Q and A
June 9, 2008
Time to dip back into the email bag and answer your questions. Keep those questions coming I will try to do a Q and A once a month.
Q: How do you rate Kimbo Slice as a MMA fighter??
A: I donít like trying to rate fighters, because I am far from an expert. Kimbo is very much still a rookie, heís only had 3 fights. Heís obviously a very tough puncher but still very green and not a particularly well rounded fighter yet. For his experience level he is quite good if still one-dimensional.
Q: What are your thoughts on Brock Lensar's next fight against Heath Herring?
A: Iím very excited about the fight and plan to order the PPV for that fight specifically. Iím not too familiar with Heath Herring, again because I donít follow MMA that closely but it should be a great fight and if Brock manages to beat him it will really put Brock on the MMA map.
Q: Do you think it would make sense to have one set of tag champions and allow the belts to be defended on all three brands to at least try to revitalize the tag division?
A: Iím to the point where I would be happy if they killed the brand split and united both RAW and SD. I think there are far too many titles and this hurts the meaning of the titles. This would definitely help the Tag division and when you combine the 3 or 4 teams from each brand you would end up with some nice depth.
Q: Why do heel wrestlers ever get upset when fans "donít do whatís expected" and cheer for them? I never understood why heels get angry when fans cheer for them. Personally most of my favorite wrestlers today are heels and when I go to a wrestling event I cheer for who I want to cheer for. Wrestlers always try to ignore them which is understood since they are heel after all, but whatís wrong with there being "heel wrestling fans." Does every fan automatically have to cheer for a face?
A: I canít speak for everyone but when your job is to get booed and you get cheered it can be viewed that you are not doing your job properly. This can hamper your career because the office could view this as you being ineffective and could kill your push. If the office wants the crowd to cheer John Cena (for example) and you as a heel get cheered, they wonít want to put you in a program with him because it could hurt Johnís reaction. You might think you are just cheering who you want but you could be hampering the manís career.
Q: What are your thoughts on JBL as a character, as a wrestler and what was he like backstage? Peopleís opinions on him seem to be pretty mixed.
A: JBL is a great character and is one of the few heels in the business that never runs into the trouble of getting cheered. He is also a good worker but for my personal tastes he is not the style of worker I enjoy watching. I prefer a faster paced more athletic style. With the exception of the one verbal confrontation I had with John at WrestleMania 21 weíve pretty much always gotten along back stage. John is never afraid to speak his mind, which likely contributes to the varied opinions of him backstage.
Q: So I was watching that MMA stuff on CBS network television last night for its premier in the US. CBS has this announcer named Gus Johnson. Do not know if you ever heard of him. I know that itíll never happen but I think it would be awesome if he called a WWE match. Gus Johnson is mostly known for classic calls and commentary during the NCAA college tournament. Anyway, if you get a chance, try to find audio clips on him and let me know what you think of him calling a match.
A: The funny thing is I didnít care for him on the Elite XC show. Iím in the minority in that opinion but I felt he was a little slow on the mic and made one huge gaff when he responded to the crowd booing during the titlee fight by saying, ďThey were likely booing because they were used to boxing which is more non-stop action.Ē I thought this buried MMA and was a very bad comment. I doubt you will ever see him call wrestling because I believe in the announcer business calling wrestling is considered a real step down and other sports wonít take you seriously afterwards.
Q: Who do you think are the best women's wrestlers in the world today?
A: Itís so hard to pick the best worker/wrestler period, be it man or women, because there are so many different styles and opinions, not to mention likely a ton of workers you donít see regularly that could be fantastic. Kong is likely the most marketable and over wrestler in womenís wrestling right now, but not the best worker. I havenít seen much of Natayla Neidhart since she debuted on SD but the Indy stuff of hers Iíve seen was great. I think Nattie is VERY talented.
Q: I was wondering what your reaction be if by some chance, WWE signed Jushin "Thunder" Liger. Would you be happy?
A: Iíd be happy for him, but wouldnít get excited one way or the other. Liger is a very talented guy but WWE doesnít have a great track record for pushing guys his size or style. Unless Rey was finished with the company, I donít see what they would do with him. They already have the great masked small man. This was the problem when WWE hired Ultimo Dragon (who is incredible) they already had the highflying masked wrestler, so they had no use or spot for Dragon.
Q: In interviews I always hear that every wrestler has to be at the arena for WWE TV at like 1:00 why is this, what does everyone do for all the hours before the show starts?
A: There are a lot of things to do at TV to prepare for a live show so WWE wants to there and ready. Some of the backstage stuff is shot ahead of time and often there are fan meet and greets to do etc. You arenít needed that whole time but for the office itís better to have you there and not need you than need you and not have you there.
