Q and A
July 2, 2010
Q: Have you ever read any of Tim Dorsey's books? He's like a wackier version of Carl Hiassen. His main character, Serge A. Storms is unforgettable.
A: I havenít although Paul Lazenby has recommended him to me, I should get around to checking him out.
Q: Aside from the UFC, do you watch any other MMA promotions (WEC, Strikeforce, Bellator Fighting Championships, DREAM, etc.)? If so, your thoughts?
A: Iím game to watch pretty much any MMA. Iíve watched all the CBS Elite XC, then Strike Force stuff (I donít get ShowTime). I catch WEC and Bellator when I can, on The Score, and Fight Network in Canada airs a lot of other MMA. I certainly prefer UFC events but for the most part I enjoy MMA as a sport regardless of who is putting on the event.
Q: What was the longest you have ever grown your hair?
A: Iíve never had long hair, likely the longest my hair has ever been would be about as long as Justin Gabrielís is now
Q: What do you think of Jim Cornette's email to Terry Taylor where he makes what some perceived as threats on Vince Russo's life. I understand that he thought he was just sending a private email to a friend, but do you feel he may have crossed a line with his choice of wording?
A: Yeah, not the wisest choice of wording, but Cornette cuts promos and blows off steam thatís what he does. I donít believe for a second he was actually threatening harm to Russo he was just angry at the damage Russo has caused to the business (rightfully so) and was cutting a promo and venting.
Q: In regards to Jim Cornette's email, do you feel Terry Tayor did the right thing by alerting TNA's legal team to the matter (assuming it was Taylor who leaked the email)?
A: In Cornetteís email he pretty much tells Terry to pass this email along to others in TNA so itís not like he betrayed a confidence by allowing others to see the email. It may not have been Terry directly that sent it to TNA Legal. At least from my understanding.
Q: Obviously you have much respect for both Bret Hart and Ric Flair. Does it ever bother you when two guys you respect so much in the business get involved in a public war or words? As a fan of both, I hate seeing it because neither guy ends up looking better and by attempting to tarnish the reputation of the other, I feel like they tarnish their own as well.
A: The high road is unfortunately the road least traveled in our business. Sometimes our emotions get the better of us.
Q: I was reading your workout theory, and saw that you said you alternate abs and cardio with each workout. I was wondering what you do for cardio to keep it from becoming boring. What exercises do you find best for cardio besides running?
A: Cardio is boring!!!! I listen to radio shows from the Wrestling Observer website to combat the boredom. The twice a week Bryan and Vinny show is fantastically entertaining and takes my mind of the boredom of cardio.
Q: I was just wondering whether you have ever seen any of the old British Wrestling from the days of Big Daddy (Shirley Crabtree), Giant Haystacks (Martin Ruane, Lockness in WCW), Mick McManus, Jackie Pallo, Johnny Saint, Kendo Nagasaki, Mark "Rollerball" Rocco, Fit Finlay etc? If you have seen it, what was your opinion of it?
A: I have not no, so I canít offer comment.
Q: What do you think about the Straight Edge Society? In my opinion, this is one of the greatest things in WWE for a long time.
A: The SES has been fantastic and Iím a bug supporter of Punkís.
Q: TNA, being TNA, missed a huge opportunity on a match that I think if booked right could have been a pretty big match. Since they haven't wrestled since the last Nitro, I was thinking Flair VS Sting would have been an amazing legends match if they just let them both just be who they naturally are. I know I'd want to watch it, would you?
A: I donít think any one match in TNA is going to make a bit of difference business wise. It might be a match TNA fans would want to see but I doubt it would draw anything more or les than anything else. TNA is at a point where those who watch, watch, those who donít, donít. They need to change to over all perception of the company to effectively change business. Me personally I have no interest in seeing Flair Ė Sting one more time. I saw it ďOne More TimeĒ over 9 years ago, which was a decade after its prime then. I love and respect both guys, but the memories I want of that match are from The Clash of Champions in 1988 or The Great American Bash in 1990, not Impact 2010.
