"Dr. Death" Steve Williams shoot interviewby Brandon Truitt
Oct 28, 2002, 19:00
VERY short intro this week... Let's just say I won't mourn if a car containing Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, HHH, Kevin Dunn, and Jerry Lawler goes off a cliff.
Be forewarned this review is a bit bitter, as another writer on the site has said I was overly harsh in rating it. I just say I wasn't in the mood to deal with it given the events of the past week.
Questions, comments, wanna buy me stuff? Drop me an e-mail at this address.
"Dr. Death" Steve Williams shoot interview (taped December 20, 2001)
I'm bringing this shoot to you through our new sponsor... Bull Schitt and Associates, attorneys at law.
This tape starts with a VERY bad copy of a match from Japan. I can’t tell who Doc is facing, but Doc ends up winning it on a German suplex pin.
The interview starts as it normally does, with Doc being asked how he started in the business. He was a four-time All American wrestler and one-time All American football player at Oklahoma. He’d already had the name Dr. Death from when he was in middle school and, while wrestling in a tournament, broke his nose but continued on wearing an old-time hockey mask (NOT the one that Jason from Friday the 13th wears) facemask and drenched in his own blood. Bill Watts recruited him because he was always was on the lookout for legitimate athletes. Watts asked him if he’d like to get into the business during his Summer off-seasons. He gave it a try because he couldn’t work a regular job while training for two sports, made some money, and stuck with it.
He takes an aside to slam Stone Cold Steve Austin for giving himself his nickname instead of earning it. I’m sorry Doc, but yours is from MIDDLE SCHOOL. Jesus f’in Christ, you act like you went to ‘Nam and killed a whole North Vietnamese Army regiment by yourself. I could claim that I used to be called “The baddest guy on the planet” when I was in 4th Grade because I kicked another kid’s ass, but that still doesn’t mean I “earned” it.
Did he love the business as a child? He used to watch the AWA when he was a kid. He specifically talks about Mad Dog Vachon and Butcher Vachon. He was more into football, though, and never thought of entering the wrestling business.
Who actually trained him? The Turk (Ali Baba) trained him. “They didn’t really train me as much as teaching me how to run the ropes.” Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me as some people think Vader hits like a pussy compared to him. He learned more through guys he teamed with or fought against, like Stan Hansen, Ted Dibiase, Terry Taylor, Terry Gordy, etc. He makes a big deal about being old-school. He claims that the business is missing stories today, and that it’s all about highspots. (I’ll give him that it’s all about highspots in MOST matches, but there are still stories in wrestling... They’re just being developed OUTSIDE the ring today, and badly at that. Witness the clusterfuck that is this HHH-Kane feud for example.)
Bill Watts- Thought he was the toughest SOB he’d ever met at first. When he first came to the company, he had to go train at Watts’ house and it was like a military fort. Talks about how he shoulderblocked Ali Baba through a wall of Watts’ garage while being trained. He feels that Watts just tried to run a good business rather than be a bullying asshole.
The locker room reaction’s to him when he came in? He wasn’t accepted at first because he was a shooter and Watts’ “boy”. He says people warmed up to him eventually because people realized that he only sees one thing in the business: green. Title belts don’t buy food for your kids.
Working against Terry Taylor- They came up with the Mid-South TV title, which was a medal. He went out and proclaimed he was the champion because of his background (wrestling medals, bowl rings, etc) while Taylor had actually won it in the ring. While Taylor was protesting Doc’s claims, Doc stole the metal and beat him upside the head with it. He puts over Taylor’s athleticism and says that calling him the Red Rooster killed his career. He takes the opportunity to slam the then-WWF and Vince McMahon for “how he treats the people who MADE wrestling” over his treatment in 1998-1999. Sorry Doc, I don’t call going out and beating the everloving shit out of someone “wrestling” unless it’s in Japan. It is a WORK to produce ENTERTAINMENT on this side of the Pacific... unless you’re in a shoot fight against Bart Gunn.
Butch Reed- Good guy. “For a black gentleman in our business, he’s one of the best.” He compares him favorably to Junkyard Dog. Hopes he’s doing well out there.
“Big Cat” Ernie Ladd- Doesn’t know if he’s a good “coach” because he was more concerned with learning how to book. Everyone looked up to him, though. He takes this time to promote the Legion of Doom memorial “No one treats us legends with respect” bullshit, which doesn’t fly with me because both Doc and OLD were put on top at the beginning of their careers and started complaining once they were no longer over and were being used to elevate the new generation of talent. Guys, it’s callled “giving back to the business”... look into it.
