In a rare interview with a wrestling site Michael Manna, known to wrestling fans as Stevie Richards, addresses a lot of topics from throughout his career as well as brings us up to speed on what he is doing in addition to tearing it up in Extreme Rising in the title tournament right now. Plus, he has a special challenge to wrestling fans as to why they torture themselves the way they do.
Here are highlights from the interview:
- Stevie is fresh off a Black Friday appearance on the Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" show in which he was presented as an expert source on technology and the newest on the newest useful products worth having. He enjoyed doing the show and reveals it was the first time he had done anything under his real name of Michael Manna. The show was set up by his PR firm Electic Media Productions (found at mediaproductions.tv). Stevie puts them over as being wonderful to work with & has done a great job of giving him opportunities for promotion & exposure.
- Stevie says that he has three passions: Wrestling, Fitness, & Technology. He loves being creative and active in all three. He has always been well versed in computers, even at a young age, long before he even got into wrestling.
- He knows a lot about production and isn't interested in playing that kind of role in wrestling. He does bring about the double edged sword of social media which opens the door for both exposure & opening the door for haters to contact. He then jokes about not using his technical savvy as a wrestling character either, and references The York Foundation as why he feels that probably wouldn't work.
- Stevie is currently working with the Extreme Rising shows that are being run by Shane Douglas. Stevie once again talks about the effects of nostalgia and how it can be a positive experience, but at the same time it can be a security blanket to keep going back to when they can't come up with something new. When talking about Extreme Rising, he says that for the most part the shows have gone very well with energetic crowds. However, he does mention that he tries to be in the best shape possible every time he goes out there, while others on the roster aren't: "When you wear a shirt in the ring, you should not be in the ring". He is not trying to put anyone down, but rather wants the show should be promoted as well as possible.
- When making appearances like the one on "Fox and Friends", his wrestling background was never mentioned. He is surprised that they didn't, but at the end of the day, with his new T4 show to succeed on its own merits without relying on his wrestling past to advertise it.
- He says that his favorite run in wrestling was "Stevie Night Heat" when he was the self proclaimed GM of Sunday Night Heat and because the higher ups in the WWE never watched the show, he could basically do whatever he wanted.
- He was with the WWE for a long tenure, but played other roles besides just wrestling. Some of his additional taks included training Shane McMahon for a match with Shawn Michaels on SNME, go to OVW and check out the talent, and even scout on the independent circuit for talent. Even though he wasn't the main event, it was an important role to play. He mentions that while he was there, Val Venis also played a similar tole. He isn't sure who plays that role for the WWE nowadays.
- Whenever he watches wrestling nowadays, he tends to watch the older stuff (he even mentions watching a Lou Thesz match on Youtube and is amazed by that). He feels that today's modern products don't quite have the same appeal. When talking about the modern day fans, Stevie jokingly says that this comment could "Be a headline on the internet". He explains that fans will constantly talk about how bad the show is and yet continue to watch it. Stevie said he never understood that mindset and jokingly aays to wrestling fans "why do you torture yourselves?". He also explains that wrestling fans are the most loyal fans in entertainment & sports.
- When it comes to his wrestling work, he says that it is his motivation and his responsibility is to always get better and surpass people's expectations. He wants the fans to come and see him and then be blown away with what he is able to do and how he has evolved as a performer.
- When trying to balance his life with wrestling & technology, he says that in the current economy, he is going to take advantage of every skill set that he has. As far as waiting for a call from a major wrestling company, he says he isn't expecting or waiting for it and is content with where he is at the moment.
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