Midnight Express Shoot Interview
By Brandon Truitt
May 19, 2003, 20:10
This will be a short opening. Required overtime sucks, multiple server crashes at work due to equipment that a certain leading company seems unable to fix or replace sucks, and the WWE's booking is beyond suck after last night's pay per view. Let's hope they either turn things around soon or put the company out of its misery.
For those who aren't sure, continuing with the plan for single-brand PPVs, despite a Backlash only drawing about 250,000 buys even with Goldberg-Rock as a top match, is the equivilant to Vince making an appointment with Dr. Kervorkian.
As always, you can feel free to Drop me an e-mail, read the archives, buy me stuff, or buy yourself stuff at Highspots.com.
Midnight Express Shoot Interview (8-14-2001)
We start off with a Midnight Express, with Big Bubba Rogers (Big Bossman) vs. the Rock And Roll Express match from Great American Bash 1987. This is the Stan Lane version of the Express, not the Dennis Condrey version. The video is flipping a bit here and I’m HOPING it’s the copy of the match included and not my tape or my V2CR. This is US Tag Titles (Midnight Express) vs. World Tag Titles (Rock and Roll Express). As good as you’d expect from a match between these two teams, which is good enough for Match Of The Night honors on most cards but not this one, as I believe this was on the undercard for either Wargames I or Wargames II, both of which are classics. The finish comes as Bubba beats up Ricky Morton and Bobby Eaton goes for the pin, but the referee notices that Bubba’s hat is left in the ring and DQ’es the Midnights.
The interview now starts with both Eaton and Lane in the same room, although they switch off answering questions every few minutes. This is unlike the Sunny and Missy Hyatt interview, where each took a turn then they did a joint interview for the rest of it. I’ll try to keep it somewhat coherent but bear with me if it’s hard to read.
How did Stan Lane get into the business? Stan sets the Way Back Machine for the Summer of 1978 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He was working as a bouncer at a nightclub called Mother Fletcher’s and working room service at a local Hilton, picking and choosing the smallest orders possible to bring to the rooms. One morning, he saw a breakfast labeled “Four Bloody Marys – Flair”, and figured it was probably Ric Flair, who he’d seen wrestle before and liked him a lot. He ended up taking the order up to the room and found out it was indeed the Nature Boy and, as he found out later, it was the morning after the first night together between Flair and his current wife, Beth. Flair invited him in and they started talking. Flair asked him about gyms in the area and Stan ended up inviting him to a pool party in the area. Flair showed up at the party that night with Blackjack Mulligan and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. They all ended up getting along great and Stan ended up inviting him to the nightclub, which Flair went to. Long story short (Too late…), he got Flair’s number in Charlotte, NC, and Flair trained him in his backyard.
Did he want to get into the business? He knew he wanted to do something in the realm of show business, but wasn’t sure if it would be singing or whatever. When he ran into Flair, he started thinking of wrestling as a good way to travel the country and make money.
What was his first territory? Amarillo, TX, because Flair talked Blackjack Mulligan into hiring him after he bought the territory from Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr. He was Nature Boy Stan Lane but only stayed there about 3 months because the weather sucked due to it being the dead of Winter.
Who helped him out? Tank Patton and Bill Howard. Howard was using a Devil-worshipper gimmick. Dick Murdoch and Blackjack Mulligan were a bit mean to him though. (They WERE his bosses, so it makes sense)
How did Bobby get started? He’d been a wrestling fan as a kid. Nick Gulas ran his hometown, Huntsville, AL, weekly and he’d set up the ring and start working out beforehand. He and some other kids taught themselves for a while before Tojo Yamamoto took him under his wing and taught him a lot.
Early memories of Nick Gulas- “A character.” He didn’t pay well.
Who helped him out? Yamamoto and Ben Rossi.
Early matches with Randy Savage- “Awful good”, as they could do 60-minute broadways. Savage was wild even back then.
Working against Ole Anderson- He didn’t work with him much as Ole was the booker. When discussing Ole’s abrasive personality, he says “You’d know about that, wouldn’t you Stan?” before confirming that Ole was a jerk.
Memories of Memphis- He went there then went to work for Ric Flair and Blackjack Mulligan in Knoxville, TN, etc.
Teaming early in their careers- They didn’t team a lot back then, as it was mainly Lane and Steve Kiern as the Fabulous Ones vs. Eaton and Koko B. Ware instead. Jimmy Hart was the manager of Eaton and Ware.
Working in Memphis for Jerry Jarrett- Stan loved it because he got the first big push of his career in the Fabulous Ones. He had no idea they’d get as big as they did and he says they were the first wrestlers to promote themselves with music videos.