Ted Dibiase- He was a best friend and like a brother, along with the late Gary Albright and Terry Gordy. He learned a lot from Dibiase when they were tag partners and held the Mid-South belts. Puts over Dibiase’s evangelical efforts in Jackson, Mississippi, which he sees on TV at his home in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Jim Duggan- He does a “HOOOOOOOOOO!” and talks about Duggan’s 2X4. He puts over “Jimbo” heavily for taking him in when he first started in the business. He talks about how Lance Storm wants to do his stiff, scripted speech for Team Canada but Duggan, who’s lurking in the background, gets a much better response than him just for doing a “HOOOOOOO!” and being himself. That may be true, Doc, but Duggan sucked in the ring 15 years ago and I’m sure his ability hasn’t aged like wine, while Storm can do all kinds of shit that will please the crowd. He talks about how the business is too scripted today and that people need to get into the crowd’s mind. He puts over Jake “The Snake” Roberts for his ability to do that. He briefly slams the movie Beyond the Mat for how they depicted Jake’s current state, but I say that Jake should have known better than to sign a release to appear on film then smoke crack in front of the director and cameraman.
Rock and Roll Express- Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson are probably the top babyfaces he ever worked with. He says everyone talks about how tough the Mid-South driving was but not how insane the fans were. “I got Cajun Rajuns down there, man.” His tag partner, Hercules Hernandez, and he were whipping Morton’s ass in Houma, Lousiana, and they had to yell at Morton to start his comeback because the crowd was starting to swarm them. They eventually lost, ran like hell, and discovered that the heel locker room had been locked, all the while the crowd chasing him. He picked up a kid, put him though a window to unlock the door for them, and rushed into the room to get his stuff and take off. He then talks about how he had beaten Duggan’s ass one night in Shreveport then drove two hours to Alexandria, Louisiana, and woke up the next morning to see that the fans had dismantled most of his new $24,000 van.
Teaming with Bob Sweetan- Watts set them up as a tag team. “THAT man is from the school of hard knocks...” He then talks about how the business has changed from guys being ex-football players and legitimate badasses to guys who sit behind a sewing machine.
The world’s smallest violin is playing just for you, Doc... There’s a REASON that badasses don’t tend to work in the business anymore... they like to fuck over the promoters because they can. That’s why the only “true” badasses employed by the WWE are Haku (who once ripped a guy’s eye out), Kurt Angle, and Brock Lesnar (amateur wrestling champions). The legitimacy William Regal and Bradshaw’s badass reputations are in question, though, as Bradshaw is known more as a bully than a legitimate tough guy and Regal is referred to by many ex-wrestlers as a man who bullshitted a lot of his “tough guy” reputation. In addition, most legitimate badasses can’t have a match worth watching. If football skill translated to wrestling skill, then Mongo McMichael would have been Ric fuckin’ Flair instead of the second coming of Giant Gonzales.
He does inject one good comment in there, as he says that the current generation of wrestling fans is living off a steady diet of sportz entertainment and titties, but they’ll flipflop soon. That’s happening right now and Vince McMahon refuses to accept it.
Doc talks about how Nature Boy Buddy Rogers once told him that the business goes in cycles and that eventually the business would need him because he knew how to wrestle and the marquee says “wrestling”.... Marty Janetty had a great Verne Gagne story like this in Have a Nice Day, where he’d replace “wrestle” with “fuck” when talking about Verne’s rants. Example- “JESUS CHRIST, kid, where did you learn how to fuck? Certainly not in THIS territory, because fucking’s what it’s all about. See that marquee there? It says “fucking”!”
The Von Erichs- He didn’t spend a long time around them because Watts was hesitant to use them in Mid-South. Doc doesn’t go into details why, but Watts said in his own shoot that Fritz Von Erich couldn’t realize his sons were drugged up and that it hurt their working relationship as a result. He worked in World Class briefly, against Antonio Inoki. He says that he “saw the devil take over that business” and talks about all the tragedy that unfolded around the Von Erichs. He literally carried Kevin Von Erich to the ring one night and just told him to hold on to the ropes during the match.
