Q and A

September 1, 2009

Q: Did you have a hand in doing any training at the original ECW's wrestling school. Were there any graduates in addition to Chris Chetti?

A: I’m sure there were other grads, but I had no part in that school so I really have no idea.

Q: Have you considered a post-wrestling career in TV or film? You could be a strict high school dean that constantly clashes with a popular class clown.

A: I’m assume there is a lot more to starting a career in acting that just deciding to go into TV and Film. I’m busy enough running SWA.

Q: Who would you like to see replace Jerry Lawler on Raw should he make it into politics? I think Steve Corino could be a good commentator...though probably on ECW for a start. Colt Cabanna was pretty good in FCW.

A: I’d fork out whatever money needed to get JBL back. Cole and Bradshaw were awesome together when they used to do SD together.

Q: I recently found a youtube link of a match between yourself & Jerry Lynn from 1999. It is about a ten minute match and the most notable thing is that there is not one flat back bump by either of you for the entire duration and it is still a great match. I have to admit I'm curious if the intent was to specifically have a great match without any bumps all along or if it just turned out that way.

A: I don’t recall specifically what the plan was for that match. To be honest I don’t even remember it specifically. The NO BUMP match started by accident. We had a lot of house show matches together that were really action packed and good, and somewhere I noticed how few actual bumps there were in the match. Once I noticed that we were having great matches with only a couple bumps each we decided to do a match with only one. It was going to be out of our really long back and forth pin attempt spot. We had the match but on the second last pin attempt (right before the bump) we got out of position so I cut the spot short and moved on so as not to look like we messed up. After the match we realized that we just had a really good bump free match. We did a few others on the road just for the sake of doing them.

Q: You have said REPEATEDLY that you enjoy being off the road and that if the WWE asked you to comeback you would say no. You also said that one of your students was being given a look at by the WWE. My question is, if the WWE said they would sign one of your students but wanted you to come in as a packaged deal what would you say?

A: No matter how many different ways you ask it the answer is still the same. I AM NOT GOING BACK ON THE ROAD. I’m not giving up my family to help get a student booked. If they aren’t interested in a student enough to hire them on their own they will not have success there anyway.

Q: Do you think someone can make a MMA gimmick work? Or Even better a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gimmick work, where a smaller wrestler wearing a gi like Royce in UFC 1 gets beat down and then wins with some esoteric submission that comes out of left field?

A: Not really no. You can’t do an MMA gimmick in my opinion because the only real difference between MMA and Pro-Wrestling is that they really fight each other, so I’m not sure how you push a guy as being an MMA fighter without basically calling everyone else a bunch of fakers. As for getting over a submission expert (be it Jiu Jitsu or what ever) that is possible but getting submissions over takes a long time and can kill a lot of commonly used pro-wrestling holds, so it’s a tough balancing act. For example I always thought Samoa Joe’s rear naked choke, exposed the absurdity of a rear chin lock. If you can choke a guy out from that position why are all the rest of us idiots using a rear chin lock and NEVER winning from that position?

Q: If you were offered an opportunity to not only run your school but promote shows as part of the WWE Developmental system would you do it? If yes why and if not why?

A: I would certainly consider it. The big down side is that it is A LOT OF WORK. Part of the appeal to the school (in addition to being off the road) is having a light schedule and a relaxing life style. Running shows, doing TV, etc becomes a full time job. That doesn’t mean if the chance to be part of the developmental system on some level perhaps one that does not involve running a full time territory I wouldn’t jump at that.

Q: Forgive me for asking, but when The Miz wrestled as the "Calgary Kid" on Monday Night Raw, was the ring attire he wore in any way trying to be similar to yours? or just a coincidence? I was wondering if the Raw writers were trying to make us fans think it was you under the mask...

A: I have no idea the thought process on the outfit. No one said anything to me and I didn’t ask.

Q: In your last commentary you wrote "I am happy with my life at home and the money it would take to get me back in WWE, I’m not worth." What would that amount of money be, if you don't mind me asking?