Q: With your praise of ROH, what do you think of the SHIMMER promotion? Or have you gotten a chance to watch any of it besides what's on an ROH card?
A: I havenít watched any Shimmer stuff, so I really canít comment.
Q: I read once that while in WCW Chris Jericho and Goldberg got into a locker-room scuffle and Chris choked out Goldberg in a front-face-lock. Did this happen? What was the scuffle over?
A: Youíve got the story half right. Goldberg and Jericho did get into a backstage scuffle but it was in WWE. Goldberg had made a few inappropriate comments about Jericho back stage while Jericho was in the ring. A friend of Jerichoís told him about it and Chris confronted Goldberg backstage. Bill got mad and charged Jericho and Chris managed to front-face-lock Goldberg and take him to the ground. Chris didnít actually choke him out but he did neutralize Bill in the equivalent of a guillotine choke with Bill hooked in full guard. It was a fairly short altercation and considering Billís ineffectiveness quite amusing. Not to take anything away from Chris, he is a tough guy, but he is not a real skilled grappler, and he controlled Bill completely.
Q: I'm wondering how you feel about Morrison and the Miz featuring you on their Dirt Sheet? Imitation is a great form of flattery. Did the WWE have to get your permission to do this? I certainly hope you get a few royalties out of it.
A: I did see the Dirt Sheet and laughed my ass off. They did not ask my permission but if they had they would have received it whole-heartedly. I wonít get royalties from it because it didnít generate money from it. If it ends up on a DVD some time, I might see something for it. Anything that keeps my name out there more power to them.
Q: I was on the ROH website and I saw that they have you signed for the Toronto show and the Detroit show and I was wondering if you were going to come out of retirement to have one or two last matches at those shows?
A: I will NOT be wrestling on those shows. I believe my match days are behind me. I will have a small role of some kind on the Toronto show but that has not been finalized yet. I will be signing autographs at both shows for a chance to visit with fans again and will be working backstage with the talent in an attempt to give back to the business a little.
Q: Am I the only one who thinks having Petey Williams as Scott Steinerís sidekick is another waste of a hugely talented guy, with a way cool finisher?
A: I seriously doubt you would be alone in this belief.
Q: Also did you come up with the rolling half crab yourself? A great intelligent finisher!!
A: I came up with it in as much as I stole it from a guy who did it into a full Boston Crab and I modified it into the single to make it smoother. In a great story, when I was with WWE Terry Taylor asked me where I got the idea for the move and I had to tell him that I stole it from him. He had forgotten ever doing the move. I saw him do it to Bill Irwin on a WCW show years ago, and then never saw him use it again. After a while I figure the move was fair game and I stole it. I eventually realized that you could do the roll way smoother and faster doing it into the single crab rather than the full.
Q: I was wondering what your thoughts are on the spinner belt. It's been the official belt for a few years now, but I can't help but associate it solely with John Cena. It seems that whenever someone else is champ, they are just holding the belt until he gets it back.
A: I hate the thing. At least they have stopped it from spinning with other guys but I donít care for the look of the belt. Because of the spinny thing the front plate has to be flat so it doesnít fit as well as traditional belts. Most belts are contoured to fit a waste better.
Q: I've read several of your commentaries where you seemingly talk down on the writers for TNA. Don't get me wrong I to believe the show is going nowhere. I know this is a long shot but do you or have you ever thought of being a writer for TNA? As a fan of it, I assume you are a fan cause you watch it, you would know what people want to see. From your commentaries I think you'd be a great writer. What do you think?
A: Wanting to be one really doesnít matter. They have current writers who arenít going to give up their good paying jobs and management seems content with them.
Q: Being that you were a professional wrestler, what do you think are the long-term affects of the sick bumps that the TNA X-Division guys (especially AJ Styles) take? What kind of toll does it and/or will it take on their bodies?
A: Some sick looking bumps can be done safely but I do feel guys are pushing the envelope too far in a lot of cases. Indy workers are likely the biggest offenders of this because they are doing it for next to no money as well. Your body can only take so much abuse and from what we are learning about concussion guys need to be a lot smarter.
Q: Would be greatly intrigued and interested to hear your thoughts on yet another matter. The matter regarding Randy Savage and his lack of involvement with WWE in regards to DVD projects and a Hall of Fame induction. I have heard recent interviews where Macho does nothing but 'give props' to Vince McMahon and thank him repeatedly for giving him the opportunity to headline with the blossoming WWF in the 80s. Why the hostility?
A: Iím not sure what the deal is with Savage but he does appear to be some nuclear heat with Vince, which is a real shame. Savage deserves a Hall of Fame spot and a career retrospective DVD would be fantastic.
