Q and A
October 01, 2011
Q: What were your experiences like when you worked with Vince Russo? Did you two ever talk personally or had conversations? What's your honest opinion of him?
A: Only spoke to Russo on 2 occasions. The first time was when I met with Russo and Bischoff to talk about joining WCW. At that meeting Russo pitched his first creative idea for me, which was making me Eric's illegitimate son. He said it was because I had the same arrogant look on my face that Eric always had. I though the idea was horrible and thankfully Eric did as well and got it killed. The second time we spoke it was to discuss the name of my group in WCW. Russo wanted to call us the Canadian World Organization because he thought it would be funny if I was trying to do the CWO (Canadian World Order) but got the name wrong. I told him my group wasn't a comedy act so I didn't understand why we were supposed to be funny and asked him how dumb we would have to be to work in WCW and not know the name of the biggest and most well known group in the company's history? I pitched the Team Canada name instead and after a short debate he gave in. My honest opinion is that Vince Russo understand as much about the pro-wrestling industry and what draws money in it, as I know about Quantum Mechanics.
Q: What are you thoughts on Sheamus? Do you think he was pushed too early or do you feel he is someone who fits the main event picture well. Also, while on the topic on Irish wrestlers. Have you ever heard of Fergal Devitt who wrestles in NJPW. Finally, have you ever wrestled in Ireland?
A: Wow lots of questions. The Sheamus push was done poorly IMO but that is not just because it was too early. I didn't like the fact that he was pushed heavy early, then pulled back on, and now pushed again. Consistency is important so I would have preferred either a slower steadier push or if they wanted to go as fast as they did just stick with it. I like Sheamus as a performer and believe he can/should/will be a Main Event level guy. I have heard of Prince Devitt but have not seen much of his work. I have not wrestled in or been to Ireland, which is a shame.
Q: Have you ever seen the movie/documentary "Beyond The Mat"? If so, what did you think of it? I recently saw it on cable TV, and found the stuff regarding Jake "The Snake" Roberts quite interesting.
A: I saw the movie yes, and I reviewed in on the site many years ago. That review is included in my eBook "Storm Warning" which is available on Amazon.com
Q: I was a very part time Indy wrestler for a few years. What's up with the soft, limp-wrist "wrestler handshake"? Is that really locker room protocol or is it just some rib that spread through the Indies?
A: I've never used a "soft, limp-wrist" handshake. I think you are a victim of shitty Indy guys not fully understanding the business and doing things wrong and teaching others poorly. See my answer bellow about bad wrestling schools.
Q: Everyone(myself included) seems to be intrigued by the Punk-Cena storyline, but I am also excited about Daniel Bryan's MITB contract cash in at WrestleMania. How would you spend the better part of the next year elevating him to main event, world championship status? It just seems that he isn't there yet.
A: The Daniel Bryan thing is easy, you let him BEAT guys so he gets over and people will believe his is a credible threat to the title.
Q: Might be a silly question but when having a match on TV, wrestlers have to make sure that they are facing the hard camera for much of the match. When wrestling at a house show, do wrestlers generally stick to facing one side during their match, or do they have more freedom and face all sides of the crowd?
A: You work/face your audience. If the audience is spread equally you work/face all sides. On RAW an audience of 3 or 4 million people is on one side, so you favour that side.
Q: Is there any arena in Canada or the USA that you did not like performing in for what ever reasons?
A: Denver was rough because of the altitude. Blowing up in a match in Denver was always a real issue. Pittsburg traditional had quiet crowds, as did Long Island and the Meadowlands Arena in Jersey.
Q: When you were in ECW, WCW, and WWE, was there anybody that got their own dressing room, or do all the wrestlers share different rooms?
A: A few guys got their own dressing rooms, but generally there were a few different dressing rooms and guys just spread out and picked one.
Q: I know this is not something you would do during a match in front of a crowd (unless it was to gain heat), but when sparring or practicing with another wrestler, have you ever tried performing another wrestler's finishing move like a Stunner or a Pedigree? And do you think knowing how to perform other wrestlers' moves can make it easier to receive and sell them?
A: I almost never "sparred or practiced" during my career. When you are working regularly, taking more bumps is the last thing you want to do. It's also absurd to think I would need to "try" a Stunner or Pedigree to know how to do it or take it properly.
