Q and A
July 10, 2011
Q: Have you ever read William Peter Blatty's novel "The Exorcist"? I've heard it's a million times scarier than the movie of the same name. Are you into the horror genre at all?
A: I have not, perhaps Iíll add it to my, to read list.
Q: Any good stories from the locker room or about fan encounters?
A: There likely are, you should look through my archived commentaries on my site.
Q: How healthy would you say is bodybuilding? I'm talking about working only with machines and weights without the treadmill bicycle or cross trainer. Can bodybuilding be good for your heart and health?
A: Youíve kind of asked a strange question here. Do you mean how good for you is weight lifting with out adding cardio? You canít do competitive body building without cardio because youíd never get lean enough. Competitive body building is one of the most UN-healthy things you can do. The dieting involved in competing is very hard on your system. Now if you are just talking weight lifting, itís better for you than not doing it, but for long term health cardio is going to do you far more good than muscle building.
Q: If there is a new Tough Enough would you take a trainer position on it?
A: There are too many variables to consider, I canít answer that. I have a fairly full time job, running Storm Wrestling Academy; I canít just drop that and do what I want. There would be serious scheduling issues to over come before I would even be able to.
Q: Zack Ryder has gained huge popularity on the internet. Recently that has spilled into the arenas via signs and chants for Ryder. It has been getting harder and harder to ignore. What are your thoughts on this new media phenomenon in contrast to old school times?
A: I think phenomenon is a bit strong. Guys used to get over by standing out on shows. Zach has apparently managed to do so on YouTube. Time will tell if it ends up being a hindrance or a help to his career.
Q: I was wondering what your perspective was on developing prestige for titles? Do you think itís better to have the champion make several defences a month to build him as a worthy title holder, or have the title defended every so often so that the title matches are more meaningful? Or would this work depending on the rank of title?
A: Both can work. Defending it often can make you seem like a fighting champion and of you do that over a long period of time, the Champion becomes very over and the Title along with him. If title defences are rarer and made out to be a big deal that can get the title over too. I do not feel the Champion should be fighting every week, especially in impromptu matches.
Q: Why do you think OVW produced so much better talent than FCW? Was it having all sorts of different minds running it like Heyman and Cornette vs FCW everyone is like the song little boxes ďWhere they were put in boxes and they came out all the sameĒ. Should they run one in say Florida, Canada, and New York?
A: I do think more developmental systems would help. I think it is getting harder and harder to find new talent interested in getting into the business so some of the problem might be less talent to choose from. That being said there is still talent out there. I havenít been to the Florida facility so itís hard to comment too much on how and why they are doing what they are doing there.
Q: What are your thoughts on new WWE debutant Jinder Mahal? He's from Calgary and worked for PWA. Did you know him, work with him or have a hand in training him in PWA or otherwise?
A: I know Jindar, he was the PWA Champ when I took over the book here. I think he was trained by Bad News Allen and Gama Singh. He was already working when I opened SWA. He was signed to developmental shortly after I took over the book so I didnít get to work with him much.
Q: I was wondering if you and Justin Credible were close friends whiling teaming together in ECW? Also, whatís your relationship like with him today?
A: We were good friends at that time yes. We didnít have a falling out, just lost touch after going our separate ways. I have not talked to him in quite a while. No doubt when our paths cross again we will pick up where we left off when last we spoke. Not sure if you know this I actually trained Justin back in 1992.
Q: Did you ever pick up the WWE Hardcore title at a house show during the 24/7 wackiness? If so, would your win and loss count as two separate matches in your career history project?
A: This never happened so it doesnít really matter. The 24/7 thing ended shortly after I got to WWE so I never took part in any of that.
Q: When someone wins a title whether it is the tag team, intercontinental, or world title is it a big deal? Or does it depend on the wrestler? Watching Shawnís WM12 win, it seemed to mean a lot but Iíve seen other wrestlers like Cena or Orton win it and it not be a big deal at all. I was just curious or how it is looked at backstage.
A: Depends on the individual, and the title. Winning the World title used to mean a lot more because it didnít happen so often, and there was only the one World Title. Back in the day winning the World Title meant the company had faith in you to carry the company as the number 1 guy. Now guys win in for a day or two and arenít even really figured into the top 5 guys in the company.
