RF Video Shoot Interview with Al Snow, Volume 1

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:

http://www.rfvideo.com/shootwithalsnow.aspx

http://store.rfvideonow.com/downloads/al-snow-shoot-interview/

RF Video Face Off Volume 11: Big Lips and Shaking Hips with Missy Hyatt and the Honky Tonk Man

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:

http://www.rfvideo.com/faceoffvol11-biglipsandshakinghips.aspx

http://www.highspots.com/p/VD_face_off_11_honky_missy.html

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

RF Video Shoot Interview with Raven Volume 1, Disc Two

Disc Two runs at fifty-seven minutes long

You can read the Disc One recap by clicking on the link below.

http://www.rspwfaq.net/2014/11/rf-video-shoot-interview-with-raven.html

Raven is asked where the Beulah McGillicutty came from. He said that he was hanging out in Miami for the Super Bowl and was hanging out with Ron Gant, then of the Atlanta Braves MLB team. He got introduced to Raven and she saw Beulah (real name Teresa Hayes) who told Raven that she wanted to get into wrestling again as she used to be Pillman’s sister in Calgary. She even volunteered to send some of her Penthouse Magazine photos to him and Heyman hired her to play his valet. At first, Raven hated the idea of having a valet as it did not fit the character. Raven then said that Heyman told him that it would fit the character then the McGillicutty name came about and Raven came up with the story of Dreamer blowing her off in Summer Camp as she was fat and had her face covered in acne but Raven slept with her anyway.

He loved the hardcore stuff and said it is more difficult in ways as it takes balls. He talks about garbage can shots not hurting then said that chair shot to the head was part of the show then puts over the Rock for being the best at getting his hand up at the last second when he took chair shot. He talks about the Pitbulls not wanting to take any chair shots or other moves despite the fact they did all sorts of crazy shit to everyone else and says he has problems with those who can dish it out but not take the punishment. He then said that Gary was a good guy but Anthony was a “schmuck.”

When talking about the crucifixion angle with Sandman, Raven said that he came back from rehab and had Sandman built the cross as he was not good with tools. Raven then slams the WWF for stealing the angle and his character with Edge. He then talks about his angle and how they made sure to shield what they were doing during the actual crucifixion so the crowd could not see what was happening and when he hoisted up the Sandman, the crowd went nuts and he talks about how it was done to perfection.

Regarding the story of Kurt Angle and how he was supposedly offended by the crucifixion, Heyman told Raven to apologize despite Angle not being offended at all in reality. Raven believes that Taz was the one who created that whole situation and said that the crowd shit on his apology as they did not want to be condescended too and that Angle loved the fact that Raven gave a half ass apology. He did say that some of the religious guys in the locker room got offended and jokes about he was told why didn’t he use a Jewish star. Raven said that Taz loved to be miserable but that he is much better now.

He mentions how his memory is terrible from drugs and mentions that Dreamer’s memory is awful too but from all the chair shots he took. Raven did say if he does remember something then he knows everything about that situation.

On the “Chair shot heard around the world,” Raven said that he wanted for Dreamer to be the mirror image of him and even use his finisher. He said that Heyman wanted Dreamer to hit Raven 10-15 times but that Raven wanted to get hit just once so the crowd would not be desensitized and that he would sell it like death and talked about how that was in the opening segment of the show for a long time.

Raven talks about the feud against Sandman and his family. He needed a new valet as Beulah turned face and he ended up with Sandman’s wife, Lori Fullington, and made her dress like Courtney Love. Raven said that she looked incredibly hot like that. He talks about how Sandman’s son Tyler knew his cues better than he did too.

On the Barbed Wire match against Sandman, Raven said that Heyman made him do that to win the belt. Raven also said that he was petrified of doing this type of match and Heyman knew that but thinks that Heyman did this because he knew Raven could do this type of match instead of punishing him for being in rehab and as it turns out Raven thought the match was easy to do.

About rehab, Raven said that he was going through an emotional breakdown and that was the bigger problem than alcohol and quit drinking on his own. He worked through some childhood trauma in rehab and said he was fine after that. Heyman told Raven that he would tell the “sheets” he had to take some personal time. Raven said that Anthony Durante told him that he went to rehab so he would not have to drop the belt to which Raven replies he was not scheduled to drop the belt for another year.

He talks about how Dreamer’s wrestling skills are not good and needs the garbage stuff to have an interesting match. Raven said that Sandman was easy to work with as he wanted to get the shit kicked out of him.

Raven said that he thought ECW should have gone to PPV sooner but when it did it ended up being the beginning of the end for the company. Raven said he was gone shortly thereafter as Eric Bischoff offered him a big deal and he went to WCW. He gave notice prior to the show.

At the end of his first ECW run, Raven said that his relationship with Heyman was strained because WCW offered a lot more than what Heyman could.

When he left, Raven felt that he did everything he could have done and that their ideas were no longer revolutionary as the WWF and WCW copied them. He said how Heyman couldn’t afford to keep all of the guys he had as they were going elsewhere. He said that he believes his feuds with Sandman and Dreamer carried the company.

Raven said that despite being on top, the posters all featured Sabu vs. Taz. He said that Heyman told him it was because of Taz, who said that it was because of Heyman.

He talks about how fans turn into wrestling for the stories and uses an example of how Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero segments being the lowest rated while Big Show gets higher ratings because of the stories he is involved with. Raven said you need to have good wrestling too but the stories are the most important.

Raven talks about trying to rekindle the friendship he had with Heyman but that it will take a lot of time as Heyman has moved past that part of his life.

When asked about how he would conduct classes backstage at ECW, Raven talks about how he taught the Dudley Boys how to sell and that they learned very quickly. He also used to show tapes of Mid-South to the guys and forgot about that until Feinstein reminded him. Raven said he likes to teach to feed his ego and that he likes to actually teach people too.

He talks about his program with Shane Douglas and how he was cutting a promo with Kimona, who was unable to even remember a single line. The whole locker room was cracking up as Douglas was pissed. Raven thinks that he is a great worker and recalls a singles match Douglas had against Arn Anderson in WCW and how his selling was tremendous.

On Cactus Jack, Raven thought that his anti-hardcore gimmick was fantastic and that his promos were the best he has ever heard. He talks about how he was wrestling in Revere, MA and Cactus grabbed him in a ten-minute long headlock that pissed off the fans, who actually did the wave to entertain themselves.

He talks about the Freebirds and how he modeled his earlier characters after Michael PS Hayes. He thought that he was cool as he fucked all the chicks and drank tons of booze and snorted a ton of cocaine. He tells a story of how a girl at a bar in Atlanta while he worked for Global turned out to be the wife of Hayes and brought her over to him and told Raven that he made her watch him on TV all of the time.

When asked about any other memories of ECW, he talks about getting superbombed through a table in the double dog-collar match against the Pitbulls and how Anthony did not want him kicking out of the move as it would make him look bad so Anthony ended up bouncing Raven off of the table instead of putting him through. Raven said that the locker room thought he was dead after that. He also thought when Francine put Fluff on Stevie Richards it was hilarious.

He talks about how a heel prick has to show ass once in a while as it is bad for business and the babyface when you do not and says it is ego if you do not.

He closes by saying his ECW run was his favorite as they were creating something new and so much bigger than what it was.

Final Thoughts: One of the best shoot interviews of all-time. Raven, despite talking and talking, always entertains and shows his insight and knowledge when it comes to wrestling. He is an articulate guy. RF Video also shot another shoot right after this that covers his time in WCW and return to the WWF and that is also highly entertaining.

You can purchase this shoot for $20 at RFVideo.com by clicking on the link below

http://www.rfvideo.com/shootwithravenpt1.aspx

RF Video Shoot Interview with Raven Volume 1, Disc One

This was filmed in early 2003

The Interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Gabe Sapolsky

Disc One runs at one hour and fifty-three minutes long

Raven starts the interview by making fun of Gabe and Rob. He is then asked if he was a fan of wrestling as a kid and he said that he loved it and wanted to be an athlete but when he got into high school he became more of a “midcarder” then talks about how he wanted to be rich and famous and watching Ricky Santana & Dave Sierra (The Barrio Brothers) on Florida Championship Wrestling and how he thought that since he was their size that he could do it too. He also claims that Santana lied to him about being a tag team champion.

On how he got into the business, Raven said that he wanted to go to the Malenko’s school but was unable to find it due to poor marketing and saw Larry Sharpe’s Monster Factory in Sports Illustrated and despite not really putting any big stars into the business it had the most publicity.

His first territory was Memphis and jokes about how he never thought he would be back here (Raven was working for NWA-TNA at the time). He said that after several months at the Monster Factory, Sharpe told him that he needed to work in front of crowds and stressed out like crazy trying to send out a tape of his work until Jerry Lawler called him back. Raven said that he had a great time as he hung around with Marty Jannetty a lot. Raven recalls Jannetty dumping off Candi Divine at his doorstep at 6:00am. Raven said that he had a bad match against ome short masked jobbers called the Zebra Warriors and after that became a jobber himself and was let go after an angle in which Missy Hyatt offered to date Raven if he beat Lawler and when he lost, he got slapped by Missy and was done.

After Memphis, he went to Florida as the territory was being restarted. He loved that he got to do commentary with Gordon Solie but said that the locker room was awful and calls Brett Sawyer a “piece of shit” and threatens to kick his ass if he sees him again. He was in Florida for about ten months until he got fired when after not losing at all on TV, Steve Keirn told Raven to put him over and Raven said that he “hemmed and hawed” about it and the next day Mike Graham called him up and fired him as Raven said that he realized how he knew he was fired ten minutes after refusing to job and was glad it happened there instead of somewhere else. Raven liked Graham and said that Graham himself said he had to let him go but that he could call in a few months and they would see about bringing him back.

Raven talks about a tour of Hawaii that featured other wrestlers from different territories then met Moose Morowski from Vancouver who got him a job for Al Tomko’s promotion in Portland. Raven said that Tomko constantly bitched about Verne Gagne pushing his son Greg for being too small then went ahead and pushed his own kid who Raven said made Greg look like Andre the Giant by comparison. He then talks about working as part of a six-man with Tomko’s kids and how they tried to have him dropkick the ref in their match for no reason then was told that a girl was threatening legal action and realied they were trying to fuck him over and got the hell out of the territory.

When he left Vancouver, Raven drove himself down to Portland in an attempt to get a job and met Dave Sierra and from that he got the job. He talks about Roddy Piper and how he wanted to see what he looked like and when Raven talks about how he used to do commentary with Gordon Solie, Piper gave him three weeks to get over as a heel commentator. Raven said that he would have quit if he was unable to get himself over in that time frame then talks about how he never waited for a promotion to push him and instead focused on how to get himself over.

Raven talks about how he dressed like a pimp and brought different women and how that helped get him laid. After that he discusses about how he drove with Len Denton and got to pick his brain.

When asked about GWF, Raven joked about how they skipped over his cocaine-filled days in Portland that were filled with banging “rats” and how all they had in Portland was the Trailblazers and that was it so they were all local celebrities and on Saturday night, their show beat “Saturday Night Live” in the ratings. He talks about how he found his valet, Ginger, at his coke dealer’s house smoking crack and she had huge tits but showed up on time. Raven said he told her to dress like a sloppy whore and how her tit popped out just before they went live and how they never edited anything and has the show went on the air she was shoving her tit back in her dress. He said that Matt Borne’s wife was pissed at him for putting her on the air because of how she looked but when Raven explained how she was there to get heat, she understood. After that he had a storyline with another girl named Veronica, who would go on to marry Rex King. He said that they had a mixed tags and the girl started shooting on each other. He got fired from Portland after two years and said that Len Denton was the booker and kept things at a certain level where as Raven thought they could grow and Denton thought Raven was making a play at the book and got fired around Christmas time.

After Portland, WCW called him up for a heel commentator job that paid $100,000 a year and he would still get to wrestle but realized that Denton fucked him over as back then they were close and Denton offered to talk to Jim Ross for him. After that, Raven learned that he had to do his own business in wrestling.

He did not think that there was a whole lot in GWF. He had to take a second job as a male stripper to pay the bills and thought it was great as he got even more pussy and drugs. He changed his name from Scotty the Body to Scott Anthony as he wanted to try to become an actor and felt he needed a last name.

Raven got to WCW after making a name for himself in the independent scene in Atlanta. He said that DDP got him the job after he went to Dusty Rhodes and told him to hire Raven. He then said that Dusty did not like him after what he did in Florida but DDP convinced him and he worked a dark match and got himself over then after that Dusty promised to make him into the next Ric Flair as he had the look of today. However, Bill Watts came in and decided that Raven was a “stooge” and that was the end of that. Raven hates Watts and said how he used to help his son Erik. He said that he used to ride with Steve Austin and Brian Pillman and how they were hilarious and that Pillman would be reading vocabulary books in the back. Raven talk about how Watts never booked him on house shows either and the only time they booked him was on the night of his 10th year high school reunion, the only day he wanted off. Watts said he never gave a reason for why he let him go and said it might have been because he was Jewish but Raven didn’t care and tells Watts to fuck himself.

He talks about how Atlanta had tons of hot chicks at this time that any guy could get a “10” because there were so many of them, even the girls working day shifts at the “titty bars” were smoking hot.

After WCW he went back to Memphis and thought his career was half-over as he felt he was too small for the WWF. The WWF ended up calling and wanted him to be a manager, which he interpreted as a manager who wrestles but found out it was just for a manager.

 He said that he took the Johnny Polo character as someone who had a lot of leisure time and brought a lot of ridiculous stuff to the ring. Raven talks about Vince getting him behind the camera but not in front of it.

On the Quebecers, Raven said Jacques knew enough to distance himself from him to get the heat on himself. Regarding Adam Bomb, Raven said that Bomb thought he was a legit manager and would ask him to make rental car arrangements and other things.

Vince made him an associate producer of RAW and got a salary and health insurance as a result but wanted to be on camera as a performer. Vince felt there was a disconnect between Raven and the Johnny Polo character.

He came up with an idea on “All American Wrestling” to put on a nostalgia match and that allowed him to sit in the library and watch old matches all day but was not allowed to select matches with guys that Vince was feuding with.

Raven now talks about how he would party with Shane McMahon until 4:00am just about every night. He also said that Shane could hang right with him. He also said that the boys thought he was kissing Vince’s ass by doing this but in reality he was pissing him off for keeping his son out all night. Once he left the WWF the friendship ended though as he talks about how that happens in wrestling all the time. He then jokes about how Shane could drink like a motherfucker and got tons of chicks. He said that he is fearless and a “tough motherfucker.”

On quitting the WWF, Raven said they took him off the air and he was unhappy. The guys in the locker room thought he was crazy for giving up $100,000 a year and benefits but he said he got into wrestling to wrestle.

After the WWF, Art Barr contacted him about being the third member of Los Gringos Locos in the AAA promotion but said that Konnan wanted that job and made sure to bury him so he would not get the job. He said that Konnan and him are friends now though. Raven said that Barr told him his character was based off of his Scotty the Body character but also said that Barr was a notorious liar as well. He did say his character had some similarities to Scotty the Body.

After that he met DDP who told him to go with a grunge look and adopt a tough guy gimmick after watching the movie “Point Break” and Raven dressed like that and listened to alternative music at the time anyway so took that and stuff from his “fucked up” childhood and created the Raven character.

While living in Philly, he saw ECW for the first time and was blown away. He originally talked to Jim Cornette to get into Smoky Mountain but all he did was blow smoke up his ass and never got brought in after all. Raven said that he needed a TV show to display his character depth and said he had to get into ECW and DDP called Paul Heyman. Page then called Raven up and his roommate woke him up after a night of partying and he was still fucked up on Halcyons. DDP told Raven to call Heyman and he did and got brought in after that.

Initially, Heyman thought the Raven character was going to be the Scotty the Body character in grunge clothing but after his first promo, Heyman saw that it clicked and had no idea he was going that way. Raven calls Heyman the greatest mind in wrestling that he had ever met.

He said that Axl Rotten was a very good worker and a lot more talent than people give him credit for and thought that Mikey Whipwreck was a more interesting version of the 1-2-3 Kid because he had depth as he was scared to do anything. He credits Heyman for hiding Public Enemy’s flaws and said that Johnny Grunge was an awful wrestlers but funny on promos and could bleed well.

Raven’s idea was to stay in ECW for four months to get Dreamer over then go to the WWF but liked ECW too much and didnt think the WWF would take him back.

Heyman was the one who came up with the idea for Stevie Richards to be Raven’s flunky. Raven said he made him wear daisy dukes and cut off shirts off hair bands to make him look like a putz. He said that Richards was a great worker. They never hung out at that time but are friends now. Raven said that is drug and alcohol problem was at an all-time high and made Richards his errand boy as he even paid him as much as Heyman did. He tells a story of how he wanted Richards to wear a bald skin cap to look like Baron Von Raschke as it was meant as a “funny homage” to his heroes.

Final Thoughts: Very good stuff. Raven does talk non-stop and strays off topic but he is engaging and entertaining most of the time so it is all good. If they asked more about his partying you could have had some insane stories too.

Disc Two will be up tomorrow.

RF Video Shoot Interview with Nova Volume 2, Disc Two

Disc Two runs at two hours and fifteen minutes long

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

http://www.rspwfaq.net/2014/10/rf-video-shoot-interview-with-nova.html

Nova talks about working with Steve Austin was the highlight of his career. He says when he got stunned by Austin after trying to sell him his Simon System he got a standing ovation when he got backstage and Pat Patterson said that should have been on WrestleMania as a quick segment as Nova threw in how it went better than when Carlito interrupted Austin on “Piper’s Pit” at WrestleMania 21.

He liked working with Paul London & Brian Kendrick then talks about how they are really bizarre. He said that Spanky is more angry while London is crazier. He tells a story about Kendrick beating him with a DDT in a match that looked incredible and they both went backstage and saw Chris Benoit and asked him about the match. Benoit said that he thought the DDT was too much then Kendrick replied back “and what, ten German suplexes aren’t too much?” Benoit briefly thought about what Kendrick said and told him that he was right then told him their match was good. Nova then tells a story about how he would put together the matches that London & Kendrick had against the Gymini and how the agents would come up to him and say how Vince did not want London & Kendrick to get in any offense. Nova said that he never told them and would put together a match that was solid. He then said that they were all low enough on the card that no one cared enough to get upset anyway. Nova then tells a story about London and how one day, he was backstage with a plastic trident and a fishing net and wanted to bring it to the ring as part of a new gimmick. Stephanie came around the corner as London asked her about bringing this to the ring and began to jab Steph with the trident and she said the gimmick was a bit much.

Feinstein asks him about a few other guys. He loves Rey Mysterio and says that his son, along with Benoit’s son David, used to harass him on TV by throwing shit at him and steal the Dean Machine. He also loves Batista and say that a lot of people have heat with him because they are jealous of him. Nova also added that his fight against Booker T was the result of everyone else backstage trying to rile him up. He said that if everyone else in the company was 8 years old and heard his entrance music, they would instantly go nuts. Nova said that Batista treated a lot of the “green guys” very well. He said that Tazz is a “weird dude” and obsessed about not losing in his matches and took him too seriously. He also wished that Tazz helped out his cousin, Chris Chetti. He also said that he was considered to be the announcer for Smackdown when Tazz was going to do the ECW brand shows but that HHH wanted him as the Head of Developmental. He said that Heidenreich was a “fucking lunatic” as he was his handler in OVW.

Nova tells a story about a tour in Japan. He said that night the “Goon Posse” was sitting in the bar calling down people to fuck with them. He said that he did not want to stay around the hotel and went up to Animal to take him and a few other young guys to Ribera Steakhouse because if they left with him they would not get fucked with. He then tells about how Justin Roberts was being harassed as he was unable to throw the T-shirts into the crowd well enough. Nova then said that he saw JBL and Benoit in the hallway as they were on the hunt for Roberts as they got a hold of his hotel room number and Nova said that Benoit was knocking on the door so violently that he prayed for Roberts to not open it up then talks about the ridiculousness of the bullying and partying that happened. He also mentions how someone once stole Roberts’ passport while they were in England so he was unable to get home.

He then talks about Mohammed Hassan and how he got harassed far more than everyone else. He said he liked Hassan as a person but that he was a lousy wrestler and wanted to be a star but not work hard and do what it takes. Nova tells a story of how an agent told Hassan not to sell for Sgt. Slaughter as directed from Vince and that Hassan went up to Slaughter and flat out told him he was not going to bump for him instead of coming up with a different way to say the same thing. Word got around about that then in a battle royal at a show in Hawaii, the other wrestlers legitimately beat the shit out of him. He also talks about how in Japan they ran up a $4,000 tab on Hassan’s card and mentioned how there were top company executives who were part of that and how they did nothing to stop them. Nova finishes by adding how at one point, Hassan was scheduled to beat Batista for the Title on the 4th of July.

Nova then talks about how being around all of the bullying and treating the young guys like shit got him depressed then tells the guys up their today don’t know how lucky they have it as its not the way it was back then.

He is asked about Chris Benoit. Nova says that in the ring, Benoit was one of the best but outside of it he was one of the most vile people to come out of the wrestling industry. He says that he does not remember how other killers were viewed before they committed murder but they are remembered as killers and how can he talk about how he was a great wrestler then finish by saying how he killed his wife and child. He said that when Benoit drank he became really angry then would not remember the next day. The day he found out what happened he was in Florida moving stuff to the FCW Developmental Territory. He then watched the RAW afterwards at Christian’s house, who was working for TNA, and remembers how Regal came on and said that he was not going to speak about what happened and just talk about how he was a professional in the ring. Christian then told Nova that he thinks they just eulogized a murderer on TV then Nova flew down to OVW to tell the guys they were on lockdown about the situation then the next day flew up to Stamford and saw everything Chris Benoit related gone from the office. He said that when all of the bad press happened he became embarrassed to be a pro wrestler and said he thought they were viewed as a step below a circus clown and a step above a porn star.

Nova stopped is in-ring career in 2006. Vince told him if we wanted to head up the Developmental System because he was smart, had been there before, and had a college degree. Nova then says that a lot of people he thought were his friends in the business turned on him as they thought this job was glorious when he worked 80 hours a week, took a $75,000 pay cut, and caused conflict in his marriage. He said he could not believe the venom that came in his direction. He then tells those who question why he got the job that he worked hard, is smart, and has a degree as to how he got that position.

Initially, Nova was going to get a six-month training before taking it over but that lasted six weeks as one day Laurinaitis called him up and told him that he wanted Nova to take it over now or else they were going to shut it down altogether as Vince saw both shows (OVW and Deep South) and saw the guys running the show (Danny Davis and Jody Hamilton) all over the TV and was pissed. Nova said that Dreamer was in charge and hated it as he spent his time throwing pencils in the ceiling, sticking thumbacks into his head and shitting in different people’s offices.

He says that he detests Bruce Prichard and was told by others that he was basically the McMahon’s “pet dog” and laughed at all of Vince’s jokes. Nova said that he heard he got fired from the WWE after pulling a gun on a writer’s assistant then said that the way he talked to talent was “low class.” He recalls one time he was filming a skit with the Boogeyman and Prichard was the director and kept on making them do numerous takes. Stephanie then came around and asked what was taking so long and asked to see the first take as she apparently said his stuff was always good and when she saw the first take, she thought it was perfect then Prichard said he thought it was too but just wanted some extra stuff.

Nova said that he was promised certain things as Head of Developmental like being able to take Indy bookings but at the end was told he could not do them. He said that Dreamer was making a lot of money taking bookings while holding the same position.

