Repost: Sean Waltman (X-Pac) Shoot Interviewby Brandon Truitt
Apr 26, 2004, 21:30
This article was originally posted on November 11, 2002.
I was supposed to be branching out into new territory today by posting an article on The Shield, but I had a long day and couldn't get it done on time. Instead, I'll repost this for now and, once I finish that article, I'll post it.
Blah... Between being slightly hung over celebrating a paid holiday (Veteran's Day, for those outside the US) and a general lack of news, there won't be much of an intro this week.
According to Dave Meltzer on his Wrestling Observer Live show last night, Vince McMahon keeps changing his mind on a LOT of stuff lately and that the plans of keeping the WWE title on Brock Lesnar until Wrestlemania are probably going to be scrapped soon. While I don't think anyone's stupid enough to put the title on the Big Slow after all the jobbing he's done since his LAST reign, I'm dreading the possible results if he DOES win the belt. Considering that Rey Misterio and Kurt Angle will both need surgery soon, they'd be the first people fed to Slow to legitimize him as champ.
Next week's shoot will be with Ricky Morton, Nikita Koloff, or the Sheepherders, depending on which one I find first when I sit down next week to do the review.
Anyway, if you have any questions, comments, etc, drop me a message here.
Sean Waltman (X-Pac) shoot interview (10/22/02)
If I miss anything, it’s because Waltman talks in a low gravelly voice that makes it hard to listen to.
Why’d he get into the business? He was a fan growing up and, when he was 10, he went to see a show with Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes on top and said to himself “There’s no WAY that can be fake.” He’d go to all the shows and help set up the ring for years… the only things he ever did were tae-kwan-do and wrestling, and he eventually dropped tae-kwan-do because it interfered with wrestling too much.
How’d he hook up with the Malenko family? He talks about how if you worked “outlaw” shows, you couldn’t work for the regular territories anymore and, eventually, he ran into the Malenko family (Professor Boris Malenko, Joe Malenko, and current WWE road agent Dean Malenko) who’d been blackballed down in Florida and had run shows against Florida booker Eddie Graham in retaliation. Phyllis Lee helped him get booked on the show by talking the Malenkos into training him.
What was the Malenkos' training like? Nothing like Tough Enough… much, much worse. He doesn’t want to say TE is a joke compared to it, but says that it was certainly a lot harder. He was the school’s tackling dummy, so he pretty much got the shit knocked out of him on a daily basis. People thought he was a joke because of his rail-thin frame.
His first match? He wrestled in a community center a few blocks from the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa as the Lightning Kid against an unnamed opponent. He wanted to continue using the name when he was in the WWF, but they changed his name.
Global- It was his first “real” territory because it was the first time he got television exposure. “Quite a bit of it sucked” but it was a good opportunity.
Global owner Joe Pedacino- He was great and gave him his first national exposure.
His series with Jerry Lynn- He started wrestling him in about 1989 or 1990. He talks about leaving Florida because “there were so many wrestlers it was like cockroaches.” He talks about how the guys who wrestled up there were huge steroid heads waiting for the phone call that would make them famous (Minnesota was a pipeline for big, tough, steroid-enhanced guys like the Road Warriors and Rick Rude). The only guys he could have decent matches against at that time were Lynn and Ricky Rice.
Did the veterans ever bust on his style? He said his style wasn’t THAT innovative as guys like Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask had done it about 10 years before him, and that other guys like Sabu and Lynn did it at the same time as him.
Memories of his match with Sabu- The late Dennis Corralluzzo would promote him on his shows on the eastern seaboard and always took care of him. It was the only time they’d faced each other until recently. That show was ECW before ECW ever formed, because guys like Terry Funk, Tazz, Chris Candido, etc. were all on that card. He says he’d rip that match to shreds if he watched it because he knows a lot more about match psychology now. He said that the best match on the card was Lynn and Candido.
Global’s bookers- It was Bill Eadie (Demolition Ax, Masked Superstar) at first, then later Eddie Gilbert. He was a fan of Eadie as Masked Superstar but not as much when he became Ax.
Did he think Global would ever take off? He didn’t know.
Dropping a title in Global to Lynn- He lost the title to him in a 60-minute 2 out of 3 falls match that had to be chopped up a bit to go on Global TV. He bitches about how a stipulation of the match was that falls only counted if you hit your finisher and neither of them had one established at that time. He could never do a moonsault at that time because he kept turning and screwing it up.
New Japan- Before the show with Sabu, he’d had some matches at the same bar where he’d worked against Lynn and it was always jam-packed with a rowdy crowd due to the surrounding white-trash trailer parks. He was tagging with Lynn against guys like Masa Saito when Jushin “Thunder” Liger and others saw him wrestle and booked him for the Super Juniors tournament.
He worked with Universal, which had a few guys break off later and form Michinoku Pro, and was a Japanese company which employed a lot of Mexican wrestlers. His first tour with the company was the last that Yoshihiro Asai did before jumping ship and becoming Ultimo Dragon.
Did anyone try to mentor him there? Dean Malenko, who’d helped train him. Sean kept screwing up due to nerves against Malenko and Liger, amongst others. Talks about how the Japanese guys were cool with you as long as you made it to the bus on time.
