Q and A
October 8, 2009
Q: Do you think a conversation involving you and Dean Malenko discussing carpet samples might actually be so boring that it would break time?
A: No, I think that would be a situation where 2 wrongs would make a right and some how our personal charisma vacuums would cancel each other out and we would make carpet samples like the most exciting topic there ever was.
Q: Watching some old ECW stuff it's amazing just how over New Jack was back then. Bearing in mind that the black audience, particularly back then more so than now got overlooked alot in wrestling, how integral do you think a gritty gimmick such as Jack's was to building that audience during the attitude/revolution era, (particularly in shaping ECW's grittier product at a time when the taz gimmick had yet to truly come along, and building ECW's audience as gangstas vs eliminators pretty much headlined red hot shows for about a year) and do you think he gets the credit he deserves?
A: I wasn’t around back then, so I can’t really comment. New Jack was a solo act doing mostly run ins etc. when I was in ECW. Jack was very over and an important part of the show then though for sure. I don’t like singling out the ‘black audience’ with his popularity though. Jack was an amazing promo and had a ton of charisma, a ton of white people thought he was cool too.
Q: When you train your students, do you influence them in what direction to take a character or what wrestling gear that would suit them? Are you a fan of non traditional gear being worn ie Hernandez from LAX or Cena?
A: I will offer my opinion on character and gear if they want to hear it, but that is something I think they need to believe in themselves. I prefer traditional gear, but for the right character non traditional stuff works. Using New Jack as an example from the last question, wearing traditional gear would have ruined his character.
Q: The WWE claims that CM Punk is the only straight edge champ ever... I think maybe Mr.Backlund was straight edge as well before the term came about... any first hand insight into this?
A: Well this all depends; does Straight Edge mean you are apposed to all drugs? I mean medications Tylenol, aspirin etc. if that is the case I wouldn’t even be straight edge and I have no idea if Backlund had an occasional glass of wine, or took a Tylenol for a head ache.
Q: A long ago post mentioned you and Triple H on the trainer's tables when someone was being assessed, talking about pain thresholds. Could you speak on your experience with Athletic Therapists/Trainers and their importance in your career (if any)? As it is my profession, I am always interested to see big Jim running down the ramp.
A: Trainers are a huge asset. Having a guy who knows how to treat injuries, tape injuries, and just generally take care of your body is priceless. It can be as small a thing as getting an ice bag for you to ice a nagging injury after each match, to helping diagnose and treat a major injury. A good trainer can add years to your career.
Q: I often tell people that anyone can be successful in professional wrestling. All you have to do is do something that people will pay to see. Make people love, hate or respect you. Do you agree?
A: Yes and no. Yes all you have to do is make people love/hate/respect you, but no, that is not easy. This job is incredibly hard and just doing it poorly take a lot of work. Doing it well enough to make people genuinely love/hate/respect you is VERY DIFFICULT.
Q: In your last Q&A session, you mentioned Gerry Morrow as a veteran who helped you early in your career. Besides your position as a trainer in OVW and running your current wrestling school, did any other young wrestlers latch on to you as a mentor of sorts?
A: I think a few of the WWE divas viewed me as a bit of a mentor back when I was on the road with them. I would often work out in the ring with them and help them when they asked. I think possibly Maven as well, when he first got brought up to TV after winning Tough Enough. He came to me for advice once in a while. Justin Credible would be another likely candidate. I actually trained him originally back in 1992, so I think he looked up to me as a mentor in the ring.
Q: Lets say back in the day before you went to the Hart Wrestling Camp, MMA was around the way it is now. Would you have ever tried for a career for that instead? I can see you as a submission grappler without a doubt.
A: For me to have gotten into MMA it would have had to have been around a lot longer than that. If I had gotten into Jiu Jitsu as a kid I might have enjoyed it enough and got competitive at it and progressed to MMA, but who knows. I guess it would depend a lot on whether I was good enough at it back then too.
Q: When a wrestling show features a performer appearing from beneath the ring, how exactly does that work? Is he positioned there for the entire show leading up to his appearance, is there communication with the backstage crew, and how much room is really under the ring?
A: Some things are just best left to the imagination.
Q: Why did you not like the name Canadian Maple Leaf for your rolling half crab finisher?
A: Because I thing the name should have something to do with the hold. The one name I pitched for it in WWE (which I think JR or Paul Heyman used once) was the Straight Shooter. Unfortunately I wasn’t pushed enough by then and never got to use the hold enough again to get that name over.
Q: Why is it that wrestling fans seem to be so Hypercritical about the product (even you sometimes). If they don t feel themselves entertained they should go watch darts or golf etc?!