On Michael Hayes, he said that he absolutely frowned upon him. He said that Hayes would tell him his punches and kicks looked weak then was told by others that he would constantly trash him in the writer’s meetings. He then says “fuck you” to Hayes and calls him a “racist” and a “scumbag.” He then said that Hayes did introduce him to Jimmy Garvin and Buddy Roberts as he was a huge Freebird fan then wonders why he would treat him like shit as he was a fan of the business. Nova then questions why is Hayes still there as a lot of the top guys and writers hated Hayes and felt that he was an embarrassment.

He loves Howard Finkel and says that he would be in his office at night in Titan Towers on the weekends with a bunch of food and sitting in his underwear watching the Mets games.

When asked about the problems in OVW and Deep South, Nova said that he had a lot of respect for Jody Hamilton but it was run like an old carny show and they never got to run shows on the road. He said that in OVW, Al Snow would give him shit when he would ask for reports, tape, or photos  of guys. Nova said that he did not believe that Snow accepted the fact that he was his boss. HHH apparently questioned why OVW was being run the way it was and was the reason it changed then he talked about how he was in Laurinaitis’ office when he told him that he would have fired Snow if he had someone else to replace him with. Nova said that these developmental territories were essentially “foster houses” and not territories to make money.

Nova said that in Deep South, he found out that they were booking phantom house shows as they would have shows scheduled and when he called the talent to see how they went he learned that the shows were cancelled weeks ago.

He then talks about booking guest trainers and put in the idea to have developmental wrestlers read books and write papers for homework as he talks about how not everyone who gets into wrestling is a fan. He said that Dr. Death came in as a guest trainer so Nova bought all of the developmental guys in OVW his autobiography out of his own pocket and gave them a quiz and just 6 or 7 out of the 39 down there passed the quiz (Katie Lea, Paul Burchill, Aaron Stevens, Cassidy O’Reilly) and Dr. Death was devastated. Nova said that he called the guys who did awful on the quiz and cut promos on them over the phone. He said at this time, Deep South closed and they were getting ready to move to Florida as everyone was in OVW for the time and it was horrible. He said that Danny Davis would call him up after their promo day and tell him that he wanted to fire everyone as no one would want to go up and speak. Nova talks about how he was given these tasks he would want to do the best he can and would take it seriously. He said that was the beginning of the end for him as Head of Developmental as he became hands off and knew he wanted out of the position as no one gave a shit, including Davis & Snow.

When asked about CM Punk, he said that he worked out with him at the Ted Petty Invitational and liked him. Nova said that he has no idea how he was able to completely defeat the machine and overcome all of the roadblocks. He said that in writer’s meetings, everyone would bury Punk, including top guys, about how he could not work and was the shits. He said that his life was charmed in the wrestling business but very fucked up outside of it and never knew he had it that tough until he saw his documentary.

Nova loves HHH and calls him the man. He said that he played the game better than anyone else then goes into how people who call HHH selfish are ridiculous as he made Randy Orton, Batista, and was the one who tapped out clean in the ring at WrestleMania XX. He thinks that business will be in great hands with him.

He goes back into what happened with the Deep South territory. Nova said that he was in Connecticut and got the call from Laurinaitis that they were shutting it down. The company had enough of the bullshit as Bill DeMott was fired but kept coming in anyway and Jody Hamilton never told the office. He said that they all knew what was going on and he told two of the developmental wrestlers that it was shutting down but does not want to give out their names as they are still on the main roster. So, the plan was for Nova to drive down in a box truck Sunday night and load it all up then talked about there was not a single human being in Deep South who was sad to see it close. He even said that they talked about having him break in the night before to check to see if Hamilton’s guns were in his office and to check if they were loaded as they had some fear that he might try to use them if he was getting shut down. That Tuesday he was with Laurinaitis and Ty Bailey at dinner as Laurinaitis said “fuck them” and decided to shut them down right there.

He tells the story of the day that Deep South got shut down. Laurinaitis told Hamilton that he was shutting them down and Hamilton told him his lawyers were going to talk to him as Laurinaitis said “fuck your lawyers” and that they had better ones. He then told Hamilton to stay in his office as he told the talent why this was getting shut down  and said he was tired of the bullshit as they gave him enough chances and he failed. Hamilton, who owned Deep South, said that you better get all of your shit out of here as Laurinaitis told Nova to get the truck and he went. Laurinaitis told Hamilton that they were going to Florida with Steve Keirn as the head trainer. Nova said that the talent, naming Sonny Siaki and George Murdoch (Brodus Clay) were grinning from ear to ear as they loaded up the truck and go to Florida.

Nova talks about Bill DeMott and said his training was awful as was his schoolyard bullying tactics then said that what Kevin Matthews had said about him was true. Nova heard that DeMott is up to his same bullshit again from what he heard and cannot figure out why they hired him back. He said that DeMott keeps on burying him for getting fired when he never fired it and Laurinaitis did then said he actually felt bad for DeMott as he broke his neck in wrestling and developed a pill problem but follows that up by saying he wanted to be the man and walk around with his chest puffed out.

After DeMott got fired, Nova said he was told to come up with a list of trainers to replace him and had guys like Brad Rheingans, Jerry Lynn, Brad Armstrong, and Tom Prichard. He got Prichard his job back as he put him 10th on the list and when asked why, he said that Prichard was just fired and did not think they would hire him back then they asked why woudl they not hire him back as Nova was like “you just fired him” then called Prichard up, who wasn’t sure about coming back as he said there was a lot of bad blood there and worked it out and had Prichard meet Laurinaitis and they worked it out. Nova also said that he got Billy Kidman a job as a trainer as he was doing nothing at the time.

He briefly goes into DeMott’s training style and said that he would stiff people and bully them all the time and said that Kevin Matthews is not liked by a lot of people but again reiterates what he said about DeMott was true.

Nova talks about being in the office and hearing about Joey Styles knocking out JBL in Iraq. He said that he heard through HHH after Vince called him up about what happened. Nova said that he respects JBL for what he has done outside of wrestling and how hard it is to make money off of the stock market but on the road he would get drunk and just yell at people then takes a break as Dreamer called him up and he puts it on speaker as he talks for a minute or two.

He talks about how he was asked by Dave Lagana to lose to Axl Rotten on Velocity after the One Night Stand show then asked if Rotten was under contract and he said no so Nova said that he was not going to lose to someone who was not under a contract then went to Vince and explained the situation to him and Vince had never even heard of Rotten before and the match got changed where Nova ended up beating a local wrestler.

About the JBL/Blue Meanie incident at “One Night Stand,” he talks about Meanie calling JBL a bully on the internet then at the ONS show, Meanie was calling out a drunk JBL from the ring then he saw JBL’s eyes as he looked like he was going to kill him then Nova took Mysterio and suggested they brawl in the corner as JBL went in and beat the shit out of Meanie until Tracy Smothers broke it up. He thought that Meanie had a chance for a lawsuit against him but it never came to fruition. Later on, they were going to book a bWo reunion then booked JBL vs. Meanie with Batista running in and costing JBL the match but that never happened and Nova thinks that was a WWE decision to get a JBL/Meanie match on tape in case Meanie took them to court they could have that as backup.

He talks about the guys he hired while in developmental like Kofi Kingston, Santino Marella, Wade Barrett, Sheamus, Ted DiBiase Jr., Nattie Neidhart, and Harry Smith. He also helped out the Bella’s, Rosa, Maryse, and Brodus when they got signed. He talks about how Kofi Kingston was his first hire and how he loved hearing the happiness in the talent’s voice as he made their dreams come true but how it was the exact opposite when he was told that he had to fire someone. He said that he tried to save some jobs and saved Paul Burchill’s job for a year. He said his hardest fire was Angel Williams (Angelina Love) after Deep South got shut down she went down to OVW. He said that Angel almost got called up a few times and was going to be the girlfriend of Matt Hardy and at one point they were going to have her be the prom queen in a Senior Class gimmick with Mike Knox and Matt Stryker but it never came to fruition. Nova said he got the call from Laurinaitis to fire her and he didnt so Johnny told him to do it before he did and Nova called Williams, who had just moved into her place the day prior, and had to tell her she was fired and she thought he was ribbing her at first then cried when she knew it was legitimate and Nova said he had to have his wife drive the car afterwards as he was so shaken up over the situation.

When asked about what happened when the signed Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro) then fired him right afterwards, Nova said he had been pushing for him to get signed for years and got him hired and was ecstatic then two weeks later Laurinaitis told Nova he had to fire him and to this day never got a reason and reiterates that he was right about a lot of guys and had an eye for talent and said it was some “carny shit” for why he got fired and questions how can you fire someone and never tell then why.

He never thought that Ken Kennedy was a main event talent and tells a story about him in OVW. Nova got a call about someone from OVW in the hospital after overdosing on GHB and he was intubated and hooked up to a ventilator and he got released then re-hired down the road but Nova was the one who called the kid’s parents to tell them what happened. He then got another call about how there was a few guys on the bus in Mexico who were burying him for doing what he did and it turned out that Kennedy was one of those guys and was calling him a “Stooge” because he called Dreamer to get the number of this kid’s parents so he could call them and have them come down and see him in the hospital because there was a chance he might have died. He found out that the other guys calling him a stooge were Joey Matthews and Brent Albright (Gunner Scott). The next week at TV, he called them out and saw Kennedy who proudly stated that he said it and Nova asked him why as he helped him out and he did not seem to care. He tells a story of how Kennedy was perceived as a star from day one and recalls Vince yelling at him after a match against Scotty 2 Hotty on Velocity for giving Scotty too much offense as Vince said that he was “barely a step above a local.” He said that Kennedy got hurt a lot and was rough with others and he lied about using steroids. Nova heard that Vince himself fired Kennedy on the corporate jet and said he never wanted to see him again.

When asked about guys in OVW who he thought would have made it big in the WWE that didn’t he said that guys like Sean O’Haire and Matt Morgan could have had bigger careers. He said that he thought Johnny Jeter was a “can’t miss” guy. He talks about the WWE fucking over Paul Burchill with the pirate gimmick. He said that Chet Jablonski had a superfan gimmick that he thought would have worked but he never got called up. He talks about Dan Rodimer being brought up way too fast and they burned him out and said that he was being put in main events at house shows teaming with Randy Orton against Cena and that guy could have been a star. He also thought that he might have done something behind the scenes that could have led to him leaving the company. Nova then says that its insane how Rob Conway is not in the WWE as he is clean and looks like a million bucks. He puts over Nick Dinsmore and said that he has battled his demons and was there when he lost his job while an overseas tour.

He puts over Cody Rhodes for being a hard worker and a class act. Nova said that while in developmental, Cody would call him and ask if he had seen him on TV and what he thought of his performance. He talks about Dolph Ziggler and said he is a good guy and a true heel in wrestling. Nova also said that Ziggler has pulled a lot of the diva’s away from the other guys and some of the other wrestlers were pissed at him over that.

On how he found out about Eddie Guerrero dying, he said he was in the hotel when he saw Vince, HHH, and Shawn Michaels walking by at warped speed with solemn looks on their faces and saw Tomko and Chavo Guerrero walking behind and found out he was dead when Tomko told him when he was on the elevator. Nova said that he was told Chavo went to wake him up to go to the gym and found him dead on the floor in his room.

Nova talks about what led to him leaving the WWE. He said that after six months, he was in Laurinaitis’ office and told him that he was thinking about buying a house in Connecticut. When he first got the Head of Developmental role, he told Laurinaitis that he was not going to move from his home in Kentucky as he could get fired at will. Laurinaitis then told Nova that he was getting a lot of flak from JBL, Bruce Prichard and Michael Hayes over putting him in this role. He said this was in December 2006 and went home to his wife and said it was bullshit and was so pissed that he stayed behind to watch the office at WrestleMania. Nova then talks about how at the time, he was obsessed with being in shape and counting out everything he ate then decided that he wanted to try HGH and testosterone. He did not say who but claimed a “top guy” hooked him up with a doctor that got him the stuff and said that he was in the office at the time and talked about how several others there never got tested and could do whatever they wanted to so he figured that he was safe. When the Signature Pharmacy scandal came out, his name as on the list of people. After hearing that, Nova said that he went to Laurinaitis and did not know how his name was on the list and that he had a prescription. Two hours later, Nova was let go from the company. After that he talked about how today there are clauses in the policy that make things okay if you have a prescription.  He said that day he flew back to Kentucky and took his test for his mortgage license and got a job in that a few days later.

He said that he was asked twice to go back as Simon Dean then for a special appearance and he declined both times stating that he has no desire to go back there unless it was for something like a WrestleMania Battle Royal and even then he would not want to stay at the hotel with everyone else and just duck in and out and say hi to his friends.

On working the TNA ECW PPV, Nova said that he did that show so he could go down to Florida to look at some properties with a client and got flown in by TNA. He said that he liked Dixie and thinks people should give her credit for giving guys jobs as if not for her, a lot of wrestling careers would be over.

When asked about the WWE Wellness Policy, Nova said he is all for it as long as it helps save lives. He remembers right after Eddie Guerrero died when Vince went around and sat everyone in a room. He pointed at Ric Flair and said most of you guys will not have a career as long as his and he wanted to give them tools so they can lead a productive life outside of the ring. Nova then talks about how the policy saved MVP by finding his heart murmur then goes off topic when he confirms the story of MVP offering Bill DeMott a chance to fight him in a shoot after DeMott was treating him like shit.

Nova says that people in wrestling who hate him do so because he outworked them in and out of the business. He says that he worked harder outside of the business than anyone and talks about his father passing away a year and a half ago and said that he would never rely on pro wrestling at his income ever again after seeing all of his wrestling friends at the funeral.

He then talks about how he is an overachiever and how he does not brag about all of his friends in the business before telling everyone watching who is under a Developmental Deal to work your ass off as the worst that can happen is you get fired and that everyone gets fired in wrestling anyway. He then brings up how he grew up a fat kid in Jersey and became an opening comedy act in ECW to a WWE executive. Nova closes by saying how he got into wrestling to make money, meet women, and see the world and that he did all three and closes by thanking the fans and that he did this interview for all of them.

Final Thoughts: Again, an excellent interview. Nova tells a ton of stories and sheds a lot of light as to how fucked up the developmental system was and how rough it was in the locker room when he was with the company.

As for Nova himself, he was a lot more arrogant here than in the first disc. He had to constantly throw in how he worked harder than everyone among other things. However, this interview is strong enough that you can overlook that fact and enjoy the whole thing.

Again, I highly recommend this shoot as it is one of the best releases in the past year.

Purchase the interview by clicking on the link below.

http://www.rfvideo.com/novapt2shootinterview.aspx

RF VIdeo Shoot Interview with Nova Volume 2, Disc One

This was filmed in 2014

It was conducted by Rob Feinstein

Disc One runs at two hours and seventeen minutes long

The interview starts with Nova being asked about ECW going out of business. He talks about defending the ECW Tag Team Titles at the final show in Pine Bluff, AK. Nova talks about how he definitely knew it was done as they no longer had PPV and checks were bouncing. He mentions those in denial and thought it would restart in a few months but he was looking to move on at that time with a goal for working for the WWE.

Nova Said that he had no personal relationship with Paul Heyman and dealt with Tommy Dreamer almost all of the time. He said that he was scared of Heyman his first year and a half in the company. He then goes back and talks about how oblivious people were in thinking that ECW would be restarting seeing how they did not even have any shows booked.

He talks about making more money in the Independents the year after ECW closed than he did in any other year prior. He worked for Scott D’Amore at Border City Wrestling and puts him over. He said that he and a few other guys worked shows from these guys in Pennsylvania and he got paid $500-600 as soon as he got off of the plane. He also worked some WWA shows after Jeremy Borash got him the gig. At the time, he was teaming with Frankie Kazarian and asked to face Kronik and knew that he was jobbing and did not want to do it as he had to make a living on the independents and did not want to work a three minute squash. He then said that Brian Adams called him and said that they needed good workers go up against like themselves because they were shit.

Nova talks some more about WWA some more and said that he hung out with Sabu seven days straight and that he was clean and they would go to the gym together each morning and Sabu would even wake him up to go in the morning. Nova then said that he shared a room with AJ Styles and they were the only two on the tour that did not have their own room. After doing three-way matches with AJ and Jerry Lynn, he was supposed to face them on the PPV in Australia but at that time Nova had signed a WWE Developmental Deal with Jim Ross and did not tell anyone at the show as he did not want word getting out but Buff Bagwell asked him if he had signed as Ross put in on his “Ross Report.” Nova then said that he was supposed to work a ten minute opener against AJ but after two minutes they told them to “go home.”

He talks about Kazarian and said that he went to his wedding a few years ago and calls him a true pro in and out of the ring. Nova then says that he doesn’t talk about his friends in the business on social media and that he will never have a Twitter account then uses his Facebook account to basically talk about the Dallas Cowboys. Rick Bassman, the owner of UPW, told Nova and Kazarian after they were hanging out of before the show and said they looked like a team and gave them the name “Evolution.” When asked if HHH stole the Evolution name from them, he says he doesn’t give a shit as their is no comparison to HHH’s version then says that HHH is “gold.”

Nova puts over UPW for saving his career as at that time he was finishing his degree then says that he never saw himself as a “lifer” in wrestling and never wanted a 30 year career. He talks about some of the guys in UPW like Aaron Aguilera (Jesus in the WWE), Nathan Jones, Heidenreich, and the Ballad Brothers.

Now, he is asked about an incident at a UPW Show while teaming with Kazarian against Danny Doring & Roadkill. Nova first talks about Doring and brings up how he never hung out with him in ECW then talks about Doring talking shit about him in shoot interviews and wonders how long does a Doring shoot interview last as his career was not that long then says that he is not knocking him and that it is just reality. He then talks about wrestling against them in ECW and prefaces it by how he doesn’t want to sound egotistical but that he never felt like they were caring about the match the same way that they did. He did say that Doring cared a lot more than Roadkill, who he said only got over due to his cult following then said that Doring is an average worker. He then says that he was the one who brought them into UPW. Doring & Roadkill apparently booked themselves an autograph signing beforehand and came to the building at 8pm then proceeds to tell the story of what happened for the first time ever. He said that the locker room wanted to kill them and were filled with lunatics like Heidenreich, Horshu, and Tom Howard. Nova said that one night when Doring’s mother passed away, he gave up his pay for the show to Doring so he could support his younger brother. He said that they were seeing on who would go over as they were the last ECW Tag Team Champions and did not want to put over Nova & Kazarian and only thinking about themselves so they had the match end in a double DQ with a run-in finish. Nova then said that he blames most of this on Roadkill and feels a little sorry for Doring but then felt that he could have done more to stop his partner from being difficult to work with.

Nova then talks about Doring and how he got to the WWE as a favor for Tommy Dreamer then said that he would be in writer’s meetings and that they would shit all over Doring as Nova sat there wondering why would you say all of those things with him being there. He then talks about being in John Laurinaitis’ office when they fired Doring and how Johnny offered him a job as a referee and Doring declined and got cut. Nova said that Roadkill agreed to go to OVW as he calls him a “piece of shit” then tells him to go fuck himself. Nova then apologizes to Doring for stiffing him and “receipting” him in ECW and wishes him the best of luck but says Roadkill can go fall off of a cliff. He then tells a story of Roadkill in OVW and how he stayed around to help write the shows after being released then even while working for free they had to tell him he was not welcome there anymore. Nova then tells a story about Roadkill and how Bruce Prichard, who Nova sarcastically calls a “true visionary of the business,” saw Roadkill in OVW then was told by Laurinaitis one night that while on the company plane, Prichard pitched an idea to Vince for Roadkill to face Undertaker at WrestleMania as he felt he was going to be a big deal. Nova talks about how he would read the agent reports and said that he never read worst reports than the ones that were written about Roadkill. Nova then says that Roadkill claimed that Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) hurt his neck and hinted that he made up injuries when rumors about cuts were being made with the belief that his job would be safe if he was injured.

He talks about wrestling for the PCW promotion and how he was facing Eddie Guerrero after he got released from the WWE and that Eddie wanted to put over Nova as it was the promotion he worked for but Nova said he refused to go over and they went back and forth until Eddie agreed to go over. He even talks how Eddie fucked with him during the match as he pulled Nova on top of him a few times. Nova closes this by stating how it was the proudest moment in his career for the fact that he could hang in the ring with one of the best wrestlers in the world and that all of his hard training paid off in this match.

When asked how he got signed by the WWE, Nova said that he was out doing motion capture stuff for the “Legends of Wrestling” game when he got a call from Kevin Kelly, who he said is cool, and that they were having a tryout camp. This was in the Summer or Fall of 2001. Just before the camp, Kelly called him up and said that he thinks they are just going to hire him and that he was bypassing the tryout camp altogether. Nova said that Jim Cornette vouched for him and was the reason he got hired. He saw him at Dennis Coralluzzo’s funeral right after ECW closed and told Nova that he was going to put a word in for him with the WWE. Nova talks about getting a call from John Laurinaitis and said that he gave him the standard line of how you will be down in OVW for a few months then called up to the main roster as Nova said he was still there two years later.

About the people in OVW he worked with, Nova said that he likes Danny Davis but feels sad as his company is barely hanging on and felt bad when the OVW/WWE alliance ended. He talks about Cornette again and said that he treated him better than anyone else in wrestling besides his brother (Donnie B.) When Nova was in developmental for a lot longer than he should have been, Cornette let Nova write the TV shows and taught him the behind the scenes stuff. He said that he had a lot of fun doing that down there then puts over the young talent. The head trainers when he first got to OVW was Tom Prichard but he got fired. Nova puts him over for being a straight-shooter.

Nova talks about how the guys were not allowed to watch ECW tapes down there as they felt it was garbage wrestling and also added the fact that Cornette hated Heyman as another reason. He said he became friends with Matt Morgan and knew him a little as he came to the ECW shows and worked as a bouncer in New Jersey. During their first training session, Nova blew them away with what he did in Morgan. He said that he started on the same day as Matt Morgan, Seven (Mordecai, Kevin Thorn), Horshu (Luther Reigns), and Heidenreich. All huge guys. Nova said that he always worked hard and never saw the fact that he was in developmental as a punishment.

He tells a story about working for the HWA promotion run by Les Thatcher. At that time, HWA was another WWE Developmental Territory. He worked a show for them and the house was triple what it usually was as several OVW guys were there too. Matt Stryker (not the on in the WWE) told Nova that no one was getting paid for this show. Nova was with Rene Dupree and said that after ECW closed, he promised himself that he would never get stiffed by another promoter ever again. They called Danny Davis and Cornette, who were bullshit, and a few months later, Thatcher came to OVW and went over to both Dupree and himself and gave then $50. Nova said that Thatcher is an old-time carny but a good guy overall.

When asked how he became a heel, Nova said that he approached Cornette and said that he wanted to be a heel. Cornette said that he did not think it would work as he had been a face his whole career. Nova then said that he started his Jersey stable and brought in Tank Toland (James Dick in the WWE), Danny Inferno, and Joey Matthews (Joey Mercury). They teamed Mercury with Johnny Nitro and said that he met Aaron Stevens (Damien Sandow) and knew that he would be the crown jewel with the stable. Nova puts over Stevens for being a great person and said he had a ton of natural ability and is not only his best friend but his daughter’s godfather. He said that he knew Stevens would make it one day and said after getting cut from developmental he spent a year living at his house and said that no one would book him, not even his so-called friends and said that TNA wouldn’t even put him in a dark match and had to go to Puerto Rico and reinvented himself then came back and got signed to another Developmental Deal where he grew out his beard and created the Damien Sandow character. . Nova says that Stevens deserved every penny he gets and says that not many people know that he has been wrestling since he was 19 years old and his a 15 year veteran.

