Posts Tagged ‘ECW’

Former ECW and WCW performer Perry Saturn spoke with Bill Apter at the New England Wrestling Fan Fest. During the interview, Saturn gave an update on his current health status. He also touched upon his living situation in the Midwest along with his defining moment during his ECW tenure.

When asked about his past problems with drugs, Saturn revealed he has positively moved past those issues and has been recovering. Saturn also admitted to feeling physically better from previous CTE injuries.

“I don’t have [the drug problem] anymore,” Saturn said. “Nothing’s going on now. I’m recovering. Getting better from the CTE. Huge gains. Gotten a lot better. It was very bleak at first. Some people, it goes good for. Some people, it doesn’t. I was one of the lucky ones.”

Saturn also admitted to being homeless at one point after his wrestling career. Fortunately, he said he found a way to overcome homelessness and now resides in Minnesota with his wife and her family.

“I have my own house,” Saturn said. “I moved [to Minnesota] with my wife because her family is there.”

Through Saturn has been involved in some of professional wrestling’s peaks in both WCW and ECW, Saturn recalled a post-match victory in ECW as his defining moment. He stated that fans responded well to him victoriously raising a championship atop a ladder after defeating Sabu and Rob Van Dam in a tag team match.

“Me and John defeating Sabu with [Rob] Van Dam,” Saturn said. “We got up on the ladders and held up the belts and the people were very receptive.”

Regarding his fanbase, Saturn simply wanted to relay gratitude and thanks to those who have supported and followed him throughout his life. Additionally, he apologized for how he treated certain people in his past.

“Thank you,” Saturn declared. “What else can I say other than thank you? Sorry I was such an asshole at times. But that’s my personality and it’s not going to go over well with everybody.”

Stone Cold recently appeared on the Dale Jr, Downloadshow to speak all things wrestling. During his 100 minute conversation with Dale Earnhardt Jr, a major and reoccurring talking point were wrestling promos. Austin, arguably one of the best promos in wrestling, explained how he began learning the art of the promo.

“You start off being bad at it,” Austin said. “You talk about green as grass. I go out there and try to talk. You first start off, your voice is really high. You haven’t learned to talk from your diaphragm. You don’t really know what to say. You haven’t really created a character so there’s no ground base to build from so you flounder. You’re doing the best you can but when you s–t the bed, you’ve done just that. Once you fall on your face enough you learn this is sink or swim. These are shark infested waters. You better succeed or your ass is going to get left behind.”

Before he was superstar, Austin admitted organization didn’t quite see the star in him. Austin discussed how being paired with Brian Pillman helped shape his dedication to his promo writing process.

“They didn’t think I had ‘it’ yet so they stuck me in a Tag Team with Flyin’ Brian Pillman. Brian was one of those guys who would sit there and read dictionaries and books just to increase his vocabulary. He was forward thinking and if you put a microphone in front of his face, he always had something to say. So all of a sudden, it was like ‘You better crank it up Steve cuz you’re going to sound like a deaf mute next to Flyin’ Brian because he’s lightening it up’.” 

Austin also admitted that Paul Heyman played a major role in his ability to deliver a well crafted promo. Austin highlighted Heyman’s vision as a key to making promos work. It was during the early days of ECW, where Steve Austin recorded a historical promo which laid the foundation for his eventual Stone Cold character. 

“Paul had just started ECW down in Philly,” Austin remembered. “Paul said, ‘Hey Steve, you’re up’. And I said, “What do you want me to talk about?’. Paul said, ‘Just talk about how you’re feeling. Just talk’. He turned the cameras on and I rattled off that promo still on YouTube and I talked for about six minutes nonstop. Ad-lib. Told it like it was. And that was probably the groundbreaking promo where I started feeling who and what I was. I hadn’t come up with the Stone Cold thing yet, but I realized at that point that who I was in that ring was, if you turn me up to eleven, that’s me. Paul Heyman taught me to deliver a message, get that message across, and make people feel things because that’s how you draw money.”

Austin was asked how nervous he got when speaking promos. Austin admitted that despite the nerves or massive pressure, he would always be ready and willing to give the best promo he could. 

“The last thing you want to do is hacking and coughing during a promo when you’re trying to get to the bottom line,” Austin laughed. “You’re out there trying to string some words together and realizing that it’s sink or swim, especially when its live TV. I was nervous to a degree. But I was so ready. It’s a nervous energy. You could still feel some nerves but the bigger the crowd and the more cameras there was, I thrived on it.”

Entertainment reporter Chris Van Vliet recently spoke with former WWE Champion and current Impact Wrestling talent Rob Van Dam about wrestling 100% of the time in ECW, if wrestling while stoned is dangerous, his new deal with Impact, a possible WWE Hall of Fame induction and more. You can see the full interview above and Chris sent us highlights below.

