Q and A
August 27, 2015
Q: In light of the nice complement from Triple H this week (on the NXT Conference Call), have you considered what you would want your legacy in the business to be? Your in ring work where I was always a huge fan and everything I've read was very well regarded, or SWA and the quality of wrestlers that have come from your school?
A: I've never really thought about and don't see how there is any point to thinking about it. It will be what it will be and I'll just have to accept that. I never really got into the industry hoping to have a legacy, I just wanted to do the job well and enjoy myself while I did it.
Q: What is your opinion of tough enough?
A: I didn't watch the show. I didn't air in Canada and I don't watch TV shows on YouTube. That said I likely wouldn't have watched it anyway. I do not like Reality TV shows so I doubt I would have liked this one. I did a Tough Enough style reality show with SWA here in Canada called World of Hurt, and even with having a fair bit of input and fighting to make it a good show I didn't like my show either. There is too much fake reality show bullshit drama added to these shows and I think when you add that to a product that fans already think is faker than it is, it ends up being a detriment to the product in the long run.
Q: Who had the idea of you holding so many titles at once in WCW and what was your take on it?
A: You are giving WCW too much credit. No one really had the idea; it was something they just came up with as it went along. The decision for me to win the Hardcore Title (my second) was made the day of the show, so no doubt it was a "Oh hey what if we did this" type of idea, with no real conscious thought put into it. After I won the second one I'm pretty sure the thought process was just, "Well that was fun, is there another title we could have him win next week?" I held all three titles for a few weeks, then just gave 2 of them away.
Q: Anarchy Rules '99 vs Jerry Lynn is one of my favorite matches. Along with Hart vs Austin WM13. Bockwinkel vs Hennig iron man match to name a few. Do you have any stand out matches you feel every fan should watch?
A: I've never really sat down and put any thought into this. I really liked the Summer Slam match with Edge (2001) Guilty as Charged vs. RVD in ECW.
Q: Recently a former female wrestler said via social media that she doesn't understand, or like, why people call her by the name she had in WWE. I feel that's a bit of a kick in the nuts to her fans. Would we as fans say "hello Mr Blood" to Ricky Steamboat? Or call Hogan Bollea, Austin Williams etc. Is it unfair for fans to call you the performers by the name that made us follow your work?
A: I think you are putting way too much thought into things. If you are a true fan you will call someone by the name they wish to be called. I assume this lady worked under a different name since her time in WWE and wants to be referred to by the name she owns and can market. Your examples are ridiculous because those people have wrestled under those names in WWE and since and have never used the names you proposed. You are just making a similar argument to the fans that think they should be allowed to call wrestlers by their real names despite wrestlers asking them not too. If you are a fan of the person, respect them enough to call them by the name they wish. Quit making this about you.
Q: I've heard two schools of thought on the divas revolution. One, that it's a dud and the same formula with different faces, and second, that it's a proverbial "slow burn" and it will get there in due time. Your thoughts?
A: Before I get into my thoughts on what they are doing let me first state that I am a big fan and supporter of women's wrestling and have a great deal of respect for many of the women involved in the "Divas revolution". For the most part I think the Divas Revolution is being screwed and unless they change the way it is being presented it will fail, or at least not succeed to the level it could or more importantly should. To fully understand why you have to look at how the women are presented in NXT and how that enabled them to get over to the level that they did, and then look at how they are being presented in WWE and consider if that will also allow them to get over to that same level.
In NXT they are women wrestlers, they are competing for the NXT Women's Championship; a title belt that looks credible (actually better than the Men's Title in my opinion) and therefore can be respected. We were never told that the women were going to be taken seriously or that they were going to have good matches and be respected. They were just presented on the show in a respectable light, allowed to focus on competing to be a champion, and given enough time to do a good job if they were able. The women worked hard, had good matches, were given good angles, and fans started to care, and they got over. It was in a sense Organic.
In WWE the women are "Divas" a term when used in any other industry is a derogatory term referring to stuck up bitchy women. They compete (occasionally) for the Diva's Title, which is a purple belt with a butterfly on it. At best this looks like a Barbie toy belt and at worst it's derogatory and offensive because of the female sexual euphemism for butterfly. The women in WWE need a new title belt to compete for and in all honesty it needs to be renamed the WWE Women's World Title.
