Q and A
January 11, 2010
Q: Remember what you were doing or where you were when the Berlin wall came down?
A: I have no recollection of this event at all. This would have been the time I was first contemplating quitting University and getting into wrestling so I guess my mind was elsewhere.
Q: Recently I was watching the Rise and Fall of ECW DVD, and I heard Tommy Dreamer's story about the Singapore Caning match between he and Sandman. He said that after the match, and after taking a few shots from the cane, while he got in Sandman's face and began talking to him, he saw the Sandman getting emotional because he (The Sandman) was really into the moment. Now, I know you're not exactly known for your emotion, but neither is The Sandman. So I gotta ask, was there ever a time where you were so "into the moment" during an angle that you began to either break character or even get emotional?
A: No specific instances but I when I really got into something I would tend to get more into character not break it.
Q: If you had an Aladdin’s lamp and could implement three changes on the wrestling scene right now what would they be?
A: Bookers rather than Writers, Logic rather than Comedy, Wrestling rather than Sports Entertainment.
Q: Why is there a lack of managers/valets? Is it down to none coming through the Indies or no interest in them right now?
A: I would say both of the above. There aren’t many coming out of the Indies, and WWE doesn’t seem to want them anyway.
Q: Should the "Purse Money" aspect be brought back to wrestling? It makes it a lot more interesting if the money is involved.
A: It wouldn’t hurt to mention it occasionally but I don’t think it can be a big focus. When fans know you wrestle 200 matches a year the difference in your income from 1 win or loss really isn’t significant.
Q: Do you think that the design of championships is important? I'm asking because I think some WWE belts look bad. The WWE Title looks like a joke, the Divas Title looks like a toy, the US Title is too small and the WCW version looked better since it wasn't all US colors, and the IC Title is a good design, but the extreme oval shape of it bothers me.
A: The look of the belt is important to a certain extent and I agree many of the current WWE title belts are not great. The Old IC Title was WAY better. I hate the look of the WWE Title belt, and the Diva’s butterfly thing is aweful.
Q: If you where the head booker or creative guy of WCW during the NWO angle, when would you have ended it? Also, how would you have ended it so that it didn't seem like a massive anti-climax and in a way that set up storylines for the future but was also logical? I have been thinking about this for a long time and I can't think of anything.
A: I don’t think it’s about when I would have ended it; the key was to start swinging the tide back to WCW so there was still a battle and the baby face WCW didn’t get killed off. The point where things needed to start swinging back to WCW was Sting’s return. NWO ran rough shot over everyone up to that point. Sting needed to come back and rally the troops so to speak and start the WCW comeback. Unfortunately his return match with Hogan killed everything.
Q: In your last Q & A, you suggested TNA focus on just 2 or 3 PPV Main event matches during the Impact broadcast. However, WWE's ECW attempted this a few years ago with their version of December to Dismember and most viewed it as the worst WWE PPV in history. How does TNA attempt your suggestion yet still make the entire PPV a success and not a December to never remember again?
A: Do you honestly believe you are making a point or are you just trying to be a smart ass? For that ECW PPV they only announced 2 matches, and promoted only one of them (and poorly at that), so that isn’t what I was suggesting, not even close. I suggested properly promoting 2 or 3 main matches while announcing a full card. Furthermore TNA would kill for a buy rate as good as that ECW PPV it would be their highest EVER!
Q: What’s your favourite gimmick match and why?
A; My favourite gimmick match is one that fits the angle the participants are in. In other words it depends on the participants and the angle they are involved in.
Q: Where should RVD go, if he wants to come back?
A: That is a question only Rob can answer. It all comes down to what he wants out of life. It’s a balance of money, schedule, and work environment.
Q: What are your thoughts on the straight edge lifestyle? You pretty much lived by it, but never claimed to be edge or even bring it up. Was it something you didn't know about, or something you just didn't consider yourself?
A: I am one that does what I believe is right, and not one to label it, or go out of my way to promote it to others.
Q: Would you be in favor of WWE ending the brand split? The brand split has caused the same old people to feud with each other (eg. HHH vs Cena, Orton vs Cena, HBK vs Cena) and you can pretty much tell WWE has run out of ideas since they constantly do trades and they do a Draft every single year now.
A: This is a tough call because there are plusses and minuses to the split. There have been a lot of guys on SD that have gotten to main event that never would have without the split.
Q: Out of all the companies you worked for, which one had the best/worst catering?
A: The only two that had catering were WCW and WWE, and catering varied with every City so it was more about the catering companies they used in certain Cities rather than WCW vs WWE.
