WrestlingEpicenter.com recently interviewed former ECW star Joel Gertner. Here are some highlights:
- James welcomes Joel to the show and he says that he is doing pretty well. He is taking many Independent bookings and is even taking a part in the Extreme Rising shows. He puts them over as very entertaining and exciting, and a great showcase for the original ECW talents.
- Joel says that the reason ECW nostalgia continues to survive is because it was a revolutionary product that reached out to the fans as much as possible. He also states that ECW's use of the internet back in the day helped them get a leg up and build their fanbase early on. He also credits ECW with giving fans a "complete Wrestling experience" as ECW was able to provide just about everything a wrestling fan could want.
- He started in the business really young. He began with ECW at only age 20 and he attended at small wrestling school run by Pete McCay. He lists Bobby Bold Eagle as an influential trainer at the facility. Among the talents he met there were Devin Storm, Chris Kanyon, & Jason Knight.
- Joel only took one class as a wrestler and realized that wasn't where he would be best utilized. That was when he decided to get into non-wrestling roles like ring announcing, time keeping , and managing.
- In 1995, he went to an ECW show and approached Paul Heyman and offered to be a part of ECW's New York crew. Heyman told him right away that he had the job and the rest is history.
- In telling the story of how he came to be a manager for The Dudley Boys, it came shortly after he became a heel ring announcer and it just transitioned into him being the mouthpiece for The Dudleys. Having Gertner with The Dudleys was able to focus their heat and get the perfect version of the stable together.
- With some of his recent work, Gertner has been able to be more of a straight ring announcer. He doesn't want to fully break away from his work in ECW because it is a lot of fun for him to do, but he does want to show that he isn't just a one trick pony.
- When asked about ECW's closing down, he says that he is "the wrong person to ask". He did alot of on camera work and helped in production, but the business side of the company is not something he was involved with. He doesn't know what went wrong or why it ended the way it did. As for why the deal with TNN went through, he thinks that WWF getting into talks of moving to TNN sort of left ECW without a home.
- Joel puts over his time in ECW and calls it one of the best times of his life. He also mentions that most within the company were happy being the number 3 company and loved the energy and charisma that they were able to capture.
- His short run at the beginning of NWA:TNA during the weekly PPV era is brought up. When asked if it bothered him that Don West shouted "Who cares?!" at him, he says it didn't bother him because he was a heel and he felt that the more heat, the better. Joel was let go along with several other talents from TNA when it hit is initial financial problem within the first few months.
- He promoted and started the MXW promotion. He enjoyed working on it and ran some great shows in the New York area. He does think about bringing it back and doing other shows in 2013. He also plugs his website, MXWwrestling.net where fans can buy DVDs of previous events. He also prides the show as being "Athletic Artistry" and as having little in the way of backstage politics.
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