Q and A
Septmeber 7, 2008
Q: I notice that sometimes in your Q&A you will say (Touch Wood!) at the end of a sentence and/or paragraph. What is this? Is it an insider term used by the boys backstage?
A: It’s a fairly common expression; perhaps more commonly known is “Knock on Wood” it’s a superstition thing. If you say something that if it were to come true it would be bad, you would say “Knock on wood” or Touch wood” and actually do so after you said it, to avoid bad luck and the thing coming true. I’m not sure what the origins of the expression are perhaps it started as an insider term in the porn industry and just caught on.
Q: Is there a finisher you had a hard time selling for? As in you may have thought it was ridiculous or the kind of move that wouldn't hurt?
A: I pretty much no sold the People’s Elbow the one time I took it. I was waiting for the impact to sell and there wasn’t any when Rock hit me with it and by the time I realized he had hit the move it was too late to start selling it, so I just laid there.
Q: Have you ever witnessed a wrestler assault or try to assault a promoter who stiffed him on pay?
A: I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone hit a promoter over money, but Gerry Morrow, Chris Jericho, and I cornered Tony Condello up against a wall once over Hotel expenses we felt he owed us.
Q: I recently read that you have been singed to a classic superstars figure contract, was wondering if this is true and if so will you be in ECW,WCW or your WWF/WWE attire? and do you have any idea when it would be due for release?
A: I did sign a Classics figure deal almost a year ago. It was a two-year deal so they need to hurry; I think the deal expires the end of 2009. I have no idea what type of figure they will produce but they have to send me the prototype before they can produce any and I haven’t heard a word since I was paid for the deal, so who knows when or if they will get one released.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON GETTING TIED UP IN THE ROPES?
A: If you mean the way Andre used to, I think it’s a bit silly, but don’t have a problem with it. The spot is almost impossible to do if the ring has cables rather than ropes. Even in WWE now the ropes are so much tighter it isn’t the easiest thing to do anymore.
Q: As a wrestler, how important do you feel it is to the quality and look of a match, the shape of the wrestlers is? I get that on one hand, you could be super-jacked, but not have the in ring ability. But on the other hand you have a guy like Samoa Joe, with all the ability in the world, but the truth is, he does look out of shape! Is this even important to promoters?
A: I don’t like limiting it to just shape. It’s presentation and it is very important. Perception is everything in wrestling and fans need to believe the guy in the ring can beat someone up. If they don’t LOOK like they can physically beat the hell out of someone it’s hard to make fans believe in a match. Joe to me looks physically strong enough to beat someone up, so the fact that he is not lean and doesn’t look like a body builder doesn’t bother me.
Q: How hard is it to actually create a new hold, sometimes the can come off as a bit kooky like the 'Peoples Elbow'. Do your trainees create their own finishers in your class, when experienced enough in the fundamentals?
A: You’ve covered 2 different subjects here. It is almost impossible to create a new hold or move in my opinion. Even if you think it’s new there is likely someone in Mexico or Japan that has done it already. It’s much easier and probably better to just find something that hasn’t been done in a long time or something that hasn’t been done in your area and use it. As for finishers and students, this is a real pet peeve of mine and a good illustration of how wrestling fans and students really don’t understand the business; they just know what they see on TV. When you break in to this business that last thing in the world you need is a “Finisher”. You will be working Indy show with no TV and no commentary. You work different buildings with different crowds, and seldom see the same people more than once a month. There is no way you are going to establish a move as your finisher, so other than just being a mark what is the point in wasting the time picking one. Most guys starting out never win anyway, and if they do half the time they will be told what the finish is and it might be a roll up type thing anyway. On top of that even if you get to go over with a move of your choice, there is no commentator to tell the crowd that it is your finisher and it’s call the “Mark-O-Matic”. Guys are far better served to pick a move fans know and learn to work. I didn’t have a named finisher until I was in WCW and had been in the business for 10 years.
Q: I was just wondering if since you retired has your workout program change. When you workout you did chest and bie's , legs and shoulders, and tri's and back. you said you would hit the gym 4 days a week. would you do monday and tuesday off then thursday and friday. or monday wensday and friday and a weekend day. Please explain your cycle.
A: I for the most part stick to the same routine. I try to do more cardio now that I’m not wrestling 4 days pre week. The biggest difference now is that I miss more days at the gym. The gym isn’t as high priority now that I am retired, so if things come up I miss days and don’t sweat it too much. This August was more about family vacation and I hit the gym maybe twice.
Q: This question is about blocking punches, especially since close fists have pretty much been "legalized." I have heard people in the recent past criticizing wrestling because wrestlers throw what appear to be knock out punches repeatedly to each others faces but none ever show worse for wear (obviously) and there have been rarely any knock outs by punches in matches lately. So it seems one might advocate blocking or covering up their face when one receives a punch. But as you might remember, when Great Khali was blocking punches thrown by Hulk Hogan, it made the situation kind of silly and actually made the punches look bad. So what are wrestlers to do if they don't want to look bad by taking knockout punches repeatedly without defense or cover the face at the
risk of making the punches look silly?
A: You pretty much have to go into the realm of artistic license with punches now. If you block and cover up (which you can argue makes more sense) you can’t really sell the punches much, so other than covering up when you get beat to death in the corner, what would be the point of punches. If you are throwing the punch in order to make the person sell it has to land, in my opinion. Punches in wrestling have always been unrealistic because we don’t end up with busted lips and black eyes. I think for the most part fans accept punches for what they are and anyone that tries to over think it is wasting their time.
Q: I was intrigued by your commentary on "the greatest punch." What is (in your opinion) the "greatest finisher"? (Either to witness live or to take yourself while working) You can feel free to qualify "greatest" in any terms you so wish.
