Q and A
August 14, 2011
Q: Either while you were wrestling or even now. Did/do you ever have any serious regret being away from your wife/kids so much when you were wrestling during your professional career. And if so would you ever do things differently? If you had the chance again, would you do the same thing with your life?
A: On the grand scale, no I would not do anything differently. By that I mean I would not choose a different profession. There are obvious little things throughout my career I would change along the way, but nothing major. My wife and I have been together more than 20 years now, so what ever we did worked. I doubt in the grand scheme of things we spent less time together because of this job, than someone who worked a 40 hr per week regular job. During my peak years sure we would have seen each other less, but the years I worked in Japan or SMW we spent more. As for my kids, again outside of my peak years I spent probably more time with my kids than most dads. I was also lucky in that my youngest daughter was only 4 when I retired from full time competition so I only missed a couple years with her, none of which she even remembers. You have to understand I got off the road young (35) and time with my family being one of the major factors in that decision.
Q: You mentioned a few Q&A's back that Vince hates referring to the championships as "belts." Why is this?
A: Because it sounds low end, and I completely agree with him. He was okay with "Title Belt" just not "belt" by itself. If I'm the Champion people want to beat me to become Champion or to hold the Title. That sounds more prestigious than they want to hold the belt. You want the belt for what it represents not for what it is.
Q: It almost feels like there is a master plan to destroy the concept of ring generals and masters of psychology and promos. That way if any star leaves the WWE they won't know how to perform without a writer telling them what to do. Is this a crazy theory or does it have merit?
A: It's a crazy theory.
Q: Is the etiquette any different in the locker rooms of Japan or Europe as opposed to North America?
A: Slightly different because of cultural differences but basically the same.
Q: When you were training to be a wrestler was there anything that you dreaded or were nervous about doing?
A: Coming off the top rope the very first time was a little intimidating but otherwise no not really.
Q: Is there any one match that TNA could promote that would get you to end your boycott?
A: It's not about matches, it's about how absurdly booked the promotion is.
Q: In your opinion, if you bring in 2-3 former WWE names to work a small independent show, does it make more sense to have them try to work in the same match, or separate matches against local talent? For example if I see Billy Gunn, X-Pac and Lance Storm all booked on a card, I'd rather see all of you in a 3-way match, or in a tag match with DX vs. Lance Storm & "inset local name here"
A: It all depends on what the promotions goal is and what the guys are willing to do. Letting your local talent work with more experienced name talent can really help elevate your local guys, both in appearance and over all experience and skill. It also depends on whether the name talent is willing to put someone over. If they are not willing to get beat, it doesn't help your promotion to bring guys in to just beat the guys fans are supposed to pay to see next month.
Q: Hey Lance do you agree that as long as the WWE keeps that Spinner belt it will always give the impression that it's John Cena's belt and he's just loaning it out when he loses it. Until they change it back to a normal belt I'll always expect him to win it back at some point.
A: I think there are some fans that will think this yes. I was hoping for a new title when they did the tournament, after Punk left.
Q: When do wrestlers find time to get elaborate tattoo work done AND have time to allow it to heal? It would seem that their schedules wouldn't allow for them to sit out a few weeks while the tattoos go through the bloody/scabby stages, and wrestling during those stages can't be good in terms of potential blood exchange or early scab peeling which can damage the artwork. Yet it seems like these wrestlers don't miss a beat — they seem to go from no tattoo to fully healed tattoo in days.
A: Seriously you can't figure this out on your own? I don't have a tattoo and I've never asked anyone who has a tattoo and I can figure this out.
Q: In a hypothetical situation, if the Ultimate Warrior had come to your school at the start of his carrier so you think you could have turned him in to a better worker?
A: There is no way to answer this question. I don't know the guy so I don't know how hard he tried to become a good worker. His level of skill may be from the amount of effort he put in, or the level of training he received. There is no way of knowing.
Q: What are your memories of working ECW's first PPV? From my understanding, you were wrestling RVD, who wasn't in that great of a mood.
A: I wrote about this a long time ago. I was so jet lagged and exhausted that night; I was really just trying to get through the match. I had spent the last 3 or 4 days in transit to the show and hadn't been to bed in a couple days.
Q: Now that you have called out the Undertaker, will you be posting more security at your wrestling school?
A: No but I hope he's posting security at his ranch.
Q: Do wrestlers really need to be big like Kane or Big Show, as long as they LOOK big like Perry Saturn or Steve Blackman?