The Moondogs- Bloody matches. They also had matches with the Sheepherders and the Paramedics that were also hardcore bloodbaths.
The Road Warriors- The first time they faced them was in the Mid-South Coliseum at the beginning of their careers. They’d seen them on Georgia, where they’d beat the shit out of jobbers for months. They had a long program with them in the AWA. “I got press-slammed so many times I’ve got frequent flyer miles.” After they’d done the loop once, LOD was supposed to put them over in Minneapolis but, given that it was their hometown and their buddies were in the crowd, they weren’t going for it. When they came to the center of the ring for instructions, Hawk leaned over and said “We’re not going for the finish. Do things our way and no one gets hurt.” Kiern was wondering what the Hell was going on, which Hawk took as “You and what army?”, so Hawk beat the crap out of him in the ring. Eventually, Kiern went to ringside, grabbed a steel chair, and started swinging it until the LOD went to the locker room. “Verne [Gagne] was pissed after that.” They paid them back in Puerto Rico when one of the Sheepherders was booking. The Fabs and LOD were scheduled to face each other in the 6th match on the card but no finish was given to the Fabs until after the 9th match was done. They were finally told “They wouldn’t go for the finish”, which involve them jobbing, so there would be a DQ ending. During the match, the Road Warriors started selling like there was no tomorrow in order to build heat for the eventual comeback… which never came as the Fabs went back to the locker room after several minutes of LOD selling like they were getting the crap completely kicked out of them.
Early memories of Jim Cornette- He used to be a ring photographer whenever Jerry Jarrett ran Louisville, Kentucky. One night, Bill Watts came into the territory as the manager of a Mid-South wrestler on loan to Jarrett. This was when the territories were doing talent exchanges and Eaton, Cornette, and Dennis Condrey were put together as the Midnight Express and sent to work for Watts in Mid-South. “That’s where Jim went crazy at” as the Cajuns would try to kill them every night. One night when they were running from the ring to the locker room, Bobby was windmilling Cornette’s ever-present tennis racket around and was hitting everyone BUT the fans, as he kept accidentally hitting Cornette and Mid-South enforcer / road agent Grizzly Smith, father of Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Houma, Thibodeaux, St. Charles, and Alexandria (all in Louisiana) were bad places to wrestle in due to the crazed fans.
Bill Watts as a boss- He was a hard man and a boss who’d work you to death but was fair about it. Stan came into the territory from Amarillo and was taken in by Tank Patton and his wife for several months since he’d lost all his money. He was in the territory about 6 months and mainly remembered horrible trips such as from Houma, in the far southeast of Louisiana, to Tulsa, OK, which was about 600 miles away and the trip took all night. After that, they’d drive to Oklahoma City for a show and then back to Loranger, LA. This was when there were no north-south interstates in Louisiana and it was all 2-lane highways.
Eaton and Condrey- The team went good because they worked hard and got a good push. It was the first big push of Eaton’s career.
The Rock and Roll Express- They were over big time and the Midnights would just beat the piss out of them and screw them out of a win any way they could. “They put so much heat on Jimmy that the marks would always attack him.”
Jerry "The King" Lawler in Memphis- He was all right, according to Eaton, but didn’t work with him much. Lane says Lawler was always out for himself and that the Fabs’ popularity probably threatened Lawler in the brief time they were hotter draws than him. There was no major heat, though.
Lawler and Jarrett- They were never seen arguing but, backstage, it was a three-way power struggle between Lawler, Jarrett, and Bill Dundee, who happens to be Eaton’s father-in-law.
Bill Dundee- He just booked in Mid-South rather than working, which was for the best because he can be an excellent booker or a great wrestler but not both at the same time because he tends to push himself.
Jackie Fargo- Jerry Jarrett hooked him up with the Fabulous Ones to do their interviews on TV. Since Fargo was a legend in the area and was also seen as a babyface badass, it helped get them over instantly.
Teaming with Steve Kiern- Fun guy outside the ring. He was business-like but able to have fun and cut loose on occasion. One of those occasions was when they were travelling with Terry Taylor and Jacques Rougeau, who REALLY did not like each other. After another round of arguing one night, everyone got out of the car to take a leak but Steve and Stan quickly got back in the car and drove off. Kiern had told Stan before that of his intentions to strand them but Stan thought it was only a joke.
Eaton and Condrey feuding with Mr. Wrestling II and Magnum TA- Magnum and Wrestling II didn’t get along, which Eaton thinks was due to Wrestling II being at the end of his career while Magnum was just beginning his and getting a big push.
