Q and A
December 1, 2008
I finally got another one of these done and it was HUGE. I broke it into three parts (it was 16 pages long) and will try to get a new one up every other day this week.
Q: Have you ever had to take a Litacaranna from Lita?
A: Did you not watch any of my early WWF stuff? Hurricane and I feuded with Team Extreme for quite a while so I’ve taken a bunch of them. My favourite was a match we had where I had one of the Hardys (I think it was Jeff) in the half crab and Lita came off the top and Litacanranna’d me out of the hold.
Q: I was wondering what your opinion of Alex Shelley? I personally think he is the best all round wrestler in the business. I was wondering what your view on him is and if you agree with me?
A: I think calling him the “Best all around worker in the business” is a bit strong but he is a VERY talented guy, who deservers much better treatment from TNA creative.
Q: I have always thought you were one of the greatest technical wrestlers ever and one
day hope to come to Calgary to learn from you in your school. But i was wondering what was that defining moment in your career? The moment made you think in your head that I am somewhere in my career doing good and could not be better, or something similar. Thank you for reading and i really hope to meet you some day.
A: I don’t think I ever had one, at least not the way you describe it. I always had confidence in my ability and reached several levels of success, it was a gradual journey and I for the most part just enjoyed the challenge and the ride.
Q: From a previous Q and A: “Q: Whom did you respect the most upon exiting the business? A: Fit Finlay"I was wondered if you cared to elaborate on why it was Finlay? I'm just curious.
A: There are a lot of reasons to respect Fit. As a worker he is probably the most talented man I’ve ever been in the ring with. He has an unparalleled love and respect for this business. As an agent he has also proven to be the most stand up guy I’ve ever met in the business. I’ve seen countless agents throw guys under the bus when the heat comes down, but I’ve actually seen Fit interrupt Vince to protect a guy he was the agent for and take the heat for whatever happened in a match. Fit is the first person to share praise when it’s given and the first to take the bullet when blame is being passed out. Finlay is a PRO on all levels. When it comes to respect Fit is in First place and you need binoculars to see the dude in second.
Q: I was wondering when Christian and Test joined you in the UnAmericans did they feel at all strange about it. I mean before that the fact they were from Canada was just something mentioned in their intro's. Now suddenly they're strongly anti-American?
A: A gimmick is a gimmick, I think they were more than happy to do it; it was originally scheduled for a big push. I think their only concern was that since the angle started with me, they didn’t want to be viewed as lackeys following my lead.
Q: If WWE were to offer you a decent salary and a genuine Upper-Card, possibly main-event spot, would you come out of retirement?
A: I get asked variations of this question all the time. I have no intention of coming out of retirement. If there was a money offer that was substantial enough and short term enough to make a major change in my financial security I would have to consider it, but that isn’t happening so there is no point even thinking about it.
Q: I'm sure by now you've heard that one of your fellow Canadians, Johnny Devine, was released from his TNA contract after asking for it a while back. I personally don't blame him; but what do you think TNA should've done with him? I had the idea of him tagging with Eric Young to create the new Paparazzi Productions since Devine was carrying the camera and tripod around. Also, have you met him before?
A: I’ve met Johnny a couple times. No offense to Johnny but if I was running TNA he likely wouldn’t have faired much better. That isn’t a shot on him either, they certainly could have done more with him, but lets be realistic TNA has to focus on salvaging AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, the Motor City Machine Guns, and the entire X Division, and so many other people before getting around to a Paparazzi angle with Devine and Young. Yes Devine was wasted but there are so many people higher up the food chain that are wasted too and would be my priority if I were in charge.
Q: Recent stories have been going around that Undertaker's knees are in bad shape. Do you think he will retire any time soon because of this? How do you think he'll go out? Who would his final opponent be?
A: I don’t think there will be a retirement for the Undertaker. I could be wrong but he is such an Iconic Character I don’t see him ever being officially finished up. There will be likely several long stints of time off but I see him as a performer that can come back countless times for business spikes on big shows, and an officially retirement would hurt that. There will eventually be a last match, but it won’t be a proper retirement because he wont’ be going from regular active worker to retired on that night. That’s’ just my take on it.
