Q and A
March 3, 2011
Q: Do you know why Riley still carries a briefcase when he comes out?? They've got nothing to "cash in" anymore. I don't even think I've seen them use it to get a win either.
A: I think they just liked the visual and it gave him an object to hit people with if need be. I assumed the brief case was the case for the World Title and the idea was Miz made him carry it around. That said I would have had a back stage segment once where right before Miz came out to the ring they showed Riley open the case so Miz could take his belt out.
Q: What's so bad about real names? And what sense does it make to change the names if you're switching promotions? To me it just feels weird as I know a guy under one name and suddenly he's called Daniel Bryan.
A: WWE likes to own the names so that if you become a star in WWE you canít leave and use the name they built, elsewhere. I would imagine during the Monday Night Warís WWE took great comfort in knowing The Undertaker could not leave and be the Undertaker in WCW.
Q: Has anyone ever been seriously injured while training at Storm Wrestling Academy? What happened & were you present during the injury?
A: I am always present and no, nothing I would call serious has ever happened. A couple people have had to get stitches and we had one dislocated knee cap and the student wanted an ambulance rather than be driven to the hospital so we called him an ambulance. The Ambulance guys popped his knee cap back in place and he was training again the next day.
Q: Would you say that wrestling fans have become too cynical in recent years, or is their cynicism at all justified?
A: I donít think I know what the general views of wrestling fans are. The Internet community is a small cross section and people are more apt to voice complains than they are praise, so I donít think we have a fair view of the over all general opinion.
Q: I have recently read where Bret Hart says the guys backstage are boring. Can you describe some of the changes backstage that you have personally seen?
A: I wasnít around during Bretís era so it would be hard for me to comment. With all the drug and party stories you hear about the 80ís and 90ís I would imagine the locker room of today does seem dull. You could also probably use the term professional.
Q: I recently saw a video on YouTube where The Sandman returned to ECW following his stint with WCW in 1999 during a match you were involved in. The crowd reaction still blows me away even after repeat viewings, and I was curious if you can recall your own thoughts on the whole angle (Sandman just 'appearing 'on the balcony) and the way the crowd just seemingly went nuts for him.
A: Yeah the crowd reaction was amazing. Sandman was a MEGA star in ECW and his return pop was off the charts. He was also in great shape at the time.
Q: Do you have any religious beliefs? Why or why not?
A: Iím a believer in keeping oneís religious beliefs private.
Q: What are the long-term effects of the hits and strikes (i.e. punches and kicks to the head, body, etc.) suffered by athletes in the UFC and MMA?
A: You should be asking doctors, Iíve never competed in MMA, nor do I have a medical degree.
Q: Often-times when some wrestlers would win a title match, they'd be shown crying or at least having tears in their eyes afterwards. How legit is this? I can understand it if it like with a boxing match or MMA match or whatever when the winner has worked hard for a long time to get this far, thereby having all that emotion. But what about in pro-wrestling (which has the results pre-determined)?
A: Like Iíve said many times, questions like this canít be answered, because everyone is different. Some guys might simply be ďworkingĒ the emotion while others genuinely get emotional. Predetermined or not generally speaking (more so in the past than today) getting a World Title run is a legit huge accomplishment. You still have to work hard enough, get good enough, get over enough, to earn the respect of those in charge to they point where the belief is you are the best choice to hold that top spot. With a guy like Eddie who was told for years he was likely too small to even be in wrestling, certainly too small to push or be a big star, getting to the point where he was accepted and respected enough in his field to be World Champ was a real accomplishment.
Q: No matter what I've always seen you as a serious guy. Is there anything that makes you laugh? Do you have a short temper?
A: I laugh often, and I would not consider my temper particularly short.
Q: What is your favorite food and drink (alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic)?
A: I donít drink alcohol at all, so milk would likely be my favourite drink or perhaps now Tim Hortonís coffee. As for food, who knows? My wife is an awesome cook so there are a dozen things she makes, which would qualify as a favourite.
Q: Any thoughts on the big return of the Rock on RAW? And any good Rock stories?
A: Rock was awesome on RAW. Rockís a great guy and an amazing talent. Not sure I have any Rock stories of note.
Q: Since you live a very disciplined lifestyle with your eating habits, when you were on the road, can you describe a typical meal (other than generic terms such as high protein, no fat, limited carbs)? Also, when you were on the road, did you prefer "sit down style" restraunts or fast food?
