its last legs. Larry said that Verne should have closed the doors at that time. He then said that they were taking with Jim Herd about an invasion angle with the AWA invading WCW as he would put up the AWA belt up against Sting’s NWA title but Jim Barnett convinced Herd that Larry was too old to go up against Sting, the young up-and-comer and that idea was halted then the AWA closed shortly after that. Larry said that Eric Bischoff was sitting there in the office during these conversations as well and that was how he came up with the nWo idea.
After the AWA he went to WCW and teamed with Arn Anderson as the Enforcers. Larry said there was a plan for them to dress as old gangsters and get a push but that also got stopped. He then talks about working against the Steiner Brothers and how Rick was insane and Scott was funny as he tells a story of how in their match, Scott was new and at the time the heels lead the match. Larry saw Scott lean in and grabbed a headlock but Scott was really pissed and started to fight out so Larry went over to tag Arn, who backed off, as Scott continued to amp up as he actually wanted to fight.
About Paul Heyman, Larry said that Heyman used to follow him around as a 12 year old snapping pictures for magazines. Larry then talks about how Heyman was a good manager and got along with him.
Larry said he was not surprised about Steve Austin’s success in the WWF but at the time in WCW he was looking for a character. Larry then talks about how Austin did with a character that no one else before him could do and was able to get away with his language and kick your ass as on TBS they had more restrictions on what you could say where on the USA Network, he could outright say he would kick your ass and use the middle finger then go out and destroy his opponent.
Final Thoughts: Very good interview so far. For those expecting Larry to be bitter and more or less his character in WCW, you are wrong as he was relaxed and telling all sorts of funny stories here. He had a lot to say about the McMahon family, especially Vince Jr. , and its funny how much some of the stuff he said about Vince Jr. rings true today. Even when discussing the difference between wrestling philosophy today from the 70’s and early 80’s he was not at all bitter or dismissive of guys wrestling today, he just spoke calmly and said that he still follows wrestling today too.
Disc Two will be reviewed tomorrow and I will have a more detailed summary and opinion of my thoughts on the interview.
For those interested in watching the interview, you can purchase the interview at RF Video for $20 by clicking on the link below
This was filmed on February 17th, 2006
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry
Disc Two runs at one hour and twenty-nine minutes long
For those that missed it yesterday, you can read the recap for Disc One by clicking on the link below
The disc begins with Bearer talking about his initial meeting with Vince McMahon. Pat Patterson picked him up and brought Pringle to Titan Towers. He sat at the table with Vince, Patterson, and JJ Dillon among others. Pringle said he even brought a resume and a demo tape as he always came prepared. Vince grabbed the resume and after looking it over, glanced to JJ and Pat and told them that Pringle was a real mortician. Pringle said he thought nothing of it then they all started to laugh as he had no idea why they were laughing. So, Vince sticks in the demo tape as Patterson came back with a contract for Pringle. Vince told him to have his lawyer look it over as he went home. JJ called him a few weeks later wanting him to die his hair and mustache black as he would be called “Paul Bearer” as he would be managing the Undertaker.
At first, Pringle said he hated the Paul Bearer gimmick but that changed when he got his first paycheck. He then said that it was the easiest gig as all he did was come down to the ring and go “oh yeah.”
Pringle talks about how the Undertaker was a party animal at that time so he was almost like his babysitter as Pringle said he was always organized and made sure rental cars, hotel rooms, and other things were taken care of for both of them.
He tells a story of once on the Funeral Parlor, he was with Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan. Pringle said that he was thinking in his head “fuck, how can it get bigger than this” as he talks about how a picture from that segment is hanging on the wall in his office.
Doug references a comment Pringle made in Disc One about how Vince hits home runs but he also hits a lot of foul balls too and asks him to comment on some of his blunders. Pringle said that Katie Vick was one of the worst and probably still is the single worst thing he has ever seen in wrestling. He also said that Giant Gonzalez was horrible as both the Undertaker and himself were relieved when that feud ended.
When asked why the angle with the Fake Undertaker (Brian Lee) bombed, Pringle said the angle was the “shits.” He then talks about how Lee and the Undertaker are best friends and that Lee was even the best man at his wedding.
Pringle tells a funny story about how Kamala was petrified of being in the casket, which Kamala called a “cascadus” so Vince decided to play a rib on Kamala by having them nail the casket shut then when he was wheeled backstage, they just left him there in the casket.
On the Kliq, Pringle said he never had to worry about them because he was with the Undertaker. Pringle said that he was spoiled from being with the Undertaker. Pringle then said he heard a rumor of Shawn and the Undertaker getting into a confrontation at the 1997 Survivor Series but never saw it himself. About the “Montreal Incident,” Pirngle thought it was a work at the time and still thinks that it is but is less sure.
When asked about the Undertaker’s feud with Mick Foley, Pringle talks about how he knew him from World Class. He then says that before the show Mick was telling Vince that he wanted to get tossed off of the cage and through the table. Vince couldn’t believe that he would want to do that and originally did not want that to happen at all.
About Kane, Pringle said that the Undertaker and himself came up with the idea. Pringle talks about how they had fun with the angles. He then calls Kane a fantastic human being and how he will do anything asked of him.
He then talks about the struggle with his weight as he hid his pain from eating non stop and when he was away from the WWE he weighed 520lbs and told his wife that if he didnt think he would go to hell he would kill himself. Pringle said he is a practicing Catholic. He then got called by Jim Ross, who told him they had an idea for him to return for an angle at WrestleMania XX but he knew he was too big to go out and was too depressed so he just emailed him back. He then told Ross that he was exploring gastric bypass surgery as the company gave him a new contract with a bonus to help pay for some of the surgery. He got the surgery weighing 545lbs and is now down to 280lbs.
About Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara, Pringle said he never had a problem with Russo and worked a show for his Ring of Glory production and had a great time. He said that Russo would hang out at the doors of the arenas trying to get interviews with the wrestlers before he was in the WWF. He also said that Russo gave them creative control and never really gave his input.
They finally ask him about Tammy Sytch as he makes a lot of jokes then says that when she came in with Chris Candido they were young and had attitude. Pringle said that Sytch butted heads with him constantly and they hated each other but looking back he does not hate her and talks about being there when the boys shit in her food and she ate it and understands why she acted that way.
On the party scene, Pringle said there was always a party to find somewhere but today there is really none of that as the business has changed. He then says that today some guys go back to their hotel rooms to play video games so they do not have the stories to tell like he has about parties.
When asked if any of the other diva’s would ask him for advice on how to manage, Pringle said that Trish Stratus always did as Pringle said she was always respectful and just a great person, hoping that she has never changed.
Pringle talks about the feud with the Dudley Boys. He said that the reason he got buried in concrete was to right him off because he was going to get gallbladder surgery. He said that after that he was not on TV but still got a paycheck every week for 1.5 years. He then said it was real concrete with some oatmeal mixed in for texture purposes for television as he was sitting in a glass case. He had a button to press and that if he could not press it they were going to have guys with sledgehammers come in to break the glass because it was that dangerous. They pre-taped it and put the mixture up to his nose but the machine sucking up the concrete broke so they had to bust him out as Pringle went spilling out with the mix. On the live show, it was an extra from Hollywood playing him as he was already back to Alabama when it aired.
He talks about today’s wrestling and how the WWE and TNA has a lot of guys who all look the same or work the same way too. Pringle then tells all of those aspiring to be a wrestler today to never give up their dreams, no matter how hard it gets.
On his strangest fan interaction, Pringle said that a fan once slid a piece of paper underneath the stall in a bathroom at the Atlanta airport while he was taking a shit asking for his autograph. He then joked that the autograph was in “brown ink.”
Pringle talks about how he loved when they went to Amsterdam as they had stores like 7-11 that sold marijuana and how they had bars with girls on circular beds going at it while the wrestlers were salivating then one girl turned around and it turned out she had a dick.
He tells another story of how they had legal prostitution and he was walking with Harvey Whippleman and someone else. Whippleman never went their before and saw the whores in the window. He went over to one of them and the girl looked down at Harvey before turning off the light and dropping the shade.
When asked about his favorite rib, Pringle says he has a few “secrets” to tell about the Undertaker. He says that the Undertaker hates cucumbers and gets sick when he sees them. Pringle then tells a story of how after a night out of drinking they went to the Waffle House. While there, Brian Adams dropped a cucumber in the Undertaker’s tea and he took a sip and immediately vomited. Pringle then said that he would take cucumber slices from catering and stick them in the Undertaker’s gloves and hat. Pringle then said that the Undertaker’s nickname in the locker room was “Wendy,” referencing the red-headed girl from the fast food restaurant. Pringle also says that “ribs” are as dead as kayfabe as the wrestlers today flip out and are unable to handle them when someone gets one over on them.
Pringle tells a story of a rib when during the Hog Pen match, Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith ended up putting all of the pigs into Vince McMahon’s office.
He closes by thanking his fans and plugging his website and promotion, Gulf South Wrestling.
Final Thoughts: I thought this interview was great. The recap might not read all that exciting but listening to Pringle talk about wrestling was tremendous fun. He is a huge fan and seems like the type of guy that you could approach easily and talk about wrestling with him.
Pringle seemed to have a blast doing this interview and would make jokes all of the time. He also seems like a good person and didnt try to bury anyone.
I recommend this interview as it was an easy listen and a blast throughout.
You can buy the DVD of the shoot for $20 by clicking on the link below:
You can also download a digital copy of the show for $14.99 by clicking on the link below
This was filmed on February 17th, 2006
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry
Disc One runs at one hour and twenty-nine minutes long
Disc Two will be recapped tomorrow.
Pringle jokes that he was a wrestling fan at birth. His parents would take him to the matches as young as 3 years old in Alabama. His names off some of the regional guys at that time then said when he got a bit older he was a fan of Cowboy Bob Kelly and Ken Lucas. He talks about how he loved the territory system and how you didn’t know about other territories until you got the Bill Apter magazines. He says that fans today missed out on that.
He decided that he wanted to be one of either two things in high school: a mortician or involved in wrestling. Pringle said that he worked for an ambulance company while in high school and was intrigued at the thought of being a mortician.