Furthermore coming out and telling us there is a Diva's Revolution and the women are going to be good and important now, was a big mistake. Don't tell us it's going to be good, just let it be good and we will come to that conclusion all on our own, like we did with NXT. Also in NXT each woman was given her turn to be focused on and chase the title. This allowed us to get behind them and follow their journey and struggle, while keeping the focus on becoming Champion. In WWE we are getting 3 groups of 3, which makes it near impossible to focus on the women individually and form an attachment to any of them and it has completely removed the focus on the title and being a champion.
In NXT the women got over one at a time. Paige won the first NXT Women's Title Tournament in a really good match with Emma, which started the ball rolling. When Paige got called up, she was stripped of the title and another tournament was held. Charlotte won this tournament in an awesome match with Nattie, to set her up and get her over. Sasha was then pushed and focused on and she got over, with Becky in a secondary role. Baylee was used to get Charlotte and Sasha over while building her own underdog status. Becky then got the focus and the push and she got over huge even in losing her title challenge (an amazing accomplishment). The long slow build was then finally paid off with Baylee in Brooklyn and we all saw what a great reaction she got winning the title.
Since the start of the Diva's revolution on RAW the title has not been the focus at all. PCB are faces, Team BAD are heels, and Team Bella float back and forth. All are getting wins and losses, no one is moving forwards or backwards and no individual is getting focus on directly. We are constantly being told it's a new era, but to be honest we are just getting slightly longer, slightly better matches, with a few new faces.
When the crowd on RAW in Brooklyn turned on the women's match it wasn't the fault of the crowd nor the fault of the women, it was the way it was presented. In the promo to set up the match Nikki Bella actually said that wins and losses didn't matter and that these muti-diva matches are pointless. She said the only thing that mattered was the Diva's Title and how she will soon be the longest reigning Diva's Champ of all time. How can anyone be surprised or angry that the crowd gave up on the match that followed when they were flat out told before it started that it didn't matter? Furthermore how can we care about Nikki's long title reign when I doubt anyone even remember the last time she defended it?
I do remember both Sasha and Charlotte making Nikki tap out to win tag matches, a fact that wasn't focus on, nor did it earn them a title match. To get this thing over you have to completely overhaul the way in which it is presented, like they did in NXT. You must focus on each woman in turn with a constant focus on the Championship. Unfortunately because they also have to focus on and promote Total Divas, they have to focus on a large group of women, in particularly the Bellas, so this may be impossible. The Bellas have improved a ton over the last couple years and they are more than capable of having good matches, but in my opinion as long as they are being focused on, this will never feel new.
Q: Sir, do you see advantages that students who are training to be wrestlers now days have that you wish you had when you were training?
A: I think this is more and apples and oranges situation. The level of training available today is likely way better, but the opportunities to get experience and learn on the job are much fewer. I'm a firm believer that on the job experience is the most valuable learning tool, and if that were still as abundant this amount of "training" wouldn't be needed.
Q: Does the consistency and longevity of Kane's work get overlooked with the majority of his career coinciding with Undertaker's? He's one of the all time great big men but he doesn't always seem to get recognized for it by people.
A: Recognized by who? I think fans often worry too much about, "word on the street" or perhaps "Word on the net". Kane's had a great long career, that he is no doubt very happy with and all of his peers respect him. I doubt he is looking for constant validation.
Q: What is your favorite match that is on wwe network that I could watch?
A: I don't pick favorites. It is a wasted effort because I don't see the need to rank things. Even if I just throw a match out here that might be a "favorite" of mine, it just leads to people responding with, "Oh, but what about this match" or "But this match is much better"
Q: How is your relationship with wwe?
A: I have a good relationship with WWE, I still have many friends there.
Q: What percent of your SWA students make it to a major corporation?
A: There is no way to answer to this question because it is an ongoing process. When trying to calculate a percentage do you include very recent classes where students haven't yet had an opportunity to make their mark? Thus far I've had 10 Students offered contracts from what I would consider big companies. I hope that number continues to rise.
Q: I've read my wrestlers comment that the ropes were different in a WCW ring versus a WWE ring. My question is that when watching old WCW on the network it seems that nice little "thump" you hear when taking a bump or stomping when throwing a punch sounds more succinct. Was that Audio mixing, or was the construction of the ring different as well?
A: The rings were constructed differently so they made different sounds. Every style of ring sounds differently.
Q: What do you think of the impact of Dave Meltzer, on the wrestling industry? Has he affected it positively, negatively, or not at all?
A: I would say he's had a positive effect on the industry. I can't imagine a single fan losing interest in the business because Dave is reporting on it, certainly not to the point where they quit being a fan. I know for a fact many people follow the industry through Dave and have maintained their interest in the sport partially because of him.