Feinstein asks Nova about his memories of John Cena in OVW. He calls him a top notch pro and a fan of the business. He wrestled Cena and ended his year-long undefeated streak clean in the ring. Nova then talks about how when he worked in the office, he would see the schedule that they kept for Cena and said that it was more than anyone elses. Nova said that guys would turn stuff down but Cena never did then says that he believes Cena’s career will end early due to injury. Nova then says that when Cena leaves the company will be in trouble as he has been the only true star created by the WWE in the past ten years.

Nova puts over Christian a ton, saying that he has an incredible mind for the business and for the fact that he does not have heat with anyone in wrestling. Nova said that if he owned a wrestling company, he would make Christian the head trainer.

When asked about Lance Cade’s death, Nova said he will not speak ill of the dead but his death did not surprise him at all as his addiction was really bad. Nova said he saw Cade as a kid with a ton of potential and that they gave him a few chances but thinks that he had a seizure on an airplane that led to his release. He then wonders if he would be around today if the Wellness Policy was around.

On Chris Kanyon, Nova looks right into the camera and says how he got a RAW deal in this business. He calls him a great guy and says that people think that they hated each other as they both had the “Innovator” gimmick and would actually call each other up and trade ideas to moves.  He then said that Kanyon almost died due to a botched shoulder surgery and went down voluntarily to OVW and trained on his own dime and when he finally was ready to come back, they put him in a box as part of a Boy George skit as Nova suspects those in the WWE knew that he was gay and did this purposely as part of a giant rib. Nova says watching that pisses him off and who would ever think this was funny and it wasn’t going to draw money or even lead to a match. He then talks about how Kanyon was so passionate and would have given his life for the business and was a great dude and said that others turned on him after he came out and acted bizarre on the Howard Stern show.

He is asked about several guys in OVW. Nova said that he thought Doug Basham was a good worker and puts him over for working crazy long shifts for Ford Motors then training in OVW. He did say that he would bury people behind the scenes and did other political moves that left him shaking his head but Nova attributes some of that to when you make it to the main roster and how you basically go into survival mode. He did say that he was one of the most grossly underused guys and talks about how little sense it made to stick Linda Miles with and Danny Basham. He said before his release, Doug was practicing a magician gimmick. He talks about Chris Nowinski and said that he felt bad after he slipped while hitting him with an enziguiri and ended up kicking him in the head and calls it the “JFK bump” as Nowinski got kicked so hard in the head that he bumped backwards then in the same match accidentally re-broke his nose during a reverse rollup when Nowinski was wearing a mask at the time.

Nova is then asked about Rene Dupree. He said that he was cool with him until the remark he made in his shoot interview about him (In his RF Video shoot, Rene said that Nova was “cool as shit” when he was in OVW but did a 180 once he got an office job ad hinted that the power went to his head). Nova said that very few people had the potential that he did coming into OVW but that his career was ruined because of drugs. He said that everyone in OVW thought Rene was spoiled and lazy but Nova said he never saw that and just saw a guy biding his time until he got called up to the main roster then goes on about Dupree and even Carlito paid more dues than just about anyone in the business as they were born into it and were wrestling matches in the early teens. When Rene first got called up, Nova said he let him travel with him and called Rene a slob and that he was weird and talked about how no one wanted ride with him for that reason. He said that your final day in OVW you had to do a one hour broadway and Nova had to do his with Dupree, who was all fucked up, and Nova said that he led him through the match and calls it one of his proudest accomplishments. Nova then talks about how when Dupree was going back and forth between WWE and OVW, he came down to OVW and was all fucked up in the ring and took a suplex then got up and was dazed as his genitals were hanging out of his tights. Laurinaitis called him into his office and showed him the tape and wanted to fire him on the spot but Nova called Dupree first, who ended up crying to him on the phone saying that he had a problem so they sent him to rehab and that is what pisses him off  about Dupree’s comments as Nova said he saved his job and life for sending him to rehab. Nova even said that he felt bad after Bob Holly kicked his ass, which he deserved.

He talks about how he never had the power in wrestling that others accuse him of having then talks about how those guy might be mad that he outworked them both in and out of the ring. Nova then states that luck is bullshit and that hard work and preparation is how you become successful.

When asked about Bob Holly, Nova said that he never had a problem with Holly while in the WWE then someone sent him an excerpt from Holly’s book in which he said that Nova was a stooge and that no one was sad to see him leave. Nova then cant believe how Holly has a book and buried him. He said that he wrestled Holly about 50 times and loved it how they always hit hard and calls him a pro in the ring and says that he always got a pop when his music hit. When asked about Holly beating Matt Cappotelli, Nova said that he did not get the incident and is almost glad that Cappotelli never made the main roster for the simple fact that he was afraid of how the others would treat him. Nova talks more about the “Tough Enough” incident and how he does not understand how the other trainers let that happen and would love to ask Al Snow how he let Holly beat down this kid. He said how he never really had a relationship with Al even when they worked in the office together then mentions how HHH hates Al and always said that he was a joke and questioned why he was training people.

Nova is then asked about him being told by Steph to cut his hair because he looked too much like HHH. At that time, he said that the WWE was on a hair cutting kick and Laurinaitis brought Nova over to Steph if he would look more unique with a haircut and she said that he might and that was all. He said that the only one who got pissed over the haircut was Cornette because he would have worked that into a hair vs. hair match. Nova puts over Steph for having all the tools to become a great CEO and thinks that she was more like Vince while Shane was more like his mother.

He tells a story about Rhino in OVW. Nova said that he got into the ring to practice and took a chop from him but Rhino’s elbow caught him on the lip and split it open completely as he had to go to the hospital where a plastic surgeon corrected his lip line. When asked what happened with him and the WWE, Nova said that someone in the company must have it out for him because he is built like a brick shithouse and the Gore is over and said he guarantees if he came out on WWE TV today and Gored a member of the Shield it would get a massive pop. He calls him a great human being and says he is a complete 180 of his wrestling character.

Nova tells a story about traveling with Nunzio and how he drove so fast that he got two speeding tickets in the span of an hour as they were driving home from a show in Boston while in ECW.

When asked if Vince was approachable, Nova said that he was intimidated at first and loved the Simon Dean gimmick. He then said that one day while he was riding his segway scooter backstage, he saw Vince walking by with a cup of coffee and decided to knock it out of his hand and kept on going without thinking twice. Nova calls Vince the second most influential man in his life besides his father. He also adds that Vince and Laurinaitis hand picked him to run Developmental.

Nova also says that he is great friends with Mark Henry and how they have an agreement to attend the Super Bowl together if the Cowboys make it to the game. He then tells a story of how they became good friends. Henry was wrestling Chris Benoit at a house show and really messed up his shoulder. Nova said that he helped him get dressed, carried his bags, and drove him to the hospital and they have been great friends since. Nova then said how Henry talks about having backers when he leaves the WWE that want to promote wrestling and that Henry wants him to be his “Johnny Ace.”

On the creation of Simon Dean, Nova said that he was at TV for a dark match when Laurinaitis told him that Vince wanted to meet to find out more about him. They met and Vince told him that his work was good and that he was clean and wanted to know more so he can make him money. Nova told him that he had an idea of creating a fitness character in the mold of Tony Little and Jack LaLanne and in the back of his head knew that Vince was into working out and hoped he would bite on his idea. Vince talked about vignettes and promos then Nova told him that he had an idea to do infomercials instead and Vince loved the idea and replied that it was “fucking fantastic” and suggested that he get a purple jumpsuit and makes fun of all the “fat motherfuckers.” Soon after that, Vince came down to OVW to watch a bunch of matches and see the guys. That day, Nova had prepared to do the character and had the purple jumpsuit and whistle to go with the gym bag he carried to the ring and did the character which at the time was called “Sonny Slade.” He went into the whole thing as Vince loved it as did writers Chris DeJoseph (Big Dick Johnson) and Court Bauer. After that, Laurinaitis told him he was going to get called up to the main roster and in two weeks, he was flown up to Stamford to film the vignettes. When he got there, he thought that they would have scripts and sets for him to film but they asked Nova what he wanted to do and he ended up putting together the Simon System infomercials himself. Originally, he wanted to use Tommy Dreamer’s number at the bottom of the screen but they nixed that idea. He then said that Vince told him that he knew how to do the character and that he had free reign then talks about he was never once handed a script or told what to say.

He tells a story of how he included the segway scooter in his act. He was at the casino and saw someone point out a fat guy on one and how he was too fat to walk then Nova said that he was too lazy to walk and ended up getting one for $50 and tickets to the show from a guy in Toronto. Nova brought the scooter (The Dean Machine) to the show and Stephanie saw it and went to find Vince to get approval and he loved the idea. Nova said that it now sits in a warehouse in Stamford, CT.

Nova talks about how he wanted a stable including a wife that he wanted to be called “Jean Dean.” He originally suggested Jillian Hall for that role to have a matching outfit and almost had a midget wrestler play a mini version of him that he wanted to carry to the ring in a backpack but they nixed the idea only for Hornswoggle to be brought in for Finlay six months later. He also was going to have the Dicks (Tank Toland & Chad Wicks) for his henchmen but the company shit on them for being too short and gave them the awful Dick last names then suggested the Shane Twins in that role and came up with the “Gymini” name for them. He said the Gymini were bad ass motherfuckers who could work but they were already in their 30’s when they got called up and Todd tore his bicep shortly after that then they were released months later.

Feinstein asks him about several guys he worked with in the WWE. He says that he liked working with Rosey and is proud of his weight loss. Nova says that he loves Shane Helms and talks about he was one of the top merchandise sellers in the company at one point. Nova then talks about how he wished he ruffled from feathers when they told him he was beating Helms with a low blow and a rollup in his debut match because after that he was perceived as a guy who could only win that way as Nova said he could have used an illegal move then hit his opponent with his finisher. Nova then tells guys in the WWE today to not be afraid to ruffle some feathers. He talks about teaming with Maven and how Michael Hayes shit all over their first match as a team. Nova liked Shelton Benjamin and said that he one of the most naturally gifted athletes he had ever seen. He also shits all over the idea of giving him a fat mother and asks why it couldnt have been someone who looked like Claire Huxtable. Nova said that the company said he had no mic skills but when he talked to Shelton he always thought he was charismatic. Nova puts over Kane and says the company would be a much better place if everyone acted like he did backstage. He talks about how Chris Jericho was a total pro who never stabbed anyone in the back and beat the game as he had a lot of roadblocks to overcome as the company never thought of him as a top guy. He liked Maven a lot and said he tried to reach out to him when he was struggling with his addiction to pain medication. Nova then tells a story about how they always used to keep action figures of all the wrestlers in the back near the seamstress and about a week before he got fired, Nova saw that Maven’s figure was in the trash so he grabbed it and put it in his bag and a year or so later he saw Maven visiting backstage at a house show and gave him his figure and he was almost in tears when it was handed to him.

When he was on RAW, he traveled with Rob Conway, Sylvan Grenier, and Gene Snitsky. Nova said that he never drank either. On Smackdown, he traveled with Chris Masters, Paul Burchill, and Jillian Hall.

Nova then talks about “Boogeyman Duty.” Marty Wright, who was the Boogeyman, was someone who the WWE felt was incapable of traveling by himself and needed supervision. Nova said that he did it for six months and did not mind because the company paid for the rental car and that they got to the arena early so that the Boogeyman could have his makeup put on. He then said that Vince loved the character and backstage would randomly go up to people to get their attention then yell “I’M COMING TO GET YA!!!!” He said he liked Marty but did not think he was capable of doing the most basic of wrestling moves and if he did, he might have been able to become this generation’s Ultimate Warrior.

He talks about his first loss in the WWE and how at that point he realized that he wasnt going anywhere after that. Nova then said that Bruce Prichard and Michael Hayes were not fans of his gimmick. He then talks about how after that they bury you then reheat you for a bit then talks about how in the real world, you actually get rewarded for being dependable, respectful, and producing results and are treated well but that does not always happen in the world of wrestling. Nova then talks about how in the WWE you are basically under a mind control and try to make you think that this is it and you cannot do anything else and feels like it is some weird culture of how you are unable to do anything once you leave the company. Nova talked about how he was going to school at that time because he never planned on only wrestling for his entire life.

When asked about Bobby Lashley, Nova said he took a lot of pride in the fact that Lashley came up to him and thanked him for not trying to make him look like shit as a lot of the roster was doing that to him at the time. He puts over Lashley for his attitude and tells a story of how he was training in OVW and his daughter was just about to be born and wanted to go home. He was going to wrestle Lashley on TV and went up to Arn Anderson and said that he wanted to make him look as strong as possible so Lashley could get put on the road permanently and Nova said that he made him look good and convinced Laurinaitis to put him on the road so he could leave OVW and go home to his family and he agreed. A week later, Nova said that he put together the PPV angle with Lashley after he broke his hand in a match on “Sunday Night Heat.” Nova said that he practiced the match with Lashley five times because he wanted him to have a good showing.

Final Thoughts: Excellent stuff. Nova sat there and talked about everything from his frustrations about being stuck in OVW for two years and what it was like being on the main roster. He also has stories on just about everyone too and tells you about those on the bottom and on the top. Nova was not afraid to talk about anyone and did not have an agenda. He can com across as arrogant at times and a lot of guys in the business have stated how they disliked him but he has also done a lot of nice things for people and was not into fucking around with people. I also liked that he was smart enough to realize that his wrestling career was not going to last forever and is now a manager at a successful bank in Kentucky.

Disc Two will be up tomorrow and is filled with all sorts of great stories as well.

I highly recommend this shoot as it is one of the best to come out in the past year. You can purchase it at RFVideo.com by clicking on the link below

http://www.rfvideo.com/novapt2shootinterview.aspx

RF Video Shoot Interview with Ted DiBiase Volume 1

This was filmed in 2000 at DiBiase’s home in Jackson, MS

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein

It is a two-disc set. Disc One runs at two hours and five minutes long and Disc Two runs at one hour and two minutes long.

Ted is first asked what it was like growing up in a wrestling family. He said that it is similar to an “Army Brat” as you get used to moving a lot. Even though his dad (Iron Mike DiBiase) was really his stepfather, he never called him that. Ted then lists all the places he has lived as a kid as he basically moved every year while he was in elementary school.

He said that he wanted to become a wrestler when he was a kid but how his dad never wanted him to do to that. Ted now talks about how he has three sons and that he does not want his kids to become wrestlers because you pay a price as you have little time for your family and the divorce rates are sky high and you have no life when you are gone 90% of the time as you are all over the country. Ted then talks about all of his friends that have been ruined by drug and alcohol addiction and says how trouble finds you on the road. He does say that he loves getting into the ring and performing.

Ted talks about how for every wrestler that makes it huge, there are 100 others who are just as talented but never get a break. He talks about someone, he forgets their name, but he trained in Japan as a sumo wrestler and had a ton of charisma but the WWF had Yokozuna at the time and when he was on the downside the company was not going to bring in the same type of person and from that goes into how timing is everything.

When asked if he grew bitter towards the business after his father died of a heart attack in the middle of his match. DiBiase said he did not and goes into how his dad had heart disease and they did not know a lot about that in 1969 and that might have been prevented today.

In College, DiBiase played football at West Texas State with John Ayers, Tully Blanchard, and Tito Santana. When asked, he said that it was great. Originally, he was going to play football at Arizona University then saw on TV that the Amarillo territory was coming into town and saw Dory who told him to come back next time to see Terry. Ted was closer to Terry than the others. He spoke to Terry and when that happened he realized that he wanted to become a wrestler and wound up at West Texas State so he could be around the Funk’s. He said that Tully was the quarterback and Tito was the Tight End.

He said that the Funk’s, especially Terry, mentored him throughout his career. DiBiase talks up Funk and how brilliant he is and claims that when he left college, Terry told him step-by-step how wrestling would reach a National level.

DiBiase goes into on what it takes to become a wrestler. He said you cannot learn to work at a school, only how to learn the mechanics, and stresses you learn on the job and goes back when he was breaking into the business when the veterans told him that he needed to have an “ear” for the business so you know how to react. He said that when he wrestled, it was never choreographed and you only knew the finish as the heel lead the match. DiBiase said that is missing from the business today.

On Harley Race, DiBiase said that he was the one who ran into the ring and performed CPR on his dad the night of his death. He then said that one night, Harley told him that he had “it” then DiBiase talks about how at one point in the early 1980’s, he was scheduled to become the NWA World Heavyweight Champion as Harley, The Funks, and Bob Geigel all wanted him to be the champ/ He was then told that the belt would be moved around himself, Dusty Rhodes, and Ric Flair and that was going to become the main story for the promotion but Dusty did some politicking and got that switched.

DiBiase then said that he went down to Georgia and worked for Ole Anderson right at the tail end of their hot run. He was told do to go down there and get on TV for more exposure to prepare for the World Title run. He said that Robert Fuller was the booker, someone DiBiase said was not great, and even though he did not know enough at the time on how to book a promotion himself, he knew when it was not good. He was also not part of Fuller’s crew but Jim Barnett ordered Fuller to push DiBiase. Fuller ended up aligning DiBiase with himself and that did not get over and at that time the Crockett Territory was really heating up so the talk of him being a champion ended. DiBiase said that he has no regrets then jokes about how he has probably made more World Champions than anyone else. He did like working in Atlanta as the travel was much easier than Mid-South or Amarillo and he got to sleep at home every night.

He talks about how he was brought into the WWWF as the North American Champion in 1979. DiBiase said that Vince Sr. liked his work but that was a big man territory and he was still young and that his belt was actually the belt that was used for the Intercontinental Championship as Pat Patterson beat him then after that, the WWWF used the story of Patterson winning a tournament in Rio De Janeiro.

On wrestling Hulk Hogan at Madison Square Garden in Hogan’s MSG debut, he said that Vince Sr. told him that he knew that he would put over Hogan right (DiBiase was leaving to go to Mid-South) and to do whatever you think is right. DiBiase said he spoke to Hogan and told him what he wanted to do and they went out and had a great match. DiBiase then said that he would love to have that match for his personal library then said that Hogan thanked him very much and that he owed him for his work. DiBiase said that he saw the money in Hogan even back then.

DiBiase said that Bill Watts came up with the loaded glove gimmick. He said that they needed a heel in the territory and at the time, Ernie Ladd was the booker and DiBiase knocked on his door and said that he would be a heel by turning on JYD. DiBiase said he came up with that as he always teased JYD for working 5 minute matches and doing a lot of taunts and dancing yet he made all of the money as he was working his ass of in 30 minute matches. They built up a program and they were facing off in the finals for the North American Championship and would cut babyface promos leading up to the match. The finish was when JYD kicked DiBiase out of the ring and the ref was counting out DiBiase, JYD stopped the ref as he did not want to win like that and rolled DiBiase back in the ring then DiBiase loaded up his glove and won the match that way.

He puts over Bill Watts for having a great mind for the business but that he was a bully and a “slave driver” as the travel was brutal. He even looks into the camera and tells Watts if he was watching that he was a bully.

DiBiase said that Watts did not have the connections that Vince McMahon did in New York and when he realized that it was too late and could not compete with Vince on a National level.

Feinstein asks DiBiase about several workers. He said that Watts paired him up with Steve Williams and that he caught on quick. He also credits Williams for shedding weight as he was really heavy when he started. He tells a story of how he was supposed to blade during a segment with Dick Murdoch. He said that one of the tricks of the trade was before you were going to blade, you took an aspirin and a shot of brandy. DiBiase swiped his forehead and he cut really deep and when his heat would beat, blood shot out. DiBiase said they bandaged up his head and he came back out and tore some of it out as blood would still shoot out and freak out the girls in the front row. He said that he loves Jim Duggan and tells a story of the first time he got into the ring with him. They were at a spot show in Alabama and when they tied up Duggan was so stiff that he tagged out to his partner and let him wrestle Duggan. DiBiase also said that Duggan was “afraid of the blade” and hated when he had to get color. He talks about JYD and said that he would tell you that he was not a great worker but he was a great talker and had a ton of charisma.

On working in Japan, DiBiase said that he loved it over there. He went there when he was 22 years old and even though he was there with all veterans who he had nothing in common with, he learned to love the food and culture. DiBiase said that seniority is important over there and they do not automatically love someone as it takes time. He teamed with Stan Hansen and knew that he was the one who would be doing the selling as Hansen made the hot tag.

DiBiase now talks about how he signed with the WWF. He said Mid South was on fire when Bill Dundee was brought in too book things but that he hot-shotted everything and when that stopped working, it plummeted. He went back to Japan and told Bruce Prichard to put in a word for him in the WWF as he had an interview with them. While in Japan, Watts sold his territory to Crockett. DiBiase said that he had a meeting with Crockett but before that, Prichard called him and said before he signed anything to talk with Vince McMahon first as he wants to bring him into the WWF. DiBiase met with Crockett who asked him what it would take to sign him. DiBiase said that he wanted what Luger was making as he was a better worker and put in more time and that if he is not worth every penny to them as Luger was, then they did not need him. Crockett then agreed to give DiBiase the same deal as Luger and DiBiase even got them to agree to let him work in Japan too. A week went by and still no call from Vince as DiBiase was still mulling over whether or not to sign with Crockett, who had no idea that the WWF was interested. Vince then calls up DiBiase and tells him about an idea he has but wants to discuss it in person. DiBiase flies to see him and Vince tells DiBiase that this idea has never been done before and that he knows he can pull it off but refused to give him the idea until he officially signed because he did not want to give away the idea for free. Vince had to take a call then Pat Patterson came in and told DiBiase that this idea his what Vince would create for himself and ensured him that DiBiase will fully back him and push him with everything he has. DiBiase went home and called Terry Funk, who told him to pack his bags and go with Vince. DiBiase flew up again, this time with his wife, and Vince put him up in a luxury hotel and had a chauffeur drive him around to all of the expensive restaurants and the theatre as he wanted DiBiase to actually be the Million Dollar Man. When asked if the other guys resented him for this, DiBiase said that they might have but he never saw it and in general most guys never got mad at someone for taking a great opportunity.

DiBiase talks about the gimmick and how not only was it a huge break but you got that break in style. He then says that Vince gave him the biggest break and treated him better than any other wrestling promoter and will never forget that. However, that will not stop him from feeling the way he does for the direction Vince is taking the wrestling business and how it is not even wrestling anymore. He talks about wrestling has always been good vs. evil in its simplest form but today they glorify the antihero. From that he talks about how he is an ordained minister and then says he does not want to expose the current raunchy storylines to his children. DiBiase says that when he is asked today, he says that he came from an era when it was wrestling. He then goes into it further about society being entertained by “disgusting” people like Howard Stern and Jerry Springer and talking about school shootings and how it all intertwines with the wrestling product today and tells Vince that he owes some responsibility to have moral conduct and that integrity and character is missing from wrestling and has been replaced by the dollar. This is a very long segment as he most definitely gets preachy here but it is not all that bad to be honest.

In the locker room, DiBiase said that Hogan was always very good to him. He recalls the first time he worked with Hogan when he was the Million Dollar Man, Hogan told him he was going to pay him back for putting him over at MSG several years earlier. He said that Hogan chose to work with him and at the time he was drawing a ton of money on the card then DiBiase talks about Hogan going out of his way to help a lot of other wrestlers. He puts over Hogan for being able to take advantage of his opportunity and could make the most of what he had and utilized that with his opponent and for that he was a great worker.

He is talks about how he misses wrestling when he sees a really good match and guys with a lot of potential. He loves watching Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Eddie Guerrero but admits that he doesnt watch too much at the moment. He does state that when he does watch them he feels that they are working too hard and are wasting moves as there is no realism. He said that drove him nuts in Japan when there would be 30 suplexes in a match and top rope powerbombs yet the match is won with a small package.

