Q and A
April 16, 2011
Q: Here's something I've always wondered: how did Canadian fans back in the '80s feel about Iron Mike Sharpe? Did you root for the guy? Resent him for so obviously not being Canada's Greatest Athlete (even as a kid, I was pretty sure that was Wayne Gretzky)? And finally, did you ever get the chance to meet him?
A: I never met Iron Mike. I always got a kick out of him as one of the few ďsquashĒ guys you remembered. I was always told he was a work out freak and would run stairs or do free squats for hours after the shows. I was even told one (not sure if itís actually true) that he was training so late that they closed the building and locked him inside one night.
Q: Do you prefer reading stand alone books or ones that are part of a series?
A: I like series books. Once I get into good characters, I like to be able to read more about them. Iíve read a ton of great series books. Matthew Scudder, Bernie Rodenbarr, Keller, Parker, John Dortmunder, Stephanie Plum, Jack Reacher, Repairman Jack, Elvis Cole, Atticus Kodiak, Frank Corso, Joe Kurtz, Johnny Wylde, Spenser, Sunny Randle, Jesse Stone, Artemis Fowl, and Jack Daniels to name a few.
Q: How come Benoit, Guerrero, Saturn, and Malenko were able to leave WCW appear on WWE TV almost instantly and not wait out a 90 day time period like other wrestlers who ask for & receive their release?
A: Depends on their contract status and the condition of their release. WCW did a lot of stupid things they may have given them unconditional releases.
Q: How do you think Vince feels about Jericho talking about in his book how Vince chewed him out early in his career, the lack of support he was given during his Undisputed title reign, talking about how Vince low-balled him on WrestleMania cheque (even though he made it right afterwards), and Vince chewing him out again after Summer slam when he was left off RAW the next night? Even though Chris repeats his respect over and over again in the book for Vince, I donít know if Vince comes off in the best light.
A: I think Vince would be more than fine with the book; Vince is a pretty confident guy I cantí see him sweating this at all.
Q: Now that youíve been involved in booking for a while, has it changed your opinions of any of the bookers that you worked for in the past?
A: The booking of a monthly Indy is nothing like booking a weekly TV show. I took part in that in ECW so my opinions havenít changed much over the years when it comes to bookers or the way to book.
Q: Do you have any thoughts on Austin Aries? One of the very best wrestling talents in the world in my opinion who seems to be somewhat underrated.
A: I hate the term underrated. Most people consider him to be very talented so what is underrated. I think if you said he has not achieved the success or notoriety you think he deserves than that would be a more accurate statement of your opinion. Aries is a very small guy, and while that sucks and is not always fair, it is a matter of fact in this business. Itís hard to make it on the ďBig StageĒ if you will, when you are Austinís size. He is certainly a better worker than many people who have made it to WWE, but that is but one criteria for success in this business.
Q: I was just wondering if you got as upset as I did in the past couple of weeks when Michael Cole interrupted the women's matches on RAW. I know that WWE doesn't really care about the women's division, but I personally still appreciate the efforts they put forth. To have a non-wrestler interrupt their match to hype his match against The King (also a non-wrestler at this stage in his career) made me sick.
A: I did find it very disrespectful, and it made me angry in the wrong way. I think Cole had plenty of heat already and they didnít need to bury the women this way since it never went anywhere. Keep in mind my anger here is not directed at Cole personally, just with the booking decision, because I think it hurt more than it helped.
Q: I HATE doing legs at the gym but I do them anyway. Iím always sore for almost a week --- in time to do it all over again. Do you still do legs? What do you do for legs these days if you do?
A: I still train legs yes, but what I do changes a lot. I usually do squats on the Smith machine, Leg Press of some kind. Hamstring curls and occasionally straight legged dead lifts.
Q: Even though he almost always competed as a heel, I have heard that out of the ring Bobby Eaton is one of the nicest guys in wrestling. Do you agree, and who would you say are the nicest people in the business?
A: Unfortunately Iíve never met Bobby Easton (I was a huge fan of his work) so I canít really comment on him. Iíve never heard anyone do anything but praise the guy though so I have no doubt he is a great guy. There are a ton of great people in the business, too many to name really.
