Q and A
November 16, 2009
Q: Do you think that one of the problems with TNA is their fan base? Before this season's The Ultimate Fighter, Impact and TUF were drawing almost the exact same rating of over one million viewers. But UFC fans actually pay the fifty dollars to watch their pay per views and UFC gets like a million buy rates almost every time as compared to TNA that gets between 20,000 to 30,000.
A: I don’t think it’s the fan base it’s the structure and booking of the show. At least when I was still watching TNA they did a very poor job of creating enough interest in their PPV’s to draw a buy rate. IMO they need to do a more serious logical build to MAIN EVENT matches in order to draw buys. They also need to simplify their show and focus on what is important rather than having angles and run ins in every segment of the show. UFC pushes 2 maybe 3 match and that is it, yet they sell PPVs. If TNA would put some good logical serious thought behind 2 or 3 matches and pushed those so we cared they might increase their buy rate.
Q: How do you feel about matches ending as a result of outside interference? Not from a manager/valet, but someone not involved in the match. Does it ever say anything for either opponent when someone wins via help?
A: Like everything in wrestling it’s not the finish that is the problem it is the frequency with which it is done. If this only happened once or twice a year it would likely be okay but it’s done a couple times a week. I think the theory is that since the guy that loses is getting distracted and has an angle that loss doesn’t hurt him and the other guy gets the win so everyone looks good, but it’s to the point now that the guy who gets distracted just looks dumb and the guy who wins needed help so everyone loses.
Q: At the upcoming Survivor Series they have DX & John Cena in a triple threat match as well as Jerishow & Undertaker. Is there any good reason to put established tag teams in matches where they will have to face each other? I think it is a bad idea and hurts the tag team division even more if that is possible.
A: I can’t argue with you on this one. The problem is the roster depth at the top of the card in WWE is not super deep.
Q: What do you think Vince McMahon's honest reaction was to Hogan signing with TNA? Aside from the Hogan DVD that WWE is releasing, I can’t see this making a huge dent in the WWE. Plus, Vince is a business man. Hogan signing with TNA is just business, no?
A: At a guess I would say his initial reaction was one of concern, but after he thought about it for more than 5 min. he realized it won’t hurt him at all, and hell the publicity might sell the Hogan DVD and make more money for WWE than Hogan’s signing will for TNA.
Q: What impact (no pun intended) would Impact moving to Monday nights have on TNA?
A: There is no for sure way to know unless it happens. The initial reaction is that they would get killed, but everyone said that about Nitro and look what happened there. If it were on Monday TNA would only have to convince fans, who are already home watching wrestling, to turn the channel, where on Thursday’s they have to convince new people to stay home and watch wrestling. Who knows for sure which is easier? It may be a losing battle either way. The one definite upside to TNA going to Monday would be that WWE would be a lot more careful about booking bad skits that might afford fans the opportunity to check out that other show so WWE quality could improve as a result.
Q: I had heard stories about Raven on the road, and how he would always bargain for a free desert at restaurants, or just have a certain way of acting while on road trips, etc. Did you ever travel with Raven, and if so, can you attest to his behavior or share a story or two?
A: I never traveled with Raven but we did stop at the same restaurants occasionally for dinner. I don’t’ have any stories though sorry.
Q: Is there a problem between steph/hhh and shane. Who would you choice to lead the company in the future?
A: I have no idea. It’s not like they call me to discuss their relationship with each other. The last conversation I had with either of them was when I congratulated Steph on the birth of her first child via email. If I had to chose Steph and Hunter or Shane to run the show I’d likely go with Steph and Hunter but I really never saw their behind the scenes contributions to fairly judge. I’l just go based on 2 heads are better than 1.
Q: Which WWE Ironman match was your favourite? My ranking: 1.bret vs shawn 2.brock vs angel 3.orton vs cena - hhh vs rock(both numb 3)
A: I only saw the Bret – Shawn one so I will pick that one.
Q: Your thoughts on desmond wolfe. And kofi vs Orton
A: I’ve always liked Nigel and think he’s very talented. I do however hate the Desmond moniker. I’m thrilled they are stepping Kofi up. I think he’s a very talented kid with a ton of potential.