A: I mind you asking.

Q: You mentioned in your August 19th commentary that you weren't able to get through the mockumentary Kayfabe. Is there any particular reason for this? Not attempting to change your mind, your opinion is yours. I laughed my ass off.

A: I felt it portrayed the business in an unflattering light and not an accurate one. I don’t like when people try to make the business out to be a joke; it annoys me. From the little I saw of the film there are people in the business like that but they are the minority and also the kind of people at the fringes of this business that also annoy me.

Q: Once being part of a successful and over tag team, what do you feel is missing from tag team wrestling today that allows most Tag Team belts to mean significantly less than they once did?

A: I’ve discussed this at length a few times. The problem is that there aren’t permanent tag teams. If they had permanent tag teams and didn’t have singles stars constantly working tag matches, then tag teams could still work. Almost no one works as a tag team long enough to really learn the skill at the level needed to really be great. You also have the problem of regular singles acts doing tag matches on TV all the time. It takes away from the importance of the tag division. Unless they stop all the singles programs being lengthened with Tag Matches, true Tag Team wrestling will never return.

Q: Why would you change TNA's rings from 6 sides to 4? I mean if guys can work just fine in 6 sides why fix what's not broke?

A: Because it’s a pointless gimmick. It adds nothing to the product and I know several people who think it’s stupid and can’t watch the program because of it. So often the announce team wastes valuable time pointing out that their ring has 2 extra sides rather than promoting the feuds and personalities that are supposed to draw the money. How many times do we hear, “Six sides of Steel”, or, “Let go down to the 6 sided ring”, hell I remember Mike Tenay one time trying to hype the ring where he went on and on about how many more points of impact the 6 sided ring has. That is SO DUMB. You can only run a dudes head into one turnbuckle at a time, having 2 extra ones, does not make the match more dangerous. I’d like to throw your own logic back at you. The 4 sided rings that have been used for decades in this business weren’t broke, why did TNA try to fix it.

Q: How do legit inside/backstage/behind-the-scene stories make it online?

A: They almost never do. Legit is the key, when you hear backstage stories they are almost always one side of the story, and workers by nature always have a degree of work to their stories.

Q: Do you think it would make sense to target each WWE brand to different demographics?

A: Interesting idea. The one problem I have with that is that all 3 brands are featured on PPV and those are the big money shows. What demographic do you target for PPV if each brand targets a different one. You could say all three to draw a bigger buy rate but if only 1/3 of the show is targeted towards me, I likely wouldn’t buy it.

Q: Would an off-season work in WWE if say only one brand took an off-season at a time?

A: I doubt it. TV is the big problem. One of the big attractions to WWE programming is that the station gets 52 weeks of new programming a year. Regardless when the off season was and which brand was taking it, WWE programming would be a lot less appealing to stations if they only provided 35-40 weeks of programming.

Q: We all know that wrestling is scripted, but do you feel like WWE should at least try and keep kayfabe alive? They constantly break kayfabe. On WWE.com they even have a forum asking users for storyline ideas, there's stuff like Twitter where wrestlers Tweet totally out of character, they have ridiculous stuff on RAW like Hornswoggle beating Chavo all the time, or if you saw RAW this week(Aug. 17), they had a 10 min. long promo of Santino auditioning for Freddy Prinze Jr. with sound effects inring, and they had something where Mark Henry and the Home Alone Kid suddenly switched spots when Chavo turned around, you know, just stuff that is cheesy and makes wresting seem obviously scripted.

A: This may be nit picking but this annoys me greatly. WRESTLING IS NOT SCRITPED!!!! Raw is scripted, SD is scripted. I have never been presented a script to a wrestling match; wrestling is not scripted. In addition a lot of what you are complaining about isn’t a kayfabe issue it’s a poor booking issue. As for the boys kayfabing that’s really a matter of opinion. I don’t think it hurts much. Most who bother reading Tweets etc. are never going to buy into Kayfabe anyway, and I don’t expect Brad Pit to be the character from Inglorious Bastards when and if he Tweets.