Q: I'm really not trying to be a smartass here, but why are smaller wrestling promotions referred to as "independent"? What exactly are these promotions independent of?
A: They are Independent of everything I guess. I assume this term stems from back in the NWA days when territories might be affiliated with the NWA as an example. If you werenít a full time territory with an affiliation you would be classed as an Independent. Now pretty much everyone outside of WWE and TNA would be classed as an Indy. None of their talent would be under contract so everyone is working Independently of each other.
Q: Reading your PWA update, I see the picture of you with the Dudleys. Bubba looks fantastic! Are my eyes tricking me or did he lose a bunch of weight? If so, did you guys talk about it at all? How did he shed the pounds?
A: He has dropped weight, but we didnít really talk about it, I just said, ďDamn you look greatĒ, and I think he said ďThanksĒ
Q: I've recently had the pleasure of getting to know one of your former students Nick Madrid in the past few months in my work with the NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood promotion. Could you tell me a little bit about Nick's time up in your camp and what you think his prospects are for the future?
A: I really like Nick and enjoyed working with him. I hate getting into what his prospects are because this business can really be a crap shoot. There are so many variables that who is to know how successful someone might be. Nick is a great guy, who keeps in touch and I wish him the best.
Q: Do you think that being Canadian (as opposed to American) helped or hindered your career? Reasons being that wrestling is more popular in Canada than the US and Canadians have always considered Canadians as one of their own regardless of where in Canada they are from, whereas Americans only count guys from the same immediate area as hometown guys. On the flipside you have hindrences with getting work in the US as a young wrestler due to having to get a visa, and the fact that US fans might be lukewarm towards Canadians (hence Vince changing Jericho and Benoit to having American hometowns.
A: Who knows, these types of questions can only be guesses in the dark. Not being able to work in the states without a Visa is a big obstacle though.
Q: If WWE offered you a spot as a trainer on a future season of Tough Enough would you accept it?
A: Iíve been asked this before. It would all depend on timing and schedule and of course money. I am very open to working with WWE on future project but I have a core business in SWA that I have to look after first.
Q: I remember an interview you did mentioning the Nitro logo in the middle of the WCW ring and how it was slippery and you petitioned to have it removed. I just watched the match where you beat Chavo for the Cruiserweight championship. You looked like you totally busted your butt from slipping on it. Would that be correct?
A: yeah I slipped. I wouldnít say I petitioned to get the logo removed, I just bitched to a bunch of people about it and it worked. The best quote about the logo after that match was from Arn Anderson who said, ďIf that thing can make you look clumsy, itís going to make the rest of these guys look like drunks chasing a hat in a wind storm.Ē I think Arnís comment sealed the deal. Arn is awesome.
Q: I remember hearing rumors back in the 90s that if a wrestler did something the WWE brass did not like they would be booked to wrestle a really stiff wrestler as punishment. I specifically remember this about the Public Enemy being booked against the APA as punishment for some transgression. Does/did things like this really happen? It was reported on what I thought of as credible websites but it seemed too unprofessional to be true.
A: There is a grain of truth in the statement, but like most stuff not 100% accurate. The Public Enemy deal I believe was a case of them being very disliked and they were caught going behind APAís back and trying to get the finish changed or complaining about having to job to them. APA found out and decided on their own, or were green lighted to teach Public Enemy a lesson. This is not a WWE thing. Through out the history of this business, companies have employed ďPolicemenĒ who were very tough guys that were used to teach lessons to or send messages to people who stepped out of line, or wouldnít do what they were told.
Q: What did you think of the wrestling reality series that aired on the fight network? and would you ever consider working in the Maritimes after that incident with that so called promoter back in Ď05. You mentioned before that WWE crowds in the Maritimes are much bigger and louder, so why donít they come here that often?
A: I did not like the Wrestling Reality series and after 1 or 2 episodes could not watch it anymore. I would consider a booking in the Maritimes if the right deal came along, itís a beautiful part of the Country with great fans. I have no idea why WWE doesnít run there more.