DiBiase is asked about how he got paired with Virgil. He thinks it was one of the Wild Samoans who referred Virgil to Vince as they wanted a guy with a good physique to be his bodyguard. DiBiase tells a funny story of how Bobby Heenan was the one who came up with the Virgil name as a rib of Dusty Rhodes then when they were in WCW, Heenan was the one who came up with the decision to call him Vincent.

Feinstein asks DiBiase about the Honky Tonk Man refusing to drop the Intercontinental Title, which led to the WWF giving Randy Savage the Heavyweight Championship that was going to be given to DiBiase because Savage was going to kill Honky and they wanted to pacify him. DiBiase said that is also what he had heard too and that the Million Dollar Belt was created to pacify DiBiase for losing out on the Heavyweight Title. DiBiase confirmed that he was told that at WrestleMania IV he would become the Champion then he was later told that his character would not care about that belt and just create his own. He calls the belt a status symbol and a tool but that the stories and conflicts are what draw the money and the belts are only good for enhancing them. He then talks about not playing politics and letting his work speak for himself.

He said that a lot of guys resented Zeus when he came into the company but he does not resent anyone who takes advantage of an opportunity. He then laughs when he is asked about the Ultimate Warrior and said that he used the wrestling business as a means to the end. He also said that he never had a problem with him and believes that Warrior trusted him but said that he was a bad worker. He then puts over Hogan for his performance at WrestleMania VI then said that  the Warrior was a monster that the WWF created as he witnessed him acting horribly in public by swearing at kids, making flight attendants cry and being nasty in general. When DiBiase told this to Vince, he was told by Vince himself that Warrior was his monster. He then said that at that point, he believed that Vince thought he could make anyone a star.

When asked about Jake Roberts, DiBiase said that he has known Jake when he was a referee and puts over his talent and said he would make a great booker then says that his best WrestleMania match was with Roberts. He then said he has tried to contact Jake but has not heard from him and is saddened by his demise.

On the Undertaker, DiBiase said that he had a great look and at the time of his debut was still raw but loaded with potential. He then said the style he had to work was not an easy one either.

DISC TWO






DiBiase is asked about his feud with Dustin Rhodes and if he recognized his potential. He said that he saw the potential and thought it was fun and wanted to help him out as Dustin was similar to himself in that he grew up in a wrestling family. He gives Kerry Von Erich credit for being able to maintain his physique with a prosthetic foot then talks about the family and how they got into drugs at an early age then puts them over for all being very kind. DiBiase said that the police in Dallas continuously gave Kerry breaks until they finally told him he was going to have to serve time, he was busted for forging prescriptions, and that Kerry ended up committing suicide as a result because he was unable to face prison.

When asked why he left the WWF in 1993, DiBiase said that he got caught up in drugs and women due to being on the road and was confronted by his wife then goes on about how he felt lonely as he was away from his family and filled the void with those two things then said he had to change and decided to turn back to god, who he said helped him cope with the death of his parents. DiBiase said that he had to leave to take care of this problem but decided to go tour Japan first as there was much less pressure there. He did say that Vince was mad that he was leaving This is another long discussion from DiBiase.

He talks about the injury that ended his career. He had an MRI on his neck and told that he should not go back to work but could probably have surgery and go back but there was always a risk that he could get dropped on his head and become paralyzed. DiBiase said that he had a Lloyd’s of London insurance policy and was 40 years old and wanted to be with his family and made a commitment to stay with them so he decided to retire.

DiBiase then talks about how Bruce Prichard called him up to see if he wanted to do commentary at the Royal Rumble alongside Vince. After that, they asked him about being an agent and DiBiase said he would if they gave him benefits and paid for his rooms and cars he would but they declined. DiBiase said he said that because at the time, he had no desire to be on the road.

He said that he did not being a manager because he was on the road. When asked, he said that he loved Steve Austin and when he saw him wrestle, he saw himself in Austin and praised him for not doing a bunch of crazy moves and just going out there and working a match. DiBiase said that agents would tell Austin to do more in the ring and DiBiase would tell him to do what he is doing as it makes you different and that will get you over. He then said that he was glad he left the WWF when he did because he disliked the Austin character and the WWF product as it “mocked Christianity” and goes on again about how the current WWE product and how it lacks morals.

On how he wound up in WCW, DiBiase said that he heard through the grapevine that they were interested in him as they knew DiBiase was unhappy being on the road all the time as a manager. He said that he kept the Million Dollar Man persona but could not actually be called that and was brought in to be the money behind the nWo and when that stopped he managed for a bit and they had no ideas for him and told Bischoff that he would rather sit at home than hold Hogan’s belt during the matches and Bischoff told him to sit home until they had an idea for him. After a few months they told him to show up in Detroit for a show and paired him with the Steiners. DiBiase said he liked them but it made no sense. He said that he got paid well for three years doing nothing but would have liked to ended his career doing something better.

They ask DiBiase what he thinks of Vince Russo running WCW and he said it is the blind leading the blind and that Russo can only create smut then talks about Russo running the business into the gutter.

When asked where he sees the business in a few years and uses this as a platform to speak about Christianity for several more minutes before saying that he wants to start the wrestling equivalent of the “Power Team,” who are power lifters that go to schools and reach out to kids about the dangers of drugs and would like to replace the feats of strength with wrestling. He then gets to the question and says he wonders where the business can go as they keep pushing the envelope and sooner or later everything is going to bottom out.

He is asked about Eddie Gilbert and calls him a sharp guy then puts over his dad Tommy Gilbert for being a great worker. DiBiase talks about meeting Shawn Michaels for the first time in Mid-South and sad he was the shyest guy but how he went through a bunch of stages and wound up being the totally opposite guy. He remembers telling Shawn that he would get his break and that it just takes time then calls him a tremendous talent and wishes him well.

DiBiase closes by actually acknowledging and joking about how long he can talk for then talks about how you can entertain the fans by using the fast-paced action and removing the smut.

Final Thoughts: Well, DiBiase certainly wanted to make it clear that the loathed the direction of the wrestling business in the year 2000. That was part of his agenda here as he made it a point to talk about that at every opportunity and it practically overtook the entire second disc of the shoot. He really did preach for a majority of that disc. 
When DiBiase was not talking about that, he provided great insight. The first disc was good while the second was not, unfortunately as that was mostly DiBiase preaching. Ironically enough, he went back to work for the WWE as an agent years after this shoot and even did a follow up shoot interview in 2009 I believe. I will give DiBiase credit as what he said about the business being in trouble at this time is basically what happened though. 
As far as a recommendation, I think the first disc is very good actually but the second one was far too much preaching. Depending on your tolerance of DiBiase speaking about his hate of the current (2000) WWE product is how I would proceed in watching this interview. If you do not have the patience to listen to him talk about it, I would not bother with this shoot or maybe just view the first disc.

You can purchase the video at RFVideo.com for $15 by clicking on the link below.

http://www.rfvideo.com/shootwithteddibiase.aspx

RF Video Shoot Interview with Sid Vicious, Volume 1

This was filmed on March 1, 1998

The Interview was conducted by Doug Gentry

It runs at one hour and twenty-two minutes long

Sid is first asked how he got into the business. He said he was living in a town in Arkansas that was about 15 minutes away from Memphis and working out at a gym when he saw Randy Savage and his brother Lanny. At the time, Sid was getting ready for spring camp at Arkansas State and just got married and had a baby. He had aspirations of being an NFL offensive lineman then Savage told him that a guy like him could probably make more in wrestling then he started to speak with other guys like Harley Davidson (Hillbilly Jim) and ended up training under Tojo Yammamoto.

He said that is first match was as the replacement partner for Austin Idol when Terry Funk no-showed. Sid said they called him up at home and he did not even have wrestling gear at the time and was very nervous. Idol told him to look big, as Sid was using the “Lord Humongous” gimmick but Sid said he could not even flex his muscles due to his nerves.

After that, he went to CWA and was managed by Downtown Bruno (Harvey Whippleman) and he stayed there for 8 months then Bruno left as the booker, Eddie Gilbert, brought in Paul Heyman has a manager and Bruno felt that his spot was threatened. After that Sid did an angle in which he was Shane Douglas’ long-lost cousin.

Sid said that Eddie gave him a lot of knowledge about the business then goes into how he was lucky as he started in the business and was always around the bookers and other great minds.

On Jerry Lawler, Sid said that they respect each other as he knows the frustrations of being a booker then talks about how he would like to book wrestling one day.

He went to WCW and teamed with Dan Spivey as part of the Skyscrapers. At first, he did tryout matches as a singles wrestler then the committee put him with Spivey. He said that they had a lot of fun together traveling but the team ended when he punctured his lung and broke his ribs then got replaced by Mean Mark Callous (Undertaker).

After coming back from injury, Sid was repackaged as a singles wrestler then got to work with the Four Horseman. He said that he loved doing interviews most of all.

About his feud with Pillman and rumors in the dirt sheets that he was pissed that Pillman was too small for him, Sid said that was untrue.

Sid talks about how Dusty told him that he was going to become the World Champion after beating Vader then Rick Rude. He was first going to beat Vader then came up with an idea to make Rude stronger after seeing a commercial for something that listed off all the things someone had beaten so Sid thought that Rude should do that as he was a great worker and talker. They brought Sid to the office and offered him a multiyear deal and Sid felt insulted by how low it was then said he heard about Hulk Hogan leaving soon and he had a good opportunity to leave and join the WWF.

He said that he talked to Vince McMahon, who wanted him to fly in and talk. Vince asked him what he wanted and Sid laid it out then went back home and found out that WCW had doubled their offer and they had a guaranteed deal, unlike Vince. Sid said that he did not want to be playing the middle and decided he would take the WCW deal then head to the WWF another day. He then swears on the lives of his child and wife that he was just about to walk out of the door when the phone rang and it was Vince. He asked Sid if he had signed the WCW contract and he said that he was on his way to do that and Vince told him that this was his opportunity and that it might be only one as Sid said Vince more or less gave him an ultimatum. He hung up the phone and went to WCW headquarters and they gave him the contract then Sid gave it right back to him and said that he was finished and heading to the WWF. Sid said that they let him finish up early and he stayed at home before going to the WWF. He said if he stayed with WCW he would have gone over El Gigante in their stretcher match at SuperBrawl.

When he first got to the WWF, Sid said that the first thing that blew him away was the amount of fans that showed up to the arenas as that rarely happened in WCW. Sid also said that was how he knew he was drawing money.

On the locker room, Sid said that the guys were good to him at first. He then said that you also found out quickly who the bullshitters and ass kissers were, two things that Sid said he is not. Sid said that Jake Roberts got him into trouble up there and from that he talks about how anything you say gets magnified by an unbelievable amount.

Sid said that Vince’s promises never went how he said they would and he got sick of it and told Vince that he wanted to part ways with him and went to shake his hand and Vince declined. Sid said he benefited financially from staying but that the lies all added up and that when he was told he was going to be the biggest heel in the business then had the Ultimate Warrior kick out of his finish, he said that was it then talked about at that show (which took place in Boston) they drew a terrible house when the last time he was there against the Undertaker they sold out. Sid said he told the agents he would have the Warrior kick out of his finish but that he was going to quit afterwards and they pleaded with him but he stuck to his word.

When asked about if he failed a drug test before WrestleMania, Sid said he told Vince what he was using and that everyone knows who is using what.

He went back to WCW and said that it was easy and relaxed the second time around with guaranteed money but did miss the big arena sellouts in the WWF.

They ask him about wrestling Sting. Sid calls him a great worker and could sell for a heel like himself.

Sid is asked about the “Psycho Sid” name and he said it was a rib on him due to the scissors incident with Arn Anderson. He gets asked about what happened then tells his side of the story. Sid said they were at the bar drinking when someone asked what was wrong with the business and why weren’t they drawing and Sid said it was because you have older guys like Ric Flair who will not step aside for younger guys. Arn apparently threatened to throw his beer in Sid’s face after that. Sid later went upstairs where Arn was in the hallway and broke a beer bottle, threatening to cut him. Sid said his room was a few doors past him and wanted to go to his room because they delivered his food there but got to thinking about what Arn had done to him and said that he had a bad temper too and ripped a leg off of a chair that was near him and planned to “whack Arn off of his fucking head a couple of times” but went he went out, there was no one out in the hallway so he pounded on Arn’s door and threatened him to come out and bring his beer bottle. As this was happening, Sid said he turned around and walked away as he realized the whole situation was stupid but the open door and Arn came out holding a pair of scissors. Sid then claims that Arn lied when he said that he used a stick to hit him as he threw it 20 feet away and even the police reports state that it was not used in the fight. Arn came after him and Sid said that he did not remember getting stabbed at the beginning then talked about how Arn backed him up where he had nowhere to run to then eventually dropped him with a punch and when he did, saw the scissors fall out of his stomach then realized that he was stabbed. Arn went back for the scissors then Sid talks about how this happened so fast and it felt like a nightmare and someone said how they were killing Arn and he saw the scissors in his hand and tossed them down the hall and freaked out as he was in all white clothing. Sid then took Arn down to the front desk and asked for them to call an ambulance and as that happened, blood started to gush out of Sid’s stomach and he ran down the hallway freaking out.

In the hospital, the police asked Sid if he wanted to press charges and he declined then they told him that Arn was unharmed so he was thinking about pressing charges but later that night, the nurse told him that Arn was in really bad shape so he decided that he was not going to press charges at all. As he was leaving the hospital, he saw Joey Maggs with Arn’s boots and asked how Arn was doing and Maggs said he was really messed up so Sid told him to tell Arn that he was sorry. Sid then talks about how Arn would be the last person he would want to hurt and he would never want to do that to anybody. Sid said that Arn was always a gentleman to his face. When he asked Maggs what Arn said about him, Maggs said that Arn was too drunk to remember. Sid said if Maggs says any different about that then he is a “fucking liar.”

Sid said that Eric Bischoff told him that a lot of guys came up to him threatening to quit if he came back then Sid and his lawyer talked with the WCW representatives and they released him shortly after that.

After leaving WCW again, Sid said that Vince called him and wanted him to come in and work with Diesel to help him get over as Sid said he what he could with Diesel and doesn’t know if it worked or not then talks about Vince used what happened in WCW to “fuck with him more” but Sid said that he had a family to support and that he had to eat a lot of shit.

When asked about Shawn Michaels, he joked that he was his bodyguard for a week. He then talks about getting the biggest reaction in the building when he turned on him.

Sid is asked about the Kliq and said that he had no problems with them as he broke in with Diesel in WCW and knew Shawn and Razor but that he knew they were jealous when he got big reactions. This prompts Sid to talk about how the wrestling fans are smarter now and you cannot program them like you did years ago. Sid puts over Diesel for being hilarious.

On how he injured his neck, Sid said that months before in a cage match, Diesel hit him from behind and he heard his neck pop and it tingled down and he felt numb in his arm. Later on, he was at the gym with Bob Holly at the gym and was unable to curl his arm and got scared so he went to the doctors and was told he could never wrestle again. Sid got a second opinion and they said the same thing so he called Vince and JJ Dillon to say he was leaving as he could not wrestle due to injury. He decided to take classes in Agriculture and worked on a farm when he was told that Vince was calling him and he told them to tell Vince he was not there. One day he picked up and it was Vince who wanted him to do a few dates and that the flight was leaving in 40 minutes so he rushed out and wrestled Owen Hart and did several other house shows then was the replacement for the Ultimate Warrior at “In Your House 9: International Incident.”

He is asked about his expectations in his comeback. Sid said he did not want to come back full-time. He then said that the fan reaction at that PPV was crazy for him and he thought it was fun to see that as well. Sid then talks about how the house show revenue was four times higher when he came back and knew the houses went up when he was champ because he was on the shows when Shawn was the champion. Sid says that unlike any other sport, wrestling determines the best by how much money you draw.

Sid talks about how he wanted to be built up for six months then become champion as it takes more than a week to get a push and said that if they built up him and Vader appropriately, they could have drawn a ton of money.

On Shawn getting booed out of the building at the 1996 Survivor Series, Sid joked that the agents were crying when that happened. He then said that Shawn was courteous to him in person but knew that he was making calls behind his back but that will always happen and if you cannot handle that then you are in the wrong business.

When Shawn won the title at the 1997 Royal Rumble, Sid said that the plan was originally for him to hold the belt for as long as he was drawing good money. While at the NAPI Convention in  New Orleans, Vince told him that he was going to have Shawn win the belt at the Royal Rumble in his hometown of San Antonio but that Sid would win it back on the Thursday night edition of RAW. However, that edition of RAW was when Shawn Michaels gave his “lost my smile” speech. When asked, Sid said that he does not resent Shawn for that because that was Shawn’s business and does not judge him for that as he has done things like swear at promoters and that he got paid the same anyway.

He is asked about the problems between Bret Hart and Shawn. Sid said he could feel the tension between them while they had three-way matches then talks about how Bret would always tinker with their matches at the last second. Sid then said that Bret was taking care of himself and if that is how he thinks he has to do business then he has no problem. Sid said that Bret was a gentleman to him and that he was really easy to work with.

Sid said that he knew he was getting the belt from Bret and when asked if Bret himself knew that, he said he hoped that he did.

He talked about his car accident. Sid said that it happened in Canada and he flipped his car over and that the left side of his body went numb and they thought it was a stroke but that he went to another doctor and they found that his numbness was caused by a broken vertebrae that was pinching up against his spinal cord.

On his back injury, Sid said that his back was legitimately fucked up as he was taking superplexes from Bret every night. After WrestleMania XIII, Sid said that he went to Vince and wanted to take time off instead of going to the bullshit” tour of Saudi Arabia because he knew that wasn’t going to draw money anyways. He said when they came back from the tour, Bruce Prichard and “fat ass” Jim Ross asked if he was cleared to return to the ring by his doctor, who was treating him with epidurals, because they needed him at RAW. Sid said that he didnt know if his doctor could see him in such short notice. A half-hour later, they called back and said that they called his doctor and booked an appointment for him. Sid showed up and the doctor told him that he was still between 6-8 weeks from being able to return and he called them back with the news then goes off on Prichard and Ross and said that he was going to return to work without clearance from a doctor and that all wrestlers do that but they were trying to fuck him over so he sat out until he was cleared as he wanted some time off. Sid summarizes by saying they wanted him to have a doctors clearance to return in an attempt to fuck with him so he decided to fuck with them back and get some extra time off for himself.

Sid confirms that he collapsed in the locker room the night on RAW when Steve Austin was his mystery partner. He talks about telling Jim Cornette and the rest of Vince’s stooges how he was feeling terrible after Vince himself saw Sid in agony and asked him if he got the message and Vince told Sid that there was no way he would have had him go out there like that if he had known.

He is now asked about his contract status with the WWF. Sid said that they are trying to get the final details of the merchandising he is owed before the release his official but the WWF will not return his lawyers phone calls but Sid added that he could work anywhere he wants to at the moment.

Sid talks about the money being good when he was on top and that he has a strong following in the Northeast.

On Vince, Sid said that he will wrestle longer than his reign and that he uses him as motivation when he works out. He doubts that he could ever work their again and that they would have to change their bogus contracts then accidentally slips that he got a $50,000 bonus in WCW for being the champ. Sid says he got paid well by Vince but that he never delivers on his promises. Sid then talks about Vince resenting him because he is his own entity and not a creation of Titan Sports, which he says sounds weird to say but feels this is the case.

Sid is asked if he would work for WCW or ECW then talks about how he was originally going to be on tomorrow’s show (ECW 1998 Living Dangerously) and that he told Chris Candido to call him but that he chickened out and had difficulty reaching Heyman but Candido told him that he would be the mystery partner of Leif Cassidy, who would win the match. Sid thought it was a dumb idea for him to do that then was told by Heyman that he would work with Shane Douglas and Bam Bam Bigelow and he would have a plane ticket but it never came. Sid said he would like to work with Heyman and calls him a friend.

His biggest regret in wrestling was not giving Dusty the chance to deliver on what he promised him in WCW and maybe he could have stayed and reached the pinnacle.

When asked about Bill Goldberg, Sid said he has only seen him wrestle once but that he has a great look. He then said he is a great wrestler for two minutes but would like to see him years later when he has grown as a worker.

Final Thoughts: I thought this was a really good interview. Sid was certainly willing to talk and did not care about holding back on the WWF and Vince or even the incident with Arn Anderson. Sid was willing to shoot and it made for a good interview.

The details about the scissors incident with Arn Anderson was pretty good and that along with him talking about how he got the belt in the WWF and the lies he accuses Vince of making make this worth watching. At only one hour and twenty-two minutes, it is a breeze.

The one complaint about it was that since this was older, the sound quality is not the greatest. The room is dark where the interview takes place but that stuff does not bother me as I am interested in what they say, not the lighting of the interview.

I recommend this shoot and Sid also did a follow up shoot with RF Video in 2008 that picks up where this one left off.

The shoot is for sale at RF Video for 15. You can purchase it by clicking on the link below

http://www.rfvideo.com/shootwithsidvicious.aspx

Or for just $4.99, you can download the digital copy at Highspots.com. You can also purchase that by clicking on the link below.

http://www.highspots.com/p/VD_sid_vol1_shoot.html

New E-Book: KB’s History of Monday Nitro Volume II

We’re going back
to the 90s again for a look at the second full year of Monday Nitro.
The previous year closed out with WCW on a hot streak but things
would pick up even more in the coming year. WCW would go on a run
that had the WWF and Monday Night Raw not only on the ropes but on
the brink of death.

Over the course of the year, Nitro was must see TV with action,
drama, violence and the NWO running roughshod all over WCW. The
stories were as compelling as ever and made you want to come back the
next week to see what was going to happen. In addition to the top
story, 1997 also saw the rise of the future with stars such as Rey
Mysterio Jr., Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Goldberg
becoming some of the most interesting parts of the show.

In this book, we’ll look at every episode of Monday Nitro from
1997 and see why they were so unstoppable all year. Each show is
broken down segment by segment and match by match with historical
context, ratings and analysis of what worked or didn’t work about
each segment and how the shows added up to being so successful for
WCW.

The books runs over 400 pages on a Kindle and only costs $3.99, or
the equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a Kindle or
e-book reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on
pretty much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon
here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just
search KB History of Monday Nitro and my books will be the first
things that pop up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE
Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro from
1995-96, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views and
Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

Thomas Hall

RF Video Shoot Interview with Sabu, Volume 1

This was filmed on November 30th, 2004

The interview runs at two hours long

It was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry

The beginning is a bit odd as the camera is on with Feinstein and Gentry talking about the brutally cold weather then a knock at the door appears and Sabu enters. They tell Sabu if he wants to do an interview and he declines. They then tell him that the camera is off but ask if he is willing to speak off the record and he agrees. Okay then.

Sabu said he became a wrestling fan at age three. He said that would see his uncle, the Sheik, and that his family would bring him to the shows. Sabu said at that young age he wanted to be a wrestler and when he was twelve years old, he knew he was going to become a wrestler.

As a kid, his favorites were Bobo Brazil and his uncle then he talks about how back then, these guys all seemed great but at the same time, you have nothing to compare then too as the business has evolved.

He then said that the Sheik would stay in character 24/7. He then says that he was like his father and calls him “cool as shit.”

On how he prepared to become a wrestler, Sabu said he bet himself up to prepare him for everything. Sabu then said that he was an amateur wrestler from middle school through high school and after that, the Sheik agreed to train him.

Sabu talks about how for the first several months of his training, he never even saw a wrestling ring but rather chopped wood and did chores around the house. When he first got into the ring, he did not have much expectations but knew if he was good or bad he was still going to do it anyway.

When he trained, Sabu said that he learned mat wrestling for the first two years and never even climbed the ropes at that time. This leads to him talking about how he gets criticized for not mat wrestling today then explains how he is not getting paid to wrestle that way.

On picking up the psychology, Sabu said it wasn’t until about five years that he started to get rid of the doubt that he had when he was in the ring.

