This was filmed in 2009
It is a two-disc set. Disc One runs for one hour and forty-three minutes. Disc Two runs at one hour and ten minutes.
This was filmed in March of 2015
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at two hours and twelve minutes long
They start off by talking about the first shoot interview they did sixteen years prior at Rey’s home in San Diego as Rey talks about his son being one year old at the time.
Rob then leaves off where the first interview did in 1999 by asking him about WCW at that time, specifically the dying days. Rey said that he wasn’t paying much attention to the politics and had to plan for himself. He talks about Eric Bischoff wanting to remove his mask but beyond that he didn’t have any problems in WCW.
On the sale of WCW to Bischoff not going through, Rey said that he was just focusing on having fun in the ring and mentions how he still has the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Title belt today.
When Shane McMahon showed up on the final WCW Nitro, Rey said that he only said hi to him and a lot of guys were nervous. He said that his contract was really expensive at that point and WWE waited until it expired to approach him.
After WCW, Rey did a few Independents and worked for CMLL in Mexico. He talks about working against CM Punk in IWA Mid-South and mentions how they clicked from day one and thinks he is awesome.
He first learned that the WWE was interested in him at the beginning of 2002, right around the time his WCW contract was expiring. Rey was in Puerto Rico at the time and said that he was willing to start over again to prove himself if necessary as he wanted to have some job security. Rey said he wasn’t walking in as a negotiator and just looking for an opportunity.
On WWE wanting him to go back to using the mask, Rey said he liked that but at the time was working on a new character and had a gladiator look, complete with shoulder pads, but when he got to OVW they told him they wanted the mask.
Rey said that there were no initial promises but they just went along as he grew successful. He said he felt the acceptance of the locker room and the fans.
About the WWE locker room, Rey said he was part of a great era in that regard and got along with everyone. He said that he is easy going and built strong relationships with certain performers. When asked, he does feel that Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko helped him get into the company.
He talks about doing everything he could in the ring because he never felt like he could do a great promo like Kurt Angle or Ric Flair. Rey said that never bothered the office because they let him showcase his abilities in the ring.
When asked why he was sent to Smackdown instead of RAW, Rey said he thinks they were trying to build up Smackdown as HHH, Rock and Kurt were on that brand at the time. He said that Dean also protected him as he would stand up for him in creative meetings to make sure he was not given terrible material.
On teaming with Edge, Rey said that they had a lot of chemistry and mentions that he clicked with every partner he had in the WWE now that he thinks about it.
Rey is asked about the WWE Cruiserweight Division. He said that they had a ton of talent and it could have been a huge deal if it was kept by itself, comparing it to the beginning of his WCW run. He said they all wanted to work together to put on good matches. When asked, Rey said that he didn’t feel like he was kept in the Cruiserweight Division for too long and wanted to stay there so it couild grow, hoping that International talents would end up joining.
He is asked about the ECW One Night Stand and the WWE bringing back the brand. Rey thought it was going to work when in started but once they took it to the arenas, it didn’t feel the same and lacked the same passion of the ECW arena. He said he was happy with his match against Psychosis but was under constraints, unlike the original match in 1995.
On his feud with Eddie, Rey said that he loved the chance to work with Eddie again. When asked if it was better than their feud in WCW, Rey said they could never reach that same greatness in the ring. He said that Eddie had a lot of input into the feud and was for Rey’s son to get involved. When asked, Rey said he was not against it and thought the idea of his son being on the road with his dad, and getting paid, was a good thing. Rey talks about his son shooting vignettes then go back to playing with action figures when finished. Rey also said that Eddie would never let up when hurt and would go all out no matter what. When asked why he didn’t ask the office to take time off Rey said there feud was doing great and their mentality was to always perform at their best. He said they would talk about it amongst themselves but that was all. Rey was sad when their feud ended but loved their ladder match. He tells a story of Eddie getting pissed as the finish was not going as planned so he started to swear in English and Spanish.
Still on Eddie, Rey said that he hid his injuries well in the ring but backstage he would be on the floor in pain.
He is now asked about the day Eddie was found dead. Rey said he changed his flight to spend a few hours with his family and because of that, missed the flight he would have taken with Eddie and Chavo. He arrived to the hotel in Minnesota and one of the truck drivers asked if he heard what happen and that was how he found out. Rey said it hit him hard. He said that he wanted to see him so he went over to the hotel and was with Chavo, Dean, Chris Benoit, and the doctor, who let them all see Eddie before they took him away.
On the RAW tribute, Rey said that Shawn Michaels came up to him and said Eddie always wanted to see them work and asked if he would be able to have a match and that was how it happened.
When asked who came up with his angle against Randy Orton where Orton said that Eddie was in hell, Rey said that he was talking about it with Randy and they both felt that line was too strong but thought of Eddie and said he was always about the business so they went through with it as Rey cannot recall who came up with that line.
Rob asks him about Vickie Guerrero getting a job with the WWE and how he felt about that. Rey said that she did great. He is also asked about Eddie’s daughter not making it despite a few stints in Developmental, Rey said that she seemed to be training well at the end but hinted she was not passionate about the business.
Rey said the Wellness Policy is a good idea and as talent, you have to look at it as the future of wrestling because besides drug testing it included cardiovascular and electro testing. Whether or not the WWE should fine talents for smoking weed, Rey said that is a question for someone else to answer.
He said he first found out he was winning the 2006 Royal Rumble the night of the show. Rey said he remembers the match being long and how he spent a lot of time on the mat. Rob then asks him about the rumor of Vince not wanting him to be the champion despite others in the company wanting to make him the champ. Rey said he is not a politician and does not get involved in that so he just took things as they came.
On winning the title at WrestleMania 22, Rey said he got to work with two of his favorite American workers in Orton and Angle. He is then asked about the rumor of Vince believing Rey was lucky to win the strap so he would put him against monsters on purpose as Rey doesn’t really give an answer. Rob then asks him if he felt he was booked to fail as Rey says at the end of the day he was the champion no matter what so he didn’t get mad at losing non-title matches. He does say that he could have done bigger things with the belt, especially among the Latino fanbase.
Rey denies the rumor of him following Palmer Canon to the airport after he quit the company during the European tour trying to talk him out of leaving. He does say that was just “boys being boys” and notes how wrestling today is missing the camaraderie they had back then, noting how you also have to be careful what you do in part of social media. Rey also says JBL is not a bully.
He is asked about several talents. Rey said that he never would have thought he would work against Booker T in the WWE when they were in WCW but said they were friends and had great chemistry so they had good matches. He became good friends with Edge after they were a tag team and said they always thought up new things to do and how he loved his match against Edge at Elimination Chamber. Rey calls Chris Jericho the “American” version of Eddie and
When asked about his surgeries, Rey talks about how he regrets not stretching out before wrestling and how that would have added a few more years to his career. He said that he also never listened to the old-timers who would tell him to cut down on the big moves.
Rob asks Rey if it was true that Chris Benoit was never the same after Eddie passed away. Rey said he traveled with Chris after Eddie passed and although he didn’t speak much if you knew him you could tell he was hurting. Rey does not believe that Chris had brain damage prior to killing his wife and son as says that Chris and Eddie are together now. Rey thinks Chris should be remembered as a great performer and the best way to do so is the photo of him and Eddie celebrating with the confetti at the end of WrestleMania XX. He said his first match with the Undertaker was intimidating but after that he soaked it all in and enjoyed working with him. Rey says he is an incredible person away from the ring.
He talks about moving to RAW in 2009. He said that the only difference from Smackdown is that it was on Monday. He feuded with Kane and calls him a great guy.
Rey believes that Dolph Ziggler is one of the best workers in the WWE. He said that CM Punk was very dedicated to his craft while completely ignoring the question on how he acted backstage. He then wont say anything about Punk walking out of the WWE as he just says he did what he felt was best for him. He was excited to see Alberto Del Rio perform as he was not familiar with him and said their feud got better as it progressed. On his firing, he said that he was surprised that he got fired after slapping an employee. As a follow up question he is asked about experiencing racism while in the WWE. Rey said not directly but unsure if it was directed to him backstage.
Rob asks him about several other guys in rapid fashion, trying to get something out of Rey, but he says nothing at all except that he likes Cody Rhodes.
Now, Rey is asked about failing a Wellness Policy test while sitting at home and what they were testing for as Rey gave some generic answer about how they were given routine tests and that he failed due to not having “proof and validation.” Mind you, he never said what he tested positive for or why he failed. He said the tough thing about the policy is its how the company sees things regarding prescriptions.
He is asked about Sin Cara and how he failed to succeed in the WWE and what happened there. Rey said that his main problem was that he did not speak English and did not know the WWE style. He also said that he had a reputation as a hothead and tried to help him but it didnt work.
Rey thinks the Shield was awesome and Seth is the best out of the three. On whether or not Reigns is the next big thing and if they should have him win at Mania instead of Daniel Bryan as Rey does not understand why the WWE does not go all the way with Bryan as the fans have been going nuts about him for three years. He says getting booed at the Royal Rumble in 2014 as #30, Rey said it shocked him initially but while out there is realized what was going on as he said he told Konnan later on if he saw Bryan in the gorilla position he would have dragged him out in front of the crowd to take his place.
He is asked about HHH and Vince McMahon regarding politics backstage as he gives more generic, non-threatening answers.
Rob now talks about the rumors about his WWE contract and if he was not getting paid. Rey claimed to have always gotten paid by the WWE. He then said he spoke with HHH when he contract was renewed and it went well as he was explained that they had to tack on time due to injury, which was explained in his original contract. He denies any blowup with Vince and that the doors are open for a return in the future.
Rey said he never heard any rumblings about the WWE being upset over him attending the Lucha Underground tapings but thinks they might have been suspicious. He also talks about cutting a promo that aired on TV for the AAA promotion in Mexico (where Rey said “see you soon” at the end) and claimed he did it because the WWE was going to tour Mexico soon and thought it would help promote the shows, not to say that he was going to wrestle for AAA. Rey also claimed he thought he was going on that WWE tour.
When asked about the rumor of HHH was going to release him early from his contract but got overruled by Vince, Rey just talked about how HHH explained his contract to him, not answering the question at all.
He says he is happy to be a free agent now after 13 years of the WWE. Rey also said he left on good terms as he wants to leave the doors open for a potential return. On why the WWE never announced his release, Rey said he had no idea but was aware of his release date.
On the rumors that he is heading to Lucha Underground, Rey said that he wants to wrestle a lot of guys in that company and would like to head into the company.
Rey said he loved returning to AAA for the Rey de Reyes event. He also puts over working with Konnan, who he has known since age 11. He puts over Pentagon and Fenix as being unbelievable workers.
He says his ladder match against Eddie Guerrero was the one he was the most proud of in the WWE as it was the last time they faced off and finishes off the interview by thanking his fans and that he will still be around for a while.
Final Thoughts: Rey might be a nice guy and I have not heard much bad said about him but this was one of the worst shoot interviews I have ever listened to and that was all due to himself. I understand not wanting to go off on people or burn bridges but Rey would not even attempt to answer even a slightly controversial question. And I felt he came off as very insincere and even full of shit when explaining how he left the company. I think he flat out lied about the promo from AAA being a way to promote the WWE Mexico house shows too as he had been off of TV for close to a year at that point with no sign of a return.
I give Feinstein credit for trying to get Rey to say something interesting. However, Rey was unwilling to play the game. He would avoid questions and give generic answers. I actually learned nothing from this interview to be honest and wanted to shut it off halfway through when it was apparent this was going nowhere.
I strongly recommend that you do not listen to this interview. WWE.com articles have more bite than this did and are easier to stomach. You would think filming a shoot a few days after getting released by the WWE would be interesting but that was not the case.
If you are still interested in getting this shoot, you can purchase the DVD for $20 by clicking on the links below:
This week, I have selected four interviews from guys who were WWE Champions This Century. Here are your four choices:
Rey Mysterio (2015)
Vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon
This was released in early 2014
The interview was conducted by Brett Lauderdale
It runs at four hours and one minute long
Steen talks about growing up and having to move to his grandparents house with his parents as they could no longer take care of themselves and because kids in the town would rob them and even tried to set the house on fire. He was 13 years old at the time. He said it was a small “shit” town filled with old people and mentions how he was too far away from his friends to walk over to their houses so he stayed there by himself all Summer. Steen said they did not even have cable so he would watch the same Simpsons tape over and over again.
His first memories of wrestling was at age 11 when his dad rented WrestleMania XI. He saw the first match, British Bulldog & Lex Luger vs. Blu Brothers, and was hooked after that. He then said that after watching Shawn Michaels match against Diesel blew his mind and he wanted to be a wrestler after that. He said he copied every match on that tape except for Bret Hart’s, because he found him incredibly boring. Steen said he has learned to appreciate him over time. Steen said his first live WWF show was at the Montreal Forum in 1996. It is now a movie theater.
He was first trained by Serge Jodoin, a former WWF job guy, at age 16. He first met him at a show that took place at a corn festival in what Steen calls a trashy venue that had drunks fighting with the wrestlers. He then trained at his barn and it cost $70 a month for three days of training weekly. He did that for about two months until the barn collapsed. Steen said Jodoin did good at teaching the basics and almost quit after the first day but went back.
A year later, he found out that Jacques Rougeau was opening a wrestling school and had his mom call up because he was only 16 years of age. The interviewer then asks him about Rougeau as Steen said that his experiences with him were mostly negative then talks about Devon “Hannibal” Nicholson in his shoot interview and how he called him (Steen) ungrateful and would kick his ass as Steen said that was not the same Devon he knew, the same Devon that he helped train at the school.
Back to Jacques, Steen said that if you did not completely devote 100% of your time to his cause, then he would consider you ungrateful. Steen said he was wrestling and going to school at the time. After a few months, Jacques stopped training them and was replaced by a guy named “Eric.” Steen also said that Jacques trained them to wrestle for his shows and not for the real world.
Steen said that he was Jacques top trainee and wowed everyone with his 450 splash. Steen then said that Jacques would tell guys that they would be losing when going up against him.
He goes further into Rougeau and how he would not want his guys to go to other shows. Steen said at that point, a lot of his friends were going to IWS as Rougeau was disinterested in the school and barely showing up so after seeing all his friends leave, he decided to go to the shows. It was there that he saw El Generico (Sami Zayn) for the first time. After a while, Steen asked Rougeau for his blessing to work for them and he said yes.
On the guys in IWS, he tells us about Crazy Manny, who said all sorts of crazy shit to them like he fucked their wives and blew cocaine off of their asses. Steen said it was an act and Manny was actually a really nice guy but crazy too.
Back to Rougeau, Steen tells about a story of how Rougeau promised Steen a tryout when the WWE came to town but had made him sign an agreement that would allow Rougeau to be an agent for his match and make 15% of his salary. Steen said he always wanted to wrestle in the WWE but was having fun where he was and got Rougeau to let him wrestle one more match in IWS to finish up for good. Steen said he was working is job, which was the night shift at a gas station, and pondering about his future as he was exhausted from going to school, work, then wrestling school as he had been up for 24 hours straight and went to the IWS show, where they told him to do what he had to do while some said that Rougeau wouldn’t so anything for him and he should stay. He had his match against El Generico as the fans found out he was going and chanted “please don’t go” as Steen said he got emotional and cried backstage. He was going to call Rougeau to work on the deal but decided against that and said at the time, he was very skinny and shorter than he was now and as a result, would have been laughed out of the building during his tryout. He said that his secret weapon was a 450 splash and the WWE has probably seen that a million times. Rougeau then called him as Steen told him he did not want him as his agent and was going to keep wrestling as Rougeau told him never to show up to his school again and that was the last time he spoke with him, on November 23rd, 2003. Steen then said that Rougeau picked two guys who got a tryout about a year later and they got squashed by Hurricane & Rosey on Heat. Steen then calls Rougeau out for being delusional and thought his guys would be getting a long match together instead of being used as jobbers. Steen also heard he was so obnoxious backstage that Rick Martel, who was visiting as the show was in Quebec, told an agent after the match to get Rougeau the fuck out of their and they eventually asked him to leave.
When asked if he heard about CZW at that time, Steen said he did and what he saw, from a German CZW site, blew his mind. Steen said he was eager to make a name for himself and wanted to wrestle wherever he could. He made his debut after being brought in to wrestle in a four-way, along with El Generico, and that put them on the map in the U.S. indy scene. This was in 2004.
Steen talks about the guys in CZW. He said Nick Gage was one of the weirdest guys as he was friendly the first time then standoffish the next. He also said that Justice Pain was a dick. Steen then goes on about how if you feel threatened in a company (CZW) that you will never make money and is basically around for fun, then you are ridiculous. He said its not like the WWE where a lot of money is on the line.
In November of 2004, Steen made his debut in PWG. It was supposed to be a one-time deal and he and Generico even offered to wrestle for free as long as they had their tickets paid for but did get paid at the end. They were both just 20 years old at the time. He said it was the most fun he had in his life.
Steen put over the PWG locker room except for Scorpio Sky, who Steen calls a “bitter dude” who is upset about his lack of recognition. Steen said that he is a tremendous wrestler but probably does not get the recognition due to his attitude. Their first show was supposed to be against Sky and Quiksilver but they no-showed, blaming it on traffic as Steen and Generico wrestled each other. Steen said that they probably would have never gotten over as much as they did in a tag match.