Q: What is your take on how a few WWE wrestlers such as Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, and to a lesser extent The Miz being given the World Championship or WWE Titles early on in their WWE careers, especially if they have not yet established themselves as a fan favorite? I remember when guys like Jericho, Guerrero, Benoit, Rey Mysterio, and Edge would finally win the Title several years into their WWE tenure and you could sense their feelings of accomplishment. It now kinda seems like WWE is trying to create some overnight sensations rather than allowing fans proper time to get to know these wrestlers and care about them, regardless if they are face or heel.
A: I don't have issue with when in their careers they get it as much with how meaningful the win and subsequent title reign is. I hate numerous title switches and I hate guys getting short meaningless Title runs, more than anything else.
Q: Did you work with Steve Corino much in your career? Also, what are your thoughts on him as a wrestler?
A: I do not believe we ever wrestled a match together, as opponents or partners. Most of Steve's career that I saw was his feud with Dreamer in ECW when Tommy's back was real bad and most of the feud was Corino bumping for Francine. That's probably not the best program to judge his work by.
Q: What are your thoughts on AJPW wrestlers Kobashi, Misawa, Kawada. They frequent the most in top 100 matches of all time in most polls and was wondering whether you are fan. Kobashi to me is the best wrestler I have ever seen.
A: Of the three I did prefer Kobashi. I did not like the level of punishment they put each other through for those matches. Misawa is dead now as a result of the abuse suffered in those matches. I can't call a match that took that kind of physical toll on someone, good.
Q: Have you seen any of Davey Richards matches recently. He is carving himself to be the best in the world.
A: Last Davey Richard's match I saw was the tag match we were in together over a year ago.
Q: Have you ever seen Vince McMahon train in the gym? He has got quite body for a man his age.
A: I have not, no.
Q: Would you agree that the WWE ring looks too big?
A: No WWE rings are great. I strongly prefer the 20X20 ring.
Q: Would you agree that entrances are underdone?
A: Underdone? No.
Q: Concussions have become more of an issue in recent years for athletes, especially their affect on long-term health. Have you ever suffered a concussion? If so, how did you deal with it and does it affect you today? How do you deal with concussions at your school?
A: I've never been diagnosed with a concussion, but I have no doubt I've had at least a couple of them during my career. I don't suffer any symptoms from them currently. My memory is not what it once was but that may be due to my age and other factors not just concussions. We've had a couple concussions at my school and those who suffered them went to the doctor and sat out the time recommended by the doctor.
Q: You recently posted that if Sandman were to show-up for a match intoxicated you would take it out on him (Beat him up) inside the ring. With/without naming names, have you ever had to take matters into your own hands inside the ring?
A: I do not believe you are making a very accurate quote. I've never had to work anyone I felt was not in condition to work.
Q: What are your thoughts on Mark Madden?
A: I always liked and got along great with Mark. He was the third Thrill Seeker.
Q: What current move of any professional wrestler do you think is the most impressive (Either technical or high-flying)?
A: It's not about the moves so I don't care about a specific move. I care about generating heat and getting a reaction. Those who know how to work can get a better reaction out of a punch than many workers can get out of death defying moves.
Q: What are your thoughts on SummerSlam last night? I honestly think Orton vs Christian could quite possibly the match of the year.
A: Wow this is exposing how long it's been since I posted a Q and A. I did not see Summer Slam but did hear their match was awesome.
Q: Did you ever witness any bitterness among the guys in the back who had been in the company for years and never made it out of the lower card when someone else comes in and gets launched to the main event in a few months? Or is there an understanding that that's just how things happen sometimes?
A: Most people who would be bitter or unhappy would at least be smart enough not to show it to everyone. Sitting around a locker room bitching and complaining not only wouldn't help you any, it will just get you heat and probably ribbed.
Q: You often mention that wrestlers generally make money relative to their position on the card. What about Managers and Valets? Bobby Heenan, Paul Bearer, Miss Elizabeth, Brother Love are all examples. In General, how is a contract like that structured?
A: Everyone's deal is different but at the end of the day the more important you are to the product, the more money you make.
Q: Did you find it easier to do TV shows and PPVs on the west coast instead of the rest of the country because of the time differences? Outside of having to show up to the building a little earlier, I would think that being able to leave said building after a show ends at 8pm versus 11pm or midnight would make getting food or a little more sleep at the hotel a lot easier.
A: It didn't make doing the show any easier but getting out early with more time to get a decent meal was always a perk.