Scaffold matches against the Rock and Roll Express- “Scary.” One night, a mark climbed up the scaffold while the Midnights were climbing up the other side. The Midnights got off while the cops went to arrest the fan.
The Midnight Express in World Class- They didn’t want to be there and gave notice to Fritz Von Erich their first night in the territory. They were sent there in a talent exchange by Bill Watts despite previous plans to go work for Jim Crockett.
Fritz Von Erich as a boss- Didn’t see him much.
Matches with the Fantastics- The Fantastics were their main opponents during their six months in Texas. Eaton and Lane also teamed against them while working for Crockett in the late 80s. Lane then discusses how the Fantastics were a knockoff of the Fabulous Ones and how the Rock and Roll Express were originally Jerry Jarrett’s knockoff of the Fabs that he sent to the b-level towns while the Fabs worked all of the a-level towns.
Verne Gagne as a boss- Verne was “stuck in a time warp.” He brought in the Fabs to be his babyface tag team yet had them do heel interviews. He “hadn’t come into the 20th century like he should have” and was locked into his mid-western mindset, which couldn’t compete with the WWF on widely syndicated TV or Jim Crockett Promotions on TBS.
The Wrestlerock show- This was at the Metrodome and was a supercard similar to a pay per view today. The dome was only about 25% full for the show though.
Going to Florida-The Fabs shuffled between Memphis and Minneapolis for a few years before ending up in Florida Championship Wrestling. Right before they left Memphis, the bookers made them out to be traitors for leaving the South to go work big cities in the mid-west and west, so they never caught on again there even after getting a big push upon their return. They were in Florida for about 9 months before Kiern quit wrestling to sell real estate.
Feuding with the Sheepherders in Florida- That was when Jonathan Boyd was in the team, and he was a nice guy but was stiff in the ring and hard to trust. Jonathan bladed Kiern one night, instead of just lending his blade to Kiern to do it himself, and did a halfassed job of it. He cut an artery on the side of Kiern’s head instead of going for the traditional blading area on the forehead, which caused blood to shoot three feet out from Kiern’s head and he nearly bled to death.
Early memories of Dusty Rhodes- Dusty was always good to Stan. He met Stan while he was in Mid-South and brought him into Florida, where he put him and Brian St. John over two legends, Eddie Graham and “Crippler” Ray Stevens, for the Florida tag belts. When Kiern quit the business, Rhodes was the one who called him up and got him a spot in the Midnight Express after Dennis Condrey pulled a vanishing act.
The Midnights under Crockett- They were told they were getting a big push and were sent to Atlanta, which was owned by Crockett but run separately from Crockett’s main territory, Mid-Atlantic.
Matches with the Rock and Roll Express in that run- “They were all good.”
Why did Dennis Condrey disappear? He and Cornette still don’t know, as they were supposed to see him at a show one night and didn’t see him for another two years.
Stan being called in to team with Eaton- JJ Dillon told Stan to call Dusty, who had him flown into Charlotte. Eaton, Lane, Dusty, Cornette, and Crockett sat down and talked the whole thing out, which ended up giving Lane a HUGE pay increase from what he was making in Florida. Their first show teaming together was in Boston and they think it was against the Road Warriors.
Was there a lot of pressure to make the team work? No, as they clicked almost immediately. To this day, there is still a lot of debate as to whether the original version with Condrey was better than the new version with Lane.
Scaffold matches- “They kill your towns” as they don’t live up to the expectations. They talk about the bump Cornette took off the scaffold in some of his weightier days, which completely screwed up one of his knees when he landed.
Initial thoughts after first teaming together- Lane always thought he perfectly fit the hole left by Dennis Condrey’s disappearance. Bobby was still the bump machine and Cornette was one of the best talkers in the business so Stan just added in his colorful nature to the team.
How different was it working together as teams against teams they’d faced with other partners? It’s different because you get into a form of telepathy with your teammate over time. When you switch partners, it gets hard to time things right because you’re not used to the way they wrestle.
How did Jim Cornette change over the years? When Stan first met him, he was a ring photographer in Memphis. In fact, Cornette used to sell Stan and Steve Kiern some of the pictures he took of them. Cornette was also one of the first managers in the business to make as much as the wrestlers he was managing. When their contracts were renegotiated in 1986 or 1987, the office wanted to pay Cornette more than them because he was drawing all the heat for the team, which they thought was bullshit for Cornette to take since they’d fought for him to get as much as they’d gotten. It wasn’t a major thing but it was annoying.