On his Ring of Honor debut, he was at a show and handed a tape to Gabe Sapolsky and a few months later got a call. Steen was told to wrestle under a hood to face Jay Lethal at Final Battle then he would wrestle as himself that February. However, he got hurt so Generico took his role as the “Green Phantom.” He made his debut later than year (2005) and said he didn’t really have any good matches as he recalls having one particularly horrible match against Vordell Walker that had CM Punk yell at him in the locker room when he finished. Steen said for some reason it didn’t click in his first run.
He is asked about a rumor about an incident with CM Punk. Steen said he was hanging out in the back and was asked by Gabe to wear a singlet because he didn’t want anyone wrestling with t-shirts on for the show, despite the fact that Homicide and others did at the time. Steen wrestled and said it was fine but did not feel like it was him and says that people can say he is trying to hide that he is fat a Steen says everyone knows and think it looks better and if people disagree he is fine with that. But that afternoon, Punk made a crack about him wrestling in a shirt as Steen said he just took it as a joke, believing that they were on good terms. After the match, Steen said he was blown up and joked around and asked if he was happy for him wrestling in the singlet and said that Punk took offense to that as Steen said he might have sounded like that as he was out of breath but meant no ill will and might have took it the same way as Punk did if the roles were reversed. Steen said that they know each other better now and laughs off the rumors that they almost came to blows as a result.
Steen tells a story about how he was supposed to wrestle Teddy Hart at a Jersey All Pro show but Hart claimed his shoulder was injured yet was doing pull-ups on the basketball hoop. He was then going to team with Justin Credible but found out that he left after Low Ki refused to allow his ride into the show without a ticket so Credible said fuck it and quit. Steen then teamed with Generico against Ki and a few other guys. Steen said he has no problem with Ki but that Ki does not respect him at all. Steen then said one time Ki initially refused to job to Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro) at a PWG show and how that blew his mind, saying how could you not lose to someone like him, the guy who has been a champion for a year. Steen also tells a story of how he called Ki once and how Ki was pissed after Steen introduced himself because he had caller ID and knew who was calling.
He is asked about several other guys. Steen said that AJ Styles is incredible and always willing to do what he wanted. He also said he would take the Styles Clash from the apron to the floor when they wrestled as it got a great reaction but would also hurt his legs. He loves Bryan Danielson but also said he does not have good chemistry with him. They wrestled in PWG, at Steen’s request as it was his birthday, so they had an angle in which Steen told the fans he would leave if he lost and when he did lose, Danielson let him stay as long as he sung “Happy Birthday” because it was Danielson’s birthday a few weeks later. He really misses Chris Bosh, who he said is the nicest and funniest guys he knows. Steen thinks he could have been huge but he decided to leave wrestling.
Steen was in CZW and said he hated it there as the fans were terrible, which Steen said was due to the promotion putting out a shitty promotion. He said that he spoke with Colt Cabana and came up with an idea to get him back into Ring of Honor during their feud with CZW and wanted to be the traitor but it never came to fruition.
While going to Europe, Steen said he was told that the fans in Germany really hated him then talks about how he has found that people either love or hate him. During that tour, he won the crowd over and the crowd turned his back on him at the beginning of his match.
He is now asked about Davey Richards. Steen said he wrestled him for the first time several years ago and was humble and respectful but now is different but very talented. Steen said he thought Davey was a friend but would stay some stuff but now they are in a “good” place. Steen said he is misunderstood but also not an easy person to read.
On going back to Ring of Honor, Steen credits the Briscoes for getting him in and talks about how you cannot judge them as individuals until you meet him. While Steen does not agree with some of the stuff they have said on Twitter, he likes them as people and calls them great wrestlers.
Steen said that he liked Gabe and felt comfortable talking to him but did not always agree with him. He does feel that Gabe is very appreciative of the wrestlers. Steen credits Cary Silkin for helping out not only his career but his life and cites his passion for wrestling in keeping RoH alive.
He talks about how he was working a full-time regular job for his primary income before signing with RoH and as a result he stopped working for PWG because he would be away from his family for too long.
Steen said that originally, there was a plan of him and Generico to have a three-way feud with The Briscoes and the Kings of Wrestling but the KoW got pulled from that as Steen & Generico fought the Briscoes instead.
When asked about the guys he worked with in 2008, Steen said that Brent Albright was a bully back and unnecessarily stiff in the ring. He recalls once when Albright kicked him in the teeth and was so pissed because he thought his teeth were broken so he ended up slapping the shit out of Albright, which shocked him. He loved working against Joey Matthews and said he learned a lot. Steen also said that he loved their match at the 6th Anniversary show and doesnt understand why people did not like that match.
Steen talks about how he has never received a concussion from wrestling but notes that Generico has had many and that he would do jumping jacks backstage to prove that he was okay enough to wrestle.
On whether or not he was shocked that Gabe was fired, Steen said he was not as Cary told him before it happened something big was happening and changes where needed. Steen said towards the end the booking was odd as they never defended the belts and would wrestle in singles matches and nothing else was making sense. When Adam Pearce was the replacement, Steen thought that Generico and him were done as they were not close.
When Pearce took over, his guys like Brent Albright were happy as they wanted a more old-school elemnt and to slow things down in the ring. Steen said that he had it out for them at the beginning as they told them they were not wrestling the style they used, the style that RoH had been using since it began. Steen said it got better over time but they never felt like they were part of their plans.
Steen talks about how when they made their debut on HD Net, the show came off really corny but that it got better towards the end.
He was excited when Ric Flair came into the company and said he was nice but after a while he started acting like a dick to other people. Steen said that Flair complimented Generico and himself. Steen could not tell if he was genuine though and says that he is the Flair character all of the time. He tells a story of Flair berating Cary backstage and when his music hit, Flair told him “alright motherfucker, I am going to go out there and put you over” as Flair went out to the ring and thanked Cary. Steen said that Flair was always good with him though.
Steen puts over Sylvan Grenier for being a good guy and a better wrestler than people give him credit for as while he might not be Ricky Steamboat, he does try and improve.
On Jim Cornette coming to RoH, Steen said they got along well at the beginning as they new each other from 2004 during an OVW tryout camp. However, while in RoH, Cornette ignored him and booked him in lesser matches and that when Pearce got fired and replaced by Cornette and Delirious, things got worse. Steen even mentioned how Cornette tried to get Colt Cabana booked off of shows as Cabana was pissed because Cornette was trying to take money away from him by doing that. Cornette hated a match they had together as well. Steen said Cabana is “one of the good ones.”
Cornette also told Steen at one point that he was going to go home for six months after his feud with Generico ended. Steen said he understood from a storyline point but that he needed to make money and when Cornette told him it was only a few thousand dollars, Steen brought up how he didnt make six figures in the 80’s. Steen said that Cary agreed to give him some money for the shows he missed and not Cornette, who claims that he did. Steen is asked about the rumor of him being sent home to get in shape as he said they told him it wouldnt hurt to slim down but that was not the main reason. In fact, Steen said that he almost quit wrestling after that and would have if not for PWG.
Steen said that wrestling passed Cornette by and did not care about the RoH faithful that were there since day one as he wanted to only concentrate on only getting mainstream fans. Steen said that he could have done both.
He felt happy for Cary after selling RoH because he put in a lot of time and now got something back. Steen said there were some growing pains but now the company is going strong.
On his public feud with Cornette, Steen said that in a public interview that Cornette should not be involved in the creative aspect of a wrestling company because he is out-of-touch and that set him off to the point where he was making personal attacks, something Steen said he never brought up at all with Cornette. Steen said that Cornette wouldn’t shut the fuck up about it and thinks he was probably used to everyone saying how great he was. Steen even said he emailed Cornette an apology for hurting his feelings because it was not his intent but it was what he felt. Cornette never responded to him and Steen said he even told a friend to say hi to him at a show and when he did, Cornette went nuts. Steen also told Cornette he would film a shoot with him but Cornette never got back to him.
Steen talks more about Cornette and said he is a great talent and helpful on promos but using hokey gimmicks like “Border Wars” and matches were the winner made $2,000 as Steen felt it lost it edge and became like every other wrestling company. Steen said he is passionate and cares about what he does and if he feels like he can help out or disagrees, he will speak up. Steen said if that makes him hard to work with then maybe he is but adds that he has not been fired from every job that he had, unlike Cornette.
The night Cornette quit, Steen said Cornette was a little more high strung than usual and said he admires Cornette for getting pissed because the office left while a wrestler was hurt and trying to help him but screaming like a fucking maniac is not the way to go about things, even noting how the EMT’s couldn’t believe he was there boss. Steen said it was good for Cornette’s health to leave because he was looking on the verge of having a heart attack.
When he beat Davey Richards for the title, Steen said he was happy and proud that his family was in attendance but the fact the iPPV feed was messed up and most people gave up on the shoe soured it a bit. Steen said he thought his reign was okay but could have been better but it was not the fault of anyone and would like another chance at that. He said winning in Canada was cool but feels like the New York crowd likes him the most. He liked his matches against Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal, who Steen says his very underrated. He said the idea to spit on his parents was Cornette’s idea. On Elgin, Steen said that when he first wrestled him he thought he sucked but now thinks he is excellent.
Lauderdale asks him about Davey Richards publically stating that Steen was not an athlete and other things as Steen said that took him aback and Richards later back-tracked and blamed it on him being upset in life and taking things out on people. Steen said he was fine with that apology. Steen said that he is trying to get in better shape and that Richards offered to help and is a good friend but you never know what you are going to get with him. He does note he has been positive in his life and is happy but what goes on in his life dictates how he acts.
Steen says his relationship with RoH is better today but wishes there would be more direction with him.
He is asked about his contract, which is expiring, and what he is doing next. Steen said he needs to support family and that pro wrestling has been good to him and wants to continue doing so. He enjoys all of the promotions he has wrestled for and wants to keep wrestling for them or somewhere else where he can make good money. Steen is then asked about the rumor that he will have a tryout with the WWE at the Performance Center. They guarantee Steen the interview will not come out until after March then Steen confirms. He is happy the WWE thought enough of him to send an invite and credits William Regal for getting him the tryout. Steen said he knows of five indy guys going to the tryout and while he does not know if he will get hired or not it is ridiculous to think they have no intention of hiring people they invite as they pay to fly you out and put you up in a hotel and will not do that for no reason. Steen does not believe he will be brought just to be told “no.” He just wants to say that he gave it his all and if it doesnt work, he can still look at himself in the mirror with regards to the tryout. When asked, Steen said he is willing to start from new scratch if signed as he is not afraid of change. Steen also says that any wrestler who has never been there and says the WWE is not for them is just kidding themselves and you have to tryout if given the opportunity.
When asked if he would have interest in TNA, Steen said sure as he has to be able to provide for his family and if they offer something like that he would consider. He just wants himself and his family to be happy.
Steen closes by saying he loves wrestling and all it has brought to him as there are too many great moments to list. He then talks about supporting his family and how he has made enough money off of the indies the past two years that his wife does not have to work. He then says he will stop wrestling when it comes detrimental to his health or his family and has that sense but feels most people do not. He also thanks the fans, promotions, and companies like RF Video and Highspots for making ti possible to wrestle for a living instead of working a 9-5 job.
Final Thoughts: Good interview. Steen is open and honest here and really does seem to love wrestling. He didnt come here with an agenda or get pissed about not being in the WWE as he loves what he does.
Steen, who is a polarizing guy (Even admits fans either love him or hate him), seems to be able to let things roll off of him when it comes to negativity.
I also loved his attitude when asked about the WWE as he simply stated, when it comes to the tryout, that he wants the opportunity to give it his all and if he doesnt make it he can live with himself while calling out the bullshit from others who claim the WWE is not for them.
I recommend this interview, even if you did not follow Steen all that much in the indies because he is a great subject and you can get a backstory of his career and the hardships he has faced. I will say that Brett Lauderdale is the worst interviewer on the planet but he didnt even bring this down.
You can buy the DVD for $15 by clicking on the link below.
This week I chose three shoot interviews that took place before the subject made it to WWE TV. Here are your three choices and you can click on the link below to view the trailer:
Vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon.
The SmarK Rant for the RF Video Shoot Interview with Dusty Rhodes This was taped late in 1999, from what I can tell. As a reminder, this and all other shoot interviews I talk about are available at www.rfvideo.com. Footage from ECW opens things up. We start in West Texas State, pre-wrestling era for Dusty, as he went there with the likes of the Funks and Tully Blanchard. He got a football scholarship under dubious circumstances, but wrestling was his true calling. Dusty remembers himself booking shows as early as childhood in the backyard. I’m not sure about the rumors that he invited a young Ric Flair over to his house and then put himself over. He was trained in wrestling by a local named Bill Graham (no relation to anyone else with that name) and got started from there. Graham’s only question: “Can you do a dropkick?” At that point, he COULD, of course. Joe Blanchard (Tully’s dad and AWA President in that promotion’s dying days) taught him the essentials. Early on he went to Australia with Dick Murdoch and met Jim Barnett. Barnett switched things up a bit, making Dusty the talker on the team and paying him more money. Back to the states, as Dusty tells the story about his dad dying on the same day as Dustin being born. Fritz Von Erich paid for the funeral. Talks a bit about the importance of Living the Gimmick. Over to the AWA, and a feud with Crusher & Bruiser. Dusty was still a heel at this point, keep in mind. Went to Florida and did tons of hour-long draws with Jack Brisco, until the fans had apparently turned him babyface by default, which led to the angle with Pak Song where he turned for real. Talks about Kevin Sullivan’s devil-worship stuff in the 70s and how much the crowds were into it, to the point where there would be organized devil-worshipping groupie sessions, who were opposed by redneck bikers. And you thought Vince Russo’s fans were weird. Eddie Graham started grooming Dusty to book in 1974. Dusty then stops to reflect on how much power he really did have over the years and how some MIGHT see that as a knock on him. He then takes credit for a shitload of stuff, including training Paul Heyman to book and making just about major star in the 80s. He then trashes Meltzer and thinks that if he started his own promotion, he’d just put himself on top. Hello, Kettle? This is the Pot. I just called to say that you’re black. Onto Dory Funk, who was a great wrestler, but wasn’t so great as a booker. Dusty notes he always seemed to get the booking jobs to clean up Dory’s mess. Apparently everything Dory said or did was a work. Starrcade ’83 came about because Jim Crockett came to Dusty one day looking for a “special” aura to his big show. Dusty rejected early name suggestions from Barry Windham like “Autumn Bomb” and settled for a play-on-words for “Decade” instead – Starrcade. Eddie Graham let him go from his Florida obligations so he could book the NWA. Jim Crockett offered Dusty crazy money to name his big shows and book. No word on whether Dusty actually set up the rings and sold all the tickets door-to-door by himself, too, but it wouldn’t shock me to hear about that from him one day. His first experiment in sportz entertainment was the Boogie Woogie Man video that led to the Valiant-Jones haircut angle. He regrets not copyrighting his event names, because when Eric Bischoff came along he took all of Dusty’s and added some lame ones of his own. Dusty named all of WCW’s PPVs from 1983 until 1993. That actually makes sense, since Bischoff’s contributions were “Uncensored” and “World War III”. Wargames was thought up on a car trip to a house show, and is his favorite gimmick match. He describes the party atmosphere of the 80s. He continues to make friends, talking about what a shitty booker George Scott is. Dusty actually hates “the b word” and prefers “executive producer”. The buck always stopped with Dusty. Piper & Steamboat apparently couldn’t deal with that and left for the WWF in 1984. That’s a unique interpretation of their reasons for leaving. He was ready to pass the torch to Magnum before he accident killed his career. Dusty claims Magnum had more charisma than Hogan, and that he got way more chicks. Magnum got 40,000 letters a day from fans after the car accident. Talks about the Andersons cage match that turned Nikita babyface and we get a clip of that. Barry Windham, who once had tons of potential as a wrestler and booker, just prefers to stay home these days. Barry was Dusty’s #1 guy backstage and a protégé. Onto the Midnights/RnR stuff and how Dusty came up with videos to get them over. Says the RnR were like the Beatles in terms of crowds and money. Says they could go 30-60 with ease, but it wasn’t believable for Ricky Morton to get beat up that long, so he didn’t book them longer than 20. A bit on managers, with Paul E & Jim Cornette being his favorites. Thinks Cornette had the edge in talent. Knew Steve Austin would be a superstar right from the start. Yeah, that’s why he booked him to bump like a pinball for Dustin, because he knew he’d be a superstar. Talks about warring with Vince in the 80s. Takes credit for selling out the building in a match against Bubba Rogers and thinks they’d still be around (presumably on the strength of those Bubba-Dusty matches) had Crockett not gotten greedy. Yeah, THAT’S why the NWA died, because Crockett got greedy. Dusty’s booking had NOTHING to do with it. Thinks Hogan beat him because he had Hollywood