On how he got smartened up to the business, he became a ringside photographer after meeting Ricky Gibson. He tells a story of how he got right up in the face of Gorgeous George Jr. during a match and before he snapped the photo he saw him blade his forehead and couldn’t believe what he saw and that smartened him up.
Pringle talks about how he was friends with Michael Hayes in Pensacola and was the shits then and the shits now. He remembered Hayes constantly telling him about the Freebird team as Pringle blew him off as Hayes would talk constantly and sure enough the team came true. Pringle considers Hayes a dear friend.
He talks about working as an enhancement talent, usually under a mask. Pringle then talks about how his best attributes were the gift of gab and his facial expressions.
His first real break was with International Championship Wrestling in Mississippi. He was with Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Jim Harris (Kamala), Troy Graham, and Rip Rogers. It was here that he was given the Percy Pringle name. They asked him if he wanted to be a manager as that never crossed his mind and he thought the Pringle name was wacky. He came out with a team called the Mongolians and it stuck since. When asked, Pringle said that no one ever really took him under his wing as far as managers were concerned. He does say he stole some parts of the act from a guy who wrestled in another terriroty then a few years later saw Jim Cornette say some of the same stuff and thought he was stealing his stuff. Pringle said the money was not good as a manager and would still wrestle or doing anything they asked, even some of the office work.
When asked about how he developed his promos, Pringle said he never had to work hard as he was born with the ability to talk and would never think of what to say before hand as he would just react to what was happening.
He goes ahead to speak about how at one point he had to be a “fucking stooge” for the WWE as he would report to all of the “farm teams” like OVW, HWA, UPW, Memphis, and Puerto Rico and report on everyone and said he did that because he needed a job as his wife had breast cancer but they saw he loathed that job and was made an agent. Pringle said that he was meant to be an on-air talent.
After ICW he went to work in Florida in 1985. Pringle jokes that he never slept for eight months as it was party central. He had the Pringle Dynasty which included Rick Rude, Missing Link, PYT’s (Koko Ware & Norvell Austin), and Jack Hart (Barry Horowitz). He cracks a joke about Hart and how he still “shaves his legs.” He also said that the Missing Link lived with his family in a nudist colony. He was invited with Rick Rude one day and couldnt believe how everyone their was naked. He jokes that if he was naked there the whole place would clear out.
In Florida, Pringle was living with the Freebirds and talks about their partying. He says his favorite Freebird story took place one morning when he woke up in the house to smell smoke. He looked around for the fire and saw smoke coming up from downstairs and tried to wake up Hayes, who didnt even bother to get up and asked Pringle to check it out. Pringle went outside and saw smoke pour out of the room and saw Buddy Roberts and his wife sitting in bed. Pringle asked Roberts what was going on as Roberts nonchalantly told him the house was on fire as he was drinking a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette. Pringle went to the front of the house and saw Terry Gordy standing their with a garden hose trying to put out a recliner that was fire. Pringle asked him what happened as Gordy told him the house was on fire. Gordy apparently caused the fire when he fell asleep smoking a cigarette and it set the carpet and drapes on fire.
Pringle talks about being in the Florida Territory when Eddie Graham committed suicide. He found out when he pulled in the driveway with the Freebirds where Buddy Roberts’ wife told them. Pringle said that about 20 people owned a piece of the territory and they all came out of the woodwork at the funeral.
On Lex Luger in Florida, Pringle said that he is a good guy but is as bad now as he was back then as he just never had it, comparing him to the Ultimate Warrior. He only managed him briefly as he left for World Class.
He got a call from Ken Mantell in World Class and went over there with Rick Rude. He shared an apartment with Rude and talks about how he cannot believe that he is gone and puts him over as a great guy. Pringle then said that Rude loved to fight and would go to bars with his girlfriend and sit away from her then beat up guys that would hit on her just because he loved to fight so much and Pringle said that got old after a while.
Pringle is asked about the fan reaction towards the Von Erich’s. He said it was unbelievable and how they were perceived as gods in Dallas but unfortunately they believed what the press was saying about them and self-destructed as a result.
He also talks about how Matt Borne & Buzz Sawyer were a great team but that they would constantly fight each other. Pringle said that he would ride with them and they would stop the car and step outside so they could fight.
When asked about guys having heat with Sawyer, Pringle talked about how Sawyer opened up a wrestling school and instead of teaching guys to wrestle in a ring they were taught in his living room where Sawyer would smash them through the sheet rock. Pringle also said that the Undertaker was taught by Sawyer and one day went up to Bruiser Brody, who was booking World Class at the time, and asked for a chance, saying he was trained by Sawyer. Brody blew him off then a few weeks later the Undertaker came back so they gave him a mask and called him “Texas Red” then he had a match against Brody, who beat the living shit out of the Undertaker. Pringle said that he was the manager for the Undertaker in his first match and was basically there to help him find his way back to the dressing room after the beating he took.
Pringle was there when Gino Hernandez died. When asked, he did not believe that foul play was involved as he knew the guys that found him and he was in his underwear holding a glass of orange juice. He also said that the coroner said that Gino had more cocaine in his system than anyone else he has ever performed an autopsy on in Dallas.
He managed the Ultimate Warrior when he was the “Dingo Warrior” and said that he is just not a wrestler. Pringle said he wrestled George Wells in a chain match that was one of the worst he had ever seen but then talks about how he never had problems with him and they made a lot of money together in the WWF.
Pringle also managed Steve Austin when he first started out. He said that Chris Adams ran a wrestling school that Pringle would help out with by teaching promo skills and said that Austin stood out the most by far as he talks about managing the biggest stars in the business when they first broke into the business.
On Fritz Von Erich, Pringle said that he was tenacious on the business side as Vince McMahon. He then talks about how Chris Von Erich really wanted to be a wrestler but had severe asthma go along with other medical issues and said that Fritz asked him to wrestle Chris and they did for about a year. Pringle then talks about Chris’s brothers treated him like shit and none of the wrestlers wanted to work with him because he was so small and by doing those matches it got Pringle over with Fritz. Pringle said that he loved Fritz and puts over his toughness, citing an example of when he was on his death bed and was refusing morphine for the pain, saying he didnt need anything.
He talks about Kerry Von Erich and how he was in the locker room in Indianapolis when Jeff Jarrett told them his dad called and said that he had died. Pringle gets sad as he talks about how Kerry told him previously about his troubles and said that Kerry did a lot of charity work with children that people never knew about.
Pringle says that Missy Hyatt was a sweetheart back in the day and when she was dating John Tatum the would invite people to their house where Missy would cook for them all but today she is a totally different person. Pringle then jokes about not getting him started about Tammy Sytch.
He talks about some rivalries with Gary Hart over being the top manager but they maintain a good friendship today. Pringle then mentions some rib in which he was going to get painted yellow but found out about Matt Borne and others pissing into the paint can.
On the Jarrett’s coming in to take over World Class, Pringle said it was tough because he had so much loyalty towards the territory.
About how he got into the WWF, Pringle said the USWA was dead and he had his car repossessed and was hurting badly so he decided to move back to Alabama and was going to leave the wrestling business altogether in order to work in the funeral business. However, he called Rick Rude, who was in the WWF at the time, as Rude told him to wait as he would get back to him. Several hours later, Rude gave him the number for Vince McMahon, who wanted Pringle to call him.
Pringle calls Vince and they had a nice conversation that took place just prior to Christmas in 1990. Vince said after the Holidays they would fly him up to Stamford but the next day Pat Patterson called him up as Vince wanted him right away. He got put up in a first-class hotel and was told that Vince would meet with him in the morning and that he could eat or drink whatever he wanted as it would be paid for by the WWF.
Final Thoughts: Disc one was a soild interview. Pringle comes across as a great guy and is pretty funny here too. I will have Disc Two up tomorrow with more detailed review of the interview itself.
This was filmed on July 21st, 2014
The Interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at two hours and fifty-three minutes long
The interview starts with Hawkins talking how he has seen the most shoot interviews out of anyone Rob has shot with as Rob says that Hornswoggle also buys a ton of shoots. Rob then asks, prefacing he is not doing so to put himself over, if his interviews are popular among the locker room. Hawkins says not necessarily as a lot of “fanboys” buy them but if an interesting trailer comes out everyone else will talk about it and watch it, noting how when Nova’s trailer came out it was the talk of the locker room.
Hawkins says he was a fan at age 5 when his older brother rented WrestleMania 6 and was hooked then would rent tons of Coliseum Home Videos from that store. His first live show was the 1990 Survivor Series. His favorites then were the Rockers along with Texas Tornado, Curt Hennig, and the Ultimate Warrior.
He had an aspiration to become a wrestler in high school but went to college first. He played football, wrestling, and baseball in high school and took a partial scholarship to attend Western New England College. He then talks about going to some Ring of Honor shows in High School, with his favorite being the One Year Anniversary show and reports being scared during the riot that took place as he did not know they were plants in the crowd. He also talks about attending ECW shows in White Plains, NY. He also talks about tape trading and getting shows from Mexico and Japan.
Onto his training, Hawkins said that he first got trained at USA Pro Wrestling by Chris Candido and Balls Mahoney, who he said had no game plan at all and asked the class what they wanted to do so Hawkins said he would take backdrops, which he said was the dumbest thing you could do and could not do safely without training but he did them anyway and was excited just to train. While leaving that first day, he noticed Candido and Mahoney argue with promoter Frank Goodman over money and they never came back so there was no trainers and just a ring. He also talks about meeting Sean the Mic (Writer from Declaration of Independent site) and went to a lot of shows with him.
After that, he went to NYWC and trained their for the Summer then went off to college. He came back later on and Mikey Whipwreck was the trainer and brought the structure that it lacked before.
Hawkins met Zach Ryder while training and said that they both looked alike and actually didnt like each other at first but bonded as they both collected wrestling figures and talked about that. He also said that Trent Baretta trained with him, despite only being 16 years old at the time.