Q: After Alberto Del Rio won the title at SummerSlam, he shows up to RAW with a title with an empty name plate. Do you think it's due to him winning the title being a last minute thing, or just a small touch to show that the company wasn't anticipating his winning the title that night, so they didn't have name plate for him? Or am I over thinking it and they just forgot?
A: Any of the above reasons are possible, I doubt it matters much so yeah you are over thinking it.
Q: I have a few questions regarding the incident with Kevin Nash in WCW where he basically buried you after your match with Chavo. I think I remember you saying you didn't know he was going to do that, but when you heard his music, did you suspect what was coming? When you "got in his face", was it because you were legitimately pissed (possibly because you knew it was coming) or were you just trying to get as much out of the situation as possible or was something else? Did Nash ever say anything to you regarding the incident since then, possibly an apology?
A: Your memory is incorrect. I was told the whole deal that afternoon, and did everything I did because that's what I was told to do. Kev has not said anything to me about it since, nor should he. Whoever booked it, booked it and we did what they told us to do. Even if Kev booked it himself, what is there to say at this stage? Life goes on and Kev and I get along just fine.
Q: A pro-wrestler will earn income from many sources in a given year: Salary, incentives, royalties, etc. They may earn money in several different countries from multiple promotions using different types of currency. In terms of time and energy, how difficult can it be to effectively manage the revenue streams generated in pro-wrestling? Are taxes as much of a chore as it might seem, and is there a noticeable difference in this regard between working for WWE/TNA full-time or being a freelancer? Also (not to drag it out too long), are there any veteran wrestlers you'd point to as being the types that could help younger wrestlers with money-management issues?
A: This is what accountants are for. You save all your expense receipt, the company gets you all the records of your income and you give them to your accountant.
Q: You said in your last Q & A that you do not think Tom Cruise is the best choice for Jack Reacher. When the casting news broke The Rock tweeted a congrats to Cruise while also saying how he would have loved to play the part himself. What would you have thought of The Rock as Reacher?
A: Rock would be a Gazillion times better than Cruise!
Q: At what point in your career, whether it was during a specific angle or just a general time frame, do you think you were most "over" with the crowd? Either as a good guy or bad guy, when do you think you were receiving the most passionate reaction?
A: My most passionate reactions always came from the Maritimes crowds in Canada, which was during my WWE run. Thanks to all who supported me on the east coast.
Q: I have read in some wrestler's biographies that in Japan, the Yakuza, or Japanese Mafia, have a strong influence on professional wrestling, and closely associate with the top stars. Others have downplayed the influence. Do you have any experience with or stories about the Yakuza?
A: There were a few shows where I noticed or was told there was a Yakuza presence at the show, but never had any direct interaction with them.
Q: What was your first car? What do you drive now?
A: The first car I ever owned was a 1994 Pontiac Sunbird, which I bought new. I currently drive a Chrysler Aspen SUV.
Q: From what I understand you have a teenage daughter. How would you feel if she approached you about becoming a WWE Diva, and would you personally train her yourself? This goes for any other kids that you may have also.
A: There is zero chance of this happening so it doesn't really matter, but if one of my kids was going to train for wrestling, I would certainly be the one to train them.
Q: What is your opinion on the current state of the tag team division? I remember you said you like established tag teams, but currently the only ones that come to mind are Otunga and McGillicutty, The Usos and Dibiase and Rhodes. And while we're at it, what do you think of the diva's division? I have been impressed with Beth Phoenix and Natalya as of late.
A: I laughed out loud when I read tag team division. There isn't one, don't kid yourself. There are tag titles and guys fight for them but there is not a tag team division.
Q: I was reading an old Pro Wrestling Torch from 3/25/2000 (I realize it's a long time ago). In the ECW section, it stated that you were not very popular among the wrestlers "according to a source". It said you were a kiss up and a know it all. Finally, it said that friends say it's your dry personality. I'm not trying to debate whether you are a this or a that. My question is, assuming "someone" said this about you, did that someone, or anyone for that matter ever say these things to your face, and make an effort to "clear the air" or bury the hatchet? Perhaps someone was trying to bury you as this was around the time you were getting ready to jump to WCW.
A: Paul Heyman fed the rumor to the torch to try to hurt my chances of leaving ECW. The guy who printed the article admitted to me that he knew the story was complete bullshit but he printed it anyway, despite the damage it could do to my career. He did not out right say it was Paul who gave him the story but he made it very clear to me when I confronted him over it that that was where it came from.
