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How would you utilize Orton at Survivor Series (I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he can probably get the day off from filming "12 More Rounds" or "Oculus II: Oculii" or whatever direct-to-Chinese landfill he's working on now)? Let's say the match comes down to Cena vs. Rollins. Let's say Rusev gets counted out or something (gotta keep him strong before he does the job at Wrestlemania). He cheap-shots Cena before he leaves and that seemingly gives Rollins an easy pin. Orton comes down and everyone thinks he's going to attack Rollins. Instead, he beats on Cena causing Rollins to be DQ'ed and the Authority loses their power. It preserves Rollins (how long has it been since he's been pinned, anyway – was Reigns the last one to do it?) and it doesn't make Orton a sugary babyface since he didn't help Cena. Plus Cena stands tall at the end of the show, and that's how all WWE special events have to end, right?
Or am I overthinking it and it's going to be Cena taking out the entire team himself after his teammates all get beaten up backstage?
Is there a defacto "best" traditional Survivor Series match? The one that always comes to mind is the ten team match from 1987. Has that one been topped from a workrate standpoint? Yes, I realize that Doink, Dink, Wink, and Pink and HBK and his Knights would like to have a word with me.
……or will they just go the boring, predictable route and have Cena be the final guy, over coming the odds….again?
The Netcop Retro Rant for Survivor Series 1995 – This is one of those weird shows, in that Vince was completely self-destructing behind the scenes, but the product was great for some reason. Maybe distraction allows him to focus better or something, who knows. (Well RAW was certainly not great at this point, as those who have been following along with the past few months of tapings can testify.) – Live from Washington, DC – Your hosts are Vincent K, Jim Ross, and making his surprise return…Mr. Perfect. (Not gonna lie, I may have pooped my pants watching this on PPV. Although clearly he didn’t give a shit, unlike myself, and didn’t prepare in the least for the show.) By the way, I actually had a few people e-mail and ask me this, so let me clear up a Netcop Joke: Mr. Spiffy is my pet name for Mr. Perfect, because when he joined WCW in 1997 it was obvious he was never going to get over as “Curt Hennig”, so I suggested that they call him the next best thing — Mr. Spiffy. He could then say things like “Now that’s what I call…spiffy!” and have some fun parodying himself by doing skits where he’d be almost, but not quite, perfect at various sports, missing by a few inches each time. (Much like that attempt at a running joke.) Anyway… – Opening match: Marty Jannetty, Hakushi, Barry Horowitz & Bob Holly v. Bodydonna Skip, Rad Radford, Dr. Tom Pritchard & The 1-2-3 Kid. This would be Kid’s debut as a heel, one week after guest-reffing a match between Ramon and Sid, and turning on him. Rad Radford (the late Louie Spicoli) is a “Bodydonna in training” at this point, although ironically it would be PRITCHARD who would shortly be repackaged as “Zip”, Skip’s partner. (Not really ironic. That’s more in the realm of happenstance. And man, Rad Radford, the most 90s gimmick of all and career-killing levels of bad.) Jannetty cleans house to start, and he looks thoroughly baked so tags out quickly. (Allegedly.) Rad gets the better of Hakushi, who then gets beat on in the heel corner. Crowd starts chanting for Barry Horowitz, which is pretty surreal. I still wonder why Vince didn’t just PUSH the guy if he was so over. It’s not rocket science, I mean it’s not like there’s some genetic code that says a guy has to be a jobber his entire career. (So much wrong with the Horowitz deal, from the non-push after he started to get over, to repackaging him immediately as a Larger Than Life WWF Superstar Character™ who was a nerdy Jewish stereotype.) Holly gets a quick pin on the Doctor with a flying bodypress, and Skip rolls *him* up right after to send him packing. Hakushi and the Kid do a great little sequence, and Radford pins Hakushi after Kid kicks him in the head. Horowitz and the Kid go next, with Barry taking a beating. Radford continues it, but keeps picking him up. And what happens when a heel keeps picking up a jobber, kids? That’s right — he gets pinned while showboating, and this is no exception. Sunny yells at him, pretty much disqualifying him from the Bodydonna Sweepstakes. Skip & Barry have their showdown, but Kid pins Barry after a snap legdrop, leaving Jannetty 2-on-1. He does a cool sequence with Skip, pinning him after a top rope powerbomb! That was pretty unheard of at that time in the WWF. Kid comes in and mops up with Jannetty, pinning him after an assist from Sid at 18:36. Minus a bit for the bad ending, but otherwise this was the shiznit, if you will. ***3/4 Survivor: 1-2-3 Kid. (This was setting up Sid & Kid as a tag team, but that wound up not happening for various reasons.) – Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, Tomoko Watanabe & Lioness Asuka v. Alundra Blayze, Sakie Hasegawa, Kyoko Inoue & Chapparita Asari. I had to get the names from the PWI Almanac because they had fucking Dok Hendrix shilling the crappy Survivor Series Commemorative T-shirt during the ring introductions. (Now I use The History of WWE site! http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com ) At least it’s not that Barry guy. And this would be a total spotfest as the women are basically given 10 minutes to wow the crowd. So Asari goes and pulls out the first ever Sky Twister Press on PPV, which is called “Whatamaneuver” by Vince, then called properly by JR. Blayze pins Asuka with the german suplex soon after. Hasegawa hits a chain of 5 double-underhook suplexes while we’re watching the replay of the Sky Twister Press. See, Vince had absolutely no idea how to deal with any match that exceeded the North American pace, which is why it took so long for him to grasp the whole cruiserweight concept. (It took him a lot of time to grasp a lot of concepts.) Aja Kong comes in and kick’s Hasegawa’s ass. Kong can best be described as the female Vader, I guess. (Did she get beat up by the female Paul Orndorff, I wonder?) The only woman I ever really followed in Japan was Akira Hokuto, so I’m pretty much at JR’s mercy for the backstory on these chicks. (It’s true, my sojourns into joshi tape trading were woefully underdeveloped. If I had money to blow on Japan I usually binged on Michinoku Pro or New Japan Super Juniors stuff instead. Now you can get all that stuff on one DVD for like $1 on Rudoreels or other sites like that. Takes all the challenge out of it. Jesus, if I had the resources I have now back when I had nothing but free time and disposable income, I probably would have done nothing but wrestling reviews 24 hours a day. These days I literally have a 10-DVD set of Mid-South, 8 or 9 DVDs of recent New Japan, the WWE Network, and access to whatever I want on YouTube, and my free time is occupied by taking my 4-year old to see Big Hero 6. TOTALLY WORTH IT.) Aja nails a NASTY backdrop suplex, dropping Hasegawa right on her head, to get the pin. Asari comes in and tries a cross-body, bouncing right off Aja, then gets splashed and pinned. Inoue comes in and does a little more damage, but tries a sunset flip and gets sat on for the pin. That leaves Alundra 3-on-1. Blayze dominates Watanabe and pins her after a piledriver. Faye & Kong have a heel miscommunication moment and Bertha gets suplexed and pinned by Alundra. So it’s Kong v. Blayze. Alundra hits a missile dropkick and a standing moonsault, but Aja shoves her off the top rope and pins her after a spinning backhand at 10:00. Pretty damn good, given the circumstances. *** Survivor: Aja Kong. This was supposed to start Blayze’s next big program, but she went and dumped the Women’s title in a trash can on Nitro, the night after this if I’m not mistaken. (About a month later.) – And since we’re in Washington, we get a visit from the fake Clinton for some hijinks. (God, they were using him on RAW leading up to this, and it was just so pathetic.) – Bam Bam Bigelow v. Goldust. (Poor Bam Bam was just so clearly beaten down by the Clique at this point and desperately wanted out.) Goldust’s entrance takes FOREVER. At this point he was just weird, rather than sexually deviant. Goldust s..l..o..w..l..y wears down the Bammer, then pins him with a bulldog at 8:18. Oh my god, that sucked. 1/4* Honest to god, I had nothing interesting to write between the introductions and the pinfall, it was that boring. – The Undertaker, Henry Godwinn, Fatu & Savio Vega v. King Mabel, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Isaac Yankem & Jerry Lawler. The story here is that, during the crack-induced period (…allegedly…) when Vince hired Bill Watts to book, Mabel did a big fat legdrop on UT’s face and broke it, necessitating a goofy purple mask that looks like something Kyle Rayner would be wearing today. (I have since come around on Kyle and he’s pretty much one of my favorites now as the White Lantern. Geoff Johns really did an awesome job rehabilitating him with the Ion/Parallax stuff a few years back.) Needless to say, Taker is PISSED, and is thus more over than ever. Most of the match (11 minutes to be exact) is meaningless filler, as the teams go through the motions of a match and the faces deliberately don’t tag UT in, saving him up for the big finish. Perfect, by the way, tells McMahon that Helmsley prefers to be called “Triple H”, although that name didn’t catch on until two years after this. Undertaker finally gets the hot tag, and obliterates the heel team. (This was pretty awesome.) Lawler tries to run away, but none of the team will tag him, and the result is a tombstone, to a HUGE pop. Goodbye. Yankem comes in next, tombstone, goodbye. Of course, it would take THREE tombstones for UT to do the same thing when Wrestlemania XIV rolled around. HHH tries, gets chokeslammed from the ring apron into the ring, see ya. Mabel gets the brief advantage but UT sits up, and that’s all Mabel needs to see, deciding to take the smart route and run away to fight another day. Taker’s team gets the win at 14:23, with the entire team surviving. 1/2* (That rating belies the tremendous entertainment value in seeing Undertaker finally cutting loose and destroying the group of heels like a force of nature.) – Wild Card match: Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, The British Bulldog & Sid v. Yokozuna, Owen Hart, Razor Ramon & Dean Douglas. If you’re thinking this team looks weird, you’re right. It was set up by Gorilla Monsoon to stir things up. We get the one-and-only Shawn v. Shane match pretty early in, and it’s pretty good. Ahmed comes in and kicks ass, but tries to slam Yoko, which is immensely not smart. He gets beat on for a bit, then tags in Shawn, who pins Douglas on a rollup. Owen & Bulldog go next, then Shawn & Razor. JR wonders if they can have a match not involving a ladder. Razor gets the Edge, but Ahmed makes the save. Crowd is torn on who to cheer for. Sid comes in and stinks up the joint. He calls for Shawn’s help on a double-team superkick, but Ramon ducks and Sid takes it. Shawn gives a hilarious “Oh, well…” shrug, and Ramon pins Sid. (THAT was the World champion personality that Shawn should have had, not whatever bullshit they saddled him with to “fix” him.) Sid powerbombs Shawn for being a smart-ass, and I can’t say as I blame him. Razor gets two from it. Shawn then gets pummeled by Yokozuna, including that VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DOOM. Ahmed gets the hot tag and pins Owen quickly with the tiger bomb. (I was deliberately calling it that to troll guys like Scherer on RSPW, by the way.) Ramon cleans house but takes a spinebuster from Ahmed. Ahmed poses on the second rope, and Ramon comes from behind and Edge’s him off. Sid & Kid wander to ringside and distract Ramon, and he walks into a Bulldog powerslam as a result and gets pinned. So Yoko is 3-on-1. He does well against Shawn, but misses the FAT-ASSED BUTTDROP OF DEATH and Ahmed gets the hot tag. Bodyslam! Davey Boy comes in to break up the pin, because he’s a bad person and all. So Shawn superkicks Yoko and then ties up the Bulldog, allowing Ahmed to get the pin unfettered at 27:23. And now of course the Bulldog wants to celebrate with his teammates. Match wasn’t terrible. **1/4 Survivors: Michaels, Johnson, Bulldog. – WWF World title match: Diesel v. Bret Hart. Hart v. Michaels was already pencilled in for WM12, so it’s not like the result here was a secret of national security or anything. (Guys in the locker room were openly talking about Bret’s title defense schedule and such weeks before the match, according to the Observers at the time, and Diesel himself was basically phased out of the top position on the main shows, and in fact barely appeared at all outside of being Shawn’s buddy. Clearly the writing was on the wall for Nash.) Diesel and Bret both pull off turnbuckle pads to reinforce that it’s no-DQ. Diesel pounds Bret in the corner, so Bret bails. They fight outside for a bit as Bret uncharacteristically runs like a chicken. Back in the ring for a slugfest, which Bret loses. He bails again, so Diesel rams him backfirst into the post. He grabs a chair and nails him for good measure. Back in the ring and he goes for the powerbomb early, but Bret blocks it and comes back. Lots of cheap stuff from Bret, then he starts working on the knees of the champ. Figure-four wears him down further, then Bret grabs a cable in an amazingly dickish move and hogties Diesel’s ankles around the post. He takes the chair and demolishes his knee with it, actually drawing boos. Diesel finally looses himself and slams Bret off the top rope, then chokes him out with the cable. Side slam gets a two count. Nash is doing an amazing job of selling the injury at this point, the best I’ve ever seen him do. He manages Snake Eyes, but Bret reverses a second attempt and comes back. FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! Bret sends Diesel to the floor, but the pescado misses. Bret crawls onto the apron, and it’s HISTORY TIME! The biggest running gag in WWF’s history begins here, as Diesel shoves Bret off the apron, right through the Spanish announce table. (VINTAGE ANNOUNCE TABLE!) Bret is acting like he’s on his deathbed. Diesel tosses him back in for the kill, but when he goes for the powerbomb Bret simply collapses. The ref wants to stop the match, but Diesel shoves him aside and tries it again…and Bret small packages him out of nowhere for the pin and the title at 24:50. Diesel clearly mouths a very naughty phrase at the camera which rhymes with “Another trucking skit”, then powerbombs Bret twice and takes out a bunch of refs, yelling “I’M BACK!” at the camera. He started pissing off the Undertaker soon after, and got jobbed out, leading to him joining WCW in 1996. Wonder whatever happened to him? This would be Nash’s second-best match ever, only eclipsed by the one he had with Michaels in 1996. ****1/4 The Bottom Line: Can’t lose here. Even if the offices of the WWF were going to hell, the workers were shining, especially the rising Shawn Michaels, the resurgent Bret Hart, and the newly motivated Diesel. Recommended show. (It was good but actually a bit disappointing based on how good you would have expected a couple of matches to be, like the Goldust-Bigelow and wild card matches. Still an easy thumbs up, but one that could have been an all-timer with better depth in the midcard.)
This was released on July 31st, 2014
The interview was conducted by Sean Oliver
It runs at two hours and fifteen minutes long
The first question asked to Bret is about the “Inside Edition” piece that aired on January 3rd on steroids and wrestling that primarily focused on Hulk Hogan’s apparent lying about his steroid use on the Arsenio Hall Show. Bret said that he recalled that a lot of guys in the locker room felt that if he just answered the question honestly, the whole issue would have gone away but when he lied, Bret said that it brought on a whole tidal wave of criticism and business went down significantly by the end of the year.
