This interview was conducted this year and released four months ago. It is hosted by Sean Oliver and last two hours and fifteen minutes long
10th, Sean and Marty Jannetty defeated the Quebecers for the Tag
Team Titles. One week later, they lost the belts back to the Quebecers. Waltman
is asked if Marty was a suitable partner and immediately said that he was. He
then said that he learned a lot about tag team wrestling by teaming with him.
He is then asked how the one-week title run was proposed to him. Waltman said
that Vince was under indictment at that time and was bringing in guys like
Jerry Jarrett and Bill Watts at the time incase he had to go to prison. Waltman
said that it was a Jerry Jarrett idea. He didn’t get why they lost a week later
and when they lost it was the main event at Madison Square
Garden. Sean said that
they sent the fans home angry that night.
January 17th house show at Madison Square
Garden, Owen Hart won a
30-man Royal Rumble match. During this match, Waltman injured his leg. He said
that he did a spinning head scissors, he believed it was on Adam Bomb, and he
did not know how to take the move so he tore up his knee. He said that he had
to share an ambulance with Ludvig Borga that night as they only two of them at
the arena and one of them was for Ivan Putski so he could get a ride back to
the 1994 Royal Rumble PPV and when Owen kicked Bret’s injured knee. Waltman is
asked if there was any doubt if Owen and Bret could have a good feud and he
said that there was some doubt amongst the other wrestlers as they did not
think Owen was a big enough star to feud with Bret. Sean said that Owen turned
and it didn’t matter about cheers. He also said it was much easier being a
heel, due to not having to worry about fan response as much. Waltman said they
were happy for Owen but business was bad at the time and they were worried about
the gates. Waltman said that they would get home after being on the road and
come home to a tiny check.
the Royal Rumble, Waltman is asked about the angle of the Undertaker’s casket
exploding and him being lifted to the rafters. Waltman said that it was silly.
He is asked if Undertaker took time off because his wife was having a kid and
he said his son was already born and that he was working through a lot of
painful injuries and could barely get around. He also adds that they wouldn’t
even let you wrestle today if you had the same injuries.
asked about Lex Luger and Bret Hart being the co-winners of the Royal Rumble
match. He said that the office was behind Lex, joking that the first clue was
that they gave him a “huge, fucking bus” and brings up the angle on the
aircraft carrier. Waltman said at that time, Vince wanted to keep on pushing
Luger but the fans just wanted to see Bret. He brings up a tag match that
featured both guys and how Bret came out for his entrance and went to the
middle of the ring and the fans cheered while Luger went to the corner and
yelled and you could hear his voice echo due to the lack of crowd noise.
Waltman also adds how Bret told him to never go into the corner after his
entrance, because everyone else already does that. According to Waltman, even
Luger brought up his lack of crowd noise in the locker room and soon after
that, the decision was made to put the belt on Bret.
asked if Kevin Nash’s star-making moment was when he eliminated several people
in a row during the Rumble match. He said that it was and before that, he
usually looked bad in the ring. Waltman then is told about the fact that Nash
was getting cheered, despite being a heel, and Waltman talks about how the fans
let you know what they want and it makes it a lot easier on everyone, instead
of pushing a wrestler down your throat.
asked about Bob Holly, who debuted this month. He said that it was quiet and
when he was in the WWF, he always craved knowledge, especially about other
wreslters, promotions, and even television ratings. Waltman tells a story about
one time, he brought up to the other wrestlers that RAW received a 3.2 rating
and for a while, he was known as the three-two Kid.” Waltman was asked if Holly
was stiff and he said that he wasn’t anymore stiffer than himself. He adds that
they add good matches.
