Q and A
October 16, 2008
Q: I just read your column on the recent booking of WWE and TNA. Would you consider adding some type of class for bookers at your wrestling academy? I don't have the athletic ability to be a wrestler but I always thought my chance to contribute would be more in the creative area.
A: This is something people don’t understand; training fans/inspiring bookers just doesn’t work. Small Indy promotion don’t hire bookers; someone on the show (generally the owner or senior guy in the locker room) books. No one is going to listen to a green kid out of “Booker’s School” even if he has great ideas. WWE and TNA are really the only companies that have a creative team and need bookers. They only use guys in the business with lots of experience or professional writers with degrees and legit writing credentials. What I mean more by, needing a booking developmental system was select creative people from the business who are no longer working, or interested writers with degrees and experience, and hone them to be bookers for the future. FCW would be the perfect place for that because they have Dusty Rhodes down there now who could over see it. Take guys like Tommy Dreamer, or Raven, or some other veteran worker who might be creative or have some booking experience. Sign them to a developmental creative contract and send them to Florida to work with Dusty. They could book and script FCW TV under the guidance of veteran booker Dusty Rhodes. Part of their job could also be to submit creative ideas for WWE creative to look at and consider. Even if 75% of guys ended up washing out you only need 1 or 2 successes to make a long-term difference.
Q: I was wondering what guys you actually had a big hand in training while in OVW? I saw a shoot where you mentioned giving Lashley his first bumps, but what other talents did you feel you really helped along the way down there?
A: There were a lot of guys there that I worked with. Keep in mind I don’t deserve all the credit (or blame), but I worked with: John Morrison, Joey Mercury, Melina, Mickie James, Jillian Hall (I did not teach her how to sing), the recently suspended Dolph Ziggler, Kenny Dykstra, Boogey Man, Paul Birchall, Mr. Kennedy, Beth Phoenix, Deuce, Snitski, Michelle McCool, Carlito, Maria,
Q: What are your thoughts on Brock's next fight against Randy Couture for the UFC heavy weight title?
A: I honestly think Brock is going to win this fight. I know it’s Randy Couture, but Randy is a wrestler as is Brock and Brock is a decade younger and approximately 50 pounds heavier. As much as everyone talks conditioning, and how great Randy’s is, I see Brock on top of Randy on the ground in this fight and it’s going to take a shit load of conditioning to go 5 rounds with a 280 lbs man on top of you. People just have no idea how strong Brock Lesnar is. In my opinion had the ref not stopped the Mir fight to deduct a point for the accidental punch to the back of the head, Brock would have finished Mir on the ground a few seconds later, he dominated Herring, and IMO will beat Randy Couture in Nov.
Q: Do you think the WWE Hall of Fame will ever induct a referee? One that pops in my head is Brian Hildebrand, even though he was never in WWE, I hear he was a very respected member of staff.
A: I doubt it. Brian never worked for WWE and as great of a guy as Brian was, he unfortunately didn’t have a HOF refereeing career before he died. Had WWE and the Hebners not had their falling out I think there was a chance they would have gotten in.
Q: Who did you look up to before getting into the business?
A: I admired the work of Bret Hart, The British Bulldogs, Randy Savage, Brian Pillman.
Q: Whom did you respect the most upon exiting the business?
A: Fit Finlay
Q: I've always been curious about how the wrestlers with the better physiques maintained their diets on the road, and I've read before that you were always one of the healthiest eaters. Say you're on a long road trip between shows and there's nothing but fast-food joints in sight. You're now starving and are willing to stop even for fast-food. My question is this. What fast-food place would you pick to stop at and what would you order to keep your meal as healthy as possible?
A: I always hit Wendy’s when I had to eat fast food. I would order their grilled chicken sandwich, plain. You basically got a dry grilled chicken breast on a bun. I generally threw out the bun and just eat the chicken breast.
Q: I wondered what your opinion was when it comes to Evan Bourne, who is currently working for WWE's ECW brand. I think he is by far the best worker in the business, at least when it comes to technical skills. Would you agree?
A: I would not agree that he is by far the best worker in the business, no. I think he is very talented, very exciting, and I enjoy his work very much. I’d like to see him as a regular on RAW tagging with Mysterio.
Q: I read a while ago Shane Douglas was a manager at a target in Pittsburgh and i just read on a website that Justin Credible is a professional Breadstick maker at an Olive Garden in Connecticut. I was wondering what u think of wrestlers who are now working a regular 9-5?
A: I think they are supporting their families, and should be credited for doing so. Wrestling careers are only so long so unless you make an extremely large sum of money (millions) and are very smart with it, you are going to end up needing a regular job. After most wrestling careers you still have a lot of years of life left after retirement that you will still need to support yourself through. I am only 39 years old, and was very smart with my money, but when the time comes to close my school (I doubt I will be running it for another 10 years), I still may need some level of income and could end up with a more regular job down the road. I doubt it would be a full time 9-5 type deal, but I could see myself working part time at my local gym, or bookstore. Just sitting home and living off investments is a rare thing.
Q: Were there any long term plans as far as the aftermath when it was revealed that you were the driver hired by Jericho in the angle where you tried to run over Goldberg.
A: None that I was told about. I think they were just looking at extending the program one more week and decided they could have me drive the car on Jericho’s behalf and put off Bill vs. Jericho one more week.
Q: What is a "mark"? I always hear/read this expression. I'm pretty sure its someone who either buys into the kayfabe or someone who refuses to buy into the kayfabe. Your clarification would be much appreciated.