His first territory was Big Time Wrestling out of Ontario. He started there around 1985-86 and worked with Ricky Johnson (Rock’s Uncle), Kevin Sullivan, Mark Lewin, and the Canadian Wildman along with his uncle. Sabu also said that the Sheik told the other guys to treat him like everyone else and not give him the easy road.

After his first match, the Sheik told him everything he did wrong as Sabu said that he wanted to be told what he had to work on as that is how you improve.

He wrestled in the Midwest then did a few shows for Joel Goodhart in Philly but was hidden in a battle royal and did not like it there.

Sabu’s first major territory was Memphis. This was around 1991-92. He said that he thought the style was alright and was told that he was “working too hard” and had no clue what they meant at the time but understands now, although he said that he does not believe in that. They were telling him to slow down and save moves for the big shows but Sabu remembered the Sheik telling him to treat every show like it is a big show as to that person in attendance, it is a big show to them as they are not going to buy a ticket to all of the shows anyway.

After Memphis, he worked in a Tag Team Tournament in FMW. It wasn’t until is second tour that he started doing barbed-wire matches. Sabu didn’t mind them once in a while but was pissed when they did them all of the time.

Sabu then tells a story about Louis Spicolli and how he accidentally got him fired. Apparently, no one on the tour could stand him and on the bus rides, he kept having the driver stop so he could take a piss. Sabu then told Spicolli to piss in a bottle instead. During the match, Sabu told the ref that Spicolli was pissing on the bus and afterwards when they pulled over at a rest stop, Spicolli poured the bottle out the window and they thought he was actually pissing so they fired him. Sabu said he felt bad as he liked Spicolli and claimed that he tried to make it up to him.

When asked about the fire match he had in Japan, Sabu said it was the shits and lasted two minutes long as the ring got way too hot.

He talks about turning down a WWF contract in 1993 as he felt that he was not ready and wanted to work for ECW. JJ Dillon called him up and asked him to come in for a tryout. Sabu said he just thought he was coming in for a payday and worked a match against Owen Hart. Afterwards, Vince offered him a deal as Sabu declined to work for ECW as Vince thought he was crazy.

On how he got to ECW, Dennis Coralluzzo told Sabu to call Tod Gordon as he was a sucker and could probably get a $500 payday. Sabu liked Dennis a lot and worked with Chris Benoit in his first match outside of New Japan.

Sabu said that early on, Taz was a “cock-sucking motherfucker.” He said that Taz thought everyone was trying to get over on him at first and had the impression that everyone owed him something too.

After speaking about how the old-timers were telling him he was ruining the business due to his in-ring style, Sabu sparks up a joint then cracks open a Budweiser tallboy as he speaks about how he hated teaming with Taz at the begining of ECW. He also did not care for Public Enemy and said at the time, there was heat between him and Rocco Rock for using the table spot, which he had made famous before them.

Sabu said that his first match against Cactus Jack was alright but everyone was expecting them to kill each other and that wasn’t going to happen. Sabu is told that Cactus said on the WWE Documentary on ECW that there was too much hype going into that match and Sabu said that he was injured at the time and that did not help things either.

He then said that he was the one who brought Chris Benoit to ECW when Benoit asked to get more work in the U.S. and Sabu wanted to wrestle him.  The interviewers then bring up how when Sabu broke his neck, the nurse at the hospital mentioned how they saw a bullet in his face on the x-ray. Sabu then tells a story of how he got shot in the face after high school at a party when some kid with a real gun in one hand and a fake gun in the other appeared to be shooting his friend then actually shot another one of his friends and took off so Sabu chased him down and tackled him then got shot.

About getting his neck broken in his match against Benoit, Sabu said he does not blame him and that it was just an accident. When asked if Heyman paid his bills when he was out, Sabu laughed and said that he rushed himself back and wrestled two weeks afterwards and wore a neck brace on occasion but the injury does not bother him today.

He talks about how he accidentally double-booked himself and chose the New Japan date over the ECW date as the pay was $6,000 in New Japan compared to $1,000 for the ECW show. Sabu said at the time he was pissed that Heyman got in the ring and told the fans how he basically ditched them but now is flattered that they thought he meant that much to them. Sabu then talks about how he talked to Heyman three days later and they talked it out and how before that, he talked to Taz, Benoit, and Malenko who all told him to do the tour of Japan instead of working a spot show.

Sabu said that he wound up in WCW after Kevin Sullivan asked him how much would it cost to bring him in for the first Nitro. Sabu said $500 and figured that was just for WCW to give him a look but it turned out that he got that much for every show, including PPV’s. He said that he worked the second Nitro and did not get to do everything he wanted to in the company. Sabu then talks about working a show for Coralluzzo to see how much money he could get while working for WCW. Bischoff found out and called him to see if he quit and Sabu said that he did not and took the show as he needed the money. Sabu said that he did that to see how much he could get and planned to return to WCW but found out after that through the hotline that he had been fired.

He now talks about some of the guys he worked with in WCW. Sabu said that Alex Wright was scared to wrestle him and that he almost got fired in his match against Mr. JL when the Sheik threw a fireball.

On how he started to use super glue on his wounds, Sabu said that he saw that on a documentary on World War II how soldiers would use that on the field to stop the bleeding until they got sutured.

Sabu calls Too Cold Scorpio the best professional wrestler he has ever wrestled against and that he gelled in the ring with everyone.

About his memory of being on RAW while part of ECW, Sabu said that he barely remembered it and was never that huge on being in the WWF and the only difference between them and anyone else is the pay better. Sabu said that he was well-received in the locker room.

On dealing with his injuries, Sabu said that they never bothered him and that he could get up from anything he did.

Sabu is asked about working with Sandman. He said that he was worried at first going in the ring with him because he was drunk then said after a while, you got used to it and he was actually better to work with drunk than sober. He said that Perry Saturn could shoot on you at times but nothing too major. Sabu said that he liked working with everyone as he coughs up a lung while finishing his joint.

He talks about his match against RVD at Wrestlepalooza and how he vomited twice on camera and off camera as he was really sick. He said he vomited up Mello Yello because it was the only thing in his system and he felt fine after that.

When asked about tagging with RVD, Sabu said he remembers wrestling him a lot more than being his partner then talks about how you barely even remember your partner and know your opponents a lot better.

On bringing in guys from FMW into ECW, Sabu said that he brokered the deal but the guys never came back because Heyman never followed through on his promises and the guys did not get paid.

Sabu is asked how the six-man tag at November to Remember 1998 became such a bad match and if the guys were pissed off in the locker room. He said the match was shit and that Heyman and Taz almost came to blows and he had to pull Taz away.

When asked if he was told do interviews in ECW, Sabu said that he was but that he never wanted to do them and felt a mouthpiece works better for him.

He is asked about several other guys. Sabu said that for some reason he did not Tajiri at first but grew to like him later. On Steve Corino, Sabu said that he never even knew he was there until the end of his run and recalls how Corino approached him once and told Sabu he knew he didnt like, prompting Sabu to say “who the fuck are you.” Sabu then talks about how he just never crossed paths with him and if he doesnt greet you that does not mean he hates you. Sabu is a big fan of Rhyno and Justin Credible.

On how he left ECW, Sabu said that he wanted to make more money and that wasn’t happening in ECW. He tells the story of Heyman telling him he was going do to the job to Super Crazy and gave him a script. Sabu told Heyman that he could not read so Heyman read the script out loud with the whole locker room around him as it made Sabu look like an idiot. After that, Heyman asked if they had a deal and stuck out his hand. Sabu said that he shook it then took his bags and left. Sabu said it did not matter who he was going to put over as he was leaving.

Sabu talks about how FMW and even Heyman killed things by constantly trying to “have the world end every day.” He said that FMW started off by having one barbed-wire match a year then one a tour, to four a tour then talks about how he worked 16 matches on a tour and only one of them was a regular match. He then talks about how the constant barbed-wire matches lessened his enthusiasm and burned out the fans.

He talks about how Kevin Sullivan signed him to WCW after that but Heyman bluffed WCW saying that Sabu had a binding contract. WCW then told Sabu that he could either handle the deal or they could take it out from the second year of his deal. Sabu told WCW that he was going to take care of it but was not able to take him to court. Sabu said that Heyman prevented him from earning money on purpose.

On ECW going out of business, Sabu said that he was surprised as he thought Heyman would figure out a way to keep it going.

Sabu said that he wound up in XPW due to Big Dick Dudley. He said he got paid but the promotion sucked. He talks about dropping the belt to Rob Black as he was originally going to drop it to Messiah but he got fired for fucking the boss’s wife so they had an idea that he would wrestle against two Rob Black’s and his manager would cost him the match.

He is asked about working for the MECW promotion it in Indiana and starts to laugh. Sabu said he did a few shows and it was the lowest point of his career and recalls one night, they wrestled in front of 15 people and just four of them paid as the rest were all the wrestlers wives. He even said guys like Curt Hennig, Barry Windham, and Public Enemy were on the show. He said that the guy who ran the promotion gave him a counterfeit check and when he went to cash it at the bank, they almost arrested him then accused Sabu for making the check on a computer.

Sabu said he wound up in TNA after they called him up. He said he started to get into a groove but got sick and as a result, his feud with Raven never happened. He then talks about how he always felt like an outsider in that company and said there were a lot of cliques backstage. Sabu said Raven is cool and would hire him to run his wrestling company.

When asked about Teddy Hart, Sabu said that he will have a future in the business once he learns to shut his mouth. He said that Carly Colon (Carlito) was great to work with and has a future in the business.

Sabu said that he doesnt watch that much wrestling today but likes to watch Mysterio in the WWE but calls the WWE “too fancy” and how it is too scripted and it feels like the wrestlers are now stuntmen in a soap opera and the writers, who do not know fuck about the business, are controlling your fate.

He puts over Monty Brown for being a good worker at his experience level but said that in Japan they should not let him work in street fights because he is still learning and should be doing matwork only at this point.

When asked, Sabu said that he never paid attention to the politics of the business and said that the Sheik told him you have to compromise today with the promotion but Sabu said he does not always do that.

Sabu did not have a problem with Heyman taking a job with the WWE, saying that he has to make a living too. He then says that he does not have an opinion on everything and that he does not always ask or research everything and only comments on what happens in front of him and that he does not have the brain to remember everything.

He confirms that when he had his first tryout for Vince McMahon that the company wanted to change his name and modify his look and for the Iron Sheik to be his uncle, which Sabu said was “retarded” and joked that his uncle would have probably died earlier from a heart attack if he found out.

Sabu said earlier in his career he did not like the dirtsheets but does not mind them now as everything has been exposed.

On if another promotion can run a successful territory, Sabu said no because Vince killed those territories. He said that Heyman could afford to pay a few of the top guys but could not afford everyone.

He still talks to guys like Scott D’Amore, Terry Funk, and Kid Kash today.

Sabu talks about how he got sick while in Puerto Rico. He got an infection and thinks he will be able to wrestle in January. When he got the infection, he was not talking to anyone and in the hospital for two months and could not even walk.





Final Thoughts: Sabu seems like a cool guy. However, this interview bored me. A lot of the questions were about his time in FMW. He did make his name there but that is just not a promotion that I am familiar with thus not too keen on listening to stories about that.

Also, Sabu is not the best storyteller either. He does appear to have a stuttering problem but you can at least hear what he has to say. They did not ask a whole lot about any crazy stories from his time in ECW and since he says his memory is poor and only paid attention to himself, we really do not get any dirt dished out here.

I really do not recommend this interview unless you are a die-hard Sabu fan. The first 45 minutes I felt were tough to get through and it does get a bit interesting in the middle but that was all. I came away liking Sabu as a person though but that is the most positive thing I can say about the interview.

Purchase it here http://www.rfvideo.com/shootwithsabu.aspx

Or buy the digital download here: http://www.highspots.com/p/VD_shoot_sabu.html

RF Video Shoot Interview with Konnan, Volume 2

This interview was filmed in 2010. It ran at just under two hours long. It was a follow up to his first shoot from 2000.

The interview begins with his initial thoughts of TNA were that the idea of the weekly PPV was not a sound business plan and went there because he couldn’t get a job in WWE.

Initially, he thought that Jeff Jarrett was old-school as a booker and believed that he was trying to impress his dad but also said that he did not have a lot to work with and now, believes that he has evolved. He also puts over his improvement as a wrestler, noting that he use to be obnoxious, a terrible dresser and promo. Konnan believes that Jarrett has finally changed with the times, instead of being stuck in the 80’s and 90’s.
He thought that Jerry Jarrett was bringing in old ideas from the past that were dated. He believes that you can modify ideas from the past to have them work today but you just can’t expect the fans to buy into stuff from the 70’s. He says that the business had passed him by.
When Jerry Jarrett sold TNA, Konnan thought TNA was getting a little better due to participating in less angles that he felt were corny, but at the end of the day, he felt that Dixie Carter was just like Eric Bischoff in a sense that they were excited to be around of wrestlers and given bad advice by people with hidden agendas. Konnan noted that Dixie was nice at the beginning but turned standoffish after finding out what the business is about.
His first gimmick in TNA was that he called out TNA for stealing from Lucha Libre with the X Division. He brought in guys that were fed to Jerry Lynn. Konnan tells us that Jerry Jarrett called Lynn the “dragon slayer” and that he kept telling Konnan to find more “dragons.” Konnan jokingly refers to Jarrett as “King Arthur” while telling this story.
After he wasn’t doing anything for a while and chilling with Ron Killings and BG James, he asked to be put together with them. He then tells the story from WCW when the “Filthy Animals” name became about when Disco Inferno would comment when guys like he and Rey came back late at night from clubbing.
Konnan goes back to WCW when Russo started out. He says that WCW was very clickish and that Bischoff’s guys would flat-out refuse to do things he said. Konnan also said that Russo would tell him that he was concerned about guys who were not getting over. Konnan puts him over for being open minded and wanting to push the envelope but felt he was burned out in TNA due to power struggles with Jarrett.
Konnan said that Juventud Guerrera got him heat when he first arrived after he didn’t take care of Jerry Lynn after hitting him with the Juvy Driver, leaving Lynn out for almost a year with injury. Konnan said that Juvy also got heat on himself in Mexico after he did an interview about how he was the only Mexican wrestler that they cared about in the U.S. because he spoke English. When Juvy returned to Mexico, Abismo Negro saw him in the locker room and kicked his ass.
Konnan is now asked about the incident between Juvy and Jack Evans. He first gives us the backstory of how the heat began when Juvy was selfish in the ring and wouldn’t sell anything and treated Jack and Teddy Hart like jabroni’s. Konnan said that he just got back to AAA at that point and although he wasn’t booking, he was acting like a consultant and told Juvy that Teddy and Jack looked up to him and to help them out. The day before of the incident in question, Sean Waltman put shit in Juvy’s bag during his match. Waltman did this after Juvy did an interview in the United States were he said that Waltman attempted suicide. At the time, Waltman was living in Mexico with his girlfriend, Alicia Webb, and her son, who Sean spent a lot of time with. Anyway, the boy’s biological father was looking for him and apparently got hold of this interview and showed it to a judge and after that, they had to go to court and the boy’s father won custody. After his match, Juvy opened the bag and flipped out, like a “straight up bitch” dumping the shit on the floor and yelling that Konnan did this. Juvy’s girlfriend Lizzy Valentine was flipping out too. Konnan claims that despite being pissed at Juvy, Waltman would shake his hand, unlike Konnan, who states that if he is pissed at you he will brush you away. Juvy then went to confront Konnan, who blew him off, and Juvy thought for sure that it was Konnan. The next day, Konnan was sitting backstage with a lot of English speaking wrestlers and Juvy started to flip out and swear “Indian style,” which meant that he threw together a bunch of words that do not fit together. Konnan said that he had enough and got up but Juvy grabbed a chair. Jack Evans, who was sitting on a stage, jumped off and kicked the chair out of Juvy’s hands and cracked him in the face. Juvy was stunned and tried to fit back but Jack was unloading. Konnan said that when he went to separate them he was pushing Juvy aside and as that happened, Evans grabbed Juvy’s head and kneed him in the face, breaking his nose.
Back to TNA, he is asked about several workers. He liked Super Crazy, who he knew from Promo Azteca. Konnan said that his weight and lack of charisma kept him from being a bigger star.
Konnan is then asked about the Mexicools in the WWE. He said that they might as well have been called the “Bean Burritos” but now says that they have evolved with the Alberto Del Rio character, an aristocrat who looks down on Americans. He then says that a writer who was there at the time told him that they were in a writers meeting with Vince McMahon when the Mexicools gimmick was created. A writer suggested the name, stating that they should be cool Mexicans and Vince thought that since his landscapers were Mexican, that they should come out on ride-on lawnmowers.
He is now asked on a comment that Russo made about how American’s do not want to see Lucha. Konnan said that he is wrong and that Russo does not speak for every fan, stating they liked Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. He then offers a comparison about how he does not like Garth Brooks, but ten million people buy his album so who is he to say that people do not like him.
When asked what led to the downfall of WCW, Konnan said that there were many factors. He also said that Eric Bischoff should take some blame for his failures, seeing as he has no problem taking credit for what worked.  
Konnan is now asked if Russo is overrated or underrated as a booker. He said he didn’t impress him too much but wasn’t around him when he had success in the WWF so it is hard to say.
He is asked about Dusty Rhodes as a booker. Konnan said that growing up in Miami, Rhodes was as big a star as LeBron James is now. But as a booker, Konnan said that he didn’t know the wrestlers names and would do things to get himself over like surrounded himself with women.
Next he talks about Three Live Krew. He said that he thought of the name due to being a fan of the rap group “Two Live Crew” as a kid. When Billy Gunn came into the company, they broke up the trio as BG went with Gunn. He then said that Jarrett didn’t want him and Killings teaming together so Killings asked to team with Jeff Hardy, as the two were close friends. Jarrett wouldn’t put him with Hardy either and Konnan said that he was very vocal about wanting to do the LAX so they let him do that as Killings floundered. Konnan believes that Jarrett has a personal problem with Killings.
Konnan is asked about Monty Brown. He said that he was extremely talented but TNA cut his nuts off as soon as he was getting over big by putting him with Jarrett’s stable. He said that was done by Jarrett, who wanted to show everyone that he is the star of the company. Konnan also said that Brown quit TNA due to dealing with racism.
He is asked about his first appearance for Ring of Honor in 2002. He said he went in and did not know what the product was about. He went against the SAT’s and backstage, one of them tried to put him on his shoulders to practice a move but he was way too big and obvious that they couldn’t pull it off. He then said that one of them forgot the first spot then fucked up the second and the match fell apart from there. The crowd shitted all over Konnan.
He is asked about Shane Douglas. Konnan calls him a cool dude, who was witty and passionate. He also believes that he had some substance abuse issues when he was in TNA (Which Shane himself had confirmed). He also recalls the spot in which Douglas puked in the ring.
Konnan is asked if Jarrett pushed himself too hard at the beginning. Konnan said that he did but in the early days, they had no stars. Konnan tells a story about being in Australia for WWA. He said that Jarrett wrestled Nathan Jones, who Konnan said was a nice guy, and just went out there and beat him. Konnan was perplexed that Jarrett wouldn’t want to do something so he could go back to Australia for a future match, due to the size and look of Jones.
He is asked about his relationship with Raven. Konnan said that Raven has always been condescending, which is something he can deal with, but likes to talk to him even though they have had a tumultuous relationship. Konnan said that Jarrett prevented Raven from becoming a bigger star in TNA when he took control. Konnan said that Raven went to Dixie Carter and buried Jeff Jarrett and Bob Ryder and that Jarrett never forgot that.
Konnan is asked about LAX. He said that he always wanted Homocide as part of the group. He originally wanted Apolo but he no-showed a bunch of dates and that was the end of that. Konnan also wanted Low-Ki but said that Dutch Mantell had heat with him. Konnan said that Low-Ki has heat with a lot of people and that he refuses to kiss anyone’s ass either, which does not help in the wrestling business.
Next, Konnan is asked how Dixe Carter is not able to see problems that are clearly evident, even to the fans watching. Konnan said that Dixie’s head is in the sand when a problem arises and she tells people to deal with their problems instead of trying to help. Konnan also says that she is the daughter of a multi-billionaire and that it is not her money, just like Bischoff in WCW.
Konnan thinks that Jeremy Borash is talented in what he does but that he always makes sure to latch on to the person in power. He said that he rode Russo’s nuts while in WCW.
He likes Samoa Joe and says that TNA dropped the ball with him and says that he should go to the WWE. He thought Team Canada was easy to work with.
When asked if people are underpaid in TNA, Konnan says yes. He said that guys like AJ Styles and Kazarian might me making more than when they first started but only the top guys are getting any money. He said it is frustrating to be told that there is no money for a raise then see them bring in the Dudleys, Christian, and Kurt Angle. He said that was one of the main reasons as to why he quit.
He thinks that it is a double-edged sword when it comes to TNA going after ex-WWE guys. Sometimes, it can make viewers turn in and think it is cool to see someone but other times, it comes off desperate when they go after guys who were lower card in the WWE.
Konnan calls Kevin Nash a master politician. He also says that Nash was bad for the X Division, saying he got into that role when he had a heart condition and they didn’t believe him so he asked to help get the X Division over. Konnan said that he only wanted to get himself over.
He is asked about the death of Antonio Pena, the owner of the AAA promotion. Konnan said he was glad to reconcile with him before his death, saying it was very important to him. He puts over Pena for his passion and intelligence.
Konnan now talks about the birth of LAX. He said that he liked Homicide after seeing him work in Puerto Rico but had to fight to get him into TNA, as they thought he was too short and didn’t care for his physical appearance. He then put Hernandez in the group as they were not doing anything with him. Konnan said that he picked out the colors and even produced the rap song with someone.
When asked about Mick Foley in TNA, Konnan said that he was really funny at first then changed after that. Konnan said that he is a huge Foley fan then says that when people first arrive to TNA after being in the WWE, they are happy at the beginning with less politics and that they are not on the rode as much. Then after a while, they realize that this place isn’t major league and that fans will approach them and ask if they are still wrestling. Konnan then says that the stars usually go back after resting in TNA for a while before saying that Vince should let guys have a few months a year, in order to keep guys fresh.

Konnan said he got along with Cornette in TNA. He said he was loud and funny. When asked about Cornette and Russo in TNA, he said that Jarrett and Dutch Mantell acted as buffers between them.

While doing Spanish commentary, Konnan said that he would bury guys he didn’t like and put over guys that he did like.

Konnan said that never say never when it comes to TNA competing with the WWE but does not ever see that happening. He said that Dixie does not put in the time and effort that Vince does with the WWE. He also said that Dixie has the wrong people around her.

Konnan said that both TNA and WWE need to get over the bullshit that you need to be tall and jacked to wrestle and go after guys in RoH and Dragon Gate. He said that if he was TNA, he would bring in Pac and Ibushi, saying that people want to see athletic matches and knows that it is exciting to watch and different. He said part of why he brought Lucha Libre to the U.S. was to counter the slow and lumbering style that the fans were used to at the time.

When asked if Paul Heyman could turn around TNA, Konnan thinks that TNA should have brought him in and let him do whatever he wanted. Konnan said that ECW was cool and different and thought he could come in and change things because he can think outside of the box. He also mentions how he never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Konnan is asked what made him leave TNA. He said the main factor was that he never got a raise as he was constantly told that there was no money, despite being there for five years. One time, he got pissed and did an interview bad-mouthing TNA and after that, Jarrett told him that he wasn’t going to get a raise if he kept acting like that and after that, Konnan brought up to Jeff how he was always told that there was not any money for a raise. He also claims that at one point LAX was selling the most merchandise.

