Posts Tagged ‘Billy Gunn’

As previously noted, ‘Badass’ Billy Gunn stopped by 317 Gimmick Street for a wide-ranging interview with WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin on The Steve Austin Show. During the podcast, Billy and Steve talked about their neck injuries. Also, Billy and Steve discussed their past drug use and Billy opened up about his opioid addiction.

According to Billy, he had neck surgery in 1995 following a match between the Smoking Gunns and The Bodydonnas.

“It was in the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California.” Billy recalled, “we were working Tom Prichard and [Chris] Candido. We were doing that thing with Sunny. It was kind of weird getting in the groove, doing the thing with Sunny. We were doing this spot, she jumps up, I hit the ropes, and accidentally knock her off and go, ‘oh my God!’ I go down to the floor. I go check on her because it’s me and I was supposed to be in this infatuation spot with her, and Tom comes right off the top, and hits me in the back of the neck, and I hit the ground, and a lighting bolt shot from my ass clear across the building. Stuff like that normally doesn’t happen to me, stingers and stuff. I just get knocked out before that happens, so I never feel them. I felt that and went, ‘oh, whoa, it wasn’t supposed to feel that bad! Something’s not right.’ So I work two [or] three more days, and then my left side kept feeling worse and worse and worse. Yeah, the whole thing. Then I went home and saw a neurologist or whatever and they literally took me right then and went, ‘you’ve got to go, like, right now’ because he said it was so [badly] shattered that there was a piece pushing on my spinal cord. He said, ‘you could just step off the curb and it’d go.’ And I go, ‘oh, well, maybe we go and fix this then.'”

Billy suggested that he returned to WWE prematurely, partly out of fear of losing his spot with the company.

“It was just about six months because I wasn’t allowed to stay gone that long. It was ’95 and the company hadn’t really gotten hot yet and didn’t do anything, so it was like, ‘if you want to keep your job, we get it – you’re neck’s hurt, but you might want to come back.’ I didn’t get any paychecks.”

Along these lines, Steve talked about his neck injury he sustained from wrestling the late great Owen Hart. Like Billy, Steve did not get paid while he was out of action.

“Back in the day, when I got dropped on my head, the thing with Owen, God rest his soul, and so anyway, that jacked me up. I mean, it was heavy duty, but I was like, ‘I’ve got to finish this match,’ but nothing would work! So anyway, you know the deal, I rolled him up, called it in the ring, and got out.” Steve said, “I didn’t [get paid] either, not on my surgery in 1999, 2000, whenever I got fused up. This was before they would start paying guys. Let’s just say it was like the stone ages compared to now. These days, everything’s all covered. Back in the day, dude, when I had my neck surgery, I was gone for about a year. Zero. I got a royalty check every quarter, but I mean nothing.”

Apparently, no one from WWE accompanied Steve to the hospital following his SummerSlam (1997) match, so he got a ride from three fans who followed the ambulance from the arena.

“There I go, I get x-rayed and there were no MRIs. Nothing’s broken. I bruised my spinal cord. I’ve got a bunch of stuff going on. I walk outside the hospital, [and] ain’t nobody from the company come with me. I’m sitting there, I’m all messed up, and three girls had followed the ambulance to the hospital. I walked out to no support there! ‘Steve, do you want a ride back to the hotel?’ ‘Yeah!’ I got in the car with them. They took me by the liquor store. I got my 12-pack of Budweiser. They took me back to the Holiday Inn right by the Newark [New Jersey] airport there. You stay there, dude. And I remember, I was effed up.” Steve continued, “dude, I was traumatized! I just sat there and drank that 12-pack of beer. I’ll never forget it. I thought a lot of things about my career, but I drank that dang 12-pack and I was thinking, ‘holy s–t! That was a rough ride!'”

On the subject of road vices, Billy shared that he is a recovering addict and has been clean for seven years now. ‘The One’ stated that he was abusing all kinds of opioids to “mask” pain.

“I’m a recovering addict, so I’ve been clean for seven years, but when you hurt, you don’t think about it too much and there are easier ways to do it. If I just take this, I don’t have to worry about going and getting a massage or going to a chiropractor or going to a doctor. I just mask it with this. So then you mask it so long and then it catches up with you. But now, nowadays, that’s not an option.” Billy explained, “you doctor hunt, you have scripts all over the place, you buy them from people you don’t even know and hope to God that they work because it was really bad. I had left the company. It was just everything was going awry. Like, it was one thing and all going downhill. All addicts do, in my case because that’s all I talk about, is I’m just trying to cover things up. I don’t want to think about them, but when I come out of that, they’re still there, so you just keep covering and they never go away and then it’s worse and worse and worse till your consumption goes more and more and more. I couldn’t keep pills around for [anything], like going through 100 somas in three days. That’s insane.”