Q: Who would you like to see headline WM25 and who do you think actually will?
A: I think we will see Edge vs. HHH and Batista vs. Cena for the respective World Titles. I would like to see Edge and Jeff Hardy but I’m not sure it’s wise to depend that much on Jeff at this point.
Q: HOF? What would you think of Vince himself being inducted on the Silver Anniversary? Since it's in Texas, what do you think of the chance of the likes of the Von Erichs, Brody, The Freebirds or even Austin or Michaels (or Taker) being added to the bill?
A: I doubt we will see Vince. He will get in eventually but I think he should wait. I think Austin should be a lock this year, but I would wait for Michaels to hang them up first. I’m not sure what the chances are for the Freebirds or Von Erichs. When the Road Warriors didn’t go in, in Chicago, I figured WWE didn’t consider location when it came to the HOF.
Q: My question is, current economic climate notwithstanding, of the wrestlers who are smart with their money during their careers, what do most performers put their earnings in to as an investment for when they retire? JBL is known for playing with stocks and shares and you of course have your wrestling school but is there anything that most of ‘the boys’ put their money in to?
A: This is one of those questions that if you put a bit of thought into it before you asked it, you likely wouldn’t ask. EVERYONE is different and we don’t all sit around and discuss where we put out money. Do you know where everyone you work with invests their money? Of course not.
Q: I just watched one night stand again and enjoyed seeing you against Chris Jericho. What I wanted to ask you is if you felt that Mike Awesome was the final blow to ECW as they made it seem during his match at one nightstand?
A: No, Mike leaving didn’t change anything. Mike left because he was owed money. The company was in money trouble before he left and it was money trouble that killed ECW.
Q: The concept of what is a good "worker" seems to get tossed around a lot these days. Some say a good worker is someone that executes a lot of flashy moves like an Evan Bourne or Rey Mysterio, while others seem to think that a good worker is a more technical wrestler like Finlay. I personally think a good worker is a combination of someone that not has a good grasp of the fundamentals also but also takes care of his opponent and makes his opponent look good in his matches. This is why I think that it's more or less impossible for us fans to judge who is a good worker since we'll never experience the in-ring side of things. Could you give your opinion on what you would consider as a good worker?
A: There are a lot of elements that go into being a good worker, which is why I agree you can’t completely judge someone’s ability as a worker unless you’ve been in the ring with them first hand to judge for yourself. Even then it is somewhat subjective. A good worker has to not only be able to make himself look good, he has to be able to make a wide variety of others look good, and entertain the audience as he does so. He must be able to do this easily and safely and in a wide variety of matches. Some guys you can have great matches with but you have to work so god damn hard to do so, while there are guys (Jerry Lynn for example) that you can have great matches with and it is a breeze. Some people are ring generals while others tend to follow the lead of others. If the followers are always with ring generals, or have good agents to help them, you may think they are awesome workers, yet they are no where near as good a worker as those who are ring generals and get the majority of the true work done.
Q: You seem to have a fairly sensible attitude towards the wrestling business these days. Do you remember the last time that you "marked out" over something that happened on a wrestling show, or do you view wrestling more or less from a purely business or insider's perspective these day?
A: I don’t like the term marked out, but I do occasionally really enjoy stuff on the show and am able to sit back more like a fan. Unfortunately those moments are very few and far between of late. Flair’s retirement was one for sure!!!!
Q: Could you fill us in on the responsibilities of a referee during a typical match? Obviously a referee would signal to the back if an injury occurs or if something goes wrong, but what types of things would a referee do in a match besides your typical three and five counts if everything goes smoothly?
A: It really depends on the match and the ref. At TV events the ref is wired to the back and offers time cues. Good refs will help younger guys read the crowd reactions and help pace matches. I’ve used refs to relay spots and help communicate with my opponent during a match. Great refs are worth their weight in gold but as long as they can count to 3, 5 and 10 and stay out of the way you can get by.