On how he first got on the WWE’s radar, Hawkins said that Tommy Dreamer teamed with him and Ryder for a six-man at NYWC then got a message on his phone from Whipwreck that Dreamer wanted him and Ryder at Madison Square Garden for a RAW/Smackdown taping. He said they got grilled by Bob Holly backstage as he had no idea where he was supposed to be changing. Hawkins said that MNM also changed with them, despite being the Tag Champs as they just got called up to the company and had not earned the right to enter the locker room. Hawkins said it is no longer like that today but that it should be and credits John Morrison for saving their ass that day and showing them where to go. Hawkins also said that Ryder did a squash for Matt Morgan that day. When asked Hawkins said they were still green at the time and nowhere ready for the WWE.
Ten months later, they did a tryout at the Nassau Coliseum with Dean Malenko and Tommy Dreamer putting them through a bunch of matches and drills. Hawkins said that Bobby Fish killed it and stood out above everyone else and thinks he did not get selected because he looked just like Gunner Scott (Bret Albright) at that time and he was getting groomed to be something in OVW. Hawkins think that he and Ryder got picked as they were young and looked alike. Dreamer then called him up and offered him a deal. Hawkins told him that he was in college so Dreamer said that the WWE wouldnt want him to quit so he told him move after the semester ended. Hawkins said that he spent the final three months in school partying as his roommate got booted out of school and had the dorm to himself and knew he was leaving for the WWE anyway.
He is asked to describe an average week of training. Hawkins said that he got the toned down version of Bill DeMott as a trainer and it was still crazy. Hawkins does say that he likes DeMott and has always gotten along with him but has heard from others that DeMott has talked shit behind his back. He even credits DeMott for taking a liking to him and Ryder. They started with a 45 minute workout then they did drills just for the sake of doing drills that made no sense. He never wanted to quit because back then they were so young and didnt care but now he doesnt know about that. Hawkins credits DeMott for busting on him because you need thick skin in wrestling and said he would purposely fuck with your head. Hawkins also said that if DeMott did not like you he’d write you off. He even talks about how Ryder would have night terrors and barely sleep due to anxiety about the training. When asked about Kevin Matthews and what he said about DeMott, Hawkins said he likes Matthews but thinks he might not have been prepared for how hard it would be then said that DeMott’s claim about Matthews breaking up with his girlfriend leading to his problems there was false as they broke up after he got fired from Developmental.
He is asked about the photo that was posted online of a naked Developmental talent named Melissa Coates. Hawkins said that every Friday would be tape review and mostly everyone was hungover. They then said DeMott called it a Lets Make a Deal Friday where you could propose a deal to DeMott to get out of practice. He recalls some instances like onetime they had shopping cart relay races. This particular instance, there was a match between Bradley Jay and Tommy Suede where Bradley wanted to do a spot but DeMott said no as they would fuck it up so Bradley pleaded and DeMott said if they fucked it up he would have to eat a dozen jelly donuts. So, they fucked up the move and the next day Bradley complained after eating about three donuts so the others decided to come up with something. One idea was for Ryder to lie down with donuts on him while Luke Gallows would splash him naked then Coates sat in the corner with the donuts in her mouth taking the “Umaga” bump in the corner.
On Jody Hamilton, the owner of Deep South, Hawkins said he was nice to them and even helpful at times but too old and dated for the position.
He is asked about some of the talents he worked with at Deep South. Hawkins hinted that he had relations with Angel Williams (Angelina Love). He did not like Eric Escobar as he always had a “woe is me” attitude. He calls Brodus Clay the man and they bonded over being huge fans of wrestling. He said no other human on this planet can drink as much as Mike Knox. Hawkins also said that he is a great person too. He calls Luke Gallows the best and there is something wrong with you if you don’t like him. Hawkins said that Vladimir Kozlov was a nice guy and tried hard but that the wrestling business was something he could not grasp. On Kenny Omega, Hawkins said that he was not going to play DeMott’s game or change who he was and commends him for that. He talks about Kofi Kingston and says sometimes he gets taken aback by how good or a person that he is and talks about Ryder and him would pick Kofi up when his wife needed to use the car. He also loves Ray Gordy (Jesse) and said that he invited everyone to his wedding to break the ice. At one time he thought that Ryan O’Reilly (Konnor) had a star quality but no longer thinks that and can’t believe that he is still in Developmental seeing how he began in Deep South during the Summer of 2005. Hawkins then said that Big Vito was the worst and how he thought he was great and he sucked and once told a kid who was wearing a Jerry Lynn t-shirt to give him 50 pushups for wearing a shirt of someone who did not work for the company.
He then talks about how the writers would come down to see them cut promos and wrestle and how it sucked as they did it in an empty arena and how you need to wrestle in front of people to make it work.
On house shows, Hawkins said that Jody Hamilton never promoted them and one night they wrestled in front of 13 people and 9 of them were members of Kofi’s family and they had to beg Hamilton to get Kofi on the show.
Hawkins is asked about how Deep South shut down. He talks about how people would write anonymous letters to the office about DeMott and says that although it might be justified it was a chickenshit thing to do and even said DeMott would get off on that and post the letters and stuff from the dirt sheets on the bulletin boards. One day they came back to the office waiting in the bleachers as John Laurinaitis came out and said that this place (Deep South) was bad business and then told them all to get every piece of WWE property out of the building “right the fuck now” and if you come back here after today, you would be fired on the spot. Hawkins said that he and Ryder were the first to start as they ripped down a banner and they were all taking PPV chairs and posters as Laurinaitis told them to take whatever the fuck they wanted and after that chaos ensued. Once that ended, Laurinaitis told them all to meet him and Mike Bucci (Nova) at Hooters where he would buy them drinks and they went there and drank all night.
After Deep South shut down, they were told to go to OVW as they were further along than most while the rest went to FCW. Shortly afterwards, Nova called them up and said to go to Alabama as they were going to debut on ECW.
On his debut for ECW, Hawkins said that they were billed as locals who would get to win the match by surprise then win like they had won the World Series afterwards. He then said years later he found out that they were trying to make them a modern day version of the Mulkey Brothers. Then after the debut they were supposed to work with Mike Knox & Derrick Neikirk but that got squashed so they had nothing to do.
Hawkins tells a story of how backstage the night of his debut, which was after WrestleMania 23, they saw Vince McMahon walk by with a doo rag on and Vince asked them if he wanted to borrow it before he started to laugh as he walked by.
Regarding the locker room, Hawkins again speaks on how it was different back then and how after a few months dressing with extras he had to ask the Undertaker if he could dress in the locker room and he said yes. He also mentioned other guys would get kicked out of the locker room and said how Paul London would change with them and that the Miz would have to get ready in the hallways because he had so much heat but also stresses how this is no longer the case today. Hawkins said that Miz was eating fried chicken in the locker room without a plate and it was getting all over people’s bags and referee Scott Armstrong saw this and told Undertaker and Benoit, who kicked the Miz out.
Chris Benoit took him under his wing when he started out and would take time to watch tapes of their matches to help them out. Hawkins also mentions how he was always intense and would be chewing on a coffee stirrer. Benoit also told them to come to him with their problems and not take shit from anyone.
He briefly talks about OVW and how it was completely different from Deep South. Hawkins said that he was a huge mark for CM Punk as a teen and Ryder would bust his balls, even telling Punk that Hawkins was a mark for him to make him look like an idiot but it actually got Hawkins friendly with Punk. He said that Punk was great to him outside of the ring but has also seen Punk be a real dick to people.
Now, Hawkins is asked about turning heel and joining Edge. He said they were doing nothing at the time between OVW and Smackdown. They saw Michael Hayes in the hallway and asked him what they could do and Hayes said to show him something different. Hawkins said he and Ryder were huge fans of Edge and watching a lot of the show “Entourage” at the time so they raided the merchandise bins for Edge gear then came out to his music and started to argue in the ring about picking up his protein and dry cleaning in front of the writers in OVW. Everyone loved it but nothing came from it as Hayes asked them how they would get with Edge as you just cannot come out and be with him. So, at the time, Edge came back to blindside the Undertaker and during a drive he and Ryder came up with ideas. Hawkins said that he came up to Edge and asked for his email about an idea and Edge said yes then when he got the idea, Edge loved it and pitched it to Hayes and that was how the Edgeheads were born.
Hawkins then puts over how a year of basically shadowing Edge and seeing him go over matches with all the other stars and veterans gave him an Ivy League-level education on pro wrestling.
When asked about the name changes, Hawkins said that he had the day of after the Armageddon PPV. The Edgehead idea was supposed to be a one-time thing originally as they were going to be the Major Brothers with Edge. However, they were told that Vince got pissed that they were not real brothers and wanted them to change their names. John Laurinaitis came up to him and said they needed “hip” names like Slash and Razor. So, at one point they were going to be “Kiedis” and “Cobain” but then Michael Hayes told them they just wanted normal names. So, Hawkins took “Curt” from Curt Hennig and the “Hawkins” part from Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who looks like Edge. Ryder then took “Zack” from Zack Morris of “Saved by the Bell” while he has no idea how he got the “Ryder” part.
He calls Batista one of the nicest guys ever but at first is very intimidated. He tells a story of how Batista invited a lot of people to his house in Tampa and he and Ryder were riding with Punk and Domino, who were invited and took them to the party. When they arrived, Batista greeted them then looked at him and Ryder and asked who the fuck invited them and as they froze, Batista said he was just kidding and told them to come inside. Hawkins loves Rey Mysterio and said he was so fluid in the ring and so over that it makes it easy for him. He said that the Undertaker was intimidating but really nice one he got to know him.
On working with Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair in a cage match, Hawkins said that Michaels went up to Edge and thought they were too green to up against them but Edge assured Michaels they would take care of him as he was their idol. Hawkins also said that he hurt his knee and was worried he would get pulled from the show but they added Chavo Guerrero to the match to help out. He also says that while not PG at the time, they were told no blood for the match as Flair said fuck that as he was getting color. After the match, he and Ryder were covered in Flair’s blood and sat in the locker room amazed.
Hawkins put over the experience he got from working with Edge but at the same time realized that they were not going to get a chance to be stars and how they did not get a chance to develop their own identities.
Feinstein then asks Hawkins about Ryder and the bad rep that he gets from the office. Hawkins said that if you do not know Ryder he is hard to udnerstand but that he means well. On the bad rep, he said that it might start due to the office not thinking that he could win in a real fight, which he thinks is stupid because its all entertainment anyway.
