Q and A
December 21, 2008
Q: I was reading that a Canadian Thanksgiving takes place in October. Now, assuming that is correct, how does that work? I mean, when you were in WWE, did Vince give off all the Canadians (You, Edge, Christian, Trish...etc) a few days to celebrate, or did you just have to wait and celebrate it like the Americans in November?
A: Apart from Christmas (and even that wasn’t always the case) WWE doesn’t give you holidays off.
Q: I just watched the DVD of No Way Out from Montreal (must have been a few years back). You teamed with Regal as champs vs Kane and RVD. You were great! Especially since William Regal got knocked out part way through the match. I would love to hear your thoughts on it. When Kane went to pin Regal (when he was knocked out) you broke up the pin, which probably was an improvised spot you did knowing Regal wouldn't be able to kick out. You also had RVD jump over the top rope to the floor where you and Regal where talking. At the last second you pushed Regal out of the way and you took the whole hit. I thought you really pulled out a great match and it was neat to watch you cover for your partner who had a legit injury.
A: I always get a kick when fans talk about an “improvised spot”. A lot of a match is improvised, so making a big deal out of making a save on a pin with out preplanning is a bit silly. In that case it was fortunate that I noticed William looked out of it so I made the save because he likely wouldn’t have kick out. As for RVD’s dive that was planned and we were supposed to both catch him. I told Regal to get out of the way and let me catch him by myself hoping to avoid further injury to him. It’s odd though; I’ve always had a hard time catching RVD (he’s the hardest person I’ve worked with to catch) but this time doing it by myself instead of with help was one of my best. Rob even mentioned afterwards that it was one of the best catches I’ve given him.
Q: I know that you've talked before about eating on the road. I was wondering if it's any different when you're abroad? Is it difficult to make sure you eat right while you're in Europe or Japan (Japan particularly because from what I've heard, the diet is pretty different)? Or is it easier than in North America?
A: It’s way harder in other Countries because you can’t always get what you are used to eating. England is terrible (or at least was). In Japan I found a dish or two I liked and just ate the same thing all the time.
Q: Who in your opinion leads the way now in women’s wrestling across the board and why? Secondly who has the most potential to step up to the plate and carry the banner ?
A: I don’t think anyone is carrying it at present. I think Gail Kim was when she was in TNA. The Knockout’s in TNA were leaps and bounds ahead of anything WWE was doing with the women. They have fallen off the cliff somewhat since Gail left and WWE still has very little direction with the women. The problem is it isn’t that they need a banner carrier as much as they need the company to give the women a direction and focus. If there is no banner offered up, no one will be able to carry it.
Q: Who, past or present is the one guy you would love to work with in Japan that you haven’t?
A: I’m not sure there is anyone that really jumps out at me. I worked with most if not all the guys I really wanted to in Japan. I’d love to have a match in Japan with Hiro Tenzan. We worked in Europe in 1993 and had some great matches. Working with him again in Japan would be cool.
Q: Do you think MMA submissions work well as wrestling finishers? How would you think the average WWE crowd would react to someone winning with a rear-naked choke?
A: Both Taz and Joe have used a rear choke as a finish. I don’t like it as a finish for a lot of reasons not he least of which is that it makes everyone who uses a rear chin lock look like an idiot. In today’s world that is pretty much the entire industry. The rear chin lock is the most OVER used hold in the business.
Q: I was recently rewatching the ECW One Night Stand PPV (the original) and had the pleasure to watch the Mike Awesome (RIP) match. During the Match Styles was pushing Awesome as a major heel for leaving ECW, and at one point even wishes he had died. Of course this was all in character, but should terms like that be avoided due to the unlikelihood of real life situations?
A: I always get annoyed at comments like this, although I suppose I shouldn’t. Your, “Of course this was all in character” comment gets me hot. You have no idea if something was in character or not so I’m curious why you think you do. Truth be told Mike had legit heat with Joey over the way he left (HUGE heat) and Joey’s comments were not “in character” as you wrongfully assume they were. I think clipping your comments based on possible future mishaps is silly though. Should we avoid saying anything bad about anyone on the off chance that it could come true in the future? I think that’s a bit silly.