Connections and Dusty didn’t. Tully: Good worker, bit of a crybaby. Thinks he was a spinoff of Flair. Onto Flair, who’s the “ultimate flim-flam man” and doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself. Dusty takes credit for creating the Ric Flair character, and naming him as such. See, Flair wanted to called “Ricky Rhodes”, and Dusty told him “Ricky, you gotta find your own way, if you will” and Flair was so inspired by these words from the Dream that he went on to draw millions of fans around the world, all for Dusty. Dusty doesn’t think Flair is God, but then he’s kinda biased. Clip of Dusty calling out Flair on an episode of Worldwide, as David Crockett has heart failure. Dusty Rhodes v. Ric Flair. Stalling to start. Hiptoss & elbow and Flair begs off. Rhodes wins a slugfest and Flair bails. Back in, Flair pounds him in the corner and drops the knee for two. Dusty comes back with a press slam and a lariat for two. Flair goes up and gets slammed off, cue the Horsemen run-in. 4-on-1 beatdown follows, and the usual suspects save. *1/2 On another episode, Dusty calls out Tully, resulting in another beatdown. Back to the interview… Talks about the early days of Ric Flair. Doesn’t think Ric’s a good booker, but notes he has a rabid following of people who don’t know anything about the business. Onto the UWF and the wasted interpromotional war. Dusty actually ADMITS A MISTAKE, as he notes he was too focused on Vince and didn’t see the potential in the UWF guys. The Bunkhouse Stampede: Well, he took a lot of heat from the boys on this one. It was a basically a throwaway PPV. When the boys questioned him going over in his own match, his response involved a naughty word. Ah, Dusty, truly a wrestler’s booker. Onto Sting and his trials and tribulations, and Luger’s. Funny story about a Luger-Wahoo match in Florida gets thrown in, but he admits to not knowing the details on the Bruiser Brody incident. The Turner buyout and Dusty’s departure come next, as Jim Herd fired him as booker and wanted to turn him heel. So he told Herd where to stick it and went back to Florida to book until Vince called him. Funny how he skipped over the whole Road Warrior incident there, where Herd specifically told him not to blade on TV anymore and he did a five-alarm bladejob on TBS shortly after and got fired. Dusty wanted Pat Patterson’s job in the WWF and made no secret about it. The polka dots were NOT to humilate him, apparently, but rather a test to see if he could it over, which he did. His original choice for Sapphire was not Juanita, but rather a black hooker off the street. Vince wanted a family image, and by gum he was right in this case. This interview is becoming more surreal by the moment. Went back to WCW in 1991 to finish unfinished business and try to forge the new WCW out of the dogshit given to him. He did his best for two years and fought kicking and screaming when Bischoff came in 1993, but finally gave way for Hulkamania. Talks about Dustin and missing his childhood. He knows a bad father for not being there. Loved the Goldust gimmick and thinks they didn’t even scrape the surface of it. On the WWF War: Thinks they could have won if three things happened. 1) They needed a PR company to promote the shit out of Magnum & Flair and get them on talk shows. They needed to make “NWA” the same kind of brand name that the WWF had. 2) Contracts suck, period, and guys needed to work for their money. 3) TBS had to change their image as a hick station. That’s actually the most astute thing Dusty’s said in this entire interview. History pieces piss him off because they leave out the 70s and act like wrestling died in 1964 and reawakened in 1984 when the WWF went national. The Dusty Finish? He liked it. Veers off onto the Shockmaster and how funny it was, and Jeff Jarrett’s guitarshot on Moolah in 1999. He’s proud to be associated with a finish forever, when most bookers aren’t even remembered. On today’s product: Times dicate T&A and storylines, so Vince delivers. Thinks three hours of Nitro is way too much, and thinks that ECW kids should slow down all the highspots. Most astuteness from Dusty. Talks about the origins of his name. Thinks Jerry Lawler is a flim-flam man in the Flair mold. Big fan of JR, but knew from Day One that Ross wanted his job. Talks about WCW’s big run. Doesn’t think it’ll happen again because Vince adapts so fast and wouldn’t let Turner beat him again. Talks about his TCW and aspirations to write & direct a movie. Plus the Dusty Rhodes Fantasy Camp, where you get to book yourself to the World title whether or not you deserve it. Okay, just kidding. He wants a piece of the ECW action with Paul Heyman. Dusty Rhodes & Tommy Dreamer v. Steve Corino & Jack Victory. Dreamer & Corino brawl into the crowd, and Tommy garbage cans Corino and tosses him into a ticket window. Back to ringside, Dusty beats on poor Steve. Dusty & Tommy double-team Victory, but Corino superkicks Dreamer. He refuses to use a ladder, and Tommy plays face-in-peril. Victory stomps away and Corino makes lewd gestures at Dusty. Corino goes up, but gets planted into a ladder facefirst. Hot tag Dusty, usual follows. Stereo DDTs on the heels and double bionic elbows finish at 8:40. Rhyno attacks, Sandman saves. *1/4 He talks a bit about Japan and how he wasn’t a big fan of Giant Baba (now there’s an understatement), and so he got caught up in the NJ-AJ wars when he worked a New Japan show and defended the NWA title there. Backstory: All Japan was an NWA member at the time, but Baba HATED Dusty, and in fact his booking of himself to the World title in 1986 caused a major PR problem between Crockett and Baba. We wrap things up. Classic footage time: From 86, the Horsemen trail Dusty’s car with a video camera in an angle stolen nearly shot-for-shot in 1997 for an Outsiders/Steiners angle. They follow him to Jim Crockett’s office, then jump out of the car and tie Dusty to a glass repair truck and break his arm with a baseball bat. Oh yeah, that’s the good stuff. From NWA TV: The James Boys, a pair of masked outlaws who just didn’t care about nothin’, attack the Midnight Express and kidnap Jim Cornette, then drag him outside and try to hang him from the back of a moving truck. The James Boys then cut a promo, sounding suspiciously like Magnum TA & Dusty Rhodes. From 88, Magnum & Tully mouth off at each other about the “I Quit” match from 85, as Tully gripes that no matter where he goes all he hears from the fans is “I Quit”. Tully cuts an awesome heel promo running down Magnum, then when Magnum won’t back down Tully attacks the crippled TA. Dusty saves with a baseball bat and just brutalizes Tully, nailing Jim Crockett on the backswing. This leads to Dusty getting suspended for 120 days, and we see the “board meeting” where this occurs, where of course Dusty cuts a tough-guy promo to declare his forthcoming vengeance on JJ Dillon for orchestrating the whole thing. The next week, the mysterious Midnight Rider comes into town and demolishes a jobber with a DDT and bionic elbow. The angle never ended up drawing a dime and was dropped very soon after. Barry Windham explains his heel turn, but gets confronted by the Dream. The new Horsemen beat Dusty down until Luger saves him and takes his own licks. Back in the dressing room, Dusty and pals head out to the ring and Dusty calls out Windham. Dusty kicks his ass as wrestlers surround the ring. Barry keeps running and the boys keeps throwing him in. Dusty DDTs him twice as the clip ends. Dusty Rhodes & The Rock N Roll Express v. The Midnight Express & Bubba Rogers. Same match that I covered on the Cornette shoot tape. From NWA TV: Ivan Koloff kills Dusty and goes after Nikita, but gets nailed. Vladimir Petrov gets Nikita, but Dusty comes back to clean house…and then gets killed again. Petrov & Nikita have a Bald Russian Staredown. The Four Horsemen v. The Road Warriors & The Superpowers. This is from Worldwide in 1987, just prior to Ole’s forced departure from the group. Mega-brawl to start, faces clean house. The Horsemen sacrifice Ole and let him take the initial beating, until he bails. Flair tries with Hawk, who totally no-sells the chops. Flair regroups and tries again as we go to commercial and return with a bunch of Horsemen down from the Sickle. Nikita chokes Tully down, same for Ole. Flair wants a piece of Animal, so they go. Flair chops the shit out of him, no effect. Press slam for Flair and he bails. Back in, Animal gets caught in the Horsemen corner, but he shoulderblocks out and Hawk comes in. He slams everyone as TV time runs out at 6:26. No finish shown, so no point rating it. The Bottom Line: Another interesting shoot interview from RF Video, as Dusty interprets history in his own unique manner. I was a little disappointed that stuff like the Midnight Rider flop and his later booking days for WCW weren’t addressed, and the Dusty Finish question was TOTALLY dodged, but the footage of Dusty getting his ass kicked is classic and Dusty certainly has the charisma to make for an interesting interview no matter what the subject. Recommended, but with reservations. Check it out at RFVideo.com.
This was filmed in 2000
The Interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at one hour and forty-nine minutes long
The interview starts with Valentine being asked about how he got started in wrestling. He said after his freshman year at Washington State, he traveled on the road with his dad (Johnny Valentine) in Texas, who did not want him to enter the business, and decided that was what he wanted to do as a career.
Valentine said that his mom raised him as his parents divorced when he was about six years old and wasn’t even able to see him wrestle on TV as his dad wrestled across the country while he lived in Seattle.
He said his dad told him at first that he was not big enough to be a wrestler but Valentine thinks he just wanted to drive home the point that it was a tough business. So, his dad then sent him to train in Calgary at Stu Hart’s dungeon. He talks about the training and how he started off as a referee and part of the ring crew at first then after several months called his dad and said he wanted to leave and actually wrestle somewhere. Valentine then does a spot-on Stu Hart impression about how he wanted to leave yet didn’t even know how to lace his boots.
After Calgary, Valentine headed to Detroit as he joked about living in the basement of Eddie Fargo and his “fat” son. Valentine said he had a ring in his backyard and trained then. He then said that Fargo told him not to use the Valentine name and had him go by “Baby Face Nelson.” After that, Don Fargo saw him and as he gained more experience then they teamed together. He also talks about winning the tag belts in the Buffalo territory that was run by Pedro Martinez as he wrestled guys like Dominic DeNucci and Tony Parisi.
He worked as the Fargo Brothers in the Funk’s territory in Amarillo and stayed there for about a year. He said the road trips were brutal but it was long, steady work and he had a lot of fun there too.
In 1973, Valentine had a falling out with Fargo and ended up going to Kansas City and while there switched his name to Greg Valentine. While there, Jack Brisco brought him to Florida where he was billed as the “brother” of his actual father because, as Greg puts it, his father was vein and if they thought he had a son that old he would be labeled as too old.
He left Florida and went over to Los Angeles and stayed there for a year where he won the America’s Title. It was then where he met Vince McMahon Sr. for the first time and worked for the WWWF briefly after that.
In 1976, he went to work for Bill Watts in Oklahoma. At the time, Valentine said he was a great guy to learn from but his payoffs were horrible and Valentine left as a result.
Valentine talks about the plane crash that ended his father’s career. He also talks about Ric Flair, who was part of the crash, and how he never broke his back despite claiming that he did.
Shortly after that, he worked for the Mid-Atlantic Territory. Valentine said he was still a bit green at the time, as was Flair, but they teamed together and worked with the Andersons (Ole & Gene). He puts them over a lot. They also worked against Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood as well as Paul Orndorff & Jimmy Snuka. Valentine estimates they had the belts back-and-forth for about three years.
Valentine then said that George Scott came up to him and said he needed to get out of the territory for a bit and said he had a deal for him in the WWWF. Valentine also said that Vince Sr. gave him the figure-four leg lock as a finisher in 1979 and used that and was built up as a heel then a few years after that, he went back to Mid-Atlantic as he said the WWWF would build up the heels for the babyfaces and that the heels had a short shelf-life as a result.
When he got back to the Mid-Atlantic, Valentine came in and tricked Flair into believing that he was a face then turned on him during a match when he walked out. Valentine said he took Gene Anderson’s cane and hit Flair but it didn’t break as the Andersons were screaming at him to break it so Valentine swung it harder and ended up breaking Flair’s nose and splitting his lip. He said that he felt like shit afterwards for hurting his friend but that Flair didn’t care as he said they were about to make some money with a feud.
He is asked about several workers from the Mid-Atlantic. He said that Tim Woods was very tough to work with. Valentine put over Wahoo McDaniel as a person and a wrestler. He said Rufus Jones was a good guy but a lousy worker, despite being over. He didn’t like teaming with Baron Von Rashcke at first, because it was different than teaming with someone like Flair and didn’t think it would workd but it did and Valentine puts over Rashcke also as a person and a wrestler. He said it took Ricky Steamboat about a year in the business to become a polished worked while it took himself about him. Valentine said that Ray Stevens was a “man’s man” and learned a lot from him then said while teaming up together, they were in a lumberjack match where Big John Studd was supposed to catch him but backed up and Stevens tore his groin and as a result, was not able to come back. He said Paul Orndorff was hard to work with because he was very strong and a little green at the time. Valentine said that Snuka was wild but easy to work with in the ring.
They go back to his time in the WWWF and working with Bob Backlund as Valentine compares it to “going to the dentist and asking for all of your teeth to be pulled out” then laughs for a bit. He calls Backlund a great person then said that they asked him to go an hour with Backlund and it was one of the hardest matches he has ever had, stating he blew up about 500 times that match, and that it was hard to get heat as while champion, it didn’t seem like the people got behind him and noted that his selling was almost comical.
On other guys he worked with in the WWWF, Valentine said that working with Pedro Morales was like a night off. He then said that Vince McMahon Jr. at that time was like one of the boys and partied with them and easy to get along with as back then, he was not the boss. He said the Grand Wizard was a good man and would almost act as a real-life manager to the guys he was managing at the time.
He worked a few tours for New Japan in the early 80’s. Valentine said back then he didn’t like going over due to the culture shock and the wrestling was hard. He worked with Tatsumi Fujinami, who Valentine said was the best over there and Antonio Inoki was easy to work with but there were several other guys who were tough.
He went back to the Mid-Atlantic then was asked about his feud with Roddy Piper. Valentine said they were both close and traveled together and came up with an angle that he would hit him with the belt as Piper “gigged” himself in the ear and he poured blood. Valentine also added that they tried to do a lot of “hardway” stuff as they wanted it to look as believable as possible. He talks about their dog collar match at Starrcade and how fans always mention that match when they see him today. After having problems with Dusty Rhodes, he left to go back to the WWF.
When he went back to the now WWF, Valentine was given Capt. Lou Albano as a manager. Valentine said Albano was hilarious and would always keep him laughing, especially when he was drinking. He also said how Vince Sr. would fire him every TV taping because he got drunk and would swear at everyone but get rehired back each time.
Valentine talks about his feud with Tito Santana and said that originally, Tito was going to feud with Orndorff. However, Orndorff kept missing shows here and there so George Scott, who was the booker in the WWF now, pitched the idea of replacing Orndorff with Valentine and since Tito needed a legitimate operation on his leg, Valentine would win the Intercontinental Title with the figure four that would “break” his leg. Valentine puts over Tito as being his favorite opponent and how he had great timing and was a natural babyface.
He said that he realized the WWF was going to be huge around 1984 when Vince Jr. told him he had a “home” there forever, he referring to him as family. Vince Jr. then told him that he was going to take over the world and buy TV time everywhere. He even asked Valentine if he could bring in the Road Warriors but Valentine did not even know them at that time. When asked, Valentine said his ego grew massively over time as they got more popular.
On his matches with the Junkyard Dog, Valentine said he was hard to work with as when you would knock him down he would just lay on the mat so you had to pull him up yourself. Valentine said he was a great guy but lazy in the ring. Originally, he was supposed to work with Tito at WrestleMania I but George Scott wanted to stretch their feud out longer so he switched it to having Tito point out to the ref that Valentine cheated to win.
Valentine talks about working with Hogan and how the office originally wanted Valentine to job to the leg drop, Hogan got the finished switched to where Hogan pinned Valentine after clotheslining him after he came off of the top then afterwards, to get his heat back, Valentine would attack Hogan and put him in the figure four.
When asked about the formation of the Dream Team, Valentine said that before the officially became a team, the office would throw him and Beefcake as a team on occasion and had no clue they were grooming them as a team.
As part of the Dream Team, Valentine said he loved their matches with the British Bulldogs and notes how they sold out the Maple Leaf Gardens once. He talks about winning the belts from Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo and shortly after that they were all driving around drunk in the snow from Baltimore and the next morning, Windham flew back home and quit the company so they had Danny Spivey come in to take his place but it didn’t work out so they had all underneath teams and then George Scott wanted them to put over the Bulldogs in a non-title match for “Championship Wrestling” then eventually drop the belts to them at WrestleMania II. Feinstein then asks Valentine about Dynamite Kid saying in his book that he refused to drop the belts back to the Dream Team. Valentine says that is news to him then said a lot of guys disliked Beefcake because he was Hogan’s friend but finds it tough to believe as they had great matches together.
On the Dream Team breaking up and feuding with Beefcake, Valentine said they are still good friends to this day but Beefcake would complain when he got hit with stiff chops.
He is asked about several other workers at that time. He likes Jake Roberts as a person, noting how he has his “hangups” but does like him. He said that Don Muraco is a great guy and a “good kind of crazy.” Valentine said that Bret Hart becoming a singles star surprised him because he didn’t think he had the charisma to pull it off and was poor on interviews. On the Ultimate Warrior, Valentine said that everyone resented his push and hated to work with him but Vince was trying to feed him bodies so he could replace Hogan. Valentine said he got to know the Warrior when they did some independent tours of Europe and found him to be a great guy. He said he was friends with the Rockers, noting how a lot of the veterans disliked them at the time.
About steroids, Valentine said he used them a few times to recover from injuries but saw guys shooting them up daily in the locker room. He said they schedule they had back then, steroids and other substances helped them out.
When he teamed with Honky Tonk Man, Valentine said he went back to being managed by Jimmy Hart shortly after his feud with Beefcake ended and thinks they were thrown together because they both had Hart as a manager. Valentine said it took six months of convincing before he finally allowed his hair to get dyed black, which he said was an idea that Vince got from Jesse Ventura, who thought it would shock the fans. Valentine said he tried to make the gimmick work and at one point they were going to get the belts, because they were Vince’s creation, but he signed the Road Warriors then sent him to Japan to work for the SWS promotion as Honky became an announcer.