6th, during a tour of Germany, Marty Jannetty was fired
for the fourth time by the WWF. Waltman did not recall how he got fired that
time, saying he wasn’t around, then is asked why Marty kept on resurfacing in
the WWF. Waltman said that he always had good matches. He then said he could be
sleeping under a table and wake up in ten minutes and go out and have a great
match. He is then asked if it was a personality conflict with management of
partying. Waltman said that it was partying and Marty was like a kid who
wouldn’t grow up, even adding it sounds hypocritical coming from himself.
about Jim Ross and his contract not being renewed. Waltman said that it was
cold, as he just suffered a Bells Palsy attack. He is then asked about the
relationship between Ross and Vince McMahon. He tells a story about being in
the office with JR and Vince. JR was eating a plate of food while Vince and
Waltman had a disagreement. Vince told Waltman that sometimes, you have to
learn to like the taste of shit then spoke to JR and said “isn’t that right,
asked about how he would work guys who were having tryouts. Waltman said that
he didn’t tryout guys but would work with the new hires and would get a feeling
for their personality and workrate. He talks about the Shane Douglas matches
during his Dean Douglas run. He said it was a rotten gimmick and wasn’t in
shape but worked with him later on and he was much better.
February 22nd taping of “Superstars,” Lex Luger was announced as the
WWF Champion and came to the ring with the belt. This show was airing right
after WrestleMania. Waltman was asked if Luger winning was the original plan or
were they just trying to throw people off. Waltman believes that they were just
trying to see how the crowd would react to Luger being the champion but doesn’t
know which reason was correct.
Jerry Lawler and how four criminal charges of statutory rape and sodomy were
dropped in exchange for him pleading guilty to harassing a witness. Waltman
said that there was talk about the charges in the locker room. He is asked if
Lawler had a well-known reputation amongst the boys for liking underage girls.
Waltman said that people did not act surprised when it happened.
asked about Mabel and if he was hurt by him. At this time, he fell on Fatu in a
match and ended up hurting him bad. Waltman said that he got roughed up a bit
but nothing bad. He also brings up how he hurt Nash bad one night and almost
got fired as a result but claims Nash did not want him to lose his job.
asked about Chief Jay Strongbow as an agent, who is unpopular amongst most
wrestlers. Waltman said Strongbow liked him and his friends and people did not
like him because he was a hardass. Waltman brings up how Strongbow tried to
teach him when he first got there and called him “trailer,” because he was the
last to arrive to the building. He then took a liking to Waltman when he found
out that he was trained by Boris Malenko, who helped out Strongbow a lot when
he first broke into the business.
asked about a joint show between the WWF and Smoky Mountain.
Waltman is asked about the pay and he said it was shit and that he made about
$200 from that show.
asked about the first “meet & greet” before WrestleMania and if they got
paid any extra. Waltman doesn’t believe that they were but that it was expected
of you. He is asked about WrestleMania paydays but at the time, Waltman said he
was on the bottom of the pay scale and didn’t get much anyway.
when Bret won the title from Yokozuna. He is asked about the decision to go
with Bret over Luger. Waltman said that it was not only the fans, but also the
boys. Waltman is asked how someone approaches Vince to tell him what to do,
asking if you have to be blunt or subtle. Waltman just said that they let Shawn
Michaels take care of that stuff.
asked about the ladder match between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels and if they
knew before the match that it was going to be a classic. Waltman said they did
a little bit but most people do not know that those guys had much better ladder
matches at house shows before that. He is then asked if they practice ladder
moves before the match as Waltman tells him you never, ever practice using a
ladder as you could easily injure yourself before the match.
asked if he got paid for his ten-man match at WrestleMania that got bumped off
the card due to time restraints. Waltman said that he got $10,000. He then said
that he was bummed out as it was his first time at WrestleMania. He confirms
that it was the ladder match that ran long.
then talks about the celebrities that appeared at Mania. He called Burt
Reynolds “whiskey nose” as he was royally shitfaced that night. He is asked if
he got the business. Waltman said that he did and William Shatner did as well.
He said that it was cool meeting Little Richard and Jennie Garth.
match between Howard Finkel and Harvey Whippleman is brought up. Waltman said
that Howard was a whipping boy for a lot of people. Waltman said that he always
liked Howard. He is asked about Howard’s position behind the scenes. Waltman
said that he would tell you what was said in the dirt sheets and was a source
why they brought back Capt. Lou Albano to manage the Headshrinkers. Waltman is
asked about Albano. He said that he was funny
after two weeks but after that would just repeat the same jokes. Waltman said
that he was always a little drunk.
asked about the “Heartbreak Hotel” segments hosted by Shawn Michaels. He said
that it went with his persona at the time and thought it was good. When asked
if Shawn was dealing with injuries at the time, Waltman smiled and said “sure.”