Q: I think SmackDown! and ECW are doing great currently. They don't waste time, have a good roster, and have a good mix of wrestling and storylines. However, in my opinion RAW is just terrible. Main-event wise, you've got the same guys fighting (Orton, Cena, HHH, Batista, HBK, etc) and midcard-wise the talent seem to get "lost in the shuffle," and put in pointless feuds like with Evan Bourne and MVP. I'm also sick of stuff like Hornswoggle constantly beating Chavo and the guest hosts. Anyways, my question is, what do you think of RAW right now and do you feel like RAW needs to quickly change its booking ways?

A: I agree that for my tastes SD is a WAY better show, and ECW especially when they feature William Regal and Christian in a long match like last week, is awesome. I would like to see changes to RAW but I’m a 40 year old male and not the target demographic. If they are drawing the numbers they want, selling the merchandise they want with RAW in it’s current form than so be it. I have no idea if that is the case.

Q: I was just wondering if you had an opinion on Gina Carano and Women's MMA in general. I just saw Carano vs Cyborg on Strikeforce recently, and though I'm a bit sad that Gina wasn't able to overcome the odds of Cyborg, I thought the big match atmosphere of the fight was great.

A: I’m a huge fan of women’s MMA. BoDog Fight used to feature a lot of it and I loved it. Tara Larosa was the dominant female with that group and she was awesome. It would have been nice to see Gina win but Cyborg is one big chick.

Q: Regarding the Royal Rumble, I've always wondered what the wrestlers do backstage before being called in turn? Do they all wait in a long line before their music starts?

A: No we don’t all stand in a line but we all have to stay fairly close to the entrance so we are ready when it is our turn.

Q: When the Calgary Kid came out, I was 100 percent sure it was you. Have you received any emails with anyone saying the same thing? Also, was that your ring gear that The Miz was wearing?

A: Yes there were a lot of people who thought it was me.

Q: How important is it to the psychology/story of a match to have a lot of pinfall attempts? How do the wrestlers decide/agree on when to do a near fall? This isn't something I hear discussed too often but I was curious what wrestlers' thought process is for all the pinfall attempts during a match.

A: This is way too complicated of a question to get into here, and something I think needs to be kept inside the business.

Q: Have you ever had any problems working with New Jack? I see a lot of videos on youtube where he comes off looking like a dangerous man.

A: I’ve always gotten along with New Jack. I only worked with him back in 1994 when both of us worked in Smokey Mountain Wrestling, and never had a problem with him.

Q: With what knowledge you do have of Victoria's athletic ability, how do you see her holding up in MMA?

A: My biggest concern is her knee, because she obviously can’t wear that brace in a fight. She is a great, very strong athlete so she will likely have success to a degree in MMA, but how far she will go I have no idea. I don’t know her current skill level or who she is training with.

Q: Hypothetically speaking, do you think you may be quite good at Skeleton or do you think you'd probably end up being killed?

A: I doubt I would be killed, but in all seriously I doubt I could last long laying on my stomach with my head up to see. That position bothers my neck. I’d be game to try it though.

Q: You've told a lot of stories about your time on the road with various travel partners. My question is, excluding your own history, are there any other travel pairings that we would find odd or interesting? You know, guys who we wouldn't necessarily think would be partners on the road...

A: I’m pretty sure Kane and Stevie Richards were long time travel partners.

Q: What are your thoughts on Big Vito? I had read somewhere that there was heat between you two in WCW over a title change?

A: There wasn’t heat; I’ve just told the story about him complaining to someone in the office about having to drop the Hardcore Title to me. Bitching and trying to PT your way out of having to do a job is not unheard of in the business but Vito was doing it in an elevator, with me standing right beside him.

Q: Recently, AJ Styles made a speech on Impact stating he wanted to retire from professional wrestling. This was of course a work but my question is this: what is your opinion of AJ as a performer? Also, what do you think the impact (no pun intended) would have been for TNA if his speech had been a shoot?