Q: Do you believe when someone like John Cena uses the STF on his opponent and they tap within a few seconds it makes the move and the opposing wrestler look weak? As opposed to when the opponent is locked in for a long time (by wrestling standards) trying desperately to escape the hold. Or do you think it makes the submission move look that much more devastating?
A: I think it depends on the specific match and what works emotionally at the time. At the end of the day I doubt anyone remembers anyway so what ever gets the desired reaction at the time is best.
Q: Knowing that your father thought wrestling was fake bullshit, how did he react to your career choice?
A: He never expressed any problem with my choice, although as Iíve said we did not talk often during that time. I think since I was now the one conning others rather than someone following it as a fan and being the one ďconnedĒ he was fine with it.
Q: As a big fan of Trish Stratus, I loved the tribute commentary you did for her back in 2006, but it also made me curious about what you think of the returns she's made to WWE since she retired. She's come back multiple times, and I was wondering if that somehow tarnishes the sendoff she got from WWE, where she won the title in her last match, or if perhaps it shouldn't be seen as a negative since wrestlers never "retire" anyway. Or is it a case of the quality of what she comes back for as opposed to how many times she comes back? I'd like your take on this because frankly, I'm not quite sure what to think.
A: Itís been so long I certainly have no problem with her comeback and thus far itís always been in something meaning. Her next send of might be the Hall of Fame so I think she will be going out in style no matter what happens.
Q: Paul Hayman once said about The Undertaker ďwhen he is gone the crazy thing will be that as much as the fans will miss him, everyone backstage will miss him moreĒ. Would you agree with this and could you expand on what type of influence Taker is on everyone backstage.
A: I agree with the statement for sure. Taker is a really great guy and such a strong respected presence in the locker room he will definitely be missed backstage when he goes.
Q: Do you think it's a crime that Adam Pearce isn't signed to WWE or TNA?
A: To be honest I havenít seen that much of Adamís work. I doubt I would use the word ďCrimeĒ for anyone not being in TNA or WWE.
Q: What are your thoughts on the WCW power plant as a whole; how it differs from your style - and also the "standard" style- of training wrestlers, mentally and physically; Is that tough physical training common for wrestling students?; and what are/were your thoughts on Dwayne Bruce, as a person and a wrestler.
A: I donít think I ever met Dwayne and I never went to the Power Plant so I really canít comment. All of my knowledge on the subject is second hand at best.
Q: Do you think an invisible wrestler would work in WWE or TNA?
A: If the goal is to kill every last ounce of credibility left in the business, an Invisible Wrestling would work anywhere.
Q: You said that the final nail in the coffin for you that led you to stop watching TNA was Rob Terry taking a unprotected chair shot to the head. At Final Battle 2010 there were 2 chair shots to the head in the Kevin Steen/El Generico match. How can you still be a ROH supporter?
A: I never saw the Steen - Generico match for starts, and secondly if you werenít being rude with your judgmental ďHow can you still be a ROH supporterĒ youíd realize you answered your own question. The Rob Terry chair shot was the LAST NAIL IN THE COFFIN for a promotion I could not stomach already, where had I saw the Steen Ė Generico match it would have been a the first nail that chipping away at the support I have for a promotion I strongly believe in. My reaction to stupid chair shots in any promotion are the same, I HATE them, but the result of that anger would vary based on everything else a promotion does.
Q: Have you ever watched the TV show "Dexter" or read the books it is based on? It is also about a man who has no emotions, but he enjoys killing people.
A: Have not done either.
Q: As a guy who never worked a WrestleMania what was your view on big names like Rock/Foley/Hogan/Nash/Hall coming in/back for one-off short term runs and get put straight near the top of the card? Were you ok with it as it increased house show attendance etc or did it annoy you as a hard working reliable guy that you missed out on a huge pay day while others who werenít around the rest of the year got one?
A: All of those guys earned their Mania appearances over the course of their careers; I was never upset with it. Getting bumped off WrestleMania for the Miller Light Girls, or green guys who hadnít earned the spot as much as I had is a different story.