On Randy Savage, Valentine said that he always thought they were friends but never wrestled much together. However, Valentine said that Savage no longer stays in touch with anyone and talked about how his wife was friends with Elizabeth and when he went on tours, Savage would call his parents to take Elizabeth around when he was away.
He left the WWF after returning from Japan and worked against Dino Bravo then Earthquake at WrestleMania VII. Valentine talks about how originally, they were supposed to go 12 minutes but it got cut down to just four as Valentine didn’t mind jobbing but did not want to look like a jabroni losing in a few minutes. He got heated backstage and nearly walked out but did the match and stayed with the WWF a little bit longer before leaving for WCW.
In WCW, Valentine said that Bill Watts came in and cut everyone’s pay, noting how he gave his own son Erik a nice contract. He said one day he was going to do a job to Sting at the “WCW Saturday Night” tapings in a quick match but refused to do so and Dusty asked him if he wanted to work or not as Valentine said no then left the company.
He is asked about guys he worked with in WCW. Valentine said that Marcus Bagwell would cry when he beat the shit out of him in the corner with chops. He also said that Jimmy Garvin & Michael Hayes were fun to work against, despite the fact they were not the best wrestlers.
On working for Herb Abrams, Valentine laughs as he tells a story about working for Abrams then after the show, he talked with Vince McMahon. Word of this got back to Abrams, who decided to cancel Valentine’s check before he could cash it as a result. Valentine points out that he finished the work he was paid to do by Abrams before speaking with Vince.
Valentine said that he went back to WCW for Bischoff and got a two-year deal and was rarely used. When asked about Bischoff, Valentine said he should worship every wrestler he met as Bischoff made all his money in wrestling despite not knowing shit about the business. He also calls Bischoff a “mark” for Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.
He then talks about working the Independents today and how he now does not mind working as a babyface, something he hated earlier in his career. He would also like to try being a booker some day as well.
When asked if he could change anything about the business, Valentine said he would unionize wrestling and do something similar as the Screen Actors Guild to help pay for the injuries they suffer during their career, noting how the guys in ECW are killing themselves without a pot to piss in at the moment.
Valentine said he still talks to Tito, Honky, and King Kong Bundy today. His favorite match was the dog collar match against Piper. On wrestlers he likes to watch today, he says Chris Benoit, Rock, HHH, and Rikishi.
On the best rib he has ever heard about, Valentine tells a story of how his dad, who was a notorious “ribber,” once pranked Jay York by taking his inhaler and filling it up with lighter fluid. After his match, York used it and nearly died so he then went to his car and got a shotgun. Valentine’s dad took Buddy Rogers’ suitcase, which looked just like his own, and York ended up shooting it out of his hand while Valentine’s dad acted like he got shot himself.
When asked where he sees the business in the next five years, Valentine says that his dad told him no matter what you do you cannot kill the wrestling business. He believes that another company, not ECW, will come in as the TV stations are seeing the ratings wrestling brings in and will jump in on that.
Valentine said that his regrets are getting married so many times and letting Vince talk him out of going to WCW in 1990 when he had one hell of an offer.
And how some word association:
Hulk Hogan: A phenomenon and “basically” a good person.
Ric Flair: A great guy but “shady” at times.
Ricky Steamboat: Great Guy.
Lex Luger: One of the luckiest guys in the business but a nice guy.
Eric Bischoff: “asshole.”
Sting: Doesn’t really know him all that much but said that he was nice to him.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid interview. I prefer is WWE 1985 Timeline with Kayfabe Commentaries but Valentine provided some insight here and was willing to speak. He was not bitter and generally had good things to say about everyone, except for Bischoff.
Valentine was also very protective of his character (Basically, not wanting to get squashed in quick TV matches) and showed that he was a little bit behind the times at that point (Valentine was already 40 years old at WrestleMania VII). Valentine was relaxed and generally happy throughout the shoot as he went through his career in detail.
Overall, I would recommend this as it breezed by and Valentine did have an eventful career that he detailed well.
You can purchase a DVD of the shoot for $15 or download a digital copy for $9.99 by clicking on the links below:
This week I thought I would choose from four wrestlers who were stars in the WWF during the 80’s. Here are your four choices:
Vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon.
This week I chose four shoots that are filled with crazy stories. Here are your choices:
New Jack (2004)
Those are your four choices. Vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon.
This was filmed in
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs for two hours and forty-five minutes long
The interview starts with Lynn being asked if he was a wrestling fan growing up as a child. Lynn said that he was as his dad watched that as Lynn talks about watching the AWA while growing up in Minnesota. He was fans of The Crusher and Baron Von Raschke as well as some of the “job guys” like George “Scrap Iron” Gadaski and Kenny Jay. He also talked about how he loved watching Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura. He also put over how much he loved Ray Stevens and Bobby Heenan when he was smartened up to the business.
Lynn said that he never planned on becoming a wrestler, especially since he was not a bigger guy like most of the wrestlers were at that time (early 80’s). He talks about how his wife worked with the girl who dated Soldat Ustinov and went to watch him wrestle for an independent show run by Eddie Sharkey. After watching the matches, Lynn said he would wrestle with his brother in the backyard as kids and it looked better than that. He eventually got to meet Usinov, who told him to train. Lynn told Usinov he was too small but Usinov convinced him that they would pair him up with guys his size. He met with Ed Sharkey but did not train with him.
A few years later, Lynn was working for a cable company installing wires underground. His co-worker was Todd Becker, who found out about Brad Rheingans holding a class for $2,500. They took out a loan and trained with two other guys. Lynn puts over Rheingans for his amateur accomplishments for a bit, saying that he was an incredible shooter as well. He also said that the first few weeks of training they were not allowed in the ring as they only did matwork. They also did a lot of cardio as well, something Lynn said his very important to wrestling. Lynn then goes off topic and says that wrestling is like the music business in that you are on the road a lot and its tough to make it but wrestling is harder because you are destroying your body.
His first match was at a TV taping for an independent show run by Jim Cook. Lynn said he was scared to death as a lot of the guys were “gassed up” and he was smaller. Lynn talks about doing squash matches around this time and recalls doing one for the WWF when he went up against the Big Boss Man and Akeem, saying on TV it looked brutal but both guys worked as light as a feather.
He then talks about working for Jerry Jarrett in Memphis. Eddie Gilbert brought him into the territory and Lynn was ecstatic as Gilbert was one of his favorite wrestlers. His first match was against Ken Wayne and Lynn said he was scared as Memphis kept the heels and faces separate so he did not get a chance to go over the match but Wayne walked him through it and there were no problems. Lynn puts over how much he learned as he teamed with Cody Michaels, mostly jobbing to other teams coming into the territory. Lynn told Eddie Marlin that if he was just doing to get jobbed out and not learn to work, he was going to go home. Lynn left as he saw they had nothing for him there then went home as he said that he needed a real job to support his wrestling habit, seeing how he was not making any money.
Lynn is asked about Global Wrestling. He said that he was not shocked that it went under because once the money was tight and they stopped bringing in name guys, they used local talents and it came off like a “glorified indy show.” He loved working with Sean Waltman and said he met Raven there, when he was Scotty the Body but they did not get close until later on in their careers.
He got a role as a stuntman in the film “Crossing the Bridge” and that he had to get his haircut for the role so they ran an angle on TV when Waltman cut his hair then after that, Waltman put Lynn’s hair in baggies and ended up selling the for $4 a bag, making a total of $80 that night.
On his first tour of Japan, Lynn said he did not like it much there and not a fan of the food. He said that the Great Sasuke’s nickname was “Super Candlewax” due to being known as a very kinky guy. When asked if Sasuke was difficult to deal with, Lynn said not when he was there but that when he sees a wrestler he wants to know how long they have been on the road, if they are hurt or hungry before judging them as this is such a tough business that you never know what someone is going through at any given point.
Lynn talks about going to Smoky Mountain after leaving Global. He wrestled against Killer Kyle and got compliments from Tim Horner and Tommy Young. Mikey Whipwreck interrupts the shoot as Lynn wants him to do an Ozzy Osborne impression but he declines and just says hi before leaving.
After that, he went to WCW. Lynn talks about knowing Bischoff since the AWA then goes on to talk briefly about Sabu, his first opponent on Nitro, and how he knew him from Japan. Lynn’s first contract was for a nightly deal and he talks about breaking his arm working a match against Dean Malenko when he did a super gutbuster, a move that Lynn did not want to take but said Dean and Eddie Guerrero talked him into taking the move. Lynn said he freaked out but luckily it was the end of the match. When he got backstage, his arm was bent the wrong way and he pushed it back to normal and heard it snap in the process. Lynn then talks about how a doctor told him he probably has detached tendons and a lot of scar tissue. Since he was on a nightly deal and unable to wrestle, he took a job at a temp agency for $8 an hour with his arm in a sling until he was able to get back into the ring. When asked if he is getting surgery for this today, Lynn said that he can’t because he needs to keep working in order to make money. When he was healthy enough to wrestle, he got a one-year deal for $1,000 a week. He had to move to Atlanta and would fly home to see his daughter once a month but it got too expensive.
He then talks about WCW and how no one from the people who ran the company to the production guys cared about the product and were only there for the money as they all helped destroy WCW.
Lynn tells a story about how he was sent to New Japan by WCW, along with other talents he did not name. He said that Alex Wright was originally supposed to go but he got out of the trip as Lynn said the other guys loved to beat the crap out of him so they started to treat Lynn like that. Lynn said that at first he didn’t mind but as it went on, they got mad when Lynn wouldn’t engage with them. The second night of the tour, Lynn broke his foot on a dive after his opponent moved back further than normal for a dive. He stayed and worked a bit longer as one of the wrestlers, Black Cat, gave him a few Percocets as Lynn would take one before his match. Lynn said that he worked the tour as the other guys gave him shit and made fun of him for being hurt. Later on, he got hurt trying a dropkick when one of the Mexican guys he was facing moved out of the way as he decided that he wasn’t going to take the move. Lynn then crashed on his shoulder and fucked that up badly to the point the next morning, it took him ten minutes to put on his shirt. Lynn then went to Saito and asked for a day off but was told he could get sent home for being hurt, as Lynn asked him to stay but just have this night off. One of the young boys took him to see a doctor in Nagasaki, which was bombed by America during World War II. Lynn said the place was filthy and the doctor told him there was nothing wrong and to stop acting like a baby. When he got back home to Atlanta, he was diagnosed with a broken foot. However, when the other guys came back, he heard from Mike Enos that one of them told the WCW office that he faked an injury in order to get sent home early. Lynn said that another one of their friends treated him like shit in WCW then the office started to job him out. (The “other” guys on tour with him were Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit and according to Cagematch.net, Lynn’s opponent the night he broke his foot, the second night, was Chris Benoit ).
After getting fired by WCW, Lynn contemplated quitting wrestling altogether as he was not having any fun. He worked for the WWF in the Light Heavyweight Tournament against Taka Michinoku but shortly after that he got called up by Chris Candido about working a few shots. Lynn said he did not want to get hit by weapons then talks about how he worked against Candido in his debut and it went well.
On Paul Heyman, Lynn said that he had a great mind for wrestling and respected his work but right off the bat you could tell he was full of shit.
Lynn is asked about a few talents. He said that RVD was stiff and reckless at times but learned to work with him as they did house show matches together for almost a year. He said they both went all out even at the house shows. He said that Justin Credible was a good heel and loved their match at Heatwave 98. He liked working with Tajiri but said you would never know when he was going to stiff you on a kick and he usually surprised you with them, saying that he got stiffed badly with a kick to the back of the head at November to Remember 1999. He enjoyed working with Rhino, saying that he was the first to work with him in ECW and after the match he told Heyman that he was ready.
He is asked about getting the ECW World Title at the Anarchy Rulz PPV in 2000. Lynn said he found out that Heyman did not want to give him the belt but Justin Credible talked him into it then Lynn talked about Heyman trying to feel him out to see if he was a mark for the belt. Lynn said he was not a “belt mark” as he would rather get paid instead.
On Mike Awesome and how he left ECW, Lynn said that he doesnt understand why they just didnt ask him to drop the title and said a lot of the guys in the locker room came off as “whiny bitches” over the whole situation.
Lynn is asked about Heyman ever lying to him as he said whenever Heyman opens his mouth it is a lie. He talks about the checks bouncing and how it was a crapshoot come payday whether or not the check would be there.
When asked about what caused ECW’s downfall, Lynn said the WWF and WCW started to sign their stars so in order to prevent that Heyman signed guys to contracts and ended up being unable to afford to pay the guys.
He said that he didnt want to go to the final ECW PPV (Guilty as Charged in 2001) as he found out through Mikey Whipwreck that they were only getting half of their paychecks. Lynn then said that he informed the rest of the locker room about this and an hour before the show, told Heyman that he was not going to work the show. Lynn then asked Heyman if he would mind him watching the show backstage as Heyman then told him he was going to be in the main event putting over RVD and would get his heat back as Heyman said he wouldnt. Heyman then tried to convince Lynn to wrestle the match, saying he would give him his full paycheck if he put RVD over. Lynn said that he actually left his tights at home because he didnt want to be there to begin with then ended up wrestling the match in pants that were too big on him and he had to use electrical tape to hold them up. Lynn ended up getting paid his full check that night. On how much Lynn is owed by Heyman, he said he was about three months behind in pay, owed 14 PPV bonuses, and owed what he made off of merchandise then gives a “lowball” estimate of $75,000.
Lynn talks about how he met his biological parents when he was 30 years old and how they suffered from alcohol abuse. Lynn said that he always kept that in mind whenever he went out drinking.
On the night Sandman was naked in Pensacola, FL, Lynn said that he was nude backstage before the show messing around with people and even ran Dawn Marie’s brush through his pubes. Sandman also had a beer in his hand and kept acting like he was going to jump in with RVD, who was jumping rope backstage. He then said he was with Credible no-selling Sandman, who was looking for attention, and Sandman thought it was great they were not paying him attention after a while. When it came time for the show, Sandman came down with his pants around his ankles but still had his underwear on at first. Sandman then motioned to take them off but Tommy Dreamer begged him not to as he did not want to risk losing the building due to him being naked. Sandman stopped at first but took them off as soon as Dreamer turned around and mentioned how it was hilarious.
After ECW went under, he called up Jim Ross as when he worked the Light Heavyweight Tournament a few years prior, Ross told him that they might have something for him in the future as he turned them down. Lynn said he was signed for three years but that they were three one-yer deals so the WWF always had an out clause.
On his first night with the company (Backlash 2001), Lynn said he was told about getting the Light Heayweight Title as soon as he got to the building during the match on “Sunday Night Heat.” He was also told to be a heel and thought it wouldnt work as he was known from ECW in Illinois and over with the crowd. When he got backstage after it was over, Heyman told Lynn that the office was surprised how over he was with the crowd. He dropped it a month later as he talks about how he only did one match on RAW and two on Smackdown the whole time he was there. Lynn saw the writing on the wall when he had a match against RVD that was taped for Heat then when it came out, the match was edited with most of his offense taken out.
Lynn talks about backstage politics and how after one match, Gerald Brisco yelled at him backstage for doing Spike Dudley’s finisher as Lynn pointed out how he did a DDT while Spike used a Diamond Cutter when he ran up the ropes then walked off. Lynn said that Michael Hayes came up to him in the locker room just to be careful what he did in the matches as he goes off on agents telling you to do different things and how you would get yelled at by them.
He got hurt wrestling someone in a dark match and had to get knee surgery that he said required six months recovery time. John Laurinaitis called him up after three months and asked if he was ready to come back but said the doctor told him it would take six months. A week later, Lynn got fired. Lynn said he was put in an unsafe working environment as the guy he wrestled had no business getting a tryout due to inexperience.
After the WWF, Lynn worked for a few different independents then eventually got hired to work for NWA-TNA. He ended up moving to Nashville as Lynn felt that when money gets tight in a promotion, they stop flying guys in to work so if he was local the company would use him more.
When asked, he said that Jeff Jarrett does put himself over at the expense of others. He even points out his blowoff match against Raven and how they had to turn about 1,000 people away before the show then Jarrett booked the match as he kicked out of Raven’s finisher after being handcuffed and beat up and ended up getting booed out of the building and got mad afterwards as Lynn questions how you could not see that coming.
Lynn said that today’s high-flying wrestlers do not put in any psychology in their matches and claim to know a lot about the business due to the “sheets” and the internet. He said that highspots and weapon shots don’t make a match. He said in Ring of Honor the first time he was there, the fans sat with their arms folded and would golf-clap after seeing a spot they liked as he likens them to critics and not fans, even stating they are not there to have a good time and just want to impress everyone with how they know what is going to happen.
On Vince Russo, Lynn said that he got along with him and gets a kick out of fans starting “Fire Russo” chants as there is someone above him that has the final say in the decisions.
About Dixie Carter, Lynn said she doesnt know the business and that Jeff Jarrett is not going to smarten her up.