Eaton vs. Dusty Rhodes for every week for about a month- Dusty loved Eaton to death and Eaton’s a great worker, so Dusty probably just wanted to make himself look good.
Do they prefer tag wrestling or singles wrestling? Tag wrestling, as it’s a lot easier to wrestle when you can tag out and take a rest every once in a while.
Did the WWF ever approach them, either in their team or with other partners? Yes, the Eaton-Condrey version of the Midnight Express was flown to New York to meet with Vince McMahon. The Lane-Eaton version was never contacted by them though.
Working with the Road Warriors- It was good because they just had a few spots laid out each night.
Beating Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson for the tag belts- They became the only team to hold both the World Tag Belts and the US Tag Belts at the same time. Holding those belts is a work in that you are booked to win those matches but it’s a shoot in that the promoter has a lot of faith in you and believes you can draw with those belts.
Crockett Cup 87- “Who’d we work with?” The Road Warriors and the Garvins, apparently.
Ronnie Garvin- He was good to work with. He and Stan worked together three years ago and he hasn’t changed much.
Were they disappointed that Tully and Arn left immediately left after losing the belts? They had a good run after that even though Tully and Arn lost the belts in their last night with the company.
The Rock and Roll Express- They left in about 1987 because of “a little ego thing between Dusty and them.” There were A towns, which Dusty headlined, and B towns, which the Rock and Roll Express and Midnight Express headlined. The B towns outdrew the A towns and “you NEVER outdraw the boss.”
Favorite towns to work in the NWA- Eaton liked working Philadelphia. Stan HATED working Beckley, West Virginia, because he got sued for an incident that a fan started. The night before the case was going to go to trial, Stan paid the fan $450,000 to make the case disappear rather than face the possibility of losing $6 million or more. He tells the story of that night in which started out with Cornette getting on the mic and saying “It’s great to be back here in Beckley, West Virginia… home of black lung disease.” The Midnights lost clean and got no heat that night but, since the Rock and Rolls left the ring after the match instead of staying in the ring and celebrating, the fans started coming after the Midnights. In the ensuing brawl, someone got hurt and sued Stan.
Were the fans in Philadelphia and Baltimore different from the fans in the Carolinas? Yes, and Stan loved them to death, ESPECIALLY when they started a “Shane sucks Johnny’s cock” chant. (The team in question is the Dynamic Dudes, made up of “The Franchise” Shane Douglas and current WWE road agent Johnny Ace)
Working against Baby Doll- Baby Doll used to beat the crap out of Cornette.
The Clash of the Champions 4 match against Barry Windham and Ric Flair- Stan loved it because it was the first time he’d ever gotten to work against Flair, who’d broken him into the business, and it was always good to work against Barry Windham because he was an incredible wrestler at the time.
Did they push for a program with Flair and Windham after that match? No, the only thing the team ever pushed for was to leave in 1990, when Stan and Cornette walked out on WCW. Stan says, in hindsight, that it was one of the biggest mistakes of his career because he left a 6 figure salary to start Smokey Mountain Wrestling with Cornette while Eaton stayed around in WCW for another decade with a guaranteed salary.
The Fantastics- Hard-working and dedicated guys.
Comparing the Fantastics to the Rock and Roll Express- Both teams are good, hard workers and good sellers. The Rock and Rolls were more over, though, and it made the matches mean more.
The Original Midnight Express feud- It wasn’t a huge deal when Dennis Condrey came back teaming with Randy Rose and having Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman) as a manager. It was just another day at the office. Stan goes off on a sidestory about how, when the jobbers would come to the arena for TV tapings, they’d look at the booking sheets and start thanking God if they were booked against the Midnight Express because they knew that the Midnights wouldn’t take advantage of them and would actually let them do some spots.
Did Dennis Condrey ever talk about why he walked out? Eaton didn’t push for it because if Dennis was going to tell him, he’d tell him. He never did and then he disappeared AGAIN. It was all business though.
We then get some footage of Stan and Eaton before they teamed as the Midnight Express.
We start off with a Memphis music video of the Fabulous Ones, which is mainly of the Fabs in white tuxedos and with hot chicks to Morris Day and The Time’s “Jungle Love”. I’d agree with Jim Cornette’s assessment of those old videos from Memphis… they are “gay as shit”, as he’d put it.
The Fabulous Ones vs. Rip Morgan and Jonathan Boyd- The match is joined in progress and quickly goes to a double DQ finish.
