Show: The Interactive Interview (Courtesy of www.WrestlingEpicenter.com & “The Blaze”1260 AM)
Guest: Charlie Haas
Date: July 13, 2005
Your Hosts: Erik Clancy, Chuck D, & James Walsh
Recap By: James Walsh
— Charlie’s theme song hits as we welcome Charlie to the air. Charlie says he is glad to join us.
— Chuck starts out a little slow by asking about Charlie’s childhood ambitions for wrestling. “It was a boyhood dream. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” says Charlie. Charlie also mentions that he and his brother always used to pretend to be wrestlers before they ever got involved in it.
— Chuck talks about Charlie’s amateur wrestling experience and mentions that another amateur wrestler is set to return in Brock Lesnar. Charlie says, “Brock’s a good guy, man. I’ve not heard if he’s really coming back or not but if he is, it’s for the best.” Charlie then puts Brock over as being a great guy to work with citing he and Shelton feuding with Brock early in their run with WWE.
— “They resent it thinking it’s fake,” says Charlie about the negative view amateur wrestlers have towards pro wrestling. Charlie feels that is starting to change a bit as guys like he, Shelton, and others break in. “Kurt Angle not only broke that door down, he kicked it down,” says Charlie as he credits Kurt for opening the door for amateurs to move from the amateur ranks to the crazy world of pro wrestling.
— James mentions that it truly is a different animal. Charlie agrees saying in amateur wrestling, your goal is to stay on your feet and pin your opponent. In wrestling, your goal is to entertain the fans. But, he does feel it is similar in the training aspect because you have to be in top physical condition to do either amateur or pro wrestling.
— Erik asks about the way he entered the WWE as one of Kurt Angle’s prospects. “Kurt’s a good guy, man. He’s like an old brother to us,” says Charlie about Angle. He goes on to say that Kurt gave them various pointers and mentioned that Kurt called him after his release and felt bad. “He’s not like the guy you see on TV,” says Charlie. James mentions seeing Kurt at a charity event and realizing that he truly is a good guy and is every bit as good as people say he is because he can make a crowd of 20,000 scream “You Suck” at him yet be a wonderful guy when he is not in that spotlight.
— Charlie says working with Shelton Benjamin as part of the World’s Greatest Tag Team was a blast. He says their work ethic, something that Charlie talks extensively about during this interview, is very similar to that of Shelton’s and as such, they worked as hard as they could to actually be the World’s Greatest Tag Team.
— “It’s a shame they split us up so early,” says Charlie. He feels they did not give them the opportunity to reach the level to be on par with the Dudley Boyz in the history books of tag team wrestling.
— Erik makes a fantastic point mentioning the fact that the tag team division has been damaged by splitting the Basham Brothers and losing the Dudley Boyz. Charlie has a rather direct and honest response…
— “I’ll be honest with you. WWE… They have no idea what they’re doing with the tag team division,” says Charlie. He says at one time they did, citing the days of the Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, as well as the Dudley Boyz. He says there was a simple formula in play there. The face team, in this case the Hardy Boys, were chasing the tag titles. This formula has worked in the past with examples like the Rock & Roll Express chasing the Midnight Express or the IV Horsemen. But, today the creative team doesn’t understand how to do it in Charlie’s opinion.
— “They hire these writers that haven’t even ever watched wrestling, don’t know anything about athleticism or playing a sport, and then they go in there and look at tag team wrestling as an opening of the card or mid card type of a draw when they could be using it to main event.” Charlie goes on to say they could’ve made big money by having teams like he and Shelton against The Dudley Boys or the Bashams. Or, they could’ve had them, the All Americans, facing La Resistance at the height of the Iraq war.
— “WWE are letting themselves down by hiring these writers that all they’ve done is read comic books or, if they’re lucky, played chess as the most physicality they’ve ever had.”
— We then ask why Vince McMahon doesn’t oversee the writers and explain that tag teams can draw money. “He wants yes-men. If he wanted someone that would speak up, he had that with Paul Heyman or Jim Cornette and that’s why you’d see them pushed to the back.”
— Chuck asks why they are releasing all these guys, Charlie included. Charlie says, “The thing is, you’re only as good as your competition and Vince bought all the competition. They tried to make competition within themselves with the different brands but it doesn’t seem to be working that much.”
— Charlie explains that they are unclear about what they want to do in terms of characters. They go from straight wrestlers to guys laced in character and don’t go all the way with either yet there is no in between.
— Charlie says he misses the days when you’d be watching RAW and would flip over to Nitro or would be watching Nitro and would flip over to RAW just to see what the other was doing. He says that’s what’s missing and that hurts the business.
— Charlie mentions that back in the day, guys would work for 10 to 15 years before they’d get a break. Now that there aren’t really territories or other places to work, WWE expects people to just step up and be flash in the pan superstars.
— Charlie cites examples with Triple H and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin saying they were in WCW and were let go only to go to the competition and prove WCW was wrong to let them go. “That’s what’s missing.”
— “That’s why you pray for TNA to get something going,” says Charlie. He says they have to because someone has to be competition.
— “Maybe a bunch of us will end up working there to help out,” says Charlie still on TNA. He puts over the current TNA workers saying they’ve worked really hard to keep the company going. He also puts over guys like Shane Douglas’ backstage work saying he adds so much. He hopes TNA signs himself as well as the other guys cut from WWE as they could possibly bring it up to another level.