A: Okay maybe I'm tired but, Really...Really...Really? I must be tired I'm quoting Miz. Considering 95% of the business isn't as big as Kane or Show, I would think the answer is pretty obvious.
Q: Should Raw or SmackDown go three hours? They could fit in more wrestling.
A: In my opinion there is already too much wrestling on TV. If fans get more and more free wrestling on TV what is the incentive to order PPV or attend live events?
Q: Why don't WWE house shows have video screens, is it a cost cutting measure?
A: I wouldn't use the term cost cutting, because that would imply it was an expense they used to have and cut. I would say it's an unneeded expense.
Q: Why are House shows called House shows?
A: Because the show is put on for the house. A TV show you perform for the TV audience, a house show you are performing for the people in the arena only. "The House" is a common term for the number of people in the building. If you got to a building and asked what the house is tonight they would say how many people are there. If it's a full building it's a good house.
Q: I read a lot about wrestlers' "tours" in Japan. What exactly constitutes a tour in Japan? What is the schedule like -how long are the tours, and is there a period of rest between them? Say, three weeks of working, then one week off, and so on? In your experience when a company brought you in, did they tell you in advance exactly how many dates you would be working, or do they wait to see how someone fits in before making a longer commitment?
A: The length of the tours varied depending on the company. Unlike the US where they book shows evenly throughout the year, Japan would book their shows in clumps, which made it easier to bring in foreign talent. If they book shows almost every day for 2 or 3 weeks, they could then fly talent in for that 2 or 3 week tour. When I worked for WAR they booked shorter tours, generally 3-10 shows every month, so I would do a 1 to 2 week tour every month. All Japan back in the day booked longer tours and guys would be brought over for upwards of 5 week at a time, with a few weeks off between each tour. Some guys would work every tour where a lot of guys would only be booked for a few tours each year. I doubt anyone was ever told about specific shows, just the dates of the tours. You got paid by the week not by the match so specific details didn't really matter much.
Q: I am fascinated with the Ultimate Warrior and his career. Reading some of the commentary on his website the guy comes across as someone who is quite intelligent and who did it his way. Then when watching the WWE's take on it in the Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD it seems this guy was a real pain in the ass. I know he came to WCW for a bit and wondered if you ever got some of the real happenings and were able to gather an opinion on the guy. I am also curious if you were the booker for the WWF at the time if you would have buried the guy or pushed him.
A: You can't put much stalk in WWE DVDs because they often have an agenda. Warrior sued WWE on at least one occasion so he has never been in their good books, so the DVD was intended to bury him. I though the DVD buried the office more. They spent the whole DVD saying how horrible the guy was and how dangerous he was in the ring, yet they pushed the guy to the World Title. I met Warrior on one occasion on a show in Europe and can't say as I liked the guy at all. He came off very unfriendly and very arrogant. As for me booking the guy, burying him would have been stupid, because the guy was over, but the extent I would push him would have depended on what he was like to deal with and how much he was actually drawing.
Q: What are your memories, good or bad, or wrestling in the following Canadian cities: Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal?
A: Ottawa: hard to find decent hotels by the airport, always a pain. Toronto: great crowd great city. Montreal: awesome crowd but hard to find decent food by the airport.
Q: Who normally sits backstage at the gorilla position, and who was usually there while you worked for WWE?
A: I believe Billy Kidman is there now, doing what Jerry Briscoe did when I was there. He is the guy that times out the show and is responsible for keeping the show on track as far as time. Vince was often there, likely now HHH, over seeing the show as a whole. The agent in charge of the match in the ring is also there.
Q: There have been a few wrestlers who've started doing stand-up comedy lately, Raven, Mick Foley, etc. So I was just wondering, where there any guys you travelled or worked with that were just absolutely hilarious and could have you laughing your ass off at any given moment?
A: Hurricane was always a funny guy, and if you like one liners, Arn Anderson and Dean Malenko.
Q: Just wondering what your thoughts were on Tom Cruise being cast as Jack Reacher for the movie to be based on One Shot. Personally I think this an awful choice. Cruise can't be more than 5'7" and isn't what I would call physically imposing.
A: Yeah, I'm not happy about it either. I'm sure they can make it work as a movie; it just won't feel like Reacher for those of us who have read the books. Cruise is a foot too short and a hundred pounds too light.
Q: What's your opinion of Alex Wright? I don't think you ever wrestled him; was he somebody you wanted to get in the ring with?