Q: Reading over some of your older commentaries, when you spoke of how good MNM was, you seemed especially high on Joey Mercury. Any thoughts feelings on him getting cut and the other 2 being pretty over today?
A: Joey was and I imagine still is extremely talented. His release was very unfortunate in that he had just successfully completed a rehab program for pain pills and then had his face shattered in a ladder match and was forced to take pain medication again, which I believe led to a relapse and his release.
Q: Also in an older q&a, you tell someone that sit-ups don't give you abs, cardio does. and in a later question you follow up saying that you get abs by burning fat on your stomach and that cardio burns fat. Maybe this is a stupid question, but- do sit ups NOT burn fat?
A: It is a stupid question, yes. Sit ups strengthen abdominal muscles, they DO NOT BURN FAT. If you don’t burn the fat you will not see the muscles.
Q: What are your thoughts on Gene Kiniski?
A: I don’t have many. He was before my time as a fan, so I never saw his work. I met the man and tagged with him once but he was 63 at the time.
Q: I just wanted to let you know that a website I frequent recently ran a poll to determine the best United States Champion of all time and you won. What was your favorite title reign?
A: That’s pretty cool. My US Title runs were very cool, although my WWE Tag Title run with William Regal was my most financially successful.
Q: In the past I believe you've said your best match was with Bryan Danielson. Your match with him took place years ago and now Danielson has a contract with the WWE and is expected to start on TV any time now. I was wondering what your opinion on him going to WWE is and how you think he will do in his time there?
A: That match was certainly one of my best. There is no way to tell what they will do with him or how well he will fair. Talent rarely is the deciding factor there.
Q: I'm sure you get this question a lot but I've got to ask, if you could pick one dream match between two wrestlers in their prime from any time who would they be? Personally I would pick Bret Hart vs Kurt Angle because they both have great style and I think they would match up perfectly.
A: I’d rather have Bret Hart – Lance Storm. It would be awesome and I’d get to enjoy doing it and watching it.
Q: I'm a huge Kurt Angle fan and I always get in arguments with my friends over how good he is. My friends have a lower opinion of him now that he's in TNA and they don't think he should be considered a top guy any more. My question to you is, does Kurt Angle's name mean less now that he's in TNA and do you believe he's in the top 5 or 10 of current wrestlers?
A: Wrestling is art, just enjoy who you enjoy and don’t worry about what others think or where you think people should be ranked.
Q: I just watched the Invasion PPV and first I've gotta say you look great both physically and in the ring. But were you nervous at all since you had the opening match and this being your first WWF/WWE Pay Per View appearance. And do you remember how you felt the match came off? Thanks for all the memories; it was awesome hating you as a kid!
A: I almost never got nervous, and I don’t recall being nervous that night either. I was working with friends and was always confident in my abilities to do my job well.
Q: Why did Steve Austin not want to work with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18? Wouldn’t it have been stupid (if not selfish) for either of them to ever refuse working with each other?
A: You would have to ask them.
Q: I realize that there was no Twitter and Facebook when you were in WWE, but I keep hearing about talent not being allowed to Twitter/Tweet (God I can’t believe I'm even using these words) after midnight. My question is why would it even matter what time it is when one decides to Twitter or Tweet?
A: People tend to drink and party at night so late at night would be the time more stupid things get posted.
Q: Were you in the box seats at Wrestlemania 17 when they introduced WCW? And what was the overall mood in there? Did people feel like they had long term job security or were people on edge? Was the WCW talent into the matches? And were there any WWE employees in there with you?
A: I was there yes, and while I can’t speak for others I felt that I had good job security in WWE. We were brought in to be featured (at least on some level) at WrestleMania they obviously had plans for us. I enjoyed the show but found it difficult to watch TLC. I was too concerned for my friend’s health. At that point we were all WWE employees.
Q: In your last Q & A you said you would probably quit the business if you had to wrestle Mongo McMichael in a best of 5 series with an iron man match at the end. Was he a sloppy wrestler or difficult to deal with when laying out the match before hand?
A: I’ve never met the man, that was meant to be funny.
Q: When you were doing your fun dancing character, did they make you practice backstage or was that all on the fly, bust-a-move Lance?
A: They offered no help at all. Hurricane tried to help me out with a brief 3 Count Tutorial, but other than that I was on my own. Which pretty much tells me how much thought was put into this angle.