Q: I'm sorry if you've been asked this before, but care to explain the picture floating around on the internets of you & Ivory in your wrestling gear with a married couple?
A: I have covered this before. Two couple won a contest to get married in the ring at a WWE house show in Saskatchewan. The couple picked Ivory and I to stand up with them at the show so we did and we in the wedding photos back stage. That couple sent me a copy and I posted it which is why it is floating around the Internet.
Q: Reading your posts on your site Iíve heard you mention a lot that you would like to still have a final match with Jericho. Now that you book for PWA, any chance that you could get him to appear on the card with you?
A: Chris is not working a local Indy show. He still has 1 more WWE run in him. There is more chance of me getting him to pull strings and let me work him on a WWE house show some where down the road.
Q: If you were asked, would you accept a HOF Induction? If so, who would you choose as the inductor? If I were you, I'd have Chris Jericho (if he's free to) because you two have a history together, as opponents & as a team. Plus, he is one hell of a talker LOL!!!
A: Iím not holding my breath but I would accept. Jericho would be an awesome choice.
Q: I was watching a Stone Cold video on youtube the other day and was just wondering in your opinion, who sold the best stunner? There have been some great ones over the years. Over the top though it was, I always loved how The Rock sold it and was also somewhat surprised by how well Shane Mc Mahon sold it. Any thoughts?
A: Booker took a great one recently with an awesome beer spit on the bump. Someone took one over the top rope in the Royal Rumble once I think which looked great, it might have been Kurt.
Q: Many believe that the Undertakerís Wrestle Mania Streak will never end. However, Seeing him ďendĒ careers only makes me believe that when Taker retires, He will lose a retirement match at WrestleMania. Do you think Undertaker will ever be defeated at WrestleMania?
A: No I do not.
Q: If there was one opponent of this generation of up and coming wrestlers that you could wrestle who would it be and why?
A: There are a lot of great guys out there to work with. I think I would enjoy working with Kofi.
Q: What was it like to film your reality TV show? What was your favourite/least favourite part?
A: It was fun but a lot of hard work too. I hated the early mornings and long days, but loved all the people.
Q: Hypothetically speaking if WWE was to offer you any job you wanted, what job would you pick and why?
A: If they would offer me a Ĺ or maybe ĺ agents schedule I would very much like that. I think I would be a great agent and enjoy that role very much, but I do not want to be on the road 50 weeks a year. I would also love to play a role in a Canadian developmental system.
Q: With it being 10 years since WCW has closed down I was wondering do you think if Jamie Kellner had never cancelled WCW programming if Eric Bischoff/Fusient had a shot at getting WCW back to the level of success from 96-98 or if it would have eventually been a casualty.
A: There is no possible way to know what would have happened. There is a lot of middle ground in your two options and the answer probably lies in there somehere.
Q: Where you split the workouts into three different categories/muscle groups, would you recommend doing those three groups in a Monday, Wednesday, Friday format, or, would you recommend doing them one group Monday, the next Tuesday, the next Wednesday and then starting over again?
A: It really depends on the individual and how your body best reacts.
Q: What was the most painful move you ever had to take? I have read in a few books and interviews that the Alabama Slam sucked to take, but from your own experience, what was the worst?
A: Itís when a move gets screwed up that things usually hurt a lot. A properly executed move is generally not too bad.
Q: Have you considered, maybe, that for your WrestleMania predictions next year, you give your picks but also flip a coin and see what the coin toss says? Then you can see who wins with more accurate predictions.
A: Not a horrible idea might be rather humbling though.
Q: I notice that when you talk about in-ring ability, you tend to make it a point to point out that Cena is not a good wrestler, but he's a good entertainer. You also never have anything bad to say about The Rock's in-ring ability. Being an avid wrestling fan for over 20 years, and about as knowledgeable as somebody who's never actually been inside the business can be, I've always found them to be about equal in the ring, finding that The Rock was more of an entertainer than a wrestler. Are you just less apt to point out that The Rock isn't very technical, or is there something from a worker's perspective that flies right over my head?