He is now asked to elaborate on the racism in TNA. He recalls a story of how once at a meeting, Scott D’Amore asked to bring in D’Lo Brown and was told by an executive that “you want to go the nigger route.” He also said that Ron Killings was told not to act like an “uppity nigger” and that when Konnan himself missed a show, an executive reportedly said that they could easily replace him with any “drunk Puerto Rican in the park.” Konnan puts over how he never used racial slurs to describe anyone and that in TNA, executives would joke about minorities on a frequent basis.

Up next is Konnan’s beef with Vampiro. He said that they are cool now and that it started when they were top starts in Mexico. Konnan also puts over how Vampiro is constantly full of shit and that he lives on the same planet of oblivion as Juvy, Brian Christopher, and Teddy Hart when it comes to being delusional about the amount that they have with people and the bullshit that they spew.

Konnan also talks about Vampiro’s story about being kidnapped and how he is full of shit. He does this by going over Vampiro’s claim that some guys broke through his front door then knocked on his bedroom door. After that, he jumped through the window and saw some police that were driving by. He also said that he broke his back then two weeks later he said that he was pushing his girl home from school.

Eddie Guerrero’s death is discussed next. He said he found out when he was at the Double Tree Hotel in Orlando when Dixie told him. She asked him if he wanted to take the night off but he said no, that Eddie would have wanted him to work. Konnan puts over how Eddie was being worked to death and was constantly in pain. He also said that Eddie broke down from the stress and that he was always being told by management how he was not drawing.

He is talked about the angle with Randy Orton spitting on Eddie’s low rider after his death. Konnan siad tat he was bothered by that stuff and knows some of the writers that were there and that the wrestlers and even Stephanie and HHH were all against this but that Vince thought it would get heat and work out.

Konnan is asked about Rey’s push. He said that they do not push him right and that he is a draw to kids. Konnan also says that Rey is also hurt because he cannot cut a good promo. He also said that Rey once told Vince that he was quitting then they brought in Stephanie and the writers and Vince told them to do whatever made Rey happy.

Next is Konnan’s hip replacement surgery. He said that TNA refused to pay for his surgery, saying that he came into the company with the injury. Konnan claims that he had a minor injury that got a lot worse over time when he was wrestling for TNA. He said the insurance he had through TNA had him pay for everything up front then he would get reimbursed at 75%. Konnan then said that he had to sign an agreement with TNA that he would payback the $18,000 it cost for his surgery. He then points out how Ron Killings got hurt and needed surgery after he was sent to work for another promotion by TNA and they made him do the same thing but when Scott Steiner got hurt in Puerto Rico, TNA paid for everything. He says he is not saying this crying racism but just wants to know why they paid for Steiner and not for he and Killings.

He then talks about his kidney surgery. He said that when they went to operate on his hip, he was told that his kidneys were failing and that he needed dialysis and could not wait. He said at first, his body rejected the kidney and that he was doing awful. He was in a hospital in Tijuana and then went to another facility that was private. He also said that he was constantly getting mobbed in Tijuana, putting over how wrestling is bigger there than the U.S.

He said that he went to WWE and spoke with John Laurinatis about he LAX gimmick before he pitched the idea in TNA. He said that John told him that he was too old then Konnan said he was the same age as Booker T. He then said that Bruce Prichard hated him because he was mad that when Konnan called, he was under the impression that Bruce knew who he was. Konnan said that he was asked to send in a tape.

Konnan talks about how WWE wanted to buy AAA. He said that Bruce Prichard went down and told them that Vince offered a 51/49 split and when asked why, Prichard said that Vince doesnt like to answer to others. Konnan said he told the owner of AAA, Dorian Roldan,, that what will happen is that Vince will buy the company and slowly get rid of everyone.

When asked about congress ever regulating pro wrestling, he said that they called him after the Benoit tragedy. He believed that it would have been good and though that Henry Waxman originally headed it up but then it stopped.

He thinks that MMA and Wrestling can learn from each other but that the companies are too stubborn.

He puts over AAA for having a lot of talent right now. He also said when he left with the other luchadores for WCW in 1996, they used a lot of cheaper talent that was not as good. He says that now, the storylines are better and that they have agents. He believes that if they come to the United States, they can do well with the Hispanic population.

Konnan said that he now helps with booking, writing, and producing in AAA. He puts over Fenix and Daga, who he calls almost a mirror image of Bryan Danielson, as the two biggest stars for the future.

When it comes to Teddy Hart, he said he wished he was warned about him before hand. Konnan said that he was grateful for Stu Hart when he was in Calgary and always friendly with Bret. He said when Teddy came to AAA, he gave Konnan some pot and asked where he wanted to smoke. Teddy also told Konnan that he had been celibate for over a year and that they had to get rid of him due to all of the crazy shit that he pulled.

He then talks about how the Swine Flu killed the business for a few months as everyone was afraid of catching the illness.

Konnan is now asked about Juvy’s comments about how he only brought in Mexican talents to WCW to get himself over. He talks about how he brought Rey Mysterio, Psychosis, La Parka, and Juvy to AAA. He then said when Paul Heyman asked him about Rey and Psychosis, Konnan said that they can blow away anything else they had in the locker room. Then in WCW, he came in and requested that Psychosis come in and work with him. He then said that he had to really fight to bring in Rey and Juvy. When Rey first got to WCW, everyone laughed and joked that they were starting a midget division. Konnan said that he only saw two standing ovations from the locker room and both times involved Rey. They were his debut match against Dean Malenko and his Halloween Havoc match against Eddy Guerrero.

When asked what the business is lacking today, Konnan said that they should go behind the scenes more like UFC does, when it comes to how hard they train and also to show a little bit of the inner workings of the business. He then puts over how he is a fan of high flyers and good workers and that would help.

Konnan now discusses the impact of the drug cartels in Mexico. He said that it does hurt business because you cannot go into the certain parts of the country. He said that before the new political party took over, the prior party negotiated with the drug dealers so they would not participate in any mass murders or anything else. When the new party took over, they declared war on the drug cartels and from those cartels, some of the younger people split off and went out on their own and started up with mass murders and other violent tactics.

When asked about Hulk Hogan, he said that he never really hung out with him. He always thought his character was cheezy but that Hogan was always cool with him.

Konnan likes Alberto Del Rio and thinks he has a lot of tools. He thinks that Sin Cara should have went to FCW to learn to work and now he is struggling in the ring.

He is asked about overrated/underrated guys. He says that Low Ki and Austin Aries are underrated.

Konnan puts over how he always loved the junior heavyweights and tell a story about how Kevin Nash told him that when they see a guy like Rey Mysterio, their first thought is that they can kick his ass. Konnan told him that when they see Rey, they see a guy who can do cool moves and no one thinks that they can kick his ass because none of it is real.

He says that the difference between fans from ten years ago to today is that they are harder to please and smarter today. In five years, he sees WWE still running strong and that TNA will still be running, stating that if they lasted this long they can maintain the same pace. He also hopes that he can bring AAA to the United States

Konnan said that if he was in charge today, he would let guys go in the ring. He said that a lot of fans are not getting to see what Bryan Danielson is capable of because the WWE is giving the fans the watered down version.

In regards to bringing AAA to the United States, Konnan said that he would also bring in “hot bitches,” midgets, as well as the best workers not in TNA or WWE. He would also show the behind the scenes stuff he was talking about

Final Thoughts: Good interview. Konnan always says what is on his mind and does offer a lot of insight into the business. He also let us know about all of the backstage stuff that happened in the earlier days of TNA, which if it is true, makes it seem even worse than we thought. He looked really bad in this interview, as his skin was discolored and his kidneys were still in rough shape, but at least looks a little bit better today. I recommend this interview, which was a follow up to his first shoot.

This week, I will not put up a poll as next week, due to the amount of requests that I have received, I will be putting up the recap for the 1989 Timeline with Brutus Beefcake

New E-Book: KB’s Monday Nitro Volume I

Yes I’ve done it again, this time with the first in a series Monday Nitro reviews. Volume I covers everything from the first episode through the end of 1996, which includes a lot of awesome moments and matches. These shows feature a long series of Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit matches, a bunch of world title matches and changes, the New Japan invasion, the debut of Chris Jericho, the Alliance to End Hulkamania, the reformation of the Four Horsemen, and of course the rise of the NWO in their dominance of WCW. 

This was one of the most important times in wrestling history as the way wrestling was presented on television was changed forever. The days of an hour of squash matches a week were gone and the flagship show was now on Monday nights. The Monday Night Wars were underway and this show rocked Monday Night Raw to its core. These shows still hold up today and are well worth checking out. 

The book is available from Amazon for just $4 and can be found in America here.

In the UK here.

And in Canada here.

If you live in another country and have an Amazon specific to said country, just search KB’s Nitro and it should be the only result that pops up. 

If you don’t have a Kindle, there are completely free apps you can download to any device imaginable which can be found from Amazon here

Please check it out and I hope you enjoy it. 

Thomas Hall

RF VIdeo Face-Off Volume 16: Figure-Four and Hardcore (Ric Flair & Terry Funk)

This
interview was filmed in June 2013. The runtime is just under two hours long.

 

The
interviewer starts by asking both men how they met. Funk says that he remembers
like it was yesterday. In 1972, Flair, along with Dick Murdoch and Dusty
Rhodes, pulled up to his place in a pickup truck. Flair said that he was
thrilled to meet Funk, as he read about him. Funk said that he knew Flair would
be great. They are asked if they had any good stories about Murdoch. Funk says
that Murdoch’s dad was tough on him and would take him to the matches and make
him get him food but would not let Dick get anything for himself. He also said
that Murdoch was adopted and quit high school at age 17 to become a referee.
Funk said that Murdoch was such a good athlete that he showed up to West Texas
State and told the coach he was a linebacker, a position he never even played
in high school, and went on to eventually play for the team.

 

 

Flair is
asked of his early memories of Verne Gagne. He said that he was legit as could
be and puts over how he played in the NFL. They are then both asked about Eddie
Graham and Funk tells us that Graham never had any formal education and had
gaps in his logic as a result but had a fantastic wrestling mind. Both men
agree that he came up with the best finishes in wrestling. They tell a story of
how they were both on a plane with Dory that was flown by Graham and he
accidentally flew over the airport in Florida
as he was drunk and singing along to a country song. They are then asked what
Graham would have done if he was around in the 90’s and both men state that he
was too old-school to keep up with the times. Funk thinks that he committed
suicide because he knew that he was going to lose everything.

 

 

When asked
about what its like to be the NWA Champion, both state that it was the pinnacle
of the business. Funk notes how you had to wrestle an hour, sometimes and hour
and a half a night and there was pressure to draw more than the guy who held
the belt before you. Funk puts over the NWA committee for doing a great job
picking champions. They are then asked if your life changes after winning the
belt and they both mumble for a few minutes before Funk says that it meant you
were the number one worker in the world.

 

 

They are
then asked if they wanted to go up to New
York in the 1970’s. Flair said no but Funk did want
to go, as he was broke. At the time, he bought the Double Cross Ranch and had
$40,000 in the bank and thought he could retire off of that but it was just
about gone within six months. When asked about Vince McMahon Sr, they both
loved him too and Flair notes how Vince Sr. was actually on the NWA Board of
Directors, despite being a competitor. This then leads to a discussion about
characters with Flair stating how the characters are gone now. He said that he
was recently at RAW and he had too much energy for them. They both then mention
how the WWF never changed their names with Funk joking how he gained a brother
when he went over.

 

 

Flair is
then asked about Johnny Valentine. Flair said he liked him personally but hated
his style of wrestling, noting that he would always sit on his opponent and
nearly kill the entire territory with his matches. He also said that Valentine
never ran the ropes at all.  When asked
about the best when he broke in, Flair said Funk, Race, Murdoch, and Ray Stevens
were his favorites. He adds that Stevens was far ahead of his time. Funk said
that he liked working with Flair then adds how his wife would know when they
wrestled as he would come home with welts on his chest. Flair also says that
Wahoo McDaniel was a big influence on his career then jokes how he is two wives
behind him. Funk also talks about Wahoo and calls him a gun nut, recalling a
story of how Wahoo shot several holes into the car of a fan that was tailgating
him on his way to the arena.

 

 

Both men
then put each other over as being the one of the greatest workers. Funk said
Ric had it all, stamina, perseverance, and that he was a great talker. Flair
says that together they invented hardcore and bring up how Funk almost broke
his neck after he piledrived him through a table that didn’t break. Funk says
that “Hardcore” means you give 100% every night to the people every single
night you wrestled, no matter how big or small the crowd size. He also says
that he was never concerned about a payoff and that the performance is what
counted.

 

 

The next
topic is Dusty Rhodes. Flair says that he loved Dusty so much that he asked him
to call him “Rambling” Ricky Rhodes. He said that he had a blast in Minnesota with him and
Murdoch, as those two lived in a nice apartment with a mule that lived in the
guest bedroom. Both men do not believe that Dusty is a selfish booker. Flair
said he argued with him, like the time he wanted Flair to work the Bunkhouse
Stampede at the end of the show when he was the World Champion. When asked what
made Dusty good, Flair said he had a lot of charisma and could wrestle a
broadway while Funk says that he relied on his promos instead of his in-ring
work. Funk then says how Dusty was a great athlete and played catcher in the
minor leagues. Funk says he helped smarten Dusty to the business while Flair
jokes that he still hasn’t smartened up yet.

 

 

When
comparing the business from the 1980’s up until today, Flair says that the art
of wrestling is totally different but he still loves the product. Flair said in
one year, he worked 288 hour-long broadways then said that Funk did over 300 in
one year.

 

 

The guys
are asked about Roddy Piper. Thy both agree that he was one of the craziest
guys they had ever met. Funk tells a story of how he recently did a shoot the
same day as the company did one with Piper and they told him that Piper’s room
was a complete fucking disaster.

 

 

Up next is
their angle that had Funk put a plastic bag over Flair’s head. Funk said he
almost got arrested for attempted murder in Florida as a result. He then says that the
idea came from Gary Hart and that Jim Barnett lost his mind when it happened.
Funk was asked if he was retired at this point and he joked that his horse was
sick. It gets confusing when Funk is asked if he was ever considered for the
belt and Flair thought he was either passed over or declined while Funk
struggles to comprehend the question. Flair said that his own best tool as a
wrestler was that he could bump. He then goes on to say how they tore the house
down and Funk allowed him to use stiff chops. The interviewer brings up Ronnie
Garvin and Flair said that Garvin beat the piss out of him. Funk says how
band-aids and Neosporin were your saving grace back then.

 

 

Both guys
state how Stan Hansen was the stiffest worker. Flair brings up how he tried to
blade his forehead once but Hansen clotheslined him in the head and the blade
got stuck. Flair then says back then Japan was the stiffest and the guys
today couldn’t last there a week, adding how Jumbo Tsuruta used to drop him on
his head daily.

 

 

The next
subject is Bruiser Brody. Flair said he loved him and that he made a lot of
money. He then says that he was not stiff, just intimidating, then puts him
over for being in good condition. Both also agreed that he wouldn’t have gone
to WCW or WWF if he was alive as he was unable to follow any rules. They then
tell a story of how he dumped a handicapped kid out of his wheelchair during a
TV taping in Atlanta
and he was immediately fired afterwards by Jim Barnett.

 

 

They then
talk about putting guys over and Funk says that both he and Flair always tried
to make their opponent look good at the end of the match, even if it was an
enhancement guy. Flair said he hates the phrase “job guy” and says they are
enhancement talent who busted their ass to make other guys look good.

 

 

They are
asked if there is pressure being the NWA Champion. Flair said that the only
pressure is trying to get to bed. He said that after wrestling daily, usually
for an hour, you needed to have a cocktail. He then says how he saw Sheamus
backstage on RAW laying on the trainers table with ice packs then jokes that
DDP is still in the territory. He then says how DDP would ice himself off and
tape himself up, even when he didn’t bump and it drove him crazy. Funk thought
it was hilarious that a man would ice themselves when they didn’t bump. Ric
then talks about Bret Hart and Bob Orton, saying they were both great on
offense but rarely took bumps. He then says that he once wrestled Bret in a
dark match and that he asked Flair not to chop him hard because the match
wasn’t going to be broadcasted on TV. Flair then brings up the Miz using the
figure-four as his finisher and jokes about how no one has won with that hold
since Jack Brisco was the champion.

 

 

They are
then asked about wrestling today and when they were in their prime. Funk said
that they are drawing more today than they did so who is to say that they are
doing anything wrong. Funk then says that wrestling has involved into a
different product that is controlled by the fans. Flair adds that the guys
today live off the internet. He says that Vince controls everything backstage
and after your segment when you walk through the Gorilla position, he will
either give you a thumbs up if the segment went well or pull you aside if the
segment went bad. Flair then adds that he loves Vince, as he not only makes
money with him but also enjoys the product. He said he will not go to
“Cauliflower Alley” as he does not want to hear people bitch about the current
state of wrestling. Flair also says that the young guys in both TNA and WWE are
very respectful of him and the other wrestlers from his generations.

 

 

When asked
about which talent has what it takes to become the next star, Funk says that
Hennig’s Kid (Curtis Axel) has all the tools. They both put over Dolph Ziggler,
who Flair calls the “epitome of respect.” Funk calls both Ziggler and Axel
“money drawers.” Flair also puts over CM Punk as being respectful. They are
then asked about guys paying their dues today and Funk said that it is harder
for guys today to break into the business as they only pick out a few kids out
of thousands and there are much fewer places to break in compared to when he
first started out. He then jokes that no one has it easy besides the promoter’s
kid. Flair adds that he does not want to do a wrestling school because he will
be taking someone’s money and not being able to get them any work. He then
mentions his daughter, Ashley (Charlotte
in NXT) and thought she could make it to the main roster in a few months as she
was a great athlete. He brings up her NXT debut, which was filmed a few days
before this interview, and how after the match she started to cry in the corner
backstage and asked Ric if her deceased brother Reid saw the match. Ric said
that he broke down after that as well.

 

 

Flair talks
about Japan
and how he couldn’t wrestle over there due to his blood clot. He was supposed
to wrestle with the Great Muta against Tatsumi Fujinami and someone else. He
suggested that Reid work in his place and told them that he was an amateur
wrestler. They thought Reid wasn’t ready but Ric convinced them to let him take
his place. Ric then told his son to take down the other kid and “ride him like
he owed him money.” After that, they told Ric that Reid would need a month in
the dojo before he could go out but he was able to be on the road in five days.
Ric says that Reid was “tougher than shit” and really loved the business. He
also said that Reid was witty and brings up a time when he got into trouble and
told his dad not to worry as Blackjack wasn’t running the territory anymore.

 

 

They are
then asked if the other wrestlers treated them differently when they were the
champion. Flair said that they kissed their asses at times. Funk said that when
they were champs, they refused separate locker rooms and did not bury everyone.
He said that they understood the business and doesn’t understand why others
would look down at the talent who were enhancement talent as they wouldn’t be
where they were if not for those guys.

 

 

Both are
asked about their least favorite territory. Flair said it was Kansas City and Funk agrees with him. Flair
jokingly referred to it as Moscow
then jokes how he would only make about $900 a week there as the shows never
drew anything and how his bar tab would be that much on his first night. He
said that Bob Geigel, the promoter, would have them wrestle at fairs and in
parking lots. He recalls how one time during his match, some kid stole his robe
then ran out in the middle of the street and started to flip off people. He
brings up how Cornette had a saying about these shows that even though you
stole the show, it was only petty theft.

 

 

Now the
guys are asked if they were ever jealous of Hulk Hogan when the WWF expanded in
1984. They both said that they never thought about that. Flair said that Harley
used to call Hogan a “plastic champion” back in the NWA. Flair then adds when
Hogan got to WCW, he did not want to work with Vader or Rick Rude but Flair
would work with him. Flair then states how the worst thing you can give to a
wrestler is creative control. Funk put over Hogan for being a huge draw then
they both argue over a packet of Skoal.

 

 

Speaking of
Harley Race, Flair is asked about what would have happened if he took Vince’s
offer to not show up at the 1983 Starcade show. For those who do not know,
Vince took Harley to dinner the night before the show and tried to persuade him
to not show up for a large amount of cash. Flair said that Harley never would
have left like that.

 

 

They are
asked about the best locker room fight they saw. Only Flair answers and says
that the most ridiculous fight he saw was only for a few seconds but it was the
time Eddie Guerrero tried to take down Kurt Angle. Flair says he didn’t know
the reason but thinks it was just a case of someone trying to create animosity.
According to Kurt Angle in his shoot interview, the fight was a result of Angle
blowing up at Eddie after a few months of matches that Kurt felt he had to
completely carry by himself, unaware of his health problems.

 

 

The
interviewer then asks then about Abdullah the Butcher, specifically about Devon
Nicholson’s claims that Abby gave him Hepatitis C. Funk thinks that it is
ridiculous and if anyone had contracted Hep C from Abby, it would have been him
as he worked with him for years in Japan where they both bled buckets.
They are then asked what they think about the ban on blading and Funk says that
at one point, accidents will start to happen on purpose. Flair adds that the
sponsors the WWE are trying to attract do not want to be associated with that.

 

 

When asked
about the beginning of the end to the territories, Flair said that Jim Crockett
had as much to do with that as anyone due to the fact that he tried to take
them over by himself. He then adds how the Crocketts refuse to talk with each
other to this day.

 

 

Neither man
wants to be a booker or work as an agent. Flair said that it is a thankless
job. Funk then adds how it consumes your life and brings how up he went up to Stamford in the 1990’s
about a position as a booker but after being stuck in traffic and overwhelmed
by the area’s congestion, he said that his horse was sick and he went home.

 

 

Both men
are in favor of the recent attention to concussions with Funk adding how it is
absolutely necessary. They then ramble on for a few minutes as Flair rags on
Funk for only going out for one night with him when they met up for the first
time in four years this past WrestleMania. After that, Flair jokes about the
time Jim Herd wanted him to cut off his hair, wear an earring and call him
Spartacus.

 

 

They ramble
on for a few more minutes and I can barely understand them. The are asked about
what the tag team name would be if they ever became partners and Flair said
“Dumb & Dumber” as each man argues over who is in fact, the dumbest.

 

 

Flair talks
about is blood clot. He said he was at his doctors the same day before his son
passed away. He had no idea it was a blood clot as he felt no pain. He went to
RAW and couldn’t wear socks as his legs were swollen. He then got sent home and
went to hospital and found out that he had a blockage for months and could have
easily died. He says he can no longer wrestle as he is on Coumadin, an
anti-coagulant, but he still wants to work and has been told by HHH that he can
no longer flop around, even if he is not wrestling.

 

 

The
interview ends after a few more minutes of rambling by both men.

 

 

Final Thoughts: I really didn’t care that much for
this to be honest. Flair was fine but Funk dragged things down and added next
to nothing and the last twenty minutes should have just been cut, IMO. The
interviewer, Rob Feinstein, was much worse than usual and just stuck to his
script of questions and could not redirect anything or get the guys to
elaborate. A better interviewer could have gotten more out of Flair, who is
always willing to talk, unlike the soft-spoken Funk. You can tell that this was
filmed very early in the morning as both guys got a coffee delivery a few
minutes into the shoot and appeared half-asleep. It is also telling how both
guys essentially made fun of DDP for taking care of his body as both men are
broken down physically themselves. Both guys seemed nice enough and were
agenda-free but that is about it and if you want to see a good shoot interview
with Flair, Highspots did a three-disc shoot that is about ten hours long a few
years ago. RF Video also did a Flair shoot earlier this year that specifically
focuses on 2009-2013. I wouldn’t really recommend this to be honest, unless you
are die-hard fans of both.