Q: Have you ever been part of a match which went over really badly with the crowd (eg. Lesnar v Goldberg, HHH v Kozlov, Styles v Trigg)? Would you consider breaking from what you had planned, perhaps for some spectacular spot, in hopes of getting the crowd back into the match?
A: Fans have such a misunderstanding of what happens in most matches, it’s almost ridiculous. Very seldom is the entire match ever planned out, and most matches vary all the time to accommodate the crowd. That’s where the whole concept of working a crowd comes from. All good workers do this all the time! The only time I ever planned a match completely was in very short 2 or 3 minute TV matches, and in cases like that you barely have time to let the crowd react let alone adjust to them.
Q: What was the longest run you had of consecutive days working on the road?
A: The longest I was on the road away from home was my 1993 run with CWA Catch in Europe. I was away just shy of 5 months. It was supposed to be over 6 but I had a 10-day off period and opted to fly my self home for a break.
Q: As of late, I have noticed some wrestlers (Cody Rhodes and Finlay for example) wearing what appears to be their kneepads below their actual knees, instead having them on their shins. I don't see them pull them up at any time during their matches either. What is the point of this? It seems it would be useless to wear pads if you don't use them how they're meant to be used.
A: I always get a kick out of this question and have answered it a couple of times. There are 2 basic reasons for wearing your kneepads just below the knees. The first is that it helps cover the fact that you have skinny calves, the other is that unless you do splashes off the top etc. below the knee is actually where you need the padding. If you drop a knee or even just kneel in the ring what part of you is touching the mat? You don’t kneel on your knee cap it’s more the top of the shin / bottom part of your knee that touches the mat, so that is where the pad should be.
Q: I was just wondering, you and Jericho were a very notable tag team in SMW, right? With SMW's working relationship with the WWF, were you two ever offered a chance to do some WWF work at the time?
A: We were not, no. I think we were still fairly green and small by WWE standards back then. Jericho was later contacted and offered one of the “above jobber status” gimmick characters they started using in 1995. Remember, “T.L. Hopper”, “The Goon”, “Freddy Joe Floyd”, etc. Chris was offered one of those type roles. Thankfully Chris was smart enough to turn it down. With his Dad’s NHL background I have no doubt he would have been “The Goon”.
Q: Hope this isn't a repeat, but do referees start out the same as wrestlers? Are they in separate groups in a school like yours or do they learn all the bumps, moves and holds just like everyone else?
A: In most cases that I know of, referees usually start out as wrestlers but are too small or not good enough to get on the card very often and accept the ref gig so they can still be a part of the show.
Q: I was actually in attendance in Milwaukee for Hardcore Heaven 2000, my first and only ECW experience, complete with power outage!. Your picture posting for ECW made me remember you got busted open. My first question is, was that your idea?
A: Yes, it was my idea. I thought it might add to the match.
Q: What are your thoughts on Bret Hart's autobiography? I just finished reading it and couldn’t put it down. It was cool that he mentioned you in the preface, probably a great honor for you.
A: I really enjoyed the book; it offered a great insight into Bret and his career.
Q. What was the most intense backstage fight you everwhere witness to?
A: That would be the very short DDP - Scott Steiner fight in WCW. Had we not been there to break it up so fast, DDP would have been dead.
Q: Couldn't you work a limited schedule with WWE? Clearly you have more to give and why not get that one last run?
A: I don’t want that one last run and the limited schedule is something almost everyone wants, but WWE only gives into it when they absolutely have to. They would not offer me that, nor should they. While I think I can still have better matches than many guys on the roster, I’m not going to make a difference in business so they would be far better off to push guys with more of a future than I, who will work a full schedule. The only purpose I could really serve WWE, as a talent, would be if I would work a full house show schedule and work with the Jack Swaggers of the world to help them improve. The money involved and the schedule that spot would offer me is nowhere near worth it to me. I’m happy where I am now.
Q: I've heard the terms "lowest/highest drawing champion several times. Exactly how is this measured? Considering all the factors that go into what sucks and what doesn't on any given show, how can something like this be singled out and measured?