UWF- “Bill Watts went way out of his league” when he expanded outside of the Louisiana-Arkansas-Oklahoma territory. He talks about how Shreveport, Louisiana, is starving for wrestling now and that he and everyone else goes to the hockey games there because they want to see wrestling on ice, as he recognizes many of the fans from when he was in Mid-South. He says that the area can still support a territory today if someone opened one up. He talks about how Watts sold out to Jim Crockett Promotions and everyone was excited about what could happen, but that it all turned to crap quickly. As champion, he expected to be put in a series with Ric Flair in order to unify the belts, but they only had one match where he beat Flair by DQ.
He thinks Flair didn’t want to work against shooters like himself and uses the VERY popular Bill Watts phrase “This ain’t ballet” to describe his style. I disagree... Flair would work with ANYONE if he saw money there, which is why he worked with guys like Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff who were VERY over but couldn’t have a good match to save their lives. Around that time, I’m sure that Barry Windham was a MUCH better draw against Flair than Doc in Crockett’s core territories and was SURE as Hell a better wrestler.
Freebirds- It was a fight with his partner every time he faced them, whether it was One Man Gang, Big Bubba Rogers (Bossman), etc. He talks about how people don’t realize how tough the schedule is when you’re a pro wrestler, as he’d work 30 days on and 4 days off, or 6 weeks on and 3 weeks off, etc. He talks about how these days he always gives autographs, but in the old-school heels would curse out anyone trying to get their autograph.
Jim Ross in the UWF- Biggest mark in wrestling. He was a mark for Oklahoma football, too, and loved Doc to death because he introduced him to coach Barry Switzer. He became “bigger than life” in the WWF. He figures Vince Russo played JR and him against each other, but he blames JR for a lot of what happened there. He asks how you can bring in a guy who’s done about everything in the business and bring him under a mask and not be himself. He talks about how he’s a natural heel but JR didn’t want to get booed, so he turned both of them face and it was a mistake.
Brawl for All- “The most stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Nobody liked it... the fans didn’t like it.” He says that it only did one positive thing, and that was to make a name for Bart Gunn knocking out a legend (himself), which got him a job in Japan. “There’s a lot more to wrestling than knocking out somebody.”
Teaming with Dusty Rhodes and Bill Watts- “I couldn’t run as fast as I’d like to towards the ring.” The bosses NEVER like to be beaten to the ring. He learned by being put in that position, and he talks about how he was teamed with Andre the Giant in Oklahoma City back when he “was greener than baby poo-poo.” He went out and opened the second and third ropes to let Andre in, but Andre ended up going in over all three ropes, knocking him to the floor and embarassing the Hell out of him.
He talks about how no one has any appreciation for the people who made this business anymore... guys like Andre, Bill Watts, Bruno Sammartino, Verne Gagne, Stu Hart, etc. and that people think that just because they can do a moonsault that they’re a wrestler.
Getting tight with Terry Gordy- They were working for opposing companies in Japan until All Japan made an offer for Doc to work there. He talks about how he was the first American star to work for both companies, which is at least partially bullshit because Dusty used to defend the NWA belt in New Japan and All Japan on the same tour in the early 80’s, which pissed off AJ owner Giant Baba to no end. They started hanging out eventually and became a team with Baba’s approval after Doc started working for AJ full time. They were a very successful team in Japan, holding the tag belts for nearly 2 years which was unheard of for an American team.
Eddie Gilbert- “Great wrestler, great mind for the business, great promo guy, good heart.” Inferred that drugs killed him despite claims by Missy Hyatt and Buddy Landell that it was due to a heart condition, which resulted from a car accident in the early 80’s, that was kept secret for years. It’s pretty damn funny hearing about the dangers of drugs from THIS guy considering the number of times he’s been busted at customs for possession and the times his good friend and tag partner Terry Gordy clinically died due to ODs.
Sting and Ultimate Warrior as the Blade Runners- He didn’t see the potential in them then, although he started to see potential in Sting over the years. Talks about how in a tag match once, Warrior hit Ted Dibiase with a weak-looking clothesline that insulted Doc him so much that he jumped in the ring, roughed him up, gave him a stiff clothesline and yelled “Kid, THERE’S how you give a doggone clothesline.” He talks about how WCW put a lot of time and effort into Sting though. From there, he talks about how Harley Race was the champ for a long time and used the front suplex as a finisher, but that guys like Sting would be up so fast after taking the move that it killed it off forever. It’s an unfortunate development of the business, Doc, but we can’t see guys losing to an atomic drop anymore. “I’ve gotta put you on your head to put you out these days.”