A: We are critical because we are passionate about the product and don’t want to just give up on it, at least not yet. I got to that point with TNA and did give up on it and have not watched that show in many months, which is really a shame because they have a ton of great workers I’d like to follow, but can’t because the show got to the point where I did give up.
Q: Have you ever had to smarten up any of your students about the wrestling business? Have you ever had a student who actually believed wrestling was real or said they would never lose a match to someone?
A: Back when I taught the Hart Camp in 91 and 92 I did, but not in SWA. You pretty much have to go on the Internet to find SWA and if you are on the Internet and not smart enough to know what wrestling is, you likely aren’t smart enough to send me an email.
Q: There is talk that the WWE wants to have a different wrestling show on television seven days a week. What if they had a one hour show that just showcased their tag teams and cruiserweight division and used that show to establish them? Maybe have all of the matches be against enhancement talent. Do you think that would be a step in the right direction to giving more credibility to the tag and cruiserweight divisions?
A: I don’t know if people would watch a show with only ‘enhancement’ matches on them, but a cruiser weight show or a tag team show is an interesting idea.
Q: Have you ever had a fan challenge you to a fight outside the arena, for example at a nightclub or a restaurant?
A: I would imagine most of these type of things happen in Night Clubs, and alcohol would be a factor. I never went out so this never happened to me.
Q: If you were asked to lose to an athlete from another sport at a pay per view would that be a problem for you and would you do it? And is there anyone off the top of your head that you would never lose to?
A: Generally speaking I always did was I was told, and through most of my career I needed my job so I doubt I would say no to much. Out right refusing to do something (especially if you are not a top draw) is pretty much asking to get fired.
Q: You stated in a previous Q & A that travelling with Christian with spooky and weird enough. Can you give us a couple of road stories?
A: I have no recollection of using the word Spooky. The guy was a pain in the ass enough (LOL) but spooky? Perhaps I was joking and you missed
Q: Koko B. Ware never won any WWF gold while he was there and I just think if they were to induct someone into the hall of fame who never won any WWF championships, wouldn't it have made more sense if they went with Hacksaw Jim Duggan or King Kong Bundy. Someone who was over with the fans and actually had some memorable matches through the years?
A: Koko was over with fans, so I think you are being a little mean, but yes going with someone who worked Main Event programs like a King Kong Bundy might have been a better choice.
Q: Hey Lance! OK, the concept for the Breaking Point and Hell in a Cell pay per views is that the MAIN EVENT contests are the specialty matches. What does it say when the UNIFIED tag team title matches are contested under regular stipulations but DX vs Legacy is essentially featured in the main event spots?
A: It says that DX is viewed as more of a Main Event than the Tag Team Titles.
Q: Why do you suppose every time the WWE refers to past high-profile talent, that Steve Austin and The Rock are ALWAYS mentioned first? I'm a big fan of both, but I'm also certain there are others who were equally big in the industry, though barely acknowledged. Are they merely catering to current fan base familiarity?
A: With the exception of Hulk Hogan what name can you put beside Rock and Austin that would be comparable? WWE’s biggest boom period was with Rock and Austin.
Q: Hey Lance, I was wondering if you can help me. My problem is that I'm a rather skinny guy and it takes alot of work for me to gain weight, but not that much work to lose weight. I would like to know what's the best way for me to bulk up quickly. Should I just eat whatever I want, or should I eat certain types of foods that will help me reach my goal?
A: The thing is you shouldn’t and won’t bulk up quickly. Not everyone can be bulky and trying to do anything quickly is a bad idea. Changing your body is a SLOW process, and some people have high metabolisms and have a near impossible time gaining weight. Talk to a personal trainer at your gym for specific diet advice but be aware this is a SLOW long process.
Q: When WWE bought WCW did they buy your contracts and did you just finish them out, or did you have to sign a new contract right a way. Also at the same time did WCW guys have tryout matches, or did the WWE already know which guys they wanted to keep and which guys they wanted to let go.
A: They bought my WCW contract, and then made me sign a new WWE one. This is actually a VERY long story, which I cover in the new RF Video Shoot interview that I did recently. It should be out soon so check it out for the LONG story.
Q: Was listening to the between the ropes show today with Dawn Marie as a guest and she was talking about her Wrestlers Rescue organization and was wondering if she's approached you yet about taking part?
A: I’ve talked to Dawn about the project a few times. I signed a bunch of 8X10s for her this weekend which I assume she will sell or auction off to help raise money.
Q: I always hear that you and Findlay do a lot of work to help younger talents. Were there any others that would do a lot of work with the younger talent as an active wrestler?