Q: If you are ever inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame, is it safe to assume you will ask Chris Jericho to induct you?
A: He would be the most obvious choice, but I might opt for Don Callis just to force him to attend a WWE event again.
Q: Reading Chris Jericho's book, you understand his dislike (or at least, distrust) of Vampiro. I was browsing the video store the other day and noticed he had a movie documenting his life. First of all, had you ever dealt with Vampiro, be it inside or outside the ring, and if so, would you agree with Jericho's distaste for him? Secondly, have you seen the movie, and is it worth watching if you have?
A: I have not seen the movie, nor have I had many dealing with Vampiro. We were in WCW together briefly but we didn’t interact enough for me to form too much of an opinion. That being said I’ve never heard or seen anything to contradict Jericho’s opinion.
Q: Kenny Dykstra seemed to be on the fast track in WWE, then he flamed out, reportedly because he had an attitude problem. Did you train Kenny in developmental? And if so, can you verify his having a bad attitude?
A: I did work with Ken in developmental, and while I had no attitude issues with him, I did see a potential in him for generating the wrong kind of heat in WWE.
Q: I just read your "Death Tour" commentary and loved every bit of it! You referenced the 10 ft ring and how difficult is was to work in it. A few questions. What is your preferred size ring? What size is WWE's compared to WCW and ECW? How high off the ground is a typical ring?
A: Most rings are either 20 or 18 feet. Some small Indy shows do have 16 footers. ECW and WCW were 18 and WWE and Stampede are/were 20 feet. I prefer the 20 foot ring because it affords you so much more room to work. I also greatly prefer rope over cable.
Q: Are you willing to give TNA another chance now that they in full new star create mode?
A: I actually watched 2/3rds of Impact last Thursday (Nov 12th) and still found the show very frustrating. I don’t know if you can call a show that has Jim Neidhart pin Jay Lethal, “Full Star Create Mode”, I would say not. Taz did entertain me greatly however with his comments about Lacey Von Erich and Rob Terry. I didn’t think anyone inherited less of their father’s wrestling genes than David Flair but Lacey Von Erich has proven me wrong
Q: If a match was going to finish as a straightforward pin or submission do you think it’s best for a referee to know about it? My view is a ref shouldn’t know the sequence of how a match would end if it’s a clean finish so each time he counts the pin he aims for 3 and it’s up to the wrestlers to break it up in time.
A: Do you really think a ref would be able to stop his hand in time on near falls if he didn’t know the finish ahead of time. The ref NEEDS to know the finish!!!!!
Q: Because of the Bragging Rights PPV, I was thinking about Iron Man matches. Is this the last real untainted gimmick match left? I would have said Hell in a Cell as well, but there was just a whole PPV devoted to it. I just realized I am a lot more excited for this match than any other gimmick-style match in a long time. At the very least its the one that TNA can't run into the ground on a weekly basis, so that helps.
A: True it’s not a match you can ruin by having 3 minute versions of them on TV. That being said after years of 3 minute TV matches I don’t think fans have the patience for 1 hour matches anymore.
Q: Hey Lance, has anyone told you that you look just like Henry Rollins from Black Flag?
A: Yes I get the Henry Rollins a lot. Him and Mirko Crocop.
Q: I think that the quality of the women’s division in the WWE is terrible. I was wondering what your thoughts were of it? If they want bimbo's to sell merchandise then keep them as valets or managers and only put women that know how to wrestle in the ring. If they won't do that then they should scrap the whole women’s division, because I find it embarrassing to watch some of their matches.
A; The sad thing is they have some girls in the company who can wrestle, and some that should be valet’s and managers but they just throw them all together and as you said, it is not for the best.
Q: Do you think it would be a good idea to reinforce the concept of the bigger paycheck going to the winners of matches? Just throw it into some promos or commentary to remind the average viewer why winning a match is important and why allies put in matches would want to fight each other. It would also help sell how personal a feud is when a wrestler throws a match ( DQ, countout) to inflict damage to a hated rival. I remember the “pay window” being mentioned often in old school promos. Wouldn't that be a pretty easy way to help smooth out some logic wrinkles?