Q: On the Global Warning Tour DVD (Australia 2002) one of the extras is yourself, Kurt Angle and Christian at a zoo. I was wondering, did the office tell you to go for the DVD? Was this just a trip you boys decided to do that someone thought should be filmed?
A: The office organized all these outing to be shot for either Confidential of DVD extras.
Q: I am just wondering what you think of the British World Of Sport Era wrestling with rounds and 2 falls or KO's? I have greatly come to admire some of the wrestlers like Johnny Saint what do you think of him and do you think this match type can come to modern day wrestling?
A: I've never seen any of it, but we worked matches with rounds in CWA when I worked there and thought there were a lot of merits to the round system when worked properly.
Q: I've heard wrestlers have different ways of figuring out their matches, some like to go out and feel the crowd while other wrestlers like to plan out there matches in advance. What do you think is more effective? Also, from what I understand the new generation of wrestlers lean more towards planning their matches in advance, do you think this is the future of wrestling?
A: It's a mix of the 2 that works best. Some things have to be worked out in advance when trying to tell a detailed story but for a match to really engage a crowd it has to be allowed to grow naturally in the ring. Much like promos, over planning and scripting decreases the emotion of the moment and it is emotion that draws money and makes this business great. Find someone who disagrees with this statement and you have found someone who does not fully understand this business.
Q: A few years ago there seemed to be a rash of neck injuries followed by surgeries, but as of late those type of injuries have gone down. Is there any specific reason why or is it more fluke luck?
A: IMO German Suplexes. The rash of neck surgeries where when Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit were doing the multiple German Suplex spots. They both had neck surgeries and Edge's surgery came after his German suplex heavy program with Angle. The German suplex on its own is not that bad but when you are doing it multiple times per match 4 nights per weeks, the damage toll adds up way too fast.
Q: Did they ever put out a video for the Bad News Brown retirement show? The one where Golddust no-showed.
A: Not that I know of.
Q: When you do tests of strength in the ring, do you ever really try to see who's stronger just for fun?
A: I don't no.
Q: Did you ever have a match with Jamie Noble? I always thought you two would work well together. What do you think of his style/skill?
A: To be honest I'm not sure. We may have had a tag in WCW when he was part of the Young Dragon, but even if we did it would have been a 2 minute match and we may not have done much. He's very talented I have no doubt we could have had great matches.
Q: What do you think about Floyd Mayweather's attempts to get Olympics style drug testing to be the norm in all of boxing? It basically consists of random drug tests all the way until the day of the fight. You might remember Manny Pacquiao did not want this as he thought blood taken within 30 days would make him weak. Do you think random drug tests are the way to go, as tests with block-out days could give athletes room for shortcuts according to the U.S. Anti-doping Agency?
A: I'm all in favour of more and stricter testing for drugs in any sport. Taking one sample of blood a week or 2 before a fight is not going to make you weaker, and even if it did as long as they take the same amount from both fighters at the same time, what difference could it possibly make in the fight outcome? In my opinion anyone balking at a drug test is doing so because they are taking drugs.
Q: What does heat spot mean?
A: Join SWA and I'll explain it to you.
Q: Just a quick question regarding training. I live overseas, so would you recommend learning the ropes here before I go abroad (to get the most out of my expensive training) to train with you or another reputable school?
A: I would not, no. When I get students who trained elsewhere first I often have to spend a lot of time and effort breaking them of bad habit and re-teaching them how to do things correctly. Once you develop a way of doing things it's very hard to learn a different method. I have a student in my current class who is really struggling to over come all the poor and incorrect things he was taught previously. IMO you should learn from a highly respected skillful worker the first time or don't learn at all. There are so many guys out there teaching others how to wrestle, who aren't that good themselves. This undermines the business and just perpetuates the decline of the industry and the skill level there in. Even attending such schools damages the industry because by giving them your money you are keeping them in business so that they can continue to teach this business incorrectly.
Q: Many wrestler's autobiographies talk about learning and adapting to the "WWE style" of working from the "WCW style" of working. Since you have many years of working and training, can you explain some of the differences between the two styles? Also, was there any difference coming from ECW to WCW that a wrestler needed to adapt?
A: I did not find there was any real adapting needed, maybe I was so versatile by then I adapted without even noticing.