On January 5th, the first match between Hogan and Ric Flair at the Omni in Atlanta only drew 4,500 fans. Bret is asked why didnt the feud between Hogan and Flair work. Bret said it was due to ego problems as each guy were set in their own ways and had doing their same matches for years. When asked if someone tried to step in and tell these guys to go out their and deliver, Bret said he believes that Vince would have done that then talks about his own problems with Flair. He said that they were having really good matches at the beginning of the year but once Bret won the belt, the matches started to get sloppy. Bret said that Flair told him that he was having problems at home thus was distracted. He said that very well could have been the case but Bret also said that he went up to Vince and told him that he believed Flair was intentionally sabotaging their matches as the finishes would constantly get screwed up. He said that they had meetings with Vince and Pat Patterson to work things out as well. When Flair left, Vince came up to Bret a few weeks later and told him that he believes that Flair can only work his style of match and was not doing anything to purposely screw things up. Bret talks about how Flair called it in the ring and tried to be like Dory Funk and Harley Race were in the 1970’s and he came from a different era and they had a bit of a styles clash.
When asked about Shawn Michaels turning on Marty Jannetty and sending him through the “Barber Shop” window, Bret said that he believes they were split up as he believes that Shawn was tired of babysitting Marty, in the same way that he was tired of doing the same to Jim Neidhart. Bret also said that he did not travel on the road with the Rockers so he cannot say for sure. Bret then talks about Neidhart and how his night did not begin until 2am and that he had to stay with him to make sure he would make the flight the next day and how that got old after a while. When asked out of the Rockers which one he would have picked for a singles push, Bret puts over both guys for being exceptional workers but says that it was clear that Shawn was the better athlete of the two and picks him. Bret then says that Shawn and Curt Hennig were the two best athletes he has ever wrestled against. Bret then talks a bit more about Shawn and how he thought he was a better character and worker when they feuded against each other in 1997.
On Jaunary 17th, Bret dropped the Intercontinental Title to Jacques Rougeau. When asked if he was okay with that, Bret said that he was fine with dropping the belt to Jacques but upset in the fact that he was unsure which direction the company was going with him and thought he was doing a good job as the IC champion. He felt that he was going to get discarded but then Vince told him what was going to happen and he was not sure that it was going to happen as he had been promised many things in the past that did not happen. Bret also added that he was sure that the WWF knew what they were doing too. Sean then asked how far in advanced was Bret told that he was winning the World Heavyweight Title and he said that he was told that around Christmas time in 1991. Sean then asked Bret if it was true that he was talking to WCW and Bret confirmed, even saying that he had a few deals in place with the company. He then said that at the time, Brian Pillman called him and said that he was making more money in WCW than Bret was in the WWF. Bret said he called WCW and spoke with Jim Barnett, who told Bret that they could not pay him what he had been told by Pillman and was better off staying in the WWF. Bret said he wondered if they just did not see a lot in him or if they were doing him a huge favor. Bret said that it bothered him that all of the news about his negotiations were all over the “shit sheets” and the Observer and that pissed him off.
Now, Bret is asked about the 1992 Royal Rumble Match that Ric Flair won and became the WWF Champion. Sean asks Bret if Flair made a good champion for the WWF and their identity at the time. Bret then talks about how he is baffled when people tell him that Flair was the greatest wrestler of all-time, even saying that he is a fan of his and puts over his work ethic. When asked why do people consider Flair the greatest of all-time, Bret said he was flamboyant and had one of the greatest characters but as far as a worker, Bret said that he had an older mindset when it came to in-ring work and could not break out of the 1970’s style and do stuff in the ring that his generation was doing. Bret then talks about the three things that make you a great wrestler, your look/presence, workrate, and promo ability and how you would rate them in each category out of ten. He said that Hogan was 9/10 in presence and promo but 1/10 as a worker. He then said that the Dynamite Kid was a 0/10 promo, 9/10 wrestler and a 7/10 presence. Bret said that his biggest weakness were his promos and could do something good if he had an issue, like he did in 1997. Bret said he was either a 7 or 8 in presence, on his best day 7 or 8 in promos and close to a 10/10 as a worker. Bret said that he was impressed by good bodies but as a fan, he was impressed with who could work and wanted them to look and sell themselves as athletes. He then goes into how business tapered off in 1992 due to the steroid scandal.
Bret then skips ahead and talks about a match at a “Saturday Night Main Event” taping between Flair and Randy Savage. After they came through the curtain, Vince yelled at them to go back out and do it all over again, this time the way he wanted them too and they went back and did the same match and when they came back through the second time, Vince just yelled and told them to get the fuck out the way. Bret also said that those two were having meetings behind closed doors about their matches and when they failed, Bret believes that was the nail in the coffin for Flair as he could not wrestle the way they wanted him too.
Bret is asked about Kerry Von Erich, who was arrested for prescription fraud, and if his drug problem was known throughout the locker room. He said that it was known before he arrived to the WWF that Kerry had a severe drug addiction but does not recall seeing him that out of it while in the WWF. Bret then talks about how Kerry was a hard guy not to like and that everyone had some sympathy for him due to everything that happened in his life. Bret said he was one of the sweetest, kind-hearted wrestlers he has ever seen.
Jim Neidhart was fired on February 16th for “unprofessional conduct.” When asked how he got fired, Bret recalls that he stalled the company for drug testing him and that he somehow snuck out of the building and never got tested the night before. The next night, Neidhart got pissed and shot-putted a TV monitor that ended up hitting a WWF TV executive and breaking his ankle and that was what got him fired. Sean was asked if there were any discussions for him to team with Owen at that time and he said there was not and that was not the time to do it as he was getting a singles push.
When asked if it was the right time to turn the Undertaker face, Bret said he thinks so and puts over the Undertaker for constantly evolving and talking about how the gimmick was not easy to pull off. Bret then said that the Undertaker came up to him and said that he was happy to work together as he wanted to show what he could do in the ring. Bret puts over the Undertaker for being the only person to pull off that gimmick and said that he was smooth in the ring.
Bret is asked about Terry Garvin and Pat Patterson resigning on March 2nd due to allegations of sexual harassment and how the locker room reacted. He said that at the time, with this coming right after Hogan lying about his steroid use, a lot of them were worried about the state of the business. Bret said that about the allegations of harassment, he said he never witnessed anything personally but does not doubt that some shenanigans took place.
On April 2nd, former WWF referee Rita Chatterton went on Geraldo Rivera’s talk show and claimed that Vince McMahon forced sexual intercourse upon her. Bret said he had no idea if this took place but said that he had trouble buying that Vince would jeopardize everything he had to do that to her. Bret also hints that it is ridiculous to believe due to Rita’s looks then talks about how the lady Arnold Schwarzenegger cheated with was a 2/10 and Tiger Woods’ girls that he was with were “3/10 skanks.” When asked if Vince was showing any strain during this time and Bret said that he never saw any of it but also heard from the office that he was preparing for the worse and heard a rumor that Vince would be doing the booking from jail if he was convicted.
The “WBF Body Stars” made its debut on April 4th. Bret said that the wrestling business was changing and talks about how less people were watching and advertisers would no longer air commercials for their toys and calls it a real dark time in the company. He then talks about how bodybuilding is a waste of life and how he does not see any ability or skill in bodybuilding, even comparing them to fashion models. He then talks about how the WBF guys were making more than the top wrestlers and got paid their full contracts when they folded. Bret then said that the WBF guys got to fly in first class ahead of the wrestlers on the same plane, which he did not feel was right. Sean questions why they decided to launch this after the steroid scandal came about and Bret said it was doomed from day one then talks about Lex Luger and how he was totally clean at that time (from steroids), as were most wrestlers he said in the 1990’s due to steroid testing, but that even less people would care when the bodybuilders were not doing steroids. Finally, Sean asks Bret about IcoPro as Bret said it tasted horrible and had no benefits then said that they sent crates of it to his house which he gave to his neighbors (With Bret joking that they would return it by leaving it on his step the next day) and stacked in his garage. Bret said that the rest of the wrestlers would buy their own supplements despite the fact they could have gotten IcoPro for free.
At WrestleMania VIII, Bret defeated Roddy Piper for the Intercontinental Title. Roddy helped Bret to his feet then put the belt around his waist. Sean asks Bret if it meant anything for Piper to put him over and Bret said that it did and in his own way, Roddy passed the torch to him. Bret said Roddy would have only done that for a few people. Bret said that he was worried about not being able to get the belt but said that as the Intercontinental Champion, he got a bit of a push and had good people to work against, unlike when he was a Tag Team Champion. When asked about bleeding heavily and the WWF having a no blading policy at the time, Bret said that it was a gut call on his part and recalls a time in Moncton, New Brunswick with Piper before WrestleMania. They had not seen each other much and talked about the match. Bret first talks about how hard it can be to discuss a match you will have with someone you look up to as you have too much respect and sometimes are not true to yourself as a result. They went to a restaurant and Piper laid out the match and Bret said that what Piper laid out was exactly what he wanted to do himself. Roddy then told Bret that if he got some color that it would enhance the match. Bret said it wasnt a question of whether he could do it but if he could get away with that. Bret said that Flair and Savage planned on getting color in their match and did that and got fined but Bret did not when he did. Bret then talks about how Flair did it openly and mocks a little kid saying “daddy why he is cutting himself: but Bret said that no one even knew that he bladed and they passed it off as hardway. Bret also said how he and Piper did a pull-apart in the locker room that Strongbow broke up and the rest of the office was unsure whether or not Bret cut so he did not get cut.
When asked about Jake Roberts quitting before WrestleMania VIII and only going out for the match if Vince gave him his release, Bret said that it was his understanding that he would be working with Jake Roberts at SummerSlam after Patterson told him that he was going to put him over Jake at the show.
Bret is asked about Savage defeating Flair for the belt at WrestleMania. He talks about how they were looking for someway to replace Hogan at the time then talks about how they tried that with the Ultimate Warrior and he tried about as well as anyone could have in that position. Bret said all of the boys in the locker room respected Savage for his work and how he was a steady and reliable guy for the belt.
Sean asks Bret about Hogan and if they really thought he was retiring after his match against Sid. Bret said that he made a giant cartoon drawing of all the wrestlers, who signed it as well, to give to Hogan as he thought he was done and leaving for Hollywood. Sean then asks why wasn’t Hogan vs. Flair at WrestleMania as Bret speculates that they might not have had an ending.
Sid Justice quit on April 26th, after losing to the Ultimate Warrior in the Boston Garden. Sid allegedly falsified a drug test prior to WrestleMania. Sean tells Bret that he heard a humor that Sid had Harvey Whippleman’s urine in a Visine bottle so he could pass the test. Bret said he was not privy to any of that. Sean then asks Bret if Sid took wrestling seriously. Bret said that Sid was naive and how you could easily rile him up then talks about how Owen would have had a field day with a guy like him. Bret said that Sid could destruct if you encouraged him then tells a story about how in Canada, they had a match in which CFL players were lumberjacks and how he was flipping out about football players touching him but Bret explained how they were just going to roll him back into the ring and says that he sensed if could have gone badly if he riled him up. Bret then talks about how he seemed easy to manipulate.
High Energy (Owen Hart & Koko B Ware) made their debut on May 2nd. Bret is asked how Owen felt about his ring outfit and being paired with Koko. Bret laughs and said how Owen hated his ring attire then talks about Owen teaming with Neidhart and how Owen actually embraced the babysitter role he had with Neidhart as Bret said the day Neidhart actually got fired was when Owen was not there to look after him. Bret said that Owen felt the whole thing was a rib. Bret also said that they did what they could do make it work.
Now, Bret is asked about Papa Shango putting a curse on the Ultimate Warrior. Bret said it was the second worst idea they had, with the Gobbledy Gooker being the absolute worst. Bret said that “only a Bret Hart” could clean up that mess then said that even Vince knew it was horrible after it happened. Bret then puts over the Papa Shango character and said that adding a mouthpiece to the character could have helped him out. He believes that Pat Patterson hated Papa Shango, both the gimmick and as a wrestler, and killed the gimmick.
Bret said that he thought Nailz was a good gimmick and that he did look like a bad-ass prisoner. He then said that a better worker could have made it worked. Bret said that he had a legit reputation as a tough guy and how he was typically quiet and a good guy but no one messed with him.
On June 13th, the second and Final WBF PPV aired. Bret said that a lot of the locker room was resentful over the fact that the bodybuilders got all of that money instead of it going down to them. Bret then said that 1992 was the hardest year for him in wrestling regarding the travel.
When asked about Rocco: The Wrestling Dummy, Bret said that it totally messed up Hawk and how he cracked at SummerSlam that year because he hated the gimmick. Bret said that Vince wanted to make the Legion of Doom appear more “fun.” Sean then mentions how Bruce Prichard defended the Red Rooster gimmick with a passion during his “Guest Booker” shoot and Bret said that is why Bruce is where he is today. Bret said that Paul Ellering was a cool guy and thinks that he might have been brought in to help Hawk, who was battling drug addiction.
Bob Backlund made his return on July 1st and defeated Skinner. Sean asks Bret if Bob is relevant in 1992. Bret said that in the Northeast he was and if you remember him from his era too. Bret then talks about how cool it was when both Backlund and Flair locked up in a battle royal.
On July 21st, Bret Hart defeated Shawn Michaels in the first ever ladder match that took place in the WWF. Bret talks about how he kept explaining the concept of the match to Vince and it happened for eight years until it finally happened. Bret talks about the first ladder match that they had at a house show. He then talks about how Curt Hennig and Jim Duggan came up to him and said that SummerSlam was either going to take place in England or in Washington D.C. at the Cap Centre. Bret thought about it and said that he was probably gonig to lose the belt and said if it was in England, then he would drop it to Davey and how it would make sense. If it was in Washington D.C, he was hearing that it would be against Shawn and if that was the case, he wanted to try to get Vince to let them do a ladder match. Bret then talks about telling Vince these two ideas and at that time, Vince told Bret to show him the idea for the ladder match and to pick someone for it and suggested Shawn. Bret told Shawn the idea and how he was confused about the concept. They then went out and had the match as it was just a demonstration then Bret said he was pissed about Shawn and “them” stealing his idea ldown the road. Bret said that Vince initially promised that he would not do the ladder match without him being involved but that was not the case.
Bret is asked about Scott Hall, who made his debut as Razor Ramon. Bret said that Razor did well when he first came in and was always a good guy who was focused and fun to be around back then. Bret talks about how Hall did a great job with the gimmick then talks about how he was going to “Cowboy” Bret Hart in 1985 and at the last minute, realized that he could not do the character and make it work.
