Jeff Katz Talks Time In WCW, Wrestling Retribution Project, Problems With Wrestling, TNA & More
WrestlingINC.com: How long were you there for?
Katz: I think 3 years, but by the end of the last year, [I was] much, much less active. I was sort of unique in that I was in high school going into college so all of those sort of pressures going along with it... and also I was very honest that my ambitions were always to go to work for Newline Cinema, which was always my childhood dream which was in Los Angeles so I had a really weird sort of … I guess a feel for want of better term. The wrestling industry doesn't really end well for a lot of people, you know if you look at the history of it. I went from making great money from WCW and living in my dorm in college and living like a king to moving to LA and working for free basically for 6 months, 40 hours a week. It was I trade I would make a 100 times out of a 100. It's the best move I ever made. I still kept my stuff out in the business pretty heavily. Up until the last year, I was a pretty hardcore fan and I'd be competitive with most people that would be reading your site and I would be on these sites, your sites and others multiple times a day.
WrestlingINC.com: When WWE bought out WCW, what did you think at that time? You were there when the business was hot and then just a few years later it's gone and changed in ways that are still being felt today. What were your thoughts when you say that, did you see it as a good thing - like they might able to turn WCW around or did you see it in a more negative light?
Katz: I always viewed it as a negative because a monopoly in this business is not good., it's not what you want. It's not good for the boys, it's not good for creativity. I just never thought they would run them as two separate groups juts because that's not how the television business works and our business suggest that… I mean you go back and look at the NWA and UWF merger, how did that turn out? How are these talents sharing, come on, we all know how this works. So I can't say that I was overly surprised at how things turned out.
WrestlingINC.com: You went to the internship with Newline Cinema and I know you were involved with a lot of different movies like Freddie Vs. Jason and Snakes on a Plane, so what have you been doing basically after you left WCW?
Katz: I went down to Hollywood, I started as an intern at Newline was hired off of that, promoted to executive within a couple of years, and really never looked back. So I did a bunch of movies, wrote some comics. You know, always maintained my relationships in the business, I always felt this sort of loyalty. When I moved to LA, I took a work for free internship, it was the money I had saved from WCW that I lived on, so I've always had a real loyalty to it, put a couple of guys in movies over the years as well. Tried to be as much of a dot connector as I could. I really felt I had kind of a responsibility to be a friend to the business so to speak. I think if you as ask most of the bigger name talent when it came to industry connections, generally speaking I was viewed as the main between the two there for a while. Always just tried to remember where I had come from at a certain level. So I did.. I just …I don't know that people can fully understand that the three years spent in wrestling, which is analogous to Hollywood in a lot of ways, was the best training, despite the fact I was a college drop out… to come to Hollywood and compete against these kids. A lot of these kids were Ivy League educated kids. But I had this base of knowledge from several years of acting as an adult, working as an adult, even as a teenager to where I could just out-hustle those guys. Without my time in wrestling, I never would have moved up in Hollywood as quickly as I did, there is no doubt in my mind.