A: I wrestled Alex in Europe before he went to WCW. To be honest I was never a big fan of his work. I always saw him as more of an athletic guy who did his spots, rather than an all around great worker.
Q: What are your thoughts on Rob Van Dam through your days at ECW and WWE with him? His radio show is pretty good and comes across as a smart guy.
A: Rob and I are very different people so I never spent much time with him on a social level. In the ring he always worked hard and I could have really good matches with him, so I was more than happy to work with him.
Q: I was wondering if you ever had an opportunity to wrestle Owen Hart and if you have any stories about him.
A: I never worked with Owen, and unfortunately never really knew him. I met him very briefly on only two occasions.
Q: For years John Cena seems to be in the same place Rocky Maivia and HBK were (during his first WWE title run) by being the "white meat baby face" but while it was decided to turn them both heel, Cena is still face. I'm guessing Rock and Shawn both sold a lot of merchandise to kids too so why do you think Cena isn't heel?
A: I think there are a lot of reasons. I think there is a bigger gap between Cena and the number 2 seller than there was with Rock or HBK. In Rock's case didn't WWE have Austin as a top face merchandise seller at the time? I also don't think Cena would be a good heel. There is a big difference between working as a heel and working as a face. The heel has to be far more versatile, and take a lot more bumps than a face does. Cena is already quite banged up, so putting him in the more physically demanding role could shorten his career. Cena is also not the most versatile well rounded worker, so he may not be able to be a good heel. On top of that he is great with media and charity functions, which he does a ton of. Turning him heel would affect that part of business too.
Q: What would you think of the idea of your character coming out to a match without music but rather, storm sounds like fierce wind and thunder while the arena was dark and strobe lights were going off like lightning. That would give me goose bumps.
A: If it was done properly, along with a decent push it would be great.
Q: If you had the chance to go back in time and be part of any stable in wrestling history, which would you choose and why?
A: I don't like questions like this because I look at far too big of a picture when considering things to do "fantasy booking". I would have to consider, how much fun it would be, who I would be working with at the time, what the road schedule would have been like, and how much money I would be making at the time. Too many things to consider.
Q: What do you think about chants like "You Can't Wrestle" ? I personally find them kind of annoying and disruptive to the match. Every Superstar in the WWE can probably wrestle better and has a higher knowledge of wrestling than most, if not all, of the people who chant it and I tend to get taken out of enjoying a match when those chants break out. Am I overreacting to this or what?
A: Yes and No. It is a disrespectful chant but fans buy tickets and should be allowed to voice their opinions. I don't entirely buy into the, "The guy is a better worker than the fan complaining" argument. I can't dance but that does not mean I am incapable of recognizing someone else who can't dance either. More over, I am not asking others to pay to see me dance, so I would feel more just complaining about someone else's lack of dance skill if I had been charged money to witness it. And before you type your email, I realize the irony in the fact that some people may have bought tickets to wrestling shows on which I danced. In my defense had fans chanted "you can't dance" at me during that run, I would have agreed with them.
Q: How were your experiences with working with Vince McMahon (or any McMahon for that matter), Eric Bischoff, and Paul Heyman? What is your honest opinion of them?
A: I got along very well with all of the McMahons. I felt I had a good relationship with Stephanie, Shane and Vince. I didn't see much of Linda so apart from a brief hello I didn't really have a relationship with her. Bischoff, I got along with well enough in WCW and WWE but we didn't interact all that much. Paul, I got along with great and had the friendliest relationship with out of the bunch. ECW was a more intimate atmosphere so we worked closer together with each other and thus became better friends.
Q: What were your experiences like when you worked with Sting, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Goldberg, Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall? What's your honest opinion of them?
A: Sting: I really liked and respected Sting so I was very happy to get to work with him. We only worked the once and I would have liked to have worked him more. I think we could have had great matches together.
Hogan: It was pretty cool getting to work with Hogan. He was so over that it was just absurdly easy, especially since they were tag matches with Edge. Edge could do the bulk of the physical stuff which allowed us to still a have a fast paced match while still incorporating all the great Hogan stuff. Once Hogan got to know us he was so laid back and easy to work with it was a real pleasure.
Flair: I only worked with Flair the one time, a tag match in Pittsburgh, but it was a lot of fun. I would have preferred to work with Flair when he was a heel, because he was not comfortable in the face role so the match was not what it could have been.