A: I’m a big supporter of AJ’s both as a person and a performer. That being said I don’t feel him retiring or not retiring would make a bit of difference to TNA on the whole. I haven’t watched the show in a long time (I can’t stomach it) but my general opinion is that the show makes such little sense that no one performer, no matter how good or bad, effects the over all product one lick.

Q: Which UFC fighter does you like the most?

A: I really DOES like that Brock Lesnar.

Q: Is it just me or is one of the reasons for why WWE is IMO pretty bad quality wise right now because they've gone away from listening to the fans in the attendance? They try to push what they want and people most often don't accept and it turns bad whereas when they listen to the fans and go in direction that fans want (like turning Jericho and Punk heel or putting the belt on Jeff) it produces the best results. I realize they're trying to push the family friendly image but a lot of the Attitude Era fans still attend their shows so it's a lot of disharmony right now and it's affecting the product. Do you agree with this?

A: I think you contradict yourself in your own question. You say WWE is poor quality now because they don’t listen, yet point out several cases where they are listening and the quality is good. You can’t please everyone and as bad as this sounds, the older Attitude Era fans likely aren’t the prime focus right now. Fans like you and I are the kind of fans that have stuck with wrestling for a long period of time and even if we don’t 100% love the product right now aren’t likely to tune out completely, so focusing on attracting a new younger base that will stick with the product as long as we have does make some sense long term. If you like the style of wrestling I like just be sure to catch Smack Down each week, it’s been fantastic.

Q: For a TLC match, have the wrestlers practiced taking bumps off of the props used in the match, or do they just go out there and wing it? Like, is a bump just a bump, no matter what the circumstances? Or do the wrestlers practice taking bumps off a ladder before doing a ladder match? It's hard for me to imagine a bump in the ring is the same as a bump through a table from the top of a ladder; it has to have been practiced at least once before performing a stunt like that in front of an audience... right?

A: Wrong!!!!! Most bumps involving ladders and tables etc. hurt way too damn much, to ever practice them ahead of time. You just go out there and do it and hope for the best.

Q: Compared to other countries such as Mexico, Japan and the US, Canada does not seem to be as big on wrestling. What do you think of the current day Canadian wrestling scene, and do you think that pro wrestling in Canada will ever be as big as it is in Mexico, the US or Japan?

A: Canada is in a different situation than Mexico or Japan. While Canada doesn’t have its own large wrestling organization it’s still a big wrestling country. We don’t have our own, New Japan or All Japan, or CMLL or AAA, we have WWE. Canada is WWE country and Canadian fans are some of the hottest and most loyal WWE fans there are and a ton of Canadians make it big in WWE. Just because Canada doesn’t have its own local large territory doesn’t mean it’s not big on wrestling. I think it’s a culture issue. Japan is a different culture and a different style of wrestling appeals to them, the same for Mexico, but Canada culture wise is the same as the US and the wrestling style we grew up on is the WWE style so that is what we support.

Q: Do you think one day in Canada a large promotion comparable to large promotions in other countries could pop up?

A: No, see above. WWE is to strong in Canada, for a national level Canadian territory to succeed.

Q: What are your views on promotions that rely immensely on comedy wrestling? Such as CHIKARA Pro or Inter Species Wrestling?

A: I haven’t seen either so I can’t fairly say. I would assume I would not care for them. IMO much like “Hardcore” wrestling, excessive comedic wrestling damages the over all credibility of the industry and is bad for the sport. When you treat the business like a joke, fans start viewing it as a joke, and that is NEVER a good thing.

Q: In the Invasion angle, DDP was first featured as a top star going against Taker. Right after the feud, he was demoted quickly, not even being on the Survivor Series team for the Alliance. Why was he, despite being one of WCW's only main event players, pushed down so hard?

A: I don’t know for sure but I believe it was because they felt his work was not strong enough. I do know there was a real issue with his inability to flat back bump and feed a comeback. This is pretty much an absolutely must for a heel and something DDP wouldn’t have had to do as a face in WCW.