Q and A
March 25, 2011
Q: Jericho mentions in his book the famous nightmare many wrestlers get about having their music hit and they are still scrambling around trying to get their gear on. Have you ever had this dream yourself?
A: Yup, had it several times, havenít got the gear on yet or donít have all your gear in your bag.
Q: What would it mean for you to have one of your students wrestle at WrestleMania?
A: It will be great, although it has sort of already happened. Many of the guys I worked with in developmental when I was the trainer in OVW have worked WrestleMania. I pretty much trained Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Lashley from scratch and they have both worked Mania.
Q: It seems that most serious injuries occur during normal matches, as opposed to seemingly more dangerous gimmick matches. Do you think this is because of statistical likelihood (there are far more regular matches than gimmick matches) or do guys go into the gimmick matches
being overly cautious because of the seemingly greater risk of injury?
A: I think itís the numbers games. 90 percent of matches over your career are regular matches so chances are those will be the ones you get hurt in.
Q: Again about the ring-names: I understand why it's useful to have the ring-name as a registered trademark, but then I don't understand why they're not doing this with everyone? I mean, it's a bit late now to rename John Cena and I understand that this means quite the significant risk, right? Even though it's pretty unlikely that Cena will ever leave WWE but they didn't know that when they signed him, so why didn't they give him a new name? Were there changing policies over time or is it just a matter of preference by whoever signs the talent?
A: There was a time when WCW was dead and there was no visible competition on the horizon so WWE didnít worry about it any more. I think after several guys left and joined TNA, WWE has gotten back to giving everyone new names. Changing Cenaís name now would be idiotic.
Q: I recently watched the Rise and Fall of WCW DVD, specifically your match with Booker T for the title. I thought it was a very good match, however, the match had Mike Awesome on commentary and a stupid storyline with a fat girl who got sandwiches instead of the donuts she wanted?! It seemed incredible that this got as much air time as it did considering it was during a world title match. Anyway, my question is, where you told about this beforehand? If so did you and Booker have to ok it or did you only find out after and how did you feel?
A: We were told ahead of time but we had no say in the matter. I agree it was horrible but this was during the Vince Russo era and fat chick jokes took precedence over World Title matches under his watch. This match should have been a very hyped Main Event match, unfortunately there was a PPV match between Awesome and I that they wanted to promote in a comic fashion instead.
Q: Did you get to keep the Power Rangers briefs from the Edge and Christian segment or did you have to hand them over to someone after it was finished?
A: I kept them and gave them to a friend who wanted a rare collectable. They were custom made by WWE seamstresses. They wanted to just buy a pair but they donít make them in menís large sizes, so they had to buy menís white briefs and 2 pair of Power Rangers kidís underwear and then cut out the pictures and stitch them to the menís briefs.
Q: After you reminded us that Vince and Stephanie McMahon have taken the Stink Face, It made me wonder... Does Mr. McMahon give the impression backstage that he is willing to do any of the sillier things he and creative have pro wrestler do, no mater how humiliating it may seem, if it makes sense for the storyline going on? For example, if for whatever reason they felt it logical for Vince to adopt something similar to the Dancin' Lance, or the Spirit Squad gimmicks, he would have done it in a heartbeat? Also if thatís the case, does that help some wrestlers actually agree with the sillier rolls because they know that their boss would have done it if it needed to happen?
A: I believe Vince would do absolutely anything, regardless how silly or embarrassing, on TV if he thought it would be good for the show. Vince does use himself as an example if need be to convince others they should go along with what ever is asked of them. Vince has taken the Stink Face, and pissed his pants on national TV, how are you supposed to complain and say you think anything is too embarrassing to do yourself?
Q: Do you know how the theme music side of the WWE is run? I believe a guy named Jim Johnston is supposed to be a WWE composer, and sometimes they get rock bands and rappers (or the wrestlers themselves) to perform theme... But sometimes I hear music I recognize as wrestling themes a lot in other programs. Mickie James's first theme, The Hardy Boyz' theme, The Holly Cousin's theme for example. Do you know if these were created by the WWE and then later sold as stock or were those stock music all along. PS, I've even heard your "Hit The Clubs" rap theme on an episode of an animated comedy TV show called "Stroker and Hoop". Do they tell you if that theme, or any of your other themes, were stock music or composed by WWE people?
A: Huge question, short answer: I have no idea.