Rick Steiner and him rescuing people from a car accident- Coming back from Beaumont, Texas to Alexandria, Louisiana with Steiner hauling ass, there was a fire ahead of them on the road. When they got up to it, they saw it was a truck that had collided head-on with three guys in a car from Fort Polk military base. The guys in the truck were burned to death, but they ripped the door off the car to get the three guys out of the car. The driver was dead and practically liquefied, but they got a guy out of the backseat and eventually found the third guy shoved up into the glovebox and they had to rip out the seat to get him out of the car. The car was displayed outside of Fort Polk after that and the guy from the backseat, the only survivor, came out to thank them. The whole incident turned Doc babyface for the first time in his career because of the positive publicity it got them.
Rick Steiner- Great guy. Always been a good guy, although a bit crazy. Puts over Scott Steiner too. “Scotty’s been kinda over the limit, but he’s been doing it well.”
Sheepherders- They had some wild ones with them and that’s how he met Johnny Ace, as he was their flagbearer. They were entertaining and hard workers.
When did he realize Bill Watts was in trouble? In 1987 when the NWA guys started coming in. They started hearing talk about the company was for sale.
Crockett and the UWF sale- He figures that Crockett didn’t want to put the UWF guys over his guys. He says that they were doing well in their territory but Crockett and his clique didn’t want to keep going over there. I dispute how well the territory was doing if Bill Watts claims he was losing money hand over fist, but I guess they didn’t give a rat’s ass as long as Watts paid them what he said he would. Said that putting the Crockett Cup at the Superdome was a great idea because it was the best place for them to start if they were going to keep the territory alive. (He’s mistaking his time periods because Crockett Cup 1986 was at the Superdome and Crockett Cup 1987 was in Baltimore, so either the UWF was sold earlier than he remembers or Crockett and Watts were co-promoting shows well before the sale)
Ted Dibiase leaving for the WWF in 1987- They were supposed to start a program around the time of the sale but Ted got an offer to go to New York that turned him into The Million Dollar Man. They were going to work together, which was going to lead to a deal with Flair, but he left. They picked up Jim Duggan around the same time.
Initial impressions of the NWA- High class guys, because they spent a lot more than the UWF guys. At a show in Chicago one night, there were about 20 limos there for the wrestlers.
Barry Windham at Starrcade 87- “He was a big boy and he was THEIR boy.” He got along with him great, though. Hard-hitting match.
Was it hard working in a company without Watts there? No, because he could take care of himself. He wasn’t reliant on someone else. He tells all the Americans he books over in All Japan to learn how to do it.
He talks about how Kayfabe is now dead and gone, which must be harder for him to take than most people considering Watts’ iron grip on it.
Ted Turner buying the NWA- “Big money.” He figured that Turner would be able to turn everything around. However, he “didn’t let things get exposed like they should have.”
Bash 87 against Dick Murdoch- “Wild and crazy. Dickie was one of a kind.” Talks about how when they worked in Murdoch’s hometown of Amarillo, they switched face and heel alignments because of the crowd’s reaction to the hometown boy.
Tower of Doom match at Bash 88- Talks about how he climbed outside all the cages. “It was like Donkey Kong.” He puts over the Garvins heavily, especially Ronnie Garvin because of his stiffness.
Before he joined the Varsity Club, how close was he with Mike Rotunda and Kevin Sullivan? He knew Rotunda from his amateur wrestling days when he was at Oklahoma and Rotunda was at Syracuse. He didn’t really know Sullivan, though. He wondered why they’d be coming out in their letterman’s jackets and Kevin would be coming out in his devil-worshipping gear. He suggested that Kevin come out in a baseball cap, shorts, a shirt that said “coach” and blowing a whistle, but was ignored. In effect, he wanted to do Bill Alphonso’s gimmick about 7 years before Alphonso did it. He says that the Varsity Club reunion failed in 2000 because the writers didn’t know how to book the angle because they were doing dumb stuff like having the group’s cheerleader in the ring doing one-armed pushups instead of riling up the crowd. He also talks about how the wrestlers always ignore the referees these days and how people wonder why they have them anymore.
Wrestling Terry Gordy in WCW- He did a lot of 30-minute broadways with Gordy and had a lot of matches with Rotundo, too.
All Japan between stints in WCW- All Japan paid him a lot of money and told him he’d be on every tour, so he went with them full time. His only gripe about New Japan was that a lot of their guys insisted on being exceptionally stiff so that it was almost a shoot every night.
