This was filmed in 2014
The Interview was conducted by Brett Lauderdale
It runs at two hours and three minutes long
The interviewer briefly mentions how RF Video last interviewed Justin in 2003.
Credible said he trained in Calgary with the Hart’s after he saw an advertisement in a wrestling magazine for the “Hart Brother’s Wrestling School.” Credible spoke with Bruce then went up to Calgary when he got the money. He was just eighteen years old at the time. Credible said the Hart’s rented out a hall and they went five days a week for two months, training up to four hours a day. He said the class started with nine students and only two of them ended up finishing. Credible said that it was a great decision and brings up how everyone else then started at the same level where today, you can have guys who have been in training for over a year, which Credible thinks is incredibly stupid. He said that Keith Hart was involved and Bruce was barely there while Stu was not present at all.
He said the location was just outside of Calgary and they lived in what he called a shady motel above a strip club. He said that Lance Storm and Chris Jericho had trained their the previous year and would help out at times. That is how Credible formed a friendship with them.
His first match was when he was 19 in November of 1992. It was for the Rocky Mountain Promotion and he paid his own way to get there so he could wrestle and get some experience. Credible then added that his second match was against Chris Jericho. He came home for Christmas that year then left and never returned home. Credible said that he was broke but did not want his parents to know that he was struggling and said that he would go days without eating.
In January of 1993, he attended a WWF house show in New Haven, CT. Credible said that he was naive and did not know any better and went backstage and saw Tony Garea and Rene Goulet, who were the agents, and introduced himself. He mentioned that he was trained by the Hart’s and they told him to have a seat and watch the show. Credible adds that the business has changed so much that you could never do something like that today. Garea told him that they were going to shoot a new show called “Monday Night RAW” in Manhattan and were needing to get some talent to do jobs.
Credible is asked about his first match on RAW against Lex Luger. He said that he was not nervous but rather surreal. He said he only had about eight matches under his belt and went backstage and saw stars like Randy Savage. Credible said that they made you ready and that actually calms your nerves. He then talks about fundamentals in wrestling and how he is not the flashiest guy but in wrestling, you either get it or you don’t. About the match, he said that Lex was easy to work with. He worked again with him at that same taping.
The payoffs at that time for the tapings were $150 plus transportation.
Credible said that he liked working with Yokozuna, who he said would “jack up” some guys when he performed the banzai drop. He adds that if you sold for him, he would take care of you. Credible said that on TV, the guys all brought their “A” game and would lay into you. After a while, the locker room would appreciate him as a jobber because he could take all of their offense and some of the jobbers at the time were old and out of shape, thus unable to take some moves.
He talks about his first ever win on TV against IRS. He said that they played off of the 1-2-3 Kid angle as Scott Hall was taking him under his wing backstage. Credible said that he was feeling comfortable there and always felt very well-liked.
His first impression of Vince McMahon was that he came across as a larger than life cartoon character. He said that Vince would start acknowledging him after a while. He said that Vince never said much.
Credible is asked about doing some TV jobs as PJ Walker on “WCW Worldwide” in 1994. He wrestled against Vader and the Nasty Boys. He said he befriended Paul Roma at a gym in Connecticut and he worked a few tapings in a week and got the gig as a result of him. When asked, he said there was no feedback from the office in WCW. Credible said that in WCW, you could never tell who was in charge, compared to the WWF where they had the fingers on the pulse of everything.
He then talks about how he was offered a contract by the WWF. During the Undertaker vs. Undertaker feud, the WWF needed someone to take bumps for Brian Lee. He said that Garea booked him to work with Brian Lee and the Undertaker to prepare them. He was in his gear and Vince was there, with Pat Patterson. He worked a TV match with Brian Lee and Patterson apporached him and asked who trained him. He then asked about his nationality, which is Portuguese, and when asked if he spoke the language, Credible said that he was fluent. Patterson then told Vince that he was Portuguese and little did Credible know, they already had the Aldo Montoya gimmick written up and after two months, Vince pulled him aside after a TV Taping and offered him a deal. He was not immediately told about the gimmick then added that he did not even see the costume until the day he debuted the character.
Credible is asked about Shawn Michaels back then. He said that Shawn was a mess but very competitive. He said that he was not even old enough to be in bars at that time and wound up as the driver. He did say that Shawn was quick to accept him and how Shawn is a completely different person today.