Q: Is there anyone in the industry you've never had the chance to face but have wanted to?
A: I get this question all the time. Bret Hart, Ricky Steamboat, Shawn Michaels, Dean Malenko.
Q: Who's tougher in & out of the ring in your opinion - Lance Evers or Lance Storm? I'd say Evers as he had to deal with all the training, paying dues, etc to eventually become Lance Storm. Some can't deal with it & quit. Evers didn't.
A: This is such a ridiculous question.
Q: Can you please give your thoughts on CM Punks rant on Monday Night Raw? I thought it was amazing and obviously scripted, but there was a certain element of the 'Attitude era' about it which was refreshing.
A: I thought it was amazing too but I doubt very seriously it was scripted. I think often times fans donít understand the terms they are using, and I believe you are doing that here. I have no doubt the office approved the general bulk of the promo but there is no way that promo would have come off half as good or natural as it did if it were scripted. Iíd bet money those were Punks words as he wanted to speak them and therefore NOT a scripted promo.
Q: What are your thoughts on the WWE product right now? Rating out of 10 and why?
A: I donít rate stuff. I watch RAW way more than SD and of late RAW has been greatly improved and Iím enjoying it quite a bit. The Punk-Cena-Vince stuff has been great and matches have been going longer which has also been a plus.
Q: Given that WWE is now a PG program and has less edge to it, can you see talent being held back somewhat to get to that next level? Iím looking at the rosters and with names like Jericho, Batista, HHH, HBK, Undertake, CM Punk (soon to be gone), Edge to name a few gone, there doesnít seem to be anyone taking over to there level. It kind of feels like of either Cena or Orton was injured for a lengthy period of time then the company would really struggle to keep viewers? Thoughts?
A: Iím sick of everyone blaming everything on PG. PG and having an Edge to the product are not mutually exclusive. Punkís promo had a lot of Edge and fit within the PG format. Losing top experienced guys does hurt the product, but sometimes losing guys you donítí think you can replace opens the right doors for others. I remember in the late 90ís think that if WWF lost Shawn and Bret theyíd be done. They lost both guys and business took off. Strange things happen.
Q: Do you think any cruiserweight with a mask is always going to be seen as a second rate version of Rey Mysterio? And what would you do as the booker to get Sin Cara to overcome that obstacle?
A: There may always be they comparison but I think in time fans will embrace other masked high fliers. Iíd get Sin Cara working on his English so he can do promos and better connect to the audience.
Q: I remember when you first debuted in WCW coming in from the crowd with no shirt and attacking the filthy animals and then you would leave as quickly as you came. And that happened for 2 or 3 weeks and then the angle was dropped and you had the serious Canadian gimmick. Were you ever told what the eventual plans were going to be for that angle and why did they scrap the idea?
A: This was WCW I donít think they had eventual plans. I think they just thought, hey running in like an outsider with be cool, letís have him do that. Then they thought of something else.
Q: If you were told by the booker that your character was going to have a bodyguard who would it be? (You can pick anyone you want.)
A: No idea, I hate the body guard gimmick. Iíve never understood why a top professional fighter needs a body guard. If heís tougher than me, shouldnít he be the star, and me be his valet?
Q: Two very successful periods in wrestling were the Hulkamania/Flair years of the mid 80's and the Attitude Era/NWO/ECW years of the late 90's and personally I think one of the biggest reasons was because the rosters all the companies featured had so many incredible wrestlers who learned the art in the territories. Do you think this level of success will ever be achieved again since the territories haven't existed now for almost 20 years?
A: That is the biggest issue facing the business IMO; where do we find experienced workers that can headline? Starting guys on TV in WWE out of developmental it often takes so long until they are ready to main event that by that time they are getting stale.
Q: Are you familiar at all with the BotchaMania video series?
A: Familiar enough to know what it is but that is about it.
Q: Back at One Night Stand 2006 during the main event with RVD and Cena, do you think the crowd's trashing of John Cena was very rude and/or obnoxious, or given the ECW fans and the atmosphere it was something almost to be expected? It looked like Cena took it in good stride.
A: It was awesome. John knows whatís what, he was no doubt thrilled with the rabid crowd response.
