Q & A
October 24, 2006
Q: What are your thoughts on Carlito. Do you think he has the potential to be a big star in the WWE. I personally think he would be a great titleholder within the next two years if pushed well??
A:I preferred Carlito as a heel. I find watching his matches that it looks like he is trying to fit in more flips and flying moves just for the sake of doing fancier baby face stuff. I think Carlito has talent, I just think he is better as a heel.
Q: You mentioned in a recent Q&A that the only wrestler to voluntarily leave WWE for TNA was Christian. Why did WWE let the Dudleys go? Was it just money or were there other issues?
A: To my knowledge the Dudleys were negotiating with WWE and could not come to terms on money. I think the Dudleys felt that due to their experience, skill, and time with the company they deserved a raise (something I agree with) but WWE felt that they had been around so long there was nothing new that could be done with them and thus they werenít worth as much money (sadly also true). I think this is why they could not come to terms.
Q: Do you think WWE ppv's like the last two years of Taboo Tuesday and this years Cyber Sunday are legit. Like do they really go with what the fans voted for.
A: I absolutely believe they are legit. There is no one in this business I trust more than Jericho and I out right asked him about it and he assured me that the year he worked with Shelton was legit. He didnít know who he was working until the music hit and didnít know the finish until the ref told him during Sheltonís entrance. The office was very adamant that this was going to be LEGIT. Also keep in mind that the options fans are given are all acceptable outcomes to the office. They usually load the deck with booking so fans tend to vote for the most desirable result. Some matches like the Jericho IC match was a total crapshoot and they just went with it.
Q: What ever became of the WCW TV title, I know once Vince bought WCW, the title was never used again, but somebody has to have it?
A: I doubt anyone knows for sure. Likely whoever held it last still ahs the thing.
Q: Are you still getting royalties from WWE?
A: You betcha! Got to love WWE for that, anything they sell that I am in I still get paid for. Iím hoping Hoganís next DVD includes a Hogan & Edge vs. UnAmericans match.
Q: Do you only take local indy bookings, or are you willing to travel to the states?
A: I only take the rare booking but as long as the match and schedule appeals to me the location doesnít really matter. This far Iíve worked Chicago (ROH) and England (1PW) and will be in Toronto Dec. 3rd for BSE.
Q: Did you ever work with Jim Neidhart or Davey Boy Smith and if so what was that like?
A: I never did. Iíve never met either one of them to be honest. I know Neidhartís daughter Nattie, who is extremely nice, but that is it.
Q: Also what's the oldest person you consider training at your school?
A: Iíd be willing to train someone regardless of how old they are if they are healthy and fit enough to do it. If they were too old 40-60 I would explain to them that a career is all but impossible but if they wanted to learn and understood that, Iíd likely still train them.
Q: Have you ever worked with Shawn Micheals? And what do you think of him?
A: I never have no. He is on my short list of guys I wish I had. Shawn is obviously an amazing performer, and personally has always treated me with a great deal of respect, so I have nothing but the same for him.
Q: If you had to pick the top 5 performers of all time who would they be and why?
A: I donít think you can pin down 5. There are so many variables to consider. Just off the top of my head guys Iíd consider in that category in no particular order. HBK for his amazing performances, Bret Hart for his pure wrestling ability and story telling, Ric Flair for the guys he made and for carrying the NWA/WCW title and company for so many years, Dynamite Kid for revolutionizing the faster paced action of today, Hulk Hogan for being the figure head that brought the business into the big time. Austin should be here too but I think his neck injury really hampered his grand impact on the industry. He was as over as you can get, drew as much money as anyone ever did, but didnít have the years as a top match producer that a Bret or HBK did or the years as a top draw that Hogan or Flair did primarily because of the neck and faster paced RAW era. He is likely the best Total Package ever as far as, being over, drawing money, and being a great worker, but when I look at the entire industry the Austin light shined brightest but unfortunately wasnít turned on long enough. I donít consider my career to have been a long one and we broke in the same year and he was done performing full time before I was.
Q: I was curious to know if you've ever been put in the position of having to wrestle someone that was suspected or was confirmed of having a contagious illness/sickness (for instance, I THINK it was rumored that the Undertaker had reservations about getting in the ring with Cowboy Bob Orton because it was believed he had contracted Hepatitis C).
A: I never have no and I believe you have the Taker story incorrect. I believe Taker was upset because the office knew about Bob Ortonís Hepatitis but did not inform Taker of it
Q: Do you think the wrestling business is overly stereotypical?
A: I assume you mean as far as booking characters according to stereotypes. There is certainly a lot of this but I have no problem with that. There is a saying in wrestling that perception is reality. Stereotypes are basically general perception in society, they may not be truly accurate but they are the general perceptions. If society feels that bigger is better and a big guy is tougher than a small guy it doesnít matter if it is true thatís is the way wrestling will book it, because we are playing into peoples perceptions so the product is easy to believe. If my fan base were a bunch of white supremacist I would book black guys as a bunch of illiterate, drug addict, gang banger heels. This is not an accurate portrayal but one that fits in with my fan bases perception. I think that is what Cornette was doing in Smokey Mountain Wrestling with The Gangstas. We ran a lot of Klan country towns so New Jacks promos played right into their disturbed perception. I think New Jack enjoyed playing up on this.