Coming into the WWF- He was surprised they signed him because he was VERY different from the usual guys they signed, like the aforementioned steroid guys from Minnesota. He was in the process of putting together the Corralluzzo show when he got the call from Sgt. Slaughter. He was so clueless about what was going on that he left Sarge on hold for about 4 minutes before talking to him. When he finally talked to him, Sarge said that they were having tapings in Arizona after Wrestlemania and it dawned on him after 5 minutes that he was getting a tryout.
He talks about how his experience trying out with WCW against Bob Cook had convinced him that he wasn’t going to the big time. Kip Frey was in charge and wanted to hire him, but Bill Watts replaced Frey the next day and didn’t like the tryout tape he’d done. (Dusty, Magnum TA, and other guys had told him to do all his signature stuff, so the tape Watts watched looked like a Mary Lou Retton performance). When Watts came to the WWF in 1995 and was watching the matches without anyone knowing, he liked the match Sean was in that night because of the sound psychology.
When he came in, he just knew he was going to work with Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) but nothing else specifically. He talks about how guys would get tryouts against random guys like Virgil who didn’t have a vested interest in people getting hired, so their matches would tend to suck because they’d be working with dead weight. He was lucky enough to have Tony Garea ask him who he wanted to work with and he chose Louie Spicoli. He busted his ass in the match and got hired, then got a call after the Sabu match from Vince telling him the plan for him beating Razor.
The famous match against Hall- He had a lot of ideas going in, then talked to Hall right after he’d come back from the WWF’s European out and was dead tired. He told him the ideas that he had and Hall’s response was to look down at him (Hall’s 6’4”, although no one tends to remember that) and said “How about I just fuckin’ treat you like a jobber then you hit me with somethin’ cool?” Hall chopped the piss out of him and threw him around the ring, but he hit a moonsault to beat Hall for the three.
Teaming with Hall- He didn’t team with him at first but, when he did, he was the guy he learned the most from psychology-wise. He talks about how Shawn Michaels had worked against Hall and that Shawn got better by working against Hall (Whatever… HBK had more good matches than Hall ever did before they faced each other). Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, and Triple H also learned a lot from him.
How’d the friendship between himself Nash, Hall, and HBK start? Curt Hennig, who he rode with at first, took him under his wing and Hennig was tight with the three of them at one time. Hennig and HBK got hot at each other and, around that time, HBK got suspended from the WWF. “It seemed like HBK always got the Summer off…” By the time HBK came back, Curt was gone and they all started riding together and all they’d ever talk about was wrestling. Around that time, Triple H came into the federation and joined them.
Who started calling them the Clique? The first person he ever heard do it was JJ Dillon. He says he doesn’t know, but it sounds like something Lex Luger would come up with (Good guess, Sean… Lex is supposedly the guy who coined the term “The Clique” for HBK’s core group of friends).
How much power did The Clique have? “I didn’t have any power.” He only made $100,000 that year, but Nash and HBK had a lot of stroke.
How’d the rest of the locker room react to their influence? He talks about how HBK and Bret Hart hated each other, yet Sean would ride a lot with Bret and they got along even after the major heat between HBK and Bret started. He said that The Clique’s influence is overblown by the outside world.
What happened with Bam Bam Bigelow and did The Clique have anything to do with it? “Oh God… That’s a crazy question.” He doesn’t know of anything involving that. He knows there was heat involving Bigelow and The Clique because of “some rumor that we held the company up and went on strike” and that “he guarantees that’s not the case because he would have been in on it and, unless HBK himself said it and no one else knew about it.” (I think Sean was hitting the pain pills pretty hard around that time because HBK admitted in his interview that they “were giving Vince a message that his product sucked and that they knew how to fix it.”) Bam Bam heard the rumor and didn’t like it. He does admit that Hall and Bigelow had heat with each other, but that he and Bigelow got along fine and puts over Bigelow as one of the better big men he’s ever seen.
What started the whole Bret and Shawn situation? Part of it was that both guys were excellent and knew it, but were very different personality-wise, which caused a lot of clashes. He thought they were both the best in the WWF for sure and possibly in wrestling at that time. He said that the “Sunny Days” bit may have put it into overdrive, but that was when he was in WCW.
Did Bret change over time? He was always very serious because of his family’s standing in the wrestling business. Bret never wanted to leave the WWF, but that Vince chose Shawn over Bret and Bret had to go to WCW. The money thing was another issue, though. He doesn’t say his was a jump as much as a choice between staying and restarting from the bottom or going to be with his friends in WCW. He puts over Vince heavily for paying his way through rehab at that time, as well as getting $30,000 paid to him while he was there.
What happened between Shane Douglas and Scott Hall? He’s seen Shane since then and they’ve gotten along. Scott Hall was an asshole in the ring if you screwed up, though, and when Shane screwed up, he took it personally when Scott went rough on him. He figures that Shane’s crappy “Dean Douglas” gimmick didn’t help though, and his timing sucked. Bill Watts got on Shane about that, too. “There was no fucking conspiracy” that he knows of, but that Shane’s run was unsuccessful and it wasn’t necessarily everyone else’s fault.