Q: Did kayfabe ever work for you and if so, when and how did it end?
A: If you mean as a fan did I ever ďbelieveĒ, no. My dad hated wrestling when I was a kid, and would not even let me watch it because it was, and I quote, ď a bunch of fake bullshitĒ. His all but forbidding me from watching may have peaked my interest and got me watching but I was always aware that it was a work.
Q: I was just watching a clip of you in WCW when you accomplished the "hat trick" and right after you accomplished that fairly notable achievement, Nash comes and pretty much just killed any momentum you built but interrupting your "celebration" or your moment at least and boots you in the face for no reason. What was the reason for that? By 2000 I had already stopped watching WCW mainly because it was the same people at the top for the past 5 years and it got stale and the people I liked to watch in WCW jumped ship to WWF at that time. Did you have any personal feeling about that moment or were you just looking at it as just a part of you job?
A: I just answered this one not too long ago. I assume it was done to send the message that I was NOT a Main Eventer. This kind of thing was done all the time back in WCW. If a young guy was starting to get over, those in the top spots would book something to cut their legs off. That is what this segment was and I just accepted it and did what I was told. It served no purpose other than to damage me. Nash was not more over for doing the segment and it never went any where so it wasnít an angle. This was just another step in the death of WCW.
Q: How close was WCW's ring to the entrance ramp? It looks really close and their overall presentation made everything look like it was very tight quarters compared to WWF events held in the same venues.
A: I have no idea, itís was 10 years ago, I donít recall the exact distance between the ring and the ramp.
Q: What are you thoughts on Mike Tenay? I was looking back at some Dean Malenko matches in his WCW career and Tenay put over the Cruiser Weight division BIG time. He knew all the moves and or at least was able to explain whatever move was happening in the ring with the Cruiser Weights and I think he should get some recognition to the work he did with putting that division over and not treating it like a time filler or spot to plug more NWO members coming up next.
A: Mike was great and really tried hard to get over the product.
Q: How did you end up with all those banners and aprons in you school? Did you just request them when they were done with them? Did you have to pay to get those shipped out to you? Did you have to request them at the time of the event before they threw them out? I always wondered about stuff like that because I think one of WWE's developmental spots has a bunch of old banners in the background of their shows.
A: It just pays to have friends in high places.
Q: I was reading a part in Bret Hartís book over the weekend about his match with The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith at Summer Slam 92. Bret mentions that Davey Boy got to the ring and confessed to Bret that he was drawing a nervous blank and couldnít remember anything they had planned for this big IC title match. Bret claims he had to walk Davey through the whole match. Has something similar ever happened during your career??
A: Iíve carried a lot of guys through matches but never had anyone specifically say, I forgot everything before we started. Generally when I worked with guys who were not the best at remembering stuff they would just ask me ahead of time to ďTalk to me out there, Iím not going to remember all of thisĒ and I would. The first time I worked with Randy Orton (I think it was his first WWE TV match) was on HEAT, and I knew the office wanted guys to learn to work and not just plan their matches so once we got our finish I refused to talk over anything else or to get in the ring with him during the day to get a feel for each other. I just told him, ďIíll call it out there, weíll be fine.Ē I think he was nervous as hell, but I wanted to test him a bit and had faith heíd be fine. The match went great, even when he was green Randy had talent.
Q: Is there any room in todayís wrestling business for wrestlers who are 5í 8Ē. If not, do you know any good referee schools?
A: There are guys in WWE that small, not many but some. If you want to come to Calgary Iíll train you to be a wrestler or a referee.
Q: What did you make of Triple H's promo upon his return to RAW recently?
A: I thought it was great with the exception of the one line about looking around the locker room and not seeing any challenges. True or not I donít think that line should have been said.
Q: I just read about your 4 SWA students being signed with the WWE developmental and how two of them were female. Do you ever have any concerns with how they might get used by the WWE?
A: These girls are adults and can take care of themselves, and Iím just happy for them and wish them the best.
Q: What has been the strangest question you've ever been asked for a Q&A?
A: I donít know about strange, but the question above about my female students was almost a small novel and I had to delete 80% of it because the guy went on for EVER. I really donít like when guys ask questions and then spend two paragraphs or more explaining their take on the subject. No offense but if I wanted their take on a subject Iíd go to their website and ask them questions.
Q: Have you ever been proven wrong about a rookieís ability? Have you ever had the opinion of a person starting out in the business that they would never make it but went gone on to making the grade?