Q: In your opinion, what kind of athletes are best equipped to become pro wrestlers? Weíve seen some former football players make it big, (Luger, Pillman, Dr. Death) I think Sting, Nash, and the Undertaker played basketball in college, Kurt was an off the charts Olympic freestyle wrestler. Which sport do you think makes the best pros? You may have answered this already, but did you play any sports in high school or college?
A: It is not about the sport it is about the individual athlete. This is a very unique and difficult sport and it takes a unique athlete to excel at it.
Q: What was your professional opinion of Jimmy Del Ray of the Heavenly Bodies? I always felt that he was incredibly underrated at the time, and it seemed he had come a long way from his days as a skinny enhancement talent in Florida (Jim Backlund). His WWE run didn't last long, but I thought him and Tom Prichard were a great team as the heavenly Bodies, and the Bodies-Thrillseekers feud was fun. Thoughts?
A: I would imagine his cosmetic appearance held him back in WWE more than anything. He was a very talented worker. He and Tom were a good team especially with Cornette in their corner.
Q: Could you go into some detail on your work with 2 Cold Scorpio, and Public Enemy?
A: There is no work with 2 Cold or Public Enemy. Iíve never worked with either.
Q: I worked with Bad Breed (Ian and Axl Rotten) a bit in Ian's IWA Midsouth promotion, your thoughts on the duo?
A: I donít know Ian at all but Axl was actually a far better worker than anyone gives him credit for. He got tied up doing all that hardcore crap and people over looked that he could work.
Q: Your thoughts on Chris Benoit's WCW departure, the World Title fiasco, and the Sid ordeal?
A: There isnít much to say Chris did what he felt was best for his career, and made a smart decision. The office was stupid for putting the title on him when he said he was leaving.
Q: I think someone asked you this once, but what did you think of the Muhammad Hassan character?
A: I didnít care for it; it was Cheap Heat and nothing more with a poor worker doing the gimmick.
Q: Was WCW difficult without the top rope being able to be used?
A: The no-top rope rule was very short lived in WCW and was YEARS before my time there.
Q: Will ECW get the expected ratings? I ask because Vince McMahon said he hated the RVD vs. Test match and the hardcore stuff, so it will be like RAW and Smackdown! basically.
A: Depends what they are expecting. I doubt it will do a strong 2 or a 3 consistently.
Q: Hey Lance, how do you feel about Vince McMahon saying that ECW 'never had much of a tv show, it was mainly vignettes'?
A: It depends on what your definition of a TV show is. WWE is a live TV show about wrestling, where ECW was more a recap of Live ECW events. Most things were vignettes and match highlights. It was a different format.
Q: I went to an ECW house show 2 nights ago in Phoenix. With some minor exceptions (one Singapore cane shot by Sandman, and a couple chairs and a table in and RVD/Sabu tag team match), the card didnít seem to be nearly as Ďextremeí as the ECW TV shows I used to watch way back when (I never got a chance to go to an ECW show back then). Do you think that ECW is just a lot less violent now overall, or were your house shows in the original ECW also significantly less violent than shows for TV?
A: I think people forget that ECW was more than just violence. There were good wrestling matches, exciting Lucha matches, and all kinds of stuff on old ECW shows. There were always a couple very violent segments as well, which likely top what occurs on WWECW show now.
Q: Is Hardcore Holly really as tough as his reputation? And do you think his early character of Sparky Plugg was a bit ridiculous based upon his dual ability to race cars and run the ropes?
A: I thought his Sparky Plugg gimmick was silly yes, but his rep is deserved Bob is a very tough man.
Q: Lance this is a follow-up to your question about "Chop Day" at your academy.
Generally speaking what are wrestlers' opinions on chops? With all the wear and tear your bodies go through I figure the last thing you'd want is to have somebody smacking you as hard as they can just so the fans can yell "Woo".
A: There is a skill to throwing a chop just like everything else and it isnít (when done properly) all about hitting someone as hard as you can. They hurt yes but donít cause wear and tear they just hurt for a bit. Most guys donít mind them, and when done properly should accomplish more than just the crowd saying Wooo.
Q: Do WWE officials threaten wrestlers to not talk to internet sites? And if so..what do they threaten wrestlers with? Fine or even firing?
A: They donít, or at least didnít when I was there, threaten you about the Internet. If you say things the hurt the company they may advice you against it but threatening is silly.
Q: My All Time favorite wrestler is Mick Foley... With him scheduled to face Johnny Nitro at WrestleMania 23 (Which I'm Completely against)... Do you think it will be bad, medium, good or the excellent Foley match?