Q: I've been in Tae Kwon Do for a while now and we often practice taking various break falls. I imagine they are somewhat similar to wrestling bumps based what I've seen on Tough Enough and just other videos I've seen where people learn bumps. When I first started doing break falls, I felt like my brain was sloshing around and often got headaches from the impact even though my head wasn't hitting the mat (but probably whipping back from time to time). Is this a normal feeling when learning to take bumps?
A: Quite common yes.
Q: Back when I first started watching WCW Saturday Night, I often heard Dusty Rhodes say that guys who won their match were "going to the pay window". Now I know that wasn't the case exactly, but it did make wins and losses seem a bit more important to me in my youth. Now, I don't see any significance to winning in WWE and matches are often no more important than any others (especially in 1 minute matches). Do you feel the same? If so, do you think they should try to make matches and even titles seem more important?
A: Iíve been ranting about this for a while. Just a week or so ago on NXT Miz (I think) made the comment to one of the Rookies who lost that, ďPeople who win matches make more moneyĒ and I thought that was great. I think short TV matches have also damaged match credibility and peopleís star power. How important can a match be when it is only 2 or 3 minutes long, and how much of a star can anyone be if they lose in 2 minutes. I know guys in MMA lose in short fashion but itís usually a big deal when they do and they do and if they do it more than twice in a row they are often released.
Q: You were able to retire from full time wrestling rather comfortably and easily (for a lack of a better term). You've indicated you were very thrifty, but did you make any investments or just save wisely?
A: I was not able to retire and just sit home and put my feet up and never work again, but I was wise with my spending and investing to the point where I am comfortable and not in need of a very large income to live comfortably and maintain my familyís lifestyle.
Q: I've always been fascinated by journeyman wrestlers and am amazed by their storied careers (you, Jericho, Guerrero, etc). I've always wondered though, how do you overcome language barriers in the ring? Especially if you're trying something risky or difficult?
A: Wrestling is a fairly universal language. Clothesline, and Slam are nto words you need to translate for people. If you are concerned with a communication issue you donít try risking and dangerous things.
Q: I live a pretty active life style from martial arts, weight lifting, and teaching a self defense course to high school students. I'm often dealing with aches, pains, and occasional injuries. It bothers my girlfriend because she hates to see me in pain. If you don't mind me asking, was it hard for your wife when you got banged up or hurt? If it was an issue, was there any way you both got through it?
A: Sheís gotten so used (pronounced SICK AND TIRED) of me being hurt or in pain she offers no sympathy and pretty much just ignores both me and my discomfort. I think she figured they are self inflicted wounds so I should just shuck it up.
Q: Have you read Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy yet? And if not, do you plan to at some point? I'm about halfway through the 2nd book right now, enjoying it quite a bit!
A: Never heard of the book and thus have no plans to read it.
Q: After reading a few of your commentaries on the likes of Jerry Lynn and Ultimo Dragon and how they were so easy to work with that (at least in the case of Dragon) you mentioned working them as 'basically a night off', I began to notice that a lot of commentaries and shoots from other wrestlers included Dean Malenko as one of the easiest and safest wrestlers to work with. If you were to hypothetically create a 'night off' list of easy wrestlers to work with, would Dean be on such a list?
A: I never worked with Dean so I canít say 100% but I would imagine so yes. Iíve never heard anything about his work to indicate he was anything but a complete pleasure to be in the ring with.
Q: Vince Russo has booked some awful material in his career, but can you think of anything good that he has come up with?
A: I canít specifically point anything out, but I would imagine there were several things in his WWF run that were good. The problem with Russo, in my opinion, is that he can come up with 1000 ideas but only a certain percentage of them are good. When he worked for WWF there would have been good wrestling people working over him to sift out all the crap and better focus the few good ideas. In WCW and TNA he had or has no filter and it seems like all 1000 ideas get on every show, and you are left with an obscenely over booked over written show with a lot of bad ideas on it.
Q: Many people feel the Ultimate Warrior was very fortunate to get as far as he did in wrestling for someone who had ďlimited abilityĒ. Is there anyone you feel also was lucky to get success despite being perceived by some/many as a limited worker?