Chris Candido and Sunny- He likes Chris.
Did he think Steve Austin would be as big a star as he became? He knew he was awesome and a workhorse in the ring, even with the stupid Ringmaster gimmick. When he went on the European tour with the company, he was put in the main events with HBK. Austin will go out there and bust his ass no matter how blown up he is.
His matches with HBK- He had a few matches against HBK and the one he specifically remembers was one from WWF Action Zone where he tagged with Hall against HBK and Nash. The building they worked in was one that the WWF had run to death by then, but when they had their match, everything just clicked. It was one of his favorite matches during that run with the WWF. (That’s a Hell of a match and well worth buying Slamfest 95 for.)
What do you say to people who claim HBK faked a lot of injuries to lose belts? “They’re not Shawn Michaels” and wonders how you can make those claims. He’s heard it a lot over the years but has never really seen anything to back it up. “If someone tells me they’re hurt, I believe they’re hurt. I’ve never faked an injury in my career” and doesn’t think anyone else would do it. “Half of the people who’re talkin’ about it don’t know the pain he was going through on a daily basis.”
How’d he get into rehab? He was taking a lot of pain pills and sleeping pills because he was always hurting. They didn’t use the “softer” rings until he came back from WCW in mid-1998. He took WAY too many pills and wouldn’t realize how screwed up he was. He came back from the European tour and had been mixing pills and alcohol, which caused him to end up in rehab. It was his choice to go, as Vince said he’d pay for it (he doesn’t say anything about possible suspensions if he refused).
Triple H taking the fall for the Madison Square Garden “Clique Incident”- “It was bullshit.” He can understand why people were upset because kayfabe was still in effect, but “Vince said they could do that but then turned around and punished Hunter”. Excuse me… coughBULLSHITcough…. I’ve NEVER heard ANYWHERE that Vince approved the MSG incident, so either he’s lying or he got his information from someone who bullshitted him, like HBK perhaps. He knows that he, Nash, and Hall were on the way out and that HBK was the champ, so that’s why Hunter got screwed over.
Going to WCW- Eric Bischoff came up with the name “Syxx”, which he said was MUCH better than “1-2-3 Kid”. Since Bischoff trash-talked him on WCW TV after his release, he got back at him by trash-talking Bischoff on WWF TV after Wrestlemania 14.
Hulk Hogan- “He was good to me… he was REALLY good to me.” He said things were good between them until the time where he broke his neck and Hogan ended up on the opposite side of a backstage power struggle. That was around the time of the “Liver Spot” promo by Nash, Hall, Konnan, and other members of the nWo.
Sting- Kept to himself, although he had a few close friends like Lex Luger. Always seemed like a good guy, though. “I’ve never seen anyone so clueless in the ring in my life” considering all the great matches Sting had with Flair over the years and the amount of money he made. He figures that Flair carried Sting through the matches and that Sting never really learned how to work on his own. His theory is that Flair did that to make himself indispensable, as he made the guys look great but they couldn’t do it again unless he was helping them.
Lex Luger- He likes him. He didn’t like “that unprofessional bullshit” like when Lex and Buff Bagwell laid down for Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire at Greed. He calls it an insult to the business to do that (but doesn’t talk about his buddy Nash dropping the WORLD fucking title to Hogan like that). If you got him over with the crowd, he was easy to work with, but that working with Lex is what broke his neck for the second time.
The WCW locker room’s opinion on Fake Razor and Fake Diesel- “Hall called up Ann Russo at Talent Relations and asked her if Rick Bogner (Fake Razor) wanted to buy any of his Razor stuff.”
Match with Chris Jericho at Halloween Havoc 96- He wasn’t established, as he would only stand around on camera at Nitro. HH96 was his first real pay-per-view match in the company and it was okay but Jericho was used to doing Japanese style at that time. He claims he told the company that Jericho was incredibly talented and that he’d be better as a heel. (Did Sean also invent the Internet?)
Randy Savage- “A lot of people don’t know Randy. I’m happy to say that Randy Savage is a friend of mine.” Very eccentric and paranoid, though. Savage and Hogan don’t get along at all but they didn’t have a problem with him being friends with both of them. “Man, he’s… different.”
The ladder match with Eddy Guerrero at Souled Out- The first big memory he has of it is walking in the building that night because they’d been out in “50 below zero” weather taping the intro to the show the night before. Kevin Sullivan asked him if he wanted to check the ladder out and he blew him off until he saw it… “25 feet high and 12 feet wide at the bottom.” His exact words to Sullivan were “What in the FUCK are we going to do with that?!?”, before they ended up using a standard 8-foot ladder instead. Scott Hall chewed their asses after the match and Eddy wasn’t happy about Hall’s comments, but didn’t say anything to him until years afterwards. “There was plenty of shit that was wrong with that match” and that the trained eye can spot a lot of those problems right away.