A: The general belief is that business is based on your champion or flag bearer, while this is likely less the case now than in the past, that is the general theory. There was a HUGE business boom when Hogan was champ so he was a big drawing champion. Austin I believe is the record holder, as business under his top reign was AMAZING. Ratings went up when Edge first won the Title and dropped as soon as he lost it, which would indicate that he drew as champion. I believe Kevin Nash’s first run as Champ, (when he was Diesel) was one of the lowest in WWE history. There are also other factors to consider. When JBL first got the title, business was on a real down swing and while it did not spike big when he got the title business did, I believe, stabilize, which would indicate that his title reign did have some drawing power.
Q: In mentioning your bad experiences in wrestling, the name Balls Mahoney comes up a lot. Is he an unsafe worker, or have you just had bad luck with him?
A: I think I just had bad luck with him. I don’t think Balls has hurt many people, I’ve just had such great luck with everyone else that the couple times I got hurt with him stand out.
Q: Do you think we will ever see the return of manager's stables? I think of what Bobby Heenan or Jimmy Hart did to get otherwise excellent (or at least decent) wrestlers with mediocre mic skills over as something desperately needed to get some of these new guys over. It seems to me that would be a much better role for Mick Foley than as a commissioner, or whatever his role is in TNA.
A: I wouldn’t do it with Foley but I’d love to see it with Santino Marella. I think that is the logical next step for him. Santino is such a great part of the show but they have turned him into such a complete joke in the ring that I don’t think they can use him as a wrestle much more. I would have him get into a program with a tag team (or single guy) and after constantly being humiliated and ending up on the losing end of things, have him show up with a new team of muscle to back up his mouth. I know this is rather ironic considering how he first got the job in WWE but Santino would be a great modern day Jim Cornette. He does all the talking, gets all the heat but he has muscle that steps in to defend him. There are a bunch of great matches that can be done off of this like; if the faces win they get 5 minutes in the ring with Santino, etc. They need to find a way to get Santino into more of a money program (because he is sooo talented) and this would allow him to be entertaining, be involved in bigger programs, and also elevate some good workers they might have that lack personality. Give him a couple Italian Mob hit men guys for protection.
Q: Speaking of managers, how important do you think Paul Heyman was in escalating Brock Lesnar to main event status so quickly. Had Lesnar not had a mouthpiece, would he have taken an extra 1-2 years (or longer) to get to where he did?
A: Brock was not a great talker so I think Paul really helped him. Having a heel manager also gives you so many more options in a match to generate heat.
Q: I was wondering what you thought of Ted Dibiase Sr. I noticed he hasn't been put into the Hall Of Fame, and that bothers me a bit. I personally believe he is among the greatest heels ever in the industry. I always wondered what more recent wrestlers thought of him
A: The Hall of Fame is a lot about timing and politics too. Ted was a great worker no doubt, but does being a great worker guarantee you Hall of Fame Status? There are bigger names than Ted, who were actually World Champ that aren’t in the Hall of Fame. As sad as this sounds, I think his best chance of getting in will be WWE wanting to push Ted jr. by having him induct his Dad into the HOF. Cody, Randy, and Manu’s dads are in the HOF so it makes sense for the angle.
Q: During your time in WCW, did you meet Insane Clown Posse? If so, what's your opinion on them?
A: I may have but I have no recollection of meeting them.
Q: I recently saw the match where you beat Chavo and stood there looking like an unstoppable force as you held your three belts. The commentators were even saying they've never seen anything like Lance Storm before. Then Kevin Nash walks in and acts as if you were some peon and suggests you leave the ring so he can bore people on the mic. You stand up to him and he acts like you've lost your mind and gives you the big boot(worst move ever). Who's idea was it to destroy the credibility you'd just established?
A: This spot epitomized what was wrong with WCW and why it died. I was on fire, getting heat and getting over and they killed my credibility in about 30 seconds. To make things worse it didn’t elevate Kevin at all and went nowhere. This was solely designed to tell the world that I might have won a bunch of matches but I’m not an important player and didn’t matter. Things like this were how top guys in WCW protected their spot and made sure no one got over enough to ever threaten their money position. I don’t know for sure but I got the impression at the time that it was Kev’s idea.