He is now asked about winning the Tag Team Titles. Hawkins said that they did not find out until they day of the show. He also joked how normally the WWE fucks you over in your hometown. Hawkins said that it was a big deal when you win the belts and anyone winning a title who tells you otherwise is lying. Hawkins then talks about having no other teams to work with when they were champions and does not understand why those titles are shunned as the hot tag in a tag match should get one of the biggest pops on the card.
Hawkins is now asked about several workers. He said that Bam Neely was his own worst enemy and how after his debut he came up late to practice at FCW then was eating fast food and asked why as he said that he wears a suit and that is does not matter so a week later they had him wrestle in trunks. Hawkins also said that Neely bitched about having to fly coach as well. On Colt Cabana, Hawkins said that no one in importance understood what they had in him. He puts Chavo over for being helpful but said he got “pissy” at the end. Hawkins puts over Kane for being a great guy and would compliment him on occasion. He said Teddy Long was hilarious and denies any reports of him being a stooge for the office. He jokes about the divas saying that if he wasnt trying to hook up with them or if they werent dating a friend of his then he tried to avoid them because there was so much drama among them. He said Jimmy Yang is cool and probably too laid back. On the Big Show he said that he is a nice guy but a baby at times and can talk your ear off.
On dropping the Tag Titles, he was originally told that day they were squashing a team then after that they were losing to Carlito & Primo in a non-title match then after that they lost the titles.
After splitting up during the 2009 draft, Hawkins had nothing going on so he voluntarily went to FCW. When asked, Hawkins said he was not depressed but rather pissed off and determined. Hawkins said he was getting paid his downside at the time. He was pitching a varsity-athlete type gimmick but did not realize Alex Riley was doing the same thing down there.
In FCW, he said it was more structured and made more sense than Deep South. He also puts over how helpful Dusty Rhodes was on promo day.
Hawkins said he was never worried that he was going to get fired as he never let negative thoughts in his brain and how being “job scared” was something he never wanted to be.
He got teamed with Vance Archer and said the office did not like Archer and was paired up with him because the office viewed him as a “good hand.” He said they got a very brief run but had a terrible match with JTG & MVP and it was over after that.
In 2011 he switched over to RAW. He then talks about the draft shows and how they were shoots as no one knew where they were going until it was mentioned on TV. When asked if they purposely try to split up couples, Hawkins said maybe then talks about how they just concentrated on putting out a good product rather than fucking with people.
Hawkins tells the story of how he found out he was a “good hand” in the company. At a production meeting, Vince McMahon was trying to figure out who should face Adrian Neville in the dark match and decided it should be Hawkins because he is a “good hand.” So, Road Dogg came out, keeling over in laughter, telling Hawkins that Vince called him a “good hand,” the same term he used for his brother Brad Armstrong. Road Dogg then told him that it “fucking sucks” and walked away. Hawkins himself said it sucked he was labeled that but at the same time its part of the business.
He then talks about teaming with Tyler Reks and says that they were on the “B” shows and it gave them a lot more freedom because the company was hands off on them and were just obligated to get them out to foreign countries because the WWE had money coming in from them.
On writers and football players who were not part of the wrestling world, Hawkins said that it sucks when football guys come in and do not put the effort into wrestling. He credits Alex Riley and Big E for working hard and always listening to advice as they had no prior experience in wrestling, or were even fans growing up.
Now he is asked about some guys he worked with in NXT. Hawkins said that at first he didn’t like JTG but that was due to him unfairly lumping him in with his partner Shad, who Hawkins said is “full of shit.” Once he spoke with him he started to like him and said that he is a great guy. He says that Santino is hilarious but they do not get along due to some “dumb shit” that happened when they were drunk. He thought that Percy Watson was going to be something as he looked great and could talk, stating his character was money but that the office did not understand his character, thinking that he was gay. Hawkins said that he was a smooth-talking ladies man in real life. He calls Titus O’Neill a nice guy but that he is clueless to the business. He loves the Usos and cannot realize it took the WWE this long to realize how awesome they are. He likes Yoshi Tatsu but says that he is clueless and constantly getting ribbed. He thought that Maxine was “hot as shit” but also said that she was full of shit too then tells the story he heard about how she got hired. Maxine was working at the Hooters near FCW and John Laurinaitis was there and got drunk then gave her his business card. Hawkins said that Derrick Bateman (Ethan Carter, III) was hilarious and charismatic but again, the office did not understand what they had in him.
Hawkins is then asked about the cartoons that Tyler Reks made that got them heat from the company and the wrestlers. He said that Reks bought all sorts of software to make cartoons then started to hound Drew McIntyre, Tyson Kidd, and himself to do voice overs for the cartoons. Hawkins did some and said the cartoons were terrible but didnt think anything over. The next day, Hawkins walked by Mark Henry, who was pissed at him, as he heard there were complaints that it came off racist. Hawkins said there was nothing indicating racism but they decided to do a second cartoon focusing on Michael Cole because they were getting a lot of buzz then after the third they made another Mark Henry joke and the office shut them down as both Laurinaitis and HHH talked to them and said it was not worth it as Mark Henry was made and they also made fun of HHH’s movie “The Chaperone,” calling it the “Craperone.”
On Ryback, Hawkins denied that Ryback was unsafe with him in the ring and was happy that he got a shot after being down in FCW.
He is then asked about the new stripper gimmick he was going to have with Reks. HHH pulled them aside after the Money in the Bank PPV in 2012 and told them they needed a gimmick and that they reminded them of a couple of “dick dancers,” meaning male strippers. HHH saw Hawkins was not digging this as Hawkins told him about The Dicks and the Heartthrobs but HHH reassured them that they would be all business in the ring, like Rick Rude. So, they were asked to come up with gear as Hawkins said he basically stole the trunks Shawn Stasiak used when he did the “Meat” character. A week later, they were told by the office they had to go to male stripper dance classes and did that on his days off. Hawkins then recalls back to how HHH said that “Magic Mike” was a hot movie and has a theory that Kevin Nash got into HHH’s ear and told him about it as HHH had no idea about pop culture at the time. They then did a pretape for Smackdown in which Teddy Long told them they had to show him something as Reks said that he “can’t go back to that” which would lead to him reverting back to his stripping days and convincing Hawkins to go along with him. The next week they were told they would be shown caught dancing by Booker T and Teddy Long but a writer called them up and said that Vince loves their idea and wanted them to debut in a match squashing local guys. They had to scramble and buy suits so went to the closest place which was WalMart and got everything. They did the match and the boys were clapping in the back as Hawkins said this push was something that had not happened in a while. Hawkins then talks about how much Vince loves dancing, citing all of the gimmicks the WWE uses, then said that they had to show Vince their attire while he was eating a steak in his office and how surreal that was. The next week at Smackdown they were supposed to be firefighters and Vince wanted them to incorporate the hoses into their dance. Hawkins gets there and sees Mark Carano, who told him that he would be on every single Smackdown and live event going forward as Hawkins was ecstatic, citing how he spent over a year putting over the entire roster. Mattel was there and showed him a new action figure of him that made him even happier. As he was going to get the fireman costumes off of the prop truck to give to the seamtress he sees Reks and they walk up towards the seamstress as Reks said that he has to tell him something and told Hawkins that he quit as he no longer wanted to be a wrestler. Hawkins then said he had to start thinking off what to do then found HHH, who also heard that Reks quit. Hawkins suggested to HHH that he team with Johnny Curtis (Fandango) but HHH was unsure as he didnt know if he could dance as Hawkins speaks about not understanding why that was important because there is no heat in that but if he is a dick who sucks at dancing but thinks he is great, you have something. HHH said they would figure it out at the next meeting. Later on he saw Road Dogg, who apparently was the agent for the “fun stuff” and informed in that Reks quit as he said Road Dogg was serious for the first time in his life and knew it was bad as he took that as a sign Vince was really going to give them a push. After that, he was told that he was going to be jobbing to Brodus Clay then saw Carano who told him that he was now off of all Smackdowns and live events.
Shortly after the stripper team gimmick got shelved he got a call to fill-in on RAW shows to be a babyface against Wade Barrett and said he looked at it positively as he did not want to be a “woe is me” type of person. He said he had fun working with Barrett but got hurt taking a powerbomb and got sent to the hospital and had a torn PCL and MCL then everything was done as Arn Anderson told him that if he didnt have bad luck, he wouldnt have any luck at all. He missed four months after that and never got booked regularly as he languished in NXT. He then tells a story of how he asked to go to his best friends wedding but got called at the last minute because someone got hurt as Hawkins joked how he told his friend he couldnt go to his wedding because he had to put over Sin Cara in Canada.
On if he was mad that Reks quit, Hawkins said that he couldnt be mad at someone who left because their heart was no longer into wrestling.
Feinstein then asks him about a rumor that he and Ryder asked to be teamed up again. Hawkins talked about how Ryder was one of the most over wrestlers in the WWE but they did not want that so they brought him back to square one as he was doing nothing so they suggested to team up again as a writer pitched an idea for it to happen on one of the “B” shows right after WrestleMania 29 but it never happened then Michael Hayes told him that the idea hit a “bit of a roadblock.”
When asked why HHH disliked Ryder, Hawkins thinks it was because HHH never got his humor and didn’t think he was funny as well as thinking he was not a tough guy and could not beat people up. Hawkins puts over Ryder for being the first person ever to get himself over without any TV or push from the office and never got even as much as a thank you from the company and even got punished for it as he talks about the hypocrisy of the “brass ring” speeches and how they don’t even bother doing those anymore. Hawkins also adds how the office just picks and chooses who they want to push and they all know that as they saw Ryder get punished for busting his ass to get himself over and how that sends a terrible message.
He said at the time they did not realize Ryder’s character was getting killed off of TV as they started to laugh and thought it was funny at first but afterwards they realized how shitty it was for the company to do that to him.
On whether or not hard work is appreciated, Hawkins said it feels like that sometimes as they never got noticed for doing a good job. He does state how they are writing way too many hours of TV for that and he made sure to go out and do everything that was asked of him to the best of his ability.
Hawkins said that he was somewhat relieved when he got released as he was almost getting depressed at the time but decided to open up a wrestling school without telling the office as he was at home doing nothing but sleeping and going to the gym 1.5 hours a day.