Wrestling Dean Malenko- They’d had solid matches but that was around the first time he’d ever had to do mic work and he didn’t do so well. Man, is THAT ever an understatement… Sean’s probably one of the worst guys on the mic to make a living in the business, save for Sid. He’d made comments for the match about the late Professor Boris Malenko (Dean’s father) to give the impression to the fans that there was legitimate heat between them.
Did he have heat with WCW management for putting him in the Cruiserweight division? No.
Rey Misterio- He wanted to work with all the Lucha guys, especially Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis, and Rey. They did a good job of adapting to the American style.
Working a main event involving Roddy Piper- “Roddy’s just fucking crazy.” WCW didn’t want him at the match (a 6-man at Slamboree 97) because they didn’t see him as a draw. He thought that the match was in trouble going in because Piper would do all kinds of shit on his own and “Kevin Greene was green… no pun intended” and, besides that, he was kept out of the ring for most of the match. That was one of the first times in his career where he got pissed at management and he decided to start taking respect after that. Among other things, he blistered the shit out of Ric Flair verbally while he was on that kick. “People just wanted someone to fucking kill me.” In the booking meeting, Hall and Nash were being uncooperative about jobbing and Eric had his head in his hands going “Ah shit… why me?” The compromise finish was supposed to be him taking the pin but, because Nash and Hall said “it’s too predictable”, they all ended up getting pinned in the middle of the ring at the same time.
The “Liver Spot” promo and the reaction of Flair and Arn Anderson- “Ooooohhh…” Arn was pissed because of the beer cooler stuff. He immediately shifts the blame onto Terry Taylor for coming up with the idea based on the Horsemen spot speech. He thought the original speech was very good, but didn’t have problems with mocking it when asked by the office. He wasn’t happy with having to get all dressed up to do the skit, though. He claims he had the whole Flair imitation down after watching him for years and having the same tiny bit of Minnesota accent that Flair has. He claims that the boys “were on their asses laughing” when they came back to the locker room, Flair and Arn were laughing at first, but claims that Arn got pissed once he got heat at home over it. (My bullshit detector is reading off the chart for this one) He talks about how all the booking of the Fall Brawl 97 PPV was changed to do Wargames over the whole situation.
Did he believe that Flair was holding back Nash and Hall when they first started in WCW (in the early 90’s)? Neither one of them ever said that. He doesn’t know enough about the situation to say either way, but that the top spots in WCW were all sewed up back then by Dusty and the Horsemen. (Considering that Nash was both Oz and Vinnie Vegas and Hall was the Diamond Studd, it wasn’t a case of being held back so much as sucking. The Diamond Studd gimmick wasn’t worth a shit until Vince changed him fully into Razor Ramon)
The NWO membership drive- It watered it down when Konnan, Bagwell, etc. all joined up. When you can’t remember who’s in the group anymore, there’s too many people involved.
Jim Cornette and the shoot comments he made on RAW about him- He was like “Holy shit, I can’t believe it” but, in hindsight, he can because Cornette was in with Flair and the Horsemen. It doesn’t bother him anymore because he doesn’t even remember what Cornette said, but that a lot of people from that time period pissed off about the disrespect to Arn’s about his retirement. He talks about how Cornette referred to him as a fuckup who’d puke on himself for Nash and Hall’s amusement, so Cornette wasn’t one of his favorite people after that, but he understood Cornette’s position. He said right before Cornette went to start OVW, he apologized to him about making the comments and told him the whole situation. (Cornette had said it as a gut reaction on Byte This when asked about the Liver Spot skit, then Vince McMahon got him to do a version of it on the air to attack the people who’d defected to WCW.) They didn’t see eye to eye, but the two of them would get pissed off about the same stuff when the show was booked each week.
WCW locker room politics in 1997- “That was different.” Hogan’s group was agreeable with the Wolfpac (himself, Nash, and Hall) for the most part. He talks about how “we acted like we were the shit… and we were.” They patterned themselves after the Freebirds, but appreciates the irony of how he’s not friends with Michael PS Hayes. He claims he was used in the top matches across the country for WCW but didn’t get a fraction of what certain useless guys got (people who couldn’t wrestle or who weren’t on TV) and he specifically bashes Sting for the whole “dropping from the ceiling” stuff. People weren’t bad but were, rather, on all different sides.
The rift between the Wolfpac and Hogan- He doesn’t remember what caused it. He figures it was something trivial or otherwise he’d remember it. He was the laid-back one, Hall was liked when he was himself and hated when “he was fucked up”, and Nash “was the big grouch.” He says that there’s a reason why Hogan’s still on top after all these years and thinks it’s because of the “Hulking up” routine that he’s done for years in addition to politics and other things. Flair was in the same boat with politics. The Wolfpac believed they were better than everyone else and he claims it was true.
His firing- The story of him getting fired because Bischoff was pissed off at Nash and Hall was true. He was waiting on a raise and didn’t have a set number of days off a year, and was pissed about Bischoff’s stance that having a day on the road with no matches counted as a day off. He didn’t like that because he was away from his family yet still counted as taking a day off. “Not only was I on all the shows I was booked on, and I was at every show that Scott was booked on” due to Hall’s personal problems. He took a bad hit from Luger around that time that completely screwed up several of his vertebrae and say it was like “taking a battle axe to the back”. He didn’t want to stop until he got an x-ray and, before he even got to the MRI, saw that his fifth vertebrae was completely cracked. When he showed it to JJ Dillion, JJ claimed “Oh, a lot of guys have shit like that”, which floored him.