A: There are a ton of guys in the business that had greater success than their work rate would have warranted. I donít see any point in naming names, because even when you look at those cases itís not just about work rate. There is charisma, and showman ship that can play a big factor in people getting over with a crowd and deserving a push. I think even Warrior would admit he wasnít the best worker, and conversely even his staunchest critics have to admit the guy had charisma and presence and got over with the people.
Q: WWE has just announced a long overdue Chris Jericho DVD. Apparently its going to be 3-discs, which I personally think he could fill 20 with his career and lack of DVD to date. Being as close as you have been with Jericho, I thought it would be interesting to see what matches you would put on his DVD? Thanks, Michael.
A: He could definitely fill a 10 DVD box set but letís just be grateful we are finally getting what we are. It would be too much work to comprise a list, because I would have to go back and look at his whole career to pick. The important thing is that Jerichoís pro-debut (a match with me) is on the disc.
Q: What are your thoughts on Hornswoggle as far as a performer and entertainment value are concerned? And also should he go back to the "Little Bastard" gimmick because imo that was the only time he was remotely entertaining.
A: Hornswaggle was very over and I believe sold a ton of merchandise. Heís a great performer for kids, but not my cup of tea (I seldom like comedy segments).
Q: Do you think that TNAs demise started way back when, well, they decided on the name TNA, as in, the world known abbreviation for Tits and Ass? Kinda like, a joke of a name for a joke of a wrestling show?
A: I donít think the named doomed them, but I think it does go a long way to show the lack of care and attention to detail, not to mention long term planning they have put into the company. I think when they started it was The NWA and TNA was just going to be the name of the TV show. I did a commentary and pointed all this out a long time ago, that giving your product a joke name was likely not a great first step. Even if you over look the Tits and Ass reference, ďTotal Nonstop ActionĒ is a poor name for a wrestling company.
Q: On Impact numerous people call Brother Ray, Bubba. How are they allowed to do that? I thought the whole point of changing his name from Bubba to Brother Ray was WWE owned everything Dudley.
A: I would imagine itís more a case of them owning Bubba Rey Dudley, and the occasional use of Bubba isnít enough to sue over and likely a hard case to win.
Q: Iíve always been curious about this. When a wrestler hurts his knee for example and needs time off for surgery, the writers often write that person off in an injury angle. Why is it the always pick the real place the wrestler is hurt? I mean Randy Orton, who it hasnít been reported needs surgery though, got drilled numerous times in the shoulder by Edge with the chair. That has to hurt, no matter how safe the workers are, right? I mean if you want to write say, Randy Orton off, why not have Edge destroy his knee, an uninjured body part, as opposed to his already sensitive shoulder? If HBK or Rey Mysterio needed knee surgery, the always have a heel attack their knee, and not some place uninjured in real life like an arm. Doesnít make much sense to me.
A: I think more than anything itís a way to add some realism to the angle, because a lot of fans know what the real injury is. It also makes more sense if they come back and are wearing a protective brace on the body part that was ďinjuredĒ on TV.
Q: What do you think of Jay Lethal? His impersonation of the Macho Man is great. I just saw him do Ric Flair last night on Impact and it was hilarious. He was spot on in my opinion. He even sounded a like Mr.Flair.
A: I quit watching Impact so I havenít seen the Flair impression but I have heard itís great. Iíd rather see the guy get over doing himself, because I think he will be worth more as a performer long term if he does. Jay can be very entertaining as himself so why not let him do that.
Q: What is your favorite wrestling company nowadays (I mean in the whole world)?
A: I donít watch enough World Wide so Iím likely limited to North America. This is a tough call because Iím on the fence between WWE and ROH. Just looking at in ring product Iíd likely lean towards ROH, but when you look at the big picture as far as over all presentation WWE is head and shoulders above everyone. When the right guys are in the ring WWE, but in my heart I love ROH and the wrestling product it stands for.
Q: How do WWE contracts work? Are they a combination of length and dates? I ask this because I'm curious how things would work for a guy like Y2J who at one point was working on Raw, SD, and NXt. Does it just count as one taping when shows are doubled up, or do the guys get like a pro-rated "bonus/salary" for additional appearances?