asked if he heard about Vince’s reaction to Jesse Ventura being awarded money
in his videotape lawsuit. He said that he didn’t but ended up getting the same
lawyer as Jesse. He also thinks that the only reason Vince worked with Jesse
again was due to him being governor and going beyond wrestling. He did recall
one time before the gym, Vince muttered “that’s my fucking money.”
when Charles Austin was awarded $26.7 million dollars after getting paralyzed
from taking a Rocker Dropper. Waltman said that it was sad and that Austin had no business
being in the ring. He is then asked about all the money problems at the time in
the WWF and if he or the other wrestlers considered jumping over to WCW or
somewhere else. Waltman said no, that they were in it for the long run, but he
did try to see if he could get into movies.
On April 30th,
Diesel defeated Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Title. Waltman is asked if
the Kliq were all friends at this point. Waltman said that they were and there
was no resentment from anyone about Diesel winning the belt.
the WWF Tour of Japan. Waltman thought he would be able to make his mark at the
show. He said that he tried to school the others on how to work in Japan but no
one would listen. He said the first night he had an awesome match with Rick
Martel. The second night, they wanted to have a DQ finish and Waltman brings up
how the Japanese hate that. Waltman said the fans were happy to see the stars.
He also said that he got the second best reaction on the show, first was the
Undertaker, due to wrestling with Hakushi. He is asked about the agents that
went over. JJ Dillon went and Waltman said that he and Owen Hart were ribbing
him all night. He also said that Vince did not make the trip.
asked about Don Muraco, who was a guest ring announcer during his match in Hawaii against Adam
Bomb. Waltman joked that he spoke “Muraconese” and mentions that he didn’t get
to know him well but heard stories, including that he was part of a clique in
the 1980’s WWF with Roddy Piper, Bob Orton, and Adrian Adonis. He is asked
about being in Hawaii.
He said that he hung out with Bret and almost missed their flight and was
nearly fined by Jack Lanza.
asked about Earthquake being upset about having to job to Yokozuna and leaving
the company shortly afterwards as a result. Waltman says that it was true and
that he was one of those guys who wouldn’t job. He brings up a story in WCW of
how Hacksaw Duggan stiffed him in a match because he was pissed that he had to
angle that saw Ted Dibiase buy Nikolai Volkoff. Waltman is asked if this was
Vince sending a message and having fun with a character. Waltman said that
Vince did do stuff like that. He then said that he wanted to shoot himself in
the fucking head because he had to work with Volkoff on the road and he was
awful in the ring. He did say he was a nice guy but would never take a bump.
about the Duke “The Dumpster” Droese character and if anyone thought it was a
good idea. Waltman said at the time, that was the mindset for the company, to
have wrestlers with characters based on occupations.
asked about the Hardy Boyz, who debuted at the RAW tapings as enhancement
talent. He said that no one thought to give a look at them, saying the agents
responsible for eyeing talent were terrible. They referred to Jeff as “Vanilla
Ice” at the time due to his haircut .He recalls locking up with Jeff when he
was an enhancement guy and thought he had no fucking clue what he was doing but
could do all of the highspots. He tried to do a new finisher on him, an Indian
Death Lock with a front facelock, bur it fell completely flat. He also said
that Scott Hall gave Jeff a bit of offense in one of their matches and went
over to the agent and told them that he had talent after the match but nothing
happened as a result.
asked about the 1994 Hall of Fame class. Waltman talks about James Dudley and
how he was very old and broken down when giving his speech but Waltman said it
was great. One time, Dudley was in the corner backstage and pissed himself and
just sat there. He said that Vince honored his dad’s promise to care for him
and that Vince really did honor that promise. He now speaks about the creremony
and how Bret Hart put him over in his speech as part of the young guys who are
going to be the future.
the fake Undertaker (Brian Lee). Waltman said that they hope it worked and believed
that the actual Undertaker made the suggestion to use Lee in the angle.
now asked about the locker room reaction to the WCW parade for Hulk Hogan. He
said that Vince was not vocal about that situation but later on, Vince held at
meeting with talent and told them they were “not fucking going anywhere” during
the time WCW was handing out big contracts. Waltman said that you can take that
however you want
brings up the WWF attempt to push the next generation and asks if it was
mockery of older stars that were elsewhere or serious attempt to position the
company. Waltman said it was a serious attempt to transition the company into
the King of the Ring. He is asked about Art Donovan and Waltman impersonates Donovan’s
“how much does this guy weigh” quotes. Waltman said he was watching and just thought
to himself that this was a fucking disaster. He is then asked about Randy Savage
and a rumor that he was pissed because he had to do commentary with him.