Speaking about the Kliq, Credible said that people do not realize that they were passionate about the business, even if they were not always right. He said that he would learn from them by riding in the cars as he was only a few years in the business and listen to them discuss the matches on what did and did not work.
Still on the Kliq, he said that he saw a lot of them pass out from using a lot of somas and get into bar fights. When asked, he said that they were “dicks” to fans when they approached them at bars. He felt like he was a babysitter back at this time.
He is now asked again about Shawn and Credible said at this point, he was all about wrestling and getting fucked up. Credible even said that Shawn had a system down that he would take his pills at a certain time so right after he finished his match, they would kick in and he would immediately be high. He then said that Hall was even worse with the drugs.
On how they got the drugs, Credible said that they were all prescribed by doctors. He mentions the fanny packs that wrestlers wore to carry their pills and said that you would go to Curt Hennig for pain pills, Hall for Xanax, and Shawn or Road Dogg for somas. He said that you were basically the odd man out if you did not have anything and attributes that to the crazy schedule, which he said has been corrected today.
For the first few years of his wrestling career, Credible said that he never used drugs. He recalls the end of a 20 day tour in Germany that he was so exhausted that he put his head into an ice bucket right before his match in order to wake himself up.
He is asked about the first time he took a pain pill. He wrestled at a small show against the Brooklyn Brawler and blew out his shoulder. He was at the bar with Hall, nursing a Coors Light, and told Hall that he hurt his shoulder and gave him two pills and told him to take them, even calling him a “puss.” He said he never did drugs before but noticed the relief he got from those pills. He said at that time, he was still naive and had a lack of education about substance abuse and figured that this was what everyone was doing and could not show weakness as he was running with a group of alpha males. Credible said it took him years to realize that he had a problem.
Credible is asked about other big names at that time doing drugs and he states that he took acid with the Undertaker while on a plane ride to the Philippines. He also mentions how Michael Hayes would hit up the locker room for drugs and he was an agent at the time. Credible said that the drug problem was rampant but that some guys were better with their use than others. He said that they were testing for marijuana and steroids primarily but if you tested positive for Opiates and had a prescription for Vicodin or Percocet, you were fine.
At this point, Credible said that he was doing everything, from pills to coke. He then tells a story about how he and Hall were smoking a joint during a drive from Montreal to Boston and got tested when they arrived and only Hall got popped. Credible said that Hall had heat with Vince at the time then adds how they were picking and choosing who to bust.
He mentions how he once had two eight-balls of coke in his pants passing through customs in Kuwait and ended up snorting it with Shawn. At this time, they would charter buses for heels and babyfaces for the overseas tours.
Back on the subject of wrestling, he is asked about working with Ted Dibiase. Credible said that he was stepping down to a managerial role and going through the motions but would give you a lot of offense in the ring.
When asked about his first impression of HHH, Credible said that he was always serious about the business and rarely partied, if ever, but would joke around and was a likable guy. He said that Shawn, Hall, and Nash thought that he was money and brought him into their circle as they wanted to be around guys who they thought could draw money.
He said that Nash is a cool guy who was all business. During the time Nash was champion, Credible said that they were upset about payoffs as business was bad and WCW was paying better. At this time, Credible was making from $60,000-$75,000 a year and nothing was guaranteed and you were paid off of the house. When asked, Credible said that his friendship with the Kliq got him booked a lot.
Credible is asked about working house shows with Steve Austin when he was the “Ringmaster.” Credible said that the stunner would get a pop even before he became Stone Cold.
He said that he was also cool with the Undertaker, Godwinn’s, and Rikishi at this time.
The interviewer goes back and asks him about the time he took acid with the Undertaker. He was sitting behind the Undertaker when Henry Godwinn told him to take it and within twenty minutes, he said he was “bobbing and weaving.” When asked about the Undertaker on acid, Credible said that he was funny. Credible then said that overall, Undertaker was a real cool guy that was level-headed.
On the Aldo Montoya gimmick, he said it sucked but it was a learning experience. He said that he ended up going to Vince’s office and wanted to learn and do something else so Vince sent him to Memphis and told Credible that he was going to bring him back as a heel. He also said if he wasn’t going to do anything, he was going to ask for his release as he was talking to Scott about joining WCW. Credible believes that Vince sent him to Memphis because it would look bad if more guys were leaving.