A: Yah but you are making this seem like too much of a sport by doing that. Hell we could get real crazy and base a program around a guy just wanting to win matches to earn a title shot and become Champion. I’m being a bit of a smart ass but yes I agree with you reminding people that Professional Wrestler means that you do this for money and guys who win make more money is a easy basic foundation.
Q: Do you ever wish you could have wrestled a Best-Of-5 series against Steve "Mongo" McMichael, with the 5th match of the series being an Iron Man match? How would you have prepared for such an opponent?
A: I’d have probably just quit the business.
Q: If you were still with WWE could you see yourself doing any kind of film?
A: Sure as long as I got to play the strong SILENT type I’d be GREAT.
Q: The internet wrestling fans (the more smart fans) often complaining about the overall look of the product today. Still wwe nor tna are changing significant parts of there booking etc. Why is that? Are we a minority so they don’t have to listen to us? Or are they plain ignorant?
A: I think the theory is that you are the most loyal and thus the least likely to turn away. It’s the casual fan that they are trying to re attract that is the priority.
Q: Have you ever read lord of the rings or seen. What’s your opinion about the book or the films?
A: I’ve never read the books and I only saw the first 2 films. The films were too slow going for me. I could only watch Trees walking around for so long in that second film before I had to tap out.
Q: Why don’t do some film critics on your side?
A: I assume you mean “Do some Film Critiques on the side”. I don’t’ watch that many movies. I have 2 kids and seldom find the time to see many films anymore.
Q: Do you think it would be possible for Rey Misterio to make a living off the sells of his masks alone? It seems like everywhere they go you see a bunch of people, mostly kids wearing them.
A: I doubt he would be able to live the life style he is accustom to solely on mask sales, but who knows.
Q: My question regards Shelton Benjamin. He seems to have all the tools (good looks, solid build, athletic) to be a star, yet he is missing whatever it is that makes people want to spend their money to see him perform. If you were his trainer or manager, what would you do with him to help get him to the top?
A: I’d turn him baby face to capitalize on his great athletic gifts. He was most over back when he was a baby face.
Q: I was thinking about Wrestlemania X8 today. I was there (I was late and missed your match, which I'm kicking myself for now) and while I didn't wonder about it at the time, I'm now curious why the Rock got the main event slot against Hogan while Stone Cold got a mid-card match against Scott Hall. While Rock-Hogan was a dream match, it seems like Austin-Hogan would have had equal profile. Do you know why WWE decided against it?
A: Jericho vs. HHH for the World Title was the Main Event. To my knowledge Austin had no interest in working with Hogan.
Q: What, if anything, is your impression of Mikey Whipwreck and Nova? I thought Mikey made great strides from his initial appearances to his final run with Tajiri as the Unholy Alliance. Nova, to me, seemed to be creative and capable of good work but seemed hit or miss.
A: I liked both guys. Mikey was great to work with and Nova while he was a little too concerned with moves back then, was still a good guy to work with. Personally I like both guys as well.
Q: Why is Jericho using, as a finisher, a simple Boston Crab, instead of his classic, elevated version? It's quite disappointing.
A: He is working with a lot of guys who have bad backs and can’t get into that position easily.
Q: I've been reading Chris Jericho's autobiography, and from what I gather, he decided to go into wrestling based on a childhood fantasy that never died with age. After reading your blogs, I kinda figured that a "childhood fantasy" wouldn't be something you'd rely on to make a decision. So, I gotta ask: Why did you decided to go into wrestling?
A: I thought I might be good at it and enjoy it as a career. I was right.
Q: What are your thoughts on Kimbo Slice on the Ultimate Fighter? I have grown to really like him and how humble he is. I also have gained a lot more respect for Rashad Evans. Never really cared for him, but he too has changed my views watching the show. I hope Kimbo gets another shot to fight.
A: I echo your thoughts. I like Kimbo as a person and want to see him continue to fight, and respect Rashad a lot as a person after this season.