Bret talks about Jerry Lawler and said how he was one of the best heels he worked against. He said that he had a basic moveset and could still get more heat than anyone in the company with a move like a thumb to the throat.
They now discuss Bret’s SummerSlam match against Davey Boy Smith. Bret said that Davey went home in July due to a staph infection. Bret said that Davey’s drug problems were out of control then too. He also said that he had a match against Davey just prior to SummerSlam and it was terrible and backstage, Vince told Bret that he hoped it would be better at SummerSlam and that he planned on having them go on last. Bret also talks about how that match took place at a TV taping and how those are usually long days and it is not the best way to judge someone. Bret thought if Davey followed him they could have one of the best matches ever and put themselves on the map. Bret said he kept on thinking about the match and would think about it the whole month of August. He tried to call Davey but he was never available as his drug problem was out of control. He even recalls when he got to London for SummerSlam, he saw Davey and took him aside to ask why he had not returned his calls. Davey told him that he was on a two-day long cocaine binge and had not slept in 48 hours. Bret talks about how Davey was out of shape and not going to the gym during this time and was a total wreck. Davey told him that he was going to stink out in the ring and Bret laid out the match for him and they went over it for two days but after the first move in the actual match, Davey told Bret that he was fucked as he forgot the match then says how it is the only match you can hear him talk (Bret spoke in the third person here) and that he had to call it, which he hates and sees as an automatic fail. Bret said that he was furious at Davey for being in the condition that he was as he wanted to see him rise to the occasion. Bret then puts over Davey for sucking it up and performing in the ring as Bret calls it his greatest match for carrying Davey. Sean asks Bret if him dropping the IC title to Davey was to free him up for the Heavyweight Title, Bret said no then talks about how it was like being a Beatle when he went overseas, getting mobbed and grabbed by female fans and said that after a match in which he wrestled the opener, he was mobbed by females and came through the curtain to prove to Strongbow that he was over here, he went on last during matches overseas afterwards.
Bret is asked how he felt the WWF was marketing him at that point. He said the company was slowly pushing him at first and talks about how when you get the push through merchandise, you have power in the company because when you talk about leaving, they try to get you to stay because you are selling merchandise and that is how you can make yourself more money.
Bret is asked about Sgt. Slaughter appearing on television in a suit, stating that he was acting as the enforcer of the WWF and going to instill law and order, and if he was an agent at this point. Bret said he thinks he was just an on-air talent and not an agent at that point. Sean then asks Bret about the transition from wrestler to agent and Bret said not just anyone could fill that role and that you need the right guys to do the job. He said that Rene Goulet was great at it as he understood the travel and business. Bret said that he thought Tony Garea was good as he did not have an ax to grind but calls George Steele one of the worst. Bret said he remembered Steele partying and blowing coke one week then the next he was an agent and Bret likened it to an inmate turning into a prison guard and said he was basically an asshole after that. He then tells a story about Steele getting his Haliburton stolen. One day he arrived to the building two minutes late, with Owen and The Berzerker, and was fined $500 by Steele. Bret said that no other agent would do that. Bret then said Owen and Savage took Steele’s Haliburton, containing all of Steele’s stuff, and they snuck it out of the building and Owen ended up tossing it out of the car and into the Manhattan River. Bret then said that Steele was not a good guy and called him a snitch.
On October 12th, Bret Hart defeated Ric Flair at the Superstars taping to become the WWF World Heavyweight Champion. Sean then asks Bret to talk about who laid out the plans for him to win and when he was told. Bret first talks about how a memo went out that if you changed your plane ticket, you would be fined $2,000. Bret had just changed his ticket to go to Italy with a girl he barely knew then went up to Vince to say that he already changed it but told him it was to go see a friend. Vince told him that he would not have to worry about that. A few days after Bret got back from Italy he was on the road and was told that he had to fly to Saskatoon Monday morning and could not change his ticket and that he had to see Vince. Bret thought that he was going to be in trouble and said that he probably should have realized that he was going to get the belt as a few days prior, Strongbow told him that there was a list of five guys to be a champ and Bret was on the list and Strongbow told Bret that he and a few others put a good word in for him and not to fuck anything up along the way. Bret got there and saw Flair leave Vince’s office and shake his hand then saw Vince wave him over and made it sound like he was going to fire him and Bret thought that he might actually would fire him, even despite the fact that they were flying him his dad to be in his corner, but after everything, Vince told him that he was going to be the champ and Bret said he felt like jumping for joy but did not give a reaction. Sean then asks Bret why the match was only made to be available on Coliseum Home Video and Bret said that he never understood why that was the case. Bret then speaks about when he became the champion, Vince wanted to be called every day and when asked why by Bret, Vince said that he always wants to talk with his champion. Bret said he would call him and wondered if Vince wanted him to “stooge off” guys to him but never did that and he was cool with what they were doing. He then says that the reason he went back to work for Vince is because he took a chance on him and gave him his first break. He also believes that Vince loved his work and would tell Bret not to tell him the finish of his matches and wanted Bret to just go out and show him in the ring.
Yokozuna made his debut on October 26th. Sean asks Bret if anyone had pegged him as a champion. Bret puts over Yoko for being a great athlete and a pro in the ring. He then talks about how Vader was stiff and terrible to work with, unlike Yoko and Bam Bam who would take care of you in the ring. Bret also talks about Kamala and said that he would never have a problem giving offense to a smaller guy and said working with him was like a night off and always fun to work with.
Doink the Clown made his debut on October 31st. Bret puts over Matt Borne for being the best at the Doink gimmick, which he loved. Bret recalls how Davey had a problem working with Doink though. Bret then talks about how Balls Mahoney and said his Xanta Klaus gimmick was great too.
Bret is asked about the cancellation of “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” He said that between all of the scandals and the guys on steroids going away, the casual fans disappeared and the wrestling fans wanted wrestling matches instead of the cartoon stuff. He also said that the direction the company went with his face-to-face interviews with Yokozuna and making it seem like a shoot was the way he thought the business should be like, along with having more athletic matches. Bret then talks about how he heard the guys down in NXT were recently watching his 1993 Royal Rumble match against Razor Ramon.
The Ultimate Warrior got fired on November 21st and Sean throws out rumors of him holding out for more money and having to work with Nailz as the reasons but Bret shakes his head and said he knows what happened. Bret said that he got a call from Vince, who told him that he was going to have to fire Davey. He then told Bret that he had to fire the Warrior as well. Bret says that he was originally supposed to work against Warrior at the Rumble in 1993 and beat him with the Sharpshooter. Vince told Bret that Davey and Warrior were buying either steroids or HGH from a guy in Europe and having them shipped over to the States. Well, that guy got busted and Warrior panicked when that happened and called Vince, without telling Davey, that the guy they were getting the stuff from got busted and their names were on the list and this was when the trial was going on so Vince told him that they were toxic and that is how they got fired.
Bret talks about his match with Shawn at the Survivor Series. He said they had wrestled together all throughout the year on house shows and didnt feel like it was fresh when they went out. He did they had great matches and thought this match holds up today but they could have done more. When asked if the competitiveness between each other was going on at this time, Bret said no and that even Shawn felt they could have done a better job if there was more build on TV.
Jerry Lawler made his debut as a commentator on the December 12th edition of Superstars. Bret talks about how Jerry pissed off the locker room as he would constantly play tapes of the current WWF guys who jobbed to him in Memphis. Bret said that Curt Hennig was especially pissed off at Lawler, which also had to due with poor payoffs while he wrestled for Lawler in Memphis. Sean asks Bret about Lawler’s crown and if he knew who shit in it as Bret laughs and said that it happened at a TV taping in Sacramento. Bret saw the crown in the shower and saw that multiple people had shit inside of it but did not know exactly who they were. He then said that Lawler was in a panic looking all over for the crown but Bret, when asked, said that he had no idea where it was.
He is asked about Nailz getting fired for attacking Vince McMahon. Bret said that he did not see it happen but that he was right outside of the door when it went down and could hear it all happen. He recalls Nailz shrieking in anger that he had been lied to and had enough of Vince’s bullshit. He then heard a bang and a gurgling sound and didn’t know what to do and recalled how Vince had a lot of heat with guys over a period of time. He remembers that Blackajck Lanza was the first guy there and waved Bret to come over as a few other agents broke it up. He then remembers the police arriving and Nailz saying that Vince tried to molest him.
Final Thoughts: A great installment in the Timeline series. Sure, Bret is in love with himself but Sean Oliver did a fantastic job with the interview and kept him on the topic at hand more often than not. He deserves credit for that. Despite all of that, Bret gave a lot of great insight and did hold not back at all, making this a must-see interview.
As far as where this ranks among the other WWE Timelines, I would say that the Nash and Cornette are the only ones that are better than this and you could make a case for Sammartino’s as well. They ran through a lot of subjects and hit on all of the important topics of the year.
I highly recommend this interview and encourage all of you to watch this for yourselves.
You can purchase the interview On Demand for $15.99 (It stays in your queue forever) and the DVD for $20. If you get it On Demand, you can watch it from just about everywhere, including Roku. Click on the link below to see how to get the DVD
No poll for next week as our contest winner selected another Bret Hart shoot, his RF Video Voulme #1 edition.
Here is my schedule for the next week:
Friday: WWF Championship Wrestling 8/30/86 (Final Episode)
Saturday: RoH Unscripted 9/21/02
Sunday: WWF Superstars 9/6/86 (Debut Episode)
Tuesday: WWF Challenge 9/7/86 (Debut Episode)
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Bret Hart, Volume 1
The SmarK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 1994 Live from San Antonio, TX Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Gorilla Monsoon The Teamsters (Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart & Jeff Jarrett) v. The Bad Guys (Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, British Bulldog, Fatu & Sionne) Well, the Teamsters ARE known for their laziness and greed, so it would fit that Nash would be captaining this team. Interesting that only the team captains get entrance music this year. The storyline was more that Shawn and Diesel were having a domestic squabble as tag champions than any real issue between Ramon and Diesel. Kind of weird what a non-issue Ramon was even though he was IC champion for another three months after this. Owen starts with the Kid while Fatu is forced into wearing boots by THE MAN, and this is apparently an issue for him. Kid fights off both Harts but runs into an Anvil elbow in a weird spot, allowing the heels to take over. Kid spinkicks JJ out of the ring (giving us our first “right in the mush” of the evening) and Barbarian comes in with a press slam. Jarrett comes back with a flying clothesline for two. Next up, it’s Owen v. Bulldog and they do the cool wristlock sequence, leading to Owen getting pummelled in the face corner and slammed. Bulldog with a sunset flip for two, but Owen lays him out with the enzuigiri and the New Foundation tries some double-teaming. That backfires because Neidhart is useless, and Fatu comes in but has trouble with his footwear. What a stupid storyline that was. And really, wasn’t there ANY other Samoans available to replace Samu? They just had to give Barbarian another payday? Just use Fatu’s brother! Jarrett grabs a headlock on Ramon and quickly gets tossed for his troubles, and back in he gets double-teamed by Ramon & Kid. Razor tosses the Kid at him for a bodypress that gets two, but Jarrett comes back with an abdominal stretch to slow things down. Kid reverses, so Jarrett hiptosses him over the top rope in a cool spot missed by the camera. Back in with Fatu, who still can’t get his shit together, and Owen gets a leg lariat for two. Fatu comes back, finally acting like a human being months into his babyface run, but Diesel comes in and finishes him with the powerbomb at 13:30. Kid tries next and flies in with a sunset flip off the top, but Diesel casually shrugs him off and another Poochiebomb ends the night at 14:14. Sionne in next and he slugs away, but he walks into ANOTHER powerbomb at 14:45. Bulldog comes in and gets booted to the floor and apparently gets counted out at 16:00. Razor tries a cradle on Diesel for two and the flying bulldog for two, but Diesel puts him down with a clothesline and now Shawn finally wants into the match. He had a legit broken hand at the time, which explains his not factoring into the match thus far. Razor keeps fighting against Diesel and manages to slam him, but can’t get the Razor’s Edge. Diesel finally gets the powerbomb and Shawn tags himself in for the big finish, but then demands that Diesel hold Ramon steady for the fateful superkick. And of course Ramon moves and Diesel eats it. And now he’s had ENOUGH and turns babyface, fighting off his own team members and chasing Shawn back to the dressing room, giving Ramon the countout win over all five heels at 21:26. Survivor: Razor Ramon. Good action before the rapid-fire eliminations and storyline kicked in and killed the match dead, but man what a stupid finish. And really none of the match went anywhere. **1/4 Meanwhile, Shawn leaves the arena, dumps Diesel, and tosses the tag team titles on the ground on the way out. Hopefully he’ll have better luck with his next bodyguard! MIDGET MADNESS: The Royal Family (Jerry Lawler, Cheezy, Queezy & Sleazy) v. Clowns R Us (Doink, Dink, Wink, Pink) No midgets mixing with normals allowed in this match, which is how it should be. Doink quickly gets a clownzuigiri on Lawler, but Lawler’s attempt fails. And we get some midget comedy with everyone running over him on the mat. Doink with some slams and the clown midgets all try to pin Lawler with no luck. Lawler actually sells getting a Burger King crown put on his head and we get an attempt at a chicken fight that goes badly. Finally Lawler uses his old standby, the phantom object, to take over. Really, that’s a heel tactic that no one does anymore and it’s ridiculously easy heat. Pantomime a foreign object in your hand, get a cheapshot with it, hide the “object” in your tights. Doink makes a quick comeback, but a bodypress is rolled through by Lawler for the pin at 10:45. So basically Lawler is eliminated as well. The clown midgets double-team Cheezy in the corner, but Wink gets caught in the heel side and Lawler holds him down for a pin at 13:32. Pink comes in and Lawler drops Cheezy onto him for the pin at 14:33. So Dink is alone and he holds his own and gets a flying bodypress for two on Sleazy, but they roll him over for the pin at 16:00 to finish this off. Survivors: Jerry Lawler and his pet midgets. Jerry Lawler is so proud of himself that he fires his own midgets, resulting in a 6-on-1 midget revolt against him. Never trust a midget! This was as horrible as you could imagine. WWF title, submission match: Bret Hart v. Mr. Bob Backlund Bob runs away a few times to start, but Bret grabs a headlock and goes to work on the neck. Going back and reading the Observers from this time and it’s hilarious how much Meltzer hated Backlund at the time. I mean, he just buried the guy every chance he got. He summed up Backlund even getting to his point as “a cute idea gone haywire” and noted that they were trying to appeal to completely the wrong audience with it. So Bret works on a headlock while we get a shot of Bret’s she-devil wife Julie, and Bret reverses a crossface attempt into a suplex. Back to the headlock, but Bret misses the middle rope elbow and Bob takes over. Bret goes after Owen and nearly gets crossfaced, but fights it off