He talks about having to job to David Flair and Mike Sanders. Lynn said he told Jerry Jarrett about his concerns over the product as it seemed like WCW during its dying days. Jerry told him that his own son (Jeff Jarrett) doesnt even see the problems. Lynn said that Flair told him that he felt sorry as Sanders, the heel, was playing up to the crowd as Lynn told him not to do that as you won’t get heat. Sanders told him that it worked in England and blew off Lynn’s advice.
Lynn tells a story about how he was in Scott D’Amore’s office one day and said the company was pulling the rug out from under him because he was getting more over than Jeff Jarrett, who it turns out was in the office next door and heard that so as a result, Lynn sat at home for five months and when he came back it was for less money and he was putting people over. Lynn found out Jarrett heard what he said as D’Amore told him Jarrett came in when he left and said that Lynn needed a “vacation.” He then goes on about being the “Barry Horowitz” of TNA.
He tells a story about the World X Cup and how Juventud Guerrera demanded to take most of the offense in their match and even ended up dropping Lynn on his shoulder, which caused an injury. Lynn said that Guerrera walked right past him without saying a word when he got backstage, where Lynn was icing his shoulder. He was then made into an agent as he was hurt so he could at least pay the bills.
On how he would fix TNA, Lynn said its okay to have some comedy but not for the entire show as you cannot take it seriously. He refers to WWE as “satire” of a wrestling company today.
He talks about how he was barely making money and told he could not work for any independent organizations with a distribution deal so he called Terry Taylor, asking for his release. Taylor called him back as Jarrett wanted to know why so Lynn told him that he had been there for over three years without a raise and no room to grow. After that, TNA granted him his release.
Lynn tells people breaking in today to get a college degree first and look at it as a hobby and not that you are going to be the next Hulk Hogan, which is something that Brad Rheingans told him. Also, do not be afraid to say no to something you are uncomfortable doing in the ring as you have to protect your body.
About the Chris Benoit tragedy, Lynn said that he is a murderer and cannot understand someone who would murder their own child. He will not praise him for his wrestling, either. Lynn said that he always looked like he was on the “gas” and that any number of factors could have led to what he did.
When asked about his favorite rib, Lynn said that in the AWA they would put sardines under the bus driver’s seat and in the Winter they would put limburger cheese on the engine block so it would reek when he car started to heat up.
He closes the interview by thanking his fans and that he would like to write a book but would need to talk to people about things as his memory his poor.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a good shoot overall. At times, I did feel like Lynn gave off the vibe of someone who complained all of the time though. He even said himself at one point he woud vent to other wrestlers and at times would say the wrong things to people. Lynn also had some woe-is-me stuff regarding how he was booked. Then again, this guy suffered a shit-ton of injuries and is barely getting by today off of Indy bookings. He also admitted to having memory problems and cannot afford to get much-much needed surgery.
The thing I took away the most from this was how beaten down and broke he was. The guy is slumming it just to get by and has to work temp agency jobs for near minimum wage when he is not getting enough bookings. Like he said, most wrestlers are not going to turn out like Hulk Hogan and its a tough life. And to make it worse, his best and what should have been his most profitable years where spent in a company that was stiffing him on pay.
I thought Lynn had some eye opening stories here and you can tell he loathed Benoit and not just for what he did to his own family. Benoit made sure to fuck with his pay and his health, providing another example of his destructive behaviors before murdering his wife and child.
All in all, a good interview of a realy journeyman wrestler. I do recommend this interview as Lynn was candid and not holding anything back.
You can purchase the DVD of this interview for $20 or the Digital Download for $9.99 by clicking on the links below.
Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/4/87
Saturday: RoH Beating the Odds 9/6/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/5/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/11/87
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
This week I have chosen four shoot interviews from people who worked with TNA. Here are your choices:
You can vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon.
This week, I am choosing four recent releases you all can select from. The links listed below feature the trailers for the corresponding shoots. Here are your four choices:
Rey Mysterio (2015)
YouShoot with Lanny Poffo
Developmentally Speaking with Brian Myers (Colt Cabana, Tomasso Ciampa, and Chris Hero)
Those are your four choices. Vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at Noon.
This was released in January 2014
The interview was conducted by Brett Lauderdale
It runs for three hours and thirty-eight minutes long
The interview starts with Morgan being asked about Andre the Giant being his favorite wrestler. Morgan said he got hooked when he saw Ken Patera and Big John Studd try to cut his hair. He also talked about how his dad and brother were huge fans and followed suit.
He talks about his college basketball career. He started off at Monmouth and even got to play in the NCAA Tourmanent in 1996. Morgan also was a starter as a freshman. He also said he was invited to play in the McDonald’s All-American team as a high school senior.
Morgan then transferred to Chaminade University in Hawaii and started to train as a wrestler. He saw an ad on TV one day for the local promotion, Pro Wrestling Hawaii, and decided that he wanted to train. He then called the promoter, “Bonecrusher” Jeff Nunez, and had his first day of training in the middle of Waikiki Beach, with tourists all over the place. He said that it cost $500. After 15 minutes, Nunez told him that was it and to call him tomorrow but he was gone as the guy was a scammer who would train people for a day then leave and go to another island and do the same thing.
After that he moved back home and got a job back home in Connecticut at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Stamford, CT. Morgan said that he also got tryouts for the NBA and the NFL. Morgan said best case scenario in the NBA would be the “white guy at the end of the bench. Morgan said he stayed at Enterprise as he did an internship there and thought he could get promoted quickly at the Stamford branch. He said while there he met Tom Prichard and the Mean Street Posse and would talk to them. He also said that he met Vince McMahon’s driver and trainer as Titan Towers was just four doors down. This was right when the “Attitude Era” was taking off.
Morgan then said he met a go-fer for “RAW Magazine” who told him to work out at the gym on Friday nights at Titan Towers because that is when Vince worked out. After six months, he still had not met Vince but did run into Stephanie, Jim Ross, and his wife, who Morgan said was a sweetheart of a person. One day, he bumped into Vince and approached him briefly as he did not want to interrupt his workout, as Vince asked him about his height and weight then asked Morgan he owed it to himself and his family to tryout for the NBA before committing to wrestling. Morgan had a tryout with the Indiana Pacers coming up but said he didnt care about that as much and was a wrestling fan long before basketball. Vince also told him to get in contact with Tom Prichard if he was serious too.
On auditioning for “Tough Enough,” Morgan was waiting for the WWE to contact him and he eventually talked to Prichard and asked if he should go to a wrestling school such as Killer Kowalski’s. Prichard then told him to wait as they had something coming up (Tough Enough). He missed the deadline for the first season but the MTV producers saw his video and he got to audition for season 2.
He talks about wrestling at a higher weight at first and how he was nowhere near ready to be in the ring as he did not have the cardio. He then talks about the training and how the trainers wanted to test him as he was a big guy. Morgan said he did not get preferential treatment due to his size. He talks about his injury where he snapped his ankle and said it happened mostly due to the fact that he was overweight.
Morgan said the trainers were cool, even Bob Holly. He said that the Big Show would pull him aside off camera and give him pointers. He said that the show pushed you through a lot of tests and put your body to the limit. He never thought that his career would be over or anything like that after the injury.
He is asked about the other contestants. He said that Kenny King was picking up things quicker than anyone. He likes Jake and Hawk, saying that Jake was cool but not picking up on the training. He talks about how they were told at first that one man and one woman would win but it ended up being two females. He also said that Kenny King should have won one of the spots.
Morgan was offered a Developmental contract to report to OVW after the show in 2002. He said he was ecstatic when he got the call from John Laurinaitis then a congratulatory call from Prichard after that.
Danny Davis was the head trainer when he started. He talks about how he probably had the least experience out of everyone down there at the time. When asked if he was signed based off of potential, Morgan said yes but so is everyone else and just because you were a star on the independent scene doesnt mean you immediately bypass the Developmental system as you have to go through the WWE style of training before making it to television. He names Nova as an example as he worked for ten years and had to do the same drills as he did in OVW, noting how if you ask Nova today he would say that those drills helped him.
He is asked about the other guys with him in OVW at the time. Morgan said he was with John Cena, Batista, Shelton Benjamin, Sean O’Haire, Mark Jindrak, Lance Cade, Nick Dinsmore, Rob Conway, and Rene Dupree among others. Morgan said the locker room atmosphere was like family.
Morgan talks about being called up, saying that he was not ready at the time as he only had several months of training. He was told that he would be paired up with guys who were experienced and puts over the veterans for making the 2003 Survivor Series Team Angle vs. Team Lesnar match great.
On his team with Nathan Jones, Morgan said that they were going to remain a team but he ended up quitting. Morgan said that Jones was very quiet and during practice in OVW would just sit down and look at everyone. He also said that Jones was not prepared for the “mental ribbing” of the locker room. Morgan then talks about that and how he played sports his whole life and that kind of stuff is typically used as a weird way of getting to know you and a camaraderie builder then tells a story as a freshman at Monmouth when the whole team tied him down naked on the goalpost before the women’s lacrosse team came out to practice. He then goes back to Jones and recalls telling him that they were just messing with him and discusses how Jones spent time in solitary confinement while in Australia and struggled to adapt on dealing with people. He then recalls the day he quit when he came up to Morgan as he was warming up and shook his hand, saying he quit as he had a tear in his eye. Morgan heard that he told the office that night he was not going to wrestle and quit as Angle and Lesnar attempted to get him to stay.
Morgan stays on the subject of ribbing in the locker room and how it is not the end of the world if someone pulls a rib on you as it is a way to see if you are mentally prepared and stresses the importance of trying to have a good time on the road and keep everyone laughing when times are bad. He then tells a story of Cena pulling a rib on him during the European tour when he had the sound guy turn up the microphone so he would sound like “Alvin & The Chipmunks” when he cuts his promo on the crowd while he was doing his stuttering gimmick. Morgan also said that he made a point to no-sell the rib and kept cutting the promo as the crowd went nuts.
He talks about getting sent back to OVW in 2004. Morgan said after Lesnar and Nathan Jones quit, they had nothing to do for him. Morgan then talks about how he would have learned more on the road working house show matches with veterans, who he described as leading him through the matches. At the same time, Morgan said that he would get more ring time in OVW but the demotion did mess with him mentally a bit.
He got called back up to the main roster in 2005 and given the stuttering gimmick. Morgan confirmed that Vince came up with the idea. He also said that Vince apparently had the gimmick for a few years and was waiting to use it on someone. At first, Morgan was told that he could accept the gimmick or wait for another one to come along while waiting in OVW. Morgan then went to Vince’s office, who explained the gimmick with an analogy of a hot chick who ends up having a deep voice when she speaks, making everyone turn their heads, as the stuttering character would have that be his only flaw and would get set off when exploited. He then took the gimmick at the advice of others by saying no matter how stupid it sounded, you dont say no to an opportunity.
On the first “One Night Stand” PPV, Morgan said that he was sitting in the box with the other guys as waitresses were bringing them drinks and guys, JBL in particular, were getting drunk and screaming at Heyman’s guys. He also tells a story about how Snitsky was dared to take the shoe off of the waitress and stick her toes in his mouth and he did. When asked about the incident between JBL and the Blue Meanie, Morgan said he had no idea that happened until the next day. He recalls seeing Meanie busted open backstage but thought it was just part of the match but found out the next day at TV that it was a legitimate fight.
Morgan got released from the WWE on July 5th, 2005. He was with Carlito, who was feuding with the Big Show but Carlito got drafted to RAW and Morgan was still on Smackdown and was left with nothing to do. Morgan then talks about the stuttering gimmick and how it was on him why the gimmick did not get over as he was the one with the opportunity. John Laurinaitis told him to go to Japan and work over there and improve then they could bring him back. Morgan said that despite getting upset over being released, he got a chance to ditch the stuttering gimmick and create a character that was more like himself elsewhere.
He is now asked about his comments about being a “functioning addict” during his second WWE run. Morgan said he was addicted to painkillers and that few people knew he was an addict. He said he was always able to get them from doctors and wouldnt really abuse them in the locker room but rather behind closed doors. Morgan said he was “doctor shopping” and was getting tons of Percocets. He would go through 60 pills in about two days.
Morgan said once on tour in Japan he started to ask around for pills and that was the only time they saw him struggling. He then goes into his addiction and how he would get a rush from taking the pills and would take 40-60 milligrams every four hours for about five years of either Percocet or Vicodin.
On a tour of Italy on the Independent scene, Morgan said he was going through withdrawals and having cold sweats so he ended up knocking on guys doors asking for pills and came to a realization that he could not get through withdrawals for another night so he called his wife and asked her to set him up with the scariest, crappiest detox center she could find so it would scare the shit out of him because he thought the next point for him was jail as he felt he could have done something like write fake scripts or anything else to get his fix. He went to the Center For Drug Free Living in Orlando, FL which he said was in a shitty part of town. He was there for three weeks and detoxed off of pills and went on Suboxone. Morgan said he felt pathetic and weak at first as he could not beat a pill. He talks about listening to a story of a guy there who was a former Harvard English professor who ended up losing everything and was living underneath a bridge. Morgan also talks about how he wanted to get clean and if you go to detox and are not serious about that then it will never work. He said he learned a lot of tools to stay clean through the outpatient treator he had when he got released. He said that he found a different route to drive home so he wouldnt drive by pharmacies and switched gyms as to not get triggered. He said he stayed out of wrestling because if that was what it took to stay clean he had to do it as he did not want to return and have to deal with injuries without pills.
Morgan got into TNA as he worked a few indy shows and felt better as his cardio and blood pressure were much improved due to not being on pills. He then got a chance to be Jim Cornette’s bodyguard in TNA. He met Dixie Carter and asked if he could do PR and speak about addiction and did some stuff with D.A.R.E. Morgan talks about being proud of overcoming his addiction.
He talks about some of the workers in TNA. Regarding Abyss, Morgan said that he is an underrated big man and excellent at putting together matches and could be an agent when he retires. He talks about Beer Money and how both of them are extremely charismatic. Morgan said that Roode and Dolph Ziggler are the best bump-and-feed heels in the business today. He said that Bubba Ray Dudley was a total dick in the WWE but was helpful and a lot easier to deal with in TNA.
On his Bound for Glory match against Kurt Angle, Morgan said it was the longest match of his career and had to get into shape and lost 15lbs during training. He recalls Angle ripping into him for going through the motions at times before the match and to act like a 7-foot tall giant.
When asked if he helped Angle with his addiction, he claims that he had helped 38 wrestlers get sober throughout his career. Morgan said he wanted to do it after getting sober himself. Morgan said he referred several guys to his addiction specialists and felt that he owed it to his friends in the business, no matter how big of a name, that if he saw them in trouble he had to help them. He also talks about the WWE Wellness Policy and how the facilities they send guys to are the best on the planet.
He loved working with Ric Flair and said that he would always give out advice to guys. When asked about outside of the ring, Morgan says the stories of him being crazy outside are true but at that time in TNA Morgan was not into that scene and recalls having a beer or two with him after their match at a hotel bar while watching the NBA playoffs, saying they were both huge LeBron James fans.
Morgan is asked about bigger names coming into TNA and phoning it in as he said they would roll their eyes when that happened and how some of the vocal guys in the locker room, like Samoa Joe, would sometimes speak up to those guys.
On working with Jeff Hardy, Morgan talks about how they both turned a month before the match and talks about how they had him as a face going up against Hardy, who was a heel, saying it was an uphill battle.
When asked about Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff showing up to TNA, Morgan said he was happy to see that. On the rest of the locker room, Morgan said he is sure than some guys were unhappy and goes on how wrestling is a business filled with paranoia. He recalls Bischoff taking notes of everyone’s matches at the monitor and wanting to improve the product. He also recalls Hogan sitting them all done and asking them who they were so they could get to know their character’s better.
He said that it was Hogan’s plan for his match against Sting was to pass out in the Scorpion Death Lock instead of tapping out and they were going to work a long program after that.
Morgan puts over Hogan for being a great person and how he has a big heart. He said that Hogan gave him and his wife his suite for a New Years Eve party once. He also likes Bischoff for being up front with him.
On whether or not Bischoff lost touch, Morgan said that Bischoff is a big fan of Austin Aries and attributes his run as the champion to that so he thinks Bischoff does not what the fans like today.
He is asked if Scott Steiner is crazy as Morgan starts to laugh then tells a story during a promo where Tyson Tomko pulled up in a truck as Steiner just yelled out “Hey Ned, get my bag” for some reason.
Morgan thought that Crimson was picking up wrestling quickly but still figuring out who he was and did not get enough time to do that.
On leaving TNA, Morgan said that his leave was a 100% work as it was Bischoff’s way of keeping him fresh. He then said when he returned they never did anything with him though. He got paired with Joey Ryan and puts over his charisma and character. At this time Morgan felt frustrated as their pairing did not make sense. He also revealed that they were supposed to have a six-month long storyline and become the champions but that was switched as Hogan did not want Morgan as a comedy character.
Morgan expresses his frustration at the end of his run where they kept him off of TV to bring him back in a storyline then they brought him back and did nothing with him. He went to Dixie Carter and told her that he wanted to leave. He also said that the company was slashing its budget and thought they could save money by releasing him as his wife was pregnant with their first child and thought about being around for his kid and leaving wrestling. He is asked about Dixie and says that she has a grass-roots belief on getting to know the fans and some people do not think that is a good way to do business.
He liked going on the road as you could find out who was over as he talks about some of the guys, without mentioning names, would constantly hang out with the “marks” and buy them beers so they would get cheered at the Impact Zone.