Goldberg: I really liked Bill but matches with him were never a lot of fun. I think I could have had good matches with him but the few occasions I worked with him they were just short matches to get Bill over so I didn't enjoy them much.
JJ: I only recall the one match where we faced each other in WCW, and we had both worked previously on the show, so we just went out and called it on the fly. Jeff is a very good worker so it went quite well and was a lot of fun.
Nash: I never actually worked with Kev, but backstage he was always a lot of fun to hang around with.
Hall: I never worked with Hall and don't really know him. I think we only met once very briefly backstage at an ECW show.
Q: What did you like and/or dislike about working in ECW, WCW, and WWE?
A: Far too broad of a question, I could write a book covering this question alone.
Q: Have you ever hid under the ring? If you did, how was it, uncomfortable, etc. etc.?
A: I have not no.
Q: I remember watching the McMahon DVD and remember him or WWE superstar saying to the extent of he will not let his employees do anything that he wouldn't do. Do you believe in that statement?
A: For the most part yes. He is willing to suffer as much embarrassment, physical punishment, or take as big a risk, as his performers are asked to.
Q: It recently came out that an Indy wrestling in Ontario is suing Abdullah the Butcher for, he claims, giving him hepatitis c. In all your years of wrestling, have you ever worried about hep c while bleeding inside the ring? Is this something WCW or WWF were concerned about while you worked there?
A: I've always been smart and as careful as I can be when it comes to blood in matches. In WCW and WWE guys have regular blood work and medicals done to reduce the risk of such things. The Abdullah law suit is ridiculous in my opinion. The guy in questions willing did several matches with Abby where they both bled, as well as countless double blood baths in Puerto Rico with a variety of opponents. I believe he was also known for getting his opponents blood on his hands during matches and licking it off in front of the crowd. Even if it turns out Abby has Hep. C, there is likely a greater chance he gave it to Abby as the other way around.
Q: Thoughts on Billy Gunn as a person and as a professional?
A: I always got along well with Billy, and the guy is one hell of an athlete in the ring.
Q: Now that you have wrestled, trained and booked wrestling shows, are there any other aspects of the business you'd like to get into before calling it a day?
A: I think I would make one hell of an agent. I'd also like a run as top money earner in WWE.
Q: I'm curious to know what a typical day's diet is like for you, from your first meal of the day right to your last. I'm sure your diet isn't the same everyday but please generalize and include your supplement intake as well.
A: I pretty much just eat whatever now. I don't take any supplements now either. My wife cooks healthy meals and I try to avoid too much junk food, that's about it for me.
Q: Has anyone ever tried to reexamine and evaluate the materials that make up the ring. It seems that this might be a means to reduce injuries and the such by making a safer ring using different materials. After all, helmets in all sports have undergone several modifications and they have reduced injuries.
A: There is no need. Rings are very well designed and not the issue when it comes to injury. You could even argue that stiffer less safe ring might be better for us, because it would force us to do less and be more careful. If the ring were somehow made safer/softer guys would just be inclined to take more risks.
Q: I was wondering why Shane Douglas, who has worked with many promotions, has little if no recognition. Is this because of in ring or out of ring reasons?
A: I don't understand what you mean buy little or no recognition. Shane has been off TV for a long period of time so how much recognition should he have? This has nothing to do with his talent but when was the last time he was on hot national TV? I wouldn't count TNA, his brief run in 2000 for WCW was when WCW was faltering greatly, and even if you count that it was over 11 years ago and he was not a top guy. Before that was ECW, which while great was not strong national TV. In 1995 he had a short run in WWF, but WWF was struggling then and that was 16 years ago. Shane was a very talented guy but unless you really made your mark during a hot period on a national level, fans will only remember you so long after you leave TV.
Q: This summer has had some pretty oppressive heat waves. I was wondering if you've ever been in a situation where an event or arena was simply too hot/humid/cold/damp etc to put on a decent show.
A: In 1994 working for SMW we ran a lot of high school gyms in the summer with no air conditioning. Even standing on the apron during tag matches you'd be blown up sweating buckets. During a Northern Japan tour in February we ran some buildings that didn't have heat which were brutal. They had Kerosene heaters we could huddle around in the locker room but the arena area was so cold you could see your breath.
Q: On the 8/1/11 edition of Raw, it started with a 25 minute segment of Punk and HHH talking yet it was completely entertaining. Impact typically starts with a 15 minute in ring promo but is near impossible to get through. What do you think WWE is doing right in this situation?