and Bob goes to work on the arm. This gives me the chance to think about the changes in wrestling over the years and how long people stick around. Bob’s original reign ended in 1983 and this was 1994, 11 years after that. Those were like two different worlds and Backlund was some sort of bizarre time-traveller from the past when he did this comeback run. But think about today’s business, and how many guys from 11 years ago are still around and still in the same position. Rock was already winding his career down in 2003 and he just came back and won the WWE title again last year! Hell, the last time I did a review of this show was 15 years ago! No wonder the business is so stale. Anyway, Bret goes to a figure-four now, but Owen walks away from his towel just in case he’s tempted to use it. Backlund reverses the hold and then gets to the ropes to force a break, so Bret goes back to the leg again. They slug it out and Bob gets a piledriver, but can’t get the crossface. Bret comes back with his own piledriver and a bulldog and it’s the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM, but Bulldog chases Owen around during the Sharpshooter, allowing Owen to sneak in and break the hold. Bulldog stupidly charges on the floor and hits the stairs, knocking himself unconscious and thus removing the possibility of throwing in the towel. Bob finally gets his crossface and the crowd is freaking out, although Davey Boy may be legally dead at this point and no one seems to care. So Bret is in the hold for NINE MINUTES, which gives me time to go make popcorn and feed my cat, while Owen has a babyface turn at ringside and tearfully talks Stu and Helen into throwing in the towel on Davey’s behalf. Meanwhile, Davey still hasn’t moved and probably has a fractured skull or something. Finally, Helen caves into Owen’s tears and throws in the towel, giving Backlund the WWF title again at 35:20. Backlund of course wouldn’t even make it to the next episode of Monday Night RAW with the belt. The final 10 minutes were some cool mindgames on Owen’s part, but there was just too much nothing leading up to it. AND WHAT ABOUT BULLDOG?! **1/2 The Million Dollar Team (Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow, King Kong Bundy & The Heavenly Bodies) v. Guts & Glory (Lex Luger, Adam Bomb, Mabel & The Smoking Gunns) Tatanka throws chops on Luger to start and gets a suplex, but Lex no-sells all of it and comes back with clotheslines. Mabel tosses Dr. Tom around and flattens him with a bodypress at 4:08. Del Ray comes in and walks into the Bossman slam, so we get the Bundy v. Mabel showdown. That goes nowhere and it’ Mabel v. Bam Bam, and Mabel “hits” a leg lariat that misses by 2 feet and goes up. Bigelow slams him off in an impressive spot and goes up with a sunset flip, but Mabel sits on him and they both go tumbling to the floor for countout of Mabel at 7:30. Del Ray superkicks Billy Gunn for two, but a backslide gets two. Adam Bomb comes in and hits the slingshot clothesline on Bigelow, but Bundy gets a cheapshot and the Lunasault finishes at 9:19. Del Ray works Luger over, but walks into the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DOOM and gets pinned at 11:10. The Gunns double-team Tatanka, but he knocks off Bart with the Papoose To Go at 15:00. Luger and Billy work Tatanka over, but Bundy comes in and drops an elbow on Billy to finish him at 17:40. So Luger is alone 3-on-1, the world’s greatest choke artist against the most useless heel stable ever. The heels work Luger over forever, but Luger cradles Tatanka for the pin at 23:32 before Bundy splashes and pins him at 23:40. Survivors: Bam Bam Bigelow & King Kong Bundy. Pretty dull stuff. **1/2 Meanwhile, Mr. Bob Backlund FEELS LIKE GOD. Casket Match: Undertaker v. Yokozuna Your special referee is Chuck Norris, long before he became an internet meme. Taker chases Yoko around the ring and goes old school, but walks into the samoan drop. Yoko tries for the casket, but Taker necksnaps him to escape. Yoko comes back with a legdrop and they fight into the casket, but that goes nowhere. Yoko tosses him and takes over with some choking, but Taker goes up with the flying clothesline and that seems to be it for Yoko. The heels start coming out to re-enact Royal Rumble 94, but they didn’t count on CHUCK NORRIS being there this time. This still gives IRS time to run in and put Taker in a sleeper and into the casket, but Undertaker arises and he’s pissed. Clothesline and big boot puts Yoko in the casket, and Taker slams the lid shut at 15:24 to avenge himself. It was what it was. * The Pulse I know this tends to be a polarizing show to say the least. I just found it really, really dull tonight and had no real connection to any of the elimination tag matches. Your overall enjoyment will probably depend on what you get out of the Bret v. Backlund title match, so for me it’s a thumbs in the middle show.
This time we’re starting back in 1987 when there was only one WWF pay
per view a year. With Wrestlemania III being a huge success, it was
decided that another pay per view should be added to help bridge the gap
between Wrestlemanias. The fact that it was able to cause major damage
to the NWA was just a bonus.
There has been a long list of great Survivor Series matches over the
years, including the tag team Survivor Series matches, Bret Hart vs.
Shawn Michaels in 1992 and Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart. There’s also a
big list of people making their debut with the company at the show.
Names like the Undertaker, Kurt Angle and The Rock all stepped into the
ring for the first time at Survivor Series. On top of all that Survivor
Series had the most infamous moment in wrestling history that changed a
lot of things forever.
In this new book, I’ll be looking at the history of the Survivor
Series, breaking down each show and going over every match, promo and
segment, providing historical context, analysis and rating each match
The book is available from Amazon for just $3.99 (or the equivalent
in any other currency) and runs 391 pages on a Kindle. If you don’t have
a Kindle, there are free apps that you can get to read it on your
phone, laptop, iPad, or any other electronic device you have. These can
be found from Amazon here.
You can pick it up from Amazon here.
From the UK Amazon here.
From the Canadian Amazon here.
Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search
KB Survivor Series and it should be the first thing that pops up.
Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE
Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro from
1995-96, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade and Clash of the Champions
at my author’s page here.
I hope you enjoy it and thanks for checking it out.
The interview runs at two hours and ten minutes long
Sean Oliver conducted the interview
I really like Sean Oliver but he did a terrible job with Vader, letting him go off-topic and not bringing him back to the topic. I also think he got played a bit by Vader, who seemingly used this as a vehicle to promote himself. I mean they all do but this guy didnt even say a single thing of note. He let Vader consume the whole interview with his own ramblings. I thought this was about 1993 WCW and throughout the the two hours and ten minutes of this piece, I heard very little of what happened this year other than Vader harping on the fact that he and Steve Austin would have been the best tag team.
As far as these Timeline interviews go, this was easily one of the worst. I thought the Barry Windham 1991 Timeline was the worst but at least he wasn’t in love with himself like Vader, who was not willing to discuss anyone but himself. He would say that he was “good friends” with people that he liked and if something came up where he acted like a jerk, he would not talk about the situation in detail and just said that he is a different person now, which is full of shit based off of he acted recently while in Europe. My recommendation for this is to avoid at all costs.
This was filmed on 3/10/05 in Bristol, PA.
The shoot runs for two hours and forty-seven minutes
They are first asked about their one hour match in Dayton, OH from June 2004 and where the idea came from. They both laugh for a bit then tell their stories. Joe said that they were at one of his favorite bars in California and were thinking about something special they should do for the match when he joked that they should do one of those stupid hour-long matches that Punk was doing with Chris Hero. Then, he claimed that Punk immediately called Gabe Sapolsky and told him they should to that. Punk then tells his side of the story, which was that he felt the match was just thrown together. He then said that Joe was drunk and said they should do a draw, as he didnt want to kill off everyone. Punk then said he was driving when Joe said that and then told Gabe the draw was a good idea, which Punk liked because he wanted to keep the belt strong.
They were both surprised by the great crowd reactions to the match, as Dayton was a new market for the company. Punk talks about how he works better hurt because it makes you go harder in the ring. He also said that they did not blow any moves or burn through their whole moveset. Joe said that he does not care for matches in which everyone kicks out of a finisher. Punk also adds that you always save stuff for the next match, especially when you work someone for the first time.
Punk’s phone goes off as Joe talks about Homicide leading into his heel persona and he jokes about Joe needing a food allowance when the caller tells Punk that someone wants to book him. They both put over the crowd at the Dayton show for coming out and wanting to have a good time.
Now, Punk is asked about whether or not is post-match promo was scripted and he said no. Punk says that he will occasionally jot down something that is said by a fan, in a song, or from someone on the street and use that in his promo but everything he says is from his heart and adds that he has no filter from his brain to his mouth. Punk also says that his memory is shot too.
They both had their reservations about doing another one-hour draw but did it anyway. Punk said he was angry about that and he and Joe sent Steve Corino a nasty email about having to do another hour-long draw. They both said they were hurt as Punk really hurt his back and Joe’s leg was a mess, with Punk saying all of this fluid would end up in his shin and it looked like a pumpkin. Joe then talks about how his leg was a mess the day of the match and Punk wrestled twice the night before and with both guys rushed into this re-match with Gabe coming up to them in the locker room asking them if they had put the match together. They said that Mick Foley came in and asked basically told Joe he should not wrestle.
Punk said that again, the best stuff in the match was done on the fly. Joe says that he put on an STF that really stretched him out while Punk’s back was killing him as Punk was cussing him out. Joe then talks about Punk calling for a spear and he had never done one before. Punk adds that Gabe was super nervous about the match as they were really hurt and hadn’t worked out a lot of the match but they are professionals and they have to go out and perform anyway. Punk then says that working on the fly also benefits the crowd, as you can feed off of them. Punk says he is surprised whenever he wrestles in Chicago because he always gets cheered. Joe jokes that he cannot understand that because he has been an asshole to so many people.
In regards to this match, both guys felt it was good and they are their own worst critics. Punk said he loves to watch his matches on tape but only focuses on the crowd and this leads to he and Joe talking about different types of fans.
They are asked about their match receiving a ***** rating from Dave Meltzer in the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter.” Joe said it was cool but he never subscribed to the newsletter and only heard about it from other promoters, adding that Gabe was more excited than he was. Punk said that it was the first ***** match in North America in several years and thought that was cool.
They talk about their third match, which had a no time-limit stipulation, which Punk said was his idea with the belief that they wanted to let the crowd believe that the match would go longer but instead they would go nuts for twenty minutes. Punk puts over Ricky Steamboat for coming up with the spot that had Joe’s feet on the ropes as he tried to pin Punk, even though they thought it was lame at first but thought about it and realized it was genius. Punk then adds that he never thought they could never top their ***** match so he wanted to go back to the story of their first match. Punk says that he wanted to make the crowd believe that he was winning the belt but he wanted to fuck over the crowd, just like HHH. He then says when he makes his comeback from the sleeper, all of the people booing him (the match was in New Jersey and they always gave Punk shit) stopped and started to cheer for him to break free. Joe then talks about a guy in the front row who was very supportive of him before the match then afterwards, Joe said that he looked at him like he killed his dog. Punk throws in how it gets him off when he can get a reaction like that from the crowd. Joe also says how he loved that they could ellicit those repsonses from an indy crowd, which are usually “smark types.” Joe says that no matter how many newsletters you read or other things you read on the net, he wants you to lose yourself into the match and become a fan.
In regards to their “Trilogy,” Punk talks about how the second one might have been the better actual match, the third one had a lot more emotion. He says that it varies day-to-day whether the second or third match is his favorite. Punk then says that you can have the shittiest match in the world with tons of blown spots but if you have a great finish, that is all they remember.
Punk is asked if he had a finish he came up with that led to an argument with Gabe. Punk said he doesn’t remember then jokes that he wanted to win the belt, because he HHH, then goes on to say how he sucks as a trainer because he is “sloppy” (he even used the air quotes for that one). He finishes that he is a belt mark and that he passed over a raise for the belt as this all has Joe cracking up. Punk was clearly addressing his critics here. They both rag on Gabe for a bit afterwards.
Now, they give advice for those first coming into RoH. Joe says forget all of the “strong-style” bullshit and just relax and be a pro wrestler. Punk jokes that he is “Kings Road” then says he will call Gabe during the break to see what the argument over the finish was about.
They come back from break but were unable to reach Gabe. When asked how they want their trilogy to be remembered, Punk said that he just wanted to get the belt over during the feud. He wanted to make it seem like something two guys would die over. He then says that they had three matches that probably had no business being that good and talks about being compared to Flair/Steamboat, saying those guys wrestled daily, twice on Sundays, and they only wrestle 3 times a week.
In regards to working with Mick Foley, Punk said that he never figured that he would be able to work with Foley but he ended up learning a ton from him and is flattered that he is a fan of both him and Joe. Punk recalls how a frantic Gabe ran down the hall to tell Punk that Foley arrived and was going to cut a promo in the ring. His arrival was unannounced too. Joe then said that Gabe told him he had to go out for their promo too. Joe called Foley one of the greatest guys on the mic ever, because he leaves things open-ended. When he talks about their match, he said that Foley believed in the hype about Joe stiffing people in the ring and told Joe that back when he was younger, he could throw down with him. Joe said he tried to take care of him but Mick was really in bad physical shape at the time. At the end of the match, Mick said that his knees arent what they used to be and he went a lot harder than his body allowed.
Joe talks about the RoH roster now from when the company first started. He says that the roles are a lot more defined now. When the company first started, Joe said all of the shows were put together as a “Super Indy” card but that it had no flow and everyone went all out every match so it kinda became everyone trying to out do each other and that exhausts the product. He said that he likes to believe that they are not insulting people’s intelligence but notes that they have their fun, because it has its place in wrestling. Joe says the anlge are focused on the belts and how they want everyone to strive to win the RoH Championship. Punk adds that everything is better now and says that a lot of the shows from 2002 do not hold up well now and are “one-match shows.” He even says how the production was poor and that it is so much better now. Punk then talks about how back when the company first started, everyone just wanted to steal the show but today, the locker room is a lot smarter now and if someone uses a certain move as a signature spot or finisher, they will stop using that. This leads to him discussing about how Super Dragon came in and tried the dive that Homicide uses and it got no reaction, where as Homicide himself knows when to use it and that is why it gets over. He says their is a difference in being lazy and being smart in regards to your spot on the show.
Now they talk about guys like Jimmy Rave, Jay Lethal, and Roderick Strong and how much they have improved. Punk proclaims that 2005 will be Strong’s year. Joe also talks about Austin Aries and how he has made a name for himself. They both once again talk about how the locker room is smarter as Joe said before when you went to an RoH show, you went to a show like your local independent high school gym show but now, it has a big event feel.