When asked why TNA struggled to draw on the road, Morgan said it was easy to figure out as it was the marketing. He talks about how he and James Storm would play a game when they would work out at the gym closest to the arena and see fans, who would ask them why they were there and would have to tell the fans that they had a show that night. He said no one knew that they had shows because they did a poor job at promoting.
On steroids in wrestling, Morgan said he did early on in his career. He then said that Jim Ross came down to OVW and saw Morgan, telling him that he didnt look like an athlete anymore and to stop whatever he was doing and after that he never took them again. He then talks about how while wrestlers shouldnt look like roided-out action figures or anything but should look like they are able to kick someone’s ass. He then talks about how today you can look at the guys and see that they are not on the juice, something you could tell before.
He is then asked about American Gladiators as Morgan said he got the job as they were looking for a wrestler to fill a role on the show.
Morgan closes by talking about how proud he is to be a father and says that anyone watching who is struggling with addiction can hit him up on Twitter and from there he can communicate with them through direct message where he can guide you on how to receive help.
Final Thoughts: I thought Morgan was an interesting subject and I became a fan of his by the end. However, the interviewer was fucking terrible here and it made for a subpar shoot. This Lauderdale guy is clueless. From cutting off the wrestlers (He did the same in the Tracy Smothers shoot) to asking ill-timed and overall poor follow-up questions he made this dull when it should have been an interesting interview, especially with an engaging guy like Morgan. He essentially asks token questions that are designed to get the subject talking for minutes on end and instead of steering the interview along he just cuts them off as they get going.
His story about getting clean was interesting. They had a lot to work with there. But stuff like Tough Enough and his TNA career was largely glossed over and they had 3.5 hours worth of material on this DVD.
Bottom line, Morgan is an interesting guy who was willing to talk but the interviewer was unable to utilize that and it made for a stagnant interview, especially the final hour, where I was ready to tap out myself. I cannot recommend this interview but I am happy about Morgan overcoming his addiction and the fact he wants to help others is admirable.
You can purchase the interview for $15 by clicking on the link below
This was filmed in 2008
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
It runs at one hour and fifty-four minutes long
Glacier starts the interview by saying he was a fan of wrestling growing up and would watch matches at the arena in Jacksonville, FL with his father and brother. He said Dusty was his hero growing up.
He started to do martial arts when he was 12 or 13 years old when he asked his dad if he could learn them after watching Bruce Lee movies. He talks about some of the types that he learned for a few minutes. Glacier also said that Eric Bischoff at one point pushed him to do some of the K1 stuff.
On how he got into wrestling, Glacier said a few of his college football teammates would go to the local wrestling tapings and one of his teammates, R.D. Swain, was with him and they got interviewed together and jokingly said their goals were to become the World Tag Team Champions. Local wrestler Fred Avery (a local wrestler who did a few jobs for WCW in the early 90’s) asked them if they wanted to become wrestlers but they declined at first but eventually went to train in his backyard. Glacier said the ring Avery had was slanted and painted orange then they were hooked after that.
He talks about the training and said that Avery was insistent that they learn amateur-style wrestling and after about 5 months of training they got to have their first match. Glacier laughs about taking tehebumps saying he was youthful then and had so much adrenaline and excitement that he did not really think about taking them at the time.
When asked about his first match, Glacier said that he was basically trained as a tag team with his partner and they wrestled a tag team called “The Smurfs” who were both about 5’5.
Glacier wrestled for an Independent in Georgia called “Peach State Wrestling.” He talks about being mentored by Ted Oates and Mr. Wrestling II. Glacier said that MWII would be at the arena 4 hours before the show with his mask on and would always maintain kayfabe at all times, even using masks on in the shower after the show.
Tommy Rich took a liking to him and one day called him up and said that he should be called “Sugar” Ray Lloyd as he worked for Southern States Wrestling and even got a few matches in WCW.
When asked if any guys tried to test him out in the ring, Glacier said that a few of them did and recalls one guy Steve Lawler tried and Glacier said he gave it back to him. Ted Allen also tested him out. Glacier said that at the time he was out of college and was clean-cut, looking like a total babyface. He didnt mind guys testing him out.
His first match in WCW was in 1989 against Butch Reed. He said Reed took care of him in the ring and wanted to see him again and thank him as Reed could have taken advantage of him then but did not. The next night he wrestled against the Great Muta as he dealt with Gary Hart, who put the match together. Glacier said that when he wrestled in WCW in the 90’s he learned that Muta could actually speak English. He recalls being perplexed as to what Muta was doing before the match (making a concoction to use for his mist) then said that Hart gave a good word to the office about him.
He is asked about Eddie Gilbert as Glacier said he always gave him advice. Glacier then said that people were generally nice to him and always gave advice as Glacier then talks about how most guys gave him help and figures they did as he is easy to get along with.
Glacier goes back to talk about how he graduated with a Masters Degree in Education and taught and coached football for several years before getting his big break in WCW in the mid 1990’s. Glacier tells everyone to pursue their dreams but do so realistically as you should get an education first.
On UWFI, Glacier said that most of it was a shoot, especially when you were on your feet compared to on the mat. He was thankful for the experience then talks about how the training was tough at the dojo. He wished UWFI would have lasted longer as they opened it up to everyone from Judo guys and boxers.
He talks about how he got back into WCW. Glacier said he joined Sting & Luger’s gym and ended up meeting Diamond Dallas Page through Disco Inferno. He said that Disco came up with the idea for the Coach Buzz Stern character, something Glacier did a few times at various indy shows. He then said he was with DDP and wanted to add some martial arts stuff to the Stern character. DDP had no idea Glacier studied martial arts and when he found out, he suggested that he tell Bischoff about that as he was interested in that. Glacier met Bischoff, who wanted to make sure he knew what he was doing, and after a few hours he was offered a contract.
His friend who worked in special effects met with Bischoff and after that they came up with the Glacier gimmick. At first, there were going to be four characters: Mortis, Wrath, and then something for Ernest Miller. Glacier said Bischoff would call these secret meetings that took place at Glacier’s friend’s studio. Bischoff wanted them to be video game characters that came to life and wanted heavyweight guys to wrestle like cruiserweights. Glacier said he would go to arcades with Kanyon and pick up on what games the kids were playing and how they would speak so they could use that for their characters.
Originally, Bischoff wanted the Glacier character to be called “Cryonic” but Glacier did not want that and they settled on having that as the name of his finisher. Glacier also said that “Stone Cold” was one of the ten names listed that they had thought of and laughs about that.
Glacier had no idea what to expect about the character but knew Bischoff wanted it to be a huge deal. He would work out the character and entrance at the Power Plant and said that for some reason it was not clicking but credits DDP for telling him to create the history of the character. He also said the plan was for his finisher was a big spinning hook kick but no one wanted to take the move.
He talks about the vignettes and how they had someone else to the voiceover as his own voice was really “Southern” at the time.
When asked why his debut was delayed, Glacier said that Bischoff did not like the vignettes but did not find out why, which Glacier said was in typical WCW fashion. He then talked about how Bischoff called him in his office as Midway, the video game company that created Mortal Kombat, was suing over the character. Glacier suggested they change the costume as Bischoff did not want that as it was expensive so Glacier said they switch his tights to differ from the Sub Zero character and got rid of the helmet, which he hated.
Glacier talks about having heat in the locker room as he was perceived as being Bischoff’s golden boy and learned that others in power hated the gimmick. Glacier said he never wanted any of that and just wanted to wrestle so he just kept quiet and stayed humble.
On his debut, he worked with Ray Traylor, who Glacier really respected. They worked on their match at the Power Plant before hand and thanks Traylor for making him look good and how he did him a favor. Glacier said he was scared to death out there as that character and talks about how he had then what was known as the Goldberg push. He also became friends with the referee, Brian Hillebrand, after that and thanks him a lot too.
When asked about how much his entrance cost, Glacier heard estimates ranging from $100,000-$500,000 from all sorts of guys and that Bischoff told him they had to fly three guys in each time he did the entrance. Glacier then talks about how you could not follow the entrance because it was so elaborate.
Originally, he was supposed to wrestle Mortis at Bash at the Beach in 1996 but was told at the last minute to not come down. He talks about how the nWo was the best and at the end the worst times in wrestling.
Glacier wishes that he was a heel at the beginning because the character was shoved down everyone’s throat and the kneejerk reaction is to reject that.
On wrestling Mortis, Glacier said that they always clicked in the ring. He then talks about how he got pissed at Meltzer for giving their match at Uncensored *** but how he said it should have been good as they had five months to put the match together but after watching the match later on, he does agree with the rating.
Glacier calls James Vandenberg (James Mitchell) one of the most talented guys in wrestling and how he never stumbled over a promo. Glacier says he was known as “Vandy” then.
He recalls a match he had against Wrath in which Terry Taylor told them not to do a superplex but Wrath told Glacier to suplex him and how he would take the heat. Well, they did the move and backstage Taylor berated them but Wrath never came forward and when Glacier realized that he came forward and got yelled at by Taylor.
When asked if Wrath and Mortis having martial arts training would have helped things out, Glacier said that they could have done some different things but doenst necessarily think it would have done better.
About Ernest Miller coming into WCW, he was disliked at first because he was so cocky and arrogant but after that they warmed up to him. He then talks about meeting Ernest initially at an underground first club in Atlanta that he was brought to by Bischoff that cost $100 to get in and had coolers of beer everywhere.
Glacier talks about losing to Buff Bagwell and how at the time everyone was losing to the nWo and didnt mind returning a favor and putting over someone. He didnt care for Bagwell not selling his kicks but didn’t see the writing on the wall at that point. Later on when he was not doing anything with the gimmick he saw the writing on the wall as when you are not relating to the fans you become stale.
On when he trashed the gimmick, Glacier said he was told to do so and promised they had better plans for him. He then said he couldnt believe he was naive enough to think that would happen.
About the Coach Buzz Stern character, he said he took from various coaches he had in his life. He wished he had a chance to run with the character a bit. He then said that he got released and got a meeting with Bischoff after that to show him some of the clips he shot with Luther Biggs in his coach character and gor rehired after that for a few hundred bucks less a week. Glacier tells young guys to not sit around and wait for the office to come up with something for you and be proactive.
He is asked about some of the major players in WCW. Glacier liked Hulk Hogan, saying he was nice to him. He always respected Bret Hart for hanging out with the boys in the locker room instead of using private rooms like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. He does say that he got to know Kevin since leaving WCW and likes him a lot. He also likes Hall too.
Glacier got hurt wrestling Goldberg and had to get helped to the back then got operated on a few days later. He said in wrestling you are going to get hurt and that it was not Goldberg’s fault that it happened.
After leaving WCW, he worked for Dusty Rhodes in Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling. He was the champion and wrestled against Barry Windham, who was sick and wanted Glacier to call the match in the ring. He loved how he got to wrestle guys like Larry Zbyzsko and Dave Taylor.
He went back to WCW after asking Terry Taylor what he had to do in order to get a spot on the roster again. Taylor asked him if he could be comedic with the Glacier character and actually think he was a superhero. Glacier said he paid for his own costume and went to the booking room before the show and hid in the closet, per the advice of Taylor. About ten minutes into the meeting, Taylor played a cassette of Glacier’s music and then Glacier busted out of the door and cut a promo in character about how he was a superhero. He said that Ed Ferrara laughed so hard that he fell out of his chair and then when he promo was finished he left the room and went home. He was rehired shortly after that. Glacier then talks about how he also had a gimmick of being Lance Storm’s older brother, as they look alike, but Vince Russo did not like the idea.
Glacier talks about the WWF showing interest and at the advice of Taylor, cut a promo as Buzz Stern introducing Glacier. Kevin Kelly called him up and asked who introduced him and found out it was him. Vince McMahon got wind that his dad was a state trooper and had an idea for him to be that as a character but Glacier said the money wasnt that great as they were the only game in town and he wanted a normal life at the time so he passed.
After wrestling he went back to teaching and helped Dusty run the wrestling school at Turnbuckle Wrestling.
He became an agent in TNA when Dusty was the head booker. At the time, Glacier was in Florida working on the Indiana Jones stunt show at Universal but got hurt. He liked the experience there.
On working as a stuntman, he talks about his first role was on “No Holds Barred” and recently got a role on “Burn Notice.” He hopes to break into acting soon.
When asked about Chris Benoit, Glacier said he was close to him as was all the midcard WCW guys were at the time. He said its sad that all people will remember him for is the murder/suicide because he gave so much back to the wrestling business. He does believe that head trauma was a major factor in the tragedy and talks about how wrestlers can get into the mindset that they are indestructible athletes and if they are hurt they have to get better before the next match and believes that Benoit was one of those guys.
He tells a road story about when he was in WCW. He says that they finished World War 3 and it was snowing like crazy. He was with Kidman, Chris Jericho, Kanyon, and Sick Boy. James Vandenberg was with them but went to bed early. Jericho came up with an idea to scare Vanderberg, who was passed out drunk. They came into the room with huge snowballs and planned on Kanyon turning on the light so he knew who was doing it but the light never worked and they hit him so Vandenberg took the beer bottles and started throwing them. Glacier said that Vanderberg took everything in stride and never let things bother him. Vandenberg then brushed the snow off of the bed and went back to sleep.
Final Thoughts: I really liked this interview. The recap might not read like the most interesting thing in the world but Glacier came off as a great guy with a good head on his shoulders. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He came across as a guy who loved everything he did and tries to make the best out of every situation.
He did express some frustration with how WCW was run at the time but was always proactive regarding his career, which is something I respect. He also had some good insight into the business as well.
I thought it was a fine interview but unless you are a fan of Glacier or interested in all things mid-90’s WCW (well, this is the place for that) then you would enjoy this a lot. You do learn a lot about how the character was created here, which was cool.
Next week I will be reviewing the Matt Morgan shoot interview as he talks about being on “Tough Enough” to his times in the WWE and TNA and about his drug addiction as well.
You can purchase the DVD of this shoot for $20 by clicking on the link below
This was filmed in April of 1998
The interview was conducted by Eric Gargiulo
It runs for two hours and seven minutes long
He became a fan of wrestling as a kid while watching the Sheik’s territory then wanted to get into the business while watching Georgia Championship Wrestling and started to get magazines and call offices of Verne Gagne among others until he called Gene Anderson and got invited to a tryout camp that cost $250. He sold his car and took a bus from Lima, OH to Charlotte, NC then walked 5 miles to a hotel and was out of money already. He got to the camp and about 25 guys where there and then Ole Anderson arrived with a few guys and they ran around the parking lot of the Charlotte Coliseum for five miles then went inside and did 500 free squats then ran around and up-and-down the stairs of the arena then after that did 400 pushups. Then, while waiting to go into the ring, you had to run back-and-forth with someone on your back or do jumping jacks. Snow said that by the time you got inside you were so blown up. Ole asked him if he wrestled before and Snow lied and said he did and told him that Jim Lancaster said hi but used his real name and Ole had no idea who that was then Snow did some moves with various guys trying to get out of chinlocks and leg locks with Ole yelling at Snow if he was going to give up as Snow jokes with the interview that he probably would have but his jaw was clenched so tight that he could not speak. Ole had been stretching guys out hard before that and even broke one guy’s jaw after knocking him out then had Gene get in and put Al in a chinlock but Gene started to dig into his mouth and eyes as Snow had no idea what he was doing until Gene clenched his balls then Snow grabbed Gene’s nuts as they tussled as Snow wanted to get out. Snow said his nose got broken as Gene also threatened him after kicking him in the ass. Snow said he thanked them both and said he would see them soon as Gene said he doubted that then Snow bought a ticket to the show and the next day woke up with bite marks all over his back.
After taking the bus back home, Snow contacted Lancaster, who first laughed then told Snow that a few other guys called him wanting to get trained and used mats since Lancaster did not have a ring. Snow had trouble finding a building until he found a community center and used the boxing ring a few times a week.
Back to the training with the Andersons, Snow said they ran that to make money as they never called anyone back nor did he see anyone there in the business as later on in Smoky Mountain, Sandy Scott told him that the Andersons would run those camps with the sole intention of making money and not training prospective wrestlers and later on he saw them while he did jobs for Crockett when they came through Ohio and West Virginia but they never recognized him.
Snow said he got married and had a regular job while wrestling on the side. He noted that he was referred to as “Wrestling’s Best Kept Secret” then got noticed during a match against Sabu around 93-94 and that got him booked more. Gargiulo mentioned how Feinstein paid Snow out of his own pocket to work a show he was booking at his local high school.
When asked if he was frustrated over not getting a break, Snow said he viewed everything he did as having a purpose that will eventually paid off but once he opened up his school and saw that some of his students were having more success then he did start to get a bit frustrated but it got a lot more frustrating when he got to the WWF.
Back to his matches against Sabu, Snow was asked about the aerial-style he used. He said that he did whatever style that would help get the match over and if he did copy a move from Sabu, he figured since Sabu came up with it first that he would miss the move and let Sabu hit it and would adapt to whatever style was necessary to get over the match. He then talks about the progression of the business how eighteen years ago a suplex was the finisher and now its just a highspot as he talks about when a move gets over, everyone wants to try it then it gets old as they keep having to amp up the craziness to get the fans to pop. He then compares the Lucha Libre style in America to watching fireworks as the fans go “ooh and ah” but do not have any attachment to the matches and that it will not put people in the seats. He does call it a nice addition to the shows but that heat is what sells tickets.