Working with Stan Hansen and Jumbo Tsruta- “Going over them is like going over Hulk Hogan in the US” and he went over both.
Working with Kawada and Misawa- Kawada and he hated each other. They beat the everloving shit out of each other in the ring when they wrestled. They have more respect for each other now, but they aren’t friends. Misawa should have played linebacker because he had the best forearm he’d ever seen. Heck of a businessman, too.
Jumbo Tsruta- When Jumbo left the business, he stole the side suplex from him, although he did it in a different way. He says that most people in the business have the respect not to steal the finishers of top guys while they’re working.
Talks about getting put on probation by the company for drugs because he got busted with a joint while in Japan. He claims he’s kicked the habit now, although I’m not going to immediately believe a guy who did his share of drugs... and my share and your share, too. The other time he got busted was for having prescription drugs on him in a country where they were illegal, and it got thrown out of court. He doesn’t take sleeping pills because he can get Tylenol PM and he’s seen too many people get fucked up on Halcyons. He talks about how a lot of people who smoked crack in the business are now left with nothing. His stint in the WWF was supposedly an example to the workers what happens when you spend your career all messed up on alcohol and drugs. I personally think Terry Gordy’s stint as the Executioner was a better example because he’d been near death twice due to overdoses and wasn’t too coherent by the time he showed up there in 1996.
He also claims to be born again, which is a typical dodge for wrestlers who aren’t in the big time anymore... just about the only born again ex-wrestlers I actually can believe are Ted Dibiase and Tully Blanchard because they completely turned their lives around after ending up in bad situations and have flown the straight and narrow for quite a few years now. Many other ones are more like Jake “the Snake” Roberts who, while claiming to be born again, was accused by more than one person of not practicing what he preached while making $500 a pop for appearances.
The match where he dropped Kobashi on his head 3 times- It was a 42 minute match and 19 days after he had his knees scoped and calls it the match of the year. He misses having matches with him because he’s a great athlete but has since jumped to New Japan.
Prefer singles or tag team wrestling? He prefers to be a singles wrestler.
Styles differences between Japan and the US- It wasn’t a big adjustment going to Japan because Mid-South was always stiff. It was hard adjusting to a softer style when the WWF brought him in, though. According to the plan laid out for him when he came in, he was supposed to have a run against Stone Cold Steve Austin 6 months after he entered the federation which never happened. Back to Japan... the rings and ropes are a lot stiffer there and “it’s like a trampolene” here in the states.
WCW in 1992- It was the same company, even with Watts running things. He was supposed to get $100,000 for 100 days but his tag partner Terry Gordy got fucked up on drugs halfway through the year and didn’t come back, so he only got half of that.
Tagging with Gordy against Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes- They’re “big old country boys” and it was mostly brawling.
Did he see potential in Steve Austin? Yeah. He sees potential in a lot of guys but many of them aren’t used correctly. He tells the story of why Steve Austin wrestles as Steve Austin. (It’s been run into the ground, but Austin’s name is Steve Williams, same as Doc’s, and Doc was already so famous in Texas where Austin started out that he couldn’t use the name. The announcer ended up giving him the name Steve Austin) From there, he pretty much claims that the WWE press machine pulled the “Stone Cold” nickname out of its ass and that Austin’s not the same as he used to be.
Starrcade 92 against Jushin “Thunder” Liger and Ron Simmons- He didn’t have problems working against Liger. He used to play in bowl games against Simmons back when Simmons was a noseguard at Florida State and he was an offensive lineman at Oklahoma, then they’d wrestled each other for a long time after that, so they’d been beating the shit out of each other for years.
Matches with the Steiners- Exciting, lots of charisma. “It was wrestling... true wrestling.” There weren’t complaints if someone got a stiff shot as opposed to now, where he claims people bitch over getting a hangnail or mat burn.
Why’d he leave WCW and go back to Japan? It was politics, and Watts getting turfed out in favor of Eric Bischoff didn’t help the situation. He didn’t fit into the cliques there.
Johnny Ace- He and Stan Hansen taught him how to work, then they tagged for awhile. When Ace left All Japan for WCW, he didn’t handle it correctly and Doc claims it will haunt Ace for years to come. I doubt that since Ace is steadily moving himself into the WWE Head of Talent Relations position currently held by Jim Ross.