A: I think Jake Roberts’ DDT was one of if not the best finish ever. It was super over, looked very believable, and could be hit on anyone and from anywhere. You could counter it and block it and his set up short arm clothesline allowed him to tease it as well.
Q: In your August Q & A, you mentioned Johnny Smith, Davey Boy's brother. Do you know what Johnny is doing these days? As a Stampede Wrestling fan from way back when, I am curious.
A: He wasn’t really Davey’s Brother that was just a gimmick. I last saw Johnny at Bad News Allen’s funeral and at that time he had just signed on with the Calgary Police Force.
Q: In your Q&A-column you state: ...there is certainly the possibility that I am the most talented guy in WWE history to never have a WrestleMania match. Which prompts the question, how would you rank yourself against Brian Pillman, who also never had a WrestleMania-match.
A: I don’t like ranking myself with other people I think that is pointless. I actually went and looked at Pillman’s WWE run though and he wasn’t active in WWE for a WrestleMania, so he didn’t get over looked or bump off the show like I did. Pillman joined WWF after Mania in 1996 and was then injured and started back with The Hart Foundation after Mania in 1997 and died later that year.
Q: Do you still object to Adamle as Gm for Raw? Cos personally, I think he's hilarious and I love someone I can boo.
A: I’m still very much against it. I think he is very poor at the job and the money being spent on him could be much better spent on talented people from the wrestling business. I refuse to believe that WWE couldn’t find someone from the wrestling business you could boo in that roll for less that the $300,000 + that they are paying Adamle.
Q: I've read that for your dream-partner tag team match against Chris Candido and Shane Douglas at Living Dangerously '98, Chris Jericho was supposed to come in, instead of Tammy/Al Snow. He was still in WCW at the time, but I believe this was around the time he was going to leave anyway for WWF. Was he actually supposed to come in, and if so, what prevented him?
A: You are confusing stories here. Al Snow was always the plan for that show. There was talk and attempts made to have Jericho as Jerry Lynn’s tag team partner, instead of RVD, at the Heat Wave PPV against Justin Credible and I. Jericho was still under contract to WCW but had already decided to jump to WWF so WCW had pulled him off TV. I came up with the idea to put Jerry and Jericho together for the match and Paul thought he might be able to pull it off by selling to WCW that if they let him work our show it would take a little bloom of Jericho’s arrival in WWF by doing the Surprise ECW cameo first. In the end it didn’t pan out and we went with my plan B idea of RVD and Jerry together.
Q: I recently watched a Jerry Lynn shoot interview, and he discussed having a "no bumps match" with you on an ECW House Show (somewhere in the south I believe). He explained that DDT's and Frankensteiners were acceptable, because you can roll out of them, and that chops were not. He also mentioned that at the end you rolled out and told the Fan Cam, "Good match, no Bumps.". As an old ECW fan, I'm dying to see this footage and was hoping maybe, you could elaborate on it?
A: We actually had a couple no bump matches in ECW, and one of them is on YouTube. The first no bump match was actually a mistake. We had planned the match to have just one bump each, which we would take together. This was when we were doing that back and forth pin spot which we made famous at Anarchy Rules. We had the back and forth pin attempts up to 15 and we decided that it would be great comedy that if at the end of the 15th attempt we both stood up squared off and then just passed out from exhaustion and took simultaneous back bumps. The ref thought that was awesome and asked if he could bump too, seeing that he would be blown up from all the 2 counts he had to make. So the plan was for all there of us to take the bump together but at pin attempt #14 we got tangled up and I knew we wouldn’t be able to transition well into #15 so instead of screwing up I thumbed Jerry in the eye and smoothly transitioned into the next spot. It wasn’t till the match was over that I realized that I had cut out the only bumps of the match.
Q: I liked the question in the last Q&A about stomp/kicking. I was wondering if you ever noticed The Rock when he stomped. He always jiggled or shook his leg before he landed the kick. Any ideas why?
A: That was just the way Rocky kicked and punches. I never thought it looked very good but it didn’t seemed to hamper his career too much.
Q: I was wondering if you had ever wrestled in Scotland?
A: Never have no. Unfortunately I got off the road just as WWE was really stepping up their International tours. I missed out on seeing a lot of Countries with that timing.
Q: Have you ever been dehydrated in the middle of a match? I figured it can be hot with the lights and people in an arena but I never see anyone break out a water bottle in the middle of a match.
A: It gets hot but most matches are less than 20 minutes so it would be pretty hard to dehydrate in that short period of time.
Q: Are house shows taped? Even with just a handheld camcorder? I would figure that there would be at least some sort of taping of house shows just for the sake of insurance purposes and I would think that WWE would like to have their asses covered if anything happened at one of their shows.
A: They started taping all house shows when I was on the road with WWE. They just set up a tri-pod with a small camera.
Q: I just watched an interview with AJ Styles on IGN and when asked who was his idol when he was getting into the industry, the one name he mentioned was yours. Were you aware AJ was such a big fan of yours?
A: I had heard this before and when AJ and I worked in Europe together he actually pulled me aside to tell me. I was very flattered, but joked that I didn’t want him ever saying, “I used to watch you when I was a kid”.
Q: Does the lack of kayfabe now a days force wrestlers to become better workers? 20 to 30 years ago wrestling fans didn't really care about the actual wrestling they just wanted the good guy to beat the bad guy. Am I right?
A: I think you are looking at things a little simplistic but for the most part yah I agree with you.
Keep those questions coming; this Q and A was so huge I had to split it in two. Part two will be posted in a couple days.