Bobby Eaton vs. Tommy “Wildfire” Rich in a $10,000 Bounty Match- Michael Hayes is at ringside. Eaton wins the match with a Lou Thesz Press as Ted Dibiase runs into the ring. The aftermath becomes a HUGE brawl pitting the Freebirds vs. Rich and Dibiase.
Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk- Zenk was “a good-looking kid” and Brian was a great guy but they never had any standout matches, just solid ones. They never had a long-term program with them.
The New Breed- Stan remembers Chris Champion doing a lot of martial arts and for being the total opposite of stiff in the ring, more “like a rubberman.” Sean Royal started out in Florida and was a good kid. Nothing stood out about them, though.
The Freebirds- One night they and “Dr. Death” Steve Williams faced them and lost. After the match, the Freebirds just kept beating them down. Doc nearly got a chair and beat them to death with it. They were pissed because they would sell for Jimmy Garvin’s wife, Precious, but the Freebirds didn’t want to sell for Cornette.
Wargames at Great American Bash 1989- Nothing stands out.
Kevin Sullivan- They got along with him fine. He was stiff in the ring but not dangerous.
The downfall of Crockett- They bought out Kansas City, Florida, and the UWF when they could have just did what the WWF did and run the competition out of business. They also used to do stupid shit like flying from Charlotte, NC, to Fayetteville, NC.
Was the failure to have a Jim Crockett Promotions vs. UWF or Florida feud? Maybe if they’d done the JCP vs. UWF feud because some of those guys were over. Crockett also moved the corporate offices to Dallas at one point because he thought it would help them get a Pay Per View deal for some reason.
Samoan SWAT Team- Stan had a problem with Samu because he wasn’t selling good for them at first. That wasn’t a problem anymore after he tried it with Brad Rhengians and got tied into a pretzel.
Paul Heyman- Stan never really knew Paul E that well. They didn’t really see a lot of tension between Paul and Cornette until Paul was running ECW.
The Steiner Brothers- Rick Steiner used to tell Stan to kick him in the face as hard as possible. Scott Steiner used to stretch guys like Lex Luger in the locker room but loved the Midnights to death.
Jim Herd- Stan feels that he didn’t have the background or skills for the WCW job. He was bad at running the company. Eaton jokes that “Corny loves him”. (If you ever want to hear some good stories about Herd, get Cornette’s 8-hour shoot where he goes off on him for doing a bunch of stupid stuff.) They were overworked at the time so Stan just went home. A week after leaving, Stan got a notice from WCW saying he could come back and all would be forgiven, but he lost it again soon afterwards and never came back.
Was there heat between them when Stan and Cornette left while Bobby stayed? No, because Bobby understood why it happens. Stan thinks the final straw was when Ole Anderson had them job to a team that was low on the totem pole and they refused. For a month beforehand, Cornette had been pitching the idea of them being the top tag team in their own company instead of working for WCW. When things came to a head, Stan and Cornette walked out and decided they were starting Smokey Mountain Wrestling. Bobby decided to stay because he was married and had three kids. Ole kept thinking they were coming back but Bobby kept telling Ole that they were NOT coming back. Two months after Stan and Cornette left, Bobby got about 3 huge raises over the course of several weeks, which they think was WCW’s middle finger to Stan and Cornette for bailing out on them.
Stan teaming with Dr. Tom Pritchard as opposed to teaming with Bobby- Tom was good but the trips in SMW sucked, as he went through at least three sets of brakes going up and down mountains. They never drew a lot in the towns, so Cornette started hot-shotting angles in little redneck towns in Kentucky, which convinced Stan he couldn’t stay because he was more likely to get stabbed than make money. Stan gave Cornette a three-month notice, though.
Initial thoughts of SMW- Cornette knows a lot about the business and is really smart, and that area was perfect for the hardcore fans that Cornette was trying to draw.
Bobby Fulton and Jackie Fulton- Bobby Fulton’s an intense and dedicated worker. Jackie’s laid back in comparison but also a good worker.
Barbed wire cage matches- Stan wasn’t into those kind of matches, he just wanted to get laid after the match.
Why didn’t Tommy Rogers come into the territory? Stan thinks it was because Tommy was in Florida, which was much further than Charlotte, where the Fulton brothers and Stan all lived in Charlotte, NC.
The Rock and Roll Express in SMW- They were getting older, as all of them were, so the matches weren’t as good as they used to be.
The Bobby, Stan, and Dr. Tom vs. Arn Anderson and the Rock and Roll Express tag match- It was a good match.
Did Bobby nearly stay in WCW? “How did I even end up there?” It turns out Bill Watts had a talent exchange with SMW and sent guys like Arn and Bobby to SMW while the Rock and Roll Express and Heavenly Bodies worked a few shows for WCW.