Q: Does it bother you to see someone stick around longer than necessary? Case in point, Rey Mysterio is undergoing what seems to be his millionth knee surgery, yet you'd never know it to watch his work. Do things like this bother you, or do you take more of a "to each his own" viewpoint? Like, would it have bothered you to see Edge stick around if you knew the damage to his neck was as bad as it was?
A: Just because Rey is having a bunch of knee surgeries does not mean he is staying around too long. If he feels healthy enough to work and his work is still up to par, which it absolutely is, it's not too long. If he was hobbling and he was having bad matches that would be another story. With Edge it's a non-issue, if anyone knew how bad his neck was he wouldn't have stayed around. If Edge started taking Indy booking despite his bad neck, it would bother me greatly, but when he found out he was risking his health in the ring he stopped.
Q: What would you think if WWE went back to showing vignettes of a debuting superstar and had him in squash matches for the first two or three months he is there? And if you were debuting in WWE and there was no invasion angle would you prefer to debut that way?
A: They did vignettes for Sin Cara and built him up before he came in. You can be brought in successfully with or without previous build, but I do thing video packages do help.
Q: Any advice on how to control cravings for salty and sweet foods?
A: I always thought it was more about just ignoring the cravings. Never buy the stuff so it is never in the house when you have a craving.
Q: Am I the only one that finds it annoying when someone goes to do a moonsault and lands on their feet because the opponent has moved out of the way? There is no possible way that the person doing the moonsault can tell in enough time that their opponent has moved so they can correct their movement to land on their feet. John Morrison did this twice last Monday with an asai moonsault and Starship Pain. Jericho did it a lot with the Lionsault and I've seen Evan Bourne do it with the shooting star press. Does this bother you as well?
A: I'd be willing to bet Evan could legit spot his landing in time to land on his feet if someone moved unannounced. There has to be a million things in pro-wrestling less credible than this.
Q: I still think about Droz and the terrible injury he suffered. Did you ever get the chance to meet him, and does the WWE have a protocol to take care of a wrestler who gets hurt like he does while competing in the ring? Also, what are your thoughts on D-Lo Brown? When you were competing, would you have thought twice before stepping into the ring with someone who caused such an injury, however unintentional?
A: There is always the possibility of a horrible accident in the ring and I don't think anyone thought or thinks D-Lo was or is dangerous in the ring because of this horrible incident. I met Droz in ECW before he even debuted in WWE and thought he was a great guy. After he left for WWE I did not see him again till after the accident. I didn't even recognize him at first but once I realized who he was we chatted for a bit and caught up, he was still very much the same great guy. I have no idea what WWE does as far as taking care of an athlete injured to this extent.
Q: During any of your tours to Japan, did you ever meet/wrestle Kensuke Sasaki? It was disturbing to recently find out he killed someone he was training and he basically said he didn't care. How can an aspiring wrestler be sure they will work with a professional trainer instead of one who could potentially send them to the grave?
A: I don't know the whole story with Sasaki, but I think that is more a story about Japanese culture than one of pro-wrestling.If you got this story from the book Ring of Hell, my best advice would be to throw the book in the garbage where it belongs. If you are at all worried about your safety just come to my school.
Q: What genre of movie do you like the best? What is your favourite movie?
A: I'm not a genre specific guy, I'll watch anything if it's a good movie. I can't pick a favourite it would depend on my mood at the time.
Q: I read your book on my kindle and I was wondering if you were planning on putting more out in the future?
A: I do plan a part 2 to that book, which I am working on now. I most likely will do a full autobiography eventually.
Q: I can't recall reading anything of from you that addresses this, but do you know what the general reaction among you and the other wrestlers during the power bomb sandbagging incident where Hardcore Holly's neck was broken by Brock Lesnar? Did people find Lesnar at fault or Holly or was it a mix of both. Also, were people worried about wrestling Lesnar afterwards out of fear that he might have a temper that could end up hurting someone else?
A: I don't recall hearing much about it, and never heard of anyone being mad at or in fear of Brock from it.
Q: A couple of years ago I asked you if you thought a TV drama about the wrestling industry in the 80s would be interesting. You said no. Now the Rock and Jerry Bruckheimer are producing a show with pretty much this exact premise. Any change of heart? (Yes, I'm being a jerk/joking).
A: I guess we will see if I'm right or not. Just because there are making one does not mean it is going to be interesting or a success. I hope I'm wrong but I doubt it.
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