Kevin gets on the phone with this big, Boston accent and says, 'Hey, Riggs. That's good stuff there in USWA. Terry Taylor actually told me about you.' Vader actually did a spot where he came in and killed everyone and they were filming it. They wanted to use me, but Terry Taylor said, 'No. We're not going to use him.' It ticked a few people off in USWA, but I was so young that I didn't even have a clue what Terry was talking about.
But they were kind of watching me at the time. It was about that time that Kevin said, 'We're thinking about bringing you in to be Bagwell's partner. What would you think about that?' I said, 'Well, that'd be cool.' He goes, 'Well, we're going to get back to you in about a week and let you know what's going on.' So, for about three weeks, I kept getting calls from Jenny Ingle and talking to Kevin, talking with Terry. The next thing you know, it was the first week of August and they said, 'Hey, we want you to come in and be Bagwell's partner.'
I came in, left Evansville, Indiana on a Wednesday, drove to Atlanta, flew to Orlando and me and Bagwell had a match with the Blue Bloods -- which was Steve Regal and Bobby Eaton -- and that was kind of our tester match. I had a 90 day tester contract to be Bagwell's partner. I know that if I had not spent that time in USWA, learning how to do matches and do different things, trying to be creative, without getting stuck with a set pattern of how guys do things -- a lot of guys get stuck in that rut. They only have one way to do a comeback. There are guys that are tremendously guilty of that.
Then, there are guys that know how to make their comeback almost the same way, but can do it differently. Those are the creative guys that are lasting, who are your major players. They don't just get looked over. That's what's lacking nowadays because a lot of these kids just get put in positions that they're just not ready for yet. If they had either been around the business -- like, Cody Rhodes is a kid who's very young but he's grasping it. He's learned his persona. Everything about him just comes across genuine. You go, 'Wow.' He's young, but he's been around with his father and his brother.
I still remember when I was wrestling for Dusty and his group in TCW (Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling). I remember talking to Cody at shows at his high school. Dusty would run the shows at [his] high school. We'd go do an autograph session during lunch to sell tickets and stuff with Cody. Cody would just sit there and ask questions. Goofy questions and you'd be like, 'What's this kid asking these wrestling questions for?' Now, look at him.
Then, you look at a guy like The Miz, who got a nice push but hasn't been able to sustain anything. He had about a one year long push. Hasn't been able to sustain anything because he's stuck in that rut. He doesn't know how to grow or how to translate stuff differently to the audience. So, WWE writers are just going, 'Well, he's just stale.' You know, and guys get that way because they just don't know how to blossom from one stage to the next. They didn't have territories like they used to, where you could move from one place to the other and learn from other guys.
WrestlingINC: I think it's even worse now. Now that you have the scripted promos, you're not coming up with your own idea for what to say. It's even easier to be stuck in a rut. There's not much you can do about it.
Riggs: Guys learned back in the day. I mean, I watched the guys in USWA cut promos. I learned from those guys. I learned from watching a Ric Flair or a Sting. Even Luger, who wasn't the greatest talker, but was articulate in how he talked and how he made himself look a certain way. Guys had freedoms in their promos. You'd give them high points to talk about, but they expanded on who they were.
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