Q: What do you think about Y2J using a version of the maple leaf on RAW last night? Could it be a hint that YOU might be making an appearance soon?
A: WOW you are really stretching and trying to read too much into stuff. Chris was working a dudeís leg so he released the one leg in his hold to better draw attention to the bad leg. Hey Chavo even used my rolling half crab on ECW recently. I am NOT coming back to wrestling.
Q: I was watching ECW One Night Stand 1 last night, and I noticed that at the end when the locker room emptied and came into the ring when Stone Cold told everyone to come out, that Chris Jericho wasn't there, I was curious why, do you know why he didn't join everyone else? By the way, I loved you guys' match that night, it was awesome and you had the crowd in the palm of your hands, which is saying a lot for hardcore ECW fans! (We LOVE you here in Nova Scotia, we were chanting your name when you came that time at a house show and I'll never forget your response, "Come on guys I'm trying to be a heel!" LOL.
A: Iím not really sure why Chris wasnít included in the last segment, but he wasnít on the list (I wasnít either) so we were happy to just chill in the back and relax.
Q: You mentioned on your last "Q and A" that WWE likes their wrestlers over 6 ft. tall. Then how come wrestlers like Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho etc. become so successful.
A: I get so annoyed at questions like this. Whether it is your intent or not you come off like a smart ass and an idiot. The guys you mentioned are some of the most talented workers on the planet and they over came the fact that they are short. They are the exceptions to the rule. If either of those guys were 6í 4Ē theyíd have been the biggest players in WWE history. If you think their success some how equals WWE not preferring taller wrestlers, you really have no understanding of this business. I assume you pointed this out more to nit pick than because you actually think you are making a valid point.
Q: I've read comments that ROH matches are just spot fests/random moves with no psychology involved. From your knowledge of ROH is this description accurate? I was thinking of buying a show but wanted to make sure it was worth it.
A: Generalizing like this is certainly unfair. There are guys in ROH like Bryan Danielson who this statement does not apply to at all, while there are others in the company that certainly tend to be heavy on spots and light on psychology. I would give the company a try and see if it suits your tastes. I find it hard to believe you wouldnít find enough stuff you enjoyed to consider it well worth while.
Q: What do you think of the heat Cena gets as top baby face? I've never seen a top baby face get this much heat, wouldn't it make sense to turn him heel? Maybe, I'm biased because I'm not a big fan of his wrestling skills and be delighted to boo him, but still...
A: John is certainly unique in that he seems to be either loved greatly or despised strongly. I think turning him heel though would be a HUGE mistake. I think there are more people that cheer him than there are that boo him, and you have to consider merchandise sales, which tend to drop greatly for heels. John generates a ton of merchandise revenue, as a face so turning him heel would cost the company money. You also have to consider why people boo him. A lot of the Cena haters boo him because of his character and top baby face spot. If they turned him heel there might not be the same resentment and there is the possibility he would be booed less.
Q: When you were still active, did you keep a travel notebook for the road? Considering how many cities you visited, how did you keep track of all the arena and hotel locations, rental car places, gyms of choice, preferred restaurants, etc? I would guess that by the end of your career, a lot of that info was lodged in your brain, but early on, how did you keep track?
A: I kept a log of the dates and towns I wrestled in, but that was for payroll purposes. We got paid per show so I kept track to make sure I was paid for every event I did. Occasionally payroll would make a mistake and because of the log I could get it corrected. Hotels, gyms, etc you just remember after a while.
Q: Did you ever wrestle Owen Hart?
Q: Did you ever wrestle Bret Hart?
Q: Donít know if youíre a fan of the video games, but I heard that WWE is releasing a game consisting completely of past superstars/legends & hall of famers. What are your thoughts on it?
A: Iím not a gamer so I really donít care one way or the other. Itís great for the guys in the game because they will see royalties and if fans enjoy it itís a win win.
Q: I am SUPER exited about The Ultimate Warrior's upcoming return to wrestling. I have a strange feeling that you may not share my enthusiasm. But do you?
A: I wonít be watching the match so I really donít care. If fans enjoy it great, but it really wonít affect me at all.
Q: Why does Kevin Nash still wrestle?
A: I assume itís because he enjoys it. He lives in Florida so there is virtually no travel for him and he gets to hang around the boys, have fun, and make a few bucks. Itís not a bad gig.
Q: I remember reading you say something like: Kurt Angle is tough but he's not the kind of guy who'd take someone's eye out, and that youíve worked with guys who actually would. Who?