On why his initial ECW run ended so quickly, Snow said that Cornette asked him to go to SMW and team with Glen Jacobs (Kane) when Eddie Gilbert left to go to Puerto Rico and that Paul Heyman was not booking him as much as initially promised.
His initial impression of Smoky Mountain was that it was a good avenue to get to the WWF and give him his break. He then talks about how he hates doing promos as this was his first time doing them and they had a set amount of time for each promo and had to get across several points in just a limited amount of time.
Snow talks about being loyal to Cornette as he always stood behind him and was even the only one who did so in the WWF.
On teaming with Glen Jacobs against the Rock n’ Roll Express, Snow said that Morton, along with Ricky Steamboat, were the best babyfaces in the business. He then said he never traveled with anyone who he was teaming with but broke that rule in the WWF when he traveled with Marty Jannetty. He said it was hard to travel with someone who you were with essentially married to as you were teaming with them daily.
When asked why SMW went out of business, Snow said it was due to them having the same people over and over again then said that wrestling was like a movie that needed questions and answers and when the fans knew what would happen before buying a ticket, there was no reason to come to the shows and there was not a lot of talent to come in at that time either. Snow also said that Cornette’s role with the WWF took up a lot of his time too and he could not devote himself as much to the company.
Snow talks about what makes you want to watch a wrestler in the ring and how its not what you do but when and why you do something and not a lot of guys have the experience to do that. He then says that WCW and WWF should be kissing Heyman’s ass for grooming guys for them to use in the future as there are no more territories and their training camps are not going to find people. He says there is a reason guys start at the bottom and work their way up before getting ready for the push. He said that fans are sophisticated today and that they can tell when a guy is not ready and needs to get carried in the ring, citing Rocky Maivia as an example.
He talks about going to WCW and how he was told by Kevin Sullivan to come to Center Stage but was never given any directions. He said that Dave Penzer was a dick the entire time and wanted him to sign a piece of paper but did not want to tell him what it was so Penzer stormed off when Snow refused to sign without knowing what it was. Terry Taylor and Sullivan then came out and asked why he did not sign as Snow explained he just wanted to know what it was as Sullivan said it was just a piece of paper to sign so he got paid for the tryout and Snow signed but said that Sullivan thought he was a dick after that and despite having a good tryout with Ric Flair, he spoke with Bischoff who was going to offer a contract after the next PPV then Snow said that he was speaking with Jim Ross in the WWF and Bischoff told him that he owed it to himself to seek out the best deal then later on Snow noted that Taylor, who was nice to him in person, was ripping him on the WCW Hotline for his attitude as Snow was taken aback as Taylor was the nicest guy to him there. Later that week, Ross called and he flew up to meet Vince as he notes how the way Vince markets his company compared to WCW and it like night and day as the WWF gives you the tour and fine accommodations.
Snow said Vince asked him what he wanted, which was an opportunity. Snow said that he left and a few weeks later, Jeff Katz called him and said that Sullivan was trying to get a hold of him but Snow said it wasnt too tough to do then he ultimately signed with the WWF.
On how the Avatar gimmick came about, Snow said that Mortal Kombat was big and he was doing the Shinoni gimmick at the time. Vince originally wanted him to do vignettes to build up his appearance and it was going to be exactly how they would end up marketing Glacier in WCW but when he showed up, he was told then he would be on a live RAW. He then said he was not used to the ropes the WWF used and was using a lot of springboard moves. Snow said that he thought the match was good then had a good match the next night with Chris Candido then a few house shows and did nothing until working a few squash matches. Snow said he was told by others that he was perceived as being cocky and the “independent kingpin,” which rubbed guys like Kevin Nash the wrong way. Snow said he didnt work again until April 1996 with the New Rockers gimmick.
When asked about the Kliq, Snow said they indeed ruled the WWF, essentially acting like second bookers. He said it was obvious too. On whether or not the Kliq disliked him to his face, Snow said no but if they did hate him they weren’t going to tell him to his face as that is how business worked.
Snow also said that locker room morale was horrible at that time as there was nowhere to go and no one to talk too with your problems.
He talks about trying to talk to Vince about his problems but Cornette called him instead on Vince’s behalf as Snow explained how it was difficult to even get the chance to speak with Vince. As the New Rockers, he knew they were done when they were asked to put over the Harris Twins so he approached to Vince at TV, who told him to call the office and he would get back to him but that never happened as Cornette again called him back a few weeks later and calmed Snow down. Again, Snow approached Vince at TV about his character and how he feels he got the Leif Cassidy gimmick over to a point and worked hard and has charisma, wanting to get a chance to do something. The next night, he sat down with the Smoking Gunns and how Vince wanted Billy to walk out yet have Bart beat the New Rockers by himself. Marty threw a fit then left even after Jake Roberts was brought in to calm them down as Snow jokes about how ridiculous this was but remained a professional. They were told that they did not want Bart to look like shit as Snow questioned what does that make them look like by jobbing to one guy.
Still on that match, Snow said that he went over a couple of spots with Bart then Jake Roberts walked in pissed off and told him that he wasn’t always rising to the occasion as that set Snow off, who told him that he didnt give a fuck what he thought as he busted his ass in his that role. Jake said that Vince thought the same as Snow challenged him to go to Vince together. Snow talked about how he always volunteered to go over while teaming with Marty and he had nothing to lose at that point as he jobbed all the time anyway and took pride in everything he did. He then sat home for a while shortly after that until working at Survivor Series. Marty got hurt and couldnt work the show so Bob Holly, who was going to leave the territory the next day, was his partner yet they asked Snow to do the job anyway as he saw that as the ultimate sign of disrespect.
Snow tells another story about how he was asked to work against Tiger Ali Singh in England and how despite being a nice guy he was terrible in the ring and not ready for a push. He was then told that Singh was going to make the company money and the next night, they had a production meeting where Cornette came out and told Snow they wanted him to put Brakkus over. Cornette went back to the staff and said Snow refused, the first time they have done so as Bruce Prichard said they wanted to fire him as Cornette said he wants to quit then Jerry Brisco suggested they withdraw his pay but was reminded he was not being paid anything as Snow said the company was pissed as they could not punish him and the first time he said no to something they wanted to let him go.
We have reached the phone call portion of the show and its a few questions about if he wants to go to WCW or WWF as he said not at this time.
Snow talks about the Head gimmick, which is sitting next to him during the interview. He said that it was brought to a show by a fan to give to New Jack to use as a weapon then he took that to replace the head that he broke. Snow also jokingly called Feinstein gay, who denied the allegation.
More phone calls as one fan accuses Snow of running away from him when he asked for an autograph. The fan was apparently a wise ass who was chased away by Balls Mahoney. He is still under WWF contract at this time despite being in ECW. A lot of these calls are a waste of time, similar to the “YouShoot” fan submissions of people trying to get themselves over. Snow was good natured in goofing around with the callers.
He talks about the “Job Squad” and how it started as a joke at catering once when everyone was part of a gang to he said guys like Barry Horowitz and Aldo Montoya would be a part of his gang and joked about that for a bit.
Snow puts over ECW, saying its the happiest he has been in wrestling. He also does not rule out a potential return to the WWF.
On the Montreal Incident, Snow understands why both parties did what they did but that Vince always breaks the tradition of the business despite preaching it and that Bret sent a message out to everyone that he is not to be trusted and neither is Vince for that matter as he proves that his contract does not mean shit.
Snow agrees with Vince that Bret was a pain in the ass and that if you are not a pain in the ass in this business then you prove that you are willing to be in this to make money and being a nice guy gets you nowhere.
When asked about his upcoming title match against Shane Douglas at Wrestlepalooza, Snow said that if he makes money for this match then he has achieved his goal because he has had memorable matches and up until this PPV he has not had a bigger match.
Final Thoughts: Solid interview, although it did slow down significantly the last 35-40 minutes when they took fan questions (a feature that RF Video thankfully removed from their shoots) and when he was talking some about UFC. Snow was pretty upset about the way he was treated in the WWF but did seem very happy about his time in ECW. I felt Snow was honest here. This also seemed a lot more groundbreaking in 1998 than it does now as I do not feel it holds up to the legendary status that it did at the time.
Being one of the earlier shoots for RF Video, the call-in feature was regular and it hurt this interview a lot. 75% of the questions were if he would ever go back to the WWF or go to WCW.
Snow displayed a lot of insight here as well as a great sense of humor. He was definitely an engaging guy to interview.
Overall, I recommend this interview but once the call-ins start up, be wary as it is repetitive and unbearable at times.
Next week, I will review a shoot interview of one of the most overproduced and overhyped gimmicks in the history of wrestling in Glacier.
You can purchase a DVD of this shoot for $15 or download a digital copy to own for $9.99 by clicking on the links below:
This week I thought I would select four shoots from the RF Video “Face Off” Series. Here are your four choices:
Raven & James Mitchell
Honky Tonk Man & Missy Hyatt
Kevin Nash & Sean Waltman
Matt Hardy & Shane Helms
Vote by clicking on the link below. Voting ends Saturday at noon.
This was filmed in 2007
The interview was conducted by Eric Gargiulo
It runs at two hours and forty-six minutes long.
Bruno talks about being born in Italy and how during World War II, his father went to America and got stuck over there as he was with his mother and siblings and had to retreat to a mountain as one-third of his town got killed. Bruno said he did not see his father until he was 15 years old when he moved to America. He talked about his mom would sneak down the mountain to go to the land and get some food to bring. He said a lot of people died as it was freezing cold on the mountain. Bruno himself got sick and actually failed a physical that kept his family in Italy and how he weighed 80lbs when he came to America.
His dad bought as house in Pittsburgh that cost $6,000 that was in rough condition and a huge difference from the villa he lived at in Italy but he was just happy to be out of Italy at that point.
He went to school to learn English and said he got taunted and beat up daily, along with his brother. Bruno’s dad went to the school to tell them what was happening so the school let them come in fifteen minutes late and leave ten minutes early to help prevent the others from beating up Bruno and his brother before and after school.
On how he got into weightlifting, someone from school took him there and he became infatuated and wanted to look like the weightlifters and said that he cut lawns and did what it took to afford a gym membership to the YMCA. Bruno said that despite barely being able to lift anything he saw that this would be something he would be good at and quickly gained confidence.
Bruno started to become better at weightlifting and even got sponsored by another YMCA that he joined. He then talks about how this tied into his wrestling career as in 1958, he went to Oklahoma City and became the North American Weight Lifting Champion. That gave him some notoriety and when he got back home he met Bob Prince, who was the voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates, went to the same YMCA and saw Bruno lift and wrestle on the mat, invited him on his TV show where Rudy Miller of the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (which later became the WWWF) saw him and asked around the studio the next day if Bruno could wrestle and it turned out that a classmate of Bruno told him who he was then Miller spoke with Bruno and invited him to Washington D.C. to become a pro wrestler. Bruno said he was interested but also was weighing an offer from Art Rooney, who asked him to tryout for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a lineman. Bruno asked Rooney what he could make as they told him $7,000 while Miller told him he could make $30,000 wrestling and that was all Bruno needed to hear as he wanted to get as much money as possible to help out his family.
When he went to Washington D.C., Bruno was told to wrestle a few veterans guys in a gym and one of them told Bruno that he had a big future in the business. He trained with Angelo Savoldi and Arnold Skaaland along with other guys in the company for about two months then started to work shows at the smaller arenas.
Bruno is asked about the importance of “shooting” in wrestling at that time. He said that it was very important as some of the old-timers would purposely fuck with guys who they felt did not pay their dues and “backdoored” their way into the business because they did not want guys who would get their ass kicked by fans in a fight. Bruno said that a few of the vets messed with him in the ring at the beginning.
He talks about Vince McMahon Sr. and Toots Mondt putting him in a match against Haystacks Calhoun in the Madison Square Garden in which Bruno slammed him as the fans went mental. Calhoun was announced as 601lbs at the time. Bruno earned the “World’s Strongest Wrestler” moniker
Shortly after that, Buddy Rogers came into the territory with his guys and played politics, something Bruno had no clue how to play. Bruno said that he quit as they were asking him to do things he did not want to then when he tried to wrestle elsewhere, he found out that he was blackballed as the athletic commissions kept on telling him that he was suspended. He finally went to Pittsburgh but did not beg for his job and went back to work as a construction worker as he did not want to play the game. One night after work he went to a show run by Pedro Martinez and saw Yukon Eric, who suggested he go work in Canada for Frank Tunney as the territory was in bad shape and they had a big Italian population in the area. Tunney spoke with Bruno, who told him that he did not want to get there and find out everyone else badmouthing him would lead to a firing. Tunney agreed as Bruno went to Toronto the following week.
Bruno started to talk with the press in Toronto and gained some notoriety. He then spoke again with Vince McMahon Sr, who told Bruno that what happened was in the past and that he would be the future. He then asked what it would take to get him back as Bruno said he would come back to wrestle Rogers for the World Title. When asked about Rogers claim of having a heart attack, Bruno said that everyone knew it was a joke and talks about how the territory was dying and Rogers went to a show in Pittsburgh and saw the arena, which held 19,000, had about 1,500 people and Rogers told the athletic commission that he was having chest pains and they would not allow him to wrestle, where he left the hospital with a clean bill of health and wrestled afterwards then when he lost to Bruno in 48 seconds he left to work for the Sheik in Detroit.
He talks about his favorite opponents. Bruno said Gorilla Monsoon was great and talks about how they wrestled a 90 minute match at MSG and how Bruno accidentally cracked two of his ribs within the first 10 minutes. He says that Killer Kowalski was always in excellent shape and always respected him for that. He also said he had great matches with Don Leo Jonathan and Ivan Koloff.
Bruno talks about how he promised to wrestle for Tunney in Toronto and would go there as a way to pay him back for giving him the chance to wrestle again.
About the pain he suffered, Bruno said he never believed in taking anything, even aspirin, because you have to be aware of your body. When he felt he could not give it his all, he decided to step away as he did not want to disappoint the fans.
He talks about how after his second title reign, he wrestled part-time for all different territories for a few years until Vince McMahon Sr. called him back and offered him a one-year deal that would have him wrestle the major shows then Vince kept on convincing him to stay longer and that was when he broke his neck.
With a broken neck, Bruno was asked to come back soon to wrestle against Stan Hansen, the man who did it, as the company was hurting financially at the time due to a deal to show the Muhammed Ali vs Antonio Inoki match on closed-circuit that ended up tanking. Bruno said Vince Sr. kept calling the hospital and the nurse would have to pick up the phone for him as he was unable to do so himself. Bruno talks about how the doctor heard about this and asked to speak to Vince when he called and picked up to tell him that they did not even know if he could walk again. Bruno got released after a month and started to lightly train then told Vince he could make the match as he did not want to see the company go under.
Bruno talks about losing the title to Ivan Koloff and how he thought the crowd would boo loudly but he found out the fans were shocked and saw some of them cry when he walked backstage as Bruno said he felt bad about that but also wanted the giant weight of being champion off of him at that time.
He talks about his match against Lou Thesz in Canada and thought it was good. Bruno then said he was surprised about the story in Thesz’s book about the deal of unifying the belts (NWA & WWWF) and how Thesz himself wanted more money as the reason it did not happen, saying it was not true at all. Bruno said that Toots Mondt and Sam Mushnick were meeting about unifying the titles as the WWWF was getting bigger and featured in more magazines. He then said one guy in the company told Vince and Toots they should talk to Bruno as Mushnick wanted 17 dates a month while Vince wanted 18 days a month which would make it a ton of work for Bruno. He then told Vince and Toots at TV tapings that he did not care about the dates but was getting only two days a month to see his family and that he wanted at least four days off to see them. Toots then immediately got up and told Vince that they should want no part of unifying the belts because the NWA wants Bruno because they have an older champion who is not drawing as much anymore. Bruno found out later that Vince and Toots told the rest of the NWA they were not going to sacrifice their other dates for this to happen and that was what really happened as Vince did not want to give up four Sundays of Bruno on the card.
When asked about who he traveled with, Bruno said he traveled with Arnold Skaaland and Dominic DeNucci a lot. Bruno said that he always got around with Arnold.
He is then asked about Dusty Rhodes claim in his book about how he was more popular than Bruno in New York and how one night leaving a bar in New York, Dusty got mobbed for autographs instead of Bruno, who claims that is nonsense as he never hung out with Dusty once.
Bruno said that Bruiser Brody looked impressive but did not know him all that well. He said that he didnt get very close to any of the wrestlers so he does not know how they were outside of the ring but said their matches were respectable and felt terrible when he heard about his death and how tragic it is that the case remains open today.
On his relationship with the “Rat Pack,” Bruno said that one day he was told that Jilly Rizzo wanted to meet him so he did and Jilly invited him to his club, even providing him transportation. Bruno said he had no plans and Jilly had a car waiting for him so he met various actors, musicians and comedians like Tony Bennett, Ann Margret, and Don Rickles to name a few along with the Rat Pack.
About Superstar Billy Graham’s claim in his book that Bruno told him that business was so hot and good that he should fake a knee injury to avoid dropping the belt to Bob Backlund, Bruno jokes that he much have amnesia because he does not remember that at all.