He was paid in full for 9 months to rehab after surgery “before they pretty much handed me over to Vince.” He was at home recovering when he got the infamous Fed-Ex that fired him. Eric then went before Nash and Hall claiming he “put a bullet in Waltman”, and said that if Sean called him back that he’d rehire him. However, he was thinking of ways to get out of WCW and go back to the WWF at the time, so it all worked out.
When he got his release, he was on the phone with a guy and got the Fed-Ex and, before he opened it, joked to the guy on the phone that it was the office telling him he was fired. Turns out he was right, and he got pissed for a few minutes before calling up his agent and telling him to open up talks with the WWF.
Coming back to the WWF- He came back during the Terry Funk and Cactus Jack vs. the New Age Outlaws match, then cut a promo about Bischoff and how he got fired. The two things that stick out about it are that he wish he hadn’t done crotch-chops in Terry Funk’s face because it was so disrespectful, although Terry never said anything about it, as well as Mick Foley not wanting to take the bronco buster that night. Foley was willing to take it later on down the road, though. He talks about how he thought about taking that move out of his repetoire. “I’ve got four things I do in my matches… spin kick, jump spinning side kick, high spin kick, and a bronco buster. I make my match out of that.” (THANK YOU GOD he fucking admits it… The tiny minority of people who like X-Pac have been ignoring THAT particular argument against him for a long time.)
Differences between the WWF in 1996 and 1998- “It was like Heaven”, especially considering how fucked up WCW was. The locker room was very into the product. He said that while he was the first real name to jump back from WCW and it helped jumpstart DX, the product was already going in the right direction because Austin was so hot.
Did he think that Road Dogg and Billy Gunn would fit in with DX? He wasn’t sure because he wasn’t keeping up with the product around that time, but it ended up working out. He doesn’t want to compare them to the original Horsemen, but says that group of DX had a natural click that made it work just right.
Memories of the DX skits at CNN Center and the arenas where WCW was running shows- He remembers showing up to TV and being pulled aside clandestinely by Vince and asked to do that stuff. He wasn’t going to make them do it if they didn’t want to, though. They loved doing it because it had never been done in the national era, despite the Malenkos doing it in Florida and Randy Savage’s family running against the Jarretts in Tennessee and Kentucky. If they’d had tried to make it in the garage before screwing with the fans out front, he thinks something interesting may have happened. He’s not sure what, though. When they went to the WCW offices, he tried to go see Dr. Harvey Schiller of WCW under the pretense of asking why he’d gotten released. They did the CNN Center and WCW office run the week after they crashed the WCW show in Norfolk, Virginia. They made a big deal about how Vince McMahon had Titan Towers and, when they went to WCW, their office looked like a rental storage unit building. “Vince made a little donation to the Fraternal Order of Police” so that some Cobb County officers would accompany the group to the building and help keep them from getting arrested, although they were technically arrested by the end of it. When Bruce Pritchard came to bail them out, Hunter grabbed their video camera and Sean got his ass to talk on tape. They wished they were at production when they viewed the tape.
His match with Owen Hart at King of the Ring 1998- He gets lost around here, as he starts talking about their match at King of the Ring *1994* instead. After that match, Bret Hart came up to him and said it was the best match he’d ever seen of that length (about 4 minutes). Owen was by far the best of that family when he wanted to be.
Did the Bret-Clique feud impact Owen’s career? He doesn’t know for sure. He figures there was some heat since Owen “decided to stay” after Bret got screwed. He goes into a side story about a 25 minute match he had with Bret in 1994 where Bret made him. When he watches that now, he realizes how he’s a shell of his former self in the ring. He wonders why he’s even in the business anymore if he can’t be as good as he could.
The Jeff Jarrett feud in 1998- It takes like 5 minutes to get Sean to realize that they mean the series in 1998 where he cut Jarrett’s hair instead of the series they had in 1994. He eventually talks about how he loved working with Jeff and that he was a good utility heel. Vince McMahon wasn’t high on Jeff around that time he wasn’t sure why. He says that if you try hard enough, you can poke holes through anybody’s work but wasn’t sure why Jeff’s faults were focused on. When he heard the match was hair vs. hair, he said “Well, I hope Jeff’s willing to get his hair cut because I’m not fuckin’ cutting MY hair”, and was told that Jeff had agreed to losing his long hair. When he asked Vince what his plans were for the match (as in “is this going to be a highly promoted match?”), Vince got a little pissed with him. He said that Vince doesn’t tend to yell or be an asshole to him, but would get annoyed with him at times. Vince’s response to the question was “It’ll be what you make of it.”, but he questioned Vince’s judgement a bit because hair vs. hair was such a high end gimmick.