A: On the road I hit a lot of diners and I frequented Cracker Barrel all the time. For breakfast I pretty much had the same thing all the time, and the boys would rib me because I always ordered it the same way. Edge, Christian, and Don Callis do a great impression of this: ďEight egg whites made like an omelet with turkey, made as dry as humanly possible, No butterĒ I would also generally get a couple pancakes again no butter. I didnít worry too much about carbs since I was so active. At Cracker Barrel they had awesome Grilled Chicken Tenderloin. If I had to eat fast food, Iíd try to do Boston Market and get Turkey, or in a pinch Wendyís and I would order the Grilled Chicken sandwich plain, just the chicken and the bun, and Iíd usually not bother eating the bun. Iíd use the bun just to hold the chicken.
Q: Do you think that getting a time slot on a major cable channel (since the HDNet contract is up) would hurt the Ring of Honor product much like it did to ECW when it began on TNN? If you were in charge, how would you distinguish the ROH product differently than what is currently on television?
A: If they got a good deal on a major channel I think that would be great. As for distinguishing the product, you wouldnít have to do anything, their product is very different already. ROH is a WRESTLING show, with logical booking and great wrestling matches.
Q: I've read your workout theory, and I have a few questions. I find that a lot of people work out their chest and triceps on the same day because of the fact that most chest exercises work the triceps also. With that said, is there a reason the you work out chest and biceps on the same day? Also, what is your advice on supplements for someone in his early 20s who's in fairly good shape and works out regularly?
A: My advice on supplements is donít bother, just eat well and train hard, why spend the money? I sometimes did Chest and triceps on the same day but I found with my schedule I generally only got to train each body part once a week so doing Chest and Biceps allowed me to do biceps really hard and heavy (they arenít pre exhausted from doing back first) that day and they still got a mild work out later in the week when I did back. I just feel I can hit the smaller muscles harder when they are fresh.
Q: Thoughts on the Undertaker inside and outside of the ring.
A: Great guy in both environments. Heís an amazing talent, one of the easiest guys to work with and a pleasant easy going guy back stage.
Q: In a pure amateur wrestling match against Brock vs Kurt angle; according to you who would win and why?
A: Silly question and are you talking now or in their respective primes? Now I think itís an easy win for Brock, Kurtís neck is a mess, and Brock is likely 50+ pounds bigger.
Q: What was the heaviest you've ever weighed?
A: I was 228 lbs for maybe a month, and that was coming off a shoulder injury working in Japan and the time I hit 26 and my metabolism was slowing down. By my standards I was fat. I changed my diet at that point and dropped back down to 216. With the exception of that short period (228 lbs) and a couple months in Europe when I was pinching pennies and not eating much (208 lbs) I spend my entire career between 215 Ė 220 pounds.
Q: Cena was so OVER during his "Rapper" gimmick days, but now with the "Marine" gimmick he gets booed by certain fans. Do you agree that the fans want a "badass" for a champion (ex. stone cold, the rock) instead of a "goody two shoes"?
A: I donít think itís a case of bad ass vs. goody two shoes. In my opinion the fans that started booing him did so when he won the World Title and started being the #1 guy. I could be wrong but wasnít a lot of the Rapper stuff when he was US Champ? I think the hardcore wrestling fans balked a bit when he was put in the top World Title spot because they didnít respect his work enough to accept him as the World Champ.
Q: Imagine when you were in WWE and the office booked you a match with HBK (baby face wwe champion) and you were a hated anti-American heel. HBK told you to come up with a finish and let him know. What kind of finish would you pick?
A: Things arenít this simple. Who is getting the win? Where are we going from here? And by finish do you mean the entire long finish or just the finishing move? Also with a guy like Shawn it would be a process of brain storming with each other to create what would work best. If you want a simple answer the finish would be he superkicks me 1..2..3.
Q: First off I love your WrestleMania review series. My question is after watching WM 14 match of Austin vs. HBK with HBK coming into the match with a badly broken back and then after the match not wrestling for quite awhile. Is have you ever gutted out a match with injury, and being in HBK shoes would you have went through it?
A: I have gutted out several tough matches. I would also offer that you shouldnít always accept everything you see or hear as fact. Iím not accusing Shawn of anything in that particular match because I wasnít there, but some guys have been known to ďsellĒ that they are in ďlegitĒ bad shape so they come off like heroes for ďguttingĒ out a performance.