— Charlie says he has learned a lot from Arn Anderson, Michael Hayes, Ricky Steamboat, Fit Finley, Gerald Brisco, and others that are current WWE agents. He says he’d love to see some of them break away from WWE and help the young talent in TNA.
— Charlie Haas says TNA should see if Paul Heyman would jump. he says Panda should just fund it and let Paul run the company because he’d make it competition.
— “You’re married 3 weeks and then they let you go,” says Charlie when asked how Jackie Gayda is responding to the release. “At least they didn’t do it during the wedding or right before the wedding,” he adds. “I hate to say it but it’s just a bunch of BS,” he says after being asked if the timing bothered him.
— One thing about the release he is glad about is both he and Jackie were released because he knows had one been left behind, it would’ve been tough. James mentions Marc Mero and Sable.
— Chuck mentions the drunken conversation he had with Rico in Las Vegas over the 4th of July holiday but mentions that even in his drunken state, he managed to pull himself together enough to have a conversation with Rico about Charlie and Jackie. Charlie says “There’s another one. Everywhere you went, it was Rico, Rico. And, the WWE let him go. He’s as entertaining as Blue Meanie is. Why would you let him go?”
— James mentions you can tell how successful a gimmick is based on the number of copies you’d see on the indy scene. For example, everybody in the 80’s indy scene tried to be like Hogan. There were 6,000,000 Doink the Clowns on the indy scene in the early to mid 90’s. Everybody was a Michaels in the mid to late 90’s. Well, there were a ton of gay characters popping up in parody of Rico. Charlie agrees with this and says perhaps all he can say, “I know.”
— Erik brings us back to the career oriented interview by asking about Wrestlemania 19 and what it was like wrestling in front of a crowd that big. “What a night,” says Charlie. He puts over the fact that over 60,000 people were chanting “You Suck” at him. He also mentions a funny little bit of trivia. At Wrestlemania 19, both Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit were in that match. The next year, they were both World Champions. At Wrestlemania 20, JBL was one of their opponents. A year later, he was World Champion. He says Shelton and he used to joke that whoever they’d wrestle at Wrestlemania would end up as World Champion the next year.
— Charlie talked to Shelton just yesterday as well as Kurt. Both guys were shocked by his release. Shelton was Charlie’s best man at his wedding and offered Charlie all the help he could be it money or help getting over to Japan. So, Shelton is putting him in contact with Japan.
— Both guys were shocked because they thought there were angles that could’ve been done. Charlie mentioned he wanted to be traded to RAW to feud with Shelton because that would be something. James says, “That’d make sense.” Charlie says, “That’s the problem. It would’ve made sense.”
— Charlie says the above angle would’ve worked but because it wasn’t something the writing team, or as he calls them “the young kids,” didn’t come up with, they didn’t want it.
— Another angle would’ve been to have Charlie challenge Kurt Angle in his invitational and last the full 3 minutes. Kurt would then jump him and cut off Russ’ arm bands. Charlie says that should’ve been done because they want real life, it doesn’t get more deep or real than that.
— Charlie said he and Chris Benoit pushed for an angle over who is the most technical wrestler on Smackdown. “Evidentially, that didn’t work.” Charlie also says they could’ve just let them go longer with he and Hardcore Holly because they were getting over as a tag team and having good matches with MNM. “It was them who dropped the ball,” says Charlie referring to the WWE.
— Charlie and Jackie met and always got along well and became close. But, when they both were on Smackdown, it just clicked. “That’s one thing they can’t take away, I met the woman of my dreams there.”
— Charlie reflects fondly upon his wedding day talking about all the work that went into it. He says the only sad part is, and it was nothing but good times otherwise, is that will probably be the last time he has with his friends from WWE because he never really had a chance to say goodbye.
— James and Charlie talk a little about the ECWA promotion and how he and Christopher Daniels are two guys that really stand out that came from there in the early 2000’s period. Charlie puts over ECWA was a promotion everybody in the Dele ware area needs to check out.
— Charlie wants to work Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles. He talks more about how big he is on the prospect of going to TNA.
— James mentions the horrible angle from Armageddon where Charlie calls both Dawn Marie and Jackie Gayda “sluts” and runs out on them only to be a face a few months later unexplained. Charlie says, “That’s a writer named Dave Lagana. He came up with the idea to have me sleeping with both of them. I said, “Well, where do we go from there?” “Oh, we’ll just get you away from them.” There you are! There’s the brilliant mind of a creative writer. Dave Lagana! Good job Dave!” Charlie then starts sounding mildly annoyed thinking back at how he should’ve turned heel at that point.
— Charlie, still on the creative team, blasts them for shooting down ideas that some guys have when it is usually the guys’ idea what they do that gets over. He cites John Cena and JBL being examples of guys who are just playing up who they really are on TV. He compares the WWE creative team to Lukas hiring the cast of Star Wars and then saying to the cast, “So, what role would you like to play?” He says certain guys just fit certain molds and they can’t be forced to be something they’re not.
— Charlie’s pretty bothered by the idea they released Dawn Marie while she’s pregnant. He feels they could’ve waited until after she had the baby.
— We then roll into some word associations that cannot be missed. Names like Jim Ross, Vince McMahon, Russ Haas, Jackie Gayda, and so many more are dropped and discussed in detail. You’ll just have to listen at www.WrestlingEpicenter.com to hear that!
— We close out with a fitting song by Faster p—ycat, “House of Pain.” Get it?