He said the finish was a little screwed up due to the timing of the run-ins, and that the clippers sucked so they couldn’t give Jeff a proper haircut. He got a lower than expected payoff for that match, too, considering the buyrate of that PPV (Summerslam 98). He says that people look at him as a burnout, pothead, etc. but that his mind’s always turning on how many people are in the building, the cost of running the building, etc. and how much he should get. He eventually called up the office and told them that his payoff should have been a lot more than the $20,000-$30,000 they got. He specifically asked Vince if guys were “getting paid by the pound”, which goes into his belief that his size hurt his career. Even after that, Vince still didn’t raise his voice over it. He claims that the office was expecting the old passive-aggressive 1-2-3 Kid but instead got “a demon out of Hell” that had been hanging out with Hall and Nash. He eventually got $5000 as a “shut the fuck up and leave us alone” payment, but said that if he thought he was getting shafted for an amount that low that he wouldn’t have bothered with it.
Memories of the DX feud with the Nation of Domination and the infamous parody skit- He hated the idea of it, as he’d done with the Horsemen parody back in 1997. He hated having all that padding stuffed in his shirt and being painted black to parody Mark Henry. As a result, he had some fun with it like writing “Mizark” on his shirt to become “Mizark Henry”, coming down to the ring like a gorilla, and saying “Crock, what you’re cooking smells like shit… but I’ll eat it anyway.” He was told afterwards that it was funny but he believes it won’t hold a candle to the Horsemen one. He also did another one where he did a parody of Ken Shamrock, but everything he did was scripted and, as a result, blew. He thinks there was tension over that because The Rock didn’t like the idea of white guys being painted in blackface for the gimmick. He liked the Nation-DX feud, though, because Rock was just starting to take off and everyone knew he was going to be huge.
His feud with Shane McMahon- He remembers having mixed feelings about being thrown in the ring with a co-owner of the company who had no experience. On one hand, he wanted to wrestle a top guy at Wrestlemania 15 because it would be the first time he’d ever wrestled at one. He takes a side trip to bitch about the cancelled 10-man tag match at Wrestlemania 10 that he was scheduled to be a part of, as it was cancelled and had only been put on the card in order to give a bunch of guys a Wrestlemania payoff. Considering how the business was back then, he says it was good to get $10,000 for sitting on his ass in the back. He also accompanied Hall to the ring at Wrestlemania 11 to face Jeff Jarrett, and got a small payoff for that, too. He puts Shane over tremendously for his gung-ho attitude when it comes to wrestling, as he put a lot of effort into their match. He’s proud of the match they had that night because, while Vince had given him full control of the match, Shane came to him with a list of ideas that looked like one of Dallas Page’s printouts of stuff he wanted to do in the match. They eventually went down the list and he would approve or disapprove of certain things and, if Shane fought hard enough for them, he’d keep it. One of the main things Shane fought for that he didn’t like was the Mean Street Posse being at ringside, but he still made it work. Sean was originally supposed to win and he’d even told Shane that he couldn’t go out there and look polished because it would expose the business.
Shane was so willing to work with him that Shane flew up to Minnesota and rented the local arena so they could set up the match together and still let Sean go home to his family that night. Pat Patterson came up to him early on the day of Wrestlemania 15, and Sean insisted that they get the 17-20 minutes that they ended up getting because he could make Shane look like a million bucks. Shane ended up following it to the letter and, as a result, they had a serious contender for the match of the night. (To be fair, the only other match NOT threatening to hit negative stars was the Austin-Rock match in the main event) The reason that the booking of the match changed was that Hunter’s heel turn would have been seriously hurt if he didn’t turn on him in that match. He says that it was his idea to lose to Shane, then, as it would benefit his friend. (Considering that Hunter could wear a sandwich board of anti-black statements in Harlem and not get heat around that that time, I’m not sure how much it would have hurt his turn to NOT beat up Sean)
The night Owen Hart died- His match was on before Owen’s and while he’s not saying that the show should have been stopped, it would have been a tough call either way and “Vince was fucked no matter what.” If he’d have been on after Owen’s accident, he wouldn’t have been capable of wrestling.
Splitting up DX at Wrestlemania 15- He thinks they could have gotten more mileage but wonders if it would have been a good idea to milk that gimmick dry. He also says that he’s proud that in the Indiana University study, he’s responsible for about 80% of all the lewd gestures noted in the study. Getting back to the group, “our nuts got cut off”, and he ended up feuding with Kane. After the Kane thing, he was effectively erased from WWF history. He bitches about the promo Flair showed back in February because D-X was delegated to a half-second blip on the screen.
Kane- He doesn’t care what anyone says about Kane because he loves Kane and his character. He thinks that the best stuff with Kane is when he is a monster and comes out to an unlit arena and sets off the ringpost pyro. Having him do backstage promos with Stephanie McMahon just kills off his monster aura.
Vince booking himself as world champion- No one was really surprised. He said that there were a lot of kiss-asses around and that, while Vince claims he doesn’t like yes-men, he really doesn’t like no-men.