Volume 2 of WCW Nitro Best of DVD

Pretty cool cover. Reminds me of the sweet 1992 Royal Rumble poster.

Scott Hall had two different ladder matches that were for a tazer? Odd.

DISC 1
WWE Best of WCW Nitro Vol 2 DVD
WCW United States Championship Match
Sting vs. Ric Flair
4th September, 1995

Madusa trashed the WWE Women’s Championship
18th December, 1995

Trashing the Gold

Hulk Hogan vs. Arn Anderson
12th February, 1996

Steiner Brothers vs. Road Warriors
11th March, 1996

Cruiserweights

Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. Dean Malenko
6th May, 1996

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Rey Mysterio vs. Juventud Guerrera
16th September, 1996

Rookie of the Year

Eric Bischoff’s Biggest Regret
30th September, 1996

WCW United States Championship Tournament Quarter Finals Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Jeff Jarrett
9th December, 1996

The Lone Wolf

Kevin Nash patches up potholes
21st April, 1997

Hollywood Hogan makes Sting worship him
26th May, 1997

Through the Crowd

Ric Flair vs. Scott Hall
2nd June, 1997

DISC 2
Celebrities

Hollywood Hogan & Dennis Rodman call out Lex Luger & The Giant
16th June, 1997

Rey Mysterio vs. Kevin Nash
30th June, 1997

La Parka vs. Randy Savage
7th July, 1997

Goldberg vs. Hugh Morrus
22nd September, 1997

Homegrown

Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett
6th October, 1997

Street Fight for the WCW World Tag Team Championship
Steiner Brothers vs. Public Enemy
3rd November, 1997

NWO sings “O Canada”
10th November, 1997

Booker T vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
15th December, 1997

Remembering Macho Man

Rey Mysterio, Juventud Guerrera & Hector Garza vs. Psicosis, Silver King & La Parka
22nd December, 1997

WCW United States Championship Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chris Jericho
5th January, 1998

Spring Breakout

Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash & Scott Hall vs. Sting, “Macho Man” Randy Savage & The Giant
9th March, 1998

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Sting vs. Diamond Dallas Page
23rd March, 1998

Raven’s Rules Match for the WCW United States Championship
Raven vs. Goldberg
20th April, 1998

Birth of the Wolfpac
4th May, 1998

DISC 3
NWO Divided

Kevin Nash & Lex Luger vs. Hollywood Hogan & The Giant
1st June, 1998

Chris Jericho meets the real Goldberg
28th September, 1998

Nitro Parties

Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero
21st December, 1998

Ladder Match for the Taser
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Scott Hall
25th January, 1999

WCW United States Championship Match
Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper
8th February, 1999

Jersey Boys

WCW World Tag Team Championship Match
Perry Saturn & Kaynon vs. Diamond Dallas Page & Bam Bam Bigelow
31st May, 1999

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Hollywood Hogan
12th July, 1999

Nitro Girls

WCW World Tag Team Championship Match
Kevin Nash & Scott Hall vs. Goldberg & Bret “Hit Man” Hart
13th December, 1999

House of Pain Match
Sting vs. Vampiro
15th May, 2000

Shane Helms vs. Shannon Moore
26th February, 2001

WCW United States & World Heavyweight Championship Match
Booker T vs. Scott Steiner
26th March, 2001

A Celebration of Nitro

Blu-Ray exclusive content
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Hulk Hogan vs. Lex Luger
11th September, 1995

Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman
18th September, 1995

J.L. vs. NWO Sting
21st October, 1996

Sting & Lex Luger vs. Hollywood Hogan & Randy Savage
16th March, 1998

Steel Cage Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage
15th June, 1998

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg vs. Sting
14th September, 1998

WCW Television Championship Match
Scott Steiner vs. Chris Jericho
1st February, 1999

Ric Flair & Goldberg vs. Hollywood Hogan & Kevin Nash
15th March, 1999

Jeff Jarrett reclaims his WCW World Heavyweight Championship
22nd November, 1999

DDP and Randy Savage’s War of Words

The Complete WWF Video Guide Volume I

Hi Scott,


Please allow me to introduce myself; my names is James Dixon, an independent author from the UK, focusing on my passion: wrestling. As a longtime reader and fan of yours, you have been something of an inspiration to me as I began writing, so thanks for that.

I just wanted to inform you of my latest book; The Complete WWF Video Guide Volume I. The series is a full detailed and in depth guide to every WWF release since the first Coliseum tape in 1985. This particular volume covers the 80s and features around 80 tapes. The book is part of a larger series, and many other volumes are due every 4-6 months thereafter (with Volume 2 coming a little sooner). Each book contains 300+ pages, around 50 exclusive pieces of cartoon style artwork, and a whole host of other awesome and interesting stuff.

Here is a link to the book: http://www.lulu.com/shop/james-dixon-and-arnold-furious-and-lee-maughan/the-complete-wwf-video-guide-volume-i/paperback/product-20461618.html;jsessionid=949057D9771A49C68C3F48806F4516EA

I would really appreciate a plug if possible. The work I feel speaks for itself, but generating interest and increasing awareness in a cliquey community is the hard part.

Many thanks

James

No problem.  Hopefully this does well for you!  

ECW: Extreme Music, Volume 1

As some of you know, in addition to writing about wrestling here, I also periodically review music over at Inside Pulse. Normally, I never like to mingle the two. But recently I was thinking about wrestling-themed music releases. On normal circumstances, music themed from wrestling doesn’t really work as regular music for me. There are old WWF themes that I love, but I would never put them on my iPod or anything. There is one exception to that, though. In 1998 ECW released their hopefully-titled Extreme Music, Volume One. Mostly comprised of cover versions of ECW theme songs, this album has the kind of replay value that most other wrestling-related music never reaches.

.
In his book Fargo Rock City, Chuck Klosterman makes brief mention of the wrestling/heavy metal cross pollination and gives props to Extreme Music for the quality of its covers. Two of the heaviest hitters cover Metallica. Most are familiar with Motorhead’s version of “Enter Sandman”. That’s right, The Sandman beat HHH to the punch in having a Motorhead theme. This version still makes the rounds on YouTube to OG metalheads who weren’t familiar with ECW, it seems. Lemmy’s vocals add a little crunch and grime to the most radio-polished of Metallica’s early work, which serves them well. The prayer in the bridge sounds particularly sinister with Lemmy’s whiskey-tinted growl. However, the riff loses a little luster with Motorhead’s more stripped down guitar attack; a lot of James Hetfield’s signature fatness and depth in his rhythm playing gets aggregated into a grungy mess. Also covering early Metallica are their old buddies in Anthrax, this time tackling “Phantom Lord”. This was actually a B-side to the “Inside Out” import single they had released that year, so ECW just got the leftovers. Still, it’s a smart move for Anthrax to take on a track from Metallica’s early fantasy-lyric-laden thrash days. Definitely something more up Anthrax’s alley, and they go at it with full force and a stripped down production that gives it the immediacy and tone of an old vinyl 7-inch. This one was one that I think got cycled around a few different ECW people but it represented Mike Awesome on the album.

Other metal legends get covered to more mixed results. Muscadine (a side project of psych-folk solo artist Jonathan Wilson) do a lackadaisical cover of AC/DC’s “Big Balls”, the inimitable theme song of Balls Mahoney. Rather than attempt to mimic the late great Bon Scott’s voice, a fool’s errand for anyone including Brian Johnson himself, Wilson adopts the bored ennui of a joyless socialite and delivers all the ballroom puns as deadpan as Steven Wright himself. It’s an interesting choice, and in some ways I might even prefer that version. Rob Van Dam’s theme of “Walk” by Pantera gets a much less capable remake, by the Rhode Island band Kilgore. While they get brownie points for naming their band after a Kurt Vonnegut character, they do no justice to the Pantera original. While I certainly grasp that not just anyone can shred like Dimebag, the solo in Kilgore’s version is completely half-assed and lacking any any fretboard pyrotechnics. Even the uneven phrasing that Phil Anselmo deploys in the original is evened out by Kilgore’s frontman. If their intent was to turn one of the all time classic grind anthems into a radio-friendly unit shifter, Kilgore succeeded. Justin Credible wasn’t one of the most beloved ECW workers by any stretch but quite a few people seemed to be enamored with “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”, by industrial cult-favorites Prong. While Kilgore did “Walk” a disservice by polishing a gritty classic, Australian band Grinspoon actually put their stamp on “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” by not attempting to imitate Tommy Victor’s grunting vocal style. In its place the clanky industrial of Prong’s original turns into a pop-metal gem.

Speaking of Pantera: before the formation of Damageplan, Dimebag Darrell, Vinnie Paul, and Rex Brown splintered off from Anselmo to form the side project Tres Diablos, featuring Dime on vocals. Their sole recorded work was their reworking of “Heard it On The X” by ZZ Top, representing Francine on this CD. Think the southern-fried version of thrash favored by bands like Alabama Thunderpussy and REO Speeddealer and you’ve got an idea of what these Cowboys From Hell got to do when they let their Texas roots show. It fit them well and it’s a shame that they never recorded any more tunes in that vein before moving on to more butt-metal pastures. Another 90s band goes back even further than ZZ Top, as Monster Magnet covers The MC5’s classic “Kick Out The Jams” for Axl Rotten. Monster Magnet’s syrupy stoner-metal style doesn’t quite jibe with the proto-punk of MC5, but it’s a hard song to get wrong (even Presidents of the United States of America did it well, albeit by changing the lyrics and speeding it up to double time).

One last cover on this album is the standout track: as given to Bam Bam Bigelow, Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden fame does a take on The Scorpions’ “The Zoo”. Trent Reznor famously said of Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” “It doesn’t belong to me anymore,” and that’s how I feel about The Scorp’s tale of debauchery and fear at Berlin’s Banhof Zoo. It might have come from a personal place for them, but where it was all cheese metal sheen in the original, Bruce amplifies the bluesy swing in the riff and unleashes the voice, his unparalleled bleacher-reaching howl over the chorus. Klaus Meine has a similarly big voice but when it comes to metal vocals, you DON’T win that arms race with Bruce fucking Dickinson. Without having to compete with the riffage in Maiden, and able to go back to the blues roots that all NWOBHM heavyweights sprung from, Bruce sounds like he’s having unadulterated fun on this track, and it must be heard.

Of course not all the songs on this record are covers. White Zombie’s “El Phantasmo and the Chicken Run Blast-O-Rama (Wine, Women, and Song remix)” was Lance Storm’s theme for years. It originally appeared on their remix album Supersexy Swingin’ Sounds, and if you’re familiar with any of the electronic-influenced remixes of Rob Zombie’s music, you know about where this one stands. It’s still one of the standout tracks from the 90s classic Astrocreep 2000, so it comes off well here. Megadeth chimed in with an instrumental version of their track “Trust” for Jerry Lynn. I actually prefer this instrumental version to the original. While the original has a very different tone, with Dave Mustaine singing about “my body, your body” and just generally trying to sound intimate (and Mustaine trying to be sexy is not a mental image I’m comfortable with AT ALL), the instrumental reveals the guitar track that sounds like a score for an epic battle in a fantasy film.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the bookends to this album, Harry Slash & The Slashtones originals. “This Is Extreme!” is the ECW Theme song any real ECW fan remembers well, and it serves as an intro here much as it did on Hardcore TV. It’s a great atmospheric track but without the images of Tommy Dreamer waffling Raven with a chair and the like it doesn’t have the same effect. Sabu’s “Huka Blues” theme closes out the album. The Arabian vibe, the haunting saxophone, and the monster-plod riff all play together really well, making one of the very scarce original theme songs in ECW their best (I’d take this any day over “Total Elimination”). That even today Bully Ray’s TNA theme sounds like a mashup of his old Dudleyz theme and “Huka Blues” speaks to the lasting influence of Harry Slash’s original.

So there you have it. Twelve songs from ECW during its early days of PPV and expanded TV presence. A few years later, they followed up with the much less interesting Extreme Music Vol. 2: Anarchy Rocks, but that one was mainly filled with drab nu-metal that didn’t correspond with most ECW entrance themes. Not much of ECW’s side merchandise was worth its salt (I’m thinking here of their terrible video games and hideous action figures) but Extreme Music, Vol. 1 tied into the excellent musical tradition that ECW brought to North American wrestling and cemented its place as the only wrestling album worth listening to, in my book.