Q: At what point in your WWE career did you feel established enough to offer suggestions about your creative direction, theme music, etc?
A: I was comfortable in WWE pretty much right from the start, but I was never one to politic much.
Q: Do you prefer the corner camera angle that WCW used, WWE donít use it.
A: I donít even remember a different camera angle in WCW, so I doubt I was a huge fan of it.
Q: From the minute RVD got into WWE in 2001 it was clear he was super-over, yet aside from a short main-event push in the very beginning, he was relegated to mid-card feuds for almost five years until he won the ECW & WWE titles in 2006. What is most amazing is despite this attempt to bury him the fans stuck with him and he kept getting huge crowd reactions. Do you think WWE finally realized that they had no choice but to elevate him, or was this slow build part of their master plan?
A: I know there were a lot of issues with Rob when he started in WWE. Many people didnít like his style, and he was stiffing a lot of guys with his kicks. I also remember a specific time when they wanted to do a heated angle to push Rob and insisted he do a heated promo to get the angle over, which I believed he refused to do, stating that he didnít do heated promos, because they werenít his style. The WWEís response was something to the effect that, if you donít do heated promos, you donít get put in heated angles, and therefore you donít main event.
Q: I just saw your match with Chris Candido from ECW "As Good as it Gets" and it was AWESOME! Joey Styles always speaks very highly of you (rightly so!) on WWE Classics on Demand. One time he was mentioning that you and Tracy Smothers were quality people, but in the same show he called one of the guys from PG-13 (I think it was JC Ice) a scumbag and basically dared him to fight him. Do you agree with Joey's assessment of JC Ice?
A: I donít know JC Ice.
Q: What are your thoughts on Jason, "the sexiest man on earth"? It is hilarious when Joey Styles breaks out in hives whenever he mentions Jason.
A: Jason wasÖ.wellÖJason, was Jason. I donít know how to put it any other way.
Q: How come the ring steps, the announce table and the barricade aren`t considered foreign objects, they are??
A: I think the idea is that they are if you pick them up and use them, but just throwing a guy at a fixed object does not count as using a foreign object.
Q: Could you go into detail about how you started appearing bi-weekly on Bryan Alvarezís show? I recently started listening to the Bryan & Vinny show and find them (and Granny) very entertaining, but just wonder how you found out about them, started working with them, etc.
A: I did an interview or 2 for The Figure 4 Weekly site somewhere along the way, and to be honest I have no idea how it all started. A year or 2 after I started my school Bryan asked me if I would be willing to be a regular guest. I thought it would be a good way to keep my name out there and to plug my school so I said yes. Over time Bryan and I have become good friends.
Q: Just wondering your personal and professional opinions on referee Jack Doan? I know heís been with the company for years, and heís always been one of my favorites, so just curious.
A: Donít know the guy well, but got along well with him during my time there, and think heís a good ref.
Q: After reading your commentary about the advice Randy Savage gave you (that was intended for Candido) about marriages in wrestling, do you have any advice of your own re: marriages in general?
A: Yes the biggest thing is be 100% honest, donít lie about anything. Iíve seen guys lie about stupid little stuff just because they think it will make it easier and it always comes back to bite them in the ass. Iím also a firm believer in, that if you arenít willing to tell your wife about it, you shouldnít be doing it. Hiding stuff from her is the same as lying and it will come back to haunt you. Always think long term! Never put yourself in a situation where you might do something stupid. Cheating isnít a risk, itís a betrayal; words to live and stay married by.
Q: Do you know if there's even been a triple-threat iron man match? How do you think this concept would work?
A: Not to my knowledge. Interesting idea, the only down fall would be fans keeping track of all the pin falls.
Q: How do you think you would have done as the face of a major wrestling company? Do you think you would've been comfortable doing talk show interviews promoting PPV events or doing major appearances? And if you were asked to have a major role in a film, would you have done it?
A: I think I would have done well on the PR front because Iíve always been comfortable on interview type show and Iím about the most clean cut honest guy in the history of the business so I could stand up to any media scrutiny thrown my way. That said I donít see myself as having the level of charisma needed to really be the front man of a promotion. Perhaps with the Bret Hart style push I could have done it but I always thought during my career there were better guys suited for that top face role.
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