Stan Lane returning to Memphis- He doesn’t remember much about it.
Steve Austin- Bobby worked with him when he came into the territory. The ring ropes kept breaking when they’d face each other and Austin kept wearing his watch to the ring.
The Bash 91 scaffold match pitting Bobby and Terry Taylor vs. Austin and PN News- “Oh, that sucked.” No one wanted to take the big bump so they had a Capture the Flag scaffold match instead. It was just plain wood up there and not a true scaffold anyway.
Bill Watts in WCW- Bill was a hothead and cussed out a lot of people. Bill cut Bobby’s guarantee while he was there.
SMW co-promoting with WCW- Stan didn’t have any problems with coming back to WCW to work an angle although he jokes that Cornette got the biggest payoff out of anyone involved.
Bobby in ECW- He wonders why there was even a ring there because they did everything they were going to do outside of it. He and Arn got tagged into the match and slapped on a headlock, which got the whole crowd pissed at them.
Stan in the WWF- Vince McMahon was in serious danger of getting a steroid distribution conviction, so they hired Jerry Jarrett to run the company in the even of Vince going to jail. Jarrett called him up because he’d heard him imitate a DJ in the car before and got him a job announcing in the WWF. He ended up calling matches with Vince on Superstars, then one of the top shows. Around that time, Vince had been acquitted and decided he needed to run off Jarrett before he tried to take over the company. After Jarrett was gone, Stan was next on the hit list because he was considered to be “Jarrett’s boy.” He lasted about 2 years after they started trying to run him off.
Impressions of Vince- Nice guy when they met but it got ugly quickly.
Working with Sunny- Great body. Only did TV for a few weeks.
Did he ever want to get back in the ring? No, he was done as a full-time wrestler.
Did Bobby ever get upset he wasn’t getting pushed in WCW? No, because he just wanted his money.
Eric Bischoff- Always got along with him but NEVER thought he’d go from being an announcer to running the company.
Does Bobby feel underappreciated? Yes, but he was getting paid so he can deal with it.
Did his body take a lot of wear and tear from his style? His knees hurt now but he’s generally fine. He couldn’t work today with all the aerial stuff guys do today and the lack of a storyline in matches.
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall entering the company in 1996- They were pretty much running the show.
The Clique in the WWF- Stan was an office guy so he didn’t have to deal much with them. The guys didn’t say much to him about what went on since Stan would travel with top office guys like Gorilla Monsoon.
Did the Clique have as much influence as people think? Yes, they did. He could see some of the animosity in the locker room by the time he left.
WWF stories that stick out- Right before he left, he was in Vince’s office once when Vince wanted him to start working the merchandising phone number, which would have involved him being dressed up like a huge mark in all kinds of WWF merchandise. Stan told him where to stick it so Vince made some comment about Stan’s career being unmemorable. Stan then shoved his career in Vince’s face by telling him that Shawn Michaels, Vince’s big star at the time, used to be in the Midnight Rockers and how that team was an imitation of the Rock and Roll Express and the Midnight Express. It was also, indirectly, an imitation of the Fabulous Ones because the Rock and Roll Express was a copy of the Fabs. Things went downhill from there and Stan was gone about a month later.
Early memories of Goldberg- Bobby says he’s a good guy and really strong. He saw “it” in him early. Stan thinks that letting him talk was a big mistake because he should have just been the quiet ass-kicking machine with a manager.
Was Bobby surprised to get released from WCW- Yes, as they never sent him a notice of release to begin with. He was working at the Power Plant, on TV, and for Electronic Arts doing the WCW video games and was having to find out each week where he was supposed to be and flying everywhere. He found out he was released when he called the office to see why he didn’t get a check one week.
Working for Ohio Valley Wrestling as a trainer- He’d been talked to him before about doing a wrestling school and Jim Ross eventually hired him to work in the Memphis developmental territory. When that fell apart, he started working in OVW in Louisville, Kentucky, for “Nightmare” Danny Davis and Jim Cornette.
Jim Ross- Stan worked with him a lot in the WWF. Good announcer but an office guy.
Young talent in the business today- Stan doesn’t watch much wrestling. He likes The Rock’s promos though. He doesn’t like how everything is highspots and not telling a story. The art of calling a match has died because everyone lays out a match beforehand rather than having 3 spots laid out beforehand and calling the rest in the ring. He feels that house shows are dead now because the WWF TV is too glamorous.
Stan at Heroes of Wrestling- He and Tully had a decent match although Jake “The Snake” Roberts made an ass out of himself in the main event.