Q: How as a pro wrestler does one go about getting a booking agent.
A: I’ve never used one but I would assume you just contact and agent and ask. I assume they get a percentage, and everyone negotiates their individual deal.
Q: Question on Kane. I was wondering, do you think it is a testament to good booking early in his career with WWE (The unstoppable monster that kicked out of Taker's tombstone) or Glen Jacobs’ portrayal of him that the Kane character has managed to stay credible and in the main event picture whenever they call for him?
A: I think it is both. If Glen wasn’t’ so talented the character never would have survived, but also too had they booked him like they do Charlie Hass he wouldn’t still be over nearly 12 years later.
Q: Hey Lance, I thought your red and white tights that you wore in WCW was your coolest ring attire.. was there any particular reason why you changed them when you went to WWE? and also, how did it feel to be picked to be the first WCW guy to interfere in a match on Raw?
A: I wasn’t doing the Joe Canada gimmick in WWE so red and white tights didn’t make as much sense. Also keeping the white white was a pain in the ass. Have to admit it was pretty cool to be the one to kick off that angle.
Q: As a Canadian working in Japan, I'm curious what you liked the most about Japanese culture and your time working here, besides wrestling. BTW, I remember the story from Chris Jericho's book about food from Lawson's, and I really don't think it's that bad.
A: I liked the level of respect extended to pro-wrestling in Japan. In Japan pro-wrestling was treated like a legit sport and the crowd’s knowledge and respect of what we did was unparallel. I loved working in front of the Japanese crowds. The traditional Japanese food I could live without though.
Q: What's the point of pushing a weak World Champ. I'm not talking about a guy like Ric Flair, who as a viewer, you knew he was capable of defeating an opponent at any given time, but then the Horsemen would run in to swerve the finish.... Im talking about, the recent CM Punk push for example, where somehow (as good as he is), it just seemed like he would get his ass kicked? I find it harder to care about a weak champ, than a champ who is great, proven to be great, but ACTS weak, (if that makes sense!). You know like , I hate that guy, who will finally shut him up!!
A: I don’t think there really is a point to it. I think WWE felt that needed to do something with both the title and the MITB deal, and decided to do the switch with Punk. I think the reason he was booked so weakly was that they weren’t 100% committed to the idea so they booked everyone else strong, not willing to put all their eggs in the Punk basket, which of course guarantees his failure. The only possible plus to him as a weak champ was the possible ratings draw if everyone felt he would drop the title each week and thus watch each week not wanting to miss the title switch.
Q: In tough enough, Bob Holly worked real stiff with Matt Cappotelli and made him bleed the hard way. In some shoot interviews, some wrestlers have said that Bob Holly was right, to show that wrestling is not all fun and games or "fake" as people might imagine. Where do you stand on this, with your students, how stiff is too stiff when training?
A: IMO, Bob was out of line on Tough Enough. Those guys were constantly being told that you respect and take care of everyone’s body and then Bob comes in and kicks the crap out of him. Matt was in a position where he could not fight back or defend himself, for fear of losing his spot on the show. There is enough abuse to be taken just learning the business properly that you don’t need to kick someone in the face. If you want to get rough with someone do it in an environment where the guy can fight back.
Q: Do you think your (relatively) injury free career is down to the fact that for a worker you were fairly mid sized and mainly mat based? It seems that many smaller guys get frequent injuries (especially knee etc) from constant high spots and many bigger guys seem to suffer excessive wear and tear in the ring.
A: I was far from mat based. I was doing springboards and top rope stuff since 1990, and worked over 2 years in Japan as a jr. heavyweight, doing all sorts of dives to the floor. I also did all kinds of stuff in ECW, including trading power bombs off the top rope with Candito through out our feud. I attribute my lack of injuries to being a very smart careful athlete. I was never reckless and was a good enough athlete to be in constant control of my body. The fact that I was drug free also goes a long way to my lack of injuries. Steroid guys suffer WAY more injuries than those of use who remained clean.
Keep those questions coming and please use “Q and A” as the subject line, it saves me a lot of time sorting through these.