Waltman said it was hard to tell with Savage because he always had the same
expression and tone.
now asked about his KoTR matches with Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart. He said it
was great. He then said he saved himself in his first match so he could have an
awesome match against Owen. Waltman then said that Bret complimented him that it
was the best match he had seen in that time period.
asked about the debut of the Cubans, Ricky Santana & Dave Sierra with
manager Bill Alphonso, and how they were gone after a few matches. Waltman said
that he did not want to discuss what happened then Oliver tries to probe but
Waltman did not discuss any more of the situation.
asked about the rule against violence acts (chokes, eye gauges, weapon shots)
and threats made in interviews. He thought it was a rib then brings up how
Shawn and Razor were supposed to have a ladder match at SummerSlam with these
restraints. He then says how they were having to work around everything and it took a lot of effort to
come up with that match.
resignation of Vice President Basil DeVito and Ann Bojack, who headed PPV’s and
International relations. Waltman said that it was a result of the steroid
trials. He then talks about Lisa Wolfe, who was brought in and very negative
and miserable to be around. Waltman said he never dealt with DeVito and Bojack.
He said that Vince never told anyone why people like Watts and Jerry Jarrett
were around. When asked about Watts, Waltman said that he liked him and thinks
that Watts lied him due to being a disciple of Malenko and Gotch. When asked
who could serve the WWF better, Watts or Jarrett, he said Jarrett.
asked about the death of referee Joey Marella, son of Gorilla Monsoon, who died
in a car accident at 3am. Waltman said that they just finished a long tour and
this was the first time someone close to him died. He then said that Marella
was well liked by everyone. He said that this broke Gorilla and that you could
physically see him decline from that point on.
after the jury deliberated for sixteen hours, Vince McMahon was acquitted of
steroid distribution. Waltman said that Vince and Titan sports were not guilty
of distribution or pressuring people to take steroids. He then said that you
can take a look at reasons for why a person gets pushed then says that steroids
are just the nature of the beast that is the wrestling business. Waltman is
then asked if Vince acted differently after the acquittal and he said yes, then
mentions that night, they were all at a late night diner a little bit fucked
asked about his 25 minute match against Bret on RAW. Waltman said at that time,
despite being in the “Kliq,” he was driving with Bret. Waltman said that at the
time, he was influenced by the Calgary-style of wrestling. He got word of this
match after KoTR and had a few weeks to prepare. He said they were mutual fans
of each other and he was proud to have the match. Waltman also mentions a kid
with cancer who visited them before the match and felt he made an impression on
him with the match. Waltman is now asked about working with the “Make a Wish”
foundation. He said when someone’s last wish on earth is too meet you, you try
not to let the kid see you cry and even if you might not feel worthy of the
honor, you suck it up because it is that kid’s wish. Waltman says there is no
right thing to say to a kid. Waltman gets pretty emotional talking about this.
asked about Bob Backlund turning on Bret after a handshake. He said that
Backlund was a nice guy but there was a major styles clash. He is then asked
why Bob was involved in this angle and Waltman
thought Vince believed that Backlund’s name would resonate across the
fanbase and that Vince still thought he was a big name. Waltman also said that
it spoke volumes about their lack of talent.