A: Not yet no.
Q: When is your reality show airing and on what channel?
A: May 1st on ďThe CaveĒ nation wide in Canada. Each episode with air a couple times each week but I think the original airing time is 5pm EST on Sundays starting May 1st. You can keep up to date on the show on the shows website; there is a link on my links page. www.wohtv.com
Q: I was 16 when you started in WCW in the summer of 2000, that was my first major exposure to you, and it was amazing sir. I completely marked out when you hit the springboard kick. I didn't get a chance to follow the shows as much through the rest of WCW's run, but I was happy to see you and Mike Awesome team up. My question is, what was it like to see a man that size pull off the things he did in a ring? And I know this is personal, was there any tension between you for how he left ECW?
A: Mike was a good athlete no doubt but he wasnít as big as you think. I think he was only about 6í4Ē. Mike and I didnít have any tension. I knew and understood why he left, and wished him well. Mike and I always got along and were friends. I miss him.
Q: In one of the past Q&As someone asked how much you paid your daughter for helping format the questions. Did you check if that was a real email, or a plant by her? I know that's what I'd have done, and you have said she is a very bright girl.
A: She is a bright girl which is why I know it wasnít her. What did it accomplish? Nothing. I pay her what I pay here and asking about it in a public forum isnít going to change that.
Q: I'm midway through "Undisputed" and loving it. Jericho realizes early on that there's a style difference between WWE and WCW matches and attempts to make the change, but he never defines the difference aside from saying WWE is more structured. How would you define the difference? Did you have as much trouble as him adapting to the WWE style when you came over?
A: I didnít find there was a difference, other than matches in WCW when I was there were shorter. Jericho and I made the transition to WWE at different stages in our careers, and perhaps I adapted better than he did because I never really had difficulty adapting to minor differences in style any where I went.
Q: In your WMX7 commentary you mentioned how Benoit ignoring the fans during his match turned you off. Ever since Benoit's death that's something I've been missing from wrestling because it gave him a BELIEVABLE no nonsense personality that i could identify with. Why would someone in the middle of a fight pay attention and gesture to the spectators.
A: There is a lot of ground between playing the crowd and ignoring the crowd. As for realism I just watched a Jon Jones MMA fight from early in his career and he actually looked at the crowd and pumped his fist after an awesome belly to belly throw. Getting excited and reacting to thousands of people around you is only natural.
Q: In you're workout theory section, you go over your basic diet and you've touched on it in answering other dietary/workout questions. One thing I've noticed missing, fruits and vegetables? Do you make a point of consuming fruits and veggies, or maybe you just don't eat a whole of lot of them?
A: I eat a lot of fruits and vegetable, I eat vegetables with my meals and fruit as snacks. To me they are a given and go without saying, and they arenít something I alter in my diet for the sake of training, so I didnít mention them.
Q: Did your wife ever find a particular wrestler attractive past or present? Aside from yourself of course.
A: I would assume so, I find it hard to believe out of the hundred or so wrestlers she has seen she didnít find any of them attractive.
Q: What is Jericho's real height? Sometime's he looks taller and sometime he looks short.
A: I think heís 5í 10Ē.
Q: Do you think the terrible Michael Cole commentary has been worth it to build towards Cole vs Lawler at Wrestlemania?
A: I think they could have done the build without it, but at least the pay off should be great.
Q: Which of the Wrestlemania matches are you most looking forward to so far?
A: Lawler vs. Cole.
Q: Let's say an MMA fighter wins a championship but doesn't feel like he deserved to win the fight. Does the winner technically have the right to deny having the championship? Not that I think the winner would deny taking home the title but still...
A: Why are you asking me this question? You donít even think it would ever happen, and I have nothing to do with the MMA business.
Q: When I first watched the "Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior" DVD, I remember Hogan saying that when Warrior came to WCW in 98 and they were building up to their match at Halloween havoc, and Hogan said that Warrior mentioned on the mic how he beat Hogan in 1990 at WM 6. Hogan was furious and said Warrior just ruined the entire storyline. Iím confused, and maybe it's just me... but I don't see how that would ruin the match, wouldn't it add to the story because it's now "the ultimate rematch" ? What are your thoughts?