He opened up the school with Pat Buck and talks about how the NYWC thought that Buck brainwashed him in order to start a new school as Hawkins talks about how the NYWC was a shitty building without the heat turned on or even any students to train.
About CM Punk quitting the WWE, Hawkins said that while he had frustrations while wrestling on “Superstars” he can only imagine the stress that Punk went through on top.
Hawkins said it was absolutely unfair for the WWE to move the PPV’s to the Network and not tell the wrestlers how they would be getting paid from them. He says that the WWE has a stranglehold on wrestling and can get away with that. He then talks about how he watched a shoot with Raven and how when he was in the WWE he felt that Johnny Polo was a dead end character and reached out to ECW and SMW with the Raven character as he realized there are no options like that available anymore as the Indies are uncertain. When asked he would be open to joining TNA as his goal is to make a living wage while in wrestling.
On the future of the WWE with HHH and Stephanie, he says we don’t know as he suggests that NXT is a little window into the future as that is the baby of HHH but currently Vince and HHH work together and you cannot always tell who is coming up with a certain idea.
He sees Sami Zayn as a future star. Hawkins said is similar to Daniel Bryan but that he cosmetically does not fit the mold of a WWE Superstar so the company will probably stick it to him but he has such a magnetic thing with the fans that he can make it happen.
Hawkins then discusses the Performance Center and said that it is almost too nice for pro wrestling and that they even have janitors there to take care of all the work. He then says it is nothing like the “shopping mall, storefront bullshit” he trained at in Deep South.
When asked about training the Rock for his matches against John Cena, Hawkins said that the office called him up while he was on his day off with his friends. He thought it was originally bad news as it was Laurinaitis but then he got patched through to a three-way call with Joe Hennig (Curtis Axel) were they got informed they would help train the Rock to get back into ring shape. They went to New Orleans where the Rock was filming and got put up in a hotel where at random the Rock would call them up when he had any free time to train.
The first day of training with the Rock he said he was nervous as they were in some warehouse locking up as the Rock stopped and suggested they play some music. The Rock then had his guy bring in a Bose Surround Sound Dock and blasted 2 Pac as Hawkins said the Rock could not have been nicer. Hawkins also talks about how the WWE paid for all the training and would stock the places with whatever the Rock wanted. They first got him ready for his tag with Cena against Awesome Truth then again for the WrestleMania 29 match.
Hawkins said he also loves Cena and never witnessed him play any politics as he puts him over for being hands on and helping people out. He is also blown away by his schedule with all of the “Make a Wish” commitments and time he spends working out and in the ring.
Now he is asked about several guys. He never got the chance to do anything with Chris Jericho but was nice to him and had a lot of great conversations with him. He always loved Bray Wyatt, even when he was in FCW starting out as Husky Harris. He calls Dolph Ziggler his favorite wrestler today. When asked why he isnt pushed to the top of the card, Hawkins said that if this baseball Ziggler would be batting third and have the “C” on his uniform but its entertainment so those with the most skills are not always pushed the most then says that it might be political but he is not certain about that.
On who he wants to wrestle on the Indies, he said its AJ Styles and that the match is booked for PWG.
His favorite town was Chicago because he would get to stay at Punk’s “secret mansion” and they have a great crowd. He has witnessed too many ribs to single out just one.
The interview closes with Hawkins saying that he thinks he will be back in the WWE down the road as he spent 8.5 years there and is just 29 years old.
Final Thoughts: One of the best interviews to come out in 2014. Hawkins was open and discussed everything. He was not bitter and enjoyed his time in the WWE. By watching this you find out just how much of a fan he is and how he truly enjoys wrestling.
Another great thing about this interview is the insight that Hawkins provides in today’s WWE and how much it has changed over the past couple of years. He shares his frustrations on the end of his run with the company yet is able to realize why some of those changes took place.
The story that got my attention the most was when he seemingly got a renewed push only for his partner to quit the company then see that get taken right away. What a shitty thing to have happen to someone. Its tough not to feel bad for Hawkins after listening to that story.
Its also surprising that he spent 8.5 years with the company and that he is only 29 years old. Goes to show how much you forget about guys that are barely booked for the main shows.
This interview also had a lot of funny stories mixed in between the insight. He is also one of the only people I have ever heard that loved their time in Deep South.
In the end, I became a huge fan of Hawkins as a person. Its tough not to like the guy after listening to this. I give this interview one of my highest recommendations.
You can purchase the video for $15 at RFVideo.com by clicking on the link below.
This was filmed on November 7th, 2014
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at two hours and one minute long.
The first question for Alberto is what was it like growing up in a wrestling family. His dad was Dos Caras and his uncle was Mil Mascaras. He said that he has been involved in wrestling ever since he could remember then talks about how while kids at school had their heroes, he had his at home. When asked, Alberto said that his dad kayfabed him until he got into the business. Alberto then talks about how the fans in Mexico truly believe that wrestling is real then jokes about how his dad would give him bullshit answers as a kid when asked why he let certain guys beat him.
He is now asked about amateur wrestling as Alberto said it was a great time and how you could just go out and kick some ass. Alberto then talks about how he wanted to become an architect as a kid then said his father did not want him in the business and as a father today, Alberto completely understands where he was coming from.
Alberto then talks about how in Mexico there is an old saying about how in order to be a wrestler, you have to look like a wrestler then laughs a bit as he says about 60% of the Mexican wrestlers have big bellies before saying how his family were all bodybuilders and amateur wrestlers so they passed that along to him.
On the AAA promotion, Alberto said that business was awful when he first started and considered quitting because the money was that bad. Luckily for him, he went to Japan as they were interested in him coming into work. From that he talks about how starting out on Mexico is tough because they want you to wear a mask and have a cape as he talks about the difficulty of wrestling with a mask.
When asked about the guys he worked with in AAA, Alberto said that the veterans there all went out to have fun and were not worried about getting in their spots or anything else as they just called it all in the ring. On if anyone tried to take advantage of him, Alberto said no as they knew he would kick their asses due to his amateur background.
Alberto said that he went into MMA for the money. He said that he knew Randy Couture, who told him to try it as he could make some money. While in Japan, Alberto was offered $20,000 to fight and he gladly said yes. That fight was when he broke the arm of Kengo Watanabe. After the lost to Mirko a few fights later, he was offered a contract that was for less money then was told by his friends in Mexico that he could make a ton of money there as business was booming so he decided to leave.
In CMLL, Alberto said that he was making about $3,000 a show as they worked about 8-10 shows a week while Mistico (Sin Cara) was making $5,000 per show. When asked, Alberto said that he did not face any resentment when he came in and got a lot of money as he was i it for the long haul and not just to coast around. He said that the locker room was great as he was friends with Atlantis, Ultimo Guerrero, and Volador among others.
Now he is asked about several of the guys he worked with in CMLL. He puts over Hector Garza as a great guy and unbelievable worker as someone his size could fly in the air with ease. He says that Ultimo Guerrero can carry anyone in the ring, no matter how bad or messed up you are. He said that Shocker was also a fantastic worker but got caught up in a lot of things (drugs) and was missing shows and other media events.
Alberto said that the first time the WWE approached him about coming in was when he was in Japan for an MMA bout while they were in the country on tour. Alberto said there was no reason to go there at the time as he said he could have made what they offered him in Mexico in two months. He tells the story of John Laurinaitis telling them that he was passing on a big opportunity as Alberto said that he could not pass up the money he was making in Mexico as he tells all the young wrestlers out there today that they need to remember that this is a business and you have to make money so always ask for as much as possible when you are younger and are not broken down.
On being a heel, Alberto said he liked it a lot more as he was in control of the match as that fit his personality better than a babyface, who had to kiss the crowd’s ass. He jokes how he always controls everything in his life. He remembers Dean Malenko, who he cites as a mentor, told him that in the ring, you are the king and that no one can touch you.
He talks about finally signing with the WWE after getting offered a few more deals with each of them going up in money so he signed when they offered him something that was comparable to what he could make in Mexico. He started off in Developmental at FCW and did not want to be there as he was 30 years old and from wrestling in front of sold out crowds in Japan and Mexico to wrestling in front of no one while a majority of those down there were in the early 20’s and just starting out in the business. At the end, he said it was the right decision as it helped him learn the American style of wrestling.
Alberto talks about how they had all sorts of rules that he described as stupid they went by down there such as you are not allowed to use your phone at any point and if someone from the main roster showed up you were supposed to immediately stop whatever you were doing so you could go and shake their hand. Alberto said they made you feel like a little kid with their rules and he was 30 years old, married with a kid on the way. He said that they no longer abide by some of these practices. He then talks positively about the trainers, saying that they were great and understood when they told him how he could not get treated any differently from the others despite his experience and status. And Alberto knew that they others would hate him too if he was getting preferential treatment so he played along. He puts over Tom Prichard, Norman Smiley, Dusty Rhodes and Steve Keirn for treating him with respect and helping him learn the American style. He then credits Dusty for stopping him from quitting as he told Alberto he was going to make money here and that he had a bright future when he was getting frustrated. On why he was frustrated, Alberto said he hated wrestling in front of 10-15 people in FCW and how they had to set the chairs, clean the arena, sell the tickets and act like the bouncers as he was back to doing stuff he was doing as a kid in Mexico when he paid his dues and was doing it all over again.
The hardest part for Alberto was working from the right hand side in Mexico to the left hand side in America as it took some time for him to adapt.
He started off as Alberto Banderas in FCW. He was asked to come up with a name as they wanted him unmasked because he had a good look. He said Dusty came up with the name because he thought Alberto looked like actor Antonio Banderas. He then talked about how Mexican fans were up in arms because he unmasked and threw away his legacy and a big payday for putting his mask up in a match. Alberto called his dad and asked him if he would get upset about this, even going as far as saying he would go back to Mexico if he was but his dad told him that he had a great opportunity there and to do what he wanted so he stayed. He then said how when he did wrestle in Mexico for the WWE that Laurinaitis let him wear the mask out of respect. Alberto then said that Johnny was always great to him.