Q: Living in Calgary do you ever see Bret Hart socially? Are you friends or just acquaintances with the difference in age?
A: I would say we are friendly acquaintances. We've had lunch but don't see each other often. We talk but generally only if there is a specific reason. There is the age difference and the fact that we are both pretty quiet people.
Q: Would a Storm Wrestling Academy student receiving a Wrestlemania match do anything to relieve your disappointment of never making it on the big show yourself? Or does the absence of PPV now relegate the entire Network special to the level of the preshow?
A: An SWA student has had a WrestleMania match. Emma has had one and it didn't change my feelings on my career one bit. I'm not looking to relieve any disappointment. I worked the preshow of 2 WrestleManias but never technically had a Mania match. I would have liked to but I'm not worried about it at all. Student achievements are their own, my achievements are my own. I'm more than happy with what I achieved in my career, and hope my students will be happy with theirs.
Q: Would you have any interest in wrestling one of your former students on NXT if the opportunity were offered?
A: If the situation was right, sure.
Q: Did you ever wrestle Mick Foley?
A: Nope, would have liked to though.
Q: If you had to adopt a new finisher at this point, what would you use?
A: It would depend on where I was wrestling and what others there were already using.
Q: Do you subscribe to any YouTube channels?
A: Not a one. I'm not even sure how you go about it.
Q: Are you still opposed to writing an autobiography without a publishing deal?
A: I'm not so much opposed to it, as not sufficiently motivated to embark on such a huge task.
Q: Would you ever consider writing a guide to running a good wrestling school? Such a guide could also be useful for students deciding where to go for training.
A: No. Why would I write a guide to help others run better competition to me?
Q: Is there anything that you've learned about wrestling yourself since opening your school?
A: Tons. You can't teach technique and psychology without also better understanding it yourself along the way.
Q: I recently reread your tribute to Edge following his retirement. In it, you mentioned that he likely owed you a receipt for demonstrating the crossface on his freshly repaired neck. Did he ever pay you back?
A: Not yet
Q: With Liger making an appearance in NXT, are there any other legends you would enjoy seeing on a Takeover special?
A: I don't put thought into stuff like this, it seems like a wasted effort. If you think about it and they don't show up there is disappointment, and if they do, less surprise. I just watch the show and enjoy it.
Q: Why didn't you design a Storm 1:08 shirt to go with your others?
A: Maybe I'll do that next
Q: Is there anything on your Wikipedia page that is inaccurate?
A: I've never read it, probably.
Q: Where should a person be fitness wise before the sign up for wrestling training? I've seen so many people just jump into it and fail.
A: I get asked this all the time and there is no answer. Your fitness level requirements will vary depending on who you are (size etc). Big Show doesn't need the cardio that Adrian Neville does. This is an individual sport. Everyone needs to push themselves to their limits on all fronts. If you have everything else you can succeed at a lower fitness level, if you have nothing else the highest fitness level won't help you.
Q: I am Canadian so my question to you is from the beginning of your wrestling career to now, what moment or moments(On Canadian soil) was your favourite?
A: As I mentioned earlier I don't pick favorites or rank things. I'm also not much of a moments guy. My career was about the body of work, every single moment along the way contributed to the next. A career is like a chain; you can't pick your favorite link, because without even your least favorite the chain will break.
Q: I had always wondered, so there you are: a couple months after joining WCW, and suddenly you're carrying 3 of the company's titles at the same time. Was there any hostility in the back because of this? Granted, I know you had a few other ECW compadres there, but I can't imagine it was a welcoming atmosphere. Did you get flack from some of those guys?
A: I didn't receive any flack, but you have to remember I only had all three titles for 2-3 weeks. Everyone in WCW had guaranteed contracts so someone getting a short push (even a big one) didn't really change anything for anyone else. The weeks I had to have 3 matches per show to defend all three titles, most guys were probably glad they weren't me.
Q: Would you ever train guys who are older (40-45 years of age)? Who just love to be a part of this sport called wrestling?
A: I trained the Boogey Man, he was 41 at the time.
Q: When you first got to the WWE, who were you most excited to potentially work with that you hadn't worked with in the past?
A: I never wasted time on stuff like this. Wrestling full time is a busy job, I just focused on doing my job well and took everything one day at a time. Fantasy booking myself seemed liked a wasted effort.
Q: How was it working with Kane in the WWE?
A: I always enjoyed working with Kane. He was also one of the guys I spent more time with backstage.
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