Q and A
June 30, 2009
Q. Lance, do Paul Heyman and Jim Cornette dislike each other?
A: They got along the last time they got together, but I think there was definitely a time when they genuinely disliked each other. I doubt either has any interaction with the other now, so I doubt either one cares enough to maintain any heat.
Q: You've wrestled in both the United States and Canada (obviously). How would you compare pro-wrestling and pro-wrestling fans, and the treatment given to both, in both countries? Because I remember you once wrote that Japanese fans treat pro-wrestling as a legit sport
A: I think on the whole the fans treat Wrestling about the same, but I think Canadian fans appreciate work rate and true talent more than the American fans. This is a generalization but US fans tend to back the people being pushed more than the guys they think are the most talented. Outside the ring I also found Canadian fans more polite and less demanding when it came to autographs and such.
Q: Have you ever met or been acquainted with Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon and /or Jeff Jarrett? What is your opinion of those guys?
A: Did you not follow my career at all? I’ve wrestled HHH and JJ on TV a few times, and since I worked for WWE for 4 years had several interactions with Vince. I don’t think I did anything on camera with Shawn, but certain know him and have had a few conversations with him. All were great to work with and pleasant people to be around. Vince was the most intimidating of the bunch but he seemed to like me and we got along very well.
Q: Puro wrestler Mitsuharu Misawa just passed away recently, I just wondered what you thought of his passing and whether you'd followed his career at all? The guy has the most 5 star rated matches of all time apparently.
A: I’ve seen his work but didn’t follow it that much. While I could see where people would love the All Japan style made famous by guys like Misawa, Kobashi, Kawada, etc I always thought it was too stiff and dangerous and therefore didn’t enjoy it that much. Perhaps if Misawa and others shared my view Misawa might still be alive.
Q: Do you think the WWE should of acknowledged Kane for tieing Bret Hart with 12 consecutive WrestleMania appearances, even though Kane's match at WM19 was technically a preliminary match for Sunday Night Heat?
A: Sunday Night Heat is not WrestleMania, so no.
Q: Hey Lance, the WWE Hall of Fame is pretty much the universally-accepted "wrestling hall of fame", so how is it that Koko B. Ware can get in before Macho Man Randy Savage? I'm sure it's a political thing, but they inducted Bruno Sammartino didn't they? Hell, Verne Gagne never even WORKED for Vince! Macho Man is one of their biggest-drawing stars of all time. What's your opinion on this?
A: Bruno turned down being inducted several times. The problem with the WWE Hall of Fame is that it is solely at Vince’s discretion, so it isn’t just about who deserves to get in, it is also about who Vince wants to put in at the time. There is HUGE heat between Randy and Vince so he has not been inducted.
Q: I have spent years pondering to no end this question, so please, if you can, put my mind at ease. WHY on Earth would Hulk Hogan think that the ending he allowed to happen at Starrcade 97 (allowed because he had creative control over his matches) was what the fans wanted and was in the best interests of not only his storyline, but WCW?
A: I assume this is the Hulk Hogan match with Sting after the Year-Long build with Sting in the rafters. I was not there nor have I spoke with Hogan about it, but I doubt the best interests of WCW where on Hogan’s mind at the time that finish was put together. If I had to guess, avoiding doing a clean job and holding on to the top spot was more what he was worried about at that time.
Q: Talking with other wrestlers, what did you find most of 'the boys' did in terms of financial planning for their future? Along the same lines, for guys that Randy 'The Ram' are based on, commonly, where did the money go? If guys were making 10s of thousands of dollars a year in the 80s and 90s...well, I'm sorry, but HOW do you screw up that much of an income???
A: You are absurdly off with your income figures, “10’s of thousands of dollars a year” is what people make working part time at McDonalds. The boys seldom talk about their finances so who knows what everyone did with their money but let me explain how easy it is to “screw up that much money” as you put it. The biggest problem is that you get paid as an independent contractor so there are no deductions taken off your check like at regular jobs. If you earn $10,000 a week, you get paid $10,000 per week. You do not have income tax deductions taken off and a lot of people don’t plan ahead and account for that. Guys get used to living off that $10,000 a week and don’t set aside enough to cover their taxes at the end of the year. If you earned that kind of money at year end you would have made $520,000 and could owe up to two hundred grand in income tax. Most guys in financial trouble are in it because of back taxes etc. Divorces also take a big chunk out of the retirement fund. Road expenses rack up very quickly too, so earning say $500,000 a year minus taxes, road expenses, and living expenses you don’t always have a ton of money left over for the retirement fund, especially when you have to retire before you are 50. Guys often have less than a 10 year run of good money too so you really have to be smart and plan ahead and realistically live below your means to come out ahead at the end of it all. When you start getting those big cheques, it’s so easy to go out and buy the multi million dollar home, the expensive cars, and the Rolex watches, but unless you are a Hogan or Austin caliber earner, it’s a really bad idea.