X Factor- “Why did people hate that [Unkle Kracker] song so much?” (Maybe because it fucking SUCKED and had no place in wrestling? I swear… that was the gheyest entrance music I’ve ever heard. [C]Rap has almost no place in wrestling, ESPECIALLY for three incredibly white guys like that. Guys who fit the mold like K-Kwik (The Truth from NWA:TNA) are the ones who should be allowed to do that.) He claims that the matches that they had against guys like the Dudleyz got them good reactions but they never had a storyline and he thinks that Vince didn’t see anything for them. In addition to that, he thinks certain people didn’t want him to succeed. ((… maybe the legions of fans like myself who wanted his boring, four-move match, horrible promo-skills ass off our TVs?)
He talked about how he and Justin Credible were such a good tag team and how Albert learned by watching them, much like Kevin Nash learned by watching guys like Hall and HBK. Vince claimed that Albert was only getting a reaction because Sean was leading him by the nose, but Sean says that Albert was learning as he was doing that. Around that time, the office decided to put the IC title on him and “the next thing I know he’s doing the Worm with Scotty II Hotty” after being built as a monster. (Albert is a pet project of Jim Ross and Ross doesn’t know how to build him right. He thinks this is Mid-South in 1982 where they could throw a big fat guy like One Man Gang out there and have him draw. What he doesn’t remember is that the territory crapped out because of shit like that and it took a group of pretty-boy workers like the Rock and Roll Express and some talented cheating heels like the Midnight Express to get them out of the hole they dug for themselves.)
Did the WCW wrestler have a hard time adjusting to WWF style? “You know the answer to that question.” Yes, they did. Booker T had heat coming in due to the mess with Bagwell that helped kill the Invasion as soon as it started, as people felt it takes two people to screw up for a match to fail that back. He also had heat for playing Nintendo in the back. Whenever WCW guys did anything that remotely resembled bad etiquette, people jumped on them, as he gives the example of Stacy Keibler getting heat for taking time off to go to the beach. A big deal was made about little shit because the WWF guys got territorial about protecting their spots, with Undertaker vs. DDP being the worst of it. He loves DDP to death, but that the matches he and Mike Awesome had with Undertaker and Kane killed them dead. Apparently, DDP’s back was screwed and, after getting as much heat on Kane as they did during the match, Taker was PISSED when DDP wasn’t taking flat-back bumps. They had another match and DDP did the same thing, so Taker just stopped in the match for like 10 seconds looking at DDP, who doesn’t know what the Hell was going on. DDP was so clueless that Taker gave him ANOTHER chance and when DDP didn’t take a flat-back bump, even the CROWD had their heads in their hands going “Dallas, you REALLY fucked up.”
Thoughts on Hogan, Nash, and Hall coming back to form the nWo- He was ready to come back around that time and “he was held back”, then starts making the Dr. Evil pinky gesture while talking about people who probably did it. He throws the blame at Paul Heyman, as Heyman questioned whether Sean should be in that spot. The business with Michael Hayes on the Plane Ride From Hell didn’t help (Hayes got piss drunk and started mouthing off on the flight. Once Hayes passed out, Sean cut his mullet off and later pinned it to a door in the locker room.). When he arrived at Wrestlemania, everyone started laying in on him about getting that spot. However, Hogan, who wasn’t even on the same page as Hall and Nash, went in and said “Why shouldn’t he get that spot? He was a member from nearly the beginning.” It ended up being a business move, as Hall, Nash, and Hogan all had a lot of days off and, whenever they were off, he took their place. He wasn’t sure if it was going to happen but, when he came into the building the night after Wrestlemania, he was told that he was doing a run-in during the Rock-Nash match. He puts Hogan over heavily for selling for him so hard and blading after taking the chairshot he gave him. When it comes to the angle as a whole, he wonders how they fucked it up so bad without trying to but, at the same time, wonders why they’d want it to fail if they did it intentionally.
Steve Austin around the time he left the company- Everyone thought Austin was difficult to deal with at that point, but it was Austin being unhappy with his character’s direction more than anything else. He’d gone from headlining Wrestlemanias 14, 15, and 17 to being scheduled to lose to Hall at Wrestlemania 18. He doesn’t know if it had to do with Hogan coming in, though. He talks about how Triple H and Jericho was in the main event because of the title being on the line, but that Rock and Hulk was the main event and everyone knew it. He calls it “one of the best matches I’ve ever seen” and says that the crowd’s reaction helped make it. He figures that Austin heard a lot of shit about Nash and Hall in WCW and about Hall’s condition at the time and that played into his unhappiness. Sean claims that Hall’s the first person to take the stunner right, though.
Why’d he leave the WWF? It was a good time for him to leave, as he’d been miserable there for a long time. The company drove him nuts and made him miserable, creative-wise, and says that everyone knows that he and Brian Gerwitz have problems with each other. He was miserable, so he was a pain in the ass to creative despite busting his ass in the ring. He started getting defensive about his own character. He then brings up the accusations of dodging jobs to Booker T, which he claims is totally untrue although he did change the booking of the match he and Big Show had against Booker and Goldust. He was supposed to get his ass whipped by the rest of the now as a part of the “tough love” stuff but, because he’d taken a bad bump that aggravated old injuries and didn’t want to take more time off, he didn’t feel like taking more bumps than necessary. He thinks Booker might believe that he didn’t want to job to him and understands why he’d think that, but swears he didn’t do it. Around that time, they’d just gotten back from the RAW group’s European tour where Scott Hall’s problems got him released, Curt Hennig got fired for getting into an impromptu amateur match with Brock Lesnar, and he himself got in trouble for the whole Michael Hayes business. He claims that Hayes tried to pick a fight with Gerald Brisco once he got off the plane, and figured once Hayes heard that he did it that Hayes would try to fight him. Instead, he said Hayes probably screwed him over in booking meetings.