Initially, Alberto said that the WWE locker room was sold as something like a concentration camp to him when he was in developmental as you were told to always shake hands and stand in certain parts of the locker room among other things prompting Alberto to say that this is wrestling and should be fun so why worry about this stuff. He talks about his first experience on the main roster on a tour of Europe as he was in the airport where no one talked to him during the trip until Chavo Guerrero joined the tour a few days after it started when he told him that the others were just testing him and would appreciate his talents in the ring. After that, Randy Orton approached him and put over his ability and after that guys like John Cena, MVP, and Christian did the same. Alberto puts over Christian a lot for helping him out when he first started. He said that he was initially afraid to approach Christian, who has a serious demeanor backstage, then when he did, Christian was very friendly and asked Alberto what he wanted to do in the match.
Feinstein then asks him about HHH and Stephanie. Alberto said nothing bad happened but never had a great relationship with them as they had their favorites, just like others did. He also respects both of them as people. When asked about Vince McMahon taking a liking to him, Alberto confirms that and said that Vince liked his aggressive in-ring style as Alberto said that is what got him his run at the top of the card and said that is what a true heel is supposed to do in the ring.
On comparing the politics in the WWE to Japan and Mexico, Alberto said that it is a “Snake Pit” in the WWE while it was fun in Japan and Mexico. He talks about how everyone is stressed before the TV tapings and towards the end of his run there he stopped having any fun at all. He does put over the way the WWE produces the show and how he liked that better than what they did in Mexico.
When asked about the Del Rio gimmick, Alberto said he was given a lot of names that were mostly stupid and some of them translated in English meant “pussy” or “asshole” and when he confronted the creative guys who handed him the list, they had no idea that is what they meant as the names they picked were the result of searches on Google. He saw the Del Rio name and picked that one as he wanted to use his real name with that because they cannot take his first name away from him and how he could use that when he left the company.
Alberto loved the vignettes for the Del Rio gimmick. He said shooting it was like filming a commercial as they shot in a beautiful home and had a ton of production people there.
He said that in the WWE you have to wrestle the way they want as you cannot think outside of the box as you have to follow the same steps as everyone else until the end of the match so he had to change his style completely.
On Ricardo, he found out that he was going to be with him when he made his WWE debut. He arrived to the arena and found out that he was getting a car and had a bunch of Mexican wrestlers there who were trying out to be his ring announcer. Alberto said at the beginning he was very nervous but grew into the role. He said Ricardo was always good to have in his corner as he always added something every night in his corner.
He calls Rey Mysterio once of the nicest guys on the planet and was gratious when he had to put him over in his debut. Alberto credits Rey for putting him on the map and said that they had plans for them but Rey’s injury halted them.
Alberto said he would call his dad for advice. After his third match, his dad told him his kicks looked like shit and he trained with him in Miami and since that, his kicks have been great.
On working with Matt Hardy in his final match, Alberto said Matt was great to him and gratious enough to put him over and wanted to put him over big on his way out as Alberto suggested he win by a rollup out of respect.
He then talks about how the WWE wants you to be a “lovable heel” as they will come up to you and say you need to get more heat as he would ask them how would they want him to do that as they do not want you to acknowledge the crowd, use weapons like chairs or other illegal heel tactics like choking to get any heat. Alberto then talks about how it is getting harder and harder for heels to get over in the WWE. Alberto then talks about the hypocrisy of the WWE telling you to go out and have fun while giving input yet you are only allowed to follow the step-by-step instructions they provide to you, questioning how can you have fun under those conditions.
On the TLC match in 2010, Alberto said that he was not comfortable taking those bumps but that in wrestling you have to do what you have to do. He was told to just relax and have the mindset that you were going to get hurt and he did.
Alberto said that he hated being a mentor on NXT because the show was lame and he was extremely busy with the shows on the main roster and very tired as he was on the top of the card and had no time at all.
He liked getting paired with Brodus Clay,saying that Brodus helped him get over, then talks about how he always asked why wasnt his character using his money to pay off the referees or to hire a hitman to take out John Cena or to help him win as he says that he was told to pitch ideas but they never used them and if they did use them it was for other people.
About when he found out that he was winning the 2011 Royal Rumble, Alberto said that he found out the day of the show when they called the last five guys in the match into the office and got told about the finish.
Alberto says that he prefers calling the match in the ring and tells a story about how when he started to work with Dolph Ziggler, they never spoke and thought they did not like each other. They went out and put on a match that went well and they got congratulated backstage as Alberto talks about how when you put two good wrestlers in the ring together and let them go, you get a good match. When asked why the company does not get behind Ziggler, Alberto said it is all politics as he is a great worker and goes out and has fun.
On working his first WrestleMania, Alberto said it was great as his whole family was there and he had a good match against Edge and accomplished everything. When asked, Alberto said he was not disappointed that he opened the show as he was the newcomer and as long as you put on a great match it does not matter if it was the opener or not. He was originally supposed to win but two hours before the show he was told that Edge was winning and that got him upset initially but he got over it then said that Edge gave him an amazing match and never told anyone he was retiring until the next day. He knew Edge was hurt as he was having problems moving an arm and even walking so had a feeling that he was leaving at some point.
Alberto puts over Christian again, saying that he is very underrated, and is amazing in the ring. He calls Christian the only guy in the company that he did not have to think up anything before the match as he was a genius in the ring.
He said he found out that he was winning the Money in the Bank briefcase the day of the show and said the crowd was throwing stuff at him after the match after he ripped off Rey’s mask.
Alberto then talks about how he does not care if he is the champion or not as long as he is in a good storyline then says how he has pride and does not go out to the ring just so he can collect a paycheck as he loves this business.
On John Cena, Alberto said he is fantastic and does not get the credit he deserves for working the crowd. When asked, he says that Cena does play politics, because he is so important to the company, but does not believe he is going to the office so he can bury other talent. Then when asked if the company relies too heavily on Cena, Alberto said that it is tough to say as they have had a lot of talent leave to pursue film roles and other interests while he is the only one who is drawing a lot of money and selling merchandise so what can you do.
He likes CM Punk and says that he is a great guy who started from the bottom. Alberto said that he is also a fantastic worker. He talks about how he has a difficult personality to deal with at first but is a great friend and someone you can trust, saying the business needs more guys like that. He was not surprised when Punk walked out on the WWE because according to him about 80% of the roster would have walked out if they had the options Punk had because just about everyone was going out of their minds at that point because the company atmosphere was generally terrible. Alberto even jokes how he texted Punk the day he quit and Punk texted him back Alberto said he wished he could have followed him. He then said that the WWE never appreciated what Punk brought to the table and believes he will eventually return to wrestling but not necessarily the WWE.
On the Miz, Alberto said that he didnt speak to him at first but talked to him a few times and thinks he is a pretty cool guy. When asked if it was fair that the Miz got to main event WrestleMania 27, Alberto said that it is hard to define what is fair in wrestling as they are following orders and it is not like the Miz is going to go up to Vince and ask to get removed from that spot.
Alberto likes Sheamus and says that they are friends outside of wrestling and they had fun in the ring. He also said that a lot of people talk trash about him. He then talks about losing several matches in the row and how you cannot come back from that, even telling a story of Dean Malenko coming up to him saying how the WWE thinks wrestlers like him, Rey, and Ziggler can come back from anything but sometimes there is just some things you cannot come back from.
He expressed frustration over a proposed storyline in which he fired Ricardo and replaced him with Rosa Mendes, which would eventually lead to them getting married inside of the ring. Alberto said he was not letting this happened and told Vince he was not comfortable with it and thought the idea would fail.
Alberto then talks about how he never told the company when he got hurt as he ended up working with several concussions because the first time he got hurt they removed him from the PPV and he lost his spot and money as a result. He then said how he was not the only guy who hid injuries for the same reasons.
On why Dolph Ziggler does not get a big push, Alberto said it is due to politics and heard that someone who is high up in the company is not a fan of his. He denies that it is due to injuries and doesnt think he gets hurt that often. He is then asked if there was an argument backstage the night Dolph cashed in his MiTB Briefcase that also involved Vince and HHH. Alberto confirmed and said even though he would like to talk about that, he is unable to.
He felt that the angle in which he tried to get the Brogue Kick banned was “lame and stupid” then talked about how the last 18 months he was in the company creative gave him any crappy storyline but he went out there and tried to be a good soldier because that is what you have to do in this business.
While on the road he started off spending time with Rey, Chavo, Edge, and Christian. Then later on he traveled with Drew McIntyre and Ricardo.
On Sin Cara and why he failed in the WWE, Alberto said that it was not the language barrier because his character was faceless and did not need to speak English to succeed. He said that Sin Cara never bothered to learn the American style and refused to go to Developmental but the company was so desperate to hire him and catered to his demands.
Alberto said that he almost snapped after over 30 straight days on the road then Laurinaitis saw him and knew he was distressed so he flew in Alberto’s family to be with him for a few days.
He is asked about his babyface turn. Alberto said he found out that day he was turning then goes on about how when he first started in the company, they had everything planned out for the year but now the change everything weekly. He said that the decision to turn made no sense at all.
Alberto had a lot of fun working with Jack Swagger and Dutch Mantell. He also never had a problem with the Rock getting a main event match because he brings in a new audience. He never felt like the chemistry was there when he worked with RVD but does like him as a person.
When asked about Daniel Bryan and how the company uses him, Alberto said that he does understand why the WWE did not want him to win at WrestleMania and that it was the fans that made them switch plans. Alberto said he was one of the best wrestlers ever and a great guy and cannot believe how the WWE does not see this.
Alberto tells a story about working against Bryan in a match. He accidentally knocked him out with a punch and yelled at him to get up then told the referee to call the match but the ref was told the match had to continue so Alberto put him in the corner. Bryan finally woke up and asked where he was as Alberto told him that he accidentally knocked him out. Bryan then started to feel better then when Alberto asked him if he wanted to “go home” Bryan said no and to continue getting heat on him and after that Alberto told Bryan the finish of the match and it ended up going well. He then talked about Bryan giving him a receipt by kicking the shit out of him in the corner as Alberto said he deserved that.
Unfortunately, Alberto is not allowed to talk about the events that got him fired from the WWE has they settled with him and that was part of the deal. All he says is that they both made mistakes and he is going to go on and live his life and be able to wrestle where ever he wants.