Q: Lance, do you ever watch a Wrestling match and think “Woah, that was amazing!” from a fan point of view, or a professional? John Morrison is causing me to do that quite a lot lately. I fear his face turn is too soon, he needs a sherri martel like mouthpiece until he is more comfortable on the stick. They protected Shawn like that at first, and now look at him. Do you ever get the sense they let guys like Brian Kendrick peak too soon?
A: There are still times where I pop huge for matches and think they are amazing. It doesn’t happen too often but it still does. Morrison has been on a big roll lately getting to work with some really great guys.
Q: You recently said Maryse would make a perfect heel valet. I think she would terrible in the role, either as a huge liability to her wrestler or just being unneeded and useless. If paired with a guy who isn't over with the fans, she would be a distraction during his matches as her current arrogant act is big on hamming it up for the crowd (similar to Beth-Melina at Royal Rumble being ignored by the crowd because Santino was outside the ring doing his goofball act). If the guy she is managing has the crowd interested in him enough to not allow that to happen him, I don't see why he'd even need her or what she could add to his act that he needs but doesn't already have. Could you elaborate on why you think Maryse would be a great valet?
A: You have such a negative out look. I say she would make a great valet, and you say no based on, her possibly being put with the wrong person. That would be like me saying there is no point using Dolph Ziggler as a wrestler because when he’s put with Kahli he isn’t having great matches. One has nothing to do with the other. I’m saying she has the ability to be a great valet, with the understanding that that means if used properly and put with the right people she could be awesome. I think people forget how important and useful a valet can be. Dawn Marie was a HUGE asset to my career and was both needed and useful. I think Maryse looks fantastic, and with the accent and heel character she has, can have great heat. She has a great presence, so with the right person she could be a monstrous asset and really help someone get over. As a wrestler I don’t think she stands out as much as she could as a valet. I’m still spoiled from working with and being around the Trish, Victoria, Molly, Jazz, era of women’s wrestling so I am not as yet impressed with Maryse as a worker. Even on the current roaster there are far better workers, Mickey James for example.
Q: The WWE is currently targeting children, and toning down the violence, dirty humor, etc. I've read that Vince actually saved the WWF by targeting an adult audience, creating the 'Attitude Era'. Do you see Shane, Stephanie, or Triple H doing the same thing once Vince retires and hands the reigns over to someone else?
A: It will depend on a ton of factors so you really can’t say. You have to adjust to the times and how business is at the time as well. Who knows what the future holds.
Q: One of my favorite wrestlers is Goldust. I think he has great charisma, can play his gimmick well, and isn't too bad in the ring. It's a shame he never won the World Title. I was glad when he returned to WWE last year, but it seems as if they're just using him as comedy relief what with his alliance with Hornswoggle. My question is did you ever think Goldust could have been a main event player and do you think it's too late for him to be one?
A: I think it’s too late for that character to be a major player yes. That does not mean he can’t be a valuable part of the show. Goldust is a very talented guy and most likely is thrilled to just be back on the roster and being used. Odd characters like his are seldom used in the top world title spot.
Q: Thanks for answering our questions. I have heard from several people that Bob Holly was an extremely stiff worker (Mick Foley for one) and that he was warned on more than one occasion. How do you handle someone that is really stiff like that in a match. Do you just know the fire out of them back to get their attention, or is their a code word like the Rock mentions in his book? Or do you just approach the guy afterwards and handle it like gentlemen or complain to the powers that be? Thanks!
A: I worked with Bob several times and never found him to be stiff. If I felt someone was working too stiff with me I would just fire back and tell them to lighten up. Some times you just need to stand up for yourself. If you were getting beat to death and couldn’t defend yourself I guess you would have to speak to someone in the office.