Waltman is asked about Bruce Hart. He said that he was crazy and was definitely
going into business for himself. He said that Bret was pissed about Lawler’s
insults about his dad and that it was never discussed beforehand. Waltman said
that when Bret applied the sharpshooter to him, he really tried to break him in
asked about Virgil, who had his last match in the WWF after getting hurt
against Nikolai Volkoff. He thought he was a nice guy but terrible wrestler and
says that they would give guys tryout matches against Virgil, who would have no
interest in putting over anyone.
now asked about Johnny Polo (Raven) giving notice. He calls him a brilliant guy
but could rub people the wrong way.
match on Superstars, Shawn Michaels slapped a fan who was heckling him. Waltman
said that he had a short fuse but you took the good with the bad.
suffered a herniated disk in a tag match. He said that the ring was very hard
and not made for guys who were taking a lot of bumps. He goes into the differences
between rings in the North and in the South. He said the ones in the North were
made of steel, while the Southern rings were made of lumber and had cable
ropes, which were better for guys using them for highspots.
about Walter Payton and his involvement in SummerSlam. Waltman said that he was
a fan and the crowd would erupt when he moved near Shawn Michaels. HE then said
you are given concrete rules when dealing with celebrities in a match or
segment to make things a simple as possible.
the return of Davey Boy Smith at SummerSlam. Waltman said that he gave him a
ride to the building that night and said he was all jacked up and juiced to the
gills. He also said that Bret was not fond of him returning, thinking that he
would take away some of his momentum.
asked why the Fake Undertaker angle was dropped at SummerSlam. Waltman said
that Bret and Owen took as much time as they wanted in their cage match. He
even said that Bret told him so before the match. He said that it would happen
a lot, with guys taking time on purpose to screw over the other guys. When
asked why Lee wasn’t repackaged, Waltman said that Lee was fucked up a lot of
Waltman is asked about Syndicated TV stations dropping wrestling shows
altogether and if TV squash matches ending would hurt the business. Waltman
said not really and when the competition is putting on PPV quality matches on
TV, you have to match them. He said when the product is hot, it doesn’t matter
how much you give away on TV as the people will keep coming back.
now asked about the passing of his trainer, Boris Malenko. , following a battle
with Leukemia. This is when Waltman gets pissed off. He said they were
traveling the Midwest and found out he was dying and asked the office for time
off to see him before he died. J.J. Dillon told him that he needed to stay on
the road. He said when he got home, he was supposed to get on a plane to see
him but his wife told him that he already passed. Waltman said that J.J. ran
the company like Johnny Ace did. He said that Randy Savage picked him up from
the airport and they went to the funeral together. Waltman is asked what it is
like having a successful mentor. He said that the training and wisdom he got
from Malenko was invaluable and he learned real wrestling and even made the
tickets and flyers for his shows, which is how he worked off the money for the
school as he didn’t have the money. He attributes his technique in the ring to
Malenko. He brings up a story of how Strongbow would always people to guess his
real name and everyone said that it was Joe Scarpa but he told them they were
wrong so Waltman called Malenko, who told him that it was actually Luke, and
the next day at TV, Watlman called him Luke and Strongbow was shocked.
now asked about a letter that Linda McMahon wrote to “TV Guide” after they
described the WWF as an “Eternal struggle between good and evil with steroids
used to up the ante.” Waltman said that Linda was head of the legal department
at the time, as she was an attorney, then states that she never was around the
locker room. Waltman is asked if wrestling is the bastard child of the
entertainment industry and he said that it was and occasionally feels like that
but was not embarrassed when he was in the nWo, as they were the coolest people
on television. Waltman then brings up how every professional sport has their
issues with PED’s and tells people that there will always be cheating in sports
as long as there is money involved.
asked about the time he filled in for Samu, who bolted from the company, and
wrestled with Fatu against Shawn and Diesel. He said that it was at a house
show in Boston and dressed up as an Islander. He said he did that on his own
and enjoyed the match, even doing the Superfly Splash off the top rope.
return of King Kong Bundy. Waltman said that it didn’t work out with him
because he was a mark. He said that he refused to submit to Hart’s
sharpshooter, stating he wasn’t tapping to anyone. Waltman said that he definitely
got Visine in his water bottle last night. He then brings up how little people
respected Bundy then when he went to the referee and tried to have him bring back
the five count gimmick he used in his debut with the company and the referee
blew him off.
about a push for young announcers, with the debut of Charlie Minn. Waltman is
then asked if it was a decision by Kevin Dunn then is asked about his role in the
company at the time. Waltman said that he makes the guys look good and that
some of the angles were his idea and sometimes the boys would smarten him up.
