Posts Tagged ‘NWA’

Source: The Ringer

Paul Heyman spoke with The Ringer on his career in pro wrestling. Here are some of the highlights:

Staying relevant in pro wrestling:

“Tell me somebody who was in the NWA who was relevant then and relevant now. Sting’s not. Lex Luger’s not. It’s Ric Flair and Paul Heyman. Tell me someone from that entire era who is relevant today. Vince McMahon. Jerry Lawler. And of all those people that I’ve named, how many of them are in a prominent position on television today? The only one is me. So, how? The manner in which you were treated behind the scenes did not promote longevity. You were going to be used up and spit out. And here I am as the advocate of the number-one attraction, the highest-paid commodity, the top champion on the flagship show in the company that owns 99 percent of the market share. Obviously whatever I was doing back then, that people perceived as career suicide, gave me the ability to survive long enough to have a longevity that no one else enjoys.”

Being the number one believer in ECW:

“I never looked at ECW as wrestling. I always considered it more of a theology. I don’t know whether I had or didn’t have a messianic complex during that time. But I bought into the movement as much as, if not more than, anybody else. If I sold anyone on the religion of extreme, I was its number-one customer.”

Working with others in WWE aside from Brock Lesnar:

“As long as Brock is in WWE. I don’t think it makes sense to work with someone else.”

Managing The Undertaker (before he was The Deadman) in 1990:

“[He was] shockingly mature for someone so new to the industry.”

You can read the full article by clicking here.

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Source: Dinner With The King

Excitement continues to build as we get closer to the return of Starrcade and War Games. Jim Cornette was a guest on Jerry “The King” Lawler’s podcast, Dinner With The King, this week and gave his thoughts on the WWE bringing back WCW gimmick matches.

The WWE will be bringing back War Games in the main event of NXT Takeover: Houton on Nov. 18th, featuring NXT Tag Team Champions SAnitY (Eric Young, Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe) vs. Roderick Strong & The Authors of Pain (Akam, Rezar) vs. The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish). Starrcade will return for the first time in 30 years on Nov. 25 with a SmackDown Live card, headlined by a WWE Championship steel cage match between Jinder Mahal and Shinsuke Nakamura. Cornette said he believes the WWE should’ve been utilizing these innovations from the moment they acquired WCW.

“I thought they should have done War Games from the very first,” he said. “That’s one of the greatest gimmick matches that consistently worked where nothing else was working, that worked.”

But Cornette said from his understanding, WWE officials were always hesitant about War Games in particular because it didn’t fit aesthetically with their presentation. Still, he stands by his belief that they should give those matches a try.

“They have never done multi-ring matches, because they think it won’t translate well to television. That’s what I always heard,” Cornette said. “Yes, they should try those concepts.”

Cornette also threw out an interesting idea in which the special events can also serve as a way to pay homage to WCW’s history.

“Why not do a Starrcade-themed PPV mixing live matches with the history of Flair to Race for the NWA Title to The Skywalkers to the WCW era,” he said. “It sells their product.”

Source: NBC Sports Radio

As previously noted, WWE Hall Of Famer Ric Flair was recently interviewed by NBC Sports Radio. Among many other things, Flair discussed the art of cutting promos, influencing many pro wrestlers, and how the legendary Four Horsemen faction came about.

On the subject of cutting promos, Flair professed that it came from his life and passion for the pro wrestling business. Moreover, Flair credited the likes of the late great Dusty Rhodes for creating competition.

“That all came off the top of my head. We’d be out in Atlanta [Georgia] all night long, back at the hotel around 5 a.m., change clothes, and go to the studio and start taping at 9 o’clock. That’s just a lot of coffee and a lot of liking what I was doing for a living, being surrounded by guys like Dusty and Arn [Anderson] and guys that had so much influence on me. And we went out there and we competed with each other. Does that make sense? If Dusty was out there first, I knew I had to follow that. If I was on first and Dusty had to follow me. It was very competitive.”

When asked how much of the persona of The Rock was derived from Flair, ‘Naitch’ suggested that Dwayne Johnson himself would admit that he borrowed a lot from the 16-time champ. Flair went on to say that he has influenced a lot of pro wrestlers.