Q: Sorry if you've answered this before and I missed it, but I was curious: Out of all the people you worked with, is there any one finishing maneuver that you would consider the easiest or least risky to take? Any maneuver that you consider more difficult or more risky? Is there any move that fellow wrestlers just dread taking each night?
A: I would think Mr. Socko would be high on the safest finishing maneuvers. Any move that you take your own bump and aren’t getting picked up off your feet are generally very safe (Stunners, RKO, Kill Switch)
Q: As a prospective entry into Storm Academy that lives in the U.S., I'm curious as to how your students living situations are typically arranged? Do they just rent out apartments? Also, is there an age-limit for enrollment?
A: I have a few connections for accommodations in town, while some students just rent apartments yes. You have to be at least 18 years of age.
Q: Do you think making FCW WWE's sole developmental territory has been a successful move or a failure?
A: I don’t know enough about FCW but I do think separating from OVW was a bad move. I think WWE needs more developmental places not less.
Q: Judging from a list that includes Andre, Taker, Big Show, Vader, Nash, Abyss, Yoko, Sid, Mike Awesome & Bam Bam Bigelow, who in your opinion is the best big man of them all?
A: If I had to pick one from your list The Undertaker hands down. As far as biggest star, best worker, longevity, no one touches Taker IMO.
Q: I remember you saying you are/were a Seinfeld fan. What is your favorite Seinfeld Episode / moment? Some classic moments for me include Kramer wheeling up Newman in a rikshaw and then while he rolls down the hill Kramer just running off and the episode where Kramer gets the old set of the Merlin Griffin Show.
A: Way too many to ever narrow it down. Georges rant about saving the Whale, in the diner, Shrinkage, The Contest, Mr. Bookman.
Q: I was wondering if you had seen Jericho’s match as "Super Liger" against Jushin Liger in Japan, if so, was it really as bad as Jericho portrays it in his book? I was also wondering if you have ever wrestled with a mask on?
A: I have not seen the match, but I heard it was very bad yes. I’ve worn a mask on several occasions and didn’t mind it too much. Jericho had it much worse in that he also had to wear a restricting body suit he wasn’t used to as well and I think the added pressure of the Tokyo Dome added to the whole situation and put the Jericho curse over the edge.
Q: Being from Calgary, do you have a good Jim Neidhart story or two? I’ve watched a lot of shoot interviews and wrestlers always seem to have a good Anvil story. What’s yours?
A: I don’t really and to be honest I don’t even think we’ve met.
Q: Which promotion do you think the industry misses the most? WCW or ECW?
A: WCW without question.
Q: I've heard that you don't watch TNA anymore, but along with the questionable booking decisions they often make, one of the reasons I find it hard to watch TNA sometimes is because the announcers talk too much. I recall one time that IMPACT came back from a commercial while I was still in the next room getting a beverage and just hearing the commentary, I knew exactly what was going on. Most people who tune to IMPACT aren't blind, so there's no need for a second-by-second description. Has that ever annoyed you? One of the best things I've
found about Jim Ross is that sometimes he just sits back and lets us watch what's happening without any commentary or play-by-play.
A: I could not agree more.
Q. What is your opinion of guys wearing jewellery during matches like CM Punk with his lip ring? To me it sort of dents kayfabe a bit, like if a heel wanted to be really nasty why wouldn't he pull on it during a match.
A: Yah I’m not a fan of it, it also presents a danger as well. Test had his ear lob tore off once because of an ear ring.
Q: I know this has nothing to do with wrestling but what are your 5 favorite tv shows?
A: This is tough now that Corner Gas and Boston Legal are off the air. I love Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show, and I watch Rescue Me. I think those are the only current non-wrestling shows I watch.
Q: Knowing that you worked with John Morrison on OVW what do you think of him as a Wrestler? And how do you think he is doing from the time you were training him to know?
A: I was always a big supporter of John’s and worked with him a lot. I think he’s doing fantastic.
Q: What do you think of Melina as a wrestler? Do you think she is valuable in the women’s division as of know?
A: I love Melina so I am likely bias. Yes I think she is valuable but I prefer her as a heel. She was an awesome heel valet with MNM, and I thought she was a solid worker as a heel when she first started wrestling regularly. Since her comeback as a face, I don’t think she has stood out as well.
Q: Just wanted to say I really enjoyed your wrestling career. ECW was my favourite time for you. Impact Players and your single run was awesome. My question is what do you think of Batista getting injured often. Do you think it is because he is so big that his body can't handle the bumps?