He talks about returning to AAA for Triplemania 22. Alberto said that at the airport, there was about 2,000 fans and 50-80 media outlets waiting for him. On teaming with Sin Cara there in his return and whether or not his WWE experience humbled him, Alberto said he has no idea as he calls Sin Cara a weird guy.
Back to his overall WWE run he said that it was great up until his last two years when it no longer felt fun and that he started to make less money. He laughs when asked if HHH replacing Laurinaitis was the reason, saying he has no idea.
Alberto does not feel that the WWE will ever hire him back. He said the incident was pretty bad and they operate differently now as they do not want to bring in guys who are going to be asking for money when they have a lot of young, cheap talent.
He said that when the WWE Network was launched that was it for the wrestlers as they started to see significantly less money. Alberto said he was not going to re-sign with them because of that as the money was not worth it any longer as he would go home and see his check and it was a lot less. He said they tried to work all the talent by shafting them on pay because they knew most of them had nowhere else to go. Alberto said that he did well enough in Mexico and Japan before coming to the WWE and has his homes and cars paid off as well as funds for his kids so he can retire in 3-5 years.
When asked if he would go to the WWE as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble, Alberto said not now as he is having a blast wrestling in Mexico and everywhere else. He talks about the locker room is better and the money is good as no one is waiting to stab you in the back. He then said that he is already making what he was at the end of his WWE run in Mexico now and that is not even including the other dates in the U.S., Japan, and Europe that he is working. Feinstein then mentions to Alberto that every person who he spoke to who was left the WWE within the past year was completely miserable there.
Alberto closes by thanking his fans.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid interview. Had the WWE not reached a settlement with him, Alberto seemed like he would have went in depth about the incident that got him fired. He did not seem like a guy who would hold back. At the same time, he did not come here with an ax to grind nor was he interested in burying anyone he did not like. He was more interested in talking about his experiences rather than bad-mouthing others.
I’ve watched several interviews with talent who have recently left the WWE and they all said the same thing: they are getting paid significantly less since the roll out of the Network and its the work environment has gotten worse when Laurinaitis was let go. And to touch upon what Alberto said about the company moving away from guys who command money and using the cheap talent they have stockpiled, he is 100% correct.
After the interview ended, I came away as a fan of Alberto as a person. He was calm and relaxed here and gave credit to all of his peers. Sure, he had his frustrations, and they were legitimate, but he did not whine about them. There were no insane stories of people holding him back as he just simply said towards the end of his run they weren’t using him for anything. I was really interested when he talked about his time in developmental and how he just swallowed his pride and did what was asked of him, despite feeling it was beneath him at times, and even said he came out of it thankful for helping him adapt to the American style of wrestling.
Overall, I recommend the interview. If you are fan of road stories and gossip though, I would pass as you do not get much of that here.
You can purchase the video for $20 by clicking on the link below
For next week, I have decided to please the vocal minority and will be reviewing the Curt Hawkins RF Video Shoot. It is a tremendous shoot that gives a ton of insight into the company and entertains with all sorts of funny stories on just about everyone, including tales of America’s favorite trainer, Bill DeMott.
This was filmed in 2005
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at two hours long
The video starts with Koko, dressed in a pinstriped white suit coat wearing a cross, asked if he was a fan of wrestling growing up. He said he was about 16 or 17 growing up in Tennessee when he saw a group of guys working out and wanted to get into that so they made his parents sign a waiver that they would not be responsible for any injuries that may occur then he began to work out in this building, which also had wrestling on Thursday nights. He talks about the local guys like Jackie Fargo and Herb Welch that he used to idolize.
He broke into the business after the guys he worked out with noticed him as he was improving. Koko credits Plowboy Frazier (Uncle Elmer) with getting him started as he booked him in a small town in Arkansas. Frazier told Jerry Lawler about him and after watching him wrestle, Lawler asked Koko if he could make the Memphis TV taping the next morning.
When asked about the hardest part of training, Koko said it took two weeks to get used to the mat as he was having difficulty getting out of bed in the morning before drifting off topic about he was training to become an auto mechanic and how he switched careers to wrestling as he was adapting well to the business.
Koko talks about how hot the Memphis territory was at that time. He said that his first opponent on TV was against Jos LeDuc. Koko said that he was a good “bump man” and knew how to bump for the power guys. LeDuc put him over after the match, as did the promoters and guys backstage as Koko said that put a smile on his face as he never had all of this admiration before.
About Nick Gulas, Koko calls him one of the most lovable promoters to work with but if you did not know him he could rub you the wrong way. He also said Gulas was odd with payouts and how he would tell you its not how much you make but rather how much you save. Koko talks about how he loved the territory as you were home every night.
On the “Sweet Brown Sugar” name, Koko said that he was a special guest referee in a match and helped the heel beat Lawler. Koko then said that the fans called him “Sweet Brown Shit” after that.
He said that the veterans in the locker room at that time never gave him a hard time on purpose.
Feinstein asks Koko about Lawler. He says that when you went to Memphis, you have to go in with the mindset that he is the king. He then talks about guys bitching about not getting the main event spot over Lawler as Koko said he earned the right for that spot as he built up that territory.
Koko credits Jerry Jarrett for helping him on his interviews by making Jarrett cut a promo against guys in his backyard. Jarrett would also told him to play off of Martin Luther King’s “I Had a Dream” speech but that his dream was to be a professional wrestler and then speak about that. He said there were no scripts back then either.
When asked, Koko said that he did not feel that his earlier gimmicks or stuff was racist. He then talks about how you cannot go into a wrestling promotion and tell what you are and are not willing to do as that reflects a bad attitude and as a result, you will be sitting on the sidelines.
He puts over Jimmy Valiant as a talent and a person. Koko says that Valiant was a big fan of his as well. Koko said that he teamed with Bobby Eaton once when his opponent no-showed so Bill Dundee, the booker at the time, decided to pair them up together. He said that they had a great match and even did an “Ebony and Ivory” gimmick briefly that got over.
Koko says that Steve Keirn started out as a really good guy then tells a story about his gimmick as Stagger Lee, which is what he used when he lost a “Loser Leave Town” match. At that time, Keirn was given the Fabulous Ones gimmick, who wore suits. Koko said that Lawler gave him the Lee gimmick and told him to shake all of the fan’s hands. After a show in the locker room, Koko was backstage with the Fabulous Ones, Ricky Morton, and Bill Dundee. He said that everyone but him knew what was going on as Keirn wanted to speak to him. Koko said they went to the showers as Koko leaned on the rail as Keirn asked who gave him permission to dance and shake the hands of the fans. Koko said that Lawler gave it to him, assuring Keirn that he would not steal his idea. Keirn then said okay but as eh went ot walk away, he turned around and sucker-punched Koko, who thought they were friends as they used to ride together. Koko got up and landed a few shots then he got pulled away as Koko says that Keirn was the one who should have gotten pulled away as he started the whole thing. Koko then said he ran down Keirn, saying that the territory did everything they could have to get him over as Koko says this was his first big break and he was not about to lose it over this. He then talks about how Eddie Marlin told him it was enough after he thought about going back after Keirn, prompting Koko to tell him that if he was the one who started the fight, he would get fired. Koko said that he has ever spoken to Keirn since and says he longer holds a grudge against him as he (Koko) has turned his life around now.
He then skips ahead and talks about another locker room fight that he had with Paul Roma in the WWF. Koko said that Roma had a chip on his shoulder at the time then called Koko “Buckwheat” one night then Koko confronted him. Roma said he called him that because that is who he is as Koko said he fought with him but after that happened, they got along and are friends now. (For the record, Roma had a completely different recollection about what happened in his shoot interview that I reviewed).
Feinstein asks him about some other workers in Memphis. He said Robert Gibson was a great guy and Koko live with him and his girlfriend as he puts over the girlfriend’s cooking. He calls Norvell Austin a good wrestler but was older at the time. Koko says that the PYT’s gimmick helped him out at that time. He puts over Eddie Gilbert, saying he was born to be a wrestler, then says he thinks the world of the whole Gilbert family. He says that Tommy Rich was a great guy as well then tells a story of how Rich wrote him a check to get new tires for his car when he was short on money. Koko says he never forgot that.
When asked about Bill Dundee as a booker, Koko says that he is just “alright” but needed someone to work off of before talking about how a booker needs to also work with someone who is not actively wrestling at the time for it to work.
He then went to Texas to work for Fritz Von Erich after a brief stay in Leroy McGuirk’s territory in Oklahoma. Koko said that he and Norvell were the first black tag team in Texas. He said they replaced the Freebirds as the heel team then tells a story of how Andre the Giant got the Freebirds fired in the WWF as they constantly came in drunk.
Koko said that he never saw the drug problems with the guys in World Class but that the ones who did use would come into the locker room about ten minutes before their match, usually already dressed.
After World Class, Koko went back to Memphis and worked a series of gimmick matches, including the first scaffold match. Koko said he volunteered to face Dundee because no one else wanted to and he was young and hungry. He then talks about how spending five years in Memphis taught him how to wrestle and how angles work.
He then talks about how the “Koko” name was given to him by his high school football coach due to what Koko says is his smooth, silky skin. He denies that there was any racism with this name. When he needed a name to wrestle, Plowboy Frazier asked him so he suggested Koko then in Mid South, Jim Ross added the “B. Ware” part and it took off from there.
Koko said that Bill Watts did not want guys who couldnt take care of themselves in the ring and if you couldnt stretch him or make it look real, he would fire you. On whether or not Watts was racist, Koko said he didnt see that as he pushed JYD, Butch Reed, Ernie Ladd, along with himself. Koko said that Watts knew talent.
He was then asked if he was upset about losing in the First Round of the UWF Unification Tournament as Koko said no as this is an entertainment business and not a shoot and if it was, he would not be in this business along with a majority of the other guys he was working with.
Howard Finkel was the one who contacted Koko about joining the WWF. Finkel told him to pick a date that would not interfere with his schedule for Watts so he could fly up for a meeting with Vince. Koko said he told Watts about the meeting and how he respected him but that he wanted to see what the WWF could offer, as he had a family to provide for and wanted to give them the best.