When asked about the rumors of Mick Foley getting both guys into the WWE, they said that Foley came up to them and had an idea about being sick of the muscle heads on TV and that they know how to wrestle. Punk believes that Foley did not want to work a program with Ric Flair then Vince McMahon told Foley about working a program with himself. He then goes on about how Foley had a timeline in place for how to bring them in that revolved around Foley cutting a promo about Randy Orton and how Vince thought he was great and the future but he isnt, which would then lead to Foley introducing both of them to Vince, telling him that he didnt have msucles and made him money and so could they, without being all jacked-up. He said it was supposed to blossom from that and thought it was a cool idea but no way thought that it would happen.
That led to Punk talking about how when he watched wrestling as a kid, everyone looked different and that all of those guys like Piper, Muraco, and Roberts would not even get hired today by the WWE. Punk then even claims that if Hogan went looking for a job there today, they would have told him to work on his abs. He said he loved pro wrestling because everyone was different but now they are all the same. He uses Chris Masters as an example of how he has a gimmick of having the perfect body but that there was guys who are on before him and after him that have even better bodies, which makes Masters look like a “shithead” that needs to use more steroids in order to keep up with his gimmick. Joe adds how when the WWE made money, even in the Austin/Rock era, they had so many characters that made things special and now they all look the same. Joe also did not believe that Foley’s proposed angle would come into fruition.
The subject of whether or not they would take a developmental contract with the WWE comes up. Joe said that he makes more money now. Punk said that he is at a different place than the other guys who are signing the contracts from smaller indy feds for just $500 a week. Punk also said how he wouldnt be able to do what they do now if he signed with them (Punk signed a developmental deal three months after this interview was filmed). Joe talks about how his paychecks are a lot more now than that and says he was brought up to wrestle different than the WWE style, while saying that there is nothing wrong with that style but he enjoys working the way he wants to right now. Joe then talks about his friends in the WWE, like John Cena, and how he hopes that his career blows up and he gets to be a movie star like The Rock. Joe also has a fear that he would end up as just another guy on the roster if he went to the WWE. Punk goes back to say as long as guys are comfortable signing $500 a week deals that barely support their “steroid habit,” he and Joe can do what they are doing in RoH. Joe talks about how the WWE is desperately trying to find the next Rock and how they could be scouting better wrestling talent to plug into roles and that a strong undercard has always kept the WWE thriving. Joe talks about how they are trying to pull in the mainstream fans into wrsetling and does not harbor any resentment towards that because its a company trying to make money. However, he says the roster they have now is nothing like it was when they were popular and making money and thinks they are stifling some of the guys on their roster by not letting them branch out and being themselves.
Both guys said it was cool working with Jushin Liger at the New Japan Dojo. Punk said the atmosphere was great and that Liger was hanging out with everyone, not acting like he was above them or anything.
The interviewer now rattle off a bunch of names and asks for their thoughts on them. Teddy Hart is brought up first as Joe laughs then Punk says he buried the hatchet with him at a show this past October (They fought outside of a diner when they worked for TNA) when Hart walked past them and asked if they were cool. Joe said that he still living in his own world.
They both call Christopher Daniels “OMD,” which they say stands for “Old Man Daniels.” Punk talks about how along with Reckless Youth, Daniels was one of the first “indy superstars.” He puts him over for helping out Colt Cabana and himself when they started out. Punk then tells a story about he refers to Daniels’ daughter as “Catcus” after he held her for the first time and had no idea he was supposed to support her head and Daniels yelled at him for holding her like she was a cactus. He then takes out his wallet and shows us a picture of the child in her father’s arms. He then says that he is glad TNA is around so it can pay for Daniels’ mortage. Punk then says he bought the kid all sorts of cool clothes, like a Boris Karloff shirt, and jokes that he is called “Punkle.” Joe said that Daniels is responsible for all of the exposure he got his first year in wrestling. He says that the biggest mystery of all time is why the WWE never signed Daniels, who can do it all. He even recalls a match Daniels had with Kurt Angle, who had a concussion and could not take a bump, and called it one of the greatest matches he had ever seen. This took place when Kurt first started out in wrestling. Joe then talks about how when he first started out traveling as a wrestler and had no money, Daniels would give him advice and lend him his credit card to pay for rent-a-cars and hotels, despite the fact that Daniels himself didnt have enough money to be lending him. He calls him one of the best guys in the business.
When discussing AJ Styles, Punk said that Daniels put him into the spotlight and how Styles is now all over the place and is now the golden boy of TNA. Punk thinks that AJ looks up to Daniels as a father figure. He then jokes that you should never listen to a conversation about religion between AJ and himself. Joe talks about how AJ loves video games but says that he is better than him as he brags about beating him at “Tekken 4.” Punk adds that he doesnt play video games.
In regards to Steve Corino, Joe said he is a good guy. When he first came to New Japan, Joe said that Corino was the biggest joke in the office as at that time and now, he is pudgy and is really heavy in the ring. Punk said that Corino always gave him shit about being drug-free and saying his gimmick was a work but then realized that he was a good guy. Punk then tells a story about how he was with Corino and Raven in England. Corino and Punk decided to rag on Raven all night long to the point that he didnt want to go out with them that night. Punk tells a story of that night and how they wound up at a “Transvestite Bar.” Alex Shane, a big British wrestler who ran FWA, decided that it would be a funny rib to take them all to a tranny bar. Corino and Punk were already informed what was happening and decided to go along with the rib. Punk talked about how over in Roppongi, Japan, they would always see transsexuals who looked feminine but in England, they look like guys in beards who wore their sisters clothes. Anyway, Alex Shane comes and Punk says he is high-fiving everyone their and told them he has a good time there. Punk and Corino are at the bar, sticking out, then they decided to go pee, as Corino did not want to go alone, but the line to the men’s room was huge. Anyway, Corino was really scared as he was drunk and in a stall and had Punk talk to him as he was inside. Then, they left and saw a tranny who Punk described as “eight-feet tall” started to ask were they were from and when she mentioned Chicago, Corino said that Punk was from there and she started to talk to Punk and she talked to him and the tranny started to put her hand down low and Punk slapped the hand away and yelled “I will beat your ass” as the music stopped briefly, then played again. She told Punk to settle down and remarked that he was feisty as Punk was thinking that they were about to get their asses kicked, joking that Dick Murdoch would be rolling around in his grave. Anyway, nothing bad happened and they stayed for a lip-synching contest, when Punk said they jokingly referred to one of the contestants as “Haas-Benjamin,” who he described looked just like “Gollum.”
When discussing Homicide, Joe said that he is a great person and if you ever have any problems in New York, he can take care of it for you, but said that one time when they were in Southern California for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Punk, Homicide, Nosawa, and Rocky Romero, and B-Boy all stayed with Joe and went out to a bar that Joe frequented. Everyone but Punk was getting smashed and Joe mentioned that the female bartenders were scantily clad and after they all drank 4-5 bottles of Patron, Punk was the designated driver and they only had one car, which was B-Boy’s, and it was a stick shift. Well, Punk did not know how to drive manual but B-Boy was drunk after one shot of tequila and a beer, which even Punk said he made fun of him for how low of a tolerance he had for booze. Punk stalled out four times before leaving the parking lot and they all want Del Taco. In the drive thru, Punk kept stalling out and B-Boy would laugh at him so Punk said he slapped him. They get back to Joe’s and Punk tries to sleep as Nosawa begs him for a ride to LAX and Punk said he didnt have a car to drive then they realized that Nosawa disappeared. Romero tried to leave with his keys as Punk said no that he was drunk then Romero took a swing at Punk so Punk had to take him down and finally asks for his keys then Romero threw his keys hard and Punk said it hit him in the dick. Everyone in the house is a mess but Punk so as Joe was sleeping, Punk decided to paint his toenails as a joke then Romero decided to paint his entire foot blue. Joe gets up and went to the bathroom to hurl and it got quiet then Punk said Joe would fall asleep in between is massive vomiting spells. During the night, Punk wakes up and sees Homicide standing above him undoing his belt as Punk started to scream as Homicide said he was taking a piss. Punk yelled that he was not in the bathroom so he got up and had to guide him into the bathroom. Punk wakes up and sees Romero ask him for his keys and Punk said he was hungover but okay to drive and he gives them to him. Joe said he woke up and is house was turned upside down with pieces of a chicken burrito everywhere and he followed a trail of burrito all the way outside. Joe then screams as he opens the bathroom and asks why there is water all over the floor, which has Punk cracking up as he realized it was not water but from when Homicide took a piss. Low Ki came over as Punk told him the story of Homicide pissing and Ki told him that this has happened before as one time at Monsta Mack’s house, Homicide was tanked and went into a bedroom and opened the closet, where he winded up pissing all over someone’s shoes. Punk said that he loves Homicide and they still do not know what happened to Nosawa, as he contacted them a few day later from Japan. Punk then says to watch the PWG night II tournament and see how hungover everyone is but him.
Punk says that Low Ki is crazy by going to ridiculous lengths to maintain kayfabe. The first time he hung out with him was at a bar in Pittsburgh with Sandman, Cabana, and Daniels. Punk says he is extremely intense and warms up for his matches by lifting furniture.
About Colt Cabana, Punk said that he is crazy in a different way, in that he is always joking around. Punk said that he has a million stories about him. He said the first day of camp at the Domain, he met Cabana who was wearing a Doug Collins jersey. Punk calls him a gimmick master too. Joe says that Cabana is very frugal and will go to any length to make money from his wrestling table at shows, saying he will buy masks in Mexico for $1 then sell them to you for $35. Punk said that Cabana has the dirtiest apartment ever, such as his bloody singlet hanging up like it is on display and he even has a squat rack in the middle of the apartment that his roommate got for cheap. Punk said that Cabana’s parents are the greatest and that his dad is a salesman, who sells Sean John and Fubu clothes. He tells a story of Colt trying to be funny when he called him upstairs to see something funny and it was Colt’s dad lying in bed naked. Punk then tells a nasty story of Adam Pearce playing a rib on Cabana once when they first started by wiping his ass and putting the toilet paper in Cabana’s pant pocket but Cabana just rolled with the punches. Cabana also apparently played a prank on Wade Keller by leaving him all sorts of messages at 4am about the Junkyard Dog returning.
They tell the story of how they became friends. Punk said they both started on the same RoH show and that they got into a conversation about music and Joe asked him about being straight-edge and from there, they became friends. They then joke about how they live parallel lives for a few minutes as Joe talks about how he once tossed a guy through a glass partition at a bar for touching his girl and Punk said when he was in TNA, he went to a fiddle bar with his then girlfriend, Tracy Brooks, and Scott D’Amore, Daniels, and America’s Most Wanted when some guy kept grabbing girls who walked by and he grabbed Tracy, who yelled at Punk that she could take care of herself. Punk said that pissed him off as he had sisters but promised Tracy he wouldnt touch him. They stared at Punk, who was alone as Daniels was in the bathroom, and when he came out, Punk headbutted the guy off of his stool and there was almost a brawl but they left, with the point of all this being if something stupid happens to one of them, it will then happen to the other one.
They talk about stories from FIP for a few minutes. Punk said that he is a feminist of sorts and despises strip clubs but in FIP, they wrestle in the back of the strip club. Well, Punk is there outback as their was a guy who sold BBQ, which was really good, and he would talk to them. Punk said strippers hated him as he would tell them he wasnt giving them money and to leave him alone. Anyway, Punk and Homicide were brawling as part of the show and when the strippers realized that, they started to grind up next to each other as Punk was pissed that they were taking away from them and he called them “whores,” which pissed them off and the promoter told Punk he had to apologize and the girls were outside in their cars smoking pot expecting an apology.
Punk tells a story of how he pranked Gabe a few nights before the RoH Final Battle show when he did a Homicide impersonation over the phone and told him that he got the belt put on him in Puerto Rico and are giving him a push and thus had to cancel his appearance on the show. He said that he was pouring it on Gabe, who he could tell was having an anxiety attack on the other end of the phone. Then, he told Gabe, in the Homicide voice that it was a prank orchestrated by Punk, with Gabe screaming like a woman. Joe says that Gabe throws all sorts of fits backstage during the shows.
Joe tells a story of how he and Punk were going to crash Sharon Osborne’s charity auction but a friend called and said no one was there so they decided to call around and see where to go and finally got a call from his cousin, who worked at Club Ibiza, who told them to come down quickly. Joe said he was dressed up and Punk was dressed like he usually does. They pull up and there are girls lined up around the block and they walk up to Joe’s cousin and they get in and see buffets with lobster and steak and all hot chicks, prompting Punk to say that he thought all clubs were like this because he had not been to one before and they realize that it was the Spearmint Rhino Christmas Party, which is a large chain of strip clubs. There are all sugar daddy’s walking around with a chick on each arm but the girls were all looking at them. They are having a great time with the chicks. Punk tells the story of how Chuck Liddell was there and how he was trying to get his attention so Liddell thought it was Joe and would go after him as a result. It didnt work then as Joe gets out of the bathroom, these strippers pull him on the chair as two of the clubs had a “Strip Off” as Joe got dances from ten strippers by each club. After that ends, Joe walks into the VIP club with Punk singing “Rappers Delight” with a conga line of strippers behind him on stage. After that, they had the award portion of the show and that was when they left.
They close by saying part II is coming and that they have plenty more stories.
Final Thoughts: An excellent shoot interview. The first hour or so discusses their trilogy in-depth so if you have not seen those matches yet, it might not interest you at all. I will say that each guy shows a tremendous amount of insight into those matches and if you have seen them, their discussions and stories are incredible and a must-see.
The rest of the shoot is filled with hilarious stories from both guys. Punk is a great story teller, as most of you would probably expect. Some of them might not be of interest to you though if you did not follow RoH during the beginning but I assure you that they are all worth listening too.
I definitely recommend this shoot, which can be purchased along with the trilogy for $19.99 on the company website, a very good deal by the way. Even at almost three hours long, the interview breezes along.
Here is the link to purchase the interview
This was filmed on January 2, 2014 inside of the home of AJ Styles in Gainesville, GA.
The interview runs at two hours and twelve minutes long.
The interview starts with the interviewer putting over AJ’s “man-cave” as AJ briefly discusses his love for video games. After that, they briefly mention AJ’s last shoot interview from 2006, in which AJ states that he doesn’t remember a single thing that happened then. It was a really bad interview and apparently rushed as they filmed it before a match that he had.
AJ is asked about being a free agent for the first time in eleven years. He said that he always loved the independents and would like to give advice and help the younger guys. He does feel glad that he started in the independents and got to incorporate different styles. He compares that to UFC and how everyone uses different fighting styles.
AJ said that he was hardly able to keep up with the independents while in TNA. He said that he would want a guy who had potential to make money work with him in TNA when he was still with the company but as the years went by, it was harder to keep up and he was told by the company that they didnt have the money so he lost touch with the scene.