A: William Regal is vey keen to help anyone eager enough to ask for help.
Q: Who's crazier, Ivory or Tara/Victoria?
Q: If you could have done multiple gimmicks, like say, Mick Foley, would you have done it and what kind of character would you have played?
A: Most people wanted me to improve and develop A character, asking me to do three is a bit of a stretch don’t you think.
Q: If you had done the Terrific Ten instead of the Fab Five, would Ultimo Dragon have been on the list?
A: Not sure, but he was AWESOME to work with.
Q: I'm not his biggest fan by any means, but what do most people have against Marc Mero?
A: I think Mero rubbed a lot of people the wrong way when he came out so out spoken after the Chris Benoit tragedy. I for one took huge exception to some of his views on Steroid and drug use and thought he was very hypocritical. I know others took HUGE offense to his “Death List” which in ways was very misleading and included people that should not have been included.
Q: Do you think that there is a place for homosexuals within professional wrestling? In other words, aside from the few confirmed (Kanyon, Patterson), do you think that a wrestling locker room or audience is ready to accept openly homosexual wrestlers, both in gimmick and in their real life?
A: Gay gimmicks have been around forever, and if it’s not your gimmick there is nothing to be open about. If your character or gimmick isn’t gay, what difference does it make if you are.
Q: Do you like the raw guest host thing?
A: As a whole no. Some guests have been good but I think often too much of the show is focused around getting the guest over.
Q: It’s a non-wrestling question, but there's 3 wrestling blogs I check out. After reading Jim Cornette’s latest "rant" I'm down to two. I know you "rant" on occasion, but his was a completely different animal. Even if I agreed with him I would be uncomfortable being associated how he said it. Have you read it? I think you've commented on your opinion on this in the past, so I won't ask for your entire thoughts again.
A: I did read Jimmy’s RANT, and loved it. Whether I agree or disagree with Jim Cornette on issues he rants on, I still find them entertaining and worth reading. He is an amazing promo and his commentaries are priceless in my opinion. I also think Cornette should be commended for being willing to voice his opinion so strongly on touchy subjects like this. Not many people are willing to do so. I have to admit I avoid several topics because I know coming out too strongly on political or religious issues will just alienate a portion of my fan base. If you don’t’ agree with Cornette’s political rants that’s fair but don’t give up on his wrestling ones based on his other views.
Q: Nowadays, fans use the word "worker" a lot, as in "Bryan Danielson is a fantastic worker," so what are the criteria of being a good worker? Safety? Cooperation? Entertainment value? Can someone who uses a mat-based style be a better worker than a high-flyer?
A: I think everyone tries to analyze too much. Worker and work rate are SUBJECTIVE, and to be honest being mat based or a high flyer is more about style and has little to do with whether you are a good worker or not.
Q: In a previous Q&A, you stated that near falls are too complicated and this subject needs to be kept inside business. Without much detail, what is so special about near falls?
A: Near Falls are generally when you get the most reaction in a match, and thus are key emotional moments in a match. Analyzing them and exposing everything about what goes into them is best left inside the business.
Q: I was just wondering about some internet rumors. Yes, I know the rule about internet rumors. About 10% of them are partially true maybe sort of. There are several rumors I’m curious about, but several I feel would be in bad taste to ask you about. So I tried to pick the most harmless one that I’m curious about. Is it true that Norman freakin' Smiley once knocked Ric Steiner out with one punch in a bar fight?
A: I’ve never heard that, and would doubt it seriously.
Q: What’s your favourite wrestling autobiography? And which 5 books are you considering a must read.
A: I think Jericho’s might be my favourite. 5 must reads? To be honest I don’t read many Bios: William Regal, Ric Flair, Jericho, Have a Nice Day, Bret Hart.
Q: Why is it that you never watch a wwe / wrestling ppv?
A: I have an issue with paying to watch wrestling after being in the business so long and don’t order any Wrestling PPVs.
Q: Do you know why Teddy Hart was released from the wwe a few years ago?
A: I think there was an issue with him doing what he was told. Teddy is a “Free Spirit”, shall we say, and dances to a beat of his own drum. WWE wants you to dance when they want, how they want, and to the drum they tell you to.
Q: I'd like to apologize if this is a bit personal, but with WWE going PG, would you be more inclined to having your kids watch the WWE product. Maybe not RAW, since it can be more edgy on a cable network, what about just Smackdown?
A: My oldest daughter (13) watches RAW and SD if it’s on (when I watch it) and I have no problem with that, she is old enough to understand what is going on. My youngest (9) has issues with Blood so even an inadvertent bloody lip bothers her, so wrestling and MMA are not for her.