RVD was asked how often he thought he wrestled high on marijuana while with ECW years ago. He said, “I’m going to say 100%. After that from 2001 all the way to my last run in 2014 in which case I would say it was much, much lower more like maybe 90% of the time.”

Van Dam was also asked if he thinks it’s dangerous to wrestle while stoned. He said, “I don’t know. Back in the day I know there would be certain people that would put together the fact that I would hurt a lot of people and the fact that I was stoned. When I was in the competitive state of mind, I would be offended by that like ‘Screw you! You’re saying something about me and my skills. I can do this with my eyes closed!’ My ego would take over like that. But looking back at it, I don’t think so, but I definitely think they had an argument that was worth considering. But when you use it all the time it doesn’t affect you the way it affects other people.”

Regarding a potential WWE Hall of Fame induction for Van Dam down the road, he said he would want Paul Heymanto induct him.

“Right off the bat I think Paul Heyman,” RVD said when asked who he would want to do the honors. “I think it would really be good for me to try to hear his perspective firsthand of what his thoughts were on me and him developing me. It would be an experience for me for him to open up like that.”

A hot topic in the wrestling world has been the recent anti-WWE comments by John Oliver during his “Last Week Tonight” show on HBO. You can read our coverage of the episode with WWE’s response at this link. Regarding what was expressed, Van Dam said there are some truths, but opinions as well. Van Dam also said he enjoys being an independent contractor.

“There are some truths but there are also some opinions and those will vary,” RVD said of Oliver’s comments. “I enjoy being an independent contractor and I find that I’m usually in the minority when it comes to that as far as how my peers feel. The way I see it is I’m an independent contractor and I sign an agreement with them and all of the terms are negotiable on the agreement. First of all, they keep you so busy you’re not going to have time to work anywhere else. You’re not even going to have time to go home. So forget about that. What are you going to do, if you’re on top in the WWE, who else are you going to work for? The local fair in front of 50 people? People say ‘Oh, there’s no health insurance’ but if you need that in your deal then you can negotiate that and say ‘You know what I want health insurance’. You want your hotel room taken care of? You get it in your contract and you make that agreement. I enjoy the freedom of being an independent contractor to make that deal. Some of the guys that might not have as much leverage as me because maybe they don’t sell as many tickets, I think it would help them more to not be independent contractors because they can’t really step forward with the same negotiating power. But come on, you think Triple H doesn’t have health insurance?”

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With WrestleMania being “The Show of Shows”, Superstars who main event ‘Mania are considered to be among the elite and have reached the peak of their profession. Thus, it comes as a surprise when anyone who once main evented a WrestleMania isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame à la King Kong Bundy who dueled with Hulk Hogan at WrestleManiaII.

Bundy died earlier this month so any call to the hall will be a posthumous one for him. Tommy Dreamer speculated why Bundy isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame and also talked about Bundy’s time in ECW.

“King Kong Bundy was in the original ECW,” stated Dreamer on his House of Hardcore Podcast. “I want to say the match was Terry Funk and King Kong Bundy vs. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and Road Warrior Hawk. This was during Eastern Championship Wrestling but it was still ECW. The biggest stipulation going into that was King Kong Bundy had gone right to Paul Heyman, who I didn’t really know that well at the time, and he said to Paul, ‘Paul, no matter what you don’t ever air this on television.’

“Paul gave him his word and that he won’t air it. To Paul Heyman’s credit, he never aired that match. If it wasn’t that specific match it was a combination of all four of them, can’t remember, but it wasn’t a great match. The fact that Paul Heyman lived up to those stipulations up until WWE recently had released that footage…it was an ongoing joke between me, Taz and Bubba Ray Dudley and when we talk about Paul Heyman where we say, Paul Heyman is like Darth Vader. There is some good in him, we just have to draw it out of him.”

It’s unknown why Bundy didn’t want the match aired, but it was likely due to ring rust from being away from wrestling for so long. After being released by WWE in 1988, Bundy went into semi-retirement before popping up for that ECW event in 1993.

As for Bundy not getting into the WWE Hall of Fame, Dreamer says a voice message-turned-email exchange from Bundy in 2005 might have sealed his fate.

“ECW goes out of business and this is when I am doing Talent Relations for WWE. This is when Randy Orton is doing the ‘Legend Killer’ gimmick and he is going into a feud with The Undertaker,” said Dreamer. “For Atlanta, GA they wanted someone from The Undertaker’s past to come and do something and show up, and Randy Orton to go out and do something with them. The person had to be a heel. We are all thinking, and Creative would shoot an email to Talent Relations asking if there were any suggestions. So, I am going through my Rolodex of ideas and I’m thinking of guys like Ted DiBiase, King Kong Bundy, Jimmy Snuka and I don’t remember the rest. It came back and they thought that King Kong Bundy would be a great idea, do you have any information for him? I said that I could get it.”