He is now asked about TNA putting a high price tag on their talent when independents called looking for them. AJ said they did that deliberately but understands where they were coming from as if they got hurt, they wanted it to be in their ring instead of someone else’s.
When asked if the house show idea’s were too big for TNA, AJ agreed that it was and thought that they did a bad job of promotion, noting that they would come into some towns and there would not be any signs or any other advertising at all. He even said he would ask people at the hotels they would stay at if they heard about the show being in town and they said no.
AJ gets asked if he felt that TNA was a competitor to the WWE, he said yes. He believes that both companies paid attention to each other’s shows, noting that the WWE had taken stuff that they had done prior and put in on television. He talks about speaking with John Gaburik when he came into TNA, from the WWE, and he said that they would take stuff if they thought it was a good idea, knowing that there was no copyright on what they did. AJ also said that he wanted the WWE to do well because that meant TNA would do better in return.
Now, AJ is asked if there is any feeling in the locker room of TNA that they would not have a fair chance in the WWE because they came from them, AJ thinks that Vince McMahon likes to make money and if believes he can do that with someone from TNA, he would do try to make that happen.
He is asked point blank if he has had any contact with the WWE since leaving TNA and he says no. Before that, AJ said that he is scene as a TNA guy instead of an independent guy and that he still has the “TNA stink” on him. When asked if he was surprised the WWE hasn’t contacted him yet, AJ said no and that he has learned from being in the business that you do not get excited about the prospects of something that might happen. He then talks about the rumors about him getting a contract from the “dirt sheets” and how he can’t believe the stuff he reads about himself or what others send him through Twitter.
AJ doesnt believe that TNA has closed the door on him and he hasn’t closed the door on them and if there was an opportunity to make something happen, he think it can happen.
When asked if there was any point during his TNA run that he wanted to leave and go somewhere else, AJ said that he was 100% behind the company and wanted to give it all he head and to trust the people in control to do the right thing, which he said is a hard thing to do. AJ said he is a team player.
He is asked about watching any of the guys he wrestled on the independents become stars in the WWE. He said that the first time he wrestled Tyler Black (Seth Rollins) he knew he had whatever “it” was and that Claudio (Antonio Cesaro) would make it and AJ said he was surprised that it took him so long to get to that point as he is a great wrestler and extremely strong. He mentions how it is also cool to see Daniel Bryan do his thing too.
AJ said that his kids watch wrestling but do not usually watch the WWE. However, he bought his son the WWE video game and mentions how if TNA made another video game, he would buy him that too. This leads to a discussion about wresting video games and how AJ said that the best ones come from Nintendo 64 and are better known as “No Mercy” and “WCW/NWO Revenge” but he knows it as “Virtual Pro Wrestling 2.” AJ said it is without a doubt the best wrestling game ever made. He said it is an All-Japan Pro Wrestling game but it has New Japan guys and shoot fighters too. He said the newer ones are doing a better job but the controls for the one on Nintendo 64 are the best because they are easy to play but hard to master. He even pitched the idea to TNA that they should have a downloadable feature that put the heads of the TNA characters onto the guys from that game and you can keep the old engine.
We go back to wrestling talk as AJ is asked about his contract negotiations. He thought that they would eventually reach a deal, especially with the character and storyline going the way it did. His extension was for three months and expired on December 15th. AJ is asked about rumors of TN wanting to cut his salary in half. AJ said that there were a few inclusions in the contract that were hard to swallow. He said it was only a two-year deal and felt it was like a slap in the face. AJ felt hurt by the offer, stating that he had given them everything and when he feels all of his pain as he gets older, most of that happened inside of TNA rings.
AJ is now asked to compare the differences between WWE, TNA, and the independents if you had the same base salary. AJ said the money is in the WWE, with more shows and merchandise, if you are able to make a name for yourself. In TNA, you have a little bit of royalties and can make some extra at house shows. On the independents, you can get paid under the table at times plus you can sell your merchandise after the shows and only claim that you made $60,000 on your taxes when in reality, you made more. Also, promoters usually pay for rooms for the bigger names, unlike the WWE or TNA does with most of their talent.
When asked if he regrets spending 11 years in TNA, AJ said no and that he ended up making a lot more money than he ever thought he would, has a nice home, wife, and three kids so he has nothing at all to regret.
He is asked if he would accept a WWE offer today, knowing that he would have to go down to the Performance Center and if he would feel insulted. AJ said he would have no problem spending time down there and getting used to the ring but would not like to move his whole family to Florida. He would love the opportunity to wrestle in the WWE but would not be broken if it didn’t happen. He said that his main goal in wrestling is to make money, regardless where he is wrestling.
AJ is asked about his relationship with Dixie and if it is now strained due to the contract negotiations. AJ believes that she didnt have the final say in his contract and that the company did not want to give out big deals due to all of the money poured into veterans who did not deliver. He said that they are still on good terms.
When asked if he has paid attention to Ring of Honor lately, AJ said that he is excited about wrestling there and would love to open the doors for other great wrestlers but fears that he might come across as the old guy. He does not want to open up the doors for those who want to be lazy and said he wants guys who take pride in what they do to join him.
AJ then talks about while he was in TNA, he told Samoa Joe shortly after he came in and got popular that after a few years, when the older guys left the company, they would be the stars of the promotion, no matter how many bad gimmicks they got saddled. AJ said that he was wrong about that.
He now follows up the above comment by talking about how TNA brought in WWE guys and other older stars. He said that Christian was the first big name to go to TNA from the WWE and he made a huge impact and was just an awesome guy. Then, Kurt Angle came in right as Joe was getting hot and they made them wrestle each other, which AJ thought was a terrible and that they should have built up to a big match instead of jumping in right away. The interviewer mentions how AJ lost the title to Jeff Jarrett right when they got the Fox Sports Deal as AJ said that TNA wanted the big name for TV, which is fine, but that during all of that, they forgot to build a company and just put out guys that were more recognizable, which did not work and did not make them different from the WWE.
AJ is asked about the veterans that tried and the ones that phoned it in and were only there for the paycheck. AJ puts over Christian strong as a person and a wrestler. He said that he is funny and a great all-around guy. The interviewer then brings up how AJ more or less played an idiot comedy character at that time as AJ said he just thought up stuff that made him laugh at that time and loved the stuff he did with Tomko. At first, AJ said that not a lot of people liked Kurt Angle. He apparently kept on referring to Chris Sabin as “pig pen.” AJ thinks that Kurt’s attitude changed once Kurt realized the roster had talent and could go in the ring. AJ said that he thought about confronting Kurt about his ridiculous statements but that Kurt ultimately gained respect for the guys and AJ now likes him a lot, saying that they have a friendship. He also said some of the best matches he has ever had were with Kurt.
The interviewer goes back to Tomko for a minute and asks him if he was surprised about the legal and drug issues he currently has. AJ said that he tore his pec while in Japan and could not afford to take time off and ended up really hurting badly and he lost touch with him. After that he tried a comeback with TNA but he didn’t last long. Basically, he didnt know or want to answer the question.
He is asked about the “Elevation X” match and said that he volunteered to take the bump over Rhino because he was afraid that if Rhino took the bump, he would really hurt himself bad. AJ said that they were on boards that were about two feet high and they practiced by walking on the boards at a lower level before the match. He thinks they made the best out of the stipulations.
AJ is asked about the Lethal Lockdown matches and if he was worried that the cages would hold all of the table and ladders, along with their weight. He said the first time, he was with James Storm and they almost fell through. AJ said he didnt like doing that two years in a row, as the fans have already seen it before. AJ then said he suggested a War Games match that year with two rings and they thought about doing it but it turned out that TNA already sold seats that were right around the ring and they had no room for the second ring.
He calls Christopher Daniels a “ring general” and said that he can it on the fly and recalls some of the matches they had as a team, specifcally against LAX. The interviewer brings up how LAX was a hot act and said that TNA always seemed to have one hot act but that they always ended up pulling the plug from them and as a result, they never got as over as they could have. AJ agrees with him about that and said that they do not leave guys in teams long enough and adds that once they seem like they can draw something, they decide to split them up. He also thought that the Fortune group could have done something big but that TNA decided to split them up just as they were starting to gain traction. AJ said that they had ideas for Fortune including a scene of them all getting off of a plane called “Flair Force One” together with Ric Flair and re-enacting scenes from the film “The Hangover” but that TNA just wanted them to wear suits and ride in limousines. AJ didn’t think that was cool and would rather wear a sports jacket with an “Affliction” t-shirt and have them show up in their own sports cars or motorcycles and that even though they showed up in something different, you knew that they were cool because you could relate to them. He said that they were all for that but TNA never wanted to do that with them.
When asked about Ric Flair, AJ said he was quite the character. At one point, they wanted him to be like Flair and AJ said that they had Flair overshadow him completely during the angle. He is now asked about Flair’s bar tab during the European tour. AJ said he was not there at the time, he was home nursing an injury, but had others tell him what happened. AJ said that Flair was acting like he always does, buying everyone drinks and acting crazy, then ran out of money and started to ask some of the others for cash. After that, then started to flip out on the promoter about not getting more money. AJ said that he doesnt know all of the specifics though.
AJ is now asked if he thought Ric Flair lived up to his end of the bargain. He said that he did exactly what he was told to do, even when he thought the ideas were terrible. AJ then adds that no one had any balls to confront Flair when he acted out of control, especially how he acted in the United Kingdom.
He is then asked if he was surprised that Chris Harris’s career never took off. AJ said when you looked back at America’s Most Wanted when they first started to become popular, you would think that Harris would become a star as he was tall and athletic. He thinks that he just got frustrated at a certain point and never reached is potential.
When asked about working with Adam “Pacman” Jones, AJ said he thought it was funny and made no sense then brings up how no one in TNA even bothered to think if he could actually work at all in the ring. AJ credits Bill Behrens for creating the finish to the match.
When asked if Booker T was in TNA only for the paycheck, he said that he wrestled him a few times and that he asked Booker to call it in the ring and he just did all of his moves and never called anything at all. AJ also said that he didnt want to put some people over then questioned how much he had left to give to TNA. AJ said that Booker got him upset when he apparently told Kazarian that he should have stretched after he tore his tricep. At the same time, AJ said that he still managed to learn from him. He gives an example of Booker showing him how to hit someone with a title belt. After Booker left TNA, AJ approached him and said that despite the fact they did not always get along, he still learned a lot from him and he said Booker was cool about that.
AJ is asked about the promo that Samoa Joe cut on Scott Hall after he no-showed a PPV then asked about the alleged confrontation between Kevin Nash and Joe backstage. AJ said he did not see that take place and thinks that Nash pulled Joe aside somewhere away from the locker room and confronted him. AJ then talks about the promo itself and said that Joe was told what to say but Joe dug a bit deeper and can understand the anger that Nash had, stating that he would be upset to if someone was saying this about his friend. AJ then said that once Nash and Joe realzied that TNA was pitting them agaisnt each other, they stopped being angry with each other.
Now, he is asked about Kevin Nash’s involvement in the X Division. AJ said that you need characters, even in the X Division, but you also need good matches. He never felt insulted by what he did and stressed how you need characters in wrestling.
When asked about the storyline involving Kurt and his then wife Karen, he thought it got really ridiculous at times but he had fun being involved in the story.
AJ thinks that Eric Young is very entertaining and can play many different characters. He then said that more people know him from his show “Off the Hook” than they do for the ten years he spent in TNA. He puts over Eric for being funny and said that TNA has missed the boat on him.
He compares Sting as the Undertaker of TNA. He then puts him over for being a great guy who does his best whenever he wrestles. He said that Sting is incredibly humble and would even let him call the match when they wrestled.
When asked about Mick Foley, he said that he never knew what his role in the company was supposed to be. He didnt know if he was a wrestler or a commissioner. He said before a match with Fortune, Foley came up and told them that he and Flair were going to stay out of their way and let them do their thing. As soon as the match began, Flair and Foley began to fight. He said that ate up a lot of time.
They talk about Matt Morgan and how it seemed like there were so many times that it seemed like they were going to give him the push but for some reason they pulled back. AJ said that he liked wrestling with Nigel McGuinness (He wrestled as Desmond Wolfe in TNA) and was happy that they brought in him but sadly, he had to stop due to medical concerns.
AJ believed that the company was slowly growing before Hogan and Bischoff came into TNA. He said the talent was getting better and they were having good matches. He did say that he looked at them entering the company as a positive but after their debut, they could not sustain the ratings. AJ did state that the live crowds went nuts for Hogan when he came into the company. AJ didn’t understand why TNA did not use Hogan more to advertise their shows and TV in different markets. He also said that Hogan barely mentioned TNA when he made public appearances and said that someone should have told him about to talk about the company. He did state that Hogan was able to listen to their ideas and he appreciated that.
He is now asked if the older guys that TNA were bringing in like Hogan, Bischoff, Flair, and Cornette had the business pass by them at that point. AJ pretty much agrees with that but stated that he saw eye-to-eye with Cornette when it came to the wrestling part and loved having him as an agent. AJ states that while everyone has their own ways of doing things, you have to at least try to do some different and think outside of the wrestling box.
AJ is asked about changing back to the six-sided ring. AJ said that it made them different and he thought they should have kept it but the squared ring was much easier on the body.
The interviewer asks AJ if he felt that RVD gave his best effort in TNA, after telling AJ he did not believe that he tried his best. AJ thought that having RVD come in and beat him for the title was wrong not because he lost but that someone else came from the WWE and immediately beat a homegrown TNA talent. AJ said he wanted to say something but at the end, it was better to be professional. He did state that RVD should have grabbed his left when he pinned him.
He didnt understand why they got rid of Jay Lethal, who was entertaining, young, and a great athlete.
AJ said that he heard a rumor that Paul Heyman was asked to come in but declined as he wanted complete creative control. When asked if he thought that Heyman could have been the savior of TNA, AJ just said that he was able to create characters in ECW and make that company popular. AJ then put over Tommy Dreamer for having a lot of great ideas and heard that he was similar into Heyman in that regard.
When asked how it is to tape in a studio rather than on the road, AJ said it is harder to tape at the same place with the same people as they are always seeing the same thing. He also talks how it makes it harder to gauge how other crowds in different cities will react to the product.
Now, AJ is asked about the Jeff Hardy vs. Sting match at the 2011 Victory Road PPV. AJ heard that Bischoff saw Hardy backstage twenty minutes before his match then when he headed to the ring, he saw Hardy was in no condition to perform and told Sting to take it home. AJ said that now, Hardy is clean and sober and luckily nothing dangerous happened.