“I think he’ll admit that a lot of me was him,” Flair said. “I don’t know how many Rolex watches I’ve sold for Rolex from guys buying their first Rolex. I can remember Randy Orton got his first big check with Evolution. The first thing he bought was a new tricked out diamond encrusted Rolex, so I know that I’ve done some damage. I think a lot of guys have become more wardrobe-conscious. Does that make sense? Looking the part all of the time as opposed to when you’re in the gym. Every time you walk into a door, you want everybody in the joint to look at you. That’s just what it is.”

According to Flair, Arn Anderson deserves all of the credit for the Horsemen idea.

“Actually, the idea for The Four Horsemen came from Arn, just something he said one day about The Four Horsemen. I can’t remember the terminology, but he put up [the] four [hand gesture] and Arn did it and we started doing it each week and within a month it caught on and it was bigger than ever. It was huge, so I give all that to Arn. He took the ball and he ran with it.”

Click here to check out the interview.

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Details continue to emerge about Ric Flair’s recent health issues.

The WWE legend underwent surgery Monday for what was thought to be an intestinal blockage and wound up having part of his bowel removed, according to Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso, who cites a source close to the Flair family.

The surgery, though, led to complications and as result Flair to be in hospital for over a month, Barrasso added

Flair’s fiancee, Wendy Barlow, told TMZ Sports on Wednesday that Flair is suffering from “multiple organ problems” and remains in critical condition. She also denied Flair had colon surgery, as WWE Hall of Fame announcer Gene Okerlund indicated on Facebook.

Flair was interviewed by Sports Illustrated on Aug. 9, during which he spoke about his struggles with alcohol.

“I had one vice,” he admitted. “I’m not going to point my finger at anybody else. My vice was drinking. I didn’t have any pain issues, addiction problems, marijuana, cocaine, nothing like that. I dealt with the fact that I kept myself up all night and had a good time, but I never put a good time ahead of my personal loyalty to myself or working out. I never had a great body, but I was always in the best shape.”

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Source: ESPN

JJ Dillon spoke with ESPN on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

Working for Vince McMahon, Dusty Rhodes, and Eddie Graham:

“I see Vince as one thing, Eddie as one thing and Dusty as another. I always regard Eddie Graham as my mentor, and maybe that’s because he was regarded in the industry as a true genius because of his attention to details. For example, during manager cheating situations, Eddie would make sure the cheating happened in a logical way so that the people were mad at the heel for cheating, instead of being mad at the referee for not seeing the cheating. Dusty was a big idea guy. I was a detail person that gave attention to the other things that made the story the absolute best it could be. We were together for a long time because it was a successful collaboration with the two of us. Vince was different because a lot of the credit for the success of the WWE actually goes to Pat Patterson. Pat was one the true geniuses of the business that I was around. A lot of the success of the WWE, which has continued on to this day, was the result of Pat.”

Arn Anderson being the most underrated of the Four Horsemen:

“By all means. He was usually the first one out there and he went out and left everything in the ring. He would come back and [pass by without saying anything, as too] say ‘guys, try to follow that.’ And we would all go out there with the mindset that he set the bar for tonight and we’ve got to measure up to it and if possible try to exceed it.”

Mentality as a manager:

“My philosophy as a manager was always less is more. I wore a suit or dress clothes. I didn’t wear a flashy costume or cape. Jimmy Hart has his megaphone and Jim Cornette has his racket and I didn’t really have any props as such other than in my early days I carried a cigar that wasn’t lit. I remembered as a kid I used to see these guys from Little Italy riding around in convertibles and smoking a big cigar. The cigar was just a heat magnet, as somebody smoking a cigar like that meant they thought they were somebody special.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Source: Sports Illustrated

Harley Race spoke with Sports Illustrated’s “Extra Mustard” section on his health and pro wrestling. Here are some of the highlights:

How he’s feeling after falling in his home and breaking both of his legs back in June:

“Right now, it’s the legs that are bothering me. I’m sitting here now with two legs that aren’t very good. They’re in route to recovery, and I’m right along with them. In a little amount of time, I’ll be up walking again.”

Inspiring generations of wrestlers like Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, and CM Punk:

“I love that. And it’s all true. I was the guy who would go out and do whatever he needed to do, no matter what.”