A: Everyoneís contracts are different. I believe all contracts cover a set duration but a few guys do have limited number of dates, be they per month or per year. On the whole though the more you work the more you make.
Q: In regards to the big Raw angle, do you think adding an experienced vet as the groups mouthpiece would maybe help? As much as I'm all for seeing who can sink or swim on the big stage, sometimes having a recognizable face would seem to help.
A: I think this is a bit of a double edged sword in that a veteran could help but it might kill the gimmick. They donít need a mouth piece Wade has a great presence and is a great talker. Where they may fall short is in work rate when they have to start having matches. We donít need to see Dave Otunga and Michael Tarver having tag matches on RAW any time soon.
Q: For awhile, I meant to ask if you were participating in the Sports Legacy Foundation's study but then I saw your name mentioned on a press release from the group. Is this something you encourage your students to do as well? Should fans encourage other wrestlers to participate or is this something that is so personal that it should be left to the individuals to decide for themselves?
A: I was one of the first people to sign up, and while I would encourage everyone to take part (I think knowledge is power) it is up to the individual and how they feel about organ donation.
Q: What his your opinion on Bryan Danielson being released from his WWE contract? Do you consider being too violent for PG (in an angle focused on being overly violent) grounds for immediate termination?
A: I think I commented on this already but one last time for the record. It sucks that he was released, and if everything we have heard is true, itís just an unfortunately situation. He did something on TV that someone more important to the company than him had a problem with and the company was in a position where someone had to take the fall and Bryan got the ax. Life isnít fair, hopefully he will get another chance in the not too distant future.
Q: Just a quick question. Iím a big Hart family mark and I read on your Endorsement page Jim Ross quote about you training Dallas Hart. If so, what was he like as a student, and how do you think heíll manage? Also, where is he wrestling now, if at all?
A: Dallas didnít end up sticking with the training, and is not pursuing a career in wrestling. The bit of training he did do, he seemed to have an aptitude for the job, but he decided his future was down a different path.
Q: Sorry if this was answered before, but did you come up with 'Calgary....Alberta, Canada,' or did someone give that to you?
A: In ECW Paul wanted me to be Pro Canada / Anti USA in all my promos and since that was sort of what Bret Hart was doing at the time in WWF, I wanted to make my stuff a little different so I decided to focus just on Calgary, and the CalgaryÖAlberta, Canada was just the way I said it and it caught on.
Q: Ever since Vladimir Koslov made his debut, his looks, style and presentation reminded me of you. Then he started getting into comedy skits with Santino (or in your case, Goldust). When he got into the "Dance off" on the viewer's choice episode, I was certain that they are now simply replicating your gimmick. I mean, a non-american, straight no-nonsense, legitimate fighter turned-dancing comedy act? Even on a personal level, word backstage is that he is a very nice person who tries very hard at anything he is given. Any thoughts on his situation? Do you feel you can relate to him? Is he doomed to mid-card comedy like Santino until creative "has nothing for him"?
A: I think the one big difference you are over looking is that our work rates were completely opposite. I think in Koslovís case they are trying to come up with something for him to do that does not involve long matches because he is not a great worker. I could pull off the matches so I have no idea what they were thinking in my case.
Q: Out of curiosity; counting this one, how many e-mails have you received regarding Bryan Danielson's release and what are your thoughts?
A: WAY TOO MANY!!!!
Q: I noticed you have read the Jack Reacher Novels by Lee Child. Over the last months I have read the entire series since my dad got me hooked on them. I'd read the books every chance I would get, and usually finish in two to three days. He is reading the Vince Flynn series now, and I plan on starting those soon as well. Do you have a favorite Reacher book? What did you think of 61 hours? Who are some other authors you have read that I may be interested in based on my enjoyment of Child?
A: It would be hard to pick my favourite Reacher, especially since itís been so long since I read most of them. Die Trying, Persuader, Running Blind off the top of my head as extra great ones. I lost interest in the Vince Flynn stuff after a couple books. Give F. Paul Wilsonís repairman Jack series a go itís AWESOME. Maybe also Dan Simmons Joe Kurtz series.