Justin said that he respected Jerry Lawler but never cared for the Memphis style of wrestling. At one point, he tried out with the Nation of Domination gimmick as part of PG-13 but he ended up quitting six weeks into his Memphis run. The day he quit was when Heyman came down as part of the ECW/USWA feud and he met up with Chris Candido who hooked him up with Paul Heyman and he signed a deal.
He thought that Heyman was a “mad genius” and loved him in WCW. Justin believed that Heyman hired him as he needed solid guys who could work. He said a lot of the ECW guys were homegrown and raw but it was a sloppy style of wrestling and needed more polished workers. One of his first matches there was with Jerry Lynn and he even wrestled a match as Aldo Montoya.
Justin talks about how he never established a character or got comfortable on the microphone until 2000 while in ECW. When asked about the Justin Credible character was created, he said that the urban legend was that Bilvis Wesley saw the name on a bumper sticker and wanted to use the name for himself but Paul thought it fit him instead of Bilvis and gave him a small sum of money, about $150 for the name.
As Justin Credible, he talks about how he could work all sorts of styles. He is asked about being stuck with Jason Knight. At the time, he thought it was corny but looking back, he was glad that it started that way.
When asked about Chastity, she was hanging around at the time and they wanted Justin to have an entourage so they stuck her with him.
He is asked about the drug scene in the ECW locker room, Credible said that it was more recreational drugs than pain pills. He talks about the travel being much lighter than the WWF as a reason for that.
Justin is asked about several wrestlers he worked with in ECW. He thought he had good chemistry with Jerry Lynn and cites his match at Heatwave 1998 as his breakout match, which included a tombstone piledriver from the second rope. He said that Tommy Dreamer helped him adapt to the ECW style of wrestling. At first, Justin said that he was apprehensive about using the hardcore spots. He thought that Masato Tanaka was great. He talks about how the Sandman character was not a gimmick but that he was an intelligent guy who could work in the ring. He talks about getting to beat the shit out of Sandman when he left for WCW and got the kendo stick gimmick as a result.
When he got more popular in ECW, Justin said that he got to become the Shawn Michaels of the promotion. He occasionally traveled with Tony DeVito or Lance Storm but usually just traveled with his wife.
He is asked about Heyman’s attitude of the locker room drug use, Justin goes back to the “mad genius” of Heyman and how he was able to keep things together. Justin also mentions Dreamer and how he was basically the Pat Patterson of ECW, usually coming up with the finishes of the matches.
On the subject of Nicole Bass, Justin said she was a sweet girl but was lost and pushed into the business by her husband, an older man who would also sell Vicodin and Nubain.
He calls Sid a “rockstar” and said that he could always command a reaction from the crowd. He talks about how he filled in for Shane Douglas and came in on the PPV to work with him. Speaking of Shane, Justin said that he has a lot of respect for him and adds that he was the reason that ECW lasted in the beginning.
Justin is asked about the Impact Players. He said that Dawn Marie had ties into the business and thinks it was because she was dating Simon Diamond. He said that she was smart and knew how to work her roll. He loved being paired with Lance Storm because they were opposites as he was the hardcore guy with jeans and Lance was the technical wrestler. He said teaming with Lance was the easiest thing he did in wrestling because of their chemistry and the fact that they were trained by the same people.
Talking about Raven, Justin said that he liked working with him but sometimes he was so whacked out on drugs or would just be in a mood due to conflict with Heyman and not be his best in the ring.
The Interviewer point blank asks Justin if he was a full-blown addict at this point. He said that he was buying Vicodin from Nicole Bass’s husband and was making $2,500 a week while his wife was selling merchandise and making $150 a show. On the subject of bounced checks from Heyman, he said that he had checks bounce but Heyman always made good, citing one time when he was getting married and needed the money after the check bounced so he went to Paul’s house and got the money he was owed, along with an 1/8th of weed. He thinks that Paul made sure he was paid as everyone was leaving and he could have called up Scott and went to WCW.
He doesnt blame Lance for leaving for WCW and said that his deal allowed him to retire as he got a ton of money. This also led to Justin’s singles run and ultimately the title.
When he won the title, Credible puts it over as making you feel good because you closed the show and the company believed in you.