A: I think when you are that big and muscular injuries happen far more frequently. I think age, size, and lack of flexibility all play a role.
Q: Is there going to be a Misawa tribute commentary?
A: There is not, no. I never met the man so I have nothing personal to offer. I didn’t even follow his work much so there isn’t anything for me to say.
Q: I was reading about a fight backstage in the WWE between Goldberg and Jericho it said that Jericho pie faced Goldberg. What is pie facing?
A: I don’t think Chris Pie Faced him, but Pie Facing someone is basically doing what you see comedians do when they hit someone in the face with a Pie, just without the pie. You put your hand flat on the guys face and shove him a bit. Batista’s first Tricep tear occurred when he Pie Faced Bubba Dudley.
Q: Why does Lisa Marie Varon (formerly WWE's Victoria, now TNA's Tara) always wear something that looks like a knee-brace on her right leg/knee?
A: No offense (actually maybe offense) this is the dumbest question I’ve ever been asked. It looks like a knee brace because it is a KNEE BRACE, and she wears it because she has a BAD KNEE.
Q: Ultimo Dragon has been one of my favorite workers for a while now. Was he as good to work with as he was to watch?
A: He was AWESOME to work with yah.
Q: If someone said to you "total pro", what workers would be the first to pop into your head?
A: It would have to be a list, I’ve worked with so many.
Q: Do you have any students in, or are you at all familiar with, High Impact Wrestling? They wrestle in Regina about once a month. The product is pretty fun, in an old school way. The top stars currently are Principal Richard Pound and Wavell Star.
A: I’ve had a few guys work in Saskatchewan so I might. I don’t keep up on where everyone is working all the time so I’m not sure.
Q: A few years back you mentioned the Undertaker as "Take" when in a friendly atmosphere. Before meeting Take for the first time did you (touch wood) in hopes that all would turn out well?
A: I didn’t think about it much at all. I met the guy during the invasion, he was very cool, and went from there. I knew him for quite a while before I used the abbreviated version of his name though. Actually now that we have brought his name up, he would likely be at the top of my “Total Pro” list.
Q: I was curious in your experience how many wrestlers have college degrees? Do many just go straight from high school to wrestling or is there a sizable portion who try and have a degree to fall back to as well? Similarly, did you ever find that those who didn't have one tried to obtain a degree of some sort while still wrestling?
A: This type of stuff never comes up. I don’t go around asking the boys for their resume, so I have no idea. I know Jericho has a College degree but I know he better than most.
Q: With WWE's desire to be more PG and family friendly and have a cleaner image do you think it seems to be an odd choice to have the anti-drugs, anti-drinking straight edge CM Punk starting to lean towards a more heel character especially against a guy with a less than clean past as Jeff Hardy? Or is CM Punk not big enough yet to really have that amount of influence and so the angle takes more precedence?
A: Punk moving towards being a heel has nothing to do with his Straight Edge gimmick (lifestyle) so what does it matter. It would be like saying WWE turning R-Truth heel would be racist. It’s not like they are promoting Jeff as a drug addict, and saying Punk should be hated because he doesn’t do drugs.
Q: I was just wondering with all of the traveling you have done in your career if you have learned any foreign languages? If so, were they difficult to learn and how did you learn them?
A: I can count to 10 and order McDonalds in a few languages, but I don’t think that makes me multi-lingual.
Q: What is one piece of wrestling memorabilia you own that you could never bear to part without?
A: There isn’t one. I’m not a memorabilia guy. I have some stuff but I wouldn’t lose sleep over not having any of it. To me memorabilia is for showing off to others and that isn’t’ me. I know what I accomplished which has always been good enough for me.
Q: Are you ever able to watch Lucha Libre (AAA)?
A: I’ve watched some Lucha, but I honestly don’t get it.
Q: Do you think Orton would have had to get permission to get his arms sleeved with tattoo's like he did late last year?
A: I’m sure the office would have been happier if he mentioned it first, and he likely did, but its Randy Orton they aren’t going to fire him over tattoos.
Q: So when does the SWA Kid t-shirts go on sale??? Seriously now, after entering the ring again, if you went back to wrestling on a more permanent rate, would there be anything about your previous style that you would change?
A: My style always changed and adapted slightly so it would again, if only slightly.