Q: A couple of World Cup related questions. Did you ever play or watch soccer when you were younger? And did you wrestle in South Africa on a WWE tour?
A: Never been to South Africa, or anywhere in Africa for that matter. Iíve played a bit of soccer as a kid but never competitively on a team.
Q: I'm just wondering if you caught Ring of Honor's recent iPPV event, Death Before Dishonor, and what your thoughts were?
A: I didnít catch it no. It was the same night as a big show here in town that I actually wrestled on so I missed it. I heard it was awesome though.
Q: What is your prediction for the Lesnar-Carwin UFC Title Fight? I'm picking Brock via ground and pound in the first round. His wrestling is just too strong for a guy who likes to hang and bang as much as Carwin, and once he's got him down I think it's only a matter of time.
A: This is a tough pick, with guys this size anyone could win. Iím going with Brock, because I always do, but I have no idea how or when heís going to win it. Iím hoping Brock can control Carwin enough to avoid the big bombs and wear him down to the point he can pound him out.
Q: I was watching some old 1990's WCW the other day, and I noticed that guys like Jim Ross and The late great Gordon Solei, where talking a lot more about the mechanics of what was happening in the ring. They where talking about human anatomy, (joints, at one point Solie said "Oh and he's working the mans Quadriceps Femoras"). It seemed really interesting and legit. Like a sport. Now all they do is 10 minute long promos about some storyline happening, instead of what's happening in the ring!!. What do you think about modern vs old commentary?
A: Anytime pro-wrestling is portrayed and treated like a SPORT Iím a happy man. I much prefer the older approach.
Q: I got two questions for you and both of them involve blood. In the last little while WWE has been interrupting matches when wrestlers get cut in order to stop the bleeding. I went to a Raw event a while back and Goldust was cut during a match against Regal so they stopped the match to fix him up, but it took quite a while for the match to resume and really killed the momentum. Also the match finished shortly afterward so I think they should have just let them finish the match. I know WWE is making an effort to be more PG, but what are your thoughts?
A: I donít think Iíve actually seen a match where they have done this but on the whole I think I would be against it but WWE has their policy, for what ever reason, so we should all just accept it and deal with it.
Q: Just got back from Buffalo and Toronto for a little double ROH shows. I love ROH and support them in all the ways one can, but I have to wonder, after the crazy Main-Event from their Toronto PPV (Tyler Black vs Davie Richards), how much is too much? Guys kicked-out of EVERYTHING and the kitchen sink, getting caught in finishers upon finishers upon submissions upon 14 more finishers, but still they kicked out... The crowd loved it, and it made for one crazy "you had to be there" moment, but man, how much is too much? Does that make the other guys on the show look way weaker for getting pinned on, say, Chris Daniel's Moonsault?
A: There is a point where too much is too much, obviously, but I didnít see this individual match to comment. It really comes down to presentation and what was the over all situation surrounding the match, and weather it was a significant enough of a match to warrant going this far. Where I have the bigger problem is when guys on the undercard in more or less meaningless matches just kick out of everything for the sake of just getting a reaction and trying to get over just doing moves. If there was enough story and drama to go with the number of kick outs then it might have been okay.
Q: Back when CM Punk lost the belt to the Undertaker, there was "online talk" that it was due to some conflict between the two of them. I wasn't there, so who knows. Now, while Taker is no doubt very respected, would he really have the sway to get the belt off of someone?
A: Like everything in wrestling it all depends. If there were enough other detractors or the office was second guessing Punks Title reign already, then a lot of people would have the power to kill his run as Champ (not saying that is what happened I wasnít there either). But if Punk was universally supported and WWE was fully behind him then Takerís opinion no matter how respected might not be enough.
Q: How do WWEís ďno competeĒ clauses work? If Daniel Bryan had one how can he be supposedly accepting indy bookings already?