While Steve never developed an addiction to pharmaceutical medications, he arrived at a level of recreational use that he would know what drugs a pro wrestler would have on them by the sound the pills would make bouncing around in his fanny pack.

“Dude, back in the day if a guy had a backpack or a fanny pack, he could take his s–t off and by the rattle, back me on this, by the rattle of what he had in his bag, you could tell what he was carrying.” Steve recalled, “oh yeah, Ambiens had a rattle, somas, Vics, Percs, they all had a different rattle!”

Steve said he never got into pills till he was introduced by pro wrestling.

“I never got spun off on them. I was lucky in that regard. Alcohol was my thing. That’s what I had a good time with.” Steve added, “all-of-a-sudden, you’re in the [pro] wrestling business and you’re getting s–t thrown at you!

Billy concurred that he had a similar experience.

“I never did any drugs growing up, like, at all because I was always terrified my dad would find out and he’d beat the life out of me. For me, it was kind of the same thing. You get in the business and Halcions were a big thing and when you take them, and you’re out for days. I mean, the first time I tried that was at an overseas trip. I couldn’t wake up the entire two weeks I was there, so I was like, ‘that’s not going to happen.'”

Open a can of audio whoop ass here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Source: The Steve Austin Show

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In his first interview since being released by WWE, Fred Rosser also known as WWE’s Darren Young, called in to Cerrito Live to discuss a number of topics including coming out as gay in August of 2013, former WWE Champion CM Punk having his back after going public with his sexuality, whether Punk would return to WWE, and Road Dogg’s recently resurfaced tweet alleging Billy Gunn is gay.

On the subject of coming out, Young said he was tired of living a lie and coming out was the best decision he ever made.

“I was tired of just living my life as a lie.” Young admitted, “and for 30 years, I suppressed those feelings for so long, not being myself, not being my true, authentic self, and I was tired of being affectionate behind closed doors, and then, when I’m out in public, I can’t be like any other normal couples. That’s the best decision for me that I’ve ever [made].”

Apparently, Punk hugged Young after ‘The Straight Edge Superstar”s SummerSlam main event match versus Brock Lesnar and assured ‘Mr. No Days Off’ that no one in the WWE locker room would cause any problems over his sexual persuasion.

“When I came out publicly, I think it was summertime around the time of SummerSlam,” Young recalled. “And this was when SummerSlam was being hosted at the Staples Center. The summer I came out, he had a match with Brock Lesnar. And right after his match with Brock Lesnar, in catering, he was all iced up from head to toe, and he approached me in catering in front of everybody, and he told me to stand up. I stood up and he gave me a hug. And he said, ‘I’m very proud of you for coming out and being so courageous. If you have any problem with anyone in the locker room because of this, you let me know and I will take care of this.’ And he said this to me in front of everyone in catering. I was shocked! Here he just finished his match with Brock Lesnar and him coming up to me and showing me love was very moving to me.”

In Young’s opinion, Punk is rough around the edges, but was supportive of him coming out, same with top stars such as Randy Orton and The Big Show.

“CM Punk may be rough around the edges, but he has nothing but love from me. Same with Randy Orton, Big Show, these top guys showed me so much love personably that it made me feel so at ease. It made me feel comfortable. It gave me confidence.”

When asked whether we may see Punk back in WWE, Young opined that WWE is a revolving door and CM Punk coming back would be big business now.

“They say, ‘never say never’ and ‘anything could happen in the WWE,'” Young said. “The WWE is a revolving door. I feel like the OGs, they always come back and if he would have come back now, it would be great for business.”

As for a 2011 tweet resurfacing where Road Dogg wrote that Billy Gunn is gay, Young claimed that he loves Road Dogg and has nothing against him.

“Man, that’s news to me. To me personally, Road Dogg is an amazing producer, an amazing, amazing talent, and he’s a great friend of mine. People say stuff and it is what it is. Me personally, I love Road Dogg. He [has] been very helpful to me backstage and coming up with scenarios. I’ve got nothing but great things to say [about] Road Dogg. People say stuff, we’ve all said stuff that we didn’t mean to say, but I’ve got nothing against Road Dogg.” Young continued, “Road Dogg is so funny. Anytime I’d see him backstage, he’d walk passed me and say, ‘D, won’t you take a damn day off?’ And I’d say, ‘Road Dogg, no, I can’t! I’ve got to hustle! I’ve got to grind! I’ve got to be on TV! I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do!’ ‘No, no, no, take a day off!’ I said, ‘no, Road Dogg.’ But I love him. I don’t care what anybody says about him.”

