|By Raj Giri||December 26, 2012 | Comments|
Fans worldwide can watch the event -- which features a fully loaded card, title tournament finals, a title match to crown the first ever champion, as well as a cage match -- by ordering the iPPV VOD now at HighSpots.com by clicking here.
In the first part of our interview below, Richards talks about his time with ECW and WWE, his favorite moment in WWE, if WWE's ECW could have worked, his WWE departure and more. Make sure to check back tomorrow for the second part of our interview, where Richards discusses calling TNA an indy promotion with TV, scripted promos, Extreme Rising and more.
WrestlingINC: When you wrestled on the first Eastern Championship Wrestling show, did you have any idea of how big that promotion would blow up?
Richards: I had no idea of anything being the first match when it was Eastern Championship Wrestling. [Laughs.] I was just looking to get experience and learn how to be a wrestler.
WrestlingINC: When you saw it starting to evolve, did you have a feeling you were a part of something?
Richards: Not really. In terms of history, when you're actually involved in it at that time, you don't know that you're creating something that even today is so popular. I have a particular outlook still. Like, the upcoming Extreme Uprising show, I just take it one show at a time, one workout at a time and take my life one day at a time. I don't try to really look beyond that.
WrestlingINC: When you retired in 1997 with the neck injury, did you think that was it with your wrestling career or did you kind of have a feeling you'd be back one day?
Richards: At the time, I thought I was 100% retired from wrestling. I had no idea if I could do it at the level I really wanted to. I didn't know or have the maturity to realize that I could discipline myself to work at that high level again.
WrestlingINC: When you did recovery, why did you end up signing with WCW?
Richards: Just immaturity and listening to other people rather than listening to myself and knowing what was best for me.
WrestlingINC: If it was completely up to you, you think you would have done something differently?
Richards: I'm not sure, that's a 'what if?' I think that it really did help with my maturity, it was a crash course with maturity not only in wrestling but in life. I realized that sometimes with that kind of decision, without thinking it through or relying on other people's opinions besides than your own instincts, there's consequences. It was probably was one of the best things to happen to me, to make those kinds of mistakes in my wrestling career.
WrestlingINC: What were your thoughts when you signed with WWE in 1999 during a real hot peak for that company?
Richards: I was just thankful to have that support. I never knew that I'd make it to WWF at the time -- now WWE -- I never knew that I'd make it there. Especially with all the things you just brought up, the ECW to WCW, back to ECW thing and with the surgery. I was more mature then and I just wanted to make the most of any opportunity given to me.
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