|By Daniel Pena | December 17, 2012 | Comments|
On his run with WCW and the creation of Mr. J.L.: "Brad Rheingans had ties with them, and he had asked me to come to his camp and help train the session he had at the time, and I asked him "It's been seven years, what do I have to do to get a break?" And Brad said, "Well, it's all changed, it's TV now, you have to come up with something visual." So I had an idea in my mind before he mentioned that, 'cause I'd been going to Japan quite a bit for Universal Pro and Michinoku, and saw a lot of cool masks, and no one was doing that in the states.
"And at the time the Power Rangers were pretty popular on TV so I thought I'd come up with something similar to that but not exactly like it. And they (WCW) said that was exactly what they were looking for. So when I showed them the outfit, they brought me in, but they gave me such a lame name. But I was probably the last thing they had on their minds, because they had a lot of heavy hitters, with the NWO and stuff. I would tell people, no, that's Jushin Liger.
His time in ECW: "It was ironic that I even went to ECW because when I was living in Atlanta wrestling for WCW I'd get together at my buddy's place and watch ECW, and I always swore up and down that was one company that I would never work for. I was watching Balls and Sandman trading chair shots, then they'd hit each other with anything the fans handed over the rail; frying pans, Super Nintendos, and microwave ovens. It was crazy. But I ended up there anyway...
"I had a tryout match in WWF with Taka Michinoku, and when that aired, Paul E. knew I wasn't with WCW anymore, and he had Chris Candido hunt me down. He asked me if I wanted to do a couple shots. So I was like OK, this is what I want, and one more thing: I don't want some idiot hitting me in the head with a frying pan. It worked out alright at first, but then I wound up getting clocked in the head with that kendo stick, a few chairs here and there, and I don't know how many tables I went through, and how many Van Daminators I took."
On working with Justin Credible and taking the next step: "At first, I would come up with ideas involving here and there, tables and who knows what else, and I always asked permission first, and I'd get shot down. And finally, Justin and I had a 2-out-of-3 falls match at the Arena, and I told Justin before the show that we're not going to ask permission to do anything out there. We're just going to go out there and do what we do. And after that, everything changed. I was just tired of being held back. I had more freedom."
Working with Rob Van Dam: "The first time I wrestled Rob, I came back through the curtain, my nose was bleeding, my lip was bleeding, I had blood coming out of my shoulder, my head was stuck turned to the side, and Al Snow sees me and said "you look like you've been through a war," and I looked at him and said "it's not supposed to be like this!" It's funny, Rob and I played rough, and it seems like every match either he or I or both of us got popped open. And the more they (the fans) were digging it, and the louder and rowdier they are, the harder we worked."
The creation of the "New F'N Show" moniker: "This is the coolest thing. I never could never think up a weird, wacky gimmick for myself, you know, some show biz name or anything like that. And in Asbury Park at Living Dangerously, I think it was Rob and I in his first PPV match, after a series of moves, one whole section of the crown started chanting 'New F'N Show.' And the name just stuck. It was kinda cool that the fans gave me that name."
On the current state of pro wrestling: "When you have the bookers and storywriters hired from Hollywood, and they know absolutely nothing about wrestling, it becomes, you know, what do you do? When I do seminars, I tell guys watch older wrestling from the 80s. It was working, they must've done something right. Like in the earlier days of TNA, I liked the way they were furthering storylines. When I was in the feud with AJ Styles, we would do stuff like one of us would jump the other in catering, and we're fighting over tables and stuff instead of going to the ring and having a Def Comedy Jam with microphones. It's ridiculous.
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