Another important thing was that he’d taken a couple of Somas and woke up in the hospital. He didn’t know where the Hell he was when he got up, but he called into the office and told them what happened before getting a taxi to the airport and trying to fly to TV that night. That was the night of the fateful 10-man tag where Kevin Nash tore his quad after stepping over Booker T, thus ending a proposed HUGE push and a return from 3 months on the injured list… all in the span of 15 seconds. He said that the agent didn’t help put together the match, which is what turned it into a huge clusterfuck. He claimed he did 80% of the bumps for his side to put the faces over in that match. He figures that his experience that day didn’t figure into his release, as he was perfectly fine that night in the ring. When Nash went down with his injury, no one knew what the Hell was going on anymore and that Vince was completely pissed over the whole situation, which he took out on the nWo. He also says his private life would make a Hell of a book and that Jerry Springer stuff is tame in comparison, so he really didn’t need to deal with bullshit from the office. He got a month’s worth of salary and an immediate release, as well as the rights to the name Syxx-Pac and his royalties.
They then cut to matches, as they show the infamous Sabu vs. Lightning Kid match from the Dennis Corralluzo show. Sabu is managed by Big Daddy Dink (Sir Oliver Humperdink of World Class, the WWF, and WCW). Considering the two guys in the match, there’s a LOT more mat-based stuff than you’d expect and very little of the trademark Sabu “Put a guy through a pyramid of five tables after blowing the spot several times” stuff that you see on the ECW DVDs. They don’t do a lot of aerial stuff until the end of the match, as they do flips from the top turnbuckle to the floor, brawl on the floor, etc. The match ends on a DQ after Sabu pulls the ref in front of him to protect him, then slugs him one for good measure. After the match, Humperdink and Sabu whale on the Kid until Jerry Lynn comes out to save him. By this point, the Kid has a rather nice bladejob going on and, while it’s not the great “Khan at the end of Star Trek II” look that Flair had for every big match in the 80’s, it’s still pretty good and gives him a real crimson mask.
The Kid cuts a post-match interview that I skip because, frankly, he sucks on the stick and always has.
The next match is clips from the Top of the Super Junior IV series between the Lightning Kid and Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit). They show some nice stuff here, with them doing high-flying stuff and trading suplexes. Benoit eventually reverses a hold to get a German suplex on the Kid for the three. Only about a minute of footage is shown, but it’s all great stuff… I’d love to find a full copy of this match.
After that is Lightning Kid vs. Shinjiro Ohtani from the same series, with both guys doing a lot of mat-based stuff with armlocks, chinlocks, etc. Eventually, the Kid starts giving Ohtani a lot of stiff kicks to the midsection to take control of the match. The finish comes when the Kid tries to do a top turnbuckle move, Ohtani gets up to stop him, then the Kid turns it into a top-rope tornado DDT and gets the three. The only thing I can compare the finish to is the “superplex into DDT in midair” spot that Dean Malenko used to beat Scotty II Hotty with at Backlash 2000.
Chaz vs. the Lightning Kid- This is from Global and is for the Kid’s Light Heavyweight title and, as far as I know, this is NOT Chaz from the Headbangers unless he was about 100 pounds lighter in the early 90s. The Kid does a pre-match ritual involving throwing salt around, before shoving the remainder of the baggie of salt into his trunks. VERY high-flying match as they keep trading top-rope maneuvers. The finish comes as the Kid blinds Chaz with the salt and gets the three, but Jerry Lynn tells the ref what happens and the decision is reversed to the Kid being disqualified. Lynn and the Kid brawl, then Lynn puts the Kid out with a sleeper.
Unfortunately, that’s the last match on the tape which means NO footage of the highly acclaimed Lynn-Kid matches is included.
One word to describe Mr. Waltman’s reaction to most of this stuff… paranoid. EVERYONE before he gets to Eric Bischoff loved him to death the way he tells it, despite the real possibility that they couldn’t stand him and that it was his addiction to pills that made him oblivious to hate. That really changes once he gets to 1998, though, as he starts making more sense and seems to give a clearer picture of what happened, although you could hear the bullshit hit the fan once the interviewer said “X-Factor”. LONG interview, as the actual interview part is about 3 hours and 10 minutes and there’s around 40 minutes of matches on the end. The matches are better than the usual TV squashes you get on these tapes, although they are nothing compared to the classics included on the Steamboat shoot.
I’ll go for Mildly Recommended on this because some of the stuff from the last year or so was interesting but a lot of the older stuff was either bullshitted or has become common knowledge over the years for whatever reason.