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Source: Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard

On episode 51 of Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard, current Impact Wrestling on-air authority figure and pro wrestling podcaster Bruce Prichard talked about WINC alum Vince Russo’s WWE run. Notably, Prichard talked about Russo advocating for Triple H, the Madison Square Garden Curtain Call, Triple H and Chyna being a “package deal” behind-the-scenes, who wanted The New Age Outlaws in D-Generation X, and who came up with WWE “attitude”.

According to Prichard, Russo was the biggest advocate for Triple H early on while Vince McMahon and Jim Cornette used to say that ‘The Game’ was a midcarder at best.

“I do remember Corny and Vince McMahon saying that Triple H would be a midcard guy at best early on in his [pro wrestling] career and Russo was a huge proponent of Triple H. And I dare say that without Russo at the helm at the time, Hunter probably would not have gotten the breaks that he got at the time.”

Prichard continued, “yeah, [Russo was Triple H’s biggest advocate at the time] and then Vince McMahon became, but Hunter was one of those guys who was always around, always asking questions, and wanting to be a part of whatever he could do to learn. I liked Hunter because I always liked his attitude, just willing to do whatever it took to learn the [pro wrestling] business, but Russo was definitely pushing Hunter and had an awful lot of ideas for him.”

On the subject of the MSG Curtain Call, Prichard claimed that everyone was offended, not just him and Cornette, as was suggested by podcast co-host Conrad Thompson from reading excerpts of Russo’s own writings.

“It was simply a feeling of what they did being disrespectful to Vince [McMahon], being disrespectful to the memory of Vince’s dad doing it in the Garden, our home. It was something that hadn’t been done before and something everybody was upset about, not just me, not just Cornette, but Vince McMahon, pretty much every one of the boys who wasn’t involved in the Curtain Call.”

Moreover, Prichard stated that Triple H was punished in an upfront way for the Curtain Call and explained that McMahon decided not to go with Triple H for King Of The Ring because The Chairman did not feel like he could trust ‘The King Of Kings’.

“Hunter was punished and he was considered for King Of The Ring, but Vince didn’t feel like he could trust him at that point in time and he wanted Hunter to prove himself and Hunter did.”

During the podcast, Prichard confirmed Russo’s assertion that dealing with either Triple H or Chyna meant dealing with both of them, calling the pair a “package deal”.

“Probably so [Triple H had to be present for Chyna’s creative meetings with Russo] from his vantage point pitching stuff. Whatever Joanie was doing, she was with Hunter, so I’m sure Hunter wanted to be there. But they were also an item at the time, so they did everything together. Whenever I’d call either one of them, the other was usually there. It was kind of a team decision because they were a package deal.”

Another rumor Prichard attempted to dispel involved D-Generation X. Pro wrestling rumor and innuendo purports that ‘The Road Dogg’ Jesse James and ‘The Bad Ass’ Billy Gunn were not picked by Triple H and Shawn Michaels to join the group. Prichard recalled that Michaels wanted The New Age Outlaws for the stable.

“The guy that brought Billy [Gunn] and Road Dogg to Vince [McMahon]’s attention was Shawn Michaels who saw those two guys. They were singles. One was a Rockabilly and then Jesse James… It was Shawn Michaels who brought them to Vince and wanted them to be a part of DX and felt that they would be a great team together.”

Finally, Prichard credited McMahon with conceiving of the ‘attitude’ concept after fining Shawn Michaels for his vulgar and explicit antics.

“That’s where Vince McMahon coined the phrase ‘attitude’ because Shawn, in his defense, was like, ‘because I’ve got attitude, you’re going to fine me, blah, blah, blah?’ And that’s where Vince, I’ll never forget, Vince came back to us and said, ‘that’s attitude! That’s what we need. We need more attitude!'”

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Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast

On episode 126 of Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast, ‘Prime Time’ Sam Roberts interviewed the legendary Shawn Michaels. Among other things, Michaels talked about his 2002 WWE return, his 2008 feud with current WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho, how quickly WWE Superstars are considered ‘great’ nowadays, and whether he oversold in his SummerSlam (2005) match with Hulk Hogan.

According to Michaels, he was agreeing to only one match at a time when he returned to WWE in 2002 because he was not sure whether his body was going to hold up.