He said that when Razor wrestled job guys that would screw up, he flashed two
fingers into the camera, signaling for a second take, and they would repeat the
asked about Jacques Rougeau. He said that he liked him but that a lot of people
had problems with him. He said at the time, Rougeau would barely leave his feet
but when they were up in Canada, he would use dropkicks and planchas.
his tag match with Razor Ramon against Shawn Michael and Diesel on the Action Zone,
which is considered one of the best TV matches in WWF history. When asked about
which member of the Kliq he enjoyed working with the most, he said Scott because
he was the best at laying out the foundation of the match. He then said that
Scott is the reason why Shawn and others, including himself, became so good in
asked about Luna Vachon, who got fired right after her marriage. He believes
that it was due to substance abuse issues and also says that she was on some
heavy anti-psychotic medications. He said that she had Disassociative Identity
Disorder as well as Bipolar Disorder.
Vince McMahon revealing on television that the WWF was not able to come to
terms with Randy Savage. Waltman said that they were all shocked, as he was the
guy after Hogan left. He recalls taking a leak with Vince and Arnold Skoaland,
who made a comment about Randy and Vince’s face turned white. He is then asked
if it was known that he was going to WCW and Waltman said of course, because it
was the only place to go. Oliver brings up how Lanny Poffo told him that the
WWF told Randy that they were going young at the time.
asked about Diesel as a babyface, when he turned at Survivor Series and if it
was something he wanted. He said that Diesel didn’t mind that Vince wanted it
after his performance at the Royal Rumble earlier in the year. He is then asked
about match layouts and who was responsible. He said that there was a hierarchy
amongst the agents, with a lot of them who couldn’t even put together a finish.
He is asked why guys like Tony Garea became an agent and Waltman said it was
due to him being loyal.
show in November, Diesel wins the belt from Backlund in eight seconds. Waltman said
the match would have been horrible if it went any longer. He did say that
Backlund did an awesome job selling the finish. He tells a story about
Backulund going up to Vince during a MSG show and wanting to put him over.
Goodwin debuts after weeks of vignettes. Waltman is asked what was in the
bucket. He said that it was usually lettuce and oatmeal. He also said that they
were warned to not put stuff into the bucket. He asked if someone got any “extra
ingredients” and Waltman said that it happened to Sunny one night but he did
not participate. He is then asked about the debut of Hakushi and his tattoos.
Waltman said that they were stenciled and it would take hours. He said that he didn’t
do them during the smaller house shows. He is then asked if he had a hand in
him getting hired and he said that he gave the office the thumbs up after their
match in Japan.
the WWF RAW video game. Waltman is informed that his strength rating was 4,
while Luna Vachon was 6. He said that he didn’t make much money from video
games then but while in WCW, received a check for $50,000.
asked about Gerry Brisco, who became the director of road agents. Watlman said
he was good. Oliver then asks him about the term “stooge” as Waltman said it is
a horrible term then said the term didn’t apply to them until they started to
refer to Pat Patterson and Brisco as Stooges on RAW.
asked about the report that WWF wrestlers would be fired if they were found to
be talking with anyone from WCW. He said that Vince hinted at this in a group
setting. Personally, he didn’t talk to anyone but recalls that Jack Lanza
stopped talking to Bobby Heenan as a result.
makes her debut as Tamara Murphy on the Action Zone. Waltman is asked if was
unpopular amongst the locker room right away. He said that happened over time
but at the beginning, most of the boys were trying to get into her pass.
about the company’s view of UFC at the time with the debut of Kama. Waltman
said that they acknowledged it a little but that UFC derived from wrestling. He
then said that he did not like the gimmick and Papa Shango was better for him.
now asked about the company and how they were wrestling in tiny high school
gyms and it came across as minor league on camera. Catering got cut down a lot
and he compares it to the spread that TNA had when they first started. He is
asked if the locker room was angry at the end of the year and he said it was “Disgruntled.”
job with this timeline. The WWF was doing poorly at the time and Waltman went
into specifics about that. Even though he was not part of the main event scene,
he hung around people who were and made it a point himself to seek knowledge
about the company. I give this a high recommendation, as Waltman offers good
insight and I wonder what happened to the firing of the Cubans that led to Waltman
not wanting to discuss the specifics.