Q: Paul Heyman said in one of his interviews that he left the WWE because what it came down to was that him and Vince have always had a completely different perspective on what wrestling or sports entertainment is and should be. Can you give us your insight from a
person that's worked with both on what exactly are those huge differences in their respective visions?
A: Go back and watch old ECW and then watch RAW today and you should be able to answer that question yourself.
Q: What would be your advice for a young wrestler that has had a developmental deal or even a full time contract that got released? What should one do to stay in the eye's of WWE?
A: I wouldn’t worry about staying in the eyes of WWE, I would worry about finding work, working, improving my skills, and earning a living. If you succeed and do well, WWE will be interested again.
Q: I just want to say that I am extremely athletic and was a former MMA fighter with 6 Pro Fights and fought in front of 3000 people against a UFC TUF alumni in the main event here in Tampa (where 90% Pro Wrestlers live). I make good money but I don't have aspirations to go to WWE, just Indie level in my area. Is it ok if I wrestle professionally just because I am passionate and love it. The reason is I have a family and I am not going to sacrifice that for Travel. I admit it. Do people just like being in that Indie Level? I just wanna stay in FL. We have FIP (Sister to ROH).
A: Some people do this yah. As long as you realize it will be a hobby that likely costs you money rather than a part time job that earns you money.
Q: Have you ever invested in WWE stock?
Q: I was thumbing through a PWI magazine from the late 90's and something caught my eye. It was a small article that spoke of how you wrestled Abdullah the Butcher. Do you have any memories of that match and what was Abdullah like out of the ring and what is he doing now?
A: I had several matches with Abby in Japan when we both worked for WAR, including 2 single matches. They were not my standard match but a lot of fun just the same. I even managed to give Abby a monkey flip in one of the matches.
Q. When did Vince hire the TNA writing staff for Monday Night Raw?? Has that show gone down the toilet or what recently.
A: To avoid saying anything negative, let me just say, I LOVE SMACKDOWN.
Q. Ring psychology, interaction with the crowd knowing what note to hit and when. With your experience in training/preparing young wrestlers for the big time, how much of that skill can be taught to a potential young superstar? Obviously some are born with such charisma, others in the past have learnt/adapted through the old territory system. What can be done now?
A: I think the important thing is to point out how important these skills are, and teach students ways by which to develop and learn these skills. They will hone the skill after the fact but if they aren’t shown how to develop them and use them they never will. You have to explain the intricacies of all of this first and find a way to “turn the light bulb on in their head” the light will then get brighter over time, but if you never show then where the switch is it will never get turned on. I think that is one of the down falls of the current Indy scene. There are so many unqualified trainers out there that the vast majority are never taught these skills or explained how to use them and you end up with a bunch of guys just doing moves in the dark out there.
Q: Did you catch CM Punk use "your" Rolling Half Crab on Smackdown against John Morrison? (June 26th)
A: I missed that one. I saw Tyson Kid use it against Christian on ECW. Hey if you are going to steal, steal from the best.
Q: Have you ever considered opening a forum on your site? Lot's of wrestler's sites have message boards and things like that these days, because not only is it a good place for fans to hang out and chat, but it's a simple and easy way to keep up communication with fans without having to write full commentaries every time you have something to say.
A: I’m not adding a message board, sorry. I’ve got my hands full and don’t want to have to worry about monitoring a message board.
Q: Seeing your opinion of TNA having a poor product; I was wondering if you caught Slammiversary this past Sunday which was, in my opinion, their best PPV in too long. The booking was solid and almost all the matches had good, if not excellent wrestling. If you did catch it, what was your thoughts on the PPV?
A: I did not see it and just reading the spoilers I know I would have hated it. It isn’t that the matches are bad; I get so frustrated by the little stupid shit. As an example Jeff Jarrett did a promo where he actually said he DIDN’T want to win the World Title that he just had to get it off Mick Foley to get control back of TNA. No one should ever say they don’t want the world title and what does Foley having the title have to do with control of TNA? Sting was World Champ he didn’t have control of TNA. Foley has control in TNA because he is the Executive Share Holder. When the people on the show can’t even get the angles straight, I have no interest in watching. Also if Jeff’s goal was to just get the title off of Mick why did he stop other guys from winning the match? He should have been helping guys like AJ when they were close to winning.
Keep those questions coming and remember to keep Q and A emails to the point. I don’t read them my daughter complies them for me so any other information you include will be missed.