Q: How did you feel about the Rock coming out on Raw and completely burying the WWE's top baby face despite the fact that Rock has said he won't wrestle again and thus, there is no payoff other than the Rock getting himself over at someone else's expense?
A: I think you have to wait and see where it goes. Rock has always gotten others over in the long run and I think Cenaís Rap rebuttal the following week was a strong follow up for him. This past weeks Rock segment was again really strong so letís see where it goes. You assume there is no pay off but why not give it time and see where it goes. The rating has jumped considerably since Rock cut the promo and John hasnít rolled over and played dead yet.
Q: Over the years Ric Flair, Chris Jericho and others have had many expensive looking suits ripped to shreds in the ring. I know that a wrestler is responsible for their own ring gear, but when they come out in street clothes and they get ruined, is that their own clothing or part of a company's wardrobe?
A: You want to be a star you got to be willing to pay the price.
Q: One of the most intimidating looking wrestlers I have ever seen is Scott Norton. Every time he came out it looked like he would (as Mike Tyson once said) "eat your children". Have you met him/wrestled him, and if so what are your thoughts of him? Also, why do you think he was a Vader-level main eventer in Japan, but only mid-card in the States?
A: I donít recall ever meeting Scott Norton but Iíve heard a lot about him from mutual friends and he is apparently a great guy. I think his ability to look like he would, as you say, eat your children, is from his ability to, if he wanted to, to eat your children. I think he was a bigger star in Japan because that style just suited him better. Japan was not as dependant on promos and had a more physical style. I think a more solid physical style better suited Scott Norton.
Q: What's your feelings regarding the importance of good referees? Watching older matches, refs were like the equivalent of the Greek chorus reacting to the drama in matches. Nowadays, refs don't seem to react to anything and only serve the purpose of counting every now and then. Watching your match against Angle, Charles Robinson was selling the match right along with you guys.
A: A good ref is very important; they can be a big asset in a match. Charles is great. I loved working with Nick Patrick too.
Q: I notice that Bruce Hart has just released a Ďtell allí book about growing up Hart and his time in wrestling. Do you plan on reading it? On a related note, did you ever read Diana Smithís book ďUnder the MatĒ?
A: I tried to read Dianaís book (I was sent a copy by someone) but couldnít get through it. I thought it was very poor and tapped out after maybe a chapter or two. I donít imagine I will read Bruceís book either.
Q: Any personal or professional thoughts or opinions on WWE announcer Josh Matthews?
A: I always got along with Josh and really like him as a person. I think he does a pretty solid job announcing too.
Q: When it comes to angles involving a wrestlerís actual personal life, (for instance: Michael Cole bringing up Jerry Lawlerís recently deceased mother to get heat) is there a common process for how this idea is pitched? Would Creative get the affected partyís blessing first or would that person just have to go with it regardless of how they feel about the idea?
A: Like I keep saying, it all depends on who we are talking about. With someone like Jerry I would imagine he suggested it or at the very least Okayed it. When it came time to plan the promo creative likely went to Jerry and said, people know about your Mother passing so I think we have to mention it, how far can we go and what would you be comfortable with us saying?
Q: You were stink faced by Rikishi once, correct? Was it one of the most horrific indignities you've ever suffered? Even protecting most of your face in his trunks seems like the grossest situation to find yourself in especially since it was usually after he had wrestled or near the end of the match.
A: Really itís no big deal. You close your eyes and your mouth and hope for the best. Itís not like you can say no, Steph and Vince have both taken it. Thankfully Rikishi is a considerate and clean person
Q: Of course there are rumors that The Undertaker will lose this year at WrestleMania. Do you think that The Undertaker should ever lose at WrestleMania, and if you do who should be lose to?
A: There was a time when I thought he should lose, in order to make someone off beating the Steak, but at this point Iím more than fine with him retiring at 20-0 or whatever number he gets too.
Q: What's your opinion of TNA bringing in Hogan and Bischoff?
A: I donít think ratings or buy rates have changed much (actually I think buy rates have dropped considerably), so if it cost the company a lot to bring them in, I doubt TNA has made a return on their investment. Iíve been saying the same thing for years; bring people in is not the solution, TNA has had more than enough talent for years now. Getting rid of the people behind creative is the way to improve TNA.
Q: Have you ever ran a 1/2 marathon or marathon race?
A: Nope, I hate distance running.
Q: What is your favourite genre of movies, books, TV shows and music?