Q: Which wrestling ring did you prefer to work in? The smaller WCW ring with the cable, or the larger WWE ring with the ropes? Also, which ring was stiffer to take bumps on? I've noticed (from looking at DVD's) that the WCW ring sounded different from the WWE ring, when impact occurred. It made me wonder if that happened because one ring was stiffer than the other. Any truth to that?
A: I found them about the same to bump in but greatly preferred the bigger ring with real ropes.
Q: In Bret Hart's autobiography, he claims that Doug Dillinger would sleep on the job while fans stole Bret's jackets. Do you have any funny stories about Dillinger being derelict in his duties?
A: I don’t recall dealing with him much, so no.
Q: What do you think about Fedor Emelianenko and his decision not to sign with UFC?
A: I think it sucks; he is making less money (I believe) and denying fans the fights they really want to see.
Q: When and where are wrestlers (in WWE) able to practice? Do they often do so in the arenas before shows? If so, how often?
A: Believe it or not we don’t “practice” that much. The sport takes too much toll on your body to do extra bumps in practice.
Q: How do wrestlers feel when fans address them by previous ring names? For example, if I were to address William Regal as "Steven" is there a chance it would be perceived as devaluing his work under his current ring name or would it be viewed as a sign of appreciation for his earlier work?
A: He likely wouldn’t notice. Guys get used to answering to different names so things like that can go by unnoticed. In most cases the boys call you by the name they were first introduced to you, so there are likely some guys that call him Steven, William, Regal, or those who know him very well by his real name.
Q: In your previous commentaries, you said that TNA's Eric Young was too comedic for
your tastes. What do you think of his new 'serious' persona as the leader of World Elite?
A: I can’t get into him now because I’ve seen him as a joke for so long. With out a logic reason to explain why I’m supposed to take him seriously now, he is type cast as a joke to me, which is unfortunate because I like the guy.
Q: What was the title of your ECW entrance you used at Anarchy Rulz '99 and who is it
by? Always thought it was pretty sweet track
A: El Phantasmo and the Chicken Run BlastoRama by Rob Zombie.
Q: Have there been any non-Canadians that have trained in the Hart family dungeon that you know of?
A: Brian Pillman for one. Hell, Helen Hart was American so technically all the Hart brothers are ½ American.
Q: Back in February you wrote a commentary about Ricky Steamboat that was originally going to be about Randy Savage until you got sidetracked. Any chance we'll still see that Macho Man commentary?
A: No idea I don’t even recall what the original Savage idea was.
Q: I happen to like Sheamus. It may be too soon to give him the strap, but he looks unique that's for sure. One thing I wanted to ask. What did you think of the sick powerbomb on Jamie Noble?. I was uncomfortable about it and it seemed a bit excessive to me.
A: I didn’t like the power bomb on the floor. It looked too dangerous to me, especially in light of what we suspect and know about concussions.
Q: You've written on your website about wrestling in Europe early on in your career, My question is how big of a wrestling fan base is there over there?
A: WWE and TNA seem to draw very well over there so I guess the fan base is alive and well.
Q: Did you laugh as hard as I just did when on TNA they showed a limo driving to the arena for the better part of an hour that was supposedly caring Hogan and the first thing Hogan says is he has spent all day in the back with the boys?
A: That was one of many things I laughed at on Impact.
Q: What is the WWE's plan for having an Undertaker and Michaels WrestleMania rematch? It would be nearly impossible for them to top the match from last year and I doubt Michaels would be willing to do the job twice. Why would the WWE also have one of if not their most est. stars end the streak? What would this really gain?
A: I think they see the opportunity to offer a match fans know will be great and want to see. Streak and finish aside you know you will be getting an AWESOME rematch. Maybe they will surprise us and actually top last years.
Q: The January 4th episode of TNA, with all due respect to their promotion, I found eerily similar to WCW and how it brought in a lot of talent from WWE to generate ratings. Do you think TNA is on the right path as far as continually bringing in more past WWE stars?
A: They need to pull a rating and they did, in that respect it was the right path. Where they go now is the real key. It did not at first glance appear to be a great long term plan, but it’s too early to pass judgment, let’s give them a chance before condemning them.
Q: I noticed one thing that turns me off from watching TNA is the gimmicks being used by some of their wrestlers. Some of them are just bad imitations of already established WWE / WCW gimmicks (i.e. Shark Boy / Stone Cold, Beer Money / APA, Abyss / Mankind, and some guy doing a modified Macho Man gimmick). Do you think these types of gimmicks hurt TNA more than help them?
A: I never saw Beer Money as an attempt at being APA rip offs but see your point on the others. Copy Cat gimmicks as a general rule make you look second rate.