A: The thing with the no compete clause is that itís only an issue if enforced. I believe as long as he isnít on PPV or TV, WWE is willing to allow Bryan to take bookings. WWE is just being nice. Bryan working Indy dates doesnít affect them so they are letting the guy make some extra money. When I first left OVW, as head trainer of their developmental program, I had a short no compete clause too, but I asked WWE if they would let me open my own school before it expired and they said sure go ahead. If TNA had had a developmental program and I wanted to head there, they likely would have enforced it.
Q: I'm just curious, and I'm sure it varies from guy to guy, but if you were in Christians shoe's the last year of ECW; an established pro. Would you have rather been him, ECW champ or Jack Swagger, getting buried, but on the RAW. IMO during that year, Christian was one of the best performers in the company, the belt wasn't moved around as randomly as on other shows, he got to wrestle long (for TV) matches, against many different opponents, but he was on ECW so nobody saw it. What would have been considered a better position champ on ECW or chump on RAW?
A: It all depends on the pay cheque. If the money was comparable Iíd go where I got to have the better matches.
Q: After a few years of going easy on training how is your vertical leap doing now a days?
A: Itís likely not what it was but I can still get up better than most.
Q: The comment has been made many times that the IWC makes up only 5% of the TV audience for WWE. I'm curious if you think it could be higher, alot higher, more around 25%? Everyone owns a computer now and I'm sure at some point most people come across a smart mark website when they are really searching for WWE.com.
A: I donít think it matters that much. Even if itís 25% (I canít imagine it being higher) that is still the minority of your fan base. Personally I would be surprised if itís as high as 10%.
Q: What is Vince McMahon's problem with Jim Ross? Vince made Jim kiss his ass in his hometown, the Dr. Heiney skit which made fun of his colon cancer, firing him how many times etc, but Eric Bischoff gets to make out with Vince's daughter and wife on Smackdown. You would think it would be Eric Bischoff being treated like crap.
A: Wasnít Eric thrown in a garbage truck and carted off the last time he was fired? No one is safe in WWE not even Vince. He has been humiliated as badly as anyone. Remember DX shoving Vinceís head up Big Showís @$$? Vince peeing his pants when Austin scared him with the gun (toy gun)? I think a lot of fans love JR so Vinceís sees it as a means by which to generate Heat. No one remembers the times JR was put over. I personally worked a RAW Main Event where it was William Regal and I against JR and Jerry Lawler, I think in Oklahoma, and JR got the pin fall win to close the show.
Q: I think it has come to the point where the WWE and TNA have booked so many gimmick matches and gimmick themed pay per views that when they try to promote a regular match with no gimmick or special stipulations it just turns me off because there is just no angle or reason to care as to why I want to see anyone wrestle unless a ladder or cage is involved. What if anything can be done to break this mentality among fans because I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way.
A: Iíll go you one better, they have thrown so many pointless concept matches at us that not only do regular matches mean next to nothing, Iím numb to the whole gimmick match concept idea too and I doubt much of anything will draw anymore. The remedy is a slow long term change back to wrestling basics and proper BOOKING of angles. There will likely be a drop in business for a while but that is what I think will bring it back.
Q: Do you ever receive any hate mail from TNA fans?
A: Are there any TNA fans left?
Q: I took some flack years ago because I was (and still am) a HUGE fan of Alex Wright. I thought he was a very good competitor, effective on the mic, and I freely admit, I loved the "Alex Wright" dance. I feel he should have definitely gone farther than he did. My question is, what were your thoughts on Alex Wright as a wrestler and a person, and since he is still a young man (only 2 years older than John Cena) do you feel he could have another run in pro wrestling?
A: Alex was a nice enough guy, but I did not see him as a top level talented worker. To me he was a guy who could do moves and spots but never fully understood ring psychology and the bigger picture of this business. He only had a few matches before getting his break in WCW so on the whole he was a pretty green worker, who likely didnít get a lot of direction in WCW, so in my opinion never had the chance to progress enough to become a top worker.
Q: Have you been asked to participate in Chris Jericho's DVD? I would think that including you would be a no-brainer considering your past with Jericho.
A: I sent Jericho a copy of our first match so it could be included in the DVD but that has been my only involvement. Jericho did commentary for the match, and it would have been great to be able to do it with him, but I donít think air travel is in the budget for DVD projects.