AJ is asked if he was TNA management and had to make a decision about his contract and who would he cut to retain his deal. AJ said that you cannot spend more than what you take in and joked that you probably shouldn’t rent a castle when you stay in the United Kingdom. He then said you have to find a way to get around and thinks they were not trying hard enough to retain him. The interviewer then tells AJ about what Austin Idol told him. He said that when they are not willing to pay his price, he will disappear because he will be worth more when he comes back. AJ said that time apart might help that and if they realize if he is someone that they need, it might be too late and he could be somewhere else. AJ also said that he is taking a risk too because he might not get paid as much but he has to weigh his options himself and grab the opportunities in front of him.
AJ is asked about the storyline with Claire Lynch. AJ said that this might sound crazy but it could have turned out to be a great story but the problem was that Claire was originally supposed to be a niece. However, they did not want to make the company look bad so they did not want Claire to be a Carter in storyline. Also, AJ said Claire had to be hot to make it work, to make it believable but that was not the case. He then said the moment Claire came out, the story was ruined.
He is then asked how Vince Russo should be remembered in TNA. AJ said he tried his best but at the end, he succumbed to pressure and he got burned out. At then time, he didnt notice because he was too frustrated himself with the storylines.
When asked about Jeff Jarrett leaving TNA, AJ asks what does that say about the company when he is leaving? AJ then talks about Jarrett having a lot of inside knowledge in the company and when he left, he knew something bad was going on in the company.
AJ said that you cannot let a company bully you into signing a bad contract. He knew for sure on December 28th that he was not going to re-sign. He talks briefly about his last TNA appearance and said that now he understood why Bret Hart was pissed at the WWE and did not want to drop the title, because they were taking away his contract. He said he didnt have a contract and could have laid down and told Magnus to pin him but chose to do it professionally and do it in a way that satisfied him.
He is asked about his book and AJ said it involves his personal life and wrestling, along with his future.
When asked what he will be doing a year from today, he has no idea career wise. He would like to say he would be with one of the bigger companies but said he could go out and get hurt the next day. Regardless, he will give 100% when you see him in the ring.
Final Thoughts: Not the most entertaining shoot but it was decent enough. It was really slow-paced so that might turn people off. Also, the questions were not asked in chronological order so they jumped around a lot. This was a follow-up to his shoot in 2006 so that is why they asked questions from then until present day.
As for AJ, he seemed like a nice enough guy. He did not have an agenda and was not looking to bury anyone. It was clear that he was frustrated with how TNA was run and valued himself as being with the company from day one for a reason as to why he was upset with an offer that he felt was low. The guy did bust his ass for this company and along with a few others were the reason it stayed alive it’s first year. I came away from this interview liking AJ as a person. I also saw that he was sad to be gone from TNA and did not trash them too much, leaving a door open for a return. Still, I think he was confident that he made the right decision to leave.
The interviewer, I do not know his name, was not the greatest. He really tried to get AJ to trash Flair, but he wouldn’t bite. Flair screwed over Highspots so you can probably figure out why he asked those questions.
If you are a fan of AJ or TNA, I would recommend this shoot. If you are not, then I wouldn’t bother watching. Its not an in-depth look at his career and if you want that, RF Video is releasing a 4 hour long shoot with him in the next few weeks.
This was released in the Fall of 2013. It runs for one hour and fifty minutes.
Your host is Sean Oliver
On October 29th, Curt Hennig was pulled off of the road, reportedly over being angry that he was bypassed for the IC title but was announced as him needing to take care of family problems. Lex is asked about titles and if they are really important to wrestlers. Lex said that at times, it was difficult to carry through the airport and they pay difference wasnt that much so he didnt really matter that much if he was a champion. He said belts do not defy whether or not you have talent, as Matsuda taught him that as well, but he does respect the lineage of the belts.
At the November 9th “Wrestling Challenge” tapings at the Carbondale, PA high school, the prinicipal and school board were irate at the conditions of the facilities after the tapings, which included human feces, whiskey bottles, and chicken bones all over the place. Lex is asked who brings own the hammer about this and Lex said it gets back to Vince then back down the chain of command to carry out the orders. When asked who would shit on the floor, Lex guesses the Nasty Boys as they lived up to their name.
Vince McMahon was indicted for possession and conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids on November 11th. He pled not guilty and a trial date was set for May 2nd, 1994. Lex said a lot of the guys thought it was unfair and said that no one ever forced or pressured him to use steroids and said that one of the prosecutors had a hard-on for Vince and wanted to get him. Vince told Lex that he was affected by the trial and that it caused him anxiety.
Then, on November 12th, Jerry Lawler was indicted in Kentucky for one count of second-degree statutory rape, three counts of second-degree sodomy and one count of harassing a witness, to which Lawler pled not guilty. Lex said the locker room was in disbelief when this news broke. When asked about anyone having info about Lawler having a penchant for under aged girls, Lex said he didnt hear that about him.
Lex is asked if he liked the Survivor Series match and he said he would have rather did a tag or even a six-man tag match because you do not get much in-ring time in those matches. Lex said he was reluctant to having his family on camera but trusted Vince. Lex said he was living a double life and was starting to party on the road at that time.
When asked about Dink the Clown and if he thought it was ridiculous. Lex did but said Vince liked to have a few ridiculous guys to push for either his own entertainment, the boys, or to anger the fans. He couldn’t figure out why. Lex had no problem with the character personally.
Lex was surprised that Heenan left the WWF. He never talked to Bobby about his contract either. When asked, Lex said that Vince didnt care if you talked about someone who left the company but at the same time, he never felt the need to explain anything he did to the locker room.
Sean asks Lex about how 1993 ranks in his career. He said it was up there, with the Horsemen and nWo stuff. He had a lot of fond memories of the bus tour, despite being tough, but did appreciate the opportunity. Lex now travels across the country doing evangelical work and says he is approached by people stating they met him at autograph sessions during that time. He then says that he feels great now, despite all of his health issues. He is now thankful for what he has instead of wishing for things he does not have. He also has a new found appreciation for all things wrestling and wishes he felt that way when he did wrestle.
Final Thoughts: This timeline went a lot better than I initially thought it would. Lex seemed pretty relaxed, even if he looks a lot different than when he was in wrestling. Looking at him now, you would have never, ever guessed that he had one of the best physiques in wrestling. He is lucky though as intially it was expected that he would never be able to walk on his own ever again.
The beginning of this is slow, as he talks a lot about the WBF, but it does pick up the pace from there. Lex also shows remorse form his past behaviors and was not afraid to call himself out for acting like a dick when he was in wrestling. That shows to me that he is truly at peace with himself and is genuine in regards to his religious beliefs.
Lex did keep to himself a lot so he really did not have a ton of dirt to dish on the main eventers but did give pretty good insight to his “Lex Express” schedule, amongst other things. Actually, I felt that Lex had a good sense of the business and seems like a fairly intelligent guy. I do recommend this timeline and found it to be a surprisngly decent installment.
This was released in 2009. It is an hour and fifty minutes long.
January is the month when Honky first became a full-fledged heel. He was wrestling guys like S.D. Jones, George Steele, and Koko B Ware at the house shows. He is asked if he realized at first that he was going to get a big push. Honky said that he was unsure whether or not if he was going to get pushed at that time but did state that the vignettes helped him and promised to Jimmy Hart that if he got a chance to get pushed, he would make it work.
Honky is now asked if they knew at the beginning of the month that they would go with Andre vs. Hogan at WrestleMania. He said that you could tell they were going that way through the television shows. He believes that the feud started right around Survivor Series. Honky is asked if there was a fear that Andre wouldnt show up due to a bad back and Honky said no, because he had been wearing a back brace for a year prior. He doesnt know about any behind the scene struggles but thinks if there were any, it was over money.
Sean asks Honky about January 10th, when Crockett ran at the Philadelphia Civic Center and the WWF ran at the Spectrum, with the WWF outdrawing the NWA by a few thousand. Honky almost remembers that they tried to book Baltimore the same night as them but could not find an available arena. Honky also said that they didnt pay much attention to that but were happy that the NWA sold well because if they were thriving, it could give them another place to go. Honky then talks about how those guys usually left to join the WWF, and not the other way around. He then says that the NWA’s problem was that their television was not as strong and they lacked the merchandise and games that the WWF had made popular. They also lacked the personal appearance machine that Vince had created and the main thing, the WWF had made their performers household names.
Next, is Jim Neidhart is arrested for allegedly assaulting a stewardess. Honky remembers the incident and said it was a big deal at the time. At one point they thought Neidhart would be gone for good. Honky then puts over how Vince took care of his people, as he put up money to take him out of jail and for his lawyers. However, Vince took the money back from his paychecks and Neidhart got pissed over that and during a TV taping, started to break furniture.
Honky is now asked about Howard Finkel. He said that he was the hardest working guy in the company, doing several jobs at once, and put Finkel over for never having to read off of cards and always knowing everything about the wrestlers. Honky also said that he was a great finder of talent and believes that it was Howard who brought in Jimmy Hart, Elizabeth, and Randy Savage into the WWF after watching tapes of the Memphis territory.
Sean asks Honky about the tour schedule. They were running at least three separate shows a night. On January 19th, the “A” show was headlined by Hogan vs. Kamala at MSG, the “B” show was headlined by Steamboat vs. Savage at the Atlanta Civic Center and the “C” show, headlined by Tito Santana vs. Butch Reed in a Steel Cage match in Lincoln, NE. When asked who arranged the travel, Honky said it was Vince and Pat Patterson. There was a guy named Ed Cohen who booked the buildings, who oddly enough discovered Honky while looking at a building in Calgary and saw Honky, putting in a good word to Vince. On Jan 19th, Honky worked against Pedro Morales at the “C” show. Honky said Pedro was extremely bitter at this point in his career and tells a story of how Billy Jack Haynes almost fought him in the locker room, when Pedro told Billy he wasn’t going to make it in wrestling. Honky does a pretty funny impression of Pedro. He said the “C” show payday was about $300 but said they were a good way to test guys that were just starting with the company.
Andre’s heel turn was completed at the January 26th TV tapings. Honky thought that the angle turned out better than he thought because Andre was extremely over as a babyface. He gives Andre a lot of credit for being able to be a great heel and said that Hogan also did a fine job making himself turn out as the good guy. Honky said that he couldnt believe how big WrestleMania III turned out to be. Honky then puts over Heenan as a great mouthpiece, especially since Andre wasnt very good at cutting heel promos.
Honky is asked about the Dynamite Kid’s back injury. He didnt work much with him but was told that he needed help getting off of the airplane and could barely use one of his feet and it finally reached a point in which he simply could not perform anymore. When asked about the WWF advertising the Bulldogs as champs after they lost the belts, Honky said that the TV tapings were three weeks in advance so all of the promos and everything else was done then too.
Outback Jack also debuted at the January 26th tapings. Honky said he was found by Jim Troy, who was the International guy at the time. Honky said they saw him and he looked like a guy that had never been in a gym before and said that his being Australian rubbed the English guys the wrong way then said that he eventually rubbed everyone the wrong way. Honky said that everyone gave him a rough time, as he believed that he was just as big as Hulk Hogan when he started. Honky then rags on Troy, saying this was the only person he had ever found. Sean asks Honky what to do after all of the vignettes and effort put into a guy who cant work at all. He said that you can put him in a position to get someone else over.
Honky is asked about the retirement angle with Piper. He said it was a good way to sell tickets as he went off to make movies. He is then asked about Adrian Adonis and Honky said that he had his problems outside of the ring. He then said during the “Flower Shop” segment, they used real flowers that were fresh-cut and brought in from a florist daily.
At the January 27th “Challenge” taping, Honky hits Jake Roberts over the head with a guitar on the “Snake Pit” segment. Honky said he was happy to have a run with Jake at the time, as he was almost a main event guy and thought it would be a great opportunity. He said that Vince and Pat came up with the angles then. Honky says the guitar was heavy but gimmicked. He said that Jake did not go to rehab due to the guitar shot and said that it bothers him because Jake said it, people think it was true. Honky disputes the fact that Jake said this is what led to his drug use because he abused cocaine, not painkillers. He said that they are friends still though. Jake wound up in rehab a few weeks after WrestleMania and Honky ended up wrestling Bruno Sammartino in the Northeast and Crusher in the AWA cities and he would job, to make the crowd happy and because it was non-title. Jake went back to rehab shortly after returning.
Andre beat Hogan at the battle royal on “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” Honky was eliminated first in that match. Honky says it was filmed in Detroit and the building didnt sell out and he was actually shocked that WrestleMania drew as much as it did in that market as they struggled to draw a bit in that area.
Tom Magee makes his TV debut on March 16th. Sean asks if he was hired to be the next big thing as reported. Honky says he was groomed to be the next Hogan but was another “Outback Jack” story. He said he worked against Tom in Calgary, doing boxing matches on occasion. Honky said that he wasnt that bright and couldn’t work in the ring worth a shit. When asked why it didnt work, Honky said that he had no charisma and could not project his character, noting the Ultimate Warrior could do that. He said Magee would show up to TV, wearing a suit and walked around taking notes. Honky believed he should have been learning in the ring instead.
Honky is asked about the angle in which he and Jimmy Hart tried to get the DDT banned. Sean asks if the mail-in vote was just a way to get people on the mailing list. He confirms that the “Vote of Confidence” thing with him was all bullshit. He did say that “Cyber Sunday” was legit when he was there.
He is now asked about Jack Tunney and how someone with such a lack of charisma could be featured on TV. Honky said he looked like a legitimate authority figure though, like a school principal.
Honky is asked about the week leading up to WrestleMania. Honky said that he didnt have to do much promotion as he wasnt in a major match. He said back then, no one brought their family or guests. They treated it as just another show. The atmosphere backstage was that everyone was burned out and exhausted, from the non-stop touring. He said that he didnt have much interaction with the celebrities.
In regards to the match between Hogan and Andre, he thought it worked well. He saw the ending their live and had watched the match since and thought it was good. He also thought his match with Jake was good an puts him over as always being a professional in the ring. He then said that Jimmy Hart was petrified of the snake and was so tense at the end that his neck ended up getting hurt afterwards because Jake had to hold him still. Honky puts over Harley for being able to carry the Junkyard Dog to a good match, stating that Harley even put the whole match together.
When asked if celebrities understood wrestlers, he said that Bob Uecker and Steve Allen did, mentioning that Allen once was involved in wrestling in California. He also said that Morton Downey was good.