Around this time, Doc talks about how when people think of pro wrestling, they think of him. I’d say that’s full of shit on that as the average joe will think of Austin or Hogan right off the bat, with Rock and Goldberg right behind them. Smarts will think of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, and/or Ricky Steamboat.
Herb Abrams and the UWF- “Herb was great to me” but his lifestyle “went beyond.” He always got his money and Herb took care of him, so he refuses to knock him. He wrestled Bam Bam Bigelow for the UWF title down in Florida one night and it got bloody, and his daughter ended up running out on the match because he’d bled so bad.
ECW- He was the special guest for a match at the ECW arena one night. He talks about how guys gave it their all because they saw themselves as building a company. They ended up reforming his team with Terry Gordy that night and facing the Eliminators (Perry Saturn and John Kronus). He puts over Paul Heyman because he paid him and didn’t have any trouble from him. He’d heard about Paul E’s shady business practices but didn’t see any of it personally.
Gary Albright- He knew Gary and his family so well that it was hard to take it when he died in the ring. Albright was VERY excited to be reforming his team with Doc, and it was a shock to him to get a phone call while on tour with All Japan that Gary died in the ring.
Terry Gordy’s near-death experiences-
The first time he’d almost died it was because he’d accumulated too many Halcyons in his system, worked a match in 100 degree heat where he sweated off probably 10 pounds, then drank a 12 pack of beer. That night they went out and Gordy just passed out, and had to be taken to the hospital.
The second time it happened, Gordy had so many pills in his sytem and having smoked so much crack that he was brought on the plane in a wheelchair. Doc went to sleep and got up 30 minutes before the plane was going to land and saw Gordy dying on him. “I used to be able to knock him back loose by hitting him a few times” and jumpstart his heart, but it didn’t work that day. He gave him CPR to keep him alive until they could land. The ambulance met him when they landed and Gordy was in a coma for 7 days after that.
Ending up in the WWF- Jim Ross called him up several times to try and bring him in. On the third try, they finally came to an acceptable deal. He was brought in to do a tryout match against Too Cold Scorpio, which he did but seriously questioned why he needed to do one since he’d been in the business for about 20 years. According to him, the WWF didn’t live up to its bargain on several things, such as when he tore his hamstring doing Brawl for All.
Brawl for All- He did it because of the promise of $100,000 to the winner, which would pay for his kids education. He asked Jim Ross and Bruce Pritchard what would happen if he fucked up one of their workers, and they said not to worry. Bart Gunn ended up doing that to him. While he was leading on points, Doc got faked out by Gunn and had his legs swept out from under him, landing with half his body on the mat and half laying off of it, tearing his hamstring. He refused to quit, so he “walked into” a Bart Gunn left hand. He didn’t realize he’d even been knocked out at first, but his wife called him up and told him that she’d seen his eyes roll back into his head on TV. The office refused to work BFA into a shoot and, after Dan Severen stalled out his match for a win, they changed the rules to keep that from happening again.
He mentions that when they stiched up his leg, the doctors told him that there was a 50% chance of ANY stitch like that tearing again. (I guess this gives us hope of getting HHH and Kevin Nash off of WWE TV permanently in the near future...)
Did the WWF send him to FMW in order to make him quit? “How’d you know about it?” Around the time Smackdown was about to start, and they began talking to him about appearing on the show once he finished healing. First they asked him to videotape his workouts in the ring so that they could see how he was looking. Later they asked him to go see Dr. Andrews in Birmingham to get cleared. Finally Bruce Pritchard called him up to send him to FMW. When he menitoned that he’d prefer to stay in the country and work for the WWF since his contract was with them, he got a fax the next day claiming he’d breached his contract. They did it to fuck him over with Baba if he went along with it or to get out of their contract with him with a limited payment if he didn’t, which ended up happening. They screwed him out of a million dollars when they did that, and it was at the same time when he lost $100,000 fighting a paternity suit so that it wasn’t going to be economically feasable to hire lawyers to fight his case.
Oklahoma- After everything above happened, WCW called him up to do the Oklahoma angle making fun of Jim Ross. They paid him $50,000 so the price was right. He says that the only time he’s talked to JR since the WWF screwed him was when he was trying to get WWF talent to work an All Japan show at the Tokyo Dome and all JR could say was “How bout them Boomer Sooners? How bout them Boomer Sooners? How bout them Boomer Sooners?” (OK, why does THAT not surprise me?)