When he first met Vince, Koko said he was overwhelmed as New York City was huge and he had no idea where he was going then realized that on the same flight was Kamala, who was also flying to meet with Vince and jokes how they initially kayfabed each other as to why they were there then came clean with each other. Koko said that he felt comfortable when Vince spoke with him during their meeting. When it ended, Vince told Koko to go home and think about the offer but not before asking if there was something he would like to add to his gimmick. Koko then took a picture out of his pocket of him at a pet store in Baton Rouge that had a macaw in the background as Koko said that he wanted the bird with him, adding that he also had the bird tights made. Vince said that it was not a bad idea but made sure that he was okay traveling with the bird as Koko said it would not be a problem. So, Vince bought the bird and had Koko pay him back as he was working for him. Koko then said that his wife, who had a background in dancing, came up with the bird dance as it was easy enough for everyone from young and old to do in the crowd. Koko said that for someone his size (5’7), the gimmick got him over as much as possible in the WWF.
On the drug scene in the WWF at that time, Koko said that it was not a big problem until the incident in which Iron Sheik and Jim Duggan got caught with drugs together. He claimed that guys only did some things to “get by” but not more than that.
Koko said that he helped Hulk Hogan out while he was in Memphis as he trained him there, along with Brutus Beefcake, then did not see him again until entering the WWF and said how Hogan never forgot about that.
He puts over Greg Valentine, saying he always had good matches together. Koko said that the Honky Tonk Man broke in with him and that they used to train all day and night together and how they remain good friends today. He said that Randy Savage was nice to him and booked him for the IWC promotion. When asked about how Savage treated Elizabeth, Koko said he was protective and cannot blame him as if his wife was in the business, he would be the same way as some guys in wrestling do not respect the women. He also said Savage would fight you in an instant and tells a story of how Honky was doing a wiggle at Elizabeth during matches as Savage was pissed and confronted him backstage.
When asked about WrestleMania III, Koko said whenever someone asks him about his career he always thinks back to that show as it feels so good to have 93,000 cheer you on and it is the culmination of all your hard work in the business. He said he was so thankful to make this show has he said he was just a country boy that made it to this huge show.
Koko said that everybody cracks due to the travel at some point as he talks about struggling with the language barrier during International travel. He then says that everyone (not just wrestlers) should stay out of the country for one week to experience that.
He gets asked about several of the guys he worked with. Koko loved working with Jake Roberts and recalls one fan called the Humane Society after Jake cut a promo about Damien eating Frankie and they actually came into the building and told them to keep Damien away from the bird. Koko said that the Dynamite Kid was a funny guy as he laughs recalling a time when he hid Outback Jack’s knife. He also said that they shaved the head of one of the midget’s at a bar when they were passed out, saying it was sad. Koko talks about another rib when Steve Keirn took a dump into Jerry Lawler’s crown the night Lawler made his debut as payback from when he was in Memphis.
When asked about the Dynamite Kid/Jacques Rougeau incident, Koko said that he was not there but said he knew something would happen. Koko said that Jacques was a nice guy but that if he landed a punch, you were in trouble. He tells a story of when Jacques went to Terry Taylor’s house once, apparently after Taylor did something with his girlfriend, and dropped him when he opened the door.
Koko said Curt Hennig was a good friend and an outstanding talent. He says that his death hurt everyone. He calls Rick Martel a “classy guy” and was very family oriented and would try to learn how to speak French with him. He did not get the chance to work with Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels much but credits Shawn for finding god. On the Ultimate Warrior, Koko said he had a lot of animosity inside of him as the company made him wait for a longtime until he got a chance as when he first entered the company he would barely get booked. Koko said that Chief Jay Strongbow went to Vince and said they should use this guy before someone else snatched him up. Koko said he was a good gimmick guy.
On the Undertaker, Koko said that he was not doing anything under his real name then credits Vince for giving him the gimmick as that can go on and on forever because you can cool him off for six months then bring him back. Koko said he can do some nice moves but not much else other than that.
He was not disappointed that he only got a dark match at WrestleMania VII because he never got his hopes up and appreciated things as it happened.
Koko was not shocked when Lawler joined the WWF because despite the animosity, Lawler was talented and Vince recognized talent.
When asked about how he formed the High Energy Team, Koko said that something happened with Jim Neidhart and if left Owen without a partner so Bobby Heenan was the one who suggested Koko as his replacement. Koko said that Owen was a great guy then says the whole Hart Family are great people. He said he had great matches with the Headshrinkers but hated the top rope splashes they took from them as they always knocked the wind out of them, even joking that if you had to “take a crap” when you were laying down for the move, you would shit your pants. He loved working with the Nasty Boys and the Beverly Brothers.
Feinstein backtracks and asks Koko about the “Wrestling Album.” He said that they shot the video during a cold morning in San Francisco. He was happy to be the lead singer of the album then briefly mentions how he is the lead vocalist in his church choir today.
Koko now talks about how he got fired. They were overseas at a bar when Shawn Micheals and Jim Troy, one of Vince’s executives, got in each others faces and started to spit at each other as they were both tanked. Koko said he went over to break it up then Troy started to egg Koko on about being a “phony tough guy” and how Vince pays him a lot of money to take care of “fake tough guys” as he pushed both Koko and Shawn out of the way. Koko then asked Troy why he tried to fight him and got slapped. Koko said he immediately snapped and beat on Troy like “Ali beat on Frazier.” He then said that Troy got up and ran out the door afterwards and when Koko looked at his own hand, it was sliced open from a beer bottle as he puts that same hand in front of the camera to show the scar from that incident as he said a doctor came to the hotel to sew it up. After that, Koko told Marty Jannetty about what happened. Marty was pissed so he ran down to the front desk, demanding the clerk give him Troy’s room number. Mrty then decided to hop over the desk because he was taking too long and decked the poor clerk, demanding the keys. Jannetty and Koko went into the room as Jannetty kicked down the door and destroyed the room as Troy was not there. They headed back down to the lobby when they saw Troy getting out of a taxi as Koko told Troy it was not over yet and hit him again. Koko said that the lobby of the hotel connected to a diner and Koko left Troy hanging over a table. The next day, Pat Patterson came over to him ask what happened. Koko said that he saw Troy’s wife, who couldnt believe what happened then said he was Troy’s face and that he had two black eyes that he described as being “blacker than he is” before telling Patterson about the incident. Terry Garvin then told Koko before a show in Paris that Vince wanted him to go home. Vince then called up Koko pissed off about how he beat up his executive then after hearing the story, Vince got pissed that one of his executives tried to beat up a wrestler and how he cant have this in his company. Vince put over the severity of the beating he gave to Troy and said he had to get rid of both but he got rehired shortly thereafter. Koko then says that Vince holds that against him today but that he holds nothing against Vince or the WWF and would give anything for a chance to wave his hand to the crowd at Madison Square Garden today.
He said that WCW offered him a deal to be “under their roof” but that there was no money involved so he declined the offer.
When asked, Koko said that he had no problem going back to a smaller territory in Memphis after the WWF because he was not “too good to come down” from a bigger place on the National scene. He said that Brian Christopher has a whole lot to learn and was not ready for the WWF when he started as he started “doing things” when he got into the spotlight and said he paid his dues for a while before making it to the WWF and knew how to maintain himself when he got there. He said that Reggie B. Fine was a funny guy but does not know how to wrestle and is a gimmick man.
He still watches the WWE today and likes when guys he worked with make special appearances. He says that he does not sit around crying about not getting invited to the shows or the Hall of Fame as the whole business is a work. Koko said why get upset when you are told to lay down for someone and does not take it as serious as others do because it is all entertainment.
His favorite matches were against Jerry Lawler in Memphis because he learned a lot in the ring with him.
When asked, Koko said he was surprised when the Jarrett’s never reached out to him about working for NWA-TNA. Koko said he doesnt expect a long run with the company but thought he could help them out for a short run as he does own the Koko B. Ware gimmick. He says they are great guys, regardless.
Koko said he is older now and would not work full-time for Vince today as a result if he was asked.
On the high-flyers in wrestling today, Koko said that he has seen moves that he thought humans were unable to do and takes their hats off to those guys but separates those guys from the wrestlers who use psychology and how they will not draw main event money working that style as you need to sell and tell a story.
Today, Koko says that he has his own painting business as he wrestles occasionally. He also said that he had to wake up in the real world eventually and learned this trade. The camera then zooms in on his face as he says wrestling took himself, a country boy, around the world four times and has no regrets as he got to see the world.
In closing, Koko thanks the fans as he gets really emotional as he thanks everyone and how he does not hold grudges any longer because of his belief in god and says he will go around and apologized to anyone that he has mistreated before thanking the interviewers for allowing him to tell his story. He then thanks Vince McMahon for his opportunity to make his name in this business as he is now recognized around the world as he starts to tear up a bit as he looks up and thanks everyone.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a good interview. Koko came across as a good guy and seemed very thankful for the opportunities he got in life due to wrestling. Koko was not bitter at all regarding his time in the business or his position on the card in the WWF. He did skirt over any mentions of drugs and was vague on his own usage (One of Roma’s claim in his shoot was that Koko was fucked up on drugs during their fight) but regardless, the interview was solid.
His story on how he got fired was pretty crazy and definitely worth a listen. Koko also seems to be at peace with himself as he mentioned himself being involved with the church. At the end when he broke down, it seemed like he did so due to a combination of being upset about his past behaviors and just being thankful to get to share his love for professional wrestling. At the end of the interview, I became a fan of Koko as a person.
Overall, I recommend this interview as it had a mix of crazy stories and genuine heartfelt moments from a wrestler thankful for all the chances he received in that business. I thought Koko came across as being sincere as well.
You can purchase the video by clicking on the link below
Long time reader of your stuff – All the way back to 411 days etc……
Always browse your blog, I've started this reviewing lark myself, and enjoy doing it but have 14 views….14.
Know this isn't normally "the done thing" but I'm a 33 year old Scotsman who wants the world to hear what I have to say about wrestling. Plus im not good at it and need feedback on how to improve!
A gentle blog post with the link would be lovely 🙂 http://youtu.be/JjQ9_p7ab60
If you like this, i'd happily do these for your blog for every WWE PPV (and NXT big event)……