He talks about Larry Zbyszko and said he felt that Larry felt that since being his protege that no one would take him seriously on his own. On Hogan’s claim that he and Andre were the draw of that show, Bruno said that Vince Sr. tried them out on their home to headline and drew only 1,200 to White Plains, NY. Bruno then goes off on a tangent about Hogan, calling him an “idiot” about claims of taking wrestling out of “smoke-filled buildings” and how he and others before him wrestled in the big arenas well before he came around. He then calls him out for taking steroids.
When he returned as a color commentator in 1984, Bruno said that after a little while he felt that it was going in a bad direction and saw more steroid and drug use and decided he no longer wanted to be associated with it anymore. He then said he didnt think Vince Jr. was interesting in wrestling and wanted more of the sports entertainment, focusing on TV and the PPV business as Bruno said there is no reason for the fans to pay to see the show at the arenas because it is no different than the matches you see on TV. He then talks about the ridiculous angles and how it turned off older fans who were loyal.
Bruno said he was booked to wrestle Hogan but he did not show up so Sgt. Slaughter took his place. He believes to this day that Hogan knew he could get blown up in ten minutes and wanted no part of that.
He talks about his son David coming to the WWF and how he ended up wrestling occasionally as business was not good at that point. Bruno then said that guys were going up to his son, suggesting he get his dad to wrestle as he would get pushed as well. Bruno told David he was older and that hard work would get him pushed but they were having issues between them so he agreed but when it was done, David went back to the bottom of the card. Bruno said he was disgusted by what he saw in the locker room and wanted out of it all, even saying that he felt his heart was not in it to begin with and how the business passed him by at that point. He then tells how he sold of Boston with Savage while Hogan could not sell out that arena as the champ at that point. He did give credit to Paul Orndorff for being a hard worker.
More on his son David as he talked about how Vince Jr. fired him after hitting a fan, which Bruno said he never should have done, but then talks about all of the problems that the other wrestlers had, including Randy Savage who hit a 13 year old fan in Florida.
Bruno said that he did a tour of Texas and Phoenix and how he told Vince he did not want to ride with anyone as the drug use was so rampant that he did not want to get pulled over with someone who had that in their possession. Vince then made a deal for him to ride with Chief Jay Strongbow, who was clean.
When he called to quit he said that he called Vince a bunch of times and was never able to reach him and told everyone but him he was leaving.
On Mick Foley’s claim that Vince McMahon as a soft spot in his heart for him, Bruno says he loves Mick and jokes about how he took too many bumps to the head as Vince does not a soft heart for anyone and only wants him in his Hall of Fame because of all the fans complaining about Bruno not being there as he felt Vince never planned to put him there as he wanted to pretend that he did not exist. He then talks about Vince’s attorney calling Bruno’s and how he spoke with Jim Ross, who he likes. Bruno then said that he talked to Vince after being subpoenaed for the “Living Legend” lawsuit against the WWE brought on by Zbyszko and had no intention of accepting the offer but did get a chance to get some things of his chest as he told him he did not have any respect for the older generation of wrestlers and if he ever wanted to bring him back they would have to show him the same respect he does for the celebrities he brings into the company because Vince low-balled all of the legends when bringing them back but gave guys like Pete Rose six-figure deals to appear. Bruno then said that Vince put out how he was hostile and that was why he was not in the Hall of Fame.
Bruno talks about how Vince would not allow his name mentioned on the A&E pro wrestling documentary as Bruno told the producer on the phone that to allow someone to distort the documentary speaks volumes of what Vince and A&E are all about.
He is asked about Ric Flair saying that Bruno never impressed him in the ring and how he never drew outside of the Northeast as Bruno talks about selling out arenas in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Georgia, St. Louis, and in Japan Bruno was the headliner of the shows that Flair worked the undercard. He then tells us how Flair vs. Hogan couldnt sell out MSG when they wrestled each other. Bruno then says that he laughs when people call Flair the greatest worker ever as he did the same match every time. Bruno does credits him for working hard and bumping a lot then talks about while not the most talented himself, he wrestled different style of matches depending on his opponent. Bruno then questions where he drew outside of the Carolinas as Flair first came to the WWWF to work in the preliminaries while Bruno worked as a headliner even outside of the company.
Still speaking about Flair, Bruno said Flair’s claim of trying to shake his hand only for Bruno to turn his back on him is the biggest lie in the world. Bruno said this was the day he had a meeting with Vince and how he was speaking to a few people backstage at RAW and saw Flair about 20-25 feet away and walked towards him. Bruno said that Flair then took off like a child and said people were even commenting about that as he then talks about Flair being a terrible ambassador for wrestling for exposing himself frequently and nearly arrested for evading income tax, even back in the 1980’s. Bruno said he heard Flair constantly bragged about affairs he was having while married.
Bruno talks about steroids briefly and how they have led to more deaths in wrestling than in any other sport.
He said that Vince Russo’s claim in which he was negotiating with WCW in 2000 were false and has no idea where they come from.
On Vince Jr. wrestling, Bruno said he knows Vince uses steroids as his lawyer told him so and that he is insane at his age to be taken those and he must have something missing at his stage in life to be getting into the ring.
When asked about becoming a referee for a match in WCW for the Thunderdome match at 1989 Halloween Havoc, Bruno said that Gary Jester called him and he was not interested because he never thought he was a good referee but then Jim Herd called and gave him an offer that he could not refuse. He was asked to come back to make periodic appearances but that never happened.
About his current fitness routine, Bruno said he is done to about 215 lbs and does weights three days a week and “road work” three days a week too, all at the age of 71.
Bruno talks about being grateful for all his fan support and always appreciates them as without the fans it would not be possible to do what he did, stating he probably would have remained a construction worker. He also talks about being shocked at the fan support he receives now long after he was retired and how much he appreciates that now.
When asked about his match against Chick Garibaldi, who ended up dying of a heart attack during the bout, Bruno said that they had wrestled for about ten minutes and as soon as he slammed him, he went to cover but noticed Garibaldi make a gargling sound and his eyes rolled in the back of his head so he waved over the doctor from the State Athletic Commission and he finally came in and shot him up with adrenaline then stretchered him to the back as Bruno volunteered to massage his chest in order to revive him until the doctor told him that he was dead. Later on he found out that Garibaldi had clogged arteries that led to his death and it was not the result of the slam but Bruno said that haunted him for months as he could not get that out of his head.
He is asked about if he ever felt cheated on his pay as Bruno joked about how could that happen in wrestling with all of the honest promoters then said he had a deal that paid him a percentage of the house (which was 9%) and that there were times in which he and Vince Sr. got along great and other times where they did not. He talks about being short-changed at times as well and how some other promoters treated him fairly while others did not at all.
On if he was surprised that Hogan and Flair as still wrestling, Bruno said he was but has no problem with them doing so and who is he to tell them to get out of the business.
Bruno talks about meeting Kurt Angle a few times and respects him for his achievements but does not know him all that well and feels bad for him due to his injuries and how he became dependent on painkillers as a result as Bruno talks about how pills just mask the problems while comparing guys to today who get put through rehab for injuries while the guys from his era were treated like dogs and how they were told to wrestle anyway due to the fact they were advertised on the show. Bruno felt like he shortchanged the fans when he was wrestling while injured as he could not give them everything he had.
He gets asked about the rumors that he is bitter as Bruno said that he wishes he was younger but is a happy and grateful guy. He also talks about spending 20+ years on the road and was grateful to retire and spent time with his parents, who lived to be in their late 90’s and how he has beautiful grandchildren and is even able to go to Italy once a year. Bruno also talks about how despite all of the health issues he had as a child and after all he went through he got to come to the greatest country in the world and became a wrestler. He then said the rumors of him not liking the wrestlers today couldn’t be further form the truth as he does not even know many of the guys but that he does not like the direction that Vince Jr. went with wrestling and hates how steroids impacted the business and believes wrestling belongs in the big arenas. He says that wrestling turns him off today and he does not bother to watch it anymore.
Bruno talks about how he tries to be a good ambassador to wrestling as he loves it and wants to make sure to conduct himself in a professional manner.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a terrific interview. Some watching this or even reading the recap might think that Bruno is bitter but I never got that feeling here. He seemed to hate what Vince McMahon did to wrestling and was disgusted by the drug use in the locker room when he returned in 1984 as a commentator. Like he said, he does not know the wrestlers today so he did not comment on them one way or the other. And Bruno seems like a happy guy as he talks about his family and laughed and joked a lot during the interview and was relaxed but he did shoot straight and did not pull any punches at all here. Bruno comes off as a guy who is passionate about everything he does. And how HHH managed to get him to agree to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is a minor miracle. Maybe HHH should head over to the Middle East to negotiate a peace treaty?
It was also fascinating to hear about the hardships he faced growing up as a child. His childhood in Italy sounded like a living hell until he made it to America, where he got the shit kicked out of him when he started school. His story is fascinating as this guy worked his ass off to get everything. Even at 71 years old here he was in tremendous shape, both physically and mentally as his mind seemed solid and memory very well intact.
He certainly has a disdain for Vince McMahon Jr. and Ric Flair. Bruno was not a fan of Hogan, either. Other than that, Bruno really didnt comment on anything else as he even said he did not hang out much with the others, preferring to be at home.
In closing, I highly recommend this interview as I became a big fan of Bruno as a person. Gargiulo did a great job with the interview itself and it certainly helps that he has interviewed Bruno many times in the past.
You can purchase the DVD of this interview for $20 at RFVideo.com by clicking on the link below:
Or you can download a digital copy at RFVideoNow for $9.99 by clicking on the link below:
This was filmed in 2006
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry
Disc Two runs for one hour and twenty-eight minutes long
You can read the recap for Disc One by clicking on the link below:
Larry is asked about the War Games match and said that he didn’t like that match that much as he saw it as more of a cluster and would rather wrestle in a match that had more of a story. He then talks about how the art of booking was becoming lost then they started to hotshot ideas.
On Lex Luger, Larry said he had a great look and rode the wave of the “steroid era” and said he couldn’t talk and was in the right place at the right time then said that he had great heel charisma because he was a real-life narcissist as he tells a story of how he was in the backyard with Sting and Luger, who kept on looking at himself through the reflection of the glass door. He does say it was too bad what happened to him though as he went from millionaire wrestler to being in jail and suicidal is sad but puts him over for trying to turn his life around.
He is asked about all of the bookers that WCW used as Larry said that they had non-wrestling guys, committees, and ex-wrestlers try and fail but that Eric Bischoff was smart enough to pick the brain of others to get ideas. Larry also said that with Ted Turner wanting to challenge Vince and having his money behind them, WCW was able to do to Vince what he did to other promoters and raid his talent. Larry also said that Eric was at the right place at the right time as Turner wanted to challenge Vince and if he did not, it would have probably been much different for Bischoff.
Larry then talks about writer in wrestling and how that does not work for a wrestling show as that booking is the heart and soul of the product and if you do not have a booker with knowledge of the business then you will just spin your wheels.
He then talks about how all WCW had to do with Goldberg was to build up heels to feed him and copy the Bruno Sammartino formula and would be around today. Larry then talks about how Ted sold off his stock in the company to AOL-Time Warner, who did not want wrestling and ended up selling off the company and tape archive for next to nothing for Vince.
About when Hulk Hogan came into WCW and if there was jealously, Larry said that Hogan didn’t get over at first as a babyface then wanted to switch to the nWo as he saw that was getting hot. Larry then talks about how awful the vignettes with Hogan was involving the Dungeon of Doom and how they were just stupid and unrealistic and talks about in TNA today he tells them that the skits are the worst part of the show as it is all writing and not part of wrestling as they do not create any drama.
On WCW falling behind the WWE, Larry said Bischoff made mistakes with contracts by offering creative control and guaranteed deals and those guys never did anything to help the company and would get doctor’s notes to get out of doing anything they were unhappy with and stresses how the crowds would chant for Goldberg yet the Heavyweight Champion was a writer.
When asked about the undercard being important to Nitro’s early success. Larry said that people pay to watch stars, not wrestling.
About TNA, Larry said that they are trying to grow and have great young talent but the problem is that no one knows who they are. He was in favor of bringing in Kurt Angle but did not care that Sting was brought in because he was stale and all he did in the past was whine and complain then laughs about how they just brought Russo back after talking about not wanting to go in the wrong direction.
Larry talks about how good of a job it was to be a broadcaster but that he wanted to be a babyface announcer so he could put over the talent.
On Ric Flair, Larry said that he cannot believe he is still doing the same thing as he was getting old in the 90’s. Larry also said he is horrified when he sees Flair wrestle in hardcore matches and rolling around in thumbtacks. He mentions Flair’s debt to the IRS and how he will probably end up dying in the ring. Larry also said that if needed the money like that he would rather get an actual job instead of wrestle a hardcore style at that age.
He missed the Vader/Orndorff fight but said he did see a fight occur between Peter Maivia slap the shit out of Ivan Putksi in the locker room after Putski made a comment about Rocky Johnson’s wife, who was in fact the daughter of Maivia.
About whether or not guys not protecting kayfabe is hurting the business and he said no as the business is exposed then goes back to how they need to keep kayfabe on TV instead of reciting awful lines backstage as it leaves out any imagination that the fans have.
Larry then talks about Louie Spicolli. He said that he was originally going to face him but that Louie passed away the week before. Tony Schiavone on commentary then asked Larry about Spicolli on commentary after he was dead. Larry said he was about to say something nice about Spicolli and his family but before he had the chance the director started to scream into his headset about not mentioning any details about his death because it was the result of an overdose so Larry, on the spot by both Schiavone and the director, blurted out on air that out of respect of his death he will not say anything about him, something that he looked like he regretted saying.. Well, Scott Hall saw Larry at the bar one night as he was drunk and started to push Larry, who let it go because he liked Scott. Larry then said he was about to go after him but Arn Anderson backed Hall away.
He speaks about an incident at catering where Chris Benoit was mad at him for hinting that he was small on commentary. Larry told Chris that he was wrestling Sid Vicious, who was much taller than him and said in his headphones he was told by the production people to talk about the size difference so it wasn’t up to him what he said.
On how much leeway he had on commentary, Larry said most of the time they were left alone and as a color commentator he got to ad-lib as the play-by-play guys had to take a lot more direction.
Larry said he became a broadcaster as they asked him but at first he did not want to do it as he had no interest. However, he said that he saw the direction the company was going in then and found out he would get health benefits as an announcer and made more doing that than he did in wrestling and got to live on the golf course as well.
He puts over Steve Regal a lot and mentions how their match in WCW was great and had Brian Pillman run around backstage saying they put on a clinic.
When the WWF bought out WCW, Larry said he was gone six months prior and said the company was a wreck at the time and didn’t even want to be there to begin with.
About the lawsuit against the WWE in 2001 for Chris Jericho using the “Living Legend” monniker, Larry said he is not able to talk about that due to legal issues.
On winding up in TNA, Larry said that he got a call to get involved with a storyline involving AJ Styles but they kept on changing things and it fell through then they were going to have a championship committee but Terry Funk wanted too much money and Larry said he was local and cheap and after going back and forth for a while helping out periodically.
Larry said that Jeff Jarrett gets a bad rep for TNA as he is not involved on the money side of things and is a good worker but that there wasn’t anyone else over enough to carry the belt and that they shouldn’t put the belt on someone that will “make the smarks happy.”
He talks about the talent of guys like AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, and others but unfortunately it is tough to make a star out of a group of guys who are all very similar. He also talks about how some agents, while very talented wrestlers themselves, are not able to convey that to others. Larry also thinks that TNA can break out and compete against the WWE as they have good people in charge.
On the craziest things that happened to him by fans, Larry said that he got stabbed in the ass after turning on Bruno and had about three of his cars smashed by rocks. He then said he saw a fan while he was smoking a cigarette outside and when he got back in the fan had the cigarette butt in a plastic bag and asked for an autograph.
When asked to compare Bruno and Hogan and who was the biggest draw, Larry said it was Bruno as he was on top for 20 years with a roster that had a lot less stars as Hogan also said Andre, Piper, Snuka, Savage, and the Ultimate Warrior also on the cards that were attractions.
Larry closes by talking about TNA and how he thinks and hopes they can succeed and compete with the WWE.
Final Thoughts: I have to say that Disc One was much better than Disc Two. The last 20-25 minutes of this disc really could have been cut out completely as he just talked about TNA wanting to succeed while more or less repeating the same points over and over again. Also, the token questions everyone got asked about WCW from these shoots (Did Russo kill WCW, Did they misuse Bret Hart, etc) slowed things down a lot as there is only so many times you can hear people answer these questions.
I enjoyed this shoot as Larry was relaxed throughout and willing to talk. Seeing how he was working with TNA at this time, he did offer valid and honest criticism of the company without coming off as a complete shill. Also, when he spoke about criticism of wrestling today, he did not do so in a bitter manner. He just calmly spoke his mind and did not dismiss today’s wrestlers ability.
Larry was not a partier and took care of himself, which is why he is still in good shape today. But he still has a lot of good stories he spoke about in this shoot and came off as having a good sense of humor. And his on-screen character definitely seems like some of his personality amped up to 11 but Larry seems like a good guy overall.
Overall, I recommend this shoot and it might even change your opinion on Larry if you are not a fan of his. Be warned though that Disc One is a lot more interesting than Disc Two.
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This week I thought I would select four legends in the fine sport of professional wrestling. Here are your choices:
Terry Funk, Volume 1
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