A: I donít think Iíve ever worked with Cena so I have a far better perspective with Rock. Rock is just so great in the ring; his energy, timing, selling, etc. is just so superb, that I think itís pointless to nit pick that he doesnít cross the legs properly on a Sharp Shooter.
Q: If a close personal friend of yours was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, would you make an effort to attend in the induction ceremony in person?
A: For a certain select few yes.
Q: In an earlier Q&A you said that you couldn't buy the Miz as champ because he doesn't look like a tough guy. I respect your opinion but I was curious to what your opinion on Shawn Michaels as champ is since I don't see anybody buying him as a tough guy.
A: I donítí think those are my exact words but yes I have a hard time personally buying into Miz as World Champ because of his look. This is not a size issue, so I donít know why everyone keeps trying to bring up other smaller Champions. Shawn carried himself like he believed he could kick everyoneís ass in the building and had the look on his face like he believed it and meant it. It may have been all bark and no bite but it was a very believable bark. Shawn also had the luxury of being so much better than almost everyone he stepped in the ring with that credibility was never an issue.
Q: What would you say is your best/worst trait?
A: My stubborn determination.
Q: After watching Tough Enough, I started looking at a few Bill DeMott matches. I notice you've worked at least a few times with 'General Rection', so I want to ask how your experience with DeMott is and what you think of him as a trainer (if only what was seen on any of the Tough Enoughs).
A: I worked with Bill a ton in WCW and always had fun. Bill is a great guy and I enjoyed working with him. Iíve never seen him actual do any training on Tough Enough so I canít really comment. His role seems to be more as the drill instructor tough guy who is there to put a hurting on people when needed and he is certainly capable in that role.
Q: What is your opinion on Brian Gewirtz and Ed Koskey? Did you work close with them when you were on the Raw Roster?
A: I worked with both guys at different times and got along well with both of them. I worked more with Brian than Ed. Brian once humped my leg backstage in an attempt to illustrate to a Spanish speaking female mini-Mrs. Goldust what she was expected to due in a back stage segment. A photo of this does exist, but Iíve never gotten a copy. Jimmy photo that WW photographer took it.
Q: After you watch and review WM 19, I was wondering if you might be willing to juxtapose the 3 different Austin/Rock matches from WM 15, 17, 19 in a commentary?? The different approaches, story telling, psychology (and any carryover in psychology between the matches) what set one match apart from the others, and any other thoughts you may have.
A: I donít see this happening sorry. Iíll likely just move on to Mania XX.
Q: Can someone follow your workout theory while doing cardio every day? Because you said that you wrestled four times a week along with alternating abs and cardio, so would thirty minutes of cardio every day along with your weightlifting routine be an option?
A: Itís an option. Everyoneís body is different and depending on what your goals are extra cardio might work great.
Q: I've always been a real fan of Genichiro Tenryu - but I live in the states, so my opportunities to see him are pretty sparse. You've always spoken very highly of him as an employer. Is that because he's *that* great to work for, or is there some xenophobia to deal with when it comes to dealing with Japanese promoters?
A: I openly bury Atsushi Onita as an employer. My praise for Tenryu is because he is a great man, a great worker, and a great boss.
Q: Between your time in WCW and the WWF/E, which had better travel conditions (which of the two gave you better per diem, booked lodging for you, etc.)?
A: As far as travel conditions I had a much better deal in WCW. My WCW contract covered my rental car and hotel. They were booked for me and paid for. I would get a FAX every Thursday with my weekend Itinerary, airline schedule, rental car, and hotel info. It was awesome. In WWE I had to take care of all of that myself.
Q: Who is your favourite wrestler on the WWE roster?
A: I really enjoy Punkís stuff, and I wish they would do more with Danielson. I like Ziggler too but I may be bias there cause I trained him.
Q: Is there any particular time of day or day of the week that you prefer to do your Q&As?
A: When ever I can find the time.
Q: Do you have any weird habits?
A: Oh God yes. Some people might say spending so much time on these Q and As is a weird habbit.