Q: What do you think of the evolution of the on-screen persona that Chris Jericho has undergone in WWE? I think that he's arguably one, if not the top guy in WWE at the moment and his promos just keep getting better and better.
A: Jericho is absolutely at his best right now. He is so convincing in his role, he’s awesome.
Q: I watched wrestling as a kid but then stopped watching until late 2003 so missed seeing many of your matches wrestling in ECW, WCW and WWE which I would have loved as I'm a huge fan of technical wrestlers like yourself. I was just wondering what matches of yours you'd recommend to me to have a look at.
A: Hmmm? I’d check out the Anarchy Rules PPV match I had with Jerry Lynn in ECW, my Guilty as Charged PPV with RVD, my Summer Slam match with Edge for the IC Title (it’s on his new DVD, which is in stores now).
Q: Why don’t you think they should hold a WrestleMania outside of Canada or the U.S.? WrestleMania overseas would be HUGE! On TV "cheers" and "boos" pretty much sound the same in any language. And aren’t the overseas crowds usually the hottest crowds (I mean even at house shows, let alone TV, let alone WRESTLEMANIA!)?
A: You have to look at the bigger picture. Doing PPVs overseas creates a time zone issue. UFC PPVs from Europe always have a lower buy rate in the states because you can’t do them live because of the time difference. You also have the fact that regular shows overseas draw well but if you offer them WrestleMania regular shows are going to seem small time after that and it could negatively affect a great drawing market. WWE did Summer Slam from England way back when and I assume since they haven’t done any more since, there were more downsides that up.
Q: You've explained what is a "mark", but what is a "smark"?
A: It’s really an outdated term now since technically all Marks are Smarks now. Smark just means Smart Mark, a mark that knows the business is a work. Pretty much everyone knows this now so it’s a bit of a silly term now.
Q: Hey, I live in Louisville Kentucky and I tend to remember one night as i was watching the weekly OVW show I heard your voice promoting the "house shows" at St. Teresa's Gym and the like. Do you have any opinions of Kenny "The Starmaker" Bolin or Dean Hill? Or rather do you have any interesting OVW stories?
A: I think I only did the voiceovers once. I don’t remember while, Cornette was either on vacation or had been fired by then. Kenny Bolin is a lot of fun. For those who don’t know him he is a VERY rotund manager in OVW. To get in the ring he rolled in under the bottom rope because in OVW there were no ring steps. It was a bit of a tight squeeze for him and I used to try to get the boys to rib him by stepping on the bottom rope when he rolled in so that he would get stuck, but they were all to afraid to get in trouble to do it.
Q: I know you constantly bash TNA (and mostly, rightfully so). I think it would be in their best interests though, to hire people who hate their product so it can be turned around. The only two people who come to mind are you and Paul Heyman. Would you ever work in TNA in booking/agent role? If so, what would be your first act?
And (you probably get asked this one a lot), do you think Paul Heyman could rescue the shipwreck that is TNA?
A: The thing people need to realize is that TNA doesn’t think they need turning around. They don’t want to hear criticism nor do they want help changing their product.
Q: I just wanted to know what was the first WrestleMania that you ever saw live was?
What did you think of it?
A: When I was in high school my buddies and I went to WrestleMania IV in Atlantic City, which was my first WrestleMania. We had what would be called cheap seats but were lucky in that we were right beside the broadcast both and got to see Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon up close. It was a great time. I’ll try to find some photos to post from it. We went to Mania 5 and 6 as well.
Q: Why does TNA Frontline have double the amount of members that the
Main Event Mafia has? Is this to further illustrate how inferior they are?
A: As far as I can figure it does, yah.
Q: Why would you turn the one, young, charismatic team, who consistently
provide entertaining matches, and can be considered TNA originals, heel?
They are the one team who are at odds with everything that the Main
Event Mafia stand for, why would you want the audience to boo the Motor
A: I wouldn’t. The MCMG’s would be a top baby face duo if I were in charge. They would also be featured in 10+ minute matches on TV frequently.