“People know I was just coming back for one match. I didn’t know what my body could handle and couldn’t handle, so we didn’t say anything beyond that SummerSlam match. And then, of course, it went well, and I felt good, and before I could really sort of make a decision, I got a phone call from Vince [McMahon] asking me how I felt and, of course, ‘I’ve got an idea!’ And so, I guess the next thing was the Elimination Chamber. Even at that point, we were just taking things sort of one match at a time. And I sort of knew that at the very least, December was going to be a time to sit and, ‘okay’, sort of really figure out what’s going on here. And I think it was in December that Jericho and I did this promo and I lost the championship back to Hunter and then, I think we went out and did some kind of promo with Jericho and I. I was supposed to leave for a while and I came back from doing that and then Chris walked back and both Chris and Vince were like, ‘did you feel that?’ And I was like, ‘yeah, that went really well.’ And they were like, ‘no, did you feel that though?’ and Chris was like, ‘holy cow!’. And, of course, they were both like, ‘something’s there, something’s there’. And I said, ‘okay.’ I said, ‘I definitely feel you.’ I said, ‘let me go home’ because everything’s going so fast, ‘give me a second, go home sometime, and let me think about it. I don’t even know what I’m doing yet.’ It just sort of happened so quickly.”

On the subject of his classic feud with Jericho, Michaels said they made it interesting by having ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ be the babyface who was lying and ‘Y2J’ be the heel who was telling the truth.

“It’s why Chris and I have always gotten along so well, we both love to peel the onion away, pull at it, pull at it, pull at it, and see what we can do, what we can get away with, what’s voodoo that you’re supposed to stay away from if you’re a good guy or a bad guy, you’re not supposed to do this, you’re not supposed to look weak or vulnerable or whatever, and we just always figured, ‘yeah, let’s go ahead and try to do that anyway. That’s what was so fun about our angle. Again, I was the good guy, but I was the guy that was lying. And it was intriguing to us to have me be the guy that was lying, stay the good guy, and him be the guy that was telling the truth, but the bad guy, and it sounded like a blast too to see if we could continue to peel away at that and make it mean something and we did and that’s the enjoyment some of us get out of the creative process.”

In Michaels’ view, carrying a long, drawn-out feud is difficult nowadays because the audience is always looking for something new. Similarly, in ‘The Main Event”s opinion, it used to take 17 years to be called ‘great’ and now it takes only a matter of months.

“It’s a little more difficult to do [drawn out feuds] nowadays because the consumer, more often than not, wants something new, wants something fresh. And, as a company, I believe they feel like they need to change it up, but old school guys like me will always feel like that’s stuff you can slow down and take the time to invest in it. It may take a little longer to build, but the payoff at the end is always better. Look, it’s hard to do now. There are guys that, let’s face it, greatness now happens in six months or a year or even two years. Somebody has some consistently good matches for two years and ‘he’s one of the legends! He’s one of the greatest of all time!’ And I don’t mean that as a critical thing, it’s just that’s how the consumer is now. Everything happens so quickly now, they think ‘he’s 24, he [has] had seven good pay-per-view matches, he’s one of the greatest of all time.’ In our day, rightly or wrongly, it doesn’t matter to me, but in our day, it took 17 years to create greatness when nowadays it takes seven months. So I think that’s just a sign of the times.”

Michaels averred that if he oversold in his SummerSlam match against Hogan, Dolph Ziggler oversells all the time, as does Billy Gunn as a heel. The founding member of D-Generation X recalled that he was simply trying to make the match good, as he had his doubts.

“Let’s just say, look, you could say I didn’t do a good job, but, I mean, you go and watch some of my work from, I don’t know, ’96, I bounced around all the time. You look at Ziggler now, I mean, if what I did in the Hogan match was overselling, then what Dolph does on a regular basis, or Billy Gunn, when Billy’s a heel, that’s just, a lot of it is how we worked.” Michaels added, “I was out there trying, obviously too hard, I guess, in some people’s eyes. I was just trying to make it a good match because I felt like it wasn’t going to be.”

Michaels shared that he views his entire WWE run as one single story beginning with his arrival as part of The Rockers with tag partner Marty Jannetty, all the way till he was retired at WrestleMania 26 by The Undertaker. ‘The Showstopper’ admitted that he cannot imagine the creative justification for making a return to the ring.

“I could never get passed the creative character stuff that I really enjoyed doing. I just can’t [justify] making money over that perfect sort of arc and ending and everything. It just doesn’t seem right to me.”

 

Source: Post & Courier

As noted, Tyler Breeze recently spoke with Mike Mooneyham of The Charleston Post & Courier. The full interview is at this link. Below are a couple of highlights:

Coming to the main roster from WWE NXT:

“It’s been a big change for me. As much fun as NXT was, it totally took a different turn up here. Working in front of sold-out houses and at events like Survivors Series, and working with someone like Dolph Ziggler, makes it a real pleasure to come to work.”

Billy Gunn playing a big role in his development:

“He showed me the character and showmanship part of it. He is so over the top and helped bring that out of me. I wasn’t very much like that before. I wanted to wrestle. I liked the wrestling moves and the athletic part of it. But I didn’t really know the showmanship part of it, and he helped bring that out of me.”