Justin said that Steve Corino worked hard and was really good. He admired his passion and says that he deserves everything he got.
He said that New Jack never fucked with him and thought he was funny.
When ECW closed, Justin said he was scared. He was reaching out to Jim Ross in the WWF and also to Lance Storm in WCW, who were not hiring anyone because they knew the company was going under. The WWF gave him a contract after two days.
In the WWF, he was paired with Albert and X-Pac as part of the X Factor. He was told at first that they were going to push them strong.
He talks about working against Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. He said that Eddie was very nice and generous in the ring. He also said that Chris was generous but quiet. Justin also said that you had to work hard with them in the ring.
Justin talks about the Invasion angle ending up as a bust then X-Pac got into trouble with the office so he ended up being cast aside.
When asked how HHH changed from when he first arrived in the WWF, Justin said that he was more about business. He also said at the time, he was dating Stephanie but it was not out to the public yet and he knew because he rode with Regal, X-Pac, and HHH. He talks about one time, instead of driving to a Smackdown taping, HHH got them on Vince’s Jet and they flew. He said that he was on the plane with HHH, Regal, Austin, and Debra.
On teaming with Raven, Justin said it was the “shits” and that he was addicted to crystal meth and pain pills at the time too. He was getting drugs shipped to his home from a guy in Los Angeles. When asked about how he became addicted to meth, he did not give up the name but said that it was someone from the locker room who he was close with. Justin said at the time his career was slowly going down the shitter as there was no more WCW or ECW and he was floundering at the time.
Justin never cared about the Hardcore Title and reiterated that it was a dark period in his life due to his drug use.
He was fired in January of 2003. Before his release, HHH approached him and told him he needed to get his shit together and Justin ended up blowing him off. Shortly after that, he had to sell his home because he was running out of money. Justin got fired after missing a flight to a show because he was high and Johnny Ace called and told him that he was fired. Justin then said he waited a week to tell his wife and cried after Ace called him.
When asked if his release from the WWE worsened his addiction problems, Credible said he doesnt remember that period and does not want to because it was a very dark period in his life.
The interviewer asks Credible about his daily struggles with addiction. He talks about how difficult it was to function as an opiate addict, especially the withdrawals, and how he was too embarrassed to get help for years. Credible now takes over the interview and talks about his drug abuse. He said that he went from abusing pain pills to abusing heroin intravaneously. He said that he was using heroin to get by to prevent himself from being sick as he was no longer being prescribed opiates from doctors as he was not wrestling full-time, which made it easy to get prescriptions. Credible said that the opiates were too expensive to purchase off of the streets. He then talks about how at first, he was snorting three bags of heroin daily just to prevent himself from going into withdrawals. One day, he could only afford one bag then someone told him that if he shot up, he would not go through withdrawals and that is how it started.
Still on the topic of his addiction, Credible said that for a long time, he did not want to give up his drug habit because he felt like Superman when he was high. Credible then talks about how he found that wrestlers mask not only pain with drugs, but also emotions, from dealing with the difficulties in the business. He says that he felt like he had no identity outside of pro wrestling and when that got taken away, he didnt want to feel anything anymore. He said that he swallowed a lot of pride and called the WWE in November of 2012 and asked them for help.
They go back to Credible’s brief return to the WWE as part of the ECW brand in 2005. Credible said that he had no real intentions of giving up his addictions. He talks about trying to lock himself in his house for a few days and go cold turkey but he was unable to overcome the physical pain.
Credible is asked about how he got in contact with the WWE in order to get to rehab. Credible said he called the office and got the number to the company’s addiciton counselor. The WWE ended up flying him to a facility in a suburb outside of Baltimore, MD. Credible said that the place was wonderful. He then talks about how the addictions counselor for the WWE holds weekly phone meetings (almost like a narcotics anonymous meeting held over the phone) that would have other wrestlers who were addicts as well.
He speaks about how it is still a constant struggle to maintain sobriety. Credible says that somedays, like today, are good while others are not. He does say how he is happy to say that he has not touched any opiates or any other drugs since leaving rehab a year ago. He said that if someone would have told him a year ago that he still would be sober today, he never would have believed them. Credible then talks about how he got hooked up with DDP Yoga and said it gave him another obstacle to climb as he continues to go through his recovery process. He then shows us a new tattoo on his arm that reminds him of his new beginning, noting that an old track mark is still present.