Q: Have you ever heard the crowd actually chant 'Frontline', even when
Brother Ray was confronting Angle in the ring they were chanting 'TNA',
which seems a little redundant considering.
A: Frontline is a bit tough to chant. Considering the Angle I think the crowd chanting TNA would be a good thing.
Q: I was wondering who you think would win in a fight. I remember once you said something along the lines of whoever gets in a fight with Scott Steiner is going to lose. But you are also a big Brock Lesner fan. So I am curious who you think would win in a fight.
A: Scott Steiner is likely far too past his prime to beat Brock Lesnar at this point.
Q: In the past, wrestlers like Bret Hart made the WWF title look prestigious. Nowadays almost everyone gets push to be the WWE champ, it just lost its 'importance' to me. What are your thoughts on that?
A: I don’t like the fact that there are 2 World Titles in WWE (I don’t put ECW on the same level). I hate that if a fan asks who the champ is, you can’t just tell him you have to explain the company situation and the fact that there are two. I think that right there devalues everything. The frequent title switched and just the speed of the product now unfortunately does mean too many people end up wearing the title. Fans being able to recall World Title lineage is a dieing thing.
Q: Lance if WWE were to call you and ask you to go back for a run as Jericho's lacky would that interest you or not, providing there was very limited wrestling if any as you have said you don't see yourself wrestling again?
A: The reason I don’t see myself wrestling again is because I don’t want to be on the road. I can still physically go, so the type of role wouldn’t matter; I’m not going back on the road.
Q: Why is it that - at least with big companies - the champ gets to travel with the belt? I would figure that the risk of someone forgetting the belt at home in "the other bag", losing it on the airline or even have it stolen would be too great.
A: They generally don’t put the World Title on people who aren’t responsible enough to not lose the damn thing. You carry Title belts on the plane with you so baggage handlers can’t steal it, so as long as you aren’t an idiot you should be fine. As Champ you need the belt for appearances etc. so you need it with you.
Q: I just saw a picture of the Hardys with their respective titles and I thought those belts looked awkwardly big. I have thought the same thing already when HHH wore the WWE belt. What are your thoughts on that?
A: The ECW title belt is too big. It was made when Mark Henry was Champ and I think they made one that looked good on him and didn’t account for the fact that when he lost the title smaller guys would have to wear it. The WWE Title belt is flawed in design because it was designed so the thing could spin. To do this the front faceplate needed to be flat, where normal belts curve to fit your waist, so it fits very poorly. I think this is why Cena always carried the thing.
Q: Do you personally believe that ratings and buy-rates would increase if things had more of a "believable" feel ?
A: Yes I do. When TNA did the serious push for the last Joe – Angle match the buy rate more than doubled.
Q: What do guys in the WWE make more money from, their downside guarantee contracts or the money they make performing? I suppose it probably really varies from performer to performer but I'm still curious to read some analysis on this from you.
A: It’s different with everyone, and depends on what your downside is. If you were a top guy who had a great downside and got sidelined than obviously their downside pay would be more than they would have earned based solely on their performance. If a guy just got called up from developmental and had a low-end contract but caught on and got into a major program he could earn WAY more than his base downside. I knew guys that had this happen to them and they made 10 times their base downside one year.
Q: Do you think a storyline between Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy would be a good idea? If so, who would be the face and who would be the heel?
A: Absolutely not. They tried this once before and fans hated it.
Q: Did you hear about the Joey and JBL thing? That JBL was picking on Joey and Joey finally got tired of it and decked JBL? Is it true? Is JBL that much of a jerk?
A: The exact details of the “fight” are unclear but yah it’s true. John has his moments.
Q: I've read a few times on your Q and A that you hate Balls Mahoney chair shots. I haven't seen many Balls matches. What was so bad about his chair shots?
A: He doesn’t work them; he hits you as hard as he can.
Q: I've noticed you and Balls Mahoney have had some problems in the ring. Is there any heat there in real life?
A: None on my end, and I doubt any on his. I hated his chair shots and he twisted my elbow out once in SMW. It’s not really a big deal considering how many times we worked each other.
Keep those questions coming, but please be short and too the point, it sometimes takes forever to sort through these.