A: The term has evolved so much; at this stage of the game it is pretty much interchangeable with the word fan. It originated back in the carnival days when wrestling was very much a con-man’s business. The Industry fooled people into spending money on fights that were “fake”. Be it wrestling or any other kind of con or hustle the person you are trying to fool and rip off is the “Mark”. Fans were the people we were fooling and taking money from so they were “marks”. It then turned more into a derogatory term for fans. There were fans and then there were “marks” that were the real dumb ones who totally bought into the angles and stories and believed it. With the death of Kayfabe the term mark has become a more acceptable term, which pretty much just means you are a fan of something. You will often here, “I’m a huge music Mark” or even my Book Club which I called Book Marks, because I’m a big Mark for books.
Q: How many 5 star matches did you have in your career? Also, were you friends with HBK when you were in the WWE?
A: I hate the star rating system because it’s all subjective, and everyone’s tastes are different. I have no idea how many I would have had, and if you asked 10 people how many I’ve had, you’d likely get 10 different answers. That is provided they all don’t say, “ZERO”. I got along well with Shawn when I was in WWE but saying we were friends would be a stretch. We don’t have each other’s phone numbers, but I have no doubt if we ran into each other it would be a very pleasant and happy hello.
Q: I know you say that you think that you are the most talented worker to never have a match on a Wrestlemania and while I think you are by far one of the top workers ever, I have to ask you, what do you think about Jerry Lawler never working a Mania match?
A: I get really annoyed when stuff I say gets taken out of context or as in this case gets represented completely inaccurately. I never said I though I was the most talented worker not to have a WrestleMania match. I said that I would not want to say that because there are probably a bunch of guys I’d be over looking, but there could be a chance I was, and even with that I meant guys who were on the active roaster in WWE at WrestleMania time and were actually over looked for a spot. Lou Thez never worked WrestleMania; Buddy Rogers never worked WrestleMania, so ton of people far greater that me in this business never did. Jerry Lawler would be another on that list. From the WWE stand point Jerry Lawler is a semi-retired veteran who is now a colour commentator. I think over looking him for a WrestleMania match is a lesser over site than over looking me at WrestleMania 19, considering at the time I was co holder of the World Tag Team Titles.
Q: What is your feelings on female wrestlers who have/do pose nude? Mickie James' past ventures into nude photography have recently been put in the spotlight when she was on a local radio station in St. Louis. She tried to field the question with dignity but was vexed by the hosts to give more details than she wanted, and the interview was quickly ended. Do you think having posed nude or posing in the future takes away females credibility in the business?
A: I absolutely do not. Everyone is thrilled every year when WWE promotes one of the Diva’s posing for Playboy. Who cares what Mickie James did 5 or 10 years ago (when ever is was) it’s not like she did anything illegal. Cut the girl some slack. Everyone is always jumping to the defense of Chris Benoit not wanting murdering his wife and 7-year old son to tarnish his wrestling legacy, and now people want to jump on Mickie James for a few nude photos. Give me a break.
Q: Have you ever done Off The Record with Michael Landsberg or ever consider doing it?
A: I’ve done the show 3 or 4 times.
Q: Alot of wrestlers sell some of their wrestling gear on eBay; Would you ever consider selling any of yours?
A: I have sold a couple items. It was a long time ago but I have.
Q: If an SWA graduate wanted to wear Lance Storm-inspired ring gear for a big match as a tribute to what you taught him (or her), would you be okay with that?
A: I guess it would depend on the student. If it’s a her I hope she wears more than just my red trunks.
Q: After winning 3 titles in 3 weeks, would you have been shocked if they had you beat Booker in the fourth week for the WCW World Title?
A: Shocked is a bit much, but I certainly would have be surprised. It was Nitro, I should have just shot on him on live TV and won the damn thing anyway.
Q: How happy are you that your push was one of the few positive moments people talk about regarding the end of WCW?
A: It’s certainly better than being referred to as one of their biggest screw ups.
Q: How hard is it to get up for 3 matches in one night? I recall one night on Thunder The Cat made you defend all 3 belts in one night.
A: I did a few multiple match nights in WCW. I had three the night I won the US Title Tournament also. It’s a lot of work. The one night in particular that you mentioned was very hard because I was working with three so different and in some cases limited opponents. Juvi’s English is not great and a lot of his great stuff can’t just be called out there so a far bit of planning needs to go into matches with him. Norman Smiley has a very unique style so that took some extra thinking and preparation as well, and then I had to work Cat last and he was very charismatic but limited to an extent in the ring so none of the three matches were what I would call easy.
Q: Considering how heavy championships are, were you happy that they finally had you forfeit two of them?
A: I hated the forfeiting idea because it kills title credibility. It was nice to get rid of the extra poundage from my carry one however.
Q: Do you think the 2 weeks you had the 3 belts will be your career defining moment? No offense, but when people think of your career they either think Boring or the Triple Crown Title reign. And I think you'll agree the Triple Crown Title reign is better to be remembered by.
A: I have more people remember the Anarchy Rules PPV match I had with Jerry Lynn than anything else I’ve done in my career, but yes I’d rather be remembered for the 3 Title reign over the boring or large penis gimmicks.
Q: I read that you thought that Jake “The Snake” Roberts DDT was the best finisher you have seen. How would you rate Curt Hennig’s Perfect Flex as a finisher?
A: Again I hate rating things. I’ve never liked the Fisherman Suplex for a finish. It doesn’t look all that impact full, and in all honesty you have to make a conscious effort to keep your shoulders down when taking the move because the hold tends to hunch and round you, so if you don’t pay attention your shoulders will be up.
Q: I was wondering your thoughts on Mr. Perfect. Did you ever get a chance to wrestle him? I remember seeing him wrestle Hulk Hogan on Saturday Night's Main Event. He made Hulk Hogan look like a million dollars.
A: I was a pretty big Mr. Perfect fan. I never got to wrestle him but I did get a chance to tag with him, which was fun.