Being the “world’s champion”:

“Being world’s champion is what I set out in life to do. I’m one of the few people on earth that can say they completed, in every aspect, what they wanted to do with their life. …Whether it was sitting in a steak house eating a steak or getting onto the edge of the ring with two or three people standing there, it was all the same to me.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Earlier this week The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling welcomed Arn Anderson to episode #263 for a very rare 40 minute interview promoting his upcoming appearance at the Mid Atlantic Wrestle Expo (http://www.wrestleexporva.com) on May 20th in Richmond, Virginia. In this excerpt, The Enforcer reveals how close Ric Flair came to jumping with The Brain Busters to the WWF in 1988 as well as how Dusty Rhodes played an immense role in his career success. The full episode is available for download at this link.

The Impact Dusty Rhodes made on his career:

“Dusty is one of the few guys that to this day if he walked (and God bless him) onto my deck where I am sitting right now, I would just sit here with my jaw on the ground and thinking to myself- wow what a big star he is. I feel that way today, I feel that way and the first time that I ever met him I was star struck. He is one of those rare individuals that it just comes out of his pores. Dusty Rhodes was never Virgil Runnells, Dusty Rhodes was always Dusty Rhodes. It wasn’t something that he put on in the morning and took off at night, that is who he was and he was a huge star and a creative guy. One thing Dusty knew better than anything is Dusty knew how to program a show with him at the lead (and he should have been in the lead) and sell some tickets. I learned a lot from him just being in a ring with him like osmosis it elevated me and I know that. I watched that happen to a lot of guys and he was something special and there will only be one that is for sure.”

Did Dusty need the Horseman to be the perfect opponent for him in that era:

“I think Dusty needed The Horseman and The Horseman needed Dusty, I agree with that 100%. But you also filter in The Rock N’ Roll Express and you figure in all the other players like The Midnight Express, Ronnie Garvin and every body that was in that era that was contributing. We had a lot of packed houses and when you have Brad Armstrong and Tim Horner in the first and second match as good as those guys were it was just loaded top to bottom.”

How close did all Ric Flair come to joining the WWF in 1989 and reforming The Horseman:

“There was discussion about that. Before Tully and I left there was a lot of grey area on if Crockett was going to sell the company? Were they going to go bankrupt? It was all rumors and it didn’t come from any of the Crocketts but all rumors start somewhere. So there was discussion about Flair coming and as it turned out I don’t think anybody truly believed that Tully and I were going to make the move. There was some inside wrangling that wasn’t benefiting us and we couldn’t get an answer on some stuff so our thought was this: If a big hole goes in the middle of that ship there are only going to be so many life jackets. There had been feelers sent out over the years that Vince would like to have us and we felt that timing was everything and we did make that move. Ric decided against it but there was some discussion and everybody has to make their own business decisions and he made his and we made ours.”

 

Would JJ Dillon have played a role since he was working in the WWF office at that time:

“James J. Dillon was as much of a part of The Horseman as anyone of us. I feel that way to this day the same way I felt that way then. He added to our group, he was truly a mentor, truly a manager as far as organizational skills and he is just a good man and I call him a good friend to this day.”

Working a very memorable program with The Rockers:

“They were young and they did listen. We wrestled some teams before we got to The Rockers and I think they saw that what we were all about. I think our reputation spoke for us and we looked at those two kids and it was like “oh my God” it is Ricky and Robert if anything just a little younger and I don’t mean this in a derogatory sense but a little more athletic and maybe what they brought to the table. But no doubting that The Rockers and The Rock and Roll Express were on level playing field with each other but with Shawn Michaels you could see that he was special then and Marty Jannetty as well. If they trusted us and we were able to pull some time than we were able to tell a heck of a story with those guys. To his day if anyone asks me what is my favorite tag match I will say it is against The Rockers because they brought out the best in us and we brought out the best in them.”

Being paired with Bobby Heenan and The Heenan Family:

“Bobby Heenan had more heat than anyone else in the company. As well he should have. All he had to do was look at the crowd and the “weasel” chants were deafening which certainly helped and our affiliation with (Andre) The Giant and Haku. It was like they just welcomed us into the fold and it just helped to make that time and that year very special. I think a lot of people should be commended and certainly everyone in the company that helped make it happen but I feel like and I have no problem saying it and it is we held our end up and contributed as much as anyone else.”