A: Iíve seen Scott Steiner, try to take out DDPís. If Johnny Ace and I hadnít been pulling Scotty off of Paige at the time he likely would have succeeded. Paige sucker punched Steiner at a WCW event and got his ass handed to him for it. It only took Johnny, myself and 2 or 3 security guys to pull Scotty off him. Word of advice, donít mess with Scott Steiner. Donít get me wrong though, Scotty is a great guy and easy to get along with, heís just not a wise choice of someone to piss off or sucker punch.
Q: Do you think that WWE will ever focus more on the "smaller" more natural talent like TNA has done?
A: Questions like this frustrate me. People need to understand that ďsmallerĒ and ďmore naturalĒ can be two completely different things. The steroid issue is far more complicated than you think. I donít like naming names but there are a TON of smaller guys in this business who are on as much if not more gas than the larger guys in this business. Fans used to complain about WWE and WCW pushing jacked up monsters rather than smaller more talented guys like Benoit and Eddie, yet we now know that both of those guys were big steroid users. I know guys in this business under 175 pounds who are on steroids, so you canít just push smaller guys and lay claim to pushing more natural talent. Look at the signature pharmacy list, again not to bury anyone but there were a ton of small guys on that list. On the other hand, I firmly believe Mark Henry is actually clean and anyone Iíve ever heard from that knows him or has discussed the subject believes this too. Mark is a 400lbs monster who could actually be ďnaturalĒ yet Funaki (of all people) was on the customer list of signature pharmacies so at least at one point in his career may not have been. The term ďSmallĒ and ďNaturalĒ do not necessarily go hand in hand.
Q: I really feel that Robert Roode could be the champ in the near future, would you agree? I think he has the charisma, technique and mic skills to make it work.
A: I think Roode is a tremendous talent, but I wouldnít hold your breath for a world title run.
Q: Have you ever heard of "Sweet 'n Sour" Larry Sweeney? His biggest moment of fame was a few years back when he portrayed Nick Hogan on an "Orton Knows Best" segment but he's mainly been on the independent circuit and CHIKARA. I've seen him live and was very impressed. If you have heard of him, do you think he'll ever have a shot at TNA or WWE?
A: Iíve seen Sweeny in ROH, but that was strictly in a managerial capacity. TNA and WWE donít often hire straight managers and I donít think he has the body they are interested in, so I would doubt it, but Iíve been wrong before.
Q: What do you think of the certain rules being changed over the years to suit a storyline? Over 10 years ago, HBK and Diesel who were the IC and Heavyweight champs respectfully won the tag belts but had to choose between one or the other because at the time - you couldnít hold more than one belt at a time. Now, that doesnít matter, as I believe you held more than a few at one time, yourself. Do you think rules need to evolve over time?
A: Itís not so much that rules are evolving, because that would be okay, itís when rules just flip flop back and forth to suit the angle that I have a problem with it. I think angles would mean a lot more if we had a set published set of rules that we all had to stick to, that way heels could manipulate the established rules to get heat. We actually had a talent meeting in WWE once where they wanted us to start abiding by rules better to establish some consistency. I actually put my hand up and asked, ďWhat exactly are the rules, so we can abide by them?Ē We had a follow up meeting the next week, where Jim Ross set what the rules were, when it came to some of the less specific areas. Of course it was about a week or two before some main event match wanted to change the rules to allow for a certain spot and it was allowed.
Q: What did you think of the WCW rule of a match ending if someone was thrown over the top rope and getting disqualified?
A: I always thought this was a lame rule, and allowed for way too many cheap finishes.
Q: Can I ask what the story is behind the BSE Xtreme Xmas (from December 3rd, 2006) dancing? I just saw a video of it on YouTube and it looked like a great laugh the spinarooni and CC robot dancing was awesome. Also who won the match?
A: The whole dancing thing just sort of happened, because Christian was in a mood to screw around and the crowd was eating it up. Christian won the match, and also managed to break a bone in my throat with a clothesline during the match. If you canít stiff your friends who can you stiff?
Q: If a wrestler in the WWE comes up with his own character or gimmick do they have to sign the rights of that gimmick over to the WWE? I ask because I read that MVP came up with his own character and names.
A: Anything you come up with while under contract to WWE is WWE property. If you create it while under contract it is considered work for hire and WWEís property. It would be the same if you were working for IBM and developed new computer products while at work. IBM would own the rights to the products you create while at work.
Q: This may sound like a stupid question, but I've been wondering for a while...How much of a difference does it make whether your opponent is right-handed or left-handed?
A: Itís not a huge deal but it is a pain in the ass. Much like in boxing you get used to doing things a certain way and having someone throwing punches etc, with the other hand makes things different and thus a little more difficult.