A: If this match happens, I think Foley will find a way to make it great. Why would you be against it? Here is a huge star that is willing and can elevate someone and actually GIVE BACK to the industry. A match like this even if he were to lose would help Nitro SO MUCH. If more top star elevated others with their comeback matches the business would be a lot better for it.
Q: Hey Lance, I want to know what would a company ---for example WWE--- do if
any wrestler won a championship especially a world championship, by mistake?
A: They would make do and book accordingly by either going with it for a while if it could be made to work or book a rematch immediately, or perhaps come up with an excuse to reverse the decision. There was actually a bit of a joke between Fit Finlay and I in WWE about something like this. I had a WCW World Title match with The Rock on Raw once and Fit was at gorilla right before I went out. He looked at me and said, (jokingly) Ē This is your chance, itís live, you could just take it.Ē Back in the day this kind of thing actually happened, which is why they always booked legit tough guys as champ. In corporate WWE it never happens, but Fit is old school and knew I would get a kick out of the comment. If I wanted to ruin my career I could have been World Champ. (LOL)
Q: I know you said you've never been seriously injured, but speaking for yourself and in general, when you do get hurt, is it usually because you errored or is it most commonly from an inexperienced worker that isn't taking proper care of you in the ring?
A: A lot of times injuries, are just things that happen, you land just a little off and something tweaks. Occasional it is someone dumping you wrong, but somethigns things just hurt more than others.
Q: What do you think of the six sided ring and TNA in general right now?
A: I donít like it. It looks different but thatís about it. Itís horrible for tag matches because guys run ropes so close to tag partners it looks silly.
Q: Does your brother have any affiliation with stampede wrestling? I see him at the shows all the time now.
A: He actually wrestles for them occasionally. He helps them with the ring more often than not and wrestles once in a while.
Q: Any plans on having a match in Calgary anytime soon? I've been waiting for a Storm match for such a long time, but flying to toronto to see you and Christian is out of my budget.
A: None at this point no. The show is really too small to justify my pay cheque.
Q: Was One Night Stand the most emotional PPV that you have ever worked?
A: It likely was yah. It felt like a reunion and the crowd was amazing. Standing in the ring with Dawn at the beginning was a genuinely emotional moment.
Q: At One Night Stand did you want to go over or who's call was it?
A: It was Paulís call. I thought the finish made sense so if it were up to me thatís what I would have done as well. I would have been more than fine with putting Chris over as well.
Q: How closely do the boys follow all the rumors that seem to float around wrestling?
A: Some likely follow them closer than others. I never worried about them.
Q: Did ECW get enough respect in your mind for the actual workers? Meaning guys like yourself, benoit, jericho get over looked for your in ring ability because of the whole hardcore setting?
A: I think when people look back at ECW they forget how many pure wrestling matches there were, but I think the fans at the time respected us for our efforts.
Q: What do you think of guys who do not go all out all the time? Such as you see a lot of comments that guys are not huge fans of working RVD, because he will wrestling a house show in front of 5,000 the same as he would Wrestlemania. Is that a bad trait?
A: It can be a bad trait because your body can only withstand so much. You have to be able to put out a great match without killing yourself or your opponent. Iím more willing to take a real stiff kick in the face once in a while and for an important match, Iím not willing to take it every night. If your offense takes itís toll on your opponent you have to be able to tone it down and still put out a good match.
Q: Ever work Micheal PS Hayes, or deal with him out side of his role backstage with WWE? He seems like an interesting guy to be around.
A: Iíve only ever worked with him as an agent backstage. He is a very interesting character. Heís been in the business a long time so he has so much experience and so many stories.
Q: Do you think return of ECW will hurt Raw & Smackdown buy rates and TV ratings at all, with one more product out there?
A: It may a little bit but I doubt it.
Q: Have you seen Kurt Angle's interview at all ? If so what are your thoughts? Mostly about how he says Vince would not take him off the road to go to rehab and that he was not allowed much merchandise? Both claims seems a bit suspicious to me.
A: I have no idea about merchandise, but the other claims seem ludicrous to me and contrary to the impressions I got while I was on the road for WWE.
Q: I don't know if respect is the right word, but have you lost any respect you had Angle, just with the way he has delt with various problems and seems to like to put a lot of blame on the people around him.
A: I didnít know Kurt well as a person so the respect I had for him was mainly as a worker, and nothing will change that. I think some of his claims are going to turn fans off however. The claim that if you made a top 10 WWE matches of all time list, heíd be in every one, is very arrogant and disrespectful.
Q: You worked against Kane, is he easy to work with because I've heard he is really easy to work with for a big guy, and Rob Van Dam, I've heard different things, how is he?
A: I worked with Kane a ton and always enjoyed it. He is very easy to work with because he is very talented and smart. Rob is a lot more difficult to work with but that is more because of the style of match he has. Robís style is very physical so it takes more of a toll on you and thus isnít as easy.
Keep the questions coming,