Q: Hey Lance, I've heard that lower and midcard talents have been fired, or looked down upon by management for going to the trainers after their matches for "minor" injuries. I know that you believe that it is important, especially for young guys, to recognize when they are injured, and should go to the trainers. So, my questions are, is there any truth to that, and if there is, what are your thoughts on it?
A: The only person I ever heard who had heat over going to the trainer too much was Stacey Keibler and it was the message therapist not the trainer. Since she was not even taking bumps at the time her taking up time with the message therapist while some of the boys had to wait, generated deserved heat. I don’t think anyone has been fired over this.
Q: Has anyone in you family, such as cousins, nephews, uncles, nieces ever approached you about wanting to get into the wrestling business? If so would you tend to steer them away from the business?
A: They have not, no. I would only steer them away from it if I didn’t think they had an aptitude for it. If they were the right size and showed an aptitude I could likely open the right doors for them.
Q: Is the production crew, the people that do all the technical tv feeds and set up the Titantrons and what have you, ring crew... are they the same from city to city? Basically is it the same group that essentially tours with the company or are they local workers from each city?
A: It’s both. They need to have their specific people who know how to do the set up to make sure everything is done correctly but there are a lot of local laborers used to help them. WWE’s arena set up for TV is a massive production so there are a ton of people involved.
Q: How do the autograph conventions work? What are the wrestlers paid? Is it percentage of sales or is it a set price tag? Also, what about the merchandise that is sold at these things? If you have to do the signing in NY, does the organizer pay for your travel/stay expenses?
A: Everyone makes their own deal so it is different for everyone.
Q: I recently read that you sat down with RF Video to do a shoot interview. What lead to your decision, and will this be the first in a series, or was it a one time shoot?
A: I had done one for them way back when I was in ECW. We just happened to be in the same place at the same time and managed to work it out. No plans on it being a series. We basically picked up after the last one I did and covered everything that happened since. I think I talked for 3 or 4 hours.
Q: Have you seen the YouTube Video where Scott Steiner rips up the Swiss flag and causes a small riot? What are you thoughts?
A: I haven’t seen it. I seldom search YouTube for wrestling clips.
Q: Who do you consider the better worker, HHH or Steve Austin? And who did you personally have better experiences with, both in and out of the ring?
A: I’ve never actually had a match with Steve so I can’t judge who the better technical worker was. Steve was obviously the bigger draw and the better over all performer. Steve was a lot more fun to be around backstage. HHH is more like me as far as being a quiet more serious guy at work, where Steve is far more out going and fun.
Q: Any idea how and what Mark Madden's doing these days? Remember that picture of you him and Jericho at Jericho's wedding and always wondered how Jericho even knew Mark Madden being that Mark wasn't in WCW until after Jericho's departure.
A: As far as I know Mark still does a sports radio show in Pittsburgh. I thought for sure Madden and Jericho were in WCW together.
Q: When you were in WCW,ECW and WWE, backstage did other wrestlers call each other by their real names or did they use their performing names e.g. did you call Glen Jacobs Kane or Glen?
A: I’ve covered this question a million times. Almost without exception guys use their performing names. Everybody calls Undertaker Taker, everyone calls HHH H or Hunter. There are only 4 or 5 guys in the business who I address by their real names.
Q: I was Youtuben again and came across Lance Storm *vs* RVD @ a Guilty as Charged ppv. I must say i love your missed hay maker of a clothesline, though my question is when Rob takes time to showboat and get the crowd into him in mid match. I understand how its a positive
by giving time to catch your breath and set up for the next spot. But is it not annoying?
A: Yes I took huge exception to this when I saw the match back and even confronted Rob about it. Looking back he agreed it detracted from the match and apologized for it. I think it was a gimmick Paul was encouraging him to do but it was very out of place at that point in the match.
Q: If Taker's 'Mania streak were to be broken, do you think it would be better to have a face pick up a clean win or have a heel cheat and pick up some heat?
A: Me, if I was going to have someone break the streak, I’d do it clean to make it as significant as possible. Why half ass something this big.
Q: For me legacy is a modern evolution. Who do you think will be the bigger star Cody or Ted? My guess is Cody.
Q: Do you see matt hardy getting the heavy weight title someday?