The SmarK Rant for ECW Unreleased: Volume 1

The SmarK Rant for ECW Unreleased Volume 1 (Blu-Ray) The DVD company actually sent me this one the day after release date, so I’ve gotta wrap this one up quick. End result: This will end up as more of a mish-mash of new stuff and old stuff than I would have wanted. I’ll throw in some 2012 Scott sez where I can, though. So this is the sequel to the highest-selling non-Wrestlemania DVD of all-time, thus making more money for WWE than ECW ever did for Paul Heyman. ECW is of course not my favorite promotion, to say the least, but it’s nice for a change every once in a while, especially when the product is as bland and overexposed as it currently is. It was kind of like that in 95 as well, where I’d watch ECW and SMW on the giant grey market satellite dish taking up half of my back yard because I couldn’t deal with another week of World champion Diesel. Hosted by Joey Styles. Disc One NWA World title tournament finals: Shane Douglas v. 2 Cold Scorpio So this is reasonably famous, from August 1994. The NWA World title was of course vacated after all the bullshit with WCW pulling out in 1993, leaving Dennis Corraluzzo with no champion and not much of an organization either. Shane was the Eastern Championship Wrestling champion, and the idea was that Douglas would win the NWA World title and it would become the main belt for ECW, like happened with NWA-TNA years later. Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way. They trade holds on the mat to start, and Scorp gets a sunset flip for two. Scorp throws chops and drops a knee, and the somersault legdrop gets two. Small package gets two, and they trade reversals off that. They fight in the corner and Scorpio gets a bodypress for two as this drags on. Shane goes to a chinlock and Scorp escapes with the electric chair, then makes the comeback with a slingshot legdrop for two and a missile dropkick to put Douglas on the floor. They brawl into the crowd and Douglas suplexes him back into the ring, but Scorpio comes back with a tombstone and moonsault that misses. Shane finishes with the belly to belly at 12:49 and wins the NWA World title. This was of course supposed to be a technical exhibition to appeal to the NWA, but was basically just kind of boring. ** Afterwards, Shane gives his big speech, naming all the big former champions, and then telling them all to kiss his ass because he’s throwing the belt down, and double-crossing the NWA in real life. I don’t think the NWA ever really recovered from that one. Raven v. Tommy Dreamer. From Hostile City Showdown ’95. Heyman had to be seeing $$$ with this feud by this point. (Sadly, it bounced.) Brawl to the back right away. Dreamer bleeds and they fight to the Eagle’s Nest. Back to the ring, where Dreamer gets a sleeper, and back to the floor some REALLY silly weapons (the infamous plastic dinosaur and a dozen eggs, to name two). That’s just SO Memphis it’s not even funny. Back in, Raven delivers two DDTs, but Raven wants him on the floor. It backfires, and Stevie interferes. Dreamer hits a gorgeous floatover DDT on Stevie, then on the ref. He then piledrives Beulah for the first time (But not for the last time, wink wink nudge nudge), which pops the crowd of sexually inadequate, misogynistic losers HUGE. No contest at 8:02. Another super intense brawl from these two. *** (Well you had to have a Dreamer-Raven match on there, and this was actually a pretty good show overall to choose from.) Dean Malenko & 2 Cold Scorpio v. Eddie Guerrero & Taz From Heat Wave 95. This was clipped all to shit on the original video edit at only 9:00 long, so it’ll be nice to get the full version finally. Unfortunately the original tape’s production quality is still crappy, so you can’t understand the verbal sparring between Scorpion and Paul E. that starts things. Thankfully the video quality is great, with really bright colors, so they were able to fix that if nothing else. Taz and Scorpio get into a shoving match to start and Scorp loses that one decisively. Over to Eddie and Dean, and they trade wristlocks for a quick stalemate sequence, but Eddie gets a uranage into a slingshot senton for two. Everyone from the audience to the wrestlers are obviously DYING of heat out there. Taz comes in for the double-team and works a headlock on Malenko, but Scorpio breaks it up. So Taz suplexes him, only to get hit with a cheapshot and caught in the heel corner. Kind of funny to hear Joey Styles back in 1995 openly talking about how Taz changed his character from the Tazmaniac to the Human Suplex Machine. Malenko with a Texas Cloverleaf, but it’s not really set and Eddie comes in and rabbit-punches him in the back of the head anyway. The heels give Taz the old nutshot to the post routine, and Scorpio adds a powerbomb and goes up with a flying splash. He chooses not to cover, and Dean goes to work on the leg. Taz finally escapes with a suplex and Eddie flies in with a frog splash for two. They head to the top and Eddie dropkicks him to the floor, then threatens a dive, but Dean walks away to annoy the crowd. Back to Scorpio, but Eddie immediately gets a powerbomb for two. This was apparently a missed spot, because he tries it again and Scorpio reverses to his own for two. Another try, but Eddie reverses into a rana for two. It’s hot tag Taz, and he clotheslines Scorpio for two. Doomsday Device gets two. Side suplex gets two. Dean and Eddie slug it out and Dean quickly powerbombs him into a Cloverleaf, but Taz breaks it up. The heels get a ROCKERPLEX for two. Eddie snaps off a rollup for two on Dean, but Scorpio dives in for the save. Scorpio powerbombs Taz yet again and goes up with a nice moonsault for two. Things get really sloppy as everyone brawls and obviously the heat is really taking something out of them. Eddie dives on Dean outside, but Paul hits Scorpio with the phone and Taz pins him with a suplex at 19:14. Sadly, Fonzie runs in on behalf of the forces of LAW AND ORDER and declares that the match must continue. So the heels go for the cheap pin and Fonzie counts both of them and gives them the win. Lame finish, but at the time Alfonso was a white hot heel for the promotion. Kudos to the guys for fighting through the obviously brutal heat for this. ***1/2
ECW TV title: Dean Malenko v. Eddie Guerrero From July 1995 at a show filmed on a fairground for ECW TV. And of course the creepy shirtless serial killer dude is there in the front row even still. They fight for the armbar to start and Eddie takes him down with the headlock. Dean escapes with a monkey flip and Eddie takes a Ziggler-ish bump off that, but quickly takes over with a top rope rana for two. They do a lucha sequence with Eddie flying all over and building to a headscissors takedown, then slingshots in with the senton for two. Dean takes over with a clothesline and brainbuster, and that gets two. Dean presses him into a gutbuster, but Eddie tries a tornado DDT and gets tossed across the ring as a result. Powerbomb gets two. Dean faceplants him for two, but Eddie snaps off a rollup for two. Eddie goes up with the frog splash, but hurts his ribs and can’t follow up. I’m growing increasingly annoyed with the shirtless doofus at ringside and his dreadlocked girlfriend, both of whom refuse to SIT THE FUCK DOWN and quit trying to get themselves over. Say what you will about the jackbooted WWE security force, but they’d never put up with shit like that when TV was being taped. Dean goes for another powerbomb, but Eddie reverses to a rana and wins the TV title back at 11:48. This was, as Kurt Angle might say, crisp and clean with no caffeine, with both guys hitting stuff with pinpoint precision. ****1/4 Cactus Jack v. Shane Douglas. From Cyberslam 96. This was the final chapter in Cactus’ anti-hardcore angle, as Shane returned from the WWF to find Jack had signed there, and was now determined to make him change his mind by beating the hardcore back into him. They quickly brawl outside, where Shane does bad things to Mick’s special area with a crutch. Back in the ring, and Shane with a legdrag, and then away we go back outside. Douglas suplexes Jack on the railing, then goes to the top rope and hits what would today be a FAT GUY OUTTA CONTROL PLANCHA into the first row. Wild. Back in the ring, and Douglas grabs a chair to Pillmanize Jack. Cactus retaliates by grabbing the chair and nailing Douglas. Works for me. Cactus works over Shane’s throat and knee. Cactus boxes Shane’s ears, until Shane collapses and falls onto the ringside table. Back in and Jack with the drop toehold onto the chair for two. Piledriver gets two, and a major wedgie for Shane. Jack hammers Shane further in the corner, and referee Brian Hildebrand (who trained with both guys) hands a pair of handcuffs to Jack while under the pretense of separating them. Now it gets ugly. Remember Rock v. Mankind at the Royal Rumble this year? (Or 13 years ago, whatever. Obviously I did the original review in 99.) Same thing. Douglas bashes him repeatedly in the head with the chair, demanding that he quit. Jack refuses, and keeps calling for former friend Mikey Whipwreck, whom he turned on and beat to a pulp shortly before this. Shane locks on the figure-four, and finally Mikey runs in, only to smack Jack in the face with a chair and give Douglas the pin at 15:43. Jack defeated Mikey in his farewell match soon after this, and left for the WWF. *** (Sounds about right to me.) 2 Cold Scorpio v. Chris Jericho From The Doctor Is In, in 1996. They exchange holds on the mat to start and both guys do some pretty crazy submission moves, and they trade monkey flips before Scorpio dropkicks him down into an armbar. Jericho with a crucifix for two. Dropkick and he hits a series of armdrags to put Scorpio on the floor, but Scorpio has a plan. Or, Joey notes, he might just be pointing to his head. Back in, he goes low to take over, so apparently he did have a plan. Clothesline gets two. Jericho spinkicks him and adds a delayed vertical suplex, into a slingshot splash for two. Scorpio goes low again and adds a sick t-bone suplex for two, but Jericho rolls him over for two. Scorpio puts him out of the ring with a BROGUE KICK, but Jericho fights back and suplexes him back in the ring for two. Underhook powerbomb gets two. Jericho throws chops in the corner, but misses a charge and Scorpio hits a sunset powerbomb out of the corner for two. Jericho comes back with a DDT and Lionsault, but it misses, and he recovers with a rana for two. Scorpio counters out of a powerbomb attempt and goes up, but a moonsault misses and Jericho goes up with a splash for two. They fight in the corner and both tumble to the floor, and Jericho gets the Lionsault on the way back in, for two. They’re kind of losing the thread here and they should probably slow down and focus again. Scorpio gets a DDT and goes up, but Jericho cuts him off and powerslams him off the top for two. Flying splash misses, and Scorpio goes up with a shooting star press to finish at 19:53. They worked really hard, but this was like an ROH match where they have a really great 15:00 climax mapped out and then end up going 5:00 too long. ***1/2 ECW tag titles, tables & ladders: The Eliminators v. Sabu & Rob Van Dam. From Cyberslam, February 1997. Perry Saturn kisses the ECW fans’ ass before the match, just a few months before dumping Kronus and jumping to WCW. Joey is already learning the fine art of “plugging the PPV 101”. Saturn and RVD start and do some wrestling to maintain the illusion of being wrestlers. It goes nowhere and we get Sabu and Kronus and you can just feel the psychotic brawl ready to begin. I think at this point we all know which member of the Eliminators carried the team. The spotfest begins as Van Dam and Saturn fight over the ladder and their partners dropkick it and send everyone to the floor. Big brawl breaks out. They fight, they bite, they fight they bite they fight, fight fight fight, bite bite bite, the Saturn and Sabu show! I’m bored. Everyone is just kind of walking back to the ring. Back in the ring and Sabu with a triple jump moonsault for two. More non-sensical spots from the challengers (moonsault off the bottom rung of the ladder, rolling thunder on the ladder that misses, etc). Then the Eliminators get to do their series of silly spots (Van Daminator using the ladder, etc). Nice straightforward one as Saturn just chucks the ladder at Van Dam. That I like — it’s much more intuitive to just nail the guy with the ladder then it is to set up an intricate spot with it. I’ve never understood the point of Paul E using the hot tag system when there’s no way to DQ the other guy anyway. The spots are only hitting at about 45% or so. Van Dam’s lack of contact on his kicks and punches is very glaring. These ridiculous “do your finisher but involve the ladder” spots look horrible when they miss. Sabu and Van Dam are working extra sloppy here for some reason. Sabu and Rob do a miscommunication spot, leading to Van Dam taking two (very sloppy) Total Eliminations for the pin. ** Would have been higher if they’d actually, you know, HIT THEIR SPOTS. I mean, if you’re going to do a spotfest, at least have the decency to make contact. Taz v. Sabu. This was actually supposed to happen six months prior, but Torch reporter Bruce Mitchell sent PPV companies a tape of the crucifixion angle and the PPV ended up getting delayed until 1997 because of it. Slugfest to start here and they do a wrestling sequence. Taz gets an anklelock. He goes into a crossface and busts Sabu open very quickly into the match. They head into the crowd and Sabu hits a plancha. Back in the ring and Taz control on the mat. Sabu makes his chair-assisted comeback. Taz puts a stop to that. Back to the floor, and Sabu goes through a table. Back in and Sabu hits a rana for two and a top rope legdrop. It’s all for naught as Taz drops him on his head with a Tazplex or two and hooks the Katahajime for the submission at 17:45. Incredibly disappointing given the Sting/Hogan-like buildup. Match had no heat, either, oddly enough. **1/4 ECW World title: Bam Bam Bigelow v. Shane Douglas From November 2 Remember 97, as they put the World title on Bigelow a couple of weeks earlier so that Douglas could regain it in Pittsburgh. Oops, spoiler, sorry. I actually don’t even recall that, as in my mind he won it at that shitty second ECW PPV and then held it all the way to Taz. Shane, who is of course smart enough to just play it straight as a total babyface tonight, gets tossed to the floor off a lockup and gets some advice from Francine. That advice: “You’re looking a little skinny. Maybe you should put on some more weight.” Bigelow pounds away and the audio is really subdued, like the ring mikes aren’t connected or something. Shane fires back, but gets avalanched and goes down and out of the ring again. Back in, more punishment from Bammer, but Shane tries a slam and Bigelow falls on him for two. If they’re going for Sting-Vader here they’re WAY off the mark. Bigelow already goes to a chinlock as they’ve got nothing going on. Bigelow misses a blind charge and Shane tries a bodypress, but gets caught and powerslammed for two. The silent ring is REALLY distracting. Shane goes out again and Bigelow continues the beating out there. Finally Shane goes to the nuts in desperation, but Bigelow just suplexes him for two. And we’re back to the chinlock. What the fuck is wrong with Douglas here? He’s done nothing the entire match. Bigelow presses him onto the post in a nice spot, and then grabs the helpfully marked table on the floor so he doesn’t get the non-gimmicked one by mistake. Bigelow goes up and Shane powerbombs him through the table to finally make a comeback 15 minutes in, but Bigelow cuts him off AGAIN. WHAT THE FUCK?! Were they having personal issues or something? Bigelow slowly chokes him out on the ropes, but Shane clotheslines him to the floor, only to dive into his arms and then through a table. Back in, Bigelow gives him an impressive powerbomb, but only gets two. Bigelow slugs away in the corner, so Francine calls in Candido and Storm, which results in Bigelow throwing Shane onto them. This also proves to the one time in ECW history where security is effective, as they get returned to the locker room as per the stipulations. So back in the ring and Shane is bleeding for some reason, so Francine comes after Bigelow now with her crutches. That doesn’t go well for her. Bigelow keeps slowly pounding on Shane, but Shane finally comes back with the belly to belly. And Bigelow cuts him off again with a corner splash and sets up a piece of table, but Shane gets another suplex through it to regain the belt at 25:00. I know what they were going for there, but it absolutely didn’t work in any fashion, and the crowd was dead because of the total lack of hope spots for Shane. *1/2 ECW World tag team titles: Sabu & Rob Van Dam v. Jinsei Shinzaki & Hayabusa This is a pretty famous match from Heat Wave 98, and I shit all over it the first time so we’ll see if time and perspective have improved it. Hayabusa’s a really sad story, as he was a promising guy who took a bad bump on a Lionsault and broke his neck and never wrestled again. RVD and Hayabusa have a feeling out to start, trading armdrags, but Hayabusa gets a leg lariat and brings Shinzaki (aka Hakushi) in with a splash for two. Ropewalk and flying chop gets two, but he misses a kneedrop and Rob spinkicks him down and brings in Sabu for two. Legdrop gets two and a clothesline gets two. Over to Hayabusa, but Sabu splashes him for two, so Hayabusa dropkicks him out of the ring. Back in, they slug it out and Sabu dropkicks the knee for two. He goes to a leglock, and RVD starts brawling with Shinzaki outside, leading to Hayabusa hitting the champs with a quebrada onto the floor. In the ring, Rob puts Shinzaki in a bow-and-arrow, and Sabu hits him with a chair for two. Things get crazy as the Japanese team double-team Sabu with a pair of superkicks for two, and RVD is dumped. Rob and Hayabusa fight on the floor, and back in it’s more mayhem, as Shinzaki powerbombs RVD into Hayabusa’s 450 for two. That’s a sweet finisher. The champs hit Rolling Thunder on Hayabusa and then hit Shinzaki with a boston crab & flying legdrop combo that gets two. A table gets involved, because of course it does, and Shinzaki hits Sabu with a flying shoulderblock for two. Straightjacket hold, but Shinzaki breaks early and takes out RVD instead. Rob hits Hayabusa with a VanDaminator from the top, but as usual everyone just no-sells everything and they set up the table again. I’m finding it annoying that they’re doing all these devastating super-moves and just getting up and doing other things. The champs put Shinzaki and Hayabusa onto the table, smash them through it with legdrops, and Sabu gets the pin at 21:00 to retain. I’m still not particularly fond of this one, as there was no real flow to it and it just turned into a big spotfest after a certain point. I can see why people might like it, but I didn’t. It was like a gymnastics exhibition, not a wrestling match. ** ECW World TV title: Rob Van Dam v. Jerry Lynn This is from the TV show, late in 98. I believe this would have been their first match. They trade leapfrogs and RVD dropkicks him and slugs away in the corner, but Lynn counters a monkey flip with a sunset flip for two. Rob bails for some guidance from Fonzie. Back in, Lynn clotheslines Rob to the floor and hits him with a pescado, but Rob suplexes him onto the railing and guillotines him. They take a break and return with Rob hitting a springboard legdrop for two. Rolling Thunder gets two. Rob goes up and Lynn dropkicks him to the floor and follows with a baseball slide, then hits a springboard dive into the front row. Back in, Lynn gets two. Gourdbuster and flying legdrop get two, and Rob’s nose is busted open. Luckily he’s got some good pain medication. Lynn gets a sunset bomb for two. Lynn tries a tornado DDT, but RVD reverses into a northern lights suplex for two. He goes up, but Lynn brings him down with a superplex for two. Fonzie trips Lynn up, allowing Rob to hit a guillotine legdrop on a distracted Lynn. They fight on the top, and Jerry finally gets his tornado DDT, through a table on the floor. Back in, that gets two. Rob gets a chair and Lynn steals it, and of course that leads to the VanDaminator. Lynn ends up on the floor, and Rob brings him back in for two. Lynn with a small package for two. Piledriver, but not a cradle one, so it only gets two. Lynn goes up and Fonzie interferes yet again, shoving him down and into another VanDaminator to finish at 13:53. Great first match from them, with Lynn being hungry and making a couple of dumb mistakes as a result. Of course, Heyman was all build-build-build between them and never let Lynn get the TV title blowoff win to pay it off. But that’s Paul. ****1/4 Disc Two ECW World title: Shane Douglas v. Taz. From Guilty As Charged, in January of 99. See, kids, Taz used to be a WRESTLER. As mentioned, this was a pretty big deal back in the day, as Taz had been pushed as a top guy for a little over 3 years straight by that point, without even receiving a shot at the title. Douglas reminds me a lot of HHH, looking unkempt and bloated from the roids. (Allegedly.) Douglas goes for the arm to start, but Taz takes him down and they do a bit of matwork. Shane grabs a headlock and they reverse off that. Shane slugs away in the corner, but walks into a head-and-arm suplex and bails. Back in, they go to the lockup and Shane chokes him out in the corner, but Taz gets a whiplash slam and a clothesline to send Shane to the floor again. Shane whips him into the railing and follows him into the crowd with a dive off the railing, albeit a very tentative one. They fight in the crowd and wander all over the arena, as Shane is compelled by the force of hair-pulling to keep walking, and they fight at the edge of the floor area. They continue meandering around the arena until reaching Joey’s booth. For a company that always claims innovation, this is sure ripping off every Austin main event from 1998. They fight back to the ring, after what feels like a million years, with the only highspot being a Tazzplex to Douglas over a railing and onto a platform. This isn’t wrestling, it’s a real estate tour. According to Joey, this is what goes for an “epic battle”. Finally they make it back to ringside, with 13:00 gone by and nothing of note having happened, and Shane sets up a table. He stomps away on Taz, who fights back and fires away with boots in the corner, but Shane whips him into the table. That gets two. Rolling necksnap and Shane gets another table, setting THAT up in the corner, too. Taz suplexes him through it, however, for two. And then the lights go out and Sabu returns, hitting both guys with a springboard clothesline and cleaning the ring out. He puts Douglas on a table and puts him through it, then does the same to Taz. When you need to bring in another guy to do all the highspots in a match, you’re having a bad match. Shane recovers first and gets two on Taz. And now Chris & Tammy get involved, and Candido turns on Douglas, allowing Taz to get the T-Bone Tazplex and Tazmission. And because Douglas is the ECW legend, he won’t tap, instead passing out from the pain at 22:16 to make Taz the champion. Douglas went to WCW soon after. Shitty match with too many run-ins and 13 minutes of pointless brawling because they couldn’t deliver in the ring. ½* Lance Storm & Justin Credible v. Jerry Lynn & Rob Van Dam. What is with the babyface act from Van Dam? Faces control with some nice stuff to start before Lynn gets cheapshotted into the Ricky Morton role. Good series of pinfall reversals from he and Storm. Cyrus gets a shot at Jericho in. He works well with Joey. Justin does his Scott Hall impersonation, doing a Razor’s Edge for two. Pretty dull match thus far. Really overblown flippity-floppity chair spot from Van Dam, and Storm gets tossed out and legdropped on the railing by Van Dam. A-Brawling we will go. The usual ECW chaos results, and when things settle down it’s Storm and RVD in the ring again. Totally ridiculous bit as Credible oversells a corner whip and ends up on the floor, where Fonzie puts him on a table…and he lays there forever. Van Dam sets up a chair for the DROP TOEHOLD OF DOOM (which looks terrible), and wouldn’t you know the ring is now set up for a Sabu run-in, as he jumps onto the chair and puts Credible through the table. Would’ve looked better if it hadn’t taken 5 minutes to set up. RVD accidentally frog splashes Lynn, but recovers with a VanDaminator, leading into a Lynn piledriver for the pin. Solid tag match, but not really a main event. *** ECW World title: Mike Awesome v. Masato Tanaka. Quick avalanche from Mike to start, and Masato one-ups him with a plancha. He hits the running chairshot on the floor. Back in the ring, then out again as Awesome nails the tope con hilo. He follows that up with a springboard plancha into the front row. Back in for some down home chairshots, no-sold by Tanaka of course. Roaring Elbow version of the VanDaminator gets two. Tornado DDT on the chairs gets two. Crowd implores “One More Time”, so he does, and Awesome reverses to a DDT. Yeah, listen to a group of ECW fans, that’s REAL smart. Tanaka escapes the powerbomb-through-the-table once, but can’t escape twice and Mike hits a ligerbomb off the apron, through the table. That was pretty cool. Joey actually says “Holy shit”, the first time I’ve heard him swear. Another table into the ring. He tries a top rope powerbomb through it, but Tanaka reverses and superplexes Awesome through it for two. Too much stuff revolving around going through tables here. Tanaka hits the DiamondDust, but Awesome ducks the Roaring Elbow and hits a german suplex and lariat. Frog splash gets two. Top rope powerbomb finishes it at 12:30. That one left me flat compared to their other matches, as this one seemed rather forced and rushed, with a bunch of spots and not enough build in between. ***1/4 ECW World title: Tazz v. Tommy Dreamer This was such a weird period. Mike Awesome was the champion, but WCW wanted to sign him away, so for god knows what reason Heyman brought in Tazz, fresh out of WWE, and moved the title onto him instead. And what Joey doesn’t mention on the introduction to this is that Tazz promptly took that title back to Smackdown and did a quickie job to HHH as champion in a petty and disgusting move on WWE’s part. Anyway, this is from Cyberslam 2000, a show never before aired due to a legal agreement with WWE. Since Tazz was working full-time with WWE, the title change here was academic. Joey paints Mike Awesome as a TRAITOR here, although Awesome jumped for three times the guaranteed money and Heyman was weeks behind in paying him in the first place. They slug it out to start and Tazz suplexes him and beats him down on the mat, and they brawl outside, allowing Tazz to get a chairshot in. Joey rails against the Mean Street Posse and Tazz gets another suplex for two, but Tommy hits the DDT for two. They go up, but Tazz hooks the Tazzmission, prompting Tommy to escape with a low blow. Tazz gets a northern lights suplex for two. They trade pinfall attempts and Tommy gets the pin and the title at 5:11. I can see why this one was locked in the vault for so long. *1/2 Tazz hands over the belt and gives the big promo to put Dreamer over while Joey talks about how Awesome didn’t want to do the job. Uh, Heyman wasn’t PAYING him, why should he go out and do business? He should have pawned the belt and gotten his backpay out of it that way. Anyway, the babyfaces all come in for the celebration with Dreamer, and even Raven offers a celebratory handshake and hug, but Justin Credible runs in and destroys them both. Justin throws down the tag titles, doing his best Shane Douglas impression and failing miserably, then challenges Tommy to a title match. ECW World title: Tommy Dreamer v. Justin Credible They immediately brawl to the floor and into the crowd. Back in, Tommy tries a death valley driver, but Justin reverses to an inverted DDT and powerbombs him for two. Justin steals Raven’s DROP TOEHOLD OF DEATH and gets two. Sloppy DDT gets two. Tommy comes back with an ugly stunner type thing and they fight onto the apron, where Tommy hits an F5 through a table. Back in, Justin ignores it, hits That’s Incredible, but only gets two. Tommy with the DDT for two. And of course Francine turns on Tommy and the shitty piledriver gives us World champion Aldo Montoya at 6:41. * In the pantheon of Paul Heyman stupid booking decisions, this was WAAAAAAAAY up there. Not just for the initial title change to Tazz, but then giving the fans their feelgood moment with Dreamer and then yanking the rug out from under them 5 minutes later. For JUSTIN CREDIBLE. Whatever this was supposed to be accomplishing, it was a failure on every level. World TV title: Rhino v. Sandman. Sandman’s entrance takes a good 10 minutes. Sandman canes Rhino to start, and Rhino no-sells it. Punching abounds. For two guys who’ve had as many matches as these two, you’d think they’d learn to mesh better already. Brawl outside, and Sandman tosses a guardrail into the ring, allowing Rhino to jump him and take over. Back in, Sandman whips him into the railing, which looked really lame. Tope rope rana gets two for Sandman. Man, he’s busting out the moveset tonight. Bulldog on the railing gets two. Rhino follows with a suplex. The effort is there, but they’re taking 20 seconds between moves. Sandman hits a swanton bomb (!!!) for two, and the Network wrecks a watchable match by running in. The ref gets bumped, and now Spike Dudley runs in. Corino takes 3D, then Rhino gores Spike, and piledrives him off the apron ala Lori Fullington. That’s kinda insane on both their parts. Back in, Rhino blocks the White Russian legsweep and finishes with a piledriver to retain. Match was shockingly watchable until the goofy overbooking ruined everyone’s fun. ** World TV title: Rhino v. Spike Dudley. Spike goes after the knee to start, but gets beaten down. Brawl outside, Rhino takes over. He lays in some SICK chairshots. Rhino pounds away. Yawn. Spike comes back with some chairshots and they brawl outside. Spike does a balcony dive that the camera misses. Back in, he gets two. Rhino blocks the Acid Drop by putting him through a table. It gets two. Spear puts Spike on the floor. He chairs Rhino and tapes his leg to the ropes. He proceeds to chair the leg, but Rhino chokes him down and out for the win. What a dumb finish. Match showed what a load Rhino is, as usual. ½* (It’s true, he was not very good at this point in his career.) Jerry Lynn v. Christian York From Hardcore TV, December 30 2000. Lynn turns heel before the match for some reason, aligning himself with Cyrus. Joey (Mercury) Matthews is probably 50-60 pounds lighter than he magically became when he jumped to WWE as half of MNM. Strange how that happened. No idea what happened to York after ECW folded. Lots of stalling to start here and they start with a stalemate sequence, and York gets a bodypress and flying headscissors. York bails to the apron and Lynn guillotines him on the way back in and takes over. Lynn catapults him into the corner, but York blocks and hits a legdrop instead. Lynn faceplants him for two and hits a gutbuster, but a blind charge hits boot and York comes back with a bulldog. Springboard elbow and neckbreaker get two. York goes up and gets a sunset flip for two. Lynn powerbombs him for two. York goes after Cyrus, but turns around Lynn piledrives him for the pin at 8:52. *** I’m assuming, given the date of the show, that this was the finale of ECW Hardcore TV, because the last PPV was only a week after and I don’t think they ran any shows after that. The FBI v. Super Crazy & Kid Kash v. Mikey Whipwreck & Yoshihiro Tajiri. Kash/Mamaluke/Mikey start. Kash blows the first spot right away, missing a Lionsault. Stalling follows. Tajiri & Crazy go, hitting their usual good sequence of stuff. Mikey & Tajiri double-team Guido, leading to a triple-submission move spot. FBI brawl with the Unholy Alliance on the outside, but Kash & Crazy hit highspots on everyone. Back in, Crazy gets a backslide for two, but Big Sal squashes Kid Kash (literally) and Guido gets the pin, thus negating the point of Kash & Crazy doing their big spot less than a minute before. That’s just poor match planning. The Alliance work on Mamaluke, but the FBI gains the advantage and Guido gets some near-falls on Mikey. Double-team powerbomb on Mikey looks good. They hook a double-kneebar, but Mikey gets a stunner on Mamaluke and makes the hot tag to Tajiri. Lowblow for Guido blocks the tomikaze, and both FBI are dropped on chairs. Mikey sets up a double-whippersnapper from the top, but the FBI reverses into a double-armbar. Good stuff. Tajiri takes charge, blows green mist in Mamaluke’s face, and the Alliance hits stereo straitjacket suplexes for the pin. Nothing terribly special here. **3/4 Blu-Ray Exclusives! Tommy Dreamer v. Jimmy Snuka. My, how the times have changed. Just three years ago (This was written in 1997, by the way), Tommy Dreamer was an absolutely despised pretty boy rookie, ala Marcus Bagwell, and Jimmy Snuka was the only star power that ECW had. The fans are on Dreamer like Preparation H on a hemorrhoid here. No truly witty chants, though. I do thank Dave Scherer’s little group for starting that tradition…it’s become part of ECW’s charm. (And now part of WWE’s charm in certain cities.) Snuka…just… stalls…forever….here. It takes something like 9 or 10 minutes for them to even lock up. Then…Snuka…stalls…again. God, if there’s one cheap heat method I hate more than any other, it’s stalling. I haven’t been impressed with Tommy for a while, but he has improved by leaps and bounds ever since the caning incident. (As an entertainer, not really as a worker. He kind of got worse due to injuries and such by the time he got to WWE.) Really, really, terrible match. I can’t emphasize that enough. Dreamer gets hit with the Superfly splash and kicks out, and Joey just totally oversells it. Snuka goes on to hit two more, after which Dreamer is bleeding from the mouth (nice touch, btw) and ready to be stretchered out. Snuka gets the pin, of course. Tod Gordon tries to stop the carnage, but gets popped for his trouble. Ugh. Bad match, good way to get Snuka over as a heel. * (I wonder if Jimmy Snuka’s daughter, Tamina Snuka, was watching this match in Philly? Because he has a daughter, you know, and her name is Tamina.) ECW World title match: Shane Douglas v. Sabu, winner faces Terry Funk. (If you think I’m sitting through this thing again, you’re crazier than Paul Heyman’s financial advisor) Joey points out that if there’s no winner of the first match, Funk will face both guys. Well, I think that about gives it away right there. Okay, this match goes an hour so I had a lot of time to let my mind wander, so this will be a longish match summary. Paul E. punks Sherri Martel to start, and she takes a lot of abuse throughout the match. Okay, I have to ask…does Paul have misogynist tendencies or what? He fights Missy Hyatt and Madusa in WCW, and Sherri here, and has about 4 or 5 women who take major league beatings on a regular basis. This, to me, suggests some sort of issue with women. (This and other revelations in this week’s issue of DUH Weekly) I’m sorry, but Sabu is just not made for this stuff — most of his participation is resting. He just can’t work a straight wrestling match at this point in his career. He does put a wicked vicious armlock on Shane, though. Major yawnfest as Sabu and Shane drag it out until Funk gets into it. Sidenote: This is the first time 911 is named as such, and I actually miss the big lug. Sometimes you just need a big guy to come out and kill everyone, ya know? (Unless it’s Kane.) Sabu blows a table spot (real or worked, who knows with this guy) and that allows him enough rolling around in pain time for Funk to come out. Of course, with Funk into it, it becomes a total brawl. Except Sabu is injured now, so it’s Funk against Shane in a brawl and Shane doesn’t brawl really well. Oy. Sabu is helped back to the dressing room at this point. If you don’t blink, you can see ring setup guy Mikey Whipwreck at ringside, too. Terry does the “Gimme a chair!” spot and only gets 6 or 7. Oh, well, maybe next time. Things pick up for a bit about 22 minutes in, then get realllly slow again. Maybe Sabu was injured legit and these two had to improvise a one-on-one match? Either way, Shane can’t brawl and Funk can’t wrestle (anymore) so the results are pretty ugly. Sabu finally comes back out, and starts brawling with Shane. Funk steals Joey’s mike, mistaking for the house mike, and makes off-color remarks which only the home audience can hear. Another cute spot as the three guys put sleepers on each other at the same time. Sabu looks wasted 40 minutes in, blowing simple moonsaults. The pattern seems to be three guys in, one guy gets knocked out, remaining two guys brawl until third guy is revived, repeat. (Well, this one certainly did set the pattern for three-ways to come for the next decade or so.) Geez, no wonder Paul E. wears that hat — he’s bald even back then. And then, for no reason, the Rotten Brothers storm the ring 45 minutes in, and brutalize Shane and Sabu. Why? Joey asks that very question, so at least I know I’m not alone. Sabu and the Rottens brawl back to the dressing room, and only Sabu returns. This is just waaaaay too long for Sabu. Funk beats up the ref 50 minutes in, for no reason I can tell. Sabu blows two more spots as it winds down. Finally, he pins both guys, but the ref is out. Jim Molineux spends the last five minutes on the floor as the three guys brawl, ineffectively, until the time limit expires. The crowd stands and cheers like they’ve done something special. Feh. You’d think they’d know a screwjob when they saw one. Don’t believe the hype — this was*not* a classic by any stretch of the imagination. ** The Pulse This one is pretty much criticism-proof, like most of ECW’s catalog, because the people who want it are passionately blinded to its faults much of the time anyway. For me, most of it doesn’t really hold up, but there’s some really great matches in here and some neat historical curiosities like the ludicrous World title changes in 2000 and the last ever ECW TV match. As a companion piece to the original ECW DVDs that WWE put out, it does exactly what it’s intended and will no doubt make the mutants happy. Recommended.