Honky is asked about the match between Steamboat and Savage at WrestleMania. Honky said it was a good match and thought the match going on made Savage look better because Steamboat had been known for going longer in the NWA. He then says that it wasnt out of the ordinary for him because he had seen them wrestle so many times. He then claims that what he did with Jake was almost as exciting for the fans and they did far less than those guys. When asked if people were huddled around the monitor backstage, Honky said no one did that back then, or at least the guys he hung around with, saying guys were playing cards or probably getting Andre wine. Honky said when he was at Cyber Sunday and RAW the night after and didnt watch one match. He did his job, got undressed and left the building. When asked if Savage always scripted his matches heavily, Honky said that if there was any changes or a different match style, Savage would re-script everything. Honky liked working with Steamboat, saying it was easy and he could feed his comebacks and bump for him no problem.
He is asked about the Piper vs. Adonis match. Honky said Adonis went nuts in that match and thought Piper should have lost his hair then in a rematch, have Adonis lose his. When asked about Piper getting electrocuted, Honky disputes that, claiming that he was in the building and that the dressing room lights were around the mirrors and does not know how you can break the bulb and get electrocuted touching the filament, because when the bulb broke, the filament is useless. He then asks what Piper was on if indeed he stuck his finger in the outlet. He then laughs about those stating he had electricity running through his body then says that what he was doing was practicing for a film role.
Honky is asked about Ken Patera’s return. He said that he thought Patera did good with the vignettes. He then said that he had a match at the tapings that was so bad that he was told to go out and wrestle again.
“Superstar” Billy Graham made his comeback. Honky said that the business outgrew Billy at this point and he was deteriorated.
He was asked about Jim Barnett attempting suicide over job stress. Honky said that he heard Barnett made the attempt after learning he was about to lose his job. he was let go after the attempt.
Honky sings a song mocking the Iron Sheik and Jim Duggan getting caught together with drugs. He said that the angle was going to get Duggan pushed to the top then after the arrest, Vince gave them a meeting and said those two would never work in the WWF again. Honky said he looked over to Jimmy Hart and said that they would be back, because they got caught with a little bit of grass and some beers.
Honky is asked if Butch Reed no-showing led to him getting the Intercontinental Title. Honky said Butch was AWOL for a while but did appear at the show before Honky won the belt. Honky said that Butch was a good worker and would have made a good champ. Honky said that Hogan saw him walk by and suggested that Honky win the belt. Honky thought that Steamboat believed he was in a good enough position to ask for a few weeks off. Honky brings up how Steamboat mentioned he didnt want to lose the belt to an “Elvis Impersonator.” Honky jokes about that , saying Jake impersonated a snake handler and that Hogan impersonated a body builder from Venice Beach, CA.
When asked about Ted DiBiase and his first-class travel arrangements, Honky said that it got him a lot of heat in the locker room.
Honky is asked about a returning David Sammartino, who had bleached-blond hair and a leaner physique. He was gone by the end of the year. Honky said that he was out of place with that look, stating that it did not fit his personality at all.
In regards to the Muraco face turn, Sean references Honky’s YouShoot and how he said once they give you the baby blue trunks, it was all over for you. Honky said that Muraco wasnt a good face and much better suited as a heel.
Honky now talks about the angle that turned Randy Savage into a face, when Savage got upset over Honky cutting a series of promos stating he was the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. Honky said that he started and finished the match as the heel and also said that there was no long-term investment into making Savage a face, just the one segment on “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”
The “Piledriver” album was released. Honky said he filmed his piece of the video after a show in San Francisco at a construction site down the street from the Cow Palace then they filmed him driving the Cadillac. They finished the video in Stamford, CT. Honky said it was a difficult video to shoot and said the editing was great but there was a ton of takes and it was filmed in between their travels. He says that Jimmy Hart wrote the song and Rick Derringer and David Wolfe were involved.
Honky said the Mega Powers were formed as a result of him not wanting to drop the belt to Hogan. He said that DiBiase got the Million Dollar Belt as a result, instead of the Heavyweight Title as planned (This was the result of Honky seeing the writing on the wall when he was told that his character was going to be “repackaged” after dropping the belt and Honky did not want to end up back on the beginning of the card making no money so he asked Vince to give him a chance to let him earn some money for him and if it failed, he would do whatever). When asked about Ted’s thoughts on what happened, Honky joked that he should pray for him
Nick Bockwinkel was brought in as an announcer and a road agent. Honky said that Nick took his agent job a little bit too far, telling people how to do everything. Honky thought he was fine. He then said that he was the “pecker checker” as he had to supervise the drug tests. Honky said he likes Nick as a person.
The “Survivor Series” PPV concept makes it debut. Honky said it was good to push the guys you want and to take the guys you are done with and use them to get others over.
On December 26th, Honky Tonk Man vs. Randy Savage sells out Madison Square Garden. Jimmy Hart was suspended above the ring in a cage. Honky said that was Hart’s idea and puts him over for giving a lot of guys ideas, especially when it came to get his own guys over. Honky said that Hart came up with the Peggy Sue angle. He calls him innovative.
Final Thoughts: Not bad. This was the first Timeline that was released by Kayfabe Commentaries. Since this was released, Sean has done a much better job in formatting. I’d say about 65-70% of this was focused from the beginning of the year through WrestleMania, with the rest of the year barely covered at all. I know Honky has told the story of him getting and refusing to drop the IC title on several other shoot interviews so I understand why that wasnt covered but they glossed over the last quarter of the year in about ten minutes. Honky was game here and he really does have a great understanding of the business. He gets it that it is just that, a business, and that you have to stand up for yourself in order to not get completely buried. I would recommend this, it does provide insight into how hectic the schedule was, but it was actually weaker than I remembered. There are a lot worse Timelines that you could watch over this.
I am referring to Morley by his character, Val Venis, as he has the same first name as the interviewer, thus making it easier.
On April 20th, Rick Rude died of a heart attack. Val said he has lost a lot of friends due to prescription drugs abuse and that in the minds of those that abuse them, they never see that they can die from that. When asked if it is noticeable in the locker room, Val said sometimes it is but other guys can abuse everything and somehow manage to stay alive. Val then talks about how the WWE is currently doing everything within their power to prevent the abuse from happening and talks about how prescription drugs are the most abused drug in high schools.
The Rock turned face on the April 26th edition of RAW after Shane McMahon fired him from the corporation. When asked about the qualities that made the Rock such an effective face, Val said that the Rock is one of the best ever on the mic and also puts over his intelligence and wit.
On May 10th episode of RAW, Commissioner Shawn Michaels awards Debra the Women’s Title after losing an Evening Gown match to Sable, who quit the company shortly after this happened. Val said Sable was a good champion during her brief run. When asked why she was so despised, Val said he heard the stories of her attitude problem but that he always got along with her and used to travel with her and Marc Mero.
Val is asked about going back to England. He said that he wrestled there before going to the WWE and said that he heard the eruption from fans while at the airport when heading to the baggage claim. Val is asked if anything happened during the flight but he said the ribbing usually occurs on the plane ride back. He also said that when he travels overseas, he would travel but at this time, he was partying hard and would go out to the bars with A-Train and Test.
They now talk about the death of Owen Hart that occured at the “Over the Edge” PPV. Val said that he was the next match and behind the Gorilla position warming up. Bruce Prichard was near him then got up and yelled for the EMT’s and that someone fell. He didnt know that it was Owen until after a minute. Jeff Jarrett was doing a pre-match promo and had no idea that Owen fell. Val said that they wheeled Owen backstage and the EMT’s were doing heart compressions and his eyes were open but said you could tell that there was nobody home. After that, he headed out for his match and said he went out and looked at how high up he was and thought to himself that there was no way he was going to survive that. Val said that he started to calm himself down with deep breaths. Jeff then came out and did not know what had happened and after the match, they went backstage and found out that Owen had passed away and Val said that Jarrett broke down. Val said that he was pretty much the only person who knew that he was not going to survive, because he was covered by the time he was wheeled past everyone else. Val said that believed that Owen would have wanted the show to go on and puts over Owen for being a good guy. He tells a story while in St. Louis, several wrestlers were waiting to check into the Marriott. A bunch of kids come over for autographs and Val signs them. Then, a guy with a stack of photos asks Val to sign them for him and he said no, because he knew the guy was just going to go sell them. When Val gets to his room, he gets a call from that guy who said he better come down and sign his pictures, liked he promised. Val hung up and the guy called again and said that he better sign his pictures and that he is a big guy and won’t be able to get buy him. So, Val goes down to the lobby and sees Owen and Jarrett sitting on stools at the bar and Owen tells Val that the guy went around the corner. Val went looking for him but was unsuccessful so he went back to his room and it took him an hour and a half to calm down. Six months later, Val was in Canada and just about to film “Off the Record” when Edge asks him about the guy in St. Louis and tells him that Owen was pretending to be the guy on the phone. Apparently, Owen called Edge and told him to tell this to Val right before he went on the air. Val said he was seething
Next, is the RAW tribute show to Owen. He said that they day felt slow and that everyone was quiet and still in shock. He then said that a sheet was passed around for guys to sign up if they felt like working that night. Val is then asked about the problems between Owen and Steve Austin but said he never heard Steve speak about Owen after his death.
Val is asked about the lawsuit filed by Sable. He said that being a Libertarian, he is against frivolous lawsuits and said that it was frivolous.
He said that he never had a problem losing to Chyna. He thought that it was something different. He was sure that there were some objections from guys losing against women but said if done right, can be entertaining and make sense.
They bring up Martha Hart’s wrongful death lawsuit. Val said that it was not a frivolous lawsuit but that people die daily in accidents and that the company that made the harness should be sued if it was faulty.
The WWE files for an initial offering of public stock, changing the name from “Titan Sports” to “World Wrestling Federation Enertainment.” Val said there was initial excitement but it dropped down to $9.00 and guys were getting worried. Val confirmed that there was a meeting with talent and that they were told they could buy IPO’s at a discounted price. Val said it took him a few years to break even but points out that Bradshaw sold after a few days when the prices rose from $17 to $34. He puts Bradshaw over for knowing the stock market.
Chris Jericho made his debut on the August 9th edition of RAW. Val said that he didnt know Jericho that well before his debut. He said that the locker room was accepting of him. Val also said that before the WWE, he had a tryout match with WCW and said that the locker room environment was bad and clickish before stating that Jericho told him that if he had an offer for the WWE, that he should go there. Val puts over the WWE locker room for being much better.
Val talks about Jesse Ventura appearing as a special guest referee at SummerSlam. Val said that he is against Jesse for attempting to unionize, because he is anti-union.
On August 24th, the first “Smackdown” taping is held. When asked, Val said that his did not mean an extra paycheck, as they would have been working a show besides another TV taping.
Val is asked about Shawn Michaels appearing on the August 26th edition of “Byte This” when he badmouthed Steve Austin for not putting over HHH at SummerSlam, leading to Shawn Michaels getting sent home by Vince. Val that said it is all up to Vince whether or not he should have been sent home.
He is asked about the skit in which Venis saw Big Show in the bathroom stall and joked about him being called the Big Show. Val said that Bruce Prichard came up with the idea for that.
Val is asked if there was too much of Vince during 1999. Val said that he believed that Vince wanted to be part of the biggest era of pro wrestling ever and thought it was entertaining to see him in the ring. He said that if Ted Turner had that same passion, he would probably still be in business today.
Val is asked about the Kennel from Hell match between Al Snow and the Big Boss Man. He tells a story about during the storyline when Boss Man stole Al’s dog Pepper. Al was backstage doing a pretape with Russo and heard Al say “it’s Val’s” and when asked, they both said it was nothing. Several hours later, he heard the promo on-air while cooling down backstage and saw a phone number flash on the screen and didn’t think nothing of it at all. A minute later, his cell phone rings and someone called him stating that he found Pepper. Val just thought that it was someone messing with him but the phone rings again and it was a little girl talking to him and he looked around and the whole locker room starting to laugh. He powered his phone off and was driving home with Test and A-Train. He then said that in the car, he would pick up the phone and tell the people that called they won $10,000 due to being the 1,000th person to call Pepper and would turn the phone over to A-Train, who would ask them questions. Val said he changed his number the next day.
On October 3rd, Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara jumped ship to WCW. He believes that Vince took them leaving personally, stating that he believed that Vince put a lot of stock into Russo. He then puts over Russo for being able to fit the entire card into meaningful storylines. He said that Vince made sure that Russo did not push the envelope too far. Val is then asked how much of the success should be applied to Ferrara and Russo in terms of how hot the company was at that time. Val thinks 40%, stating that the Rock and Austin were so hot at that time. Val also claims that at one point, Crash Holly was a bigger star than Goldberg, due to Russo’s writing. That is one of the most laughable claims I have ever heard.
Next, he is asked about Droz getting paralyzed in a match with D’Lo Brown. Val said that D’Lo broke down backstage after the match. He also said that it was hard to say who was at fault and that the locker room did not blame D’Lo for the incident.
He talks about Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. He tells a story about Mae when before she went out to give Eric Bischoff a Bronco Buster, she was backstage with him and called his name. Shen then showed him a bunch of sardines that she had stuffed in her pants as a rib on Bischoff.
Jeff Jarrett returns to WCW a day before wrestling on a WWE PPV. Val said that Vince didnt show his anger but that Jarrett did burn his bridges with the WWE.
On October 21st, Mick Foley’s “Have a Nice Day” autobiography is released. Val said that he read bits and pieces of it and is not into “storybooks,” just books about politics. He puts over Foley for being a talented writer and says he gets along with him but doesnt like the fact that he is a democrat.
Val is asked about Kurt Angle, who made his debut at the Survivor Series. He said that Angle was open to learning pro wrestling and had the attitude and commitment to make it to the top. He also said he could work the crowd and would get blown away while watching him perform. However, some of his psychology would bother him, bringing up an example of after getting frog-splashed by Eddie Guerrero, shortly after that he put him in an ankle lock and how that is the stuff that would drive him nuts if he were an agent.
On December 2nd, Smackdown was changed from TV-14 to TV-PG. Val said that Vince was worried about losing the advertisers due to the Parents Television Council. He said that he hated being in the Right to Censor, stating that he hated the uniform. He also said that when Russo left, there was no one behind the character and if he had an idea, they told him they were not going in that envelope-pushing direction.
Val is asked if she saw he chemistry between Stephanie and HHH at this time. He said he did not but there were a lot of rumors going around at the time.
Final Thoughts: This is the worst of the WWE Timeline installments. Val, who was a questionable choice to begin with due to not being involved in the main storylines, offered little insight into this year. He told a few good stories but seemed to be more interested into discussing his political beliefs rather than the subject at hand. He came across as an asshole when talking about the parking attendant that got his foot run over by Lawler. He also either didn’t know or just didn’t care to discuss much of the gossip and rumors at this time. I wonder if he was trying to get re-hired by the way he came across at times. Don’t waste your money on this DVD.