Being stiff with the luchadors in WCW- He wasn’t stiff with them... he just looked at them and they flew across the ring.
Going back to All Japan- He feels that Misawa totally screwed Mrs. Baba when he left and took about 24 other guys with him.
Vader and All Japan- He made a deal with All Japan and Baba, then Baba passed away and the contract became the property of Misawa who took him over to Pro Wrestling NOAH. He’s happy being the top guy there.
The working relationship between All Japan and New Japan- It’s great. It’s got some problems though due to egos, and he wonders why there should be ego problems in a worked sport.
Booking the Americans in All Japan- He didn’t want it but he accepted it anyway.
If he could take 3 Americans to Japan who aren’t already there, he’d take Dustin Rhodes, Curt Hennig, and either of the Steiners. They’re the only guys he thinks could handle it (the customs of the country, not the working style).
Why did Kawada and Fuchi stay when Misawa bolted? Kawada and Misawa don’t get along very well.
Why did he stay with Mrs. Baba? Besides being Baba’s wife, Mrs. Baba’s family is rich and will be able to cover the payroll if they have a bad week on tour. She’s also a good businesswoman. All the other Americans stayed with her too. He feels that Johnny Ace probably would have gone to NOAH if he hadn’t had a job lined up for WCW. He agrees with why Ace took the job he did but said that he screwed Mrs. Baba by disappearing on her in a time when they needed established names.
Do people think that Mrs. Baba is selling out by doing some of the stuff she’s done such as working with New Japan and bringing back Tenryu? No, although it’s not what Giant Baba would have done. She knows enough to swallow her pride and bring someone back if it’s good for business.
What is his most memorable wrestline match? The Kobashi match coming 19 days after knee surgery. Kobashi was his favorite guy to work with.
His least favorite guy to work with? Ric Flair, because he refused to work against him.
Greatest ribs ever- He’s not into them. He likes the funny ribs but has seen too many bad ones over the years.
He feels thankful that he’s turned himself around, as he could have ended up in the same boat as Terry Gordy, Eddie Gilbert, and Jake the Snake.
In closing, he thanks everyone who’s supported him throughout his 19 years in the business, during the good and the bad.
The first is a poor copy of a Japanese match with the Miracle Violence Connection (Doc and Gordy) against Misawa and, apparently, Kawada. (I never saw Kawada’s name appear anyplace, but the crowd was chanting his name) This match seems pretty good despite Doc’s involvement, as he’s very slow and deliberate. LONG match. Gordy wins it with a powerbomb on Kawada.
The nesxt match is one of better quality, also from Japan, with Doc against Kobashi. This is apparently the famous match Doc talked about earlier on the tape. VERY stiff as these two kick the shit out of each other. Doc wins with a side suplex that drops Kobashi straight on his head. I’d go more into detail on this, but I watched it in fast forward because I’m closing in on my deadline.
The third match is a somewhat infamous angle from the UWF where the Freebirds come out bitching about how they’re in a 6-man tag match, Buddy Roberts has to defend the TV title match against Savannah Jack, and Terry Gordy’s also in a UWF title defense against the One Man Gang, Their opponents, Doc, Ted Dibiase, and Terry Taylor, come out and start whipping ass. Almost immediately, a brawl breaks out and, in the process, current WWE road agent Michael Hayes grabs the arm of Gordy, who’s not in the ring, in order to get some leverage to combat Dibiase. While this is happening, Doc drops a knee from the top rope onto Gordy’s arm and breaks it. Everyone involved in this match who’s done a shoot has this segment at the end of the tape, which pissed me off to no end the week where I sat down to watch the shoots with Doc, Gordy, and Taylor for the first time.
The next match is a lumberjack match with Doc and Dibiase between Roberts and Hayes of the Freebirds. I don’t know how this one ends and don’t particularly care.
The next one is another Japanese match, this one a singles match between Doc and Kawada Joined in progress. Pretty damn good match, as Doc moves faster than he usually does in order to keep up with Kawada. Doc catches Kawada coming off the top rope and gives him a suplex into a pin.
There are three words that describe Doc... bitter old fuck. He can’t grasp that you aren’t able to get over as a pure brawler anymore unless you’re Steve Austin circa 1998, THE most popular wrestler in the world because of his character. While he says a decent amount that makes sense in the business, I find too much bitterness and bullshit in there to justify recommending this. On the plus side, the matches included here are FAR better than the usual crap on one of these.
Mild recommendation to avoid.