Brent Albright is currently working for Ring of Honor. He is best known for his appearances on WWE Friday Night SmackDown! as Gunner Scott. Brent Albright recently took some time out to speak with www.PWMania.com. He speaks on his career, the effect of drugs in wrestling, and much more. It's a great interview, below are some of the highlights:
Andy Steven: Firstly I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview for www.PWMania.com.
Brent Albright: No problem, I'm always happy to speak to the media. Thanks for inviting me to speak.
Andy Steven: Before you were released by World Wrestling Entertainment, online reports suggested that WWE were planning to 'repackage' you and being you back to the main roster. What happened with that situation and what was the reason behind your release from the company?
Brent Albright: You know, I'm still not 100% sure what happened there. Chris & I came up with the idea for the storyline together one night after dinner – me, my wife, and a few friends had taken him out for his birthday, I think. Anyway, he was really wanting to do something with me and we brainstormed, came up with the idea, we both loved it, and he told me to send it directly to Stephanie and to mark that it had his approval. Obviously that gimmick was cut short when Benoit went home out of the blue for a few months midstream. I think we were only about 3 or 4 weeks into the introduction of what was explained to me as a year long storyline with the two of us that would culminate at Wrestlemania in 2007. Once that storyline fell apart, I just don't think they had any direction or plans for me. They were focused on Khali's push, Kennedy's return, etc. – they thought they had me in a long term storyline and just couldn't have anticipated that it would fall apart like it did. I wasn't all that shocked to get sent back to OVW, although it was obviously really disappointing. I got mixed messages from the office over the next month or so – at first it was "change your look, Gunner Scott is dead, come up with something new" and then it was "why are you calling yourself Brent Albright? Your name is Gunner Scott!" So, yeah it was pretty confusing regarding what they actually wanted from me. The whole time though, they told me I'd be back on the road by early Fall. The last show I worked at OVW, they set up my "change." When I returned (I think I was "MIA" for a week for the storyline) I was going to debut the new gimmick. I'd cut my hair, got new gear, shaved, etc. Unfortunately, I was cut right before the planned debut. I heard through the grapevine that they thought I didn't change my gimmick fast enough and the usual "creative has nothing." Of course, I wasn't in control of how fast I changed my gimmick. The bookers at OVW obviously had to write it into the storyline in a way that made sense – I'd worked in front of that crowd for almost 3 years with the former gimmick. It really never crossed my mind that I wouldn't get a second run in WWE. I started getting bad vibes the week before my release though, so it wasn't quite as shocking. I knew Heyman had pitched several ideas to bring me into ECW and all had either been turned down or given to other workers. It was unfortunate, but I wouldn't totally discount a return to WWE at some date in the future. You just never know in this business.
Andy Steven: What is your opinion on drugs in wrestling?
Brent Albright: The business today is very different from the "rock and roll" lifestyle that surrounded the business several years back. Do people use or abuse drugs in wrestling? Sure there are some. But that is no different than in any profession. I believe that WWE is doing everything it can to police the situation, even though legally they don't have to. I think I was tested about four times (one baseline & three or so random) over the course of about a year & passed with flying colors every time. They test for everything under the sun – steroids, pain pills, cocaine, whatever. Their tests are so sensitive actually that one guy I knew failed a test due to an over the counter supplement he bought at GNC – it elevated his testosterone count too high. Nevertheless, he was suspended without pay – period. They use a third party company to do the tests – the same one used by the NFL. I really don't know what else could be expected of them. Besides I think it is a little crazy to blame WWE for poor decisions made by individuals. But that is just my opinion.
Andy Steven: You worked with Jim Cornette and Paul Heyman during your time at Ohio Valley Wrestling. How was it working with these two great minded wrestling individuals?
Brent Albright: Cornette & Heyman are obviously very different when it comes to their booking. That doesn't mean either one is "right" or "wrong" of course. I learned so much from both these men and have so many great memories from working with them. I still speak to them from time to time. I certainly hope to work with them again – I actually got to work with Cornette again briefly at Ring of Honor. I owe them a lot for the faith they had in me and for really helping me advance and shine during my time at OVW.
To read the complete interview visit pwmania.com/post/specials/headlines/186610570.php.
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