Credible talks about his career and how he wants to leave a better legacy behind. He talks about how he is getting a lot of independent bookings and helping teach classes and reiterates about wanting to leave wrestling on a positive note.
The interviewer asks if the WWE Rehab offer is only for 30 days. Credible said that it is all open ended and they tell you to just get well. Credible then talks about how at first he thought the WWE Rehab offer was just a PR move, and he still does to some degree so the company can cover themselves with all of the drug abuse deaths in wrestling, but says that the business has changed and the drug abuse is almost non-existant. He talks about being in a locker room recently and that there were no drugs around backstage and if anything, someone might take a pill or smoke a joint but that is all. Credible gives credit for the newer generation of wrestlers for standing up and saying enough is enough regarding the drug abuse and talks about how the generations before them took a lot of shit.
Now, Credible is asked about the recoveries of Jake Roberts and Scott Hall. He talks about having a close bond with Hall, saying that Hall would call him up drunk on occasion and that they would rely on each other for support. Credible then talks about a photo at a recent “House of Hardcore” show with former ECW wrestlers. Credible said that Tommy Dreamer invited him and the other’s to the show because they were all sober now. Credible then talks about how when they were in ECW, it was cool to use drugs but now that is not the case at all.
Credible is asked about his family and how aware they were of his drug abuse. He said that they were all aware and tried to help. He said that he put everyone through a lot of “shit” but today, he can’t believe that he has regained the respect of his family. He then tells a story of how he was recently at his mother in law’s house and went to the bathroom and saw a bottle of Percocet sitting on the counter and how five years ago, he would have considered taking them or make him want to get some for himself but on this occasion, he said that he was not triggered by the bottle at all and is proud of that.
When asked about making amends to people he hurt or screwed over in wrestling after leaving rehab, he said that he did. Credible added that it was not hard but in some instances, it was too painful to reach out. He said that he still has some work to do.
Now, Credible is asked about his “Pro Wrestling 101” videos that are available online. He talks about being a guest on Colt Cabana’s “Art of Wrestling” podcast and after that, Cabana told him to do a podcast of his own or make videos so people know that he is around and to keep yourself relevant. Credible said that he thought about what to do and said that he was doing a lot of independent shows and felt that so many of the other wrestlers would never be able to get the knowledge from experienced veterans like he did when he first broke into the business so he decided to make videos about all of the things he has learned from wrestlers over the years as a way to give back to wrestling and to keep himself relevant.
Credible is asked if he would ever want a job with the WWE as a trainer. He said that he would and adds that he follows the current product and even keeps in touch with others in the company. He said that he would like to stay sober longer before atetmpting to land a job like that but wants to do that sooner rather than later.
He talks about how he loves wrestling, whether it is being in the ring with a young guy or a veteran. He said that in the ring is the only way he can be creative and said that wrestling is now his heroin.
When asked about what he would want people to say about him twenty years down the line, Credible said that they would want him to say that he loves the business, was honest, and worked as hard as he could to entertain the fans.
Credible closes by plugging his website and his “Pro Wrestling 101” videos. The interviewer thanks Credible for having the balls to say what he did as Credible says that this interview was liberating and that
Final Thoughts: I really liked this interview, especially the end. Credible was open and honset about his struggles to finally ask for help and to stay sober. I really, really hope that he can stay on the right path. He also shed some light on the WWE Rehab process and how it does seem to help out the performers even when they have finished a stint at a facility.
While discussing his “dark period,” you could tell that Credible was still uncomfortable even thinking about that time in his life. He could be seen nervously bouncing his legs at times while talking and on one occasion, just did not want to go back to that time and place. However, when he talked about being sober and winning back the respect and trust of his family, the anxiety decreased and took great pride in his sobriety. I also respect how Credible never blamed anyone for his addiction. He took responsibility for his actions.
Credible also shines a light on how bad the drug scene was in wrestling and how much it has cleaned up today. Like he said, the guys today learned from the mistakes that he and his fellow wrestlers made when they were on top of their game.
I recommend this interview as it is a great story of someone who is has made a lot of mistakes and took the steps to correct that. Credible really seems genuine when he says that he wants to give back to wrestling. He did not go in depth into his stories of drugs and did not glorify the examples he gave. He did not have a bad word to say about anyone and I wish him all of the best.