Jake and Tully- Tully used to be a party guy but now is a preacher. Stan never really spent a lot of time around Jake though.
How close are they with Jim Cornette? Stan doesn’t keep in contact with him much, although he worked OVW: Last Dance, which was the last show held at the Louisville Garden before it closed.
Favorite guys to work with- The Rock and Roll Express because they were safe in the ring, hard workers, could sell, could make their stuff look good, and very over. They don’t have a least favorite tag team to work with.
Do they keep in touch with anyone from the business? Not really. Stan and Steve Kiern have spoken on occasion but not regularly.
Did they travel together a lot? Yes, as they and Cornette used to ride everywhere. Stan used to rib Cornette all the time and, once, he got a container full of plastic ants and started screwing with Cornette, who was afraid of insects. Stan pretended that ants had gotten all over him at the outdoor show they had just worked and, eventually, he threw a handful of the fake ants at Cornette in the darkened car and Cornette started flipping out, swerving the car all over the road. Cornette starts pulling off all of his clothes but his underwear and starts trying to shake the ants off, at which point the Highway Patrol showed up. Stan quickly told Cornette it was a rib and that the ants weren’t real.
Second generation wrestlers that Bobby’s worked with- He sees a lot of potential in David Flair and says Dustin Rhodes is a great worker. Eric Watts “turned out better than I thought” then he got released.
Did either of them want to book? “HELL no”
Guys in OVW who could be big stars- Brock Lesnar, Sheldon Benjamin, Randy Orton, and Leviathan (Dave Batista).
Does OVW have an old-school territory feel? Yes, and territories are necessary for the business.
The state of wrestling today- Eventually, things will come back to old-school wrestling instead of hardcore stuff with tons of chairshots. The business is cyclical and, after three or four years of big business, things will probably drop off soon.
Guys who they thought would be huge but didn’t make it- There are a lot but none come to mind at the moment.
Did anyone in particular surprise them and succeed? “Big” Scott Hall, who did nothing for years before taking off as Razor Ramon. Stan says that “Big” might as well meant “Generic” as far as wrestling names go.
Did they think they’d do as much as they did? Stan didn’t because he always saw himself as someone who did just enough to get by. He figured he’d be a midcard guy but, due to the tag team, became a top guy. Bobby figured that he’d always be working for Nick Gulas.
Nick Gulas and his son- George Gulas is reputedly the worst wrestler in history to be pushed, which was only because he was Nick Gulas’s son, which the fans picked up on immediately because he sucked in the ring. Even back in those days, people could see straight through a bad wrestler like that. George had a good match with Harley Race, though.
What does Stan do these days? He is a big boating person and ended up getting a shot to call boat races because of his wrestling fame. He had just gotten released from the WWF and got hired to call those races for a living, which he still does.
Road Warriors vs. Fabulous Ones- This one ends up as a double DQ. Hardcore brawl after the match with chairs and announce tables flying all over the place.
Bobby Eaton with Jim Cornette vs. Dusty Rhodes for the US title- Bobby wins by a countout.
Bill Dundee- Hard worker who always tried to push himself and loves the business. Will wrestle until he dies. Good interview.
Jimmy Hart- “He’s always up to something” and used to be in the Gentries, who had a #1 hit song in “Keep On Dancing.”
Austin Idol- “He was cool as Hell” and had an almost total package, in that he had a great look and cut incredible interviews but was just okay in the ring.
Eddie Graham- Great guy.
Dusty Rhodes- Gave Stan a bunch of breaks in the business. One time, he was imitating Dusty in the back when he heard a familiar voice say “They’ll be no listhping while I’m in tha locker room.”
Jim Crockett- Bobby always got along with him. Not a great personality but had a good dry wit.
“Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant- One of the most beloved wrestlers in Memphis history and is still wrestling today.
Terry Taylor- Good guy. Bobby worked with him at the Brian Pillman show recently. He’s the kind of guy who can get on your nerves though.
Sting- Great when he started with the bleach blonde spiked hair and not so much so as the Crow-like Sting. When Sting and the Ultimate Warrior teamed together, they never got along.
Lex Luger- Lex started in Florida while Stan was there and nobody could stand Lex but him, so he rode with him. He was nice and smart but a bit quiet and aloof. The other guys didn’t like how Luger wasn’t having to pay dues in order to get a big push. He was there for the cage match with Bruiser Brody and says that Luger, the babyface in the match, crawled out of the cage and ran to the back. (For those who don’t know, Bruiser Brody had taped up his fingers with blades for that match and, for whatever reason, got uncooperative with Luger and showed him the blades, which ended the match in a hurry.)