Dreamer then said that in these situations it often felt like everyone within WWE was waiting on him to deliver Bundy to creative which gave him a very pressurized job.

“I make the call and 15 minutes go by, 30 minutes by and you start getting a text wondering if I’ve heard anything. So, I got nothing,” said Dreamer. “Then, I was like, well I can always reach out to Jimmy Snuka as well, and there are other people because there is a lot of politics…. I said that I can reach out to Jimmy Snuka and they said that we need a heel, so I was like, alright, thanks for heeling me.

“Now Johnny Ace is asking if I had heard anything and I was like, ‘dude, I left him a message’. He asked if I have his cell phone number, and I said that I have one number and this is how I got him. I go home and the next day I come back to the office and I sit down and I see my phone voice mail is flashing, which it would always be flashing because I would always have these wrestling hopefuls hitting me up. I get the message from King Kong Bundy:

“‘Hey Dreamer, it’s Chris King Kong Bundy. How are you doing? Congratulations on the spot. Hey man, this is not on you, always been cool and friends with you so I need you to relay this message to WWE, especially to Vince McMahon. Number one, you need to tell him that he needs to pay me the money that he owes me. Number two, unless there is a creative idea for me winning the title I have no interest in it because he promised me the title when I put over Hulk Hogan and he never delivered so please go tell him to go f–k himself. Tommy, I love you, remember when I wanted to be your brother? Take care. I will see you later.'”

Dreamer says that he’s not the most politically correct person, so he sent out an email to everyone in WWE Creative including Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard, Michael Hayes, Stephanie McMahon and Johnny Ace simply stating that Bundy declined the offer. Then he got replies back asking what Bundy said, and Dreamer then replied back with exactly what Bundy told him.

“I said that he declined the offer because he wasn’t too happy with the current climate of WWE,” said Dreamer. “Then I got the same response: ‘What did he say?’ I was like, alright, so I said exactly what he said about he wants the money he was owed, and unless we have an idea to put the title on him and for Vince McMahon to go f–k himself.

“I want to say that within four minutes of sending that email here comes Johnny Ace as my boss, he is running down from the Talent Relations office, he’s like, ‘What the hell is wrong with you? Why would you send that?’ I was like, what? They kept asking me. You are in the chain of emails. He’s like, ‘You just told Vince McMahon to go f–k himself!’

“I said that I did not tell Vince McMahon to go f–k himself, King Kong Bundy said to tell Vince McMahon to go f–k himself. Johnny said to me, ‘What am I going to do with you?’ That was money to what John would say to me or the other question he would ask is what is wrong with me. Look, when someone asks me a question, I have to do it, and the reply was from Chairman Vince McMahon, he replied back saying, ‘Moving forward.'”

 

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AEW Double or Nothing will take place on May 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and sold out in four minutes. On Busted Open, Bully Ray spoke about AEW having a “coolness” to it with those who are currently attached to the promotion.

“The guys are doing something different. They’re doing something cool. They’re doing something special,” Bully said. “I’m gonna put a lot of emphasis on the word, ‘cool.’ Cody, The Bucks, [Chris] Jericho], and Kenny [Omega]—everybody there associated there has a coolness factor attached to them. I always said that ECW was the ‘Napster’ of pro wrestling business. I believe that AEW is the ‘Facebook’ of the pro wrestling business, right now.”

Bully elaborated on how AEW is like the “Facebook” of pro wrestling as they look to bring something innovative to the wrestling world.

“When Facebook first was invented, one of the guys within Facebook wanted to do advertising on Facebook,” Bully continued. “And they decided not to because—they don’t even know what they had with Facebook, yet, they just knew have something cool. I don’t know if AEW even knows what they have yet. It’s just cool. You can tell how cool it is by how quickly All In sold out. You can tell how cool it is by how great of an event All In was. You can tell how cool it is when people show up to a ticket release party. You can tell how cool it is when they sell out 14,000 seats in four minutes. To me, that’s cool.”

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On episode 655 of The Taz Show, professional wrestling legend Taz recently weighed in on WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose’s rumored departure from the company. Specifically, Taz took aim at fans suggesting that Ambrose should not lose on his way out of the promotion. Additionally, Taz noted that Ambrose has been doing some of his best work on the microphone lately.

According to Taz, fans who think Ambrose should not be losing on his way out of WWE do not know what they are talking about and do not understand the business.

