On episode 149 of Heated Conversations: Hosted By Booker T, WWE Hall Of Famer Booker T caught up with former ECW World Heavyweight Champion Justin Credible. Among many other things, Credible, talked about getting his break in WWE as Aldo Montoya and asking for his release, his career-defining move to ECW, and learning to work safely in the hardcore territory.
According to Credible, he got his break in WWE as the 'Portuguese Man-O-War', but asked for his release when his friends Kevin Nash and Scott Hall left for WCW. As the story goes, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon would permit Credible to go to ECW, but not WCW.
"A lot of people know I was Aldo Montoya for the old WWF. I got my break there. I was a young guy. I didn't know anything about anything. I was green as grass, but I got to work a lot on the road and learn from a lot of the veterans. And then, finally, contract time was up and I went to Vince [McMahon]. I was bold and I was so naive and stupid that I actually called a meeting with Vince and said, 'I want my release' because that was about the time that Scott [Hall] and Kevin [Nash] had gone over to WCW. And I was friends with Scott. I was his young boy. I travelled up and down the road with Scott. And Vince said, 'it's not the character we're worried about you bringing over, it's the perception of another one of our guys jumping ship. I don't want to let you go to WCW, but I'll let you go work with Paul Heyman in ECW.'" Credible later added, "I wanted to go forward. They weren't allowing me. And it wasn't about the money, although I was really making only peanuts. Let's put it this way: I wasn't making six figures to wrestle 300 days a year. And when you're on the road, spending that kind of money, you're really losing money."
Notably, while Credible took a winning gamble on himself by going to ECW, he admitted that he was scared of going to the house that Heyman built because he thought it was a shoot.
"At the time, I was scared to death of ECW," Credible divulged. "I thought it was a shoot. I saw guys hitting people with everything and barbed wire, but I wasn't about that. I was just a wrestler."
During the interview, Credible told Booker that the likes of Cactus Jack, Sabu, and Terry Funk would do things for real, but that his cohort of talent tried to engage in "controlled chaos".
"We came to a good understanding and a good formula with the chances we took." Credible explained, "by the time Sabu and Cactus Jack and Terry Funk and [those] guys did it for real, we started to learn how to do it for fake. Like, fake hardcore. Like, me and Tommy Dreamer, when me and Tommy Dreamer would be main eventing a pay-per-view, we'd be talking about the match, clipping the barbs off of the barbed wire. We learned how to… look, this is my deal. Some guys may say, 'hey, hit me hard'. I'm like, 'please don't kill me today.'"
Although Credible took precautions to make the hardcore style of wrestling in ECW safer for the performers, the former Impact Player got serious for a minute and acknowledged that he was lucky he did not hurt anyone in the squared circle given his addiction problems.
"It's embarrassing now because you're out there to protect your opponent and I'm blessed and I'm lucky too. Luck has a huge part of this because you can ask anybody in the [pro wrestling] business up and down and I have never hurt anybody ever. But I'm lucky I never hurt anybody because that's irresponsible and I'm not proud of it. I don't say that with a badge of honor and 'I'm cool'. It's real irresponsible."
Can you dig that? If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit Heated Conversations with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.