Michael PS Hayes- Great gimmick.
Terry Gordy- Great big-man worker.
Big Bubba Rogers (Bossman)- He was another great big-man worker in his day.
Barry Windham- When Barry first came to Florida, he didn’t look like much but developed into a great worker.
Tommy Rich- Stan had seen him on Georgia TV before he got into the business. Bobby teamed with him in Memphis for a little while.
Rick Rude- Quiet guy. Great arm-wrestler. Bobby worked with him in Mid-South when Rude first started and never thought he’d make it in the business, although finding the right gimmick did it for him.
Eddie Gilbert- He had two stages to his career. The first was the Memphis stage, where he was in his father’s shadow. The second phase was when he went hardcore and carved his own place in history.
Jerry Jarrett- Highly motivated and whatever he does turns to gold.
Mick Foley- Good guy. Very dedicated to the business. Always very nice.
“Dr. Death” Steve Williams- Great guy, good athlete, very tough.
Buzz Sawyer- Didn’t really know him but he had a reputation for being crazy and stiff in the ring.
Were they ever offered a deal in Japan? Not as a team, although Stan worked in Japan during his first years in the business due to Mr. Saito’s help. He was a light heavyweight and would work against guys like Fujinami.
Favorite matches of their careers- The series against the Rock and Roll Express were the best matches.
Any regrets? Stan shouldn’t have left WCW to start SMW with Cornette.
Do they prefer face or heel? Definitely heel. Stan says that he and Steve Kiern always acted a bit heelish even when they were faces as the Fabulous Ones. Being a heel is the most fun.
Favorite territory besides Mid-Atlantic? Memphis.
Who is the toughest guy in the business? Most of the tough guys had their reputations killed in one place or another, such as guys getting knocked out at Brawl For All. Haku is near the top of the list though.
Good locker room fights- Stan saw Tank Patton fight Thunderbolt Patterson in Mid-South but that’s about it. There was also a Tom Zenk fight with Brian Pillman which Pillman won.
Who was the most influential person in Stan’s career? He’d say Flair but Flair only got him started. He’d have to go with either Dusty Rhodes or Jerry Jarrett.
Who that they never wrestled would they like to face? Stan would like to do a 6-way with a bunch of the girls from the WWF and WCW. Bobby can’t think of anyone in particular. Stan also suggests a tag match against Missy Hyatt and Sunny.
Is there still a place for Bobby in the business today? Not the way things are going, as he can’t keep up with the current style.
What about Stan? Maybe as a manager. He prefers old-school matches where guys like the Andersons would work a body part until it broke to today’s stuff.
Was there ever a point at which they felt disrespected in WCW? Yes, because they’d book them on shows where they wouldn’t even work and so forth.
Jimmy Garvin interview- This incorporates match footage of Jim Cornette throwing a fireball in Ronnie Garvin’s face. They think Ronnie is blinded so the faces storm into the heel locker room in order to get to Cornette.
Midnight Express with Jim Cornette vs. the Fantastics for the US tag titles- This is NOT the famous Clash of the Champions I match between the two teams although it is from around that time. This is, in fact, a match from the NWA’s World Wide show and it seems to have take up all of that week’s airtime as it goes to at least 3-4 commercial breaks and is about 30 minutes long. Tommy Rogers catches Bobby Eaton with a missile dropkick and a rollup to win the US tag titles.
The Fantastics vs. the Moondogs- This is severely clipped and has very soft video quality. It’s a hardcore brawl with tables, chairs, and everything else they can find. This one is a no-contest.
The Rock and Roll Express and Arn Anderson vs. The Heavenly Bodies (Stan Lane and Dr. Tom Pritchard) and Bobby Eaton- This is on the Wrestling Gold- Blood, Brawls, and Grudges DVD. Arn hits Bobby with Cornette’s tennis racket and Ricky Morton picks up the pin.
Dutch Mantel, Jimmy Golden, and Robert Fuller vs. The Heavenly Bodies and Bobby Eaton- Jimmy Golden picks up the pin after Dr. Tom Pritchard gets hit with an Eaton chairshot intended for Golden.
Thoughts- This interview was pretty hard to watch since there was no real flow to the questions and they would just switch randomly from Eaton to Lane and back. Stan Lane had a lot to say that I hadn’t heard before but Bobby Eaton didn’t have much more to say than in his previous interview and, on top of that, was hard to understand with his thick accent and fast speaking. I’ll go with a rating of Recommended here.
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