“I’m sitting there reading some this stuff and I’m like, ‘are these f–king people crazy?’ Really, are you out of your frickin’ mind? Do you expect the WWE to have Dean Ambrose look good on the way out the door? That’s called doing the honors. That’s the business. That’s what the business was built on. When you leave, and you go someplace else, or you just give your notice, and you’re leaving on your terms, you do the frickin’ job on the way out the door. It’s business. It’s the right way to do business. Anybody who says that [Ambrose should lose on his way out of WWE] doesn’t know the business. They don’t! You can read all the dirt sheets, all the f–king bulls–t online, and all the social media accounts. If you’re b—hing that a guy is going to be leaving, and he gave notice, if you’re b—hing about the way he’s going to be treated as he walks out the door, then you truly don’t know [anything] about the wrestling business. Nothing. That’s the right way to do business by WWE and the right way by Dean Ambrose.”

Moreover, Taz pointed to the fact that he did many jobs on his way out of ECW and ‘The Suplex Machine’ is proud of it.

“You do the honors on the way out the door, period!” Taz proclaimed. “That’s good business. That’s how it works. I did it when I left ECW. I did a s–tload of jobs and I’m proud to say it. Paul Heyman had me losing left and right. Once he knew I was gone and I was leaving, whew, yeah, I lost a lot of matches a lot of times, all over the country. And that’s how it should be. Was I doing backflips and happy about it? No, but I didn’t b—h, and complain, and whine, and all that stuff. I didn’t do all that stuff and Dean Ambrose is not from what I understand. He’s a pro. He’s a veteran. He understands it’s business.”

In Taz’s learned opinion, Ambrose has been doing some of his best mic work recently. The two-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion suggested that it is probably because Ambrose feels like a great weight is being lifted from him knowing he is leaving WWE.

“Dean Ambrose’s delivery in this last segment I saw him on with the Alexa Bliss deal, and when I saw him when got in Seth Rollins’ and Triple H’s face last week, two of the best, as far as what I’ve seen with his mic work, in a long time.” Taz continued, “Dean Ambrose’s performance was awesome and I think it’s because there’s a lot of weight off his chest and he could just be himself, and he knows he’s gone, and he can perform like he knows how to perform.”

Also during the show, Taz indicated that Ambrose’s present situation is all about business and it happens to everybody.

“[Ambrose] gave his notice. It’s his business, guys. It’s not f–king playtime. Some of you don’t understand. I hate to be an asshole, but I’m just being blunt. This is business. This is not playtime. This is not, ‘let’s make his fans happy’. No! It’s about making money! It’s about getting people over. If you want to leave, you’re taking yourself out of the game. Someone has got to get over from the stuff we put into you!” Taz added, “it’s a cycle, guys. It happens to everybody.”

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It seems as every big name in wrestling not currently signed to a major promotion gets linked to AEW one way or another. Rob Van Dam is the latest of those but while many other wrestlers are seeking opportunity or something different, RVD says that money talks when it comes to his future.

RVD joined our WINCLY podcast where he talked about what his future holds and if there was a certain promotion he saw himself wanting to attach his name to.

“There’s not. Money talks,” replied RVD. “I’m always interested in considering good business, but over the last several years my goal has been to work less, have more time off and make more money.

“I’m really looking to do less and less – travel less. I consider myself semi-retired. At the same time I stay ready, so I don’t have to get ready.”

RVD joined ECW a couple of years after it had transitioned from Eastern Championship Wrestling to Extreme Championship Wrestling. ECW reached its greatest heights during RVD’s tenure with the company and he was asked if he sees similarities between AEW and ECW.

“I don’t see it,” said RVD. “I think ECW was a gradual thing…. I don’t remember it making a boom out of nowhere like this seems to be.

“As far as the Monday Night Wars goes, c’mon, these guys don’t even have a TV deal yet. I wish them all the luck in the world – I hope they do well. Over the years I’ve seen many companies want to come up and be a competing brand, but eventually the guy funding it decides he doesn’t want to keep losing money and he pulls out….

“They have to prove history wrong that they are different and that they’re gonna stick around. People who have a whole lot of money usually don’t waste a lot of money. That’s why they have money. I’m not saying that they are wasteful but if things aren’t set up right and they’re paying guys the rumored reports, then they’ve got to make the money back and I hope they do.”

The genesis of AEW was the success of All In which was a major milestone for independent wrestling. RVD says he predicted this boom in indies wrestling a couple of years ago.

“If you listened to interviews I did 3-4 years ago, that’s exactly where I said the business was going to go,” stated RVD. “I could tell all of the different wrestling promotions that had their cult followings were gonna grow…. We’re gonna see all of these indies grow and it’s gonna be a place where the boys can have a lot more options to work instead of just trying to go to WWE or possible TNA.

Despite the presence of AEW and other promotions like Impact Wrestling and ROH, RVD thinks that none of them are a threat to WWE as the top wrestling promotion.

“I just don’t see WWE getting knocked out of its first place position, but history is what it is and I’m all about breaking tradition,” said RVD.

You can see more of Rob Van Dam in his upcoming documentary “Headstrong.” It will be released Feb. 19 on iTunes and is available for pre-order now.