Q: What is your favourite holiday or season?
A: Iíve got kids so Christmas would be the big one for me.
Q: Do you know why there is never a RAW tour through Germany, always only SmackDown?
A: Sorry, Vince doesnít run these things by me, I have no idea.
Q: Why do you think Jericho left the WWE again? Does WWE have nothing creatively to offer a great asset that is Chris Jericho?
A: Jericho is a smart business man and had some other stuff on his plate. I would imagine he will be back when the time is right.
Q: What are your thoughts on The Rock vs Cena for the next WrestleMania set so far in advance? Smart move or mistake?
A: Announcing it now makes it almost impossible for Rock to change his mind, so announcing it is probably very smart.
Q: Do you think the WWE will ever have a world champion of an Asian Nationality?
A: If the right guy came along maybe.
Q: What is your all time favourite WrestleMania match?
A: I havenít even seen all the WrestleMania events, and it would likely depend on my mood at the time.
Q: When I watch interviews or read articles about older wrestlers they talk of wrestlers who were "draws". Do you think in this day in age wrestlers who are "draws" still effect sales or has WWE machine replaced the importance that any one wrestler has?
A: Individual ďdrawsĒ are not as important as they used to be. WWE as a brand is the predominant ďdrawĒ now IMO.
Q: Now that WWE has taken "wrestling" out of their company name I hear a lot of rumors that Vince McMahon doesn't like to be connected to the image of pro wrestling and is trying to distance himself from peoples perception of it. Do you think that's true or is he just trying to adapt to today's market?
A: I have no idea what goes on in Vinceís head or why he does what he does.
Q: When I was 10 years old I went to WrestleMania X8 fan axxess. I got your autograph which was a huge deal because you were one of my favorite wrestlers. In my naive ways I asked why I don't see you on TV a lot any more and your response was a pretty serious "ask the writers". Were you unhappy with your career direction at this time or were those autograph sessions just annoying to do?
A: I was probably just tired from a long day. I certainly wasnít unhappy in WWE at that point. I stand by the answer though, the boys have little say in whether they are on TV or not, itís up to the creative team. I hope I was not rude, just serious.
Q: During your visits to Japan, did any of the boys try to learn the basics of the Japanese language? If so, who read and/or spoke it best?
A: I traveled with very few guys when I worked in Japan. No one spoke it; itís a very difficult language. Jericho got to where he could read the Katakana letters, which translates into English. Not sure if you know this but Japan has two written languages the one is read in Japanese and the other the Katakana reads in English. I tried and got decent at the Katakana alphabet.
Q: Do you think John Morrison would have got R-Truthís spot in the WWE Title Triple Threat at Extreme Rules if it werenít for the heat on him right now for his actions towards Trish Stratus? (She confirmed on radio on Friday about him being a huge pain when planning their wm 27 match and then the cold shoulder on the hug after the match)
A: I have no idea.
Q: Which workout session do you workout forearms?
A: Iíve never purposely trained forearms. Iíve found mine get enough of a work out doing everything else I do.
Q: Did you see the footage of Scott Hall at a recent Indy event in Fall River, MA, and if so any thoughts? Also, the promoter was criticized by some for airing the footage uncut on the internet pay per view; considering he didn't get what he paid for from Scott, do you think the promoter was in the wrong for using the footage?
A: I did not see the footage, or know what the whole deal was, so Iíd rather not comment. I just hope Scott gets the help he needs.
Q: Do you think RAW and Impact will eventually evolve into entertainment variety shows with no wrestling at all? Like Saturday Night Live or The Tonight Show?
A: I certainly hope not.
Q: What would be your opinion of a wrestling company that called itself TWWF? As in The World Wrestling Federation, just as a way to get around all the copyright claims? Would it be a cheap way to get wrestling fans to check out their product since that name is already established or more power to them?
A: Vince likely still owns ďThe World Wrestling FederationĒ so I doubt anyone could do it.
Q: Who do you think will win the Lesnar vs. Dos Santos fight?
A: I honestly donít know. Iím pulling for Brock though.