A: It all comes down to who is talking and what they are saying. If we care about the characters and understand and care about what they are saying then it's good TV.
Q: Wrestlers utilize the ring steps and the announce table etc, outside the ring but if they use it in the ring it's a disqualification?
A: Apart from the question mark at the end of your sentence I fail to see how this is a question. Okay I know I'm being a smart ass but I'm tired. I think the general rule of thumb is that throwing someone at the steps is just using your environment, but picking the steps up and hitting someone with them is using a weapon.
Q: I have just read your Testosterone RT commentary, and it has reminded me of Casey Martin, the handicapped golfer who went to the Supreme Court over his right to ride in a golf cart between holes, instead of walking from one hole to the next like the other golfers. Walking is not the main part of the game in golf, so would you have made an exception in Martin's case?
A: I would not have allowed Martin to use the cart and I remember this case well. I do not believe in exceptions in sport, everyone should have to abide by the same rules. If the rules state you walk the course, you walk the course. If you are unable to walk the course you do not compete; end of story.
Q: Did you ever work with The Sandman? If so, was he drunk or sober? Is it true that he was much easier to work with when he was intoxicated?
A: I worked with Sandman a few times in ECW and never felt he was intoxicated during those matches, and never had a problem with him in the ring. If he was intoxicated I would have either refused to work with him or just beat him up in the match.
Q: With your knowledge of wrestling it would be great to see you participate in a Legends roundtable on WWE Classics. Have you been asked, and would you be interested in doing it?
A: I have never been asked, but would certainly enjoy doing so. I assume they shoot those at the studio in Stamford so I doubt they would fly me in for it.
Q: As an avid reader, is there a bookstore in any city that you particularly like or remember, and are there any good independent bookstores (not Chapters or Indigo) in Calgary?
A: I'm pretty much an online book buyer. I have a Kindle so I don't even need bookstores anymore.
Q: I have noticed that of all the top guys during the Monday night war (Stone Cold, The Rock, HHH, HBK, Taker, Hogan, Flair, Savage, Luger, Nash & Sting) the ONLY one that has not anything negative written or said about them is Sting. I know you have spoken highly about Sting before, but why do you think he has managed to be a main eventer as long as he has with pretty much everyone liking him?
A: I've never heard anyone say anything bad about Taker either. I think one of the big differences is that Sting was almost never the TOP guy. Hanging on to that top World Title spot generally takes a lot of political maneuvering and creates a lot of jealousy. Sting is a very nice guy and while he was always in the top mix he was seldom in that very top spot, which likely kept him a bit off the heat radar, and likely says a lot about his lack of political maneuvering.
Q: I just finished re-watching the original Survivor Series event (from 1987 I believe). Would you consider doing a "commentary" on that event similar to your WrestleMania commentaries? I would be genuinely interested in your thoughts and comments on the era, the stars involved, the booking, the commentary by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura, etc.
A: I'll keep it in mind, but I've got a fair bit ahead of it on my list. I still need to get to another Mania.
Q: My question is about gay wrestlers. I know there have been a couple of openly gay wrestlers (Pat Patterson, Kanyon) but do you think it would be possible for an openly gay wrestler to have huge success in the WWE or TNA without being put into a gay character Have you had any gay wrestlers come through your camp?
A: I've had at least one gay wrestler go through my camp and probably more than that; at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. How do you know there hasn't been or are currently several openly gay wrestlers on TV? Being open does not mean you have to broadcast it to the world. My religious beliefs for example are not a secret to the people who know me, I just choose to not make them part of my public image. There could be several current gay wrestlers with a similar view. Or do you mean openly gay on screen as their character? I don't think sexual orientation plays well into a wrestling character because the whole point of having a character is to use that character as a basis for feud and conflict; the common man vs. the aristocrat (Dusty vs. Flair). When your sexual orientation is part of your character it will eventually become the basis for conflict and a feud, which will only lead you towards, we are going to fight because I don't like your sexual orientation, which is not an acceptable message.
Q: During the match between Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel on this week's NXT (which I highly recommend if you haven't seen it), William Regal made references on commentary to Tyson training with you recently and Tyson also pulled out the Single Leg Crab late in the match. Did Tyson actually come train with you last week or is this just some sort of tribute to you that he and Regal put together?
A: Tyson has been to my school but he was taking liberties with his time table in this case.
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