A: TV shows I lean towards comedy, Big Bang Theory being my current favourite. Books, I like action thrillers, or mysteries. Movies, Iíd again go comedy or occasionally drama. I used to like action films but I donít think they make good ones any more.
Q: What is the best/worst movie you have ever watched?
A: I can never pick best anything, there are a lot of movies Iíve liked over the years, and Iíd say the same for worst, there have been a lot of movies I thought were crap.
Q: If pro wrestling isnít a ďrealĒ sport, then why do promotions need to go through athletic commissions to sanction their events?
A: It has to be governed by someone and itís still VERY athletically based.
Q: What was it like to wrestle against Sting on Nitro ten years ago?
A: I really enjoyed it, although I would have liked it more a second time once I got a feel for how he worked. Flair offered me a great compliment after the match, and no I wonít tell you what he said.
Q: At what point in your career did you feel that you had ďmade it?Ē
A: Iíve never really thought about it, I signed my first 6 figure contract in ECW so maybe then.
Q: At what point in your career did you start getting recognized in public on a consistent basis?
A: I first stated getting recognized in public in 1991 when I started working local TV in Calgary. That went away quickly once I was off TV; Likely not again until WCW, because most of my time in ECW I wasnít on TV in Calgary.
Q: Have you ever accidently signed ďLance StormĒ instead of Lance Evers when signing a check or a credit card bill? Or have you ever accidently signed Lance Evers for a fan instead of signing ďLance Storm?Ē
A: Oh yeah, thankfully both signatures are for the most part a scribbley mess.
Q: Where did you ultimately watch WrestleMania X8 after your match on Heat?
A: I assume I found a monitor back stage, but I honestly donít remember.
Q: Was it bittersweet to be wrestling on Heat before WrestleMania X8, but to not actually be on the WrestleMania X8 card?
A: At that point there were so many guys on the roster, I was just thrilled to get on the show and wrestle in Skydome.
Q: How often did you run into fans in your career that took wrestling a little too seriously, or even thought wrestling was real?
A: What kind of answer are you looking for here? I didnít count but it happens.
Q: Are WWE wrestlers free to change their physical appearance as long as it doesn't conflict with a storyline? For example, if Stevie Richards wanted to grow out a beard during his tenure with the company, would his status as being on the lower card require him to get permission to do so, or could he do it no questions asked?
A: Again it all depends who you are, but as a general rule you should not change your appearance without checking with someone ahead of time. Something like growing a beard or growing your hair out, wouldnít be a big deal because if he showed up with a weeks growth and they didnít like it you could just shave or cut your hair again. If he had a beard and wanted to shave it you should check first, because itís not like you can grow it back if they wanted it.
Q: Reading over several Q & A commentaries from a few years back, I saw multiple instances where you stated that you didn't think John Morrison would ever do as well as a singles competitor as he could have with MNM. In light of his recent flirtation with the main event
scene, has your opinion on the matter changed?
A: I donít even recall saying that. I could see saying, at the time, I think he is better off in the team than he would be in singles. I doubt I would have said he WOULD NEVER do well as a single. I think John is doing great, that said go back and look at MNM at the time they were one of the best tag teams to come along in years.
Q: When you were still actively competing, if a fan had told you that they had a good idea for a spot/move, would you have bothered to listen to them?
A: Depends on who the fan was and how the subject was brought up. If a fan just ran up to me and said hey Iíve got a great idea for a spot, Iíd roll my eyes and ignore him. To me that would be like me running up to Chris Rock and saying, ďOh hey Iíve got a great joke you can useĒ The guy is a professional comedian, where do I get off telling him a joke he should tell.
Q: On a similar note, if you came up with an idea for a spot/move that you felt was good but didn't fit your own personal style, would it be acceptable for you to "offer" it to another wrestler or would that be frowned upon?
A: This Iíve done, and conversely I would listen to a worker I respected if he suggested something to me.
Q: Before an MMA fighter goes into battle, the cut man rubs a Vaseline substance on the fighter's face. What's the purpose of it?
A: It prevents cuts, because the gloves will slide a bit rather than tear the skin.
Q: What are your thoughts on Jericho being on Dancing with the stars?
A: I think heís got a chance. Granted Iíve never seen him dance, but heís a disciplined athlete, used to putting together athletically demanding routines, heís used to performing in front of a live crowd and being a showman, and the dude is a singer in a band and should have some musicality.