A: Yes Hoganís comment was ridiculous. The whole point to bringing Warrior in was that he was the one guy Hogan never beat and had in fact beat Hogan clean. It didnít just make the story better, it WAS the story. The DVD was supposed to be a burial so Hogan was just trying to make stuff up to bury the guy and didnít think this through very well. A lot of the stuff on that DVD didnít make sense, but guys were told to bury Warrior so they did, even if they had to make stuff up.
Q: Do you know what made Ted Turner accept WWEís offer to buy out WCW? And do you think that point where either WWE buys TNA or Dixie just gives up on TNA will ever happen?
A: From my understanding Ted Turner had become a minor partner in the whole AOL Time Warner company and no longer had any say in the matter. Those in charge wanted to dump WCW and without a TV time slot, Bischoff wasnít an option so they sold to WWE. If TNA ever shuts down I would think WWE would be top bidder for the video library.
Q: If the Undertaker's streak where to end at some point, wouldnít it make sense for a younger star to end it like Sheamus or Wade Barrett to put them over instead Triple H who doesnít need to get over.
A: Yes, but I donít think HHH or anyone else is ending it so the point is mute.
Q: I was wondering, how many students have you trained at Stormwrestling Academy since you started it and what are the youngest and oldest ages of the students you've had there?
A: 18 is the youngest allowed and Iíve had several 18 year olds. 31 is the oldest student Iíve had. As for total number Iím not sure exactly but if you go with approx. 12 students a session over 17 session Iím just over 200.
Q: How many of the other boys in the locker room were big readers during your career I work in a male dominated profession also, and find it rare when I find a colleague mentions they too are a prolific reader since usually we just talk about sports.
A: There were quite a few, but in an industry where you spend a lot of time sitting in airports and on planes I think we are more apt to be readers, especially those of us old enough to be pre iPods, PSPs, and portable DVD players. Kane and Jericho were big readers, as was Mike Awesome.
Q: What's your opinion of Dolph Ziggler's 11 minute World Title reign? In terms of getting back to the main event scene do you think having won and lost the title so quickly will help or hurt him in the long run?
A: I love Dolph but hated this angle. I didnít think it helped him at all and it damaged the credibility of the title.
Q: Have you watched any shoot interviews?
A: Not many. When you know the boys you realize very few of them ever truly SHOOT, and even those who do, Iíve likely already heard the story in person.
Q: Has a fan ever given you an extravagant gift or worked on something that was a tribute to you?
A: There was one guy who did AWESOME tribute videos which he sent me. He did ones from Japan, ECW, WCW, and WWE. Another guy made Best of DVDs of my time in ECW and WCW that were awesome. I was very grateful for both.
Q: Do you think it's the wrestling fans who have the problem? We all complain about the current product and what they need to do to make it better, but maybe the majority of the fans who watch WWE are sports entertainment fans and enjoy watching superstars who all have the same look, scripted promos, gimmick pay per views and illogical booking with tons of ref bumps and run ins.WWE is making more money than anyone else on the planet, so maybe we are the one who are wrong.
A: I think as fans you are entitled to your opinion, if you are unhappy voice your opinion. I doubt it will accomplish anything but if it makes you feel better have at it.
Q: Al Snow has repeatedly said that Hogan vs. Andre was the best match at WrestleMania III because 93,000 people paid to see Andre vs. Hogan, not to see Savage vs. Steamboat. Do you agree with that train of thought?
A: I paid to see Savage vs. Steamboat and bought the video tape so Iíd have a copy of the Savage Steamboat match because I thought it was awesome. I think it comes down to a silly point of what you mean by ďbestĒ. Itís like the silly argument over who is the ďbestĒ worker. It comes down to what criteria you are judging by. Who cares what Al Snow says and for that matter who cares what I say. The best match for you is the one YOU liked the most.
Q: Have seen the footage or at least heard about the Jeff Hardy debacle at the last TNA PPV. If you have what is your opinion on this situation? To me he looked blitzed out of his mind. Do you think it was a work? If he was on something did TNA make a huge mistake by allowing him to go to the ring?
A: I do not believe it was a work, and if Jeff was intoxicated or impaired in any way that night he should have been fired on the spot. There is nothing more unprofessional than going into the ring in a diminished state where you are putting yourself and more importantly your opponent at risk. If it was Sting that put his foot down and refused to work with him, then I have even more respect for Sting than I did